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Review: Custom Pack 2 Kontakt Library by Jigsaw Audio

Jigsaw Audio Review

Jigsaw Audio’s latest release Custom Pack 2, a very cool and modern sounding acoustic drum kit sample pack for Kontakt 4 & 5, WAV files to use with your favorite sampler, and several other options like GOG (for durmagog) and TCI files (for Slate Trigger).

Also, this very flexible pack offers processed and unprocessed sample files for each drum instrument.

So, let’s check this out!

Overview

Custom Pack 2 Kontakt Library Review

I’ve gotta say I just love when all the info is clear, and the guys at Jigsaw have made a remarkably good job in this department. On their website, there’s all the info you need to know well, you don’t actually need to know it, but, if you’re a gear geek like me, you’ll wanna know it: about the drums, mics, and pre-amps used for this.

So, the drum kit itself is a Mapex Saturn V, which offers a 22×20 kick, and 10, 12 and 16 toms. The snare drum used with this kit is the lovely 14” Ludwig Black Beauty, and they sampled it in two different tunings, high and low. All cymbals come from Meinl: big 14” byzance hats, 18” MB20 Crash, 18” Byzance China, 19” Byzance Crash, 20” Byzance Ride, 6” bell, 7” Byzance Splash and 14” Gen X-Mini China.

For the mics, they’ve used an Aston Spirit for the room, two Neumann TLM49 for the Overheads, an Audix i5, a Beta 57 and a Neumann KM148 for the top snare, and another Beta 57 for the bottom snare, an Audix D6 inside the kick and a EV RE-20 on the outside of it, and for the Toms, the usual 421s.

According to their website, the preamps used were from API, Neve, Great River, SSL and Toft, and the converters are from Apogee. Everything was recorded in the UK at Abbitt Studios.

So, with all these specs, you should expect nothing but world class sound, and that’s definitely what you get. These drums sound fantastic!

The Kontakt Instrument

Kontakt Drum Kits

In this case, I’m reviewing the Kontakt version. Each shell and cymbal opens up as a new instrument, so, for example, the Kick drum is mapped just to C1, snare to D1, etc. I guess the easiest way of using this as a kit is to route every instrument to the same MIDI Channel in Kontakt, this way.

Unfortunately, not every instrument is mapped as you would expect (General MIDI drum mapping), therefore it’s quite hard to use MIDI grooves with this on your DAW, but, you can always edit the MIDI file, or, if you’re feeling geeky, re-map the notes using Kontakt editor (a quite easy job, actually).

Yes, every instrument is multisampled! So, you’ve got different samples for different velocities, which makes it more realistic!

For the unprocessed drums you have faders for each mic, including overheads and room, and for the cymbals, you’ve got faders for Overhead and spot mic, which includes a pan pot.

The processed version are just the premixed mics for each drum, plus the room mic and some reverb.

Every sample is 24 bit / 44.1 KHz.

Conclusions

There’s no leakage on different mics, which can make this kit sound a little odd if you are really used to things like EZ Superior Drums or real drums. But, I believe this package is better suited for replacing real drums with MIDI triggers, and for that matter, well, this thing puts world-class drum sounds in the hands of every home studio and project studio owner, and for the price, well, the is a no brainer!

I guess, the sound of this drums are more oriented towards rock and pop music. I mean, I’m not a drummer myself, but this is not for playing jazz or any “soft” genre, this is a big kit, with a big-regular-rock kick and big hats and toms, and they sound big, even when you play them with really gentle velocities.

One more thing I’d like to add is the sound of the Room Mic. When you play the shells just using the room mic, it sounds spectacular! Great room and definitely great mic choosing!

Anyway, if you are producing rock/pop tunes, and your kit, room, mics, and pre-amps are not that great, this puts world-class sound in your hands, you can’t go wrong with those drums, mics, preamps and room. All you need is a MIDI trigger plugin and you’ll end up with some awesome drums in your mix! Definitely worth to have in your arsenal!

For more details about this great Kontakt drum library check the official website (link below).

More Details: Custom Pack 2

About the author

Rafael Hofstadter is a recording and mixing engineer and sound designer with 10+ years experience in playing and programming synths, recording, mixing and producing pop/rock/folk albums. He also runs piggysounds.com.

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