Review: Estática by Spitfire Audio

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Estática is an experimental soundscape library that combines the diverse sonic worlds of two innovative sound artists into a single toolkit. It pushes the boundaries of modern music and is perfect for composers seeking endless sonic possibilities that embody originality.

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Review: Estática by Spitfire Audio

Estática is the latest release by Spitfire Audio which features the creative collaboration between cellist/composer Mabe Fratti and multidisciplinary sound artist Concepción Huerta. At just $29, it boasts a surprisingly large collection of innovative sounds, pre-sets, and effects which make it an invaluable library for effortlessly designing immersive soundscapes.
Estática sells for $29.00 from Spitfire Audio

Estática – Main GUI

Estática normally sells for $29.00 from Spitfire Audio

Thoughts

Estática is based on the work of Mabe Fratti and Concepción Huerta and their recent album of the same name. It is a contemporary sound experience that is typified by their eclectic, experimental approach and intended to express the immense sense of feeling inundated by the current global stasis. Fratti explains the name comes from “…the charge of static electricity inside us, combined with the feeling of stasis and immobility that comes from being overwhelmed.” Their avant-garde style takes advantage of the inspired cello, vocals, and synth recordings from Fratti combined with the elaborate tape and pedal processing from Huerta to form exciting, evocative soundscapes.

Estática – Categories

Globally, the library is split into four separate categories which include cello, vocals, tape, and warps. It features beautifully-recorded content with heavy processing to help create a completely new and contemporary tonal palette compared to traditional samples.

Perhaps the most striking element of the library is its truly distinctive sound that is full of character. Estática simply oozes raw, gritty, and contrasting textures that add a new dimension to otherwise ordinary projects. The wonderful, original processing from Huerta can radically vary the sound and is akin to having several libraries in one great package.

Estática was developed and recorded in Mexico City and has a drier, studio sound compared to Spitfire’s other orchestral releases. In turn, this gives the library much more mixing flexibility and is suitable for many different musical genres, smaller ensembles, or even big cinematic productions. Of course, the included reverbs give composers a huge amount of control over the end result and make placing the library in a larger mix a breeze.

Estática – Preset Browser

The Cello section contains a variety of patches based on the unique playing style of Fratti. These raw performances capture the intensity of the instrument through unconventional sustain articulations, aggressive bowings, cello FX and more.

When coupled with Huerta’s processing, the result is an evocative tone that can cut through even the thickest mixes. Similarly, the Vocals are an essential part of the library that encapsulates the quality, organic recordings that are hauntingly beautiful. Like the human voice, they are exceptional at adding an extra layer of emotion into any track.

There are several progressive-style vocal patches as well as many granular pads which should serve any production. As the name describes, the atmospheric Tape section exemplifies an authentic analog signal sound and acts as the ideal foundation for designing dense soundscapes. Lastly, the Warps are another excellent section that is made up of orchestral atmospheres which help add some much-needed textures for creating more intricate and multifaceted sound structures. Again, it is Huerta’s additional processing that gives this library a whole new dimension and makes each patch an occasion to explore new sonic worlds. With that said, some of the transitions between layers can be a bit sudden making gradual shifts difficult at times. Additionally, some of the ‘long’ patches can cut out a bit too early which make them somewhat problematic for slower passages. It would be great in a future update to have a ‘loop’ function which would enable much longer held sustain notes. Nevertheless, the pioneering sounds will surely inspire composers and spark their creativity which is what makes this instrument so special.

Estática – FX

As with other Spitfire Audio releases, Estática relies on the advanced Spitfire Audio engine which has all of the functionality of any modern sample player. Once purchased, the library can be downloaded directly from your user account in the Spitfire Audio App. Afterward, it will appear as a separate sampler plug-in in your DAW which can be loaded in as needed.

The interface itself is rather clean and gives a very cool nod to the handwritten style similar to the actual Estática album cover. The top toolbar that shows the traditional information like computer usage, reverb, midi channel, panning, and volume, users will notice the patch browser. This very helpful ‘Preset Selector’ list has every patch name separated by section as well as a brief description and audio example to help composers quickly decipher an instrument’s specific quality.

There is even an option to ‘star’ certain favourites for future reference. The Main Controls panel features standard controls which are expression, modulation, as well as a customizable knob that can be assigned to any fx parameter. With these, producers can drastically change the timbre of a particular sound in an instant. There are also controls for adjusting the sample attack, release as well as a chorus, flanger, and phaser. In fact, it is this powerful functionality that gives the library such depth since a single instrument can create so many different sonic combinations. More so, being able to do all of this in real-time during a live set or while producing makes it’s it a great addition to an already fantastic offering.

Estática – Controls

While Estática was designed for more avant-garde and contemporary works, it is in fact quite adaptable and is perfect for a variety of different applications. For example, the library’s unconventional recordings and processing make it an amazing toolkit for producing custom, cinematic atmospheres, fx, textures, etc. As well, layering is another suitable application for Estática and it pairs perfectly with other Spitfire Audio libraries.

Adding a subtle Estática pad or cello fx can quickly form a completely new soundscape to an otherwise stagnate string patch. One can easily see that the otherworldly sound lends itself well to adding some suspense to any horror score and the rare, almost ‘prepared’ techniques give users a true sense of terror. It is fair to say that it is an invaluable sound kit for composers looking for new and exciting sounds that are perfect for layering or simply any modern music production in need of some new, inspiring sounds.

People interested in picking up Estática can take a listen to the original EP to get a better idea of the overall library sound and approach. The informative manual is a valuable resource to learn more about the different patches, controls as well as the Spitfire Audio App in general. All in all, Estática is a great modern library at an exceptional price. At just $29 and 2.3 GB, it offers a whole new world of sound potential in an economical package. It is a great addition to any composer’s arsenal that should not only spark your creativity but also revitalize your stale tracks. The fantastic pre-sets, heavy-processing and included effects make it a powerful library that is well adept at adding some real, emotional depth or interest to any music production. An ideal instrument for creating complex atmospheres, unsettling soundscapes, layering with existing libraries or just adding a bit of texture to your next project.

Facts

Estática is a 2.3 GB download and is split across 4 sections including Cello, Vocals, Tape, and Warps. It runs in Spitfire Audio‘s dedicated plug-in that can be downloaded via the free Spitfire Audio App.

Estática normally sells for $29.00 from Spitfire Audio

 

Demos of Estática by Spitfire Audio

Videos of Estática by Spitfire Audio

Contributor BenG reviews Estática by Spitfire Audio
“Estática is an experimental soundscape library that combines the diverse sonic worlds of two innovative sound artists into a single toolkit. It pushes the boundaries of modern music and is perfect for composers seeking endless sonic possibilities that embody originality.”