Hammers by Charlie Clouser
Developed by Spitfire Audio
From the product page:
Hammers was developed to quickly give you access to a cutting-edge collection of eclectic drums, percussion, and scrap metals; these sounds are tailored for use in film genres, video games, and trailers. With its ultra-hyped, broadcast-ready sounds, Hammers is immediately playable and instantly satisfying. Recorded, processed, mixed, curated, and produced by composer Charlie Clouser, this library features 100% all-new recordings, specially crafted for this collection.
Hammers features 58 Drums across 8 drum types—Bass Drums, Surdos, Toms, Roto-Toms, Darbukas, Frame Drums, Scrap Metals, and Snares. Captured in an acoustic environment to allow for fast-paced, hard-hitting performances, with a wide range of mic, mix, and warp signals, and a choice of 12 distinctive reverbs, this NKS-compatible library gives you effortless control over extremely powerful drum performances. These are hard, brash sounds with fast attacks and tight, controlled decays allowing for clear and legible patterns when played at speed.
As a scoring composer, I am always looking for a tight, hard hitting, mix-ready percussion library. Not one that will sound over-hyped and too big, but one that will give me THE perfect sound – the ideal balance of an admittedly picky criteria. Hammers is one such tool, and it has completely blown me away. In this review, I will explain why this virtual instrument is a “game-changer” for the future of my percussion programming.
Hammers offers a ton of exceptionally good sounding and well-crafted percussion sounds. There is an obvious attention to detail and quality here – easily on par with the long-time number one library in the percussion game (Damage by Heavyocity). The one exception, is that Hammers sounds superior.
For my needs, the percs need to have that Hollywood scoring stage feel but without losing the weight and the focus of the impact – A very difficult balance indeed – yet Charlie Clouser managed to achieve exactly that. For example, the batter on the Bass Drum is never dull, it hits right in the chest. The room sounds excellent.
The 3 mix presets are well-designed. Most libraries offer only one full mix (with individual mic options to supplement), so it’s nice to have 3 full mix options and all 3 of them are a great starting point for a production. It’s actually one of my favourite things about Hammers: how easy it is to dial in the perc’s sound to fit in your mix. It has the perfect amount of compression applied to the sounds and since the highs are very balanced, you won’t need to sidechain too much. It will cut through with a -3 or -6db.
The experienced user will notice that the number of round robins is very high (a nice surprise for a Spitfire library) and they sound very consistent on top of that! The frame drums, darbukas, and metal scraps are to die for = an instant addition to my template.
As with any good media-focused percussion library, Hammers comes packed with high-quality and extremely useful loops, providing an array of options as far as feel and musical ideas go. The warped loops in particular are very effective at achieving an instant tv score sound that would typically require a lot of work to create from scratch.
One thing I was not expecting but am very impressed by, is just how versatile Hammers can be. I’ve personally already used it in a variety of genres, from film score to pop, and even EDM. The instruments tick all the boxes for a modern pop radio production. While it won’t offer you a replacement for your hard hitting EDM snare and 808 kick, what it can add on top of them is impressive. It can create tasteful depth and dimension in any track.
The Spitfire player… well… it is what it is… but it is admittedly easy to navigate and understand what you can tweak. Even if you are inexperienced at programming percussion, you can quickly get the hang of using Hammers and start creating amazing percussion parts in your score.
Hammers in action
All sounds are from Hammers – no external processing is used
Demo by Jayden Lawrence
Hammers is a must-have for any composer that takes percussion seriously. If you have traumatic memories of sloppy timings from other Spitfire products, take comfort in knowing that Charlie and his team were the quality assurance for this one.
With exceptional sound quality, ease of use and versatility, this percussion library is a gem and actually a game-changer for a lot of composers. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, Hammers is, in my view, an essential tool that will inspire you and elevate your music.
Vincent Carlo is a composer and sound designer for films, international commercials and trailers, including: Volkswagen, Hennessy, Netflix, Vuitton, Ubisoft, Dior, L’Oréal, Hermès