Spitfire Audio Albion Legacy, Loegria & Iceni: What is it?
Like many companies producing large instrument libraries, Spitfire Audio seems to be producing a lot of titles – so much so that as a software reviews magazine it’s hard to keep up, so a few of the company’s best efforts get overlooked.
Some of Spitfire Audio’s finest libraries are within its Albion series, and luckily, it’s realised the significance of the series and has relaunched the first of its three titles, Legacy, Loegria and Iceni – recorded at AIR Studios – at £199 each (half the original price). We didn’t originally review all three, so it’s time to see if they’re worthy of their reputation.
Spitfire Audio Albion Legacy, Loegria & Iceni: Performance and verdict
In case you missed it, the Albion range came into existence with each aiming to provide a complete scoring solution in one package, but this didn’t necessarily mean samples and recordings of a complete orchestra. Each had a theme. The later Tundra title, for example, dealt with icy, ambient and shimmering sounds. These originals are Legacy, the company’s debut product, which covers epic orchestral sounds, pads, synths and loops; Loegria delves into smaller chamber-sized orchestral strings, woods, brass and cinematic drums plus eclectic loops and percussion; while Iceni is about low-end strings and pulsating synth loops.
They all run as Kontakt libraries (newer titles run in the company’s own app) and require the full Kontakt. You download via a Spitfire installer app, enter the product code into Native Access which does the remaining install, and the three titles open just like any other instrument.
All three titles share some common elements and formats. You get four microphone positions (Close, Decca Tree, Ambient and Outriggers) to adjust with sliders, for example, that deliver quite a varied sound for each instrument. Each Albion also has an orchestral part, that is differently focussed depending on the title and also a set of instruments in folders called Brunel Loops, Darwin Percussion Ensemble, and Stephenson’s Steam Band. All of these are named after pioneering British engineers and scientists and deliver some more varied and wilder loops and hits.
These can also be more electronic in nature, tending to take existing orchestral recordings and warping them somehow. Stephenson’s Steam Band is especially nice for pads and drones, for example. Loegria introduces more – the Byron Tapes section pays homage to the Mellotron, while the Fenton Reversals comprise a series of transitional risers.
All three are packed with other features like effects and envelopes but do have their own character which we’ll expand upon now.
Which Albion for you?
Each of these Albion packages offer a selection of orchestral and more ‘out there’ instrument folders. In general, the original Albion offers the biggest traditional set of orchestra sounds and these lessen as you go through Loegria and Iceni. Legacy, then, delivers strings, brass, woodwind, ensemble and overlay patches, while Loegria has horns, recorders, brass and strings. Iceni focuses on low end orchestral sounds – brass strings and woodwinds only. However as this content decreases, so Loegria and Iceni perhaps go more off-road. Loegria has transitions and reverses plus those Mellotron-style tapes and Iceni has a unique set of low and gritty synth textures.
Broadly speaking, then, if you want more traditional sounds go for the original Legacy and for more electronic, go for Loegria and Iceni with the latter very much focussing on your low-end backbone. This is general guidance though as each instrument can also work well standalone.
If recorded well, piano and orchestral libraries can last forever, we regularly recommend certain titles from decades ago!
But these Albions not only deliver fantastic quality orchestral sounds but a lot of sonic flexibility and features. The extras like the effects, mic positions and articulations give them all a very professional edge – as do the meticulous AIR Studios/Lyndhurst Hall recordings. But we also sneakily admire those folders where the electronic-styled mayhem, drones, loops and bleeps happen. These unfurl and present themselves the deeper you dig, and are worth the asking price just for revealing another side of the orchestral sound.
MusicRadar verdict: These Albions show why they were so well regarded at their time of release and still stand up incredibly well (and for less cash) all these years later.
Spitfire Audio Albion Legacy, Loegria & Iceni: Hands-on demos
Spitfire Audio Albion Legacy, Loegria & Iceni: Specifications
- Mac OS 11, 12 or 13. Intel and Apple Silicon/ARM supported. Minimum: 2.8GHz i5 minimum (quad-core), 8GB RAM. Recommended: 2.8GHz I7 (six-core), 16GB RAM. 32-bit systems not supported.
- Windows 10 or Windows 11 (latest Service Pack, 64-bit). Minimum: Intel 2.8 GHz i5 (quad-core) or AMD Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM. Recommended: Intel Core i7 6th gen and later or AMD Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM. 32-bit systems not supported.
- CONTACT: Spitfire Audio