Is Spitfire Audio Jupiter by Trevor Horn a knockout or cop-out?

Not many individuals may be credited with serving to outline the sound of a decade. Trevor Horn can. Working with 80s icons like Grace Jones, Sure, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood to understand a few of their most enduring data, Horn’s energetic model of synth-pop laid down a blueprint that also influences myriad music makers at present.

Now, the person who helped popularise digital sampling has teamed up with Spitfire Audio to create his very personal pattern library, Jupiter. There are many implausible retro sounds that can curiosity producers and composers alike, however software program missteps could give patrons pause.


Jupiter is constructed on 208 distinctive samples break up throughout 5 classes; bass, synth, drums, piano, and results. Flicking by the unprocessed sounds is like encountering previous associates – the booming drums, the ultra-defined bass guitars, the characterful, barely zany stingers; it’s pure 80s ear sweet.

In fact, these ‘Core’ recordings are simply the beginning. Fortunately, Spitfire has additionally included a lot of variations on the unique samples. There’s a ‘Mirror’ model that sports activities an oh-so-80s gated reverb; a ‘Calibrate’ model that makes use of uncalibrated saturation tape; an ‘Alias’ model that brings down the bit-depth and clock-rate to deliberately introduce artefacts into the sound. Lastly, a ‘Dimension’ model runs every thing by classic modulation gadgets just like the traditional Roland Dimension-D refrain module.

Spitfire Audio Jupiter
Results part

If you happen to’ve beforehand used Spitfire’s Polaris or Mercury libraries, then the fundamental premise stays unchanged – take any two samples and dynamically mix them collectively utilizing oscillation or automation. Plus, a bunch of time- and frequency-based results processors may be utilized to every pattern individually, or on the mixed output.

Planetary presets

Jupiter boasts some standout presets, with percussion arguably providing essentially the most genuine style of Horn’s manufacturing model. From the thumping sound of a LinnDrum sampler, to deliciously over-the-top pitched percussion patches, all the best way synth stabs that you could really feel in your intestine, many of those sounds are a pure pleasure to play with.

Bass is well the co-star of this present. Trevor Horn is an completed bassist, and his private assortment of guitars have been sampled with acute consideration to element. There’s loads of punchy resonance, ought to that you must convey just a little funk to your combine, however there’s additionally a lot of stunning, Twin Peaks-esque tones that really feel fairly distinctive to this assortment.

Then once more, they will’t all be hits and the extra pedestrian pads and leads are one thing of a weak level. That isn’t to say there aren’t a lot of gems right here too, however as you flick by the library’s 300 presets, you’re sure to stumble throughout a good variety of humdrum choices that may very well be present in nearly any generic 80s-themed software program synth or pattern assortment.

Nonetheless, that blended bag of presets is in the end not a deal breaker, as when the sounds are good they’re elegant. Hell, the bass and drums virtually justify the worth of admission alone.

Exploring Jupiter

The actual shortcoming right here is the plugin person interface; particularly, its search capabilities. Housed inside the Photo voltaic instrument, Jupiter is the second in what seems to be a sequence of upcoming pattern collections. Customers who personal the superb Mercury library have entry to all these samples from inside the single instrument and may mix sources from each libraries.

Spitfire Audio Jupiter
Sound bay search

That is superior, in principle, however Photo voltaic’s search menu is just too cramped and cluttered to successfully accommodate a number of libraries. If the Spitfire Audio workforce continues including pattern collections to this instrument, ultimately, they might want to prioritise an entire revamp of its search perform.

Because it stands, even searching by the Jupiter library in isolation is a irritating expertise. Your solely technique of navigation are a set of search tags that are squashed into just a little facet panel. What number of search tags, you may ask? The reply is 2. Jupiter’s 300 presets are categorised as both ‘Lengthy’ or ‘Brief’. By comparability, the Mercury library is furnished with 11 descriptive search tags, and the neglect given to this new library is each perplexing and disappointing.

Moreover, all of Jupiter’s presets share a single, unhelpful description: ‘a preset utilising complicated sign chains throughout each channels.’ So, in case you’d like to seek out your option to a lead or bass patch, the one choice is to doomscroll your method down, auditioning sounds as you go.

Spitfire Audio Jupiter
Preset description

This results in the second evident problem – the search perform at present has a bug that incessantly turns its outcomes right into a rectangle of clean area with no sounds or presets in anyway. Flick from the ‘quick’ tag to the ‘lengthy’ tag: clean area. Open up the preset menu after attempting out a sound: clean area. Click on on the ‘Core’ tag in a sound bay: clean area. At the moment, the one option to repair that is to scroll again to the highest of the search menu – at which level, you restart the gradual, painful seek for an applicable sound.

Spitfire Audio Jupiter

This problem was repeated throughout a lot of DAWs and on each macOS and Home windows. In fact, all software program suffers from occasional bugs, and this one will undoubtedly be fastened, nevertheless it’s laborious to flee the sensation that this library has been launched unfinished. It’s a shocking misstep given the standard we’ve come to anticipate from Spitfire Audio.

Spitfire Audio Jupiter

A Horn of Lots?

Leaving these frustrations apart, there’s a lot to love and even love within the sound of Jupiter. Horn’s aptitude for synth-pop manufacturing comes by and, suitably, this library can have simply as a lot use within the palms of songwriters and producers as it’s going to with composers trying to make these retro, synth-wave scores which might be nonetheless so en vogue.

Furthermore, regardless of being firmly rooted in nostalgia, the gathering is definitely surprisingly versatile and has a lot of potential for atmospheric scoring and even sound design. That is thanks partially to Horn together with a collection of experimental sounding samples, but in addition to Photo voltaic’s eDNA interface which affords deep and really highly effective synthesis capabilities.

In the end, Horn’s samples win the day right here and preserve Jupiter afloat. It options some actually particular sounds that can add a lot to a music or rating – however, some uninspiring presets and a laborious search expertise diminish what may simply have been a knockout.

Key options

  • 300 presets
  • 208 samples
  • eDNA interface
  • Integrates the Mercury pattern library
  • 45.59 GB obtain measurement
  • Worth: £99.00 / $129.00
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