Spitfire Audio's Kitchenware Glass is the new release from the Producer Portfolio range which has to be heard to be believed. Let's start with the lowdown as to what is on offer here.
Numerous tuned wine glasses and other glass, ceramic (basically if you drop it it will smash) etc kitchen items that are bowed, flicked with a nail, pinched, clunked, clinked and clonked by probably one of the world's greatest percussionists, Paul Clarvis in Spitfire's new state of the art Kings Cross studio.
Everything is deep sampled with varying mic perspectives available and the GUI presentation is user friendly and intuitive featuring nice additions such as attack, decay and release which expands the versatility of this library of sounds allowing a certain degree of sound sculpture to be done directly within the GUI.
When assembling a sound library, going for glasses kitchenware may not be the first port of call for a producer but Spitfire are doing a very good job of turning the unusual into the essential.
How they are achieving this shift in perception for serious composers and producers is revealed when you hear the quality of samples on offer with this library.
I have to say I was taken aback by the clarity of these samples which just jumped out of the speakers and there were times when I felt like I didn't want to hit the keyboard too hard in velocity just in case one of the triggered sampled glasses actually cracked, yes it really is that detailed on the close mic positions.
For goodness sake there is even a sampled face cooler and I don't have a clue as to what one is but it sounds great plus the water patches allow the listener to hear the swilling of the water in the sampled item with extreme succinct tonal precision.
Some of the patches have an unidentifiable 'world music' percussive sound on the lower end and one could imagine Real World and Peter Gabriel turning to these samples with a prominent mix placement using the ostinatum facility in the interface.
All these mesmerising sounds and variations left me quite moved/in awe of the amount of time, effort, blood sweat and tears that must have been involved in the whole creation process for this surprisingly gargantuan undertaking.
It's almost impossible to ignore the tedious monotony that compiling 12,000 samples, with the multiple dynamic layers that must produce, which requires cultivating a pretty imaginative studio environment to maintain such a level of concentration and adhere to the given workflow, whilst not going completely mad at the same time.
There is nothing slapdash about this library, it is approached with all the seriousness of the Air Studio orchestral recordings and that brings me onto my contextual tester composition.
Firstly, if you want to hear what Kitchenware glass sounds like by itself then go to listen to Paul Thomson's excellent demo on the main Spitfire Audio site that really does the delicacy of library justice, my demonstration in video below is for context only.
Anyway, the word glass in Kitchenware Glass triggered (yes, that's how my brain works) off the idea of trying something with an unashamed repetitious, machine gun arpeggiated to death string section with a Philip Glass feel to it and the water patches combined with the eerie sounds rubbed glass sound inspired a mental image of a North Sea lifeboat crashing through the waves.
But I wanted this contextual test composition to answer a question that must be on the mind of the Spitfire Audio community and that is considering the different room reverberations, do the Kings Cross recordings successfully sit next to Spitfire Audio's mainstay orchestral recordings from the Lyndhurst hall in Air Studios?
To me the answer is a resounding yes and I know that almost any sound can be matched with any other sound through reverb matching, but sometimes there are tonal issues that require extra individual track EQ resulting in losing tonal integrity, which defeats the object of the sound in the first place.
Thankfully the tonal matching issues are most certainly not there and there is no extra EQ or reverb on any of the tracks..
With Spitifre Audio's Mural Symphonic Strings, Albion 1 and Albion 3 providing the bulk of the music, Kitchen Glassware appears for a brief interlude at exactly 2 mins into the piece to give mix context and also reappears at the end so I hope it is helpful in giving context.
Spitfire have been steadily improving their product ranges and widening their repertoire with the Producer Portfolio and the Kings Cross recordings sound out of this world.
As a conclusion I would say that Kitchenware Glass is probably my favorite of all the Spitfire products because of it's such a bold, well constructed offering that extends the tonal palette of my library massively in such a subtle way.
Thus far I have never given a Spitfire Audio product a score less than 10/10 but this time I am going to have to knock a point of just because it is too perfect for what it is and covers absolutely all angles, meaning you will never need another glass kitchenware library again in your life, it has been perfected in it's first attempt so I give it 9/10.
Please adjust the YouTube settings to 1080p HD for the best results.