What's new

Spitfire HZ Percussion: Worth the Price?

imagegod

Active Member
Hey all:

I'm looking to buy a nice percussion library and I'd like to know if HZ is worth the bucks.

I don't mind spending if there's value there, but is there nothing similar at half the price? And if so, how similar is it?

Mostly I'm looking for relative ease of use and good (not necessarily great) selection.

Thanks all!
 

Alex Niedt

Active Member
It's absolutely worth it if that's the sound you want. Have you listened to a bunch of demos of various libraries? If you're sure Hans Zimmer is what suits your tastes, it's very high quality, quite well-rounded, and easy to use. Check out the walkthrough if you haven't yet...

 

Quasar

Senior Member
I have my own amateur bias when it comes to spending money on sample libraries. I could be totally wrong and missing the boat...

...But I tend to believe that difficult-to-sample articulatively diverse tonal instruments that play across the "fat" part of the audio spectrum, from low midrange to upper midrange (orchestral strings, brass, WWs, guitars pianos etc.) are worth spending more $$$ on for higher quality content. The difference, for example, between a very cheap solo violin that almost sounds like a synthy harmonica and Embertone's magnificent Josh Bell is profound and worth the extra money if you can afford it.

On the other hand, atonal sounds that go boom and thud can be obtained relatively cheaply, bought on sale or generated synthetically, and it doesn't make nearly as much difference. Bought inexpensively and on sale, I currently have much more than enough great percussive sounds, both organic and "cinematic" at my disposal without spending $400 or $600 on a name-branded library.
 

John Busby

Musician/Composer
On the other hand, atonal sounds that go boom and thud can be obtained relatively cheaply, bought on sale or generated synthetically, and it doesn't make nearly as much difference. Bought inexpensively and on sale, I currently have much more than enough great percussive sounds, both organic and "cinematic" at my disposal without spending $400 or $600 on a name-branded library.
you bring up a good point about the tonal instruments but on the point above i would say that there's much more to it.
are you insinuating HZ perc is overpriced? it may be, but i also think an $800 string library is outrageous.

"doesn't make nearly as much difference." - i'm sorry, i have to disagree with this.
there's a HUGE difference in loading up a synthetic taiko sound processed to hell vs loading up HZ's taiko with a little bit of room and crank up the surround
in my opinion what sets HZ perc apart from the rest and what makes it well worth the money is that it's recorded at Air with percussionists used in HZ's scores with drums specific to his writing.
i think Spitfire nailed this library, the hype they sold with this library was real it wasn't some PR stunt, and they did a bang up job with the new GUI too.
 

Quasar

Senior Member
you bring up a good point about the tonal instruments but on the point above i would say that there's much more to it.
are you insinuating HZ perc is overpriced? it may be, but i also think an $800 string library is outrageous.

"doesn't make nearly as much difference." - i'm sorry, i have to disagree with this.
there's a HUGE difference in loading up a synthetic taiko sound processed to hell vs loading up HZ's taiko with a little bit of room and crank up the surround
in my opinion what sets HZ perc apart from the rest and what makes it well worth the money is that it's recorded at Air with percussionists used in HZ's scores with drums specific to his writing.
i think Spitfire nailed this library, the hype they sold with this library was real it wasn't some PR stunt, and they did a bang up job with the new GUI too.
You may well be right, and I will never know, because even if the HZ sets were 1/2 price, I don't think I could justify it even if I had a lot of money. But I have several Spitfire libraries and they are all great quality, so I have no reason to suppose that HZ Perc is anything but.

For organic, I've collected - on sale, inexpensively & over time - Modwheel's terrific Timphonia & Perc + Redux; the Evolution Series Asia, Africa, Europe, and ME. Thanks to their "flash sales" I now have 8DIO's taikos and toms (both solo and ensemble). For straight orchestral percussion I have Impact Soundworks Rhapsody, which is very dry and non-"epic", but is sampled quite deeply and can of course be flexibly juiced-up with effects. Not to mention all the perc that comes with the Albions...

...I have Damage, Juggernaut and Audio Imperia's SFTM for more non-organic postmodern content. And both Zebra2 and Omnisphere 2 have more percussive capabilities than one could discover in a lifetime... Oh and Project Alpha and Bravo, which are great, and no doubt some others I'm not thinking of right now...

I guess my only point is that there are LOTS of decent percussion libraries, and many of them are quite inexpensive. And I continue to believe that our ears are simply not as sensitive in the lower registers, especially in the context of atonal content buried in a mix. It's not a knock on either HZ perc library.
 
OP
I

imagegod

Active Member
I guess my only point is that there are LOTS of decent percussion libraries, and many of them are quite inexpensive. And I continue to believe that our ears are simply not as sensitive in the lower registers, especially in the context of atonal content buried in a mix. It's not a knock on either HZ perc library.
That's kind of what I was thinking without quite being able to define my uncertainty. I love the well-defined shorts that Orchestral Tools supplies with Inspire 1...that crisp, focused quality seems to be less important for percussion (IMHO).

