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Ludwig Super Classic Kit

Virtual Instrument by DrumDrops

Most people will know of the reputation of Ludwig drums, famously used by Ringo Starr from a little known 60s Liverpudlian band, and later by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. They sound fantastic, warm and responsive with a lovely dark tone from the thin 3 ply mahogany, poplar and mahogany shells with maple reinforcing hoops. Made before music became really amplified and loud, these drums were designed to sound good rather than generate loads of volume and as such they are wonderfully full and tonal, especially when recorded and miked up. Although obviously a 1960s kit, drummers continued to use this model though the 70s, and do so to this very day in fact... They just record so well.

The particular kit we used is one from session drummer Tim Weller's collection and is a blue oyster pearl finish. The drums are shallower than many modern drums which helps focus their sound and control their decay.

For this kit we went for a dry controlled sound and used Miloco's The Square in London. The kit was close mic'd. The Kit was recorded by Drumdrops engineer Ben Thackeray and mixed by Grammy award winning, ex Abbey Road engineer Guy Massey. 

The Kit Can Be Purchased in Seven Different Packs

The Kontakt 5 Pack comes with the Drumdrops Kontakt Instrument for exclusive use in Native Instruments Kontakt version 5. The interface comes with it's own mixer section giving you control over the individual drum tracks and convolution reverbs that we have included. Each channel has an EQ and Transient Master. You can change the velocity curves of the drums and there is a randomisation feature to add subtle changes to make the drums even more realistic. On top of this there is also a MIDI groove player (with over 700 MIDI loops) and a step sequencer.

The BFD Pack is a sampler pack that can be loaded into BFD2 or BFD3. The BFD pack contains the same samples that our Kontakt 5 Pack offers, meaning that BFD users can enjoy the same realism and quality that our Kontakt 5 users enjoy. It contains all the articulations that our other packs have and the kit has been recorded in up to 80 velocity steps. You have full control over the microphones that were used to record this kit and once loaded into BFD you can enjoy all the same features that you would expect from any other BFD kit. Once the kit has been recognized by BFD, just simply select your desired kit piece from the list in the same way that you would load any other drum in BFD.

The Multi-Velocity pack  provides up to 16 velocity steps of each articulation. Each sample included in this pack is a stereo mix of the close microphone, overhead and room mics. This pack comes with patches for Battery, Kontakt 5, EXS24, Maschine, Geist, Studio One's Impact Soundset, Ableton Drum Rack, iDrum, Reason Refills, Renoise and the free TX16Wx sampler but the samples can be used in any drum machine or sampler that reads 24 bit WAV files. The multi-velocity pack now also includes over 500 MIDI drum loops covering a variety of genres. We have also included guide MIDI Maps for a lot of the popular defaults. This pack is a great choice for those who want multiple velocity articulations but do not use Kontakt 5.

The Single Hits pack  is similar to the multi-velocity pack but provides three velocities of each articulation. This pack also includes patches for Battery 3, Kontakt 5, EXS24, Maschine, Geist, Studio One's Impact Soundset, Ableton Drum Rack, iDrum, Reason Refills and Renoise but if you run any drum machines such as Akai MPC60s this pack may be ideal. This pack comes loaded with 291 samples. The samples in this pack comes as 24 bit WAVs and 16 bit WAVs for the legacy drum machines.

The Drum Replacement pack  is our sample replacement pack. This pack comes with three different patches - Slate Trigger V2, Drumagog V5 & V4 and DrumXchanger. Each patch uses different amounts of samples depending on the capability of the software. If you run any of these pieces of software then this pack is for you. For full details on this pack read on here.

The All Samples pack contains the Multi-Velocity Pack, the Singles Hits Pack, the Drum Replacement Pack and the seperate mic samples from the Kontakt 5 Pack. This pack gives you ultimate flexibility, all the patches we create and three different packs of samples. For more on this pack read here.

The One Shot Sample pack  is our cheapest pack and a great pack for those who either just need one sample from each articulation (drum machine users) and no patches or for customers who want to check out the sound of this kit before purchasing any of the more expensive packs. Ask us nicely and we will knock the price of this pack off other packs for this kit if you upgrade.

