Rating: **** 4/5 Stars
Bunker Samples return with their new library Bunker Perc, recorded in the bomb shelter that gives the company their name. This is certainly not your standard percussion library, and that’s what makes it interesting. With Bunker Perc, the Bunker (built at the end of the Second World War, and later repurposed as a recording studio) becomes the instrument.
The library requires the full version of Kontakt (6.7.1 or later), and includes a wide variety of creative, intense, industrial sounds created by hitting, slamming and otherwise musically interacting with the infrastructure of the bunker, with samples including door slams, handle clicks, hydraulic risers and air filter hits.
These sounds are well recorded (with a pair of AKG C414s) and consistently edited. While the raw recordings are available, they are also warped into a collection of sound‑designed hits, which make up the bulk of the library. The warping is tasteful and doesn’t obscure the organic feeling of the original recordings. The library has no recorded dynamic layers, however this is not particularly noticeable. Volume and EQ are used to simulate dynamics and this works very well. Each sound has an appropriate number of round robins; the high hits have more than the low booms, for example.
Speaking of low booms, thunderous sounds on offer here could easily find their place in some trailer music, while the impacts provide a variety of reverberant stabs which wouldn’t feel out of place in a horror film. The low hits could replace (or work in conjunction with) an orchestral bass drum, just as some of the mid hits nicely imitate tom and snare drum sounds. The high hits provide some snappy, ticky sounds that would work well in an action sequence, or could be used for quick rolls to build into lower hits. It would be nice to have the option of two‑handed mapping, to aid in performing rolls. Using the reversed patches allows you to trigger each sound backwards, and using the time‑stretch function, the lengths of these sounds can be tailored for your tempo. They work well to build into the hits (which, in the reverse patches, can be triggered on release).
Each sound can be affected independently. Among other parameters, you can control the amount of punch, shape the EQ, and position each sound in a different place in the virtual room without affecting any other sounds. However, it would be good to also have the option to control these parameters globally for all sounds.
It is an unconventional percussion ensemble that can spice up your orchestral percussion section.
For fans of Stomp, or composers and producers looking for a heavy, in‑your‑face, angry percussion sound, Bunker Perc excels. It is an unconventional percussion ensemble that can spice up your orchestral percussion section.