Spitfire Audio has released LABS Percussion, the latest addition to its series of free sound libraries for the LABS virtual instrument.
LABS Percussion (like all LABS instruments) runs in the free Spitfire Audio app for macOS and Windows (AU/VST/VST3/AAX).
The LABS series has grown pretty quickly since it was first introduced. It now includes pianos, strings, guitars, and more, and it’s all free. I haven’t tried all of them yet, but there’s a couple I really like, the Rare Groove Piano and the Tape Orchestra.
In true Spitfire Audio style, LABS percussion was recorded in the ideal location, Rosewood Studios. Rosewood Studios, in the UK, is a purpose-built facility for recording immaculate percussion.
The collection includes drum hits, timbales, congas, and more. You can tell from a quick listen to the demo on the product page that the quality is excellent. Typically, I don’t think twice about downloading instruments like this one, and that’s not a sales pitch! I look at them like I do a great sample library and assume that I’ll need it at some point.
LABS Percussion is one of the most versatile instruments in the entire series because it can adapt to infinite styles/genres. You might even find that you use a single hit from it, mixed with other percussion sources/samples/instruments rather than creating an entire groove. So, it has quite a universal appeal.
Whereas some others, like the Pipe Organ, well, there’s no dressing it up, it is what it is, and you’d probably need to have something particular in mind before using it. That’s the only reason I haven’t downloaded the whole range yet, but I’m sure I’ll get there.
There’s nothing I can say that will sum up LABS Percussion better than just listening to the demo, so please do so. But, personally, I tend to use percussion like this in two ways.
The first is percussion only (or almost), big, bold, and very rhythmic, like most chase scenes ever filmed. If I want to double down on scoring clichés, I’ll do it in 7/8 or something; now it’s a real chase!
The other way is to create a simple pattern that sits way, way back and is only heard enough to create slight momentum under some kind of pad/drone. I don’t often do much in between.
Spitfire Audio sometimes seems unapproachable because they can be so expensive. I’m a fan of their work, and I’m glad they do stuff like LABS to help more people get into composition in a serious way.
More info: LABS Percussion