The “Larry Seyer Acoustic Drums” library was originally released on the now extinct format “GigaStudio III”.
However, it was so far ahead of its time when it was released in 2007, that even today, few drum libraries have achieved what the library set out to do way back when.
I have sat on this drum library and not done anything with it (i.e. converted it to any other format) since TASCAM killed the GigaStudio format in 2008 shortly after we released it.
When I found Pianobook and downloaded some of the libraries, I was impressed with the dedication the members have in creating new sounds and libraries. It made me think… maybe I should package one of the drum-kits from my library and upload it to the website so others can enjoy at least one of the drum-kits while I decide what I’m going to do with the other 70 drum- kits I have sitting here.
So I spent today (May 16th, 2020) going through my old hard drives and converting one of the original GigaStudio drum-kits to various formats. I tried converting it to Kontakt 6 first, but it didn’t sound right to my ears after the conversion, so I abandoned the effort.
I also considered using Apple Logic’s ESX-24 format, but since Apple just killed that sampler, I decided I had better find a format that would be around for a while and was not limited to only OS-X.
Since SFZ is cross platform and sounded as close to the original sound the library produced, I chose that format for this kit.
Why did I choose this particular drum-kit?
There are over 70 drum-kits in the library with the potential to create many more using the drum components (i.e. Kicks, Snares, etc) I recorded with Pat Mastelotto.
But since many of the developers on PianoBook seem to be more of the ‘scoring to picture’ kind of artists, I decided on this kit as it works well for creating a ‘mood’ for picture. This kit was never meant to be used as a Rock & Roll kit to back up a band – it was always meant for scoring. So I chose the ‘Acoustic Drums Aircraft Mallet’ drum-kit.
How the original library came about:
Pat Mastelotto and I recorded the first drum sounds for this library in August of 1999. The world was a completely different place then. Thousands of hours went into the recording, editing, and programming, listening, tweaking, and loving this library since.
The emphasis was on creating the most realistic sounding drums possible. Each drum kit starts out as a collection of individual drum components. Each drum component has been recorded in 24bit stereo using up to 6 microphones.
After selecting and tuning the individual drum components for a particular kit, the entire kit is then placed in a virtual ‘room’ optimized for that particular drum kit.
Microphone colors were then added to affect the overall timbre of the kit.
How the library was designed:
Each type of drum, with its respective positional ‘Zones’ (see picture) and alternate striking methods, was assigned a unique region on the keyboard. For instance, in the EX layout a snare drum’s strikes are mapped from E2 to E3 which correspond to the various physical positions at which Pat struck his actual snare drums.
Similar to the snare mapping described above, all of Pat’s drums except for crash, bell, and splash cymbals were sampled with positional information which is preserved in the final instrument design.
NOTE: In general, the EX layout assigns drums mapped to the piano keyboard WHITE keys, while cymbals and hats are mapped to the piano keyboard BLACK keys. However, The GM Layout follows the standard General MIDI drum layout.
In addition to positional ‘Zones’, there are multiple velocities and various striker choices.
When appropriate, the ‘round robin’ mapping feature is employed to avoid sample redundancy
during rapid playing.
Here is a YouTube video featuring this kit and how it sounds:
It was originally marketed as “PowerKits” which is why you see the logo in the video. But it is NOT being marketing currently.
The rest of the library is NOT currently available. Perhaps SpitFire might be interested at some point? I own all the rights to the recordings and the libraries.
You can read more about the ‘making of’ the library here:
Here is the original promotional video when it was released on the GigaStudio III format:
Reviews for Larry Seyer Acoustic Drums Aircraft Hanger Mallet Drum Kit
Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!
Extremely dynamic drums
These drums are really well sampled and really dynamic. Theres a lot of different drum samples to choose from and theyre all very wet which glues them together. This might be awesome for certain situations but you cant edit this reverb so its not as versatile as it could be. I particularly like the sound of the kick and snare here. Although this library does sound kind of old, this isn't a bad thing. Theres alot of cool stuff you can do with this and its sure bring back memories of old drum samples. It would be nice to have this in kontakt as well.
Way too wet but cool nonetheless
This is a very deep sounding drum kit with a lot of character to it. The "room" sound makes them sound huge, but unfortunately there are no controls to get a more dry sound, which may be kind of a dealbreaker for some specific mixes.
I also wish there was a more snappy snare, because the one included sounds more like a tom. The noise in general is minimal and all the drum sounds are VERY dynamic, which is very important to percissive sounds. I also dislike the fact that there are not layed down like most drum libraries. It's similar but not so you can play blindly out of the box. I'd recommend to set the volume to -12db because it can get really loud.
An interesting set of drum samples
These samples are really well recorded and edited. It's immediately obvious that a lot of time, effort, and care went into their creation. It's unfortunate that they're available only in the SFZ format, because I think a lot more people would use them if they were in Kontakt and EXS. All of that having been said, because they were recorded in an aircraft hangar, there is obviously a lot of reverb on these drums. That's cool, and it's a unique library, but perhaps not so useful as it might otherwise be. If there was a way to balance the recording of a room mic vs close mics, it might be even more useful. Still, this is a very useful sample pack, and it's cool that it's being shared with the community.
Cool, but shows it's age...
I like most of the sounds, but it does sound like a sample pack that is nearing fifteen years old. My biggest issue is that the sounds are not laid out on the keyboard in a understandable way, which makes it difficult for me at least to create beats quickly. Since it's also in sfz there's no interface to help guide the user. Might be worth a try, but probably not a keeper for me.