Review: Hans Zimmer Percussion adds Cinematic Drumming to your Tracks

Spitfire Audio brings another world class sample library to their lineup with the introduction of Hans Zimmer Percussion. An updated version of the original released a few years ago, HZP belongs on your shortlist if you need top shelf percussion samples. The Grammy Award-winning soundtrack guru produced and mixed this collection leveraging his talented engineering crew at London’s legendary AIR Studios.

Hans Zimmer Percussion Features

  • Nearly 50 GB of Uncompressed Percussion Samples (20 GB Drive Space Required)
  • Tympani, Taiko, Tamtam, Tombek, Bass Drum, Gong Drum, and More!
  • Stunning Sound Quality
  • Includes all Samples from Spitfire Audio’s HZ01 and HZ03 Libraries
  • Full Control of Mix (with Close, Room, and Surround Mic Perspectives)
  • Updated Intuitive GUI
  • Requires NI Kontakt Player (Included)
  • Support NI’s NKS (Native Kontrol Standard)
  • Available for a Street Price of $399

Simply stated, Hans Zimmer Percussion offers a top shelf collection of cinematic quality samples for your own projects, whether soundtrack, world music, or beyond. This collection frankly blew me away!

A Top of the Line Percussion Sample Collection

Installing Hans Zimmer Percussion requires around 40 GB of hard drive space during the install and at least 20 GB once it completes. This extra bandwidth is worth it, as these samples offer mind-blowing sound quality. Most include multiple playing techniques (rolls, flams, dynamics, etc.) and round-robins; those extra samples being essential when recording drum tracks.


Hans Zimmer Percussion in action. Screenshot by author.

HZP offers two main Kontakt instruments. One features a whole host of timpani samples, while the other includes everything else. Expect Taikos, tamtams, tombeks, a real deep bass drum, and so much more. The small number of metallic sounds was a minor disappointment.

The HZP interface fits snugly within the Kontakt player. A grid in the middle of the screen lets you select a collection of related drum samples. You map the different sounds and playing techniques to different MIDI notes using a menu on the right sidebar. The Timpani samples come already mapped, but you are able to transpose them to better match your controller.

Owners of a Native Instrument controller supporting their NKS standard gain an extra advantage of an on-screen keyboard to help identify mappings. I just used my TrapKat after some initial exploration with my non-standard MIDI controller. BT Phobos, another Spitfire Audio plugin we reviewed, also supports NKS.

The left sidebar includes other useful settings for EQ, MIDI CC, dynamic envelopes, or even mixing the mic placements between close, room, and surround. You also gain a measure of control over stereo separation. HZP also supports MIDI automation of these settings.

Putting Hans Zimmer Percussion through its Paces

After mapping HZP to my TrapKAT, I was truly able to put the samples through their paces. After an initial period of latency issues once I started playing, everything settled down; shocking me at the overall quality, especially the natural sound on successive hits on the same drum. This illustrated the quality provided by Spitfire’s round-robin sampling technique. I channeled Jerry Marotta’s drumming work on Peter Gabriel’s classic Security track, Rhythm of the Heat.

The response stayed quick, even with my tendency to overplay while cranking out Brufordian fills over the entire TrapKAT. Even with the timpani as revealed in the video below.

Sure, the traditional trap kit style of playing doesn’t apply in this case, and my mind conjured up new ideas for percussion tracks on upcoming Church of Hed releases. I hadn’t done this much world music styled drumming since the mid 90s. Fun. Check out HZP in action during the second half of this Church of Hed track, Quarrydosing, from our 2018 album, Sandstoned.

The bottom line remains simple. If world music and cinematic percussion interest you at all, Hans Zimmer Percussion belongs in your collection. I give it my highest recommendation. So there.



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