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I want a new percussion library, but mostly timpani. What should I look at?

purple

Senior Member
Been considering a new perc library to replace hollywood perc (gold). That library isn't awful but the lack of mic positions, the tone, and the timpani especially leave a lot to be desired. I don't mind most of the instruments, but my current project demands a lot of good, nuanced timpani stuff.

I've looked at the OT Berlin timpani, true strike, SA hans zimmer, and cineperc. The latter two are kind of pricey but I like the sound. I would prefer something cheaper, and I don't mind if I end up just buying a timpani at this point.

The main concern I have is that the dynamic layers on the mod wheel during rolls are very shelf-y with the hollywood one. Makes it hard to get a good crescendo or diminuendo exactly the way I need it. Too low and you can't hear it, but as soon as you cross that dynamic threshold it's a bull in a china shop. I want something more deep-sampled and playable.
 

Piotrek K.

Active Member
VSL timpani is really deep. Full library costs 64 euros but now they have promo, buy one get one free. So for 64 Euros you can get timpani plus something else for free. And if you won't like it you can return it in 14 days and get a refund.


Or https://www.evolutionseries.com/portfolio/world-percussion-europe-2/

Huge library, with lots of instruments and timpani at it's core. Their philosophy is bit different though - there are no pre-recroded rolls, you need to perform them by yourself. With up to 10 RRs it works really well. But I actually find the timpani lacking the punch in higher velocities.
 
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purple

Senior Member
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VSL timpani is really deep. Full library costs 64 euros but now they have promo, buy one get one free. So for 64 Euros you can get timpani plus something else for free. And if you won't like it you can return it in 14 days and get a refund.


Or https://www.evolutionseries.com/portfolio/world-percussion-europe-2/

Huge library, with lots of instruments and timpani at it's core. Their philosophy is bit different though - there are no pre-recroded rolls, you need to perform them by yourself. With up to 10 RRs it works really well. But I actually find the timpani lacking the punch in higher velocities.
I actually really like that philosophy for timpani. I wanted to do so with EW but I find the dynamic layers an issue there. I will definitely be checking this out. Thank you!
 

Piotrek K.

Active Member
Just to add, HWP was also a dissapointment to me, it's just not very deep at times and timbre changes between layers can be very drastic. But still this is my go to in most cases. VSL on the other hand was just too deep for me xD But if you plan to write timpani concerto I'd look there. Evolution Europe is cool but never got super friendly with timpani in there tbh and still prefer prerecorded rolls. They just sound better imo.
 

Jimmy Hellfire

Senior Member
Synchron Timpani, either I or II, are very deeply sampled and have a bunch of useful mic positions. The "II" are performed with soft mallets, which is a bit more "cinematic", while "I" is a bit more "classical", but both sound great. They can be purchased separately from the complete Synchron Percussion collections.
 

ScoreFace

Active Member
Maybe you want to checkout the Symphony Series Percussion by NI - it has one of the best sounding Timpanis that I know. I love their crescendo/decrescendo, it is very realistic and has an ending note that automatically has the velocity adapted to the current mod wheel state. Prerecorded cresc rolls are available as well, but I am totally happy with the adaptive tremolo.

Furthermore, they have a membrane resonance system for the timpani and almost all other drums, which separates the initial hit that makes the membrane swinging and the 2nd and further hits on the membrane when it already swings. Sounds complitated, bit it works automatically and leads to a very realistic behaviour that I haven't seen in any other percussion lib so far.

Downside is that you can't buy only the timpani, but the other percussions sound great as well.
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
If you like the VSL synchron timpany, the other option is BBO Phoenix. This has limited articulations, with the soft mallets only, but it is the full mics and has the same dynamic levels compared to the full Synchron Series timpany. They sound excellent, and I've enjoyed using them so far. You do get other instruments also, all of which are very good quality.
 

erikradbo

Senior Member
I also used HOP Gold before, and when looking for a solid replacement Strezov X3M really is a gem: https://www.strezov-sampling.com/products/view/orchestral-percussion-x3m.html . It feels a bit underpriced to be honest, given the pricing of their other libraries. I did a fair bit of research and picked it above True Strike, Spitfire etc.

