Review Joey Santiago Spitfire Audio


With Joey Santiago, Spitfire has captured the spirit of the guitar player then taken the library much further than I anticipated, curating a vast array of beautiful pads and loops on top of the playable guitar patches –  all true to Santiago’s unique essence.

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Review Joey Santiago Spitfire Audio

Joey Santiago sells for £199 from Spitfire Audio


I first heard about this library while interviewing Christian Henson of Spitfire Audio at NAMM a couple months ago and I was very excited. The library was created recording of samples performed by Joey Santiago who is best known as the guitar player for the alternative rock band The Pixies. I am a pretty big fan of the Pixies and Joey’s unique playing style and approach adds so much color and texture to the sound of the group I was very curious to see what a collaboration with Spitfire Audio might produce.

The first thing you should know is that this library is not just a guitar library. It does contain dozens of playable guitar articulations both as key-switchable presets as well as single articulation presets in Joey’s very unique tones and captures his playing styles and techniques.

You can play the library with realistic guitar tremolo, mutes, sustained melodies and chords or playback a handful of specialty articulations such as picking above the nut or below the bridge and of course, Joey’s famous 2 note bend.

But to be honest the library falls short if you are going into the library comparing it head-to-head against other top of the line modern guitar libraries and it becomes obvious why the library is NOT titled “Joey Santiago’s Guitar” but takes a different approach.

With Joey Santiago, Spitfire has captured the unique spirit of the musician as a starting point and then taken the instrument much further than I anticipated curated a vast array of beautiful pads, loops all staying true to Santiago’s core. The couple hundred hybrid patches using Spitfires eDNA engine and Mercury Synth take this library in surprising directions transforming the stylish guitar fodder into breathing cinematic sound scapes.


Spitfire Audio‘s Joey Santiago eDNA engine

This is a top-notch, wonderful sounding set of kontakt presets with the same magic dust Spitfire manages to sprinkle on all of it’s libraries. Alhtough I do love the instrument, my thoughts are that this is a specialty instrument for composers looking to expand their sonic pallet with unique new timbres and might not be for everyone. As always I recommend watching the official walkthrough video and demos to see if this libraries right for you.


Joey Santiago contains just under 10,000 samples performed by the famed Pixies guitar player captured through some of his favorite guitars, effects and amp set up. The library has over 250 presets weighing in at 14GB and does require the full version of Native Instruments Kontakt .

“Individual Plucks” and keyswitch presets allow playback through 6 different signal paths: 4 amplified signals including Joey’s own Marshall JCM800, Fender Vibrolux, and a Selmar and 2 different room perspectives. Spitfire has included addition both original sample playback and “tight tuned” instruments which have been tuned across the instrument’s range and will blend more easily with your other libraries.

All sounds played by Joey himself, through a selection of hand picked pedals.


Joey Santiago Plucks Interface

The 18 articulations captured give you the famous 2 Notes Bends, Accidentals, Alt Bridge, Back Bridge Bright and Tight, Mutes , Harmonics, Plucks, Snap, Trems.

A set of 49 kontakt presets in the “Gigantic Mutations” category are loops that have been manipulated within Spitfire’s eDNA engine & crafted from various sections of Joeys playing, Another set of presets, ‘Radiant Pads’, utilizing Spitfire’s eDNA engine for 125 different presets.

The “Santiago Sounds” presets utilize Spitfire‘s Mercury Synth which is designed to warp the sounds with it’s simple yet powerful interface allowing users to “have instant fun without having to roll up your sleeves and go under the Kontakt hood” to manipulate the sounds with filters, ADSR and effects.


The Mercury Synth Engine

Joey Santiago sells for £199 from Spitfire Audio

Official Demos of Joey Santiago

Official Videos of Joey Santiago