The White Zombie producer, former Nine Inch Nails keyboardist, and SAW film composer makes exactly the sort of brutalist soundbank you’d expect.

You’re probably jealous of Charlie Clouser even from a glimpse of his studio – 7-meter ceilings, all concrete, glass, and steel. (Actually, it’s maybe too nice – see, I need mine inside a factory, not with pretty nature around, and the walls should be less clean.)

But then this library for Spitfire it itself an impressive direction – a recording wonder at the intersection of industrial, rock, and cinematic sounds.

There’s a lot of detail here, and frankly, I’m curious to check it out even just as a production lesson. (Well, for those of us who aren’t in the boat of a director calling up saying they want a film trailer that sounds like SAW by sundown.)

What’s in there:

Spitfire has taken some of the stripped-down UI from its entry level products and scaled it up to a more advanced tool. But that means you can focus on your musicianship (whatever you’ve got), and dial in sounds and play to get started – rather than look at something that seems to be a programming interface. Playing those sounds could make them your own. And note the loop options and variations here, too.

58 drums (and scrap metal and other percussion) recorded into 1000 sounds – grouped as: Bass Drums, Surdos, Toms, Roto-Toms, Darbukas, Frame Drums, Scrap Metals, and Snare. Spitfire says these are also already tuned for fast envelopes so you can use them in rhythms. (Taking notes yet, sound designers?)

Those are in turn grouped again by technique – 130 in all, say Spitfire – from how tight the drum head is to what beater you’re using. There are even hits already sampled with two or four players for a more orchestral / large-scale sound.

Spitfire also says they’ve set these up to be playable. So there are “Ensemble” patches that spread the sounds across the keyboard so you can audition them. (Ah, brings back memories of going nuts with the old General MIDI drum set, right? So why not do that with a multi-patch that actually sounds good?)

There are also hundreds of loops composed by Clouser, including warped loops and variations, then getting into modular analog processing and sequences.

Plus you get different modes:

  • Reverse
  • Normalize
  • Retro Pitch (just meaning they’re pitched up and down)
  • Key triggers for techniques (Hit, Ruff, Hit, Flam, Hit, Roll)
Mixer page, accessing some of the layers/mic options (and note the way things are deployed in the keyboard split at bottom).
Effects options, for more mangling if you like.

Oh yeah, and – that’s the other thing, if you’re wondering about a drum library programmed by a keyboardist, the advantage here is things are clearly set up for keyboard triggers. That means if you’ve got key chops, you’re likely to be at home – and even if not, this is conveniently accessed from a MIDI input device.

That is essentially what makes Clouser unique – he’s the full package of composer, sound designer, and drum programmer.


Full – £249 €299 $299
Promo – £199 €229 $229

Curious to look at this more. Check it out: