Sample Logic is known for animated instruments capable of setting a cinematic scene with a single MIDI note, while providing the tools to customize sounds to the Nth degree. That approach yields awesome song starters, but they can often lead you down a rabbit hole. Self-contained, looping percussion beds may not fit every bill; sometimes it’s just better to build the scene from a custom menu of choice, one-shot sounds. Drum Fury is the company’s first venture into that territory.
Drum Fury’s library (requires the full version of Kontakt) consists of roughly 11GB of cinematic drums, including toms; taiko; timpani; concert bass drums; bells; gongs and cymbals; along with a nice batch of ethnic percussion instruments, all with multiple articulations and strikes.
Facing the Fury
The user interface is simple; everything you can access is on a single page, there are no mixers, step sequencers or arpeggiators. Dominating the display are three drum-head surfaces. Clicking on the head triggers a drum sound, providing an idea of the instrument you’ve loaded, but they trigger only three of the many articulations found in most of the Drum Fury keymaps, and only at a fixed velocity. You’ll find your controller or Kontakt’s virtual keyboard more useful in auditioning the drums.
Flanking the mouse-trigger drums are the Energizer and the Polisher, which group channel strip-type processors to sculpt the samples. Energizer combines compression, saturation, and distortion, with the Polisher handling imaging, EQ, transient shaping, and additional saturation. These are designed to affect the entire patch, rather than individual drum hits, and as such, you can tweak their amount, edit compression and EQ parameters or toggle them on and off.
At the top right, a slider for pitch accepts Continuous Controller (CC) modulation, which is fine to raise the pitch of all drums, however, MIDI Velocity would have been a more direct and tactile approach to modulating individual drum pitches. On the opposite side of the page, a slider enables random response to Velocity, and at the bottom, sound-shaping tools include an AR envelope; delay; reverb; a low-and high-cut filter, and — if you want to create a multi (Drum Fury supplies no multis), you can transpose the MIDI-trigger notes in half-steps to make space to load additional patches and keep their trigger notes discrete from others. It would be a helpful visual aid if the transposition were reflected on the virtual keyboard’s map.
Sound and Fury
Sonically, it’s tough to find fault with Drums of Fury, the samples are uniformly exceptional, with a wide range of drums suitable for Cinematic production, and a very tasty, generous, and expressive batch of ethnic percussion to spice up the lot. Sample Logic has largely succeeded in its intent to provide an uncluttered user interface with a minimal compromise in sound design tools. The issues I’ve raised are minor, and hopefully, the company will address them in future libraries. Kudos to Sample Logic for an excellent focus on a fine set of percussion.
+ An expressive selection of cinematic drums and ethnic percussion
+ Multiple articulations for each instrument
+ Energizer and Polisher provide aggregated, one-stop mastering effects
+ Simple user interface
- Drum Mouse Trigger limited to three drums in each map, and with a fixed velocity
- MIDI control of pitch is limited to CCs. MIDI transposition of Keymaps not reflected in Kontakt keyboard
Former EM staff editor Marty Cutler is the author of The New Electronic Guitarist, Published by Hal Leonard.