Hans Zimmer’s drum collection doesn’t disappoint.
UJAM made quite a splash with Striiiings, the first release in their Symphonic Elements series, bringing their user‑friendly ‘virtual performer’ instrument format to the orchestral string section (see the review in SOS April 2021 issue). They have now added a second title to that series — Drums — and while the name only contains one vowel in the middle rather than four, in a neat bit of graphic design, the central ‘u’ is rather nicely stylised in the shape of a timpani.
As with Striiiings, Drums is a collaboration with UJAM co‑founder Hans Zimmer, featuring heavyweight drum samples from the Hollywood superhero’s own collection and presented within a similar phrase/pattern‑based format. So, if you are looking to get a dose of Zimmeresque drums into your own productions, is Drums going to hit the spot?
The Drums UI will be instantly familiar to Striiiings users, with the Low Strings and High Strings sections replaced by Low Drums (bass drums and timpani) and High Drums (toms and snares) respectively. While the user cannot pick and load individual drum sounds into the UI, amongst the 300 global presets there is an impressive range of underlying drum sounds; if you need ‘naked’ orchestral drums, Drums can certainly do that. Each preset also includes five individually playable samples (two ‘Hits’ and three ‘Metals’ including some cymbals) that you can use to add your own touches to the 23 rhythmic phrases included within each global preset.
Those global presets also make use of the very flexible sound‑design elements that dominate the upper half of the UI and therefore provide flavours that span more conventional orchestral percussion (where the quality of the underlying drum samples is clearly heard), through to the super‑hyped (where the potential of the sound‑design options is clearly demonstrated). Embedded within each of these global presets is one of the 50+ playing style presets. You can select these independently in the lower left of the UI so, if you like the sounds from one global preset, and the patterns from a different style, you can mix and match as required.
As with Striiiings, the patterns and/or hits can be triggered via MIDI notes (or using...