Review: Spitfire Studio Woodwinds by Spitfire Audio
Spitfire Studio Woodwinds is the third and final release of Spitfire Audio's incredible Studio Orchestral range of Kontakt libraries. As you might imagine by the name, this time around they're providing woodwind instruments sampled in a studio environment. I've reviewed both the Spitfire Studio Brass library and the Spitfire Studio Strings library on this blog as well, and I had incredibly high regards for both of them. Just like the previous releases Spitfire Studio Woodwinds comes in two flavors: standard and professional. They're available for $199 and $399 full retail price, respectively, but are on sale now for $149 and $299, respectively. You can buy it here.
Since this is the final release in the Spitfire Studio range of Kontakt libraries, Spitfire Audio has bundled them together for a great deal. Also, if you already own part of the collection your bundle price will adjust accordingly! Check that out here.
Just for reference in this review i'll be talking specifically about the professional edition, but i'll point out the differences where they apply.
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Spitfire Studio Woodwinds Specifications
15 Instruments - 185 Articulations (11 instruments and 143 articulations for standard)
5 Instruments are Solo
6 Mic Positions and 2 Mixes (Tree Mic for standard)
170,745 samples, making up 432 GB uncompressed
Runs in the Free Kontakt Player
Spitfire Audio GUI
As you can see this library is massive, just like the rest of the series. For comparison, Spitfire Studio Brass was 230 GB, so get ready to buy another external HD if you want to pick this one up! Instead of listing out all of the articulations, i'll just show you an image taken directly for the product page. This shows how the two versions of Spitfire Studio Woodwinds compare.
Spitfire Studio Woodwinds Sounds
Spitfire Audio is known for high quality, and Studio Woodwinds is no exception. They brought in Grammy award winning Simon Rhodes (again) to help record the samples. The process for recording Studio Brass was the same as Studio Strings and Studio Brass, so you can be sure there is as much consistency as possible if you buy the other Studio products. This becomes very important when you want it to sound like your stringed instruments sound like they were recorded in the same space as your woodwinds - you can fake it in mixing, but its much better to have it all just work ahead of time.
Spitfire Studio Woodwinds GUI
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but Spitfire Audio is using their standard GUI in this release. As i've mentioned in previous reviews, this is a great thing! If you own any Spitfire Audio Kontakt libraries, you'll probably already know how to use all of their GUI's. I'm sure this saves Spitfire a lot of money on development for each new release, which on one hand sounds lazy, but you have to realize that this is definitely translates to a lower consumer cost and more frequent releases. Spitfire cranks out high quality libraries like no one else in the industry.
The overview panel allows you to switch articulations, and control common parameters you'd want to use during composition and mixing. The general controls panel gives you detailed control over the mic mix, the transposition (useful for making multi-instruments), and extra functionality. Lastly the Ostinatum gives you a pattern sequencer, kind of like an arpeggiator on a synthesizer but more tailored to orchestral applications.
Overall I think Spitfire Studio Woodwinds is a very high quality library with some great sounds. However to me personally I don't find it nearly as useful as many of their other offerings. If you're the type of person that uses woodwind sounds all the time and needs them to be more on the dry side, i'm sure you'll love this library. I want to give it a 5/5 for quality and detail but I have a hard time giving it that when i'm not using it much, so i'm deducting a point (this is my review after all).