Spitfire Labs Drums (Ollie Waton) - do I need more?


Active Member
I’ve barely written anything with a drum kit before but I’m gonna implement one in an orchestral hybrid track. I’ve only got the Spitfire Labs drum kit (the Ollie Waton drum kit) and I wonder if you think it’s good enough for a TV track to add that kind of sound and a simple drum kit beat or if SSD5 or similar is needed? Could the Spitfire Labs drums be good enough to be one of the presets in SSD5, if that makes sense?


Active Member
This kit sounds too vintage to me, i don't know if it's the due to the recording technique and preamps they decided to go with or not, but i do hear a whisper of tape distortion in there. In my opinion, it would fit best with a hybrid track involving synths as opposed to pure orchestral.

Give it a shot inside the hybrid mix you're referring to and let your ears decide...

sleepy hollow

unconsciously incompetent
I'd say it could work, but then again I'm not exactly sure what kind of sound you're after. I agree with the above post, that kit does sound a bit vintage. Maybe you should go for that sound where the drums are a bit 'buried on purpose', if that makes sense.

If I had to use that kit in an orchestral hybrid track, I'd check out various reverbs to make it sound bigger and distant. And of course I'd apply plenty of eq and compression. You can always layer the sound of a particular channel (or multipe channels) with another free drum kit. There are quite a few decent kits out there, that Sennheiser/Neumann kit, for example.

Wally Garten

Senior Member
Just wanted to echo everything that's been said. I love Ollie Waton Drums, it's a really great little kit, but I do think of it more for electronic/rock/post-rock music than orchestral. That said, nothing wrong with going against the grain and incorporating an element that most people wouldn't. I agree with @keepitsimple -- try it and see how it sounds. At the very least, you could use it to rough in your drums, and if the sound really wasn't working for you, then you could acquire a different library and just replace the OW with the preferred sound.


Senior Member
It really depends on your needs. Like having different pianos for different needs you can multiply that times hundred for drums. Drums are the first and most public indicator for style and age. Every decade since 100 years has it's own drum sounds and from the 70s on upward there's a parallel universe in electronic drums that splits into different styles. To me the Ollie Watson kit sounds like mid 70s/early 80s Krautrock drums (but that's just my personal view). So if your TV track isn't asking for a 'modern' sound or a specific style or era (or the 70s/80s) the Spitfire kit will be fine.


not that stupendous
What DAW are you using? If it's Logic, then you already have a decent collection of drums to try if the LABS kit doesn't sit just so. Anything you use will require a nontrivial amount of mixing elbow grease to slot into your exact situation.


Do you have NI Komplete? If so I think you'd be better off with Studio Drummer or Damage for trailer sounds. I LOVE the labs kit but don't see it working in that context


Senior Member
To add to what others said, it's got a decades-ago rock sound, and not a lot of dynamic layers or round robins. I'd try to throw a bit of tape saturation on those drums, maybe some vinyl emulation, make them dirty, and go for the "sampled a loop or two off some obscure old record" sound. If the track has synths, use some free electronic kick sample (plenty of decent ones out there, especially sampled from Jomox hardware) and it should sound very hybridy.

There are other decent kits you can get for free to have more options. Not sure about trailer or orchestral stuff, but for kit drums SM Drums is nice (I worked on the Sforzando version), DrumMic'a is decent, and if you have full Kontakt there's also Ivy Audio Scott Drums - all three seem like nice middle-of-the-road kits. Orange Tree's ancient jazz funk kit probably has even less detail than the Labs drums, but it's also got a great sound.


Active Member
Thanks for your advice! And interesting to hear your view on the Waton drum kit. I don’t know enough about drum kits to say if it’s sound vintage, but that’s not the style I’m looking for. I realized that I actually have one alternative with 8dio’s Blackbird (you know, their flash sales...) so that will hopefully work!