Hello Composers, Mike here! =)
Are you looking for a natural sounding orchestral percussion package? Then Orchestral Percussion X3M might be a perfect solution for you. Let’s find out from my review! =)
My Overall Impression: Orchestral Percussion X3M is a very versatile percussion library with a lot of variations for the instruments included. It is also recorded in a fairly dry studio room setting, which gives you great control over the spatial room mix with the close vs decca vs hall microphones. You also have complete control over the mapping of the instruments. All in all this library really gives you fantastic versatility.
The library includes classic orchestral percussion instruments, as well as some additional bonuses:
- Bass Drums
- Snare Drums
- Piatti & Gongs
- Metals (Anvil etc.)
- Small & Misc (Tambourine etc.)
- Tubular Bells
- Church Bells
- Steel Drum
- Various Special FX
Here’s a great walkthrough video by Strezov Sampling showing you Orchestral Percussion X3M in action:
My Favorite Things
Now let me share my personal favorite features and aspects of Orchestral Percussion X3M:
1. The Zone Mapping System
I use a lot of different percussion plugins and libraries, and one huge pet peeve of mine is finding where the heck the specific percussion instrument is mapped when I want to record a new part in my composition.
For example, in my percussion folder if I pick a snare drum track, I always need to check where those snare hits are mapped on my keyboard before I can even start recording. Basically you get 12 different zones on your keyboard that you map a specific instrument to.
Well, that is why I love mapping systems like the one Orchestral Percussion X3M gives you. All hits are in a narrow range on the keyboard, and I can pick and choose where that range should go. This makes it so much easier and quicker for me both in the recording stage as well as the MIDI editing stage.
2. The Tuned Percussion
There are lots of orchestral percussion libraries on the market, but finding a product with a nice range of high quality tuned percussion is not as easy. Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Marimba, Tubular Bells…
The tuned percussion choices were actually my personal favorites. Especially because the recording environment means I can even use this in more dry and modern music productions, and not only orchestral.
3. The Variation
Almost all instruments give you several variations for the instrument, which means you can shape your overall percussion mix in a great number of ways. For example: there are 4 different bass drums to choose from (28, 32, 36 and 40 inches in size). The snare drums include a field snare, a small snare and a big snare drum. You get 6 different cymbals (not even including piatti)!
Mike’s Final Thoughts
I own a lot of orchestral percussion libraries. How will Orchestral Percussion X3M fit into my workflow and sound palette? Well, the tuned percussion will get a lot of use. But I will also create an all-in-one patch where I map the full range of orchestral instruments so that I can record the percussion mix on one single track. This will be great for mockups.
The mapping system is so great that I will probably pick and choose instruments, map them to my liking, and include them in my percussion folder together with other percussion libraries I use. I am a fan of layering and mixing and blending instruments from different libraries. And this is especially easy with Orchestral Percussion X3M because you can go from very dry to very big and spacey due to the recording environment and mic choices.
What are the downsides then: Well one thing I missed in this library was concert toms, which I consider to be a very important part of my orchestral percussion palette. And it would have been nice to have Taikos or any other big percussion other than the bass drums. Something more boomy, and with less “clack” than the bass drum has at high velocities.
Do you want to learn more about Orchestral Percussion X3M, and find out if this would be a great addition to your music composer tool box?