Explore more of these pages to read about the kit and work out which pack is best for you. If you want the classic Ludwig sound as used by Ringo then this is the kit for you, although it has been recorded with modern microphone techniques. We used this kit to record the 70s Americana drum track album Route Seventy Sticks.

The Drum Kit

Most people will know of the reputation of Ludwig drums, famously used by Ringo Starr from a little known 60s Liverpudlian band, and later by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. They sound fantastic, warm and responsive with a lovely dark tone from the thin 3 ply mahogany, poplar and mahogany shells with maple reinforcing hoops. Made before music became really amplified and loud, these drums were designed to sound good rather than generate loads of volume and as such they are wonderfully full and tonal, especially when recorded and miked up. Although obviously a 1960s kit, drummers continued to use this model though the 70s, and do so to this very day in fact... They just record so well. 

The particular kit we used is one from Tim's collection and is a blue oyster pearl finish. The drums are shallower than many modern drums which helps focus their sound and control their decay. The bass drum was a 20" x 14" the rack tom a 13" x 9" and the floor tom a 16" x 16". All of the toms were fitted with Remo coated ambassador heads and we used coated powerstroke 3s on the bass drums. There was some minimal dampening on the toms, a touch of gaffer here and there and a pillow in each bass drum. 

The cymbals used were a lovely early 70s 20" Zildjian K medium Heavy 20" Ride and the hats some Zildjian K 14" Hi-Hats from the same era, and a Zildjian K Dark Medium Thin 18" Crash. The old Zildjian K crashes sit back, bigger and thinner than today's ones and add colour without demanding too much attention. 

Two snares come with this kit a 1960s Rogers Dynasonic and a 1970s Ludwig 402. The Ludwig 402 is the deeper model of the 400, same alloy shell and chrome coating but 6.5 inches deep. It has a fuller sound and a bit more punch and was John Bonham's snare of choice for most of his career. We used coated a Remo vintage ambassador head and a touch of dampening. 

The Rogers dynasonic was 5" deep and had a maple shell, quite rare and collectible as most of the dynasonics were metal. The snares are held in a special pre-tensioned cradle that is pulled to and away from the drum when turned on and off, as opposed to being stretched across it as is the case with most makes. This results in a very sensitive and consistent snare response. Although it's a relatively shallow shell, fitted with a coated Remo vintage ambassador head, a touch of dampening and tuned on the low end of medium it has a great thwack and beefy sound.

The Articulations Broken Down

Kick - Vintage 1965 Ludwig Super Classic Kick Drum:

  • Dimensions - 20" x 14"
  • Articulations - Felt and Plastic Beater
  • Multisampling - Up to 16 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Snare 1 - 1960s Rogers Dynasonic Wooden Snare:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 5"
  • Articulations - Dampened and Un-Dampened - Centre, Edge, Rim and Cross-stick
  • Multisampling - 16 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Snare 2 - 1970s Ludwig 402 Snare:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 5.5"
  • Articulations - Dampened and Un-Dampened - Centre, Edge, Rim and Cross-stick
  • Multisampling - 16 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Floor Tom - Vintage 1965 Ludwig Super Classic Floor Tom:

  • Dimensions - 16" x 16"
  • Articulations - Centre
  • Multisampling - 16 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Rack Tom - Vintage 1965 Ludwig Super Classic Rack Tom:

  • Dimensions - 13" x 9"
  • Articulations - Centre
  • Multisampling - 16 Velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Hi Hat - 1970s Zildjian K 14" Hi Hats:

  • Dimensions - 14"
  • Articulations - Fully Shut to fully open in 6 stages - centre and edge, Floot splashes.
  • Multisampling - 12 Velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Ride - 1970s Zildjian K Medium Heavy 20" Ride:

  • Dimensions - 20"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge and Bell
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity Layers with 5 round robin samples

Crashes - 1970s Zildjian K Dark Medium Thin 18" Crash:

  • Dimensions - 18"
  • Articulations - Centre and Edge
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

The Single Hits pack is similar to the multi-velocity pack but provides three velocities of each articulation. This pack also includes patches for Battery 3, Kontakt 5, EXS24, Maschine, Geist, Studio One's Impact Soundset, Ableton Drum Rack, iDrum, Reason Refills and Renoise but if you run any drum machines such as Akai MPC60s this pack may be ideal. This pack comes loaded with 291 samples. The samples in this pack comes as 24 bit WAVs and 16 bit WAVs for the legacy drum machines.

