British Drama Toolkit by Spitfire Audio - First Impressions
British Drama Toolkit (BDT) is a new sample library by the wonderful Spitfire Audio. Within seconds of hearing this Kontakt instrument I was sold. Its being marketed as a tool to help compose emotional scores or cues on the fly, without having to devote large amounts of time on the computer to make it work.
Usually when you write using any sample library you're switching between two modes: writing/playing, and manipulation/editing. You play your idea on the keyboard to record the MIDI data, then you spend some time focusing on the various layers you want and how they ebb and flow in your mix. BDT has an added control on the instrument where playing harder or softer doesn't does trigger velocity layers, it triggers different sonic elements or completely different dynamics of the instruments being sampled.
Picture this: you have a melody that repeats a good amount over the course of a score, but you want it to grow naturally - in terms of both the volume and tonality of the instruments. Usually you would record one copy of this melody, duplicate it to different instances of the instrument (or other sample instruments), spend time manipulating key-switches or dynamic modulation, and then mix these all together. With BDT you can perform all of this by just playing dynamically. Its very similar to ProjectSAM's Symphobia series, which operates on a similar concept.
The result is that you can effectively improvise a very dynamic and natural sounding song. I spent a few hours playing with it over the weekend and the sound really speaks for itself. Check out the video below to see my first impressions of the instrument.
Immediately after recording my first impressions video I was very inspired, and very quickly composed a song using just one instance of BDT. As per usual with all of Spitfire Audio's sample instruments, the quality is impeccable. Check out the song in the video below.
Currently the product is discounted to $149 (regular $199), so if you have any interest I would recommend picking this up now! Available at Spitfire Audio.