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Abbey Road Orchestra: High Percussion

The professional composer series

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  • What's included
  • Tech specs
  • The professional composer series

    A meticulously curated selection of 62 percussive instruments performed by internationally renowned percussionist Joby Burgess and expertly captured in the legendary acoustic space that is Abbey Road Studio One. Focus on bringing life to your compositions with tailored features— such as soft takeover, voice choking and right/left hand mapping. Add a layer of unparalleled realism with a variety of beaters and playing styles.

    The second instalment of our Abbey Road Orchestra series, crafted for professional composers, producers and sound designers. Abbey Road Orchestra will bring you every single section of the orchestra in breathtaking detail, captured in the worlds most famous recording studio. 

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    Our dedicated plugin

    62 percussive instruments

    391 articulations

    16 signals

    Realistic and precise features

    High fidelity

    Our new untuned percussion library will expand your percussive palette, with a range of highly tactile instruments — a true to life selection especially curated and performed by internationally-renowned percussionist Joby Burgess (Black Panther, Mission: Impossible) while also providing an immediate natural feel that sounds authentic and cinematic.

    High Percussion re-emphasises the nuanced features of Low Percussion, demonstrating their dynamic responsiveness. Soft takeover, voice choking and two handed mapping all allow for an instinctive and gratifying performance. Expertly captured by Grammy-winning engineer Simon Rhodes (Skyfall, Avatar), High Percussion offers an agile, responsive and intuitive experience. 

    Snare drum over black background
    "Unparalleled realism" written over desk console

    Mallets and sticks used for recording

    Dynamic precision

    Audible nuance

    • Up to 11 dynamic layers 
    • Up to 16 round robins
    • 391 articulations including discrete right and left hand performances
    • A wide selection of materials (hammered steel, maple, CoB) and beaters (nylon brushes, hands, thin timbale sticks) even a 1924 Ludwig snare drum!

    Natural feel

    Key features to ease playability 

    • Soft Takeover triggers roll dynamics intuitively via key velocity whilst also retaining modwheel functionality
    • Two Handed Layout which mirrors mapped keys further up the keyboard to enable flexibility and speed when playing
    • Right/Left Mapping recalls left and right hand performances on adjacent keys for playing and programming true-to-life rudiments
    • Voice Choking precisely controls the end of roll techniques when pressing the corresponding hit keys
    Abbey Road percussionists

    Various percussion instruments

    Clarity and quality

    Revitalise your rhythm section

    • 62 percussive instruments, from orchestral drumming staples to contemporary hybrid scoring essentials
    • Multiple beater options
    • Captured in stunning detail with 16 signal options per instrument
    High Percussion's plugin user interface
    Abbey Road film posters: Thor Love and Thunder, The Rings of Power, Disney's Polar Bear and The Secrets of Dumbledore
    Abbey Road Studio One

    Joby Burgess

    Black Panther, Mission: Impossible

    Joby’s playing can be heard on major film and TV scores, notably leading the percussion sections on Black Panther, Rocketman, Ad Astra, Mission: Impossible, The Darkest Hour, Dr Who and The Green Planet.

    Simon Rhodes

    Titanic, Skyfall

    Simon joined the EMI Abbey Road Studios in 1987. He is now Senior Engineer and has a long standing association with various composers including the late James Horner with whom he worked for 18 years on over 40 projects including Avatar, one of the highest grossing films of all time.

    Abbey Road x Spitfire Audio

    What's included

    Key Features

    A notable list of features to extend the playability and natural realism of this sample library

    Soft Takeover

    Useful when playing in rolls and hits as part of a passage, and wants to trigger rolls sympathetically and intuitively to the dynamic of the hits being played quickly without having to set the position of the modwheel (whilst also having the option to crescendo/diminuendo if desired). Having the rolls velocity sensitive is great for triggering short rolls to portray drags, flourishes and pickups etc. as part of longer rhythmic passages when physically playing on the keyboard.

    Right/Left Mapping

    Most of the drums in High Percussion have been recorded with both right and left hand sticking. How much difference does this actually make? Some drums and beater types do have a distinct timbral difference between the two hands which contributes to the feel and realism especially when programming or playing true-to-life rudiments. 

