Spitfire - Hans Zimmer Percussion Vol. 1

Discussion in 'Software Reviews and Tutorials' started by Andrew, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Spitfire Audio - Signature - Hans Zimmer Percussion vol.1

    Prologue
    The time has come.
    The time has come, for me to review a percussion library, bearing the name of probably the most recognised person in movie industry, a man that made the symphonic orchestra cool again.
    So why don't you Andrew give it 10 stars so we can go home... :bleh:
    Well first let's look it from objective, non-biased perspective and let us for a moment forget who Hans Zimmer is.
    Sampled as always in Lyndhurst Air, though with total of 96 microphones, this little baby is something unique.
    This first volume is all about ensembles and unique instrument combinations.

    Introduction
    Foremost, this library huge, now don't be mistaken by 67GB, the total size is to be about 200GB for SINGLE volume. And what does this super-ultra-huge library contains? (well it still has to beat 320GB Hollywood Strings)
    One content, five different mastering engineers, stereo mixes, surround mixes and that's just it.
    What that allows you is to choose exactly which sound you want.
    There's huge difference in mixes done by Geoff Foster and Hans Zimmer, it almost sounds like completely different instruments!

    Specification, Layout and Characteristics

    [​IMG]
    Fig. 1 - Main GUI for Timpani

    So this is how it looks. Pretty, huh? :rofl:
    Well, I'd rate this gray-based GUI to be least appealing from all Spitfire libs.
    Not sure why they chose such dull colours, but let's roll with it.

    [​IMG]
    Fig. 2 - Instrument list

    As written in the introduction, there is not so much instrument-based content, more like mix based content.
    By default, the instruments are grouped into categories:
    • Bucket Hits - Combined ensembles of buckets (?!) and darbuka, crushers or snares.
    • Exotic Hits - Bombos, Boobams (truly exquisite names), Dohls, Paper Djuns and Tombeks
    • Low Hits - Bass Drums, Low Booms and Surdos
    • Metal Hits - Piatti (Hand Cymbal), Anvils, Gong Drum and Tam Tam (also found in Percussion Redux)
    • Taiko Hits - well Taikos, small, large, huge and ensemble
    • Timpani Hits - quite self explanatory, those timps are recorded with 1 1/2 octave (C2 to F3)
    All instruments were recorded with 7 or 9 round-robins and as always, you can move or remap keyswitches, adjust stereo image and map velocity to modwheel

    Most instruments came with some playing styles, but only the most basic ones. While Timpani is sampled with Rods, Soft and Hard mallets, they forgot to record hand muting (unlike Orchestral Tools The Timpani). Those timps sound great, don't get me wrong, but again, just 1 1/2 octave...

    The sound is something completely different from all Spitfire libs. All mixes are somewhat out of place and bold, maybe too harsh. Hans Zimmer's mix is probably the most powerful one. In the introductory video, Hans said that every hit has a story behind it. Well, I can't hear it. Perhaps the sound is "larger than life" as Hans described it, I have no idea.

    There's a lot of reverb in those samples, even the Tree positions sound more like Ambient.

    Mixes
    Let's talk about those mixes
    Alan Meyerson mixes are focused, detailed and wide. In Close mix, every detail is revealed, however somewhat lacks subtility, room sounds like close with reverb, and surround is wide, but not entirely washed out.

    Hans Zimmer mixes focus on mid range, close mikes are more dry and more narrow, room is really roomy, but surround is a bit washed out. Highest differences in projection, Close is close and Room is Room. These have depth, yet maybe sometimes too much mids.

    And lastly Geoff Foster mixes sound very close to how Spitfire engineers do their job. Close is focused, but still subtle and detailed, Tree is maybe too much roomy, Ambient is pretty far and Outtrigger as always beats Tree in stereo width.

    If I would had to choose, I'd pick Geoff Foster mix, as it closely resembles the traditional Spitfire sound which I adore.


    Drawbacks
    I haven't came across an actual problem, but some areas of this library calls for attention:
    • About 13GB of content is offered in many variations, increasing the total size considerably
    • 5 top-notch world class recording engineers put a heart into making those mixes, but it's their idea how to get the job done, not yours. I do realize 96 mic library would be monstrously big. Maybe try to experiment by mixing a bit of Meyerson with a bit of Zimmer.
    • Don't know what use does the mic trim has when there's already mic volume control.
    [​IMG]
    Fig. 3 - Mic Trim

    Conclusion
    An unique library with genuine approach.
    Library which lets you choose which sound you want. Big, subtle, bold, ... you name it.
    In this first volume, Spitfire Audio set forth with really unusual combinations and ensembles.
    The result is deeply sampled library and lots of mix variations. On the other hand, do you really need all those bells and whistles? Is really this library worth so much HDD space?
    As for myself, I'd rather prefer instruments sampled in the same meticulous way as Spitfire Percussion Redux, one size fits all, so HZ01 will most likely be deleted from my repository.
    The sound footprint is way different from most Spitfire libs, the closest match is Geoff Foster mixes.

