Review PP021 EVO GRID 3 from Spitfire Audio

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With top-notch samples housed in the wonderfully creative Evo Grid engine, Spitfire Audio’s EVO GRID 3 provides a countless number of evolving musical string textures with just a few clicks.

 

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Review PP021 EVO GRID 3 from Spitfire Audio

 

PP021 EVO GRID 3 sells for £179.00 GBP/ $269.00 USD/€251.00 EUR from Spitfire Audio

 

Thoughts

With it’s top-notch sample quality housed in the wonderfully creative EVO engine Spitfire Audio‘s new Evo GRID 3 has me very excited about the future of the EVO GRID series. For this library the Spitfire team spent over 2 years crafting and recording the selection of tempo-sync’d loops (evos) performed by a small string group that were  orchestrated by Ben Foskett. The resulting instrument gives composers a countless number of evolving musical string patterns that vary from subtle to driving, tension building to down-right unsettling – all with the touch of a few different keys.

Evo Grid 3 contains the kind of top-quailty sample sets we have come to expect from Spitfire. Within a few minutes of playing the instrument I was hooked! It is very inspiring and I can see the usefulness it provides those of us scoring with tight deadlines as playing just a few notes of any given Evolution provides the ability to create fluid and evolving string textures that can transform in exciting way.

All in, Evo Grid 3 contains 37 different “evolutions” playable as individual kontakt instrument. The main instruments of the library are 2 different master EVO GRID instruments one “EVO GRID” and one ” EVO GRID PERFORMANCE MW” the latter with Modwheel ties to dynamics AND fade between the first 2 of the 5 microphone/playback samples.

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Individual Evolutions broken out as Individual Kontakt Presets

In addition Spitfire has included a set of 17 “Curated Evolutions” with some preset matrix setting ranging from geometric based to “Building Rhythms”, “Persistent Tense 16s” to “Psycho Scary 8s”.

A the instruments playback tempo-locked to your host DAW and contain five individual mic signals (Close, Sweet Loops, ‘Completely Varped’, and Stretched and “Xr” which I am assuming is super stretched.

The samples where recorded ins a dry sounding studio ( Air-Edel Studio 1 ) and although the instruments load up with a kontakt reverb added to the output signal I found it a little muddy for my tastes. I found myself turning the instruments verb off completely and utilizing my own reverb plugins for a warmer yet more present reverb.

 

ABOUT THE EVO GRID

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Evo Grid 3 instrument interface

‘Evos’ (evolutions) load into the GUI-based matrix grid.

The Evo Grid system was concepted by composer and Spitfire head Christian Hensen, for a scoring project.
He needed to write 13 hours of music for a television series with no orchestra budget and only 3 months to deliver.
After recording a series of string “evolutions” for the project he found that he was able to combine and contrast them to get exciting and unexpected results.

In the Evo Grid 3 press material Christian is quoted as semi-seriously stating, “I could literally hit a big C minor chord, hold my sustain pedal down, reach for my sandwich, and the thing would still be writing itself a minute later while I was wiping mayo off my beard!”

The results were released publicly as the “Scary Strings” and offered up as donationware (in return for a £2.00 GBP donation to charity) available from Spitfires Labs store.

The Evo Grid engine in EVO GRID 3 allows the user to load up the matrix with random evos in several categories with the “die” drop down menu or by “pinning” the matrix interface. The Evolutions are divided into 3 color coordinated categories: Straight (yellow), Tense (blue) and Scary (Red).

In short pinning the matrix assigns one of the 37 evolutions to a selected key range. See the official Evo Grid video for full details.

 

This is a wonderful release from one of the words leaders in sample library development. As you can tell from my writing I am a fan of the instrument, but as a learned musician and composer myself, I would love to see a literal note/rhythmic representation/transcription of the Evolutions to some how interact with in the interface. This would  help me navigate both the individual Evos more quickly as well as allow for a more methodical process of composing with intention while using the matrix instead of relying mostly on randomness and chance.

I love the concept and the sample quality of Evo Grid 3. The “Blue Note” tribute in the art work in the series gave me a smile. Evo Grid 3 does exactly what it set out to do, make scoring evolving textures easy and quick to execute. I look forward to seeing where Spitfire ‘evolves’ the series from here.


Facts

Spitfires Evo Grid 3 contains 3616 samples, downloads as  21GB  and does require the full version of kontakt.

PP021 EVO GRID 3 sells for £179.00 GBP/ $269.00 USD/€251.00 EUR from Spitfire Audio

Official Demos of EVO GRID 3

Official Videos of EVO GRID 3