Friday, August 6, 2021

REVIEW: SPITFIRE AUDIO HAMMERS by CHARLIE CLOUSER



SPITFIRE AUDIO HAMMERS

BY
CHARLIE CLOUSER 

BRUTALIST DRUMS FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT


OVERVIEW



Preset Selector

(8 drum Categories & 58 Drums)

Signal Mixer
 
(Includes Three Custom mixes and a variety of mic placements)


 
FX
 
(Reverb, LPF Filter, Reverse, Compress, Normalise)



TEMPO SELECTOR IN LOOPS
CATEGORY





Charlie Clouser Composer playing drums for HAMMERS SPITFIRE AUDIO



 
REVIEW 



When I heard Charlie Clouser released a library of drums and percussion with Spitfire Audio, I had no doubt it would be a massive collection. Spitfire Hammers is epic. It includes 58 drums, 132 techniques, and 1,060 sounds of ensembles, performance loops, hits, and warps. It weighs in at 100GB, so make room on your hard drive. Charlie Clouser is a film composer and former keyboardist for Nine Inch Nails. He composed films, including Saw, Resident Evil: Extinction, Spiral, Wayward Pines tv show, and much more. When they described this library as brutalist drums, they did not exaggerate. These drums are as brutal as it gets, and Charlie is a genius in drum programming.

In total, eight drum sections that include
Bass Drums, Snares, Surdos, Toms, Roto-Toms, Darbukas, Frame Drums, and Scrap Metals. Charlie recorded this library in his recording space with 23-foot ceilings, concrete, glass, and steel.

Hammers is housed in Spitfire Audio's dedicated plugin similar to the Abbey Road One interface and others. At the top of the GUI, you'll find a drop-down menu of thirteen reverbs. Below the reverb menu is the drum-preset selector. In the center is a volume and dynamics slider with a knob that controls the parameters of the loaded technique. The bottom half of the interface provides access to the Technique Selector, Signal Mixer, and FX. The FX includes Reverb, LPF filter, Reverse, Compressor, and Normalise. The FX can also be pulled up on the right side of the technique knob by clicking on the middle part of the knob.


The drums sound amazing, and if you are new to drum sequencing or need to meet a deadline, the loops come in as a lifeline for quick inspiration. Hammers include 408 eight-bar performance loops and 408 warped loops recorded in a variety of tempos. These will also sync perfectly to your host tempo. Charlie recorded these loop performances at different tempos to match more of slow minimal to intensity packed faster performances. They range from 70, 90, 110, 130, and 150 BPMs. The loops are instantly useful and contain very complex rhythms that can be difficult for some people to program themselves. There are eight different loop sections or ‘bricks’ they call them. The first note plays the whole loop, the second note the first two bars, the third key the 2nd two bars, and so forth. They included end hits for each loop located on the sixth key. You also get a variety of Warped Loops heavily processed through a variety of hardware including, analog synths, a modular synth rig, guitar pedals, and other outboard hardware. These are cool industrial hybrid-type drum sounds that add something nontraditional and modern to your compositions.

As a drummer myself, I can tell you the drum techniques included are masterfully sampled and sound astoundingly natural. There are Hits, Flams, Ruffs, and Rolls. You can choose multiple players on some of the drums. For instance, the Toms have a choice of solo, 2 player, 4 player, Rollers, and Brushes in the technique menu. The space this library was recorded in brings out the sonic richness and depth of these drums. Right out of the box, they are a blast to play.

Hammers would sit perfectly in action, horror, drama, crime, television, hybrid orchestral, or video game scoring. If there is a con to this library, it is simply the size.  At 100Gb, it does take up some room, as I said earlier, but it's certainly understandable when you have all these samples recorded extensively. In the Signal mixer, there are three custom mixes. Also, you get a variety of mic placements within the regular drum and percussion presets. You get 12 warped signals in the warped category that can be layered or turned off.  

 
What makes this library so special, is Charlie Clouser is very knowledgeable about what works in a cinematic drum library. Not only is he an amazing composer and keyboardist, but he actually started out as a drummer. I think this places this library into a skill set of its own. Not only did Charlie record himself, but he also brought in first-call percussionists Hal Rosenfield and Lucas Fehring that have a huge resume of their own.

Is Hammers just another cinematic drum and percussion library? 

No, Hammers is unique, intuitive, and contains a multitude of timbres expertly crafted in every way. From soft to savage, dark to light, these drums will work in about any cinematic composition. This library took two and half years to complete, and now I know why. Check out Hammers because I have no doubt it will get the job done!


5 OUT OF 5 STARS !



 

 
 


 
 
 
 


 



Written by Steve Montgomery
(Composer/Infinite Mindscape/Darkmood)



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