Though, to get the strings I also jumped to upgrade to Hollywood orch diamond when it was heavily discounted, but haven't really done anything yet where I would have to choose between these perc libraries, so can't say which one it will be going forward. My first choice now however is X3M, and only when it would be proven insufficient I would turn to HOP Diamond.

Looking at workflow, sound and price, I find X3M is to be a high quality but often overlooked option.

 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
Don't forget Spitfire's excellent orchestral perc lib. It has some fantastic stuff in it, both melodic and non.

The timps in the SF lib are fantasic. Personally my favourite for most uses I think. To me they sound exactly like I expect/want timpani to sound. I find myself reverting back to them when other alternatives don't work as well in my mix. The only thing that I find they can't do so well is the PPP soft roll... HZ Perc is my favourite at that.

You are paying for a full perc lib with SF perc, but I think it holds its own. Between SF, OT, Cinesamples, VSL, NI... all of them are good quality when it comes to perc. But for timpany I've been the most happy with SF and VSL. Belin sounds a bit light weight, and Cinesamples I've struggled with the mics to get a tone I like.
 

dariusofwest

Active Member
I’d upgrade HOP to diamond. Adding close mic really makes the Hollywood timpani shine!

Agreed. The library was close to unusable to me before I was able to use the close mics from CCX- Ended up making my own custom mic mixes for them- love it now ^_^
 

Rob Elliott

Senior Member
Maybe you want to checkout the Symphony Series Percussion by NI - it has one of the best sounding Timpanis that I know. I love their crescendo/decrescendo, it is very realistic and has an ending note that automatically has the velocity adapted to the current mod wheel state. Prerecorded cresc rolls are available as well, but I am totally happy with the adaptive tremolo.

Furthermore, they have a membrane resonance system for the timpani and almost all other drums, which separates the initial hit that makes the membrane swinging and the 2nd and further hits on the membrane when it already swings. Sounds complitated, bit it works automatically and leads to a very realistic behaviour that I haven't seen in any other percussion lib so far.

Downside is that you can't buy only the timpani, but the other percussions sound great as well.
Impressive Timp. I wish they sold it separately. I need another COMPLETE orch perc library like a hole in the head. ;)
 

Rob Elliott

Senior Member
Maybe you want to checkout the Symphony Series Percussion by NI - it has one of the best sounding Timpanis that I know. I love their crescendo/decrescendo, it is very realistic and has an ending note that automatically has the velocity adapted to the current mod wheel state. Prerecorded cresc rolls are available as well, but I am totally happy with the adaptive tremolo.

Furthermore, they have a membrane resonance system for the timpani and almost all other drums, which separates the initial hit that makes the membrane swinging and the 2nd and further hits on the membrane when it already swings. Sounds complitated, bit it works automatically and leads to a very realistic behaviour that I haven't seen in any other percussion lib so far.

Downside is that you can't buy only the timpani, but the other percussions sound great as well.
Impressive Timp. I wish they sold it separately. I need another COMPLETE orch perc library like a hole in the head. ;)
 

Rob Elliott

Senior Member
Maybe you want to checkout the Symphony Series Percussion by NI - it has one of the best sounding Timpanis that I know. I love their crescendo/decrescendo, it is very realistic and has an ending note that automatically has the velocity adapted to the current mod wheel state. Prerecorded cresc rolls are available as well, but I am totally happy with the adaptive tremolo.

Furthermore, they have a membrane resonance system for the timpani and almost all other drums, which separates the initial hit that makes the membrane swinging and the 2nd and further hits on the membrane when it already swings. Sounds complitated, bit it works automatically and leads to a very realistic behaviour that I haven't seen in any other percussion lib so far.

Downside is that you can't buy only the timpani, but the other percussions sound great as well.
Impressive Timp. I wish they sold it separately. I need another COMPLETE orch perc library like a hole in the head. ;)
 
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