    This library stirred a lot of attraction from composers and many are OK with it. Some say it's the best library out there. So I've decided not to rate it, for now.

    Reviewer's rating: :rofl:
    Not rated this time
     
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  3. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    Uh-oh Andrew's on the prowl again. What's his latest catch...ahhhh the mighty Spitfire it be. Thanks Andrew, you rock. :thumbsup: :bow: :mates:

    Section coming soon, I promise. *yes*
     
  4. transporter1333

    transporter1333 Member

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    Cumom man... finish your job... rate it... hahahahaha..... :rofl:

    I'm curious... :wow:

    THX again Bro for your contribution... :mates:

    :wink: :wink: :wink:
     
  5. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    From now on, I am not to be trusted. :rofl:
    I really ought to proofread those...

    If you must know, right now I'd give it 6.5/10, but time will tell. I only have it for 3 days *yes*
     
  6. phloopy

    phloopy Audiosexual

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    I totally agree with you Andrew :wink:

    Thanks for taking the time for this!
     
  7. Revenant

    Revenant Member

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    My 2 cents - mic filtering would do this product a lot of good - people could simply pick which setup from this vast library suits their needs.
     
  8. Sohill

    Sohill Noisemaker

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    Reviewed well..!! Exactly what I was thinking about this library..! and I just got rid of it..!
     
  9. studio5599

    studio5599 Kapellmeister

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    huge library parts take awhile to load! then only 2 keys on the board controlling it? What gives? you need to configure massively to use , not my cup of tea
    I too put it on backup drive for future use or deletion if un needed ... very disappointing though
     
  10. beaucarty

    beaucarty Newbie

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    Andrew;
    No review about 'Action Stike"??? :rofl:
    BTW, I must admit I'm pretty disappointed by this Lib too heavy for what I need, I have to test it on some Prods. and see what result in a mix
    what Artist mix match with compositions and if it's possible to keep just the kind of mix I need. Wait and see. :dancing:
     
  11. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    We'll get to NI soon enough, I'll look into Action Strike and Action Strings right after Spitfire Percussion Redux... *yes*

    About 5 mins ago, I've posted Flute Consort so you can check that out in the meantime :wink:
     
  12. vibes

    vibes Newbie

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    Cinesamples Cineperc Series is definitely good enough for me...guess this library is kinda overhyped :bleh:
     
  13. Revenant

    Revenant Member

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    Unavoidably though, because it has Hans Zimmer in its title :-D
     
  14. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Did you try Spitfire Percussion with Evolution Series World Percussion? That combo works for me quite well :thumbsup:
     
  15. DJIntel

    DJIntel Newbie

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    love Zimmer but damn this is too much to justify
     
  16. hansje

    hansje Member

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    Once again a terrific (albeit rather short this time) review Andrew, thank you!

    I don't really understand why the 13GB sampled content is repeated several times for the various mixes.
    Wouldn't it be much more practical just to provide different (Kontakt) FX presets for each, using the same naked sample pool?
    This concept works fine in e.g. Superior Drummer etc.

    As mentioned earlier, can't help thinking this lib is a bit overhyped...
     
  17. Tonk

    Tonk Noisemaker

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    Thank you very much Andrew. This is a really great and interesting review.
    I think there is no need to change my configuration "Cinepercussion", "Damage" and "True Strike".

    When do you plan to review the Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings?
     
  18. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Once they become available on AudioZ or when someone uploads it for me. *yes*
    Right now, 800 Euros are well beyond my league, maybe after I get a job which should be anytime soon (sent CV, now waiting) :dancing:
     
  19. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    Andrew you're in your new section. :mates:
     
  20. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    I know, wanted to thank everyone in the next review, but since my cover is blown then...

    Thanks to SAiNT, Catalyst, Xsze and all members for endless support...It's amazing to be part of such community :mates:
    Finally it's great to feel at home within the right section.

    Also good news, my reviews are on the second page of Google results!
    This way more people interested may come among us :mates:
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    That's great, so now when you return triumphant with your excellent reviews you can also throw some new members on your shoulder and bring them back too. :rofl:

    Welcome home Andrew, we're just doing our part to give you the platform you deserve. :bow: :mates:
     
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