Thanks Quasar for helping me make up my mind!
 

Manaberry

Active Member
I really like this library. I've been using it for almost 8 months, and there is some really nice mic positions that sounds natural because it was recorded at Air. Feel free to check this track to get an idea (HZPP (both regular and addmics) and a bit of Darwin from Albion).
I've bought my copy during christmas. Got 25% discount. You can wait for sales period to get the library (can be a bit pricey sometimes).
 

David Chappell

Active Member
The old HZ01 was my first epic percussion library, and while I do use it fairly regularly, I wouldn't really recommend HZ percussion (normal or pro) as a first library. There's some good sounds, but too limited for how expensive it is in comparison to other libraries. If I were starting anew I'd be looking at strikeforce, cerberus, saga, or the heavyocity master sessions suite.
 
Last edited:
Just got the 40% discount for HZP on my Spitfire wish list. Damage, Action Strikes, and Epic frame drum ensemble are my current "epic" libraries. Is HZP worth pulling the trigger on for me? I am looking to balance out my epic perc needs. Thanks in advance!
 

Living Fossil

Senior Member
I really like it and the fact that in the pro version you have quite an array of different sonic possibilities.
What i don't like about it is the fact that there are some missing round robins (i reported them to the support two times in the last 10 months, but obviously there is no hurry in fixing them...), and only 4 dynamic layers, which sometimes simply isn't enough. (But still, in context you'll get amazing results with this library)

As an alternative you could keep an eye at Audio Bro's LADD, which is discounted right now.
(i don't have LADD, so i can't comment on that) Maybe there are some users who want to comment it.

Heavyocity's Mastersessions collection sound really nice, (while also a bit processed), however, you get very few content.
 

PeterKorcek

Active Member
If you like the sounds from demoes and walkthroughs and it's something you're MISSING, go for it (wishlist discount!) - I own only 2 libraries from Spitfire so far - and it's HZ Perc and Albion ONE - to be honest, Albion ONE was a bit of a letdown, some patches sound synthy and ultra-processed, and I am not using library as much as I thought I would, but HZ Perc I like
 
I think HZP sounds a bit more ethnic than the others, and more organic.
I'm all for some organic natural-sounding stuff to round out the heavily processed stuff :) (damage, action strikes)

I really like it and the fact that in the pro version you have quite an array of different sonic possibilities.
What i don't like about it is the fact that there are some missing round robins (i reported them to the support two times in the last 10 months, but obviously there is no hurry in fixing them...), and only 4 dynamic layers, which sometimes simply isn't enough. (But still, in context you'll get amazing results with this library)

As an alternative you could keep an eye at Audio Bro's LADD, which is discounted right now.
(i don't have LADD, so i can't comment on that) Maybe there are some users who want to comment it.

Heavyocity's Mastersessions collection sound really nice, (while also a bit processed), however, you get very few content.
Do you have pro or standard? I will almost always be using HZ perc in a pretty busy mix so I'm hoping they blend well for a overall great sounding perc sound!

If you like the sounds from demoes and walkthroughs and it's something you're MISSING, go for it (wishlist discount!) - I own only 2 libraries from Spitfire so far - and it's HZ Perc and Albion ONE - to be honest, Albion ONE was a bit of a letdown, some patches sound synthy and ultra-processed, and I am not using library as much as I thought I would, but HZ Perc I like
That's great to hear! My only concern would be the standard version vs pro. I see plenty of people recommending pro but I'm only willing to splurge for now on the standard $400 core set. Are the HZ mixes on their own limiting? Also, the age-old question with mixing SF libraries, will the air studios roomy sound play nicely with my other instruments from OT and CSS recorded in smaller halls? The HZP sounds won't get drowned out in a heavy mix, will they?
 

Living Fossil

Senior Member
Do you have pro or standard? I will almost always be using HZ perc in a pretty busy mix so I'm hoping they blend well for a overall great sounding perc sound!
As mentioned, it's the pro version. However, it's always depending on the context which patches i use. The ones in the standard (i.e. the HZ mixes) are really good on their own, the pro version gives more choice of timbres.

Quite often, my used percussion instrments come from very different sources and i have to say that HZ Perc really shines in busy mixes.

(i combine them with VSL perc, auddict DotD I & II, HO mastersessions & Damage, EW stormdrums, 8dio stuff etc, etc. It's not difficult to bring them together. The only library that - in my experience - is not so easy to include is Soundirons AP, since this one has lots of artificial sounding top end. So, this AP needs some extra effort and that's the reason why i don't use it more
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
Eh...HZ perc is overpriced, imho, even though I think it works great to add depth to your current perc libs. It definitely could never be a go-to lib for me though.
 

Mike Fox

Senior Member
Which percussion libraries are you content with so far?
Cineperc and SF Redux are my go-to for conventional, while I use Damage, APE, and a few others for hybrid.

HZ perc is the only perc library I have that I feel is overpriced though. However, I need to keep in mind that it's a specialty library, and has HZ's name on it, which automatically keeps the price high.
 
Top Bottom