Review: PP025 Evo Grid 4 Woodwinds by Spitfire Audio

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If you need fresh musical underscore that evolves and morphs over time, this is the tool for you. It offers a beautiful sample set derived from arguably the most colorful orchestra section, the woodwinds. It’s probably not for you if you’re looking for slam bam epic sounds, but for anyone seeking unusual and unique sound palettes, it is well worth a look.

Jump to the Demos of PP025 Evo Grid 4 Woodwinds by Spitfire Audio

Jump to the Videos of PP025 Evo Grid 4 Woodwinds by Spitfire Audio

Review: PP025 Evo Grid 4 Woodwinds by Spitfire Audio

 

Evo Grid 4 is an integral part of Spitfire’s Evo Grid family. Whereas the previous entries focused on strings, Evo Grid 4 is based on the woodwind family. The basic concept of the Evo range (short for evolutions natch) is simple; provide composers with a series of hyper long, articulations that constantly change over time, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically. Evo Grid 4 allows the composer to easily create moving, emotional passages that are both organic and unique.

PP025 Evo Grid 4 Woodwinds sells for $249 from Spitfire Audio

 

Thoughts

In a world of shrinking budgets and rigid deadlines, composers today are often asked to create droning underscore for picture that has few or no moving notes. Evo Grid 4 is designed to do just that.

based on 48 beautifully recorded articulations played by a pool of talented, avant-garde woodwind players

It’s based on 48 beautifully recorded articulations played by a pool of talented, avant-garde woodwind players at the famous London Air-Eidel studio. It goes without saying that the quality of the recordings is pristine. The samples are recorded with warmth and clear definition. All the winds and reeds in various combinations are represented.

These articulations are then organized on a grid. Using that grid, you can plot which evolution or ‘Evo’ will be combined with another and at what pitch. It sounds a little complicated, but it’s actually pretty intuitive. I basically fired it up in Kontakt 5 and was off and recording something musically useful within minutes. The Evos run the gamut from subtle to dramatic to just plain crazy.

The grid allows you to create any number of combinations. With 48 basic articulations, plus 48 warped and processed versions, the possibilities are almost infinite. Don’t ask me what the math would be, but chances are pretty good that the combination you finally settle on will not be used by anyone else.

If you can’t decide what you want to hear, there is a randomizing button that does the work for you. In fact, the randomizing feature is so simple and fun that it becomes addictive. You could easily spend hours clicking that button again and again just to see what the next permutation will be! Meanwhile, deadlines still loom.

Unless you save a combination while using the randomization features, you will probably lose it.

One important caveat to remember is that unless you save a combination that you love while using one of the randomization features, you will probably lose that permutation forever. There is no real way to ‘backtrack’ to a combination you previously heard. So the key is to save, save, and save. But then again, you’ll probably find something you like better than what you had anyway. So, no real problem!

There’s no manual that comes with this product. There are help bubbles that will appear if you hover your mouse over the various features of the library interface. They can be useful, but frankly, you don’t really need them. The interface is very intuitive and laid out in such a way that you can easily see how to adjust any parameter you’d like.

One important feature that is common to all Spitfire products is the use of the dynamics and expression faders. (You can map these functions to the mod-wheel or any other programmed slider on your midi controller.) Changing this will affect the way the recorded Evo plays back, sometimes quite dramatically. In general, clever use of these features will go a long way to making your compositions sound more real and alive.

As an added bonus, Spitfire provides a number of preset articulations, which they call ‘curated’. (They are British after all…) These sound great right out of the box and are an excellent starting point for creating your own versions.

In a market awash with similar sounding sample libraries, Spitfire has carved a niche for itself. Run by real composers who actually compose, Spitfire aims to provide tools to the working composer that will equip him/her to do whatever the need to do. Unabashedly pro British, they provide an appealing alternative to the more bombastic ‘Hollywood’ sound that characterizes many other libraries. Using a metaphor from another of my favorite subjects, I’d say Spitfire is more ‘pinot-noir’ than ‘big-assed cab’..

 

Facts

This library contains 3,312 samples and weighs in at around 18.5 GB of uncompressed .wav files. It will take up 17 GB of space and needs 34 GB while installing.

It retails from the site at $229 USD. There are no real deals to be had with Spitfire, unless you manage to grab one of their discounts that they offer sporadically. The holiday season is a good time to keep an eye out.

PP025 Evo Grid 4 Woodwinds sells for $249 from Spitfire Audio

 

Demos of Evo Grid 4 Woodwinds by Spitfire Audio

Videos of Evo Grid 4 Woodwinds by Spitfire Audio