Spitfire Audio Abbey Road One: Wonderful Flutes Review

Price £ 49
Contact Spitfire Audio

When Abbey Road One: Orchestral Foundations brought the iconic, cinematic sound of London’s most famous orchestral recording room under the umbrella of the Spitfire Audio Sample Library, we were told it wasn’t that the beginning.

Spitfire has promised a modular approach with new libraries targeted to support the broad brushstrokes of the Foundations library, and Spitfire Audio has not disappointed with Sparkling Woodwinds and Legendary Low Strings added since this first release. Wondrous Flutes is the fourth library in the UK sample maker series.

This provides one of the most satisfying and frequently used wood chords by composers of film music – a pair of flutes and a piccolo playing an octave higher.

Examples abound in the pantheon of Hollywood soundtracks and, like Paul Thomson of Spitfire Audio demonstrates in his excellent step-by-step tutorial.

However, the most famous example is probably John Williams’ magic score for HEY John Powell also presents this orchestration pairing through his three How to train your dragon scores.

The download size of the library is just under 7 GB. While you can install it on any hard drive you want, if you have the Abbey Road One: Orchestral Foundations main library, Wondrous Flutes can be accessed via the Selections tab of this library, which allows you to easily associate it with the rest of the Abbey Road Orchestra.

The first joint is a stunning Legato patch that shows the combination of the woods in all their glory. It responds well to bursts of fast notes and longer, more melodic phrases, with the modulation wheel accessing dynamic sample layers and expression providing volume via MIDI, per the Spitfire Audio standard.

For chord and sustained performances, the Long patch comes next. There are two shorter note flavors, with a punchy Staccato patch and a longer, rounder Marcato alternative when you need a slightly bolder reinforcement. But the patches most reminiscent of Williams HEY score come in the form of mordents, of which there are four distinct choices.

A bite is a performance technique in which a player plays a note, quickly moves to another (usually a semitone or a tone higher), and then descends back to the original pitch. Think of it as an abbreviated trill. Wondrous Flutes offers semitone, whole tone, 3rd minor and 3rd major versions of this technique. You’ll find them instantly familiar, delivering a fantastic wide-eyed sound that works well both when playing single notes and even better when playing two- or three-note chords.

The only drawback of the wonderful flutes is the fixed relationship between the flutes and Piccolo; they were recorded together, so there is no way to separate them to use either instrument. But the Abbey Road One collections have made this their mission statement from the start; here is a selection of notation tools designed to let you get great sound with minimal fuss. To this manifesto, Wondrous Flutes is a glorious addition and, if you’re drawn to this orchestral couple, it’s a steal at £ 49.

Required configuration

  • Mac: OS X 10.10 to OS X 10.11 / Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 (64 bits)
  • Quad-core i5 2.8 GHz or or AMD Ryzen 5, 8 GB of RAM
  • 6.25 GB of free disk space

Main characteristics

  • Piccolo and two flutes recorded in octave unison
  • 12 microphone / mixer options
  • Joints for Legato, Long, Staccato, Marcato and Mordent
  • Mordent includes Min 2nd, Maj 2nd, Min 3rd, Maj 3rd
  • Dedicated plugin
  • Available in VST2, VST3, AU and AAX formats


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