Eerie Cinematic Classic

No self-respecting cinematic samples library would be complete without this idiosyncratic instrument. A definitive and experimental take on a cinematic water based classic played by percussion supremo Paul Clarvis. The Spitfire team take this instrument beyond its vintage horror stereotype and discovers its inspirational beauty when recorded in the hall at Air Studios.

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Hg2O livedemo - Paul Thomson (0:00 / 1:09)

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A cinematic classic. Paul Clarvis is a pre-eminent talent and a first call instrumentalist for the majority of AAA composers who work and record in London. Coupled with Spitfire's ability to produce and curate samples that sparkle with life, whilst being able assemble and script an instrument that just works "out of the box", Clarvis' Hg2O module is a must have for any respectable composer.


Paul Clarvis is one of the most in demand percussionists in the world. Its hard to reduce his biography to a paragraph but he has played on films such as Inception, Dark Knight, Interstellar, Star Wars, Thunderbirds, The Passion, Troy, King Arthur, Dorian Gray, Kingdom of Heaven, Around the World in 80 Days, Alien vs. Predator, The Lord of the Rings, Madagascar, On a Clear Day, Spy Games, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Shakespeare in Love, G.I.Jane (ethnic percussion), James Bond, Billy Elliot, Notting Hill, Harry Potter, The Guru (Indian percussion).. and on recordings by artists including Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Sting, Bryan Ferry, John Williams, Andy Sheppard, Kenny Wheeler, Fred Hersch, Karl Jenkins, Richard Thompson, Moondog, John Adams, McFly, Sam Rivers, John Harle, Gwyneth Herbert, Harrison Birtwistle, Matthew Herbert, Hugh Masekela, Gordon Beck, Marc Ribot, The Orb, Michael Nyman, Loreena McKennitt, Mark Anthony Turnage, Anthony Phillips, Michel Legrand, Maurice Jarre, John Williams, and Victoria Mullova. He has performed as a soloist at the proms, and served as chairman of the percussion judges for the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Spitfire are incredibly proud to work with him on a number of our percussion libraries.

Spitfire’s Definitive Range aims to offer the world a one-stop shop for classic and esoteric instruments played by the greats. As all these instruments are recorded in situ, in the same room, they’re designed to lock together sonically whether it be some timpani from the percussion range coupled with your Sable libraries. Or indeed a more curious band made up of the Hg20, a plucked piano and a harp, it is designed to sound like they’re together in the same room.

We provide a series of detailed mixing options that allow you to dry the sound up or make it more ambient, whilst preserving the acoustic integrity and perspective of a consistent microphone set up and room configuration. The instruments are all sampled in great detail but designed to play easily out-of-the-box, with simple integration into larger arrangements and templates without risk of demanding too much from your system resources.

Recorded by Jake Jackson at Lyndhurst Hall – Air Studios, on one of the finest scoring stages in the world, through an array of vintage microphones via Neve “Montserrat” pre-amps, to a beautifully serviced Studer 2” tape machine and then into digital at 96k via Prism AD converters: this is an unparalleled signal chain.


Hg2O is a set of samples performed by Paul Clarvis of a metallic atonal acoustic musical instrument consisting of a stainless steel resonator bowl or pan with a cylindrical neck and bronze rods of different lengths and diameters around the rim of the bowl. The resonator may contain a small amount of water giving the instrument a vibrant ethereal sound that has appeared in countless movie soundtracks, record albums, and live performances.

We've sampled in detail both bowed and drummed with and without movements to affect the water inside. This creates the resonant characteristics of the bowl and rods in combination with the movement of the water. The sound of the instrument is often used to evoke mystery and suspense. The water level is controllable from the front panel, between none, half full and full.

The library is presented with eight microphone positions and three stereo mixes which you can not only mix and blend to fit the application you’re working on, but also automate for dramatic shifts in focus and depth. They're also fully output assignable for surround and 5.1 use. The definitive range is designed to fit in with Spitfire's entire orchestral canon, including Albion, BML and some of the Signature Range as if they're performing in the same room at the same time.

We have also included a collection of morphed pads and ambiences from the raw organic samples in our Mercury Synth engine, further extending the usefulness of this unusual library.


General Controls Panel

A deeper but still simple UI panel that allows you to tweak the general settings. How many round robins you would like and how you would like them to behave. How would you like memory to be organised alongside pitch options and how velocity works.

Presets / Articulations / Mics / Mixes

Presets / Articulations


  • Traditional - Main mics
  • Traditional - Mix mics
  • Tine bows - Main mics
  • Tine bows - Mix mics
  • Tine plucks - Main mics
  • Tine plucks - Mix mics
  • Gamalan style - Main mics
  • Gamalan style - Mix mics

Mercury Synth Instruments:

  • Mercury Synth - Back to the Beginning
  • Mercury Synth - Beauty Transforms
  • Mercury Synth - Big Benjy
  • Mercury Synth - Catch your breath
  • Mercury Synth - During the night
  • Mercury Synth - Golden House
  • Mercury Synth - In Space
  • Mercury Synth - Incandescence
  • Mercury Synth - Low Jangler
  • Mercury Synth - Low Metal
  • Mercury Synth - Microwave Chipset
  • Mercury Synth - Nightmare Waltz
  • Mercury Synth - Oompa
  • Mercury Synth - Powering up
  • Mercury Synth - Scary Hiss
  • Mercury Synth - Simple Drier Pad
  • Mercury Synth - Simple Ocean Pad
  • Mercury Synth - Sinus Problem
  • Mercury Synth - Solace
  • Mercury Synth - Speaking the Tongue
  • Mercury Synth - Sub Drone
  • Mercury Synth - Threatening Transforms
  • Mercury Synth - Unsettling Vapour Clouds
  • Mercury Synth - Wratchet Crickets

Mics & Mixes


  • Close
  • Tree
  • Ambient
  • Outrigger
  • Close Ribbon
  • Stage
  • Mid
  • Gallery


  • Fine
  • Medium
  • Broad