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The Hans Zimmer Strings Pickup

This was an exciting moment for Spitfire Audio. We spent the day with Paul, Christian & Hans Zimmer at AIR Studios to record the Hans Zimmer Strings pickups. 

One beautiful sunny morning in Hampstead, Spitfire’s production team met up with Hans Zimmer and a few of his close collaborators for a pickup session. While this pickup session may not have been the most expensive in the history of film music, it was certainly the most expensive in Spitfire’s history! What could be more thrilling than the original 60 Celli recordings? Why, gather the 60 Celli again with the addition of a smaller 20 piece! With the benefit of hindsight, some new ideas from Hans Zimmer the Godfather of sampling, there’s nothing better than bouncing ideas around with some of the most creative minds in the music industry.

Experimentation is key. As we’ve previously mentioned, we sometimes junk whole sessions if something isn’t working right. For the new 60 player patches, we had a brief from Hans to develop the feel of the sound moving around the room, and we tried all sorts of ways of instructing the players before we hit on the magic. We’ve all recorded so much in the beautiful Hall at Air Studios, so it’s a very familiar sound world to us all. I’m sure that’s how we hone in on the sound that we want so quickly. Or maybe - another way to think about it - you eliminate all of the versions that are incorrect, and then what you are left with is the correct version! It’s an almost Sherlockian methodology.

Here’s a little record of the day - hope you enjoy this peek into our world as much as we enjoy what we do!

Paul Thomson