Review: The Latest LABS Instruments from Spitfire Audio

Spitfire Audio continues to offer the best deal in music tech with their LABS collection of free sample instruments. We previously covered LABS itself, so check that article for more information on its interface and basic functionality. This time out we’ll train our eyes and ears on the latest instruments for the library. No matter your musical genre, finding a purpose for using LABS on a project is easy.

A Superior Free Electric Piano Sample

Electric Piano is the newest instrument for LABS. Recorded in-house, it provides a quality Rhodes-like sound in two separate patches. One is essentially dry, while the other used a bit of chorus during the sampling process.

Of course, there was no stopping me from applying more chorus to the chorus; summoning Mike Ratledge of Soft Machine from across the pond. The standard LABS controls of volume (called “expression”), dynamics, and reverb are used in Electric Piano. Managing the stereo width and tightness of the transients is also possible using the circular slider control.

All told, Electric Piano is a worthy EP sample at the best possible price.

Create your Own Post Rock Version of ELO with Amplified Cello Quartet

Amplified Cello Quartet just might be the most unique LABS instrument to date. Spitfire Audio recorded the quartet in house using a host of effects and amps. The instrument includes six different patches with different playing styles and tonal impact.


Channeling my inner ELO with LABS Amplified Cello Quartet. Screenshot by author.

Using the Evil patch (Tension too) provides an easy way to summon those dark and grungy distorted cello sounds popular with some post rock bands. The modulation wheel controlling the dynamics adds a measure of grit to the sound in real time. LABS lets you switch up the MIDI CC settings as well.

Simply put, I had a blast with the Amplified Cello Quartet. Its high quality, yet edgy sonics easily fits with some of my upcoming music projects. This is my favorite LABS instrument to date.

Spitfire Audio’s Free Drum Instrument

Drums is another LABS instrument released a few months ago. Also recorded in-house, it provides a basic trap kit with a bright and dry sound quality. Of course, it plays well with effects. I noticed a bit more latency when compared to Hans Zimmer Percussion, however. Your mileage may vary depending on computer horsepower.

This is one LABS instrument where tweaking the dynamic slider is important. When I need a basic drum kit for a project, Drums now ranks near the top of my list.

Isn’t it time to add Spitfire Audio LABS to your sample plugin collection?


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