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‘Beautiful cloud-like evolutions, pointillistic textures and single hits’: Spitfire Audio releases first percussive sample library in three years

The sample library was created in collaboration with three renowned percussionists at London’s AIR Studios

Spitfire Audio has released a new percussive sample library named PERCUSSION SWARM, described by the company as “a one-of-a-kind, encyclopaedic collection of beautiful cloud-like evolutions, pointillistic textures and single hits created from rare and extensive tuned and untuned instruments”.

It is the company’s first percussion library in three years, created in collaboration with three renowned percussionists – Cue Paul Clarvis, Gary Patel and Frank Ricotti – performing in the (Lyndhurst) Hall at London’s legendary AIR Studios.

The result is a choice of 16 signals, 30 warped sounds and 235 snapshots, all available in Spitfire Audio’s proprietary Mercury Synth engine. The snapshots were made using granular synthesis, guitar pedals, and other outboard gear, while the percussion was recorded in six standard microphone positions from Close to Ambient, plus the Close Pans section, providing a wider scope for composers to play with.

Spitfire selected a wide range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments for the new sample library, from Glockenspiels to Tubular Bells and Angklungs to Udus, most of which do not naturally sustain. Using performances and the resonance of the hallowed Hall at AIR Studios, combined with unconventional playing techniques, including using bows and rubber balls to lengthen each sound, Spitfire added breadth, depth, and harmonic range to each instrument.

Recorded by engineer Jake Jackson, PERCUSSION SWARM’s sounds blend seamlessly with Spitfire’s other orchestral and percussion libraries. Spitfire also recorded short, single hits for each instrument, useful for custom creation of rhythm tracks.

Composer — and Spitfire Audio co-founder — Paul Thomson said the library is “a fantastic, really deep palette of creativity for you to use in your productions — everything from the beautifully-recorded, multi- percussionists sounds in the Hall, all the way through to these fantastic warped sounds; there are lots of short sounds for you to use in there, percussively, and there are lots of long sounds to use as these kind of evolving beds — alternatives to standard stuff, such as long string notes and things like that.”

Thomson continued: “The library is 64 GB in compressed format, down from 145 GB of .WAV files. There are 21 instrument groups in the library, 76 articulations, 30 warped sounds, and then, using those warped sounds, we’ve created 235 snapshot presets.”

PERCUSSION SWARM is available at a price of £229.00 GBP (inc. VAT)/ $269.00 USD/ €269.00 EUR (inc. VAT) until December 8, 2019 — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of £299.00 GBP (inc. VAT).

The new percussive library requires Native Instruments’ KONTAKT PLAYER (5.6.8 or higher) to respectively run as fully NKS (NATIVE KONTROL STANDARD®) supporting plugin instruments for Mac (OS X 10.10 or later) or Windows (7, 8, or 10 — latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit).


Watch Spitfire Audio director Paul Thomson’s walkthrough of PERCUSSION SWARM here: