Sleigh bells … and tubular bells and glockenspiel and more ring, are you listenin’? It’s a sparkly, icy sample pack with crackling fire for whatever wintry wonderland you want to make … and if that’s not your speed, it’s also a cricket-chirping siren screaming LA atmospheric field recording festival of sound.

LABS from Spitfire has become a general go-to favorite freebie. They’re especially well-tuned to making delicate and ambient sound worlds. And the latest episode accordingly gives you a holiday mood – really not only Christmas, as some crackling fire might be something we all need in northern Europe in the dead of January when we’re in Omicron lockdowns. Time to really make some sound saunas. But yeah, it’s called Christmas. (If you’re slower at production, choose the Russian one so your deadline is now January 6.)

I really can’t overstate the niceness of LABS in general. A lot of the libraries are smaller, too, meaning these are good mobile go-to choices for your internal hard drive when you don’t want to lug the 60GB Kontakt stuff around. And if you’re a bit obsessive about sound design like me, you’ll often find yourself starting with LABS and then being inspired to go record some samples on your own – they’re like little love notes to sound design.

It’s all friendly to different architectures and OSes, too. Mac folks will need 10.10 or later, and 64-bit on both PC and Mac, but Windows goes back to Windows 7. AAX, VST2, VST3, AU, and both Intel and M1 Macs.

Spitfire ships this as a standalone installer and standalone plug-ins – no Kontakt/Native Access or anything like that. (If you want to hack in support for NKS – say on a Maschine or Komplete Kontrol keyboard – that’s apparently possible.)

If you’re on Christmas overload, I’m just as jazzed about the new LA Atmos collection. That’s Atmos as in atmosphere, not the Dolby one. The library comes from our friends at the exceptional dublab independent radio station, and combines “crickets and crowds, sirens and helicopters” into a very LA-eclectic sound world.

dublab has been one of the bright spots of this fairly dark year, so exploring this is like taking a soundwalk with some LA experimental producers. It’s genuinely fun just to open and play, even without any particular production idea in mind.

Check the full range: