Spitfire Audio announces ORIGINALS WURLI definitive reimagining of legendary electronic piano
Sound-specialising British music technology company Spitfire Audio is proud to announce availability of its WURLI release — representing the latest (18th) addition to its inspiring ORIGINALS series making rare and classic instruments accessible and affordable to all in authentic detail with no compromise on recording quality, this time creatively capturing performances by British session-playing giant Sean Hargreaves on the legendary electronic piano to which it owes its (nick)name at North Seven Studios, a Munro Acoustics-designed 5.1 facility forming part of the Tileyard Studios complex within walking distance of London’s King’s Cross St Pancras station, served up with four separate presets and adjustable controls courtesy of the sound-specialising British music technology company’s in- house (AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-compatible, NKS-supporting) plug-in, presented as a classic and familiar instrument reimagined like no other vintage keys library, with which users can curate the perfect sound for their compositions.
“A classic sound from the 1950s, all the way through to the early ’80s, this is an instrument that you’ll have heard on countless records of the time.” So says Spitfire Audio in-house composer Dan Keen, knowingly alluding to the fact that it was not only a pillar of R&B classics from the likes of American singer, songwriter, and pianist Ray Charles to American soul singer, keyboardist, songwriter, and arranger Donny Hathaway, but British singer, pianist, and composer Elton John; American musician, pianist, singer, songwriter, record producer, and music arranger Richard Carpenter (who formed half of sibling duo the Carpenters alongside younger sister Karen); American musician and songwriter Eddie Van Halen (best known as guitarist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist with rock band Van Halen); and English rock band Supertramp, to name but a notable few, also put the electronic piano manufactured and marketed by Wurlitzer from the mid-1950s through to the mid-1980’s to musically varied use on record and on stage — most notably the latter’s ‘Dreamer’ that peaked at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1975 before re-emerging as a live version, hitting number 15 on the US charts in 1980 to further cement the instrument’s impact on the world stage.
Spitfire Audio’s WURLI is the definitive reimagining of the legendary vintage so-called ‘Wurli’ keyboard. Constituting the latest (18th) library in the sound- specialising British music technology company’s inspiring ORIGINALS series making rare and classic instruments accessible and affordable to all in authentic detail with no compromise on recording quality, its quality (5.6GB download-sized) sampled content comes from performances by British session-playing giant Sean Hargreaves — who studied in New York with American jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, arranger, and educator Barry Harris and at Berklee College of Music, appeared on national TV with Canadian singer Michael Buble, and also worked with Australian singer and actress Natalie Imbruglia and British singer-songwriter Alison Moyet — that were recorded by in-demand British engineer, music editor, and producer Simon Changer — who started out as an intern at London’s Sony Music Studios and has since worked on a variety of projects ranging from full orchestral film scores through to commercial records with some of the eminent producers, composers, and artists of our time — at North Seven Studios, a Munro Acoustics-designed 5.1 facility — ideal for music production, enabling both recording and mixing by combining vintage and modern analogue equipment with the latest Avid Pro Tools | HDX technology, as well as a wealth of instruments, including, of course, a Wurlitzer EP200A — forming part of the world’s largest community of independent artists and businesses at the Tileyard Studios complex, conveniently located on the same road housing Spitfire Audio’s worldwide HQ — within walking distance of London’s King’s Cross St Pancras station.
By being served up with four presets — Classic uses the physical output of the ‘Wurli’ keyboard itself; Mellow includes a post-produced Pads signal created using granular synthesis; Funky has a crunchy overdriven signal, processed via a digital effects chain; and Stabs makes use of a shorter sample length, useful for more percussive sequences and backing vamping sections — that utilise five different signals — Direct, the direct input from the ‘Wurli’ (for a clear representation of the keyboard); Amp, the keyboard amplified through an Ampeg B-15 amplifier; Speaker, the speaker output of the keyboard itself; Pads, the samples are time-stretched and passed through an effects chain (to create an atmospheric and ambient texture); and Drive, the samples are overdriven (to create a crunchy and fuzzy sound), Spitfire Audio’s ORIGINALS WURLI is clearly capable of producing a variety of musical moods. Indeed, its TREMOLO DEPTH and TREMOLO RATE controls recreate a classic vibrato sound — the former controlling the size of the amplitude modulation (measured as an intensity in percentage) and the latter controlling the speed of the tremolo (measured in Hz), while REVERB controls the amount of reverb, ATTACK controls the attack of the ADSR envelope, and RELEASE controls the release of the ADSR envelope.
Exploring the classic sound so beloved of ‘Supertramp & Co’ is intrinsically what ORIGINALS WURLI is all about — albeit reimagined like no other vintage keys library, with which users can curate the perfect sound for their compositions. Concludes Dan Keen, ending on an even higher note: “It’s got a beautifully warm circuit to it, but it also has this bite that is just undeniable and cuts through a mix really well; this instrument was recorded at North Seven Studios, and was actually part of our original [now-discontinued] NORTH7KEYS library, so any customer of that library will get [ORIGINALS WURLI] as a free download, but because we’ve brought this into our Merlin engine we’ve been able to do things with it that we wouldn’t have been able to do on the original.”
ORIGINALS WURLI is available as an AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-compatible plug-in supporting Native Instruments’ NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) for Mac (OS X 10.13 – macOS 12) and Windows (7, 8, 10, and II — latest Service Pack) that loads directly into any compatible DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for an RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of only £29.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/$29.00 USD/€29.00 EUR (inc. VAT) — from here: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/originals/#wurli