British Drama Toolkit: Brass & Reeds is the fourth collaboration between Spitfire Audio and composer, songwriter and producer Samuel Sim, and contains a selection of solo brass and woodwind instruments presented in a variety of combinations. In a contrast to the company’s larger symphony-sized orchestral libraries, this latest offering delivers a smaller and more intimate sound that can either be used on its own for subtle cues, or blended with a larger library.
Three velocity layers are provided — Texture, Soft and Loud — and are represented by horizontal lines placed within a graphical display in the GUI. The Texture layer offers a range of pad-like sounds, with Soft consisting of subtle muted tones, and Loud being dedicated to producing expressive solo lead lines. Each note played is then represented by a vertical bar, providing a visual indication of which layer is active.
As the layers depend on playing velocity rather than the usual approach of a Dynamics parameter, different layers can be triggered for separate notes within a phrase, allowing users to mix and match different timbres all within the same patch. The library is still equipped with Expression, Attack and Release parameters to offer some additional control over the level and envelope of samples, and a Dynamics fader is still present, although in this case serves to control the sensitivity of the velocity layers.
A total of 99 patches are provided, with five instrument sections joined by combo patches that spread the entire ensemble across the keyboard for quick and easy sketching of ideas. Two microphone signals are available, with a close-miked option joined by a Decca Tree signal captured from further back to introduce more room sound.
The following instrument sections are provided:
- Cor Anglais
- Recorder Ensemble
- Bass Sax
- Bari Sax
- Alto Sax
- Bass Trombone
- Tenor Trombone
- Tenor Horn
British Drama Toolkit: Brass & Reeds is provided in Spitfire’s own plug-in, which is supported on PCs running Windows 7 and above, and Macs running macOS version 10.13 to 12. It is available in AU, VST2, VST3 and AAX formats. The download size for the library is 8GB.
Pricing & Availability
British Drama Toolkit: Brass & Reeds is available now, and is being offered for an introductory price of $149£129 including VAT / €149 until 6 April 2023, after which the price will rise to $199£169 including VAT / €199.
During the same period, owners of the company’s British Drama Toolkit or Contemporary Drama Toolkit libraries are eligible for a crossgrade price of $129£109 including VAT / €129.