    Two Handed Layout

    This duplicates the main original mapping blocks to a higher octave, allowing you to play using two hands (spacing the keys out further to feel more like actually playing a drum). 

    NOTE: Two handed layout is not available on ‘All in One’ techniques.

    Vocal Choking

    Playing a hit when a roll key is held will choke the roll. This allows for very tight roll ends to be played in using a single hit.


    Instruments 

    Snare

    A vintage 15" diameter snare drum with a chrome over brass shell producing a full-bodied sound with a detailed top end

    Sticks (Snares On) 
    • Techniques performed with drumsticks and the snares of the drum engaged
    Sticks (Snares Off) 
    • Techniques performed with drumsticks and the snares off, producing the pure sound of the head and shell
    Brushes
    • Techniques performed with wire brushes and the snares engaged for a more delicate timbre
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Field Drum

    A 15” field snare drum with a deep maple shell, producing a much lower tone than a regular snare drum with a rounded character

    Sticks (Snares On) 
    • Techniques performed with drumsticks and the snares of the drum engaged
    Sticks (Snares Off) 
    • Techniques performed with drumsticks and the snares off, producing the pure sound of the head and shell
    Brushes
    • Techniques performed with wire brushes and the snares engaged for a more delicate timbre
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Piccolo Snare A 

    A 12" diameter piccolo snare drum with a shallow hammered steel shell producing an extremely tight sound to cut across even the densest arrangements

    Sticks (Snares On) 
    • Techniques performed with drumsticks and the snares of the drum engaged
    Sticks (Snares Off) 
    • Techniques performed with drumsticks and the snares off, producing the pure sound of the head and shell
    Brushes
    • Techniques performed with wire brushes and the snares engaged for a more delicate timbre
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Piccolo Snare B

    A 13" diameter piccolo snare drum with a shallow maple shell producing a crisp and articulate sound with present upper mids

    Sticks (Snares On) 
    • Techniques performed with drumsticks and the snares of the drum engaged
    Sticks (Snares Off) 
    • Techniques performed with drumsticks and the snares off, producing the pure sound of the head and shell
    Brushes
    • Techniques performed with wire brushes and the snares engaged for a more delicate timbre
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Bongos

    A pair of Cuban bongos adept at carrying strong rhythms with a very focussed and articulate tone

    Hands
    • Single strikes and rolls performed with the hands on the head of the drums in various positions to produce a variety of textures and accents
    Sticks
    • Single strikes and rolls performed with wooden drum sticks producing a well defined attack with added presence
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Mini Bongos

    A pair of miniature bongos - a lighter, delicate alternative the traditional bongo drums

    Hands
    • Single strikes and rolls performed with the hands on the head of the drums in various positions to produce a variety of textures and accents


    Congas

    A Latin American staple, congas combine a forward tone with balanced and controlled resonance presented here in a set of 3

    Hands
    • Single strikes and rolls performed with the hands on the head of the drums in various positions to produce a variety of textures and accents


    Darbuka

    An Arabian hand drum ideally suited to fast intricate rhythms, producing bright overtones with a distinctive colour

    Hands
    • Single strikes performed with the palm and fingers on the head of the drum in various striking positions for the traditional darbuka sound
    Brushes
    • Single strikes and rolls performed with brushes on the head of the drum which accentuate the instrument’s top end
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Djembe

    A traditional African hand drum, the djembe produces a deep fundamental and strong overtones

    Hands
    • Single strikes performed with the hands on the head of the drum in various positions to produce a variety of textures and accents 
    Brushes
    • Single strikes and rolls performed with brushes on the head of the drum for a brighter, crisper timbre with reduced fundamentalS
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Log Drums

    Hollow hardwood instruments with 6 pitched ‘tongues’ struck with beaters producing a very organic, woody sound

    Rubber Mallets
    • Single hits performed with rubber mallets producing a balanced and articulate tone which brings out the character of these instruments


    Octobans

    A set of 4 Octobans - and unpitched alternative to boobams - producing a fast attack with a clear fundamental and a tight resonance

    Sticks
    • Single strikes and rolls performed with wooden drum sticks producing a well defined attack with added presence
    Rods
    • Hits and rolls performed with wooden rods producing an articulate attack with reduced fundamentals
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Plastics

