Best Orchestral Percussion Libraries 2021

Every band needs a rhythm section, just like every orchestra needs its percussion. Here we are going to take a look at some of the most popular orchestral percussion libraries you can use in your template. When we talk about orchestral percussion we are talking about the instruments of a classical orchestra, both pitched and unpitched. This is not an article that deals with big epic or ethnic percussion.

ProjectSAM – True Strike 1

This one is an oldie, but goldie, as there are still many composers out there using it. This was one of the more successful commercial libraries out there that paved the way for many others. This is THE ORIGINAL orchestral percussion library.

Now freshly updated for the new era of sampling, this library stands its ground firmly next to many high-end libraries available today. The GUI is pretty straightforward and fits perfectly into Kontakt. Sound-wise this library is pretty well-recorded. When it comes to instruments, the library has it all. Timpani, orchestral drums, ensemble hits, melodic percussion and small hand percussion will satisfy all your needs.

There isn’t much to say about this library other than it really has a great balance of price VS quality and content. For $149 and 9GBs of size, what more can you ask?

CineSamples – CinePerc

CineSamples really know how to make great libraries, especially percussion ones. If you still own Drums Of War and Deep Percussion Beds then you know what we are talking about here.

Cineperc is their entry into the world of orchestral percussion. This library used to be divided into different collections as CinePerc Core, Epic, Aux and Pro. Now they decided to blend all of these together into one gigantic percussion library fit for the big screen.

What you get is a comprehensive collection of classic orchestral percussion (unpitched and melodic), expanded with some epic drums and additional small hand percussion.

Using the power of both Kontakt Player and the full version, this library comes at a size of almost 100GBs of sampled content beautifully recorded and mixed by the team at CineSamples together with legendary Hollywood mixing engineer Dennis Sands. This behemoth of a library will set you back $699 if you want to own it.

EastWest – Hollywood Orchestral Percussion

Hollywood Orchestral Percussion is considered to be one of the most detailed and comprehensive percussion libraries available out there, and many of Hollywood’s top talent still use it to this day. If you already own any of EW’s Hollywood libraries, this one will fit right in. It is such a clean-sounding library that will fit into any template.

Unlike the other libraries from the Hollywood series, this one doesn’t require getting used to as it is a pretty straightforward library and it just sounds amazing. It features techniques pioneered in Stormdrum 3, using unique repetition sampling techniques and 8-way round robin that deliver a human performance, focusing on the speed of a performance with specific samples to handle extreme tempos.

As with the strings and brass, this one comes in Gold and Diamond editions, with Diamond being more featured than the Gold edition, and they come with different price tags.

Orchestral Tools – Berlin Percussion

Berlin Percussion is the final edition of the Berlin Series for Kontakt. As is the tradition of Orchestral Tools, this library is also recorded at Teldex Studio scoring stage and you may consider it to be the most feature-packed orchestral percussion library currently available.

What’s so interesting about this library is that it features so many different versions of percussion instruments that come in various sizes which enables you to create your own custom ensembles. Also, another great thing are various mallets that were used on melodic percussion and each one gives you a different flavor.

One very useful feature is the specially recorded release samples which enable you to dampen the ringing cymbals or timpani, just like a live percussionist will. This library simply has it all, and more, and it comes at a size of 75GBs of 48k/24bit samples at a price of 499 Euros.

Spitfire Audio – Joby Burgess Percussion

This is a great collection full of character and it provides a great foundation for any percussion collection in a composer’s arsenal. As with almost all the other Spitfire orchestral libraries, this one was also recorded at AIR Studio in London and Spitfire have utilized the talent of world-renowned percussionist Joby Burgess.

The library features up to eight Round Robins per sample and up to eight dynamic layers which makes this a rather versatile library. You get 9 tuned instruments played with mallets, 13 drums, 12 hand percussion and toys, 14 unpitched metal percussion and 3 unpitched wood percussion. Basically everything you need is right here.

Spitfire Audio have updated this library to use a patented Kickstart engine inside Kontakt and it really makes your workflow a whole lot easier by enabling you to map each sample and articulation and grants you total control over the 3 microphone positions to create your own perfect mix. This percussion library comes with 29GBs of sampled content at a price of $399.