Review: Spitfire Audio The Grange

Drum Library for Native Instruments Kontakt
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There’s no disputing the unique vibe and sound that Headley Grange added to Led Zeppelin’s most iconic tracks. Spitfire Audio invited rock heavyweights Roger Taylor (Queen), Chad Smith (The Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Andy Gangadeen (Massive Attack) to the legendary site and recorded them to 2" tape on their own kits for The Grange, a library for Kontakt 5 (and higher) and the free Kontakt Player instrument.

The 27GB collection comprises six drum kits and a collection of loops, sorted by mic perspective. The Easy Tweak folder lets you quickly mix mics placed at different overhead perspectives, from the ground to a second-floor position, whereas the Mics folder holds individually closemiked kit pieces, each with a subtle bit of leakage to add realism. The Stereos folder contains overheadmic perspectives from different positions and distances, the number of which varies from kit to kit. Consistent maps for each drummer allow you to load corresponding kits from each folder and mix perspectives as a multi. The package also features an Unmapped Kits folder, which includes templates for building drum kits to suit different controllers.

The sound of each kit can range from close and intimate to roomy and huge. Among my favorites were Gangadeen’s brush kit, which might be a bit rough-hewn for cocktail hour but sounds great in rock, pop, and ambient settings. The loops can sync to tempo and are stylistically varied. The majority are in 4/4, with a few 6/8 and other meters included. You’ll find plenty of interesting grooves, with mixers providing a variety of mic perspectives.

Overall, Spitfire Audio’s The Grange presents great-sounding drums and loops with plenty of attitude, and a virtual multitrack drum-mixing environment with tons of flexibility.

£199 (about $308)