Last month was a record breaker for Labs with over £6,600 donated; that’s over 3,300 downloads!! As always we’re massively grateful and offer thanks to you all. In this month’s newsletter Stanley takes a drum roll down memory lane and Christian just got fired off a movie so you know what that means - a juicy palette’s worth of tasty new samples! Plus, we chat to the guys at Safer London about their new Grow Your Tenner campaign.

Folk Loops

On the genesis of these folk loops. I was commissioned to write the score for a movie set in the Scottish highlands. It was going to be my second Caledonian themed film of the year and I looked forward to working with some new talent I’ve met up here. However I wanted to start by creating some rhythm beds that would enable me to add a tincture of non-geographic folk to some more standard sweeping strings and soft piano work I anticipated doing. I find that doing what I call ‘underdubs’ with musicians often helps to sell something new and original to a director at that difficult stage of prying her or him away from their beloved temp score. So I decided on a weird combo of two acoustic guitars, two cellos and two basses playing a selection bubbling rhythm beds would be a fun palette to start with. As always in these circumstances I paid the musicians a full scale sampling fee so that I could warp and manipulate and chop up to my heart’s content. Regrettably however I received the lock of the film at 5pm a few Friday’s ago, and by 10.15 the following Monday morning I’d received a call from the producers saying “we’ve decided to take the score in a different direction and go with a different composer”. Which was curious because I hadn’t even as much as delivered a single bar of music! I’m sure that is some kind of record?! Anyway, every cloud has a silver lining, so I’m sharing with the world what I think are a wonderful played and inspiring set of ‘Folk’ loops which, who knows may still end up making that soundtrack after all…. but via the rare and sharing brotherandsisterhood of our composer community. Much love Christian xxx.

Grow Your Tenner with Safer london

If you’d like to do even more for Safer London (beyond your generous donation via Labs) then you can check out the following scheme.

Grow Your Tenner is a new campaign, which means that donations of £10 will be matched, pound for pound. That means your £10 donation would bring in £20 (or £22.50 if you’re a UK tax payer, and add Gift Aid), helping young people in London get the support they need.

By setting up a direct debit, your donation will be matched by £10 per month for three months.

Safer London is one of the first organisations to provide holistic support for young people experiencing child sexual exploitation, and specialise in gangs, groups, and peer-on-peer abuse. Your donation will make a huge difference to young people in London affected by violence and crime. You can find out more about Safer London on their website.

Waton Drums

The idea for Waton Drums came about through a want to get the sound of a kit at that sweet spot of recording a track, when the drums still feel punchy and alive. To achieve this with the library it was a case of following the same Spitfire principles, record it as you would for a piece of music. We wanted to capture it in a small tight room, and get a good stereo field, so we went with our lovely Coles 4038s in an XY setup. We had the standard array of spot mics on each drum and a set of overheads (all of which, if I’m honest, i can’t remember what they were), and to top it all off we had my favourite, the squash mic, placed about a meter in front of the kit at about hip height. I wasn’t sure if the squash would translate to samples, as I take that signal and smash it through a compressor to smush the transients to hell, and there would be quite a bit less material going through it, however it seemed to work rather nicely…or at least we think so! Through the grapevine I’ve heard these drums are often how young producers come to hear of Spitfire Audio, some of whom are producing chart topping hits. It’s a privilege to have created something that many others find inspiring, from a simple set of all purpose drums.