So many virtual instruments libraries are created with the art of production in mind. Olafur and the Spitfire team created a more nuanced brief here with the writer at heart. Everyone has that piano, that guitar that instrument they love to write on, everyone has that place that inspires them. “What if we could create a set of tools that could enable anyone to take an inspiring collection of instruments recorded in an inspiring setting to write with anywhere?” they asked themselves.
Olafur then conceived what would be his staple set of sounds that could enable him to continue to produce original, inspiring and moving music wherever he was in the world. Spitfire is proud to present Olafur’s Composer Toolkit. A crack team of Spitfire technicians, musicians and engineers descended on Olafur’s studio in Reykjavik to work closely with the BAFTA winning composer to capture the essence of Arnald’s approach to harnessing the spirit of his surroundings. Centred around a deep sampled ‘felted’ antique grand recorded ultra quiet via Olafur’s vintage outboard. The levels of recording were so hyped that everyone in the room had to hold their breaths for the duration of every sound. This piano is accompanied by what can only be described as a gift selection of go-to sounds personally programmed and curated by the man himself.
The main feature of the library is a 1904 Beckstein grand piano, which Ólafur has customised, after several tests using various strips, with a single piece of felt. This was sampled in meticulous detail over several days to capture the subtle nuances of the softest layers. The felt piano is presented with 4 unique signals; KM84, Coles, Processed and Spaced. The KM84 signal is the pure sound of the small condensers in place, giving a tight crisp sound to the piano. The Coles is a mono signal below the soundboard, processed through a Roland Space Echo as a LoFi tape simulation to give a gritty low end. The processed signal is a mix of the KM84s with a pair of C12s, mixed by Ólafur into a pair of Pultec EQs and finally slammed through a 1178 stereo compressor to give the distinctive Arnalds sound. This processed sound has been paired with a ‘Spaced’ sound in a ‘Mixed’ patch that Ólafur has further processed to give a truly unique take on his signature piano.