Spitfire Audio has released Abbey Road Orchestra: Low Percussion which they say introduces the most detailed sample library they have ever created – the first in a brand new flagship series. They say that, crafted for professional composers, producers, sound designers and music editors alike, Abbey Road Orchestra brings you every section of the orchestra in breathtaking detail. It's the culmination of over 20 years of sampling experience and innovation.
Spitfire tells us that Low Percussion, the debut release, offers you incredible precision across an encyclopaedic selection of orchestral and cinematic percussion captured in Abbey Road Studio One. They say that, performed by world class percussionist Joby Burgess (Black Panther, Mission: Impossible), and engineered by Grammy-winning engineer Simon Rhodes (Skyfall, Avatar), Low Percussion enables a whole new level of expression. Your very own world-class percussionist, at your fingertips. Here's more details direct from the company...
Company co-founder and award-winning composer Paul Thomson takes pride in introducing the most detailed sample library that Spitfire Audio has ever created: "ABBEY ROAD ORCHESTRA is our new series of highly-detailed orchestral samples, captured in the legendary space of Abbey Road [Studios'] Studio One. The series opens with ...LOW PERCUSSION, a collection of unique and rare instruments, captured in extreme detail, and with a really expressive feel. This is the most detail we have ever created in any of our projects. The goal for ABBEY ROAD ORCHESTRA is to take orchestral sampling to new heights, with a highly-focused, detailed, and no-compromise approach to capturing orchestral samples. This is going to be a long-term project, so we look forward to sharing more as the project progresses, but, for now, let's dive straight in to ...LOW PERCUSSION."
Put it this way: with over 166,000 samples representing 65 hours of recording time in Abbey Road Studios' world-famous Studio One to its notable name, ABBEY ROAD ORCHESTRA: LOW PERCUSSION certainly digs deep when laying the foundations for Spitfire Audio's brand-new flagship Professional Composer Series. Indeed, it lays the groundwork for any user's compositions with unrivalled realism as a collection of truly thunderous orchestral and esoteric drums that are beautifully captured in the legendary acoustic of Abbey Road Studios' world-famous Studio One, the world's largest purpose-built recording studio. Surely Studio One needs no introduction, having hosted celebrated classical recordings ranging from English composer Sir Edward Elgar to Russian composer, pianist, and conductor Sergei Prokofiev, as well as iconic film scores spanning 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark (John Williams), 1983's Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (John Williams), and 2001-2003's The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Howard Shore) to more recent releases, including 2018's Black Panther (Ludwig Goransson) and 2019's Avengers: Endgame (Alan Silvestri). It is also home to one of the world's greatest in-house collections of vintage and modern microphones while a 72-channel Neve 88 RS large-format mixing console with a unique and comprehensive surround monitor section acts as the centrepiece of its control room. It is little wonder, then, that Studio One is the perfect setting for Spitfire Audio's meticulously-planned recording sessions to deliver the world's most detailed orchestral samples, starting with ABBEY ROAD ORCHESTRA: LOW PERCUSSION.
Duly distinguished by its extremely responsive and highly-tactile nature, ABBEY ROAD ORCHESTRA: LOW PERCUSSION explores the timbral and textural range of 20 drums from across the orchestral repertoire and beyond performed by British world-class percussionist Joby Burgess hits, tools, swirls, and sweeps. Such virtuosity was captured in incredible detail by GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer extraordinaire Simon Rhodes, who having joined what was then EMI Recording Studios in 1987 is now Senior Engineer at Abbey Road Studios, having cultivated a longstanding association with various composers, including the late James Horner, with whom he worked for 18 years on over 50 projects, including 2009's Avatar as one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
The ultimate orchestral sample library in terms of expression and realism, ABBEY ROAD ORCHESTRA: LOW PERCUSSION puts priceless instruments spanning different tones ranging from orchestral staples to traditional folk instruments in the hands of its users with up to seven beater options per drum, plus multiple techniques and striking positions per drum. The 13 presets available as a result are as playable as it gets, comprising Bass Drum (Gran Cassa) 36" two-headed concert bass drum with a deep, resonant sustain and high dynamic range (eight playing techniques); Bass Drum vintage bass drum with a 32" head on a shallow open shell combining a defined attack, woody overtones, and balanced resonance (seven techniques); Gong Bass Drum constructed with a single oversized head, producing a very fat and 'modern' sound with a fast attack and punchy low end (four techniques); Taikos pair of Japanese solid Siam Oak taiko drums providing a very focused sound with which to create impactful, driving rhythms (seven techniques); Giant Taiko 60" diameter shell, produces thunderous lows and complex sustain while remaining surprisingly agile (six techniques); Toms spread set of vintage silver single-headed toms, adept at both slow and rapid accented passages (eight techniques); Epic Toms pair of floor toms positioned on opposing sides, providing a tight, powerful attack and an explosive, hard-hitting tone (four techniques); Bombo Argentinian bass drum with a 20" hide head tuned with rope, producing a low, organic sound with a very short sustain (six techniques); Dragon Drums (Dagus) large pair originating from China, producing strong and characterful tones with lengthy sustain (three techniques); Dhol two-headed drum from Indian subcontinent, each head struck with a different beater to produce its signature tones (one technique); Djuns pair hailing from West Africa, adept at carrying strong rhythms with a balanced 'forward' tone (one technique); Buffalo Drum (N. American Frame Drum) constructed from shallow wooden frame clad with a 22" buffalo skin, producing strong overtones with a rich, blooming sustain (three techniques); and Surdo 22" aluminium shell variant of traditional Brazilian instrument, producing a dense sound with a distinct attack (three techniques).
That Spitfire Audio also brings next-level control to ABBEY ROAD ORCHESTRA: LOW PERCUSSION allowing anyone to shape those extensive percussion options on offer to work with their compositions is perfectly in keeping with the highly-detailed orchestral sampling concept driving its brand-new flagship Professional Composer Series, starting with 16 signal options, including Mix 1, a full-sounding room mix by Simon Rhodes (formed from Tree 1, Section Overhead, and Outriggers 1 with a curated blend of spots), and Mix 2, a tighter mix by Simon Rhodes (formed from Tree 2, Mids, and Outriggers 2 with a curated blend of spots). Saying that, the new discrete right-/left-hand mapping feature and 'Soft Takeover' option for dynamics all contribute greatly to its dynamic feel. "Spitfire Audio are, undoubtedly, the best team in the world to deliver something truly groundbreaking," gushes Abbey Road Studios Head of Audio Products Mirek Stiles, before ending on an equally high note: "The bar has been raised exceedingly high, and this is only the beginning for the ABBEY ROAD ORCHESTRA series; it feels we are all in for a remarkable journey."
Pricing and Availability:
On offer until December 1st at £299 / $349 / 349€ (Regular price: £399 / $449 / 449€)
Gets an update
Decapitator, SIE-Q, Radiator
More hardware in the pipeline
Big Nektarine update too