• Overview
  • Walkthrough
  • Listen
  • What's included
  • Tech specs
  • Steel Drums Artwork

    Beautifully crafted steel pans

    These beautifully crafted steel drums, performed by renowned session percussionist Frank Ricotti, will add colour and energy to your film, TV, & games scores. Steel Drums also includes a fantastic selection of presets, designed for use on contemporary RnB, pop and electronic music and hosted in our popular eDNA engine for instant playability and control. From hauntingly beautiful soft layers to searing metallic bites, this exciting addition to our percussion range has been sampled on the greatest scoring stage in the world — The Hall at AIR Studios — blending perfectly with all of our orchestral libraries.
    • Hard drive delivery available at checkout
    • You can buy now and download any time

    Requires Kontakt (full license)

    Steel percussion

    7 mics / 3 mixes

    Kontakt Full

    Listen to Steel Drums

    Spitfire's founder Christian Henson has always had a fascination with steel drums, known for their emotional mellow tones, sub-bass harmonics and rich timbral and dynamic range. Having collaborated with Frank Ricotti on many percussion projects, including the seminal Hans Zimmer Percussion, we went back to The Hall at AIR Studios to expand our percussion range even further.

    Our aim was to record these steel drums for a multitude of uses, using various microphone positions to capture different perspectives. Our Tree mic position works for those looking to work steel drums into their orchestral film, games and TV scores, while Close and more focused positions are more suited to RnB & electronic tracks. We have captured a versatile and touching tone at softer levels, up to louder, brasher dynamic layers for a more traditional Caribbean sound.

    Steel Drums is presented in two interfaces — the standard multi-mic, designed for those familiar with our orchestral range, with front-end instant tweaking of articulations and microphones. We have also loaded the steel drums into our sophisticated eDNA engine, with dozens of instantly playable presets designed by our award winning team of composers, producers and sound designers. Every note was recorded by AIR Studios' expert resident engineer Jake Jackson using an array of priceless vintage microphones via Neve “Montserrat” pre-amps and a beautifully serviced Studer 2” tape machine, then into digital at 96k via the best Prism AD converters.

    Originally of Trinidadian tradition, bamboo sticks were used to hit kitchenware, trash cans and drums, which grew into a movement in the 1930s od all-steel bands and becoming a a popular carnival instrument by the 1940s. In film scoring, they can be found on seminal works by Jaco Pastorius, Cliff Martinez and Hans Zimmer, and on popular dance and RnB tracks across the globe.

    Percussionist Frank Ricotti is a living legend. Beyond being one of the most in demand percussionists in the world for top recording artists, he has played on countless blockbuster film scores such as InceptionSkyfallTwilight SagaMadagascarInterstellarNarniaFantastic Mr Fox and the Bourne series.

    The overview panel

    Steel Drums GUI
    This is the main interface for melodic instruments. Its default view displays all available playing techniques, has a simple microphone mixer and includes the main feature controllers.

    General controls panel

    Steel Drums GUI
    This view allows further in-depth control of the instrument, showing all available signals and feature controllers, as well as the ability to purge techniques from memory to reduce system usage.

    The Ostinatum

    Steel Drums GUI
    In this view you can add notes to a pattern sequencer, select which key it triggers on and then play for instant ostinato creation. It’s like an arpeggiator on a synthesiser.

    eDNA Engine

    Steel Drums GUI
    This interface houses our own sample-synthesiser engine. You can use it to combine two sounds and modulate between them with envelopes, filters and wobbles per sound, as well as a gate sequencer and a selection of go-to FX.

    What's included

    Instruments main mics

    • Steel Drums
    Individual patches
    • Cello Pan - Hits
    • Cello Pan - Large Beater
    • Cello Pan - Rolls
    • Cello Pan - Small Beater
    • Ensemble - Hits
    • Lead Pan - Hits
    • Lead Pan - Rolls


    Instruments alt mics

    • Steel Drums
    Individual patches
    • Cello Pan - Hits
    • Cello Pan - Large Beater
    • Cello Pan - Rolls
    • Cello Pan - Small Beater
    • Ensemble - Hits
    • Lead Pan - Hits
    • Lead Pan - Rolls


    Instruments stereo mixes

    • Steel Drums
    Individual patches
    • Cello Pan - Hits
    • Cello Pan - Large Beater
    • Cello Pan - Rolls
    • Cello Pan - Small Beater
    • Ensemble - Hits
    • Lead Pan - Hits
    • Lead Pan - Rolls


    EDNA patches

    • Amazing Hit Super Bright - Use Ds
    • Amazing Hit
    • Angry SEQ - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Awesome Filthy SEQ - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Awesome Saturated SEQ - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Bright Dirty Pans SEQ - RT Fast
    • Bright Dirty Pans SEQ 2 - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Bright Dirty Pans SEQ 2 dry - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Descending Robot Insects - MW is Gate
    • Distorted Super Duper Tight Hits
    • Distorted Super Tight Hits
    • Extra Jamaican Hits Flashy
    • Extra Jamaican Hits Gated
    • Extra Jamaican Hits
    • Good Bass Provided You Like That Note MW is Pitch
    • il-Defined Pad In Church With Robots - MW is filter
    • Lo Fi Organ Pad - MW is Filter
    • Low End Long Hits Dry And Farty
    • Low End Long Hits
    • Massive Distant Hit Low End
    • Massive Hit Low End
    • Mellow Gritty SEQ - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Mellow Pans - RT - Wet
    • Mellow Pans - RT Fast - Wet
    • Phased Power Chords Gated - MW is Filter
    • Poorly Refined Pad - MW is filter
    • Power Chords - MW is Filter
    • Power Chords Gated - MW is Filter
    • Prehistoric Pad - MW is Filter
    • Rusty Gate Pad - MW is filter
    • Scaffolding Hits Dry
    • Scaffolding Hits
    • Simple Lovely SEQ Fatter - RT Slow - MW Stutter Gate
    • Simple Lovely SEQ Trips - RT Slow - MW Stutter Gate
    • Simple Lovely SEQ Trips n Filter - RT Slow - MW Stutter Gate
    • Siren Gate - MW is Filter
    • Slow Stutter SEQ - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Slow Stutter SEQ 3 - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Slow Stutter SEQ lpf - RT Fast - MW Fun
    • Soft Attack and Wet Hits
    • Steal Side RT - Wet
    • Steel Drone - MW is filter
    • Steel Drone 2 - MW is filter
    • Steel Drone 3 - MW is filter
    • Super Massive Distant Hit Low End
    • Super Tight Great Played Quietly
    • Super Tight Xtra Jamaican Hits
    • Surprisingly Useful Punchy Fart Bass
    • Tight and Dry Hits - MW is Formant
    • Underwater Organ Pad - MW is Filter
    • Very Angry SEQ - RT Fast - MW Fun


    Mics & mixes

    Microphones

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

    Mixes

    • Fine
    • Medium
    • Broad

    Reviews

    Tech specs

    Mac system requirements

    Mac OS X 10.10 or later

    Machine must be connected to the internet during install

    32-bit DAWs not supported


    PC system requirements

    Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (latest Service Pack, 64-bit)

    Machine must be connected to the internet during install

    32-bit DAWs not supported


    File size

    ~9280 samples

    7.4 GB download size

    14.80 GB disk space required during install

    Too large to download? Choose hard drive delivery at checkout.


    Kontakt player

    Kontakt Full 5.6.8 or higher required

    For more information on Kontakt Full click here

    Steel Drums sounds great with…