Additional InformationHistoric Rock Drums. Spitfire creates rock history with three legendary drummers recorded at one legendary location. A new benchmark in drum sampling, this is an anthology of playable kits and an exhaustive selection of searing loops all with sympathetic mixing options.
Spitfire proudly presents three legendary drummers recorded in one legendary location… Headley Grange. Anyone with a modicum of historical rock music knowledge knows that this former Victorian workhouse, a private — some say haunted — residence nestled in the heart of England’s rural Hampshire, has played host to some of the most influential Sixties and Seventies recording artists that this country has produced, with fellow Brits Bad Company, Fleetwood Mac, and Genesis all spending some productive time there.
This unassuming family home really made its mark on the rock music map with the timely arrival of the legendary Led Zeppelin, who made some remarkable recordings there when writing parts of their eponymous Led Zeppelin III and Led Zeppelin IV albums, as well as their Houses Of The Holy and Physical Graffiti fifth and sixth album followups, between 1970 and 1975. Indeed, it was here in 1971 that producer Andy Johns and drummer John Bonham conspired to create what has come to be regarded as the definitive rock drum sound for Led Zeppelin IV closer ‘When The Levee Breaks’. Sampled (early on by British synthpop pioneers Depeche Mode and many more since) and long since imitated on a legion of rock recordings, Roger Taylor of Queen — no stranger to distinguished drumming himself — has described it thusly: “It was the benchmark—the sound that so many people strived for. It just sounded like thunder. We were like, ‘Wow!’”.
It has been 40 years since the house was used for such thunderous activity so it is with great honor that we, Spitfire Audio were invited in to make one last set of recordings. With such a historic burden resting on our shoulders we set about assembling the best cast and crew for such an endeavor.
The Grange is an exhaustively produced drum library that aims to pick up where those legendary bands left off. To see what other legendary drummers would make with the space and their searing talent and to see what new definitive and classic sounds could be made in this hallowed space. We welcome Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Roger Taylor Of Queen, and dance stalwart Andy Gangadeen whose numerous percussive adventures include work with Massive Attack, Chase & Status, Rudimental and Labrinth.
HITS, LOOPS & MIXES
To say The Grange is an embarrassment of riches is an understatement. Each drummer has kindly gifted us a deeply multi sampled kit with every note played by each legend. They have also provided us with an epic anthology of literally thousands of loops. From simple straight up grooves to ‘signature’ beats that only these guys could provide.
It is Spitfire Audio’s mission to provide music makers with tools that offer an enhancement to our working lives. So this award winning group of composers, producers, engineers and technicians didn’t set out to re-invent the wheel. But simply to make it work better. The goal was singular. Make it spring out the box, make it sound like a Grammy winning, Brit garnering, Ivor Novello awarded recording. Make it work without fiddling, and make it load up and play without having to turn the f***ing hi hats down.
Nick Taylor our engineer who tracked these historic recordings from conception to completion has done us so proud. The finest rarified selection of mics were enlisted to trustfully capture the magic. He used a bespoke selection of Neve and API pre-amps and, in what is a drum-sampling one-off, used the finest 2″ Studer tape machine in the UK today. These matters. If you’re using a drum library that isn’t recorded to tape, it won’t sound as good. It is rare for us to state such a fact so arrogantly. But after AB-ing the two signals we have to agree with Roger Taylor; “It just sounds better” .
There is a huge number of mix options on The Grange from Nick Taylor’s fabulous 3 mixes (Tight, Mid, Epic) which just spring out of the box. Our brief to him was “we want a natural sound, don’t give us something that sounds mastered, we want you to imagine that point in tracking an album where having got a great drum take down and you’re so happy with the sound you’re kind of dreading having to add guitars and vocals, give us something that you can’t wait to slam a compressor onto, something that people can work with”. And he did us proud, not a single plug in was armed in providing these mixes, he instead enlisted the fine and pristinely maintained Cadac desk and awesome selection of vintage and modern outboard of Air-Edel studios, London.
Alongside his mixes are numerous different tweakable perspectives to give you the chance to “easy tweak” all the way to creating complex multi tracks of your own. Mixes and perspectives that are largely reflected in the loop library. So grab one of Andy’s awesome hi hat grooves, then load his kit to work up the beat that you want.
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