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Gear Of The Year: Best virtual instrument of 2020
Software developers blow our minds every year with their innovative and expansive virtual instruments. But this one, in particular, made our jaw drop this year.
WINNER: Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra
Price Discover: £50 Core: £400 Pro: £900
Contact Spitfire Audio
With the release of Spitfire Audio’s Abbey Road One, it seems that the UK company is on a roll with its premier-league product range, in conjunction with some of the nation’s most iconic institutions. BBC Symphony Orchestra marked the beginning of this sea change and proves an astonishingly dense package, even if you plump for the affordable Discover version. Featuring the full instrumental arsenal of the orchestra’s instrument sets, the sound quality, tweak ability and astounding space-saving storage system employed by Spitfire makes this package a real gamechanger. That users are able to apply for a free copy of the Discover version is particularly noteworthy, as it opens up a resource that has long been the preserve of those with larger budgets.
Highly commended: EastWest Hollywood Backup Singers
Contact Time | Space
EastWest’s suite of dazzling Hollywood vocals would be worthy of plaudits even if it didn’t feature its exceedingly fun WordBuilder functionality. This clever bit of tech allows you to program your own words and have them intelligently sung back to you by some truly blockbuster voices. Hollywood Backup Singers sounds suitably cinematic and is uniquely flexible for all manner of vocal-based projects.
- Orchestral Tools Time Micro
- VSL Big Bang Orchestra
- Toontrack EZBass
- Sonokinetic Ibrido Cinematic
- Cinesamples Randy’s Prepared Piano (review coming soon)
- UVI Key Suite
- Native Instruments Straylight
- Heavyocity Vento (review coming soon)