Last year, sampling titans Spitfire Audio announced that they'd been working with the BBC Symphony Orchestra to produce an ambitious full orchestral library, recorded at the legendary Maida Vale Studios.
The result of that collaboration — the Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra — met with widespread praise, and you can read our glowing review of it here.
There's no getting around the fact that it's expensive, but if the £899 price tag is a bit much for you, or the 680GB install size is enough to give your computer conniptions, Spitfire have got you covered. The two newest additions to the BBC Symphony Orchestra (hence BBCSO) range are derived from the same outstanding performances and recordings, but with reduced articulation counts and mic position options, and commensurately lower prices.
At the 'lighter' end of the scale is BBCSO Discover, which despite its modest 200MB size still contains 35 instruments covering 47 different articulations. These are all pre-mixed into stereo, and according to Spitfire would suit both novice composers, and professionals in a hurry.
BBCSO Discover is available now for the very reasonable price of £49 — or, if you really are on a shoestring, you can get it for free by filling out a questionnaire on Spitfire's website. Spitfire will then send you a licence within 14 days (just remember their generosity when you hit the bigtime!).
Sitting between BBCSO Discover and the full library is BBCSO Core, which has all of the instruments and articulations of the original, but retains Discover's ready-rolled stereo mix. That carries a retail price of £399.
As part of the BBCSO range expansion, the original library is being renamed to BBCSO Professional — and people who already own it will be given the two cut-down versions for free, for use perhaps on portable rigs or where deadline is looming. What's more, all editions are interoperable, so you can start a piece on a lighter version and switch to the Professional edition for mixdown, for example.
Finally, Spitfire are offering substantial discounts on the Core and Professional versions throughout May. Order before the 31st and you can buy BBCSO Core for just £299, and BBCSO Professional for £679.