    A set of 3 plastics(Tub, Jerry Can, Bucket), struck with sticks spread across the hall creating a punchy ‘street ensemble

    Sticks
    • Single hits performed with wooden drumsticks in different striking positions


    Roto toms

    A classic set of 5 rototoms producing a clear and well-defined tone with plenty of carrying power (sizes 6”, 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”)

    Sticks
    • Techniques performed with wooden drumsticks producing a well-defined, punchy attack
    Brushes
    • Techniques performed with dense nylon brushes producing a crisp attack with reduced fundamentals
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Shime Daiko

    A traditional Japanese drum with a very tight, focussed sound which lends itself to energetic rhythmic patterns

    Taiko Sticks
    • Techniques performed with traditional taiko sticks on the head of the drum
    Rods
    • Techniques performed with wooden rods producing an articulate attack with reduced fundamentals
    Hands
    • Techniques performed with the hands on the head of the drum
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Temple Blocks

    Hollow blocks struck with mallets producing woody sounds with a focussed midrange

    Hard Mallets
    • Single hits performed with hard mallets producing a bright attack
    Soft Mallets
    • Single hits performed with hard mallets producing a mellow attack
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Timbales

    Latin American drums with a single head on a metal shell, played with light sticks and producing strong overtones

    Sticks
    • Techniques performed with thin timbale sticks on the heads and shells producing a range of interesting textures


    Wood Blocks

    Hardwood instruments instruments struck with mallets producing high pitched sounds which cut above the orchestra

    Hard Mallets
    • Single hits performed with hard mallets producing a bright attack
    Soft Mallets
    • Single hits performed with hard mallets producing a mellow attack
    All in One
    • All available beaters and techniques for the drum presented across the keyboard


    Toys

    A collection of smaller percussion instruments for adding additional colours and textures 

    Claves x 6
    • Pairs of pitched wooden sticks struck together
    Castanets
    (Pairs: Machine + Handle)
    • Synonymous with Spanish folk music, castanets produce a distinctive ‘clap’, particularly adept at fast flourishes
    Ratchet
    • Turned with a handle, the ratchet produces a distinctive rotating ‘clicking’ sound
    Vibraslap
    • A modern alternative to the ‘Donkey’s jawbone’, the vibraslap produces a signature rattle when struck
    Whip x 2 (Heavy / Light) 
    • Wooden boards clapped together producing a very short, loud ‘crack’
    Guiros x 2 (Wood / Plastic)
    • Ridged instruments which are either scraped or tapped to produce characterful rhythms
    Shakers x 4
    • ‘Pop’ style shakers for creating driving rhythmic motion
    Caxixi (Basket Shakers) x 2
    • Of African origin and popularised in Brazilian music, caxixi are hand instruments filled with seeds, presented here in a pair
    Maracas (pair)
    • A staple of Latin American folk music, maracas are extremely agile shakers, presented here in a pair


    Mics and Mixes

    Mix 1

    • A full-sounding room mix by Simon Rhodes, formed from Tree 1, Overheads, Outriggers 1, and a curated blend of spots.

    Mix 2

    • A tighter mix by Simon Rhodes, formed from Tree 2, Mids and Outriggers 2 with a curated blend of spots.

    Section Overhead

    • A set of large diaphragm condenser microphones above the orchestral section capturing a clear representation of the instruments in the space.

    Close 1

    • A blend of spot mics close to the source. Used in conjunction with the other close mics and section overhead to achieve the desired close sound.

    Close 2

    • An alternative blend of spot mics which add body and air to the source.

    Close Ribbons

    • A pair of close ribbon mics capturing a rounded and detailed image.

    Tree 1

    • A decca tree formed of Abbey Road’s finest trio of classic valve omnidirectional microphones creating a lush and full sound.

    Tree 2

    • A tighter, closer decca tree formed from mics with a more directional pattern, suited to faster, more detailed material.

    Outriggers 1

    • Used in conjunction with either tree to obtain a wider image. This pair utilises omnidirectional mics to reproduce the full width of Studio One.

    Outriggers 2

    • Used together with either tree to obtain a wider image. This pair uses mics with a more directional pattern, pulling the edges of the room inwards.

