Spitfire Audio has released Originals Abe Laboriel Jr. Drums – a drum kit library performed by the world-renowned session drummer, best known as Sir Paul McCartney's touring drummer since 2001. They tell us that his bespoke drum kit has been recorded at the iconic Henson Studios, Los Angeles, for a tight and vibrant sound.
A spokesperson told us, "At the heart of this library is a versatile selection of highly detailed and deeply sampled single hits, offering complete control of the character of a groove across a wide dynamic range. This is accompanied by a collection of 10 inspiring and intricate loop presets, performed on the same kit, each with variations and intricate fills mapped out across the keyboard and suited to a range of styles, including pop, soul, funk and rock. An all-round classic and dynamic sound, the library offers optimal creative options for sound design through three distinctive signals. The Close and Room microphones provide clarity and punch respectively, while the third 'Hype' signal, created using analogue processing, adds weight, depth and crunch."
Here's more details direct from the company...
"The room is integral, a major part of the sound." So says session drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. -- son of legendary Mexican-American bass guitarist Abraham Laboriel, who, having studied at the Berklee College of Music, has toured with the likes of k.d lang, Seal, Sting, and guitarist Steve Vai before becoming the drummer for Sir Paul McCartney's touring and recording band since 2001, having also recorded and performed with B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Johnny Hallyday, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Les Paul, Shakira, Steve Winwood, Vanessa Calrton, and more -- before continuing: "It's actually become my favourite room... I've done lots of records there. A lot of records now, they sound like they could have been done anywhere -- missing the fingerprint of a room, a place. It's the perfect size; the decay is really lovely, and drums have great attack there, but a lovely warmth as well."
Which is exactly why ORIGINALS ABE LABORIEL JR. DRUMS was recorded with Abe Laboriel Jr. playing his bespoke kit in that world-renowned recording location to which the legendary session drummer is referring. After all, the Jim Henson Company-owned Henson Recording Studios, located in the historic heart of Hollywood at the former A&M Studios -- itself once the headquarters to A&M Records, the longest-lived independent record label as the brainchild of American music industry magnates Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, and originally home to comic actor, filmmaker, and composer Charlie Chaplin's namesake Chaplin Studios -- is one of the music industry's top recording facilities, known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment, with highlights from its prolific and classic credits including albums like Tapestry (Carole King), Blue (Joni Mitchell), Rock 'n' Roll (John Lennon), and A Kind of Hush (The Carpenters), as well as records by Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Herb Albert, Paul McCartney, and Pink Floyd, to name but a notable few artists.
As might well be expected of a world-renowned facility of Henson Recording Studios' standing, Abe Laboriel Jr.'s bespoke kit was capably captured there as a vibrant and tight sound for Spitfire Audio's aptly-named ORIGINALS ABE LABORIEL JR. DRUMS drum kit library with a versatile selection of highly detailed and deeply sampled single hits with up to eight layers and round robins beating at its percussive heart to offer complete control of a groove across a wide dynamic range, thanks to the inclusion of 10 easy-to-use controls -- namely, expression, dynamics (controlling the dynamic level to provide the user with complete control of velocity), REVERB (with a large room-/medium hall-sized impulse response), KICK VOL. (controlling the volume level of the kick drum), SNARE VOL. (controlling the volume level of the snare drum), HI-HAT VOL. (controlling the volume level of the hi-hat), and SNARE TYPE (cycling between four different snare types). There are actually 22 different hits of all the drums and cymbals, split and duplicated across the keyboard as a General MIDI-mapped preset designed to be played with two hands.
Helpfully, this is accompanied by a collection of 10 inspiring loop presets -- namely, Slow and Steady (60 BPM), Triple Threat (60 BPM), In The Pocket (90 BPM), Classic Breakbeats (90 BPM), Riding Solo (90 BPM), Swing It (94 BPM), Funky Breaks (110 BPM), Play It Again (110 BPM), Tom Kit (120 BPM), and Rock and Roll (120 BPM) -- performed on the same kit, each with variations and intricate fills mapped out across the keyboard and suited to a range of styles, including pop, soul, funk, and rock, with controls for expression, dynamics (controlling the cutoff frequency of the low-pass filter), REVERB (with a large room-/medium hall-sized impulse response), EQ (custom preset ranging from vintage and colourful to bright and full), and COMPRESSION (controlling the intensity of a custom parallel compression preset).
Readily representing the fifteenth instalment in Spitfire Audio's ongoing ORIGINALS series of inspiring sample libraries making rare and classic instruments available to all at an affordable price, meticulously sampled in authentic detail with no compromise on recording quality, ORIGINALS ABE LABORIEL JR. DRUMS duly makes its percussive presence felt as an all-round classic and dynamic sound, offering optimal creative options through three distinctive signals: Close -- a mix of spot the microphones -- and Room -- a mix of the room microphones -- respectively provide clarity and punch, while the third, Hype, adds weight, depth, and crunch by being fed through Spitfire Audio co-founder and composer Christian Henson's Overstayer Modular Channel 8755DM, a flexible stereo mic, line, and instrument channel designed to add a subtle enhancement or complete sonic mayhem.
Musically, Abe Laboriel Jr. puts his playing -- playable by anyone across the keyboard courtesy of ORIGINALS ABE LABORIEL JR. DRUMS -- into its rightful context, stating, "As much as I would love to say I have an original sound, I think the truth is I have an original filter. I'd listen so much and so hard to so many people that what's original about me is not necessarily what I play but how I play it -- how I interpret what's already been done. It's more about the energy and intensity; it's not about the specific fills, it's more about the intention."
Intentions, of course, can musically flow freely with any of Spitfire Audio's ongoing ORIGINALS series of inspiring sample libraries since users are always free to tailor their sounds to suit a range of scoring styles and genres through a range of carefully curated signals, presets, and controls. Thanks, then, to the sought-after percussive potential of Abe Laboriel Jr., a supremely talented musician who has been known to occasionally switch to playing bass, guitar, and keyboards, as well as singing when touring with Sir Paul McCartney -- musical talents evidenced further still by impressively playing every instrument on his own solo album, Naked, in 2013, rest assured that anyone playing with ORIGINALS ABE LABORIEL JR. DRUMS is irrefutably in good hands.
Pricing and Availability:
£29 / $29 / €29