NB:

  • Toms & Snares were fitted with Pre International Coated Ambassador Remo heads, The kick drum used powerstroke 3s.

The Recording Studio - Miloco The Square Studio. London, UK

Miloco’s The Square is based in Hoxton Square in London. This studio was the first of Miloco’s studios and has been responsible for delivering many hit records over the years. This kit was recorded and mixed here. The live room delivers a good tight drum sound and consists of a wooden floor and fabric panelled walls and ceilings. 

The control room is based around an SSL G-Series console but there is plenty of outboard. The mic pre’s consist of API, GML, Calrecs, Telefunkens and Neve’s. The room has a great collection of microphones and recording is usually done on the Protools HDX rig but there is also a 16 Track Otari MTR90 MkII 2” analogue tape machine running at 15 ips to add some extra warmth and bottom end to the recordings.

Recently The Square has been used by acts such as The Vaccines, Hurts, Plan B, Paulo Nutini, Lana Del Ray and Tom Odell.

The Recording Equipment

This kit was mic'd up with multiple close mics. For mic pre's we used a combination of the SSL G-Series and a number of external pre's including Calrec 1061's, Valve Telefunken V76, a Neve 1066 and Neve Prisms. Like all the Drumdrops sampled kits we recorded straight to Pro Tools to keep the noise floor down on those quiet hits. 

After recording Guy Massey mixed the samples through the SSL G-Series Console at The Square.

The Microphones

Kick Microphone – AKG D12

Introduced in 1953, the AKG D12 was the world’s first dynamic cardioid mic with an ‘unidirectional’ design intended to reduce the pick up of extraneous sound and feedback. It was based on new developments in microphone technology at the time, which eliminated much of the shrillness characteristic in earlier microphones and extended the frequency response deeper into the bass range. It is a well known favourite for recording kick drums. 

Kick Sub - Yamaha NS10 Cone

The Yamaha NS10 speaker cone was used to capture the extra low frequencies of the drum. A dynamic microphone and a speaker are essentially the same thing. They take acoustical energy and convert it into electrical energy or vice versa.

Snare (Top & Bottom) - Shure SM57

The legendary SM57 is an industry-standard cardioid dynamic microphone and is probably one of the most versatile microphones in a studios sonic arsenal. These microphones are commonly used for recording vocals, guitars and snare drums.

Hi Hat – AKG 414

The AKG 414 is a studio standard and one of the best-known reference condenser microphones for recording use. Probably the most popular of AKG’s condenser microphones, it was first introduced in 1971 as the “C 414 comb”

Rack Tom - Sennheiser MD421

The Sennheiser 421 is a large diaphragm dynamic microphone that came out originally in the early 60s and quickly became known as a really good sounding robust mic that could handle high spls. It has established itself as a microphone that is great for toms and bass instruments.

Floor Tom – Electrovoice RE20

The electro-voice RE20 is a cardioid moving-coil dynamic microphone with LF rolloff and EV’s patented “variable d” design which minimizes proximity effect. Its a real “all around” workhorse microphone and instruments benefit from its smooth sound and flat frequency response.

Overheads – Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphones

The 4038 is a classic Studio Ribbon Microphone designed by the BBC and originally manufactured by STC. Coles, the outsourced manufacturer, bought the rights to the STC microphone line in 1974. It is one of the world’s best-known ribbon microphones.

Mono Kit Microphone – Lomo 19A19A

This is a rare vintage cardioid valve microphone that was built in Russia in the 1960s. The roots of this rare microphone go back to the year 1947 when an acoustic laboratory was established at the Leningrad optical and mechanical association(LOMO).