    Mids

    • A pair of valve REDD mics placed between the conductor and the source which adds extra focus to the sound when combined with the Tree and Outriggers.

    Ambients

    • A pristine pair of small diaphragm omnidirectional microphones to the rear of the room for a natural ambience.

    Vintage 1

    • A pair of original 1940s RM1B ribbon microphones placed in front of the conductor to create a vintage scoring stage sound

    Vintage 2

    • A pair of classic 44BX ribbon microphones placed by the conductor for an alternative vintage scoring stage sound

    Pop Close

    • A Simon Rhodes mix of close mics panned centrally to give a flexible image not restricted to the orchestral layout.

    Spill

    • A summation of spot mics placed around the other sections. These capture the natural 'spill' from the source across the orchestra for added realism.


    Testimonials

    This new library is OUTSTANDING. The biggest compliment I can pay to ANY library is if any of it makes it into my main templates. Well I spent yesterday replacing ALL of my orchestral percussion libraries with a combo of the High/Low libraries.

    Ty Unwin Composer

    While there are many other percussion sample libraries on the market, High Percussion provides a number of unique aspects. First and foremost it gives you access to the sound of Abbey Road Studio One. Second, it provides a level of detail that allows you to create realistic performances that (if programmed correctly) will be indistinguishable from the real thing.

    Digifreq

    I really feel like I'm in the control room of Abbey Road listening to a percussionist tracking in the live room. The playability is also first rate, with clear sample mapping, and the included mix presets are very handy for switching between a bigger, more open sound, and a smaller, more intimate one.

    Dan Diaz Composer

    It's a great library! I was about to start using it on some mockups for a new project. Sounds very live and intuitive to work with.

    Ruth Barrett Composer (Bodyguard, The Terminal List)

    I have indeed enjoyed the library and have to congrats the whole team for this development. I really haven't come across any issues or downsides so i can only say good things about the sound and production quality - perfect release!

    Johannes Winkler Composer (Dogs, Someone Like Me)

    FAQs

    What is the difference between Abbey Road Orchestra and Abbey Road One?

    Crafted for professional composers, producers, sound designers and music editors, Abbey Road Orchestra brings you every section of the orchestra in breathtaking detail. It’s the culmination of over 20 years of sampling experience and innovation.

    Abbey Road One is a range of ensemble libraries captured in Studio One at Abbey Road, created by Spitfire Audio in partnership with Abbey Road Studios. This is made up of a core library called Abbey Road One: Orchestral Foundations, and then smaller libraries called Abbey Road One: Film Scoring Selections series.

    The Selections are smaller and more focused libraries inspired by classic films, offering pre-orchestrated instrument pairings and themes. Featuring pre-arranged ensembles of classic orchestral pairings, each Selection is designed to help you accomplish a simple task phenomenally well.


    What makes Abbey Road Orchestra modular?

    Over the coming years, Spitfire will release each section of the orchestra, bit by bit in huge detail. Similar to that of the BML / Sable range in Spitfire's history, each section can be purchased separately to suit your needs.

    The practical difference is that each Abbey Road Orchestra release will install into the same plugin, ensuring you don't need to load multiple different libraries as it will all be housed in one plugin.


    Is this product available with an educational discount?

    Yes, this library will be available with an educational discount. Request your educational discount here.

    The Educational Discount will apply to the full RRP of the library, not the introductory offer, so any codes received during the promotional period will only “top up” the discount to 30%.

    Read more FAQs for this product

    Tech specs

    Mac system requirements

    Mac OS X 10.15 to OS 14

    Minimum: 2.8GHz i5 minimum (quad-core), 8GB RAM

    Recommended: 2.8GHz I7 (six-core), 16GB RAM

    Both Intel and Apple Silicon/ARM are supported

    32-bit systems are not supported.

    PC system requirements

    Windows 10 or Windows 11 - (Latest Service Pack, 64-bit)

    Minimum: Intel 2.8 GHz i5 (quad-core) or AMD Ryzen 5, 8GB RAM

    Recommended: Intel Core i7 6th gen and later or AMD Ryzen 7, 16GB RAM

    32-bit systems are not supported.

    File size

    98.05 GB download size

    Abbey Road Orchestra: High Percussion sounds great with…