Room Microphone - Neumann U87's

The Neumann U87 is probably the best known and most widely used studio condenser microphone. Originally released in 1967 as the solid state version of the valve U67, the Neumann U87 large dual-diaphragm condenser microphone has been the industry standard studio condenser.

The Spec Breakdown

  • Kick Microphone -AKG D12 - Telefunken V76 Valve Mic (Pre Mic Pre / Outboard
  • Sub Kick - Yamaha NS10 Cone - SSL G-Series Mic (Pre Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Snare Top - Shure SM57 - Neve 1066 Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Snare Bottom - Shure SM57 - SSL G-Series Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Hi Hat - AKG 414 - SSL G-Series Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Rack Toms - Sennheiser MD421's - Neve Prism Mic Pre's (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Floor Tom - Electrovoice RE20 - Neve Prism Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Overheads - Coles 4038 Ribbon Mics - Telefunken V76 Valve Mic Pre's (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Mono Kit Microphone - Lomo 19A19A - Calrec PQ1061 Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Room Mics - Neumann U87's - SSL G-Series Mic Pre's (Mic Pre / Outboard)

The Sound

The Drummer - Tim Weller

Tim Weller is a freelance drummer based in London with a career spanning over 20 years and a huge range of styles. Though fond of heavy metal and rock as a teenager his first gigs were actually in the London soul circuit and the early acid jazz scene, where he learned how to groove and sit in a track. Since then he's moved through the indie scene, the trip hop scene, the dance scene and most other things in between.. Playing with many of pop music’s biggest names and, alongside them, some of its smallest.

Artists he has worked with include Death in Vegas, Chris Difford, Future Sound of London, Marc Almond, Beverley Craven, Natalie Imbruglia, Duke Special, Ellie Goulding and Noel Gallagher. Recently he recorded Will Young's platinum selling number one album "Echoes" and also 70s icon Bill Fay's acclaimed comeback album "Life is People". He's worked with Neil Hannon on the Divine Comedy and other projects since 2004, and on the West End show Billy Elliot since 2005.  Equally at home tucked at the back of the stage, he's also performed and recorded with many orchestras including the London Philharmonic, the RTE and the Ulster Orchestra. A particular highlight was playing at David Axelrod's only London show at the Festival Hall. He has also performed on countless TV themes and soundtracks including Ridley Scott's "The Counsellor".

The Engineer - Guy Massey

Guy began his career at  Abbey Road Studios learning his skills as an engineer from great producers such as John Leckie on Radiohead's "The Bends", Mike Hedges, Dave Eringa and Ian Grimble on Manic Street Preachers "Everything Must Go" and "This Is My Truth" and Owen Morris on Oasis "Be Here Now". After 5 years of learning from the best he became a staff engineer working his way up to senior engineer where he worked with many great artists.

Guy left Abbey Road in 2005 and has been freelance ever since. He was asked to help remaster the entire Beatles back catalogue which turned into a 4 year project interspersed with a few albums for acts such as In Case Of fire and Brendan Benson. The Beatles project won Guy a grammy for the best historical album.

In 2010 won two Music Producer Guild Awards, one for Engineer Of The Year and the other for Best Album (The Coral – ‘Butterfly House’). In 2014 Guy won the UK's Music Producer Guilds Engineer of the year award for a second time.

In the past few years Guy has worked with many artists including Bill Fay, Ed Sheeran, Ultrasound, Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh and Paul McCartney as well as many new up and coming acts. With his ties to Abbey Road and years of experience we can think of no one better to have mixed this Ludwig Super Classic Kit.

The Developer - Channel Robot

Channel Robot was founded in 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. They specialise in developing unique and powerful virtual instruments for Kontakt using Native Instruments’ KSP scripting language and high quality sample sets. Channel Robot build their own instruments, license their technology and provide design and development services to the audio industry.

The UI Designers - Ether Creative

Ether Creative are a design-led digital agency based in Maidstone in south-east England. This small but perfectly-formed team design and build mobile sites and apps, PHP based software systems and of course websites. They blend up a mix of bleeding-edge design and development techniques, thorough research and planning, plus a real dedication to their craft.