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Vintage 1963 Premier Outfits 54 Drum Kit

Virtual Instrument by DrumDrops

Drumdrops has sampled up a classic sounding 60s drum kit, a 1963 Premier Outfits 54 which belongs to Producer Ben Hillier (Blur, Depeche Mode). The sample packs are a must have, for anyone wanting the sound of a classic sounding British 1960s kit. It has been recorded in great detail providing up to 16 velocity levels and the Kontakt 5 pack comes with multiple round robins. It resides in The Pool, a tracking studio in Miloco's headquarters that has been used by the likes of Paul Epworth, Florence & The Machine, Graham Coxon and Mumford & Sons. The live room is 6 metres high and 100 metres squared. It has an ambient sound, however it is still fairly tight and controlled. The Pool has an incredible selection of vintage mic pre-amps and microphones that were used to record the drums.

The drum kit was recorded using the precise drumming skills of Adam Falkner (One EskimO, Dido) who is no stranger to recording sample packs. The engineer was Miloco and Drumdrops' Ben Thackeray (My Bloody Valentine, Rachel Zeffira) who has become our regular drum expert. Martin Oldham of Drum Tech Support (Phil Collins / Kelis / Pendulum) set the kit up prior to recording.

This Kit Can Currently be Purchased in Six Different Packs

The Kontakt 5 Pack comes with the Drumdrops Kontakt Instrument for exclusive use in Native Instruments Kontakt version 5. The instrument 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. The isntrument also includes a MIDI groove player and step sequencer. The Kontakt pack comes with 32 separate articulations, 16 velocity steps and includes 6 round robins totalling 7182 drum samples.

The Multi-Velocity pack provides up to 16 velocity steps of each articulation. The samples are a mix of the close mic, overhead and room mic samples. This pack comes with patches for Battery 3, Kontakt 5, EXS24, Maschine, Geist Studio One's Impact, Ableton Drum Rack, Reason Refills, Renoise ,idrum and the free TX16Wx sampler but it can be used in any DAW, drum machine or sampler that reads 24 bit WAVs. We have also included MIDI Maps for a lot of the popular software. This pack is a great choice for those who want the multiple velocity articulations but do not use Kontakt 5. The multi-velocity pack also includes over 500 MIDI drum loops covering a variety of genres. Finally, we have also included two mixes of the samples. The original clean samples and the alternative Valve and Tape mix which pushes the mix through some interesting valve gear before mastering on to tape.

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, Ableton Drum Rack, Reason Refills, Renoise and idrum but if you run any drum machines such as Akai MPC60s this pack may be ideal as it includes 16-bit and 24-bit WAV samples. This also includes two mixes of the samples. The original clean samples and the alternative Valve and Tape mix which pushes the mix through some interesting valve gear before mastering on to tape.

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.

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.

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.

Whichever pack you choose you can be reassured that is has the Drumdrops quality stamped all over it. Explore more of these pages and listen to our sample grooves to hear the different kits in action and work out which pack is best for you. If you want 60s drum sounds you have to start with a 60s kit.

You will find detailed installation and activation instructions, as well as links to download your installers within the downloadable PDF document (located within your Plugin Boutique account. Click the blue MAC or PC hyperlinks within the PDF to download your installer.

The Drum Kit - Vintage 1963 Premier Outfits 54 kit

The 1963 Vintage Premier Outfits 54 kit is a classic 60s sounding kit with a white marine pearl finish. It comprises a 20" x 14" Bass Drum, a 14" x 5.5" snare drum, a wonderfully deep 16" x 16" floor tom and a 12" x 8" rack tom. The cymbals used were 14" Zildjian New Beat Hi-Hats, a 22" Zildjian K Custom Medium Ride and two Zildjian Crashes - an 18" K Dark Thin Crash and a 16" vintage Cie Crash.

Renowned for their shells and excellent chrome work, Premier Drums were at the forefront of the British drum manufacturing industry in the 1960s; the best British-made drum kit one could own was made by Premier. Many top players of the time would use Premier equipment, including Keith Moon and Ringo Starr who is famously pictured playing a B54 Premier kit (the same as our kit but with a larger 22" bass drum) with the Beatles in the early 1960s. This example is available in Miloco's The Pool and consists of factory issue sizes and is fitted with Pre International Remo Coated Ambassador heads. The kit works well at different tuning pitches, whether required for jazz tones or deeper rock-orientated numbers. To get a 1960s drum sound first you must start with a 1960s kit - and here it is.

The Articulations Broken Down

Kick - Vintage 1963 Premier Outfit 54 Kick Drum:

  • Dimensions - 20" x 14"
  • Articulations - Felt and Plastic Beater
  • Multisampling - Up to 16 velocity layers with 6 round robin samples

Floor Tom - 1963 Premier Outfit 54 Floor Tom:

  • Dimensions - 16" x 16"
  • Articulations - Centre
  • Multisampling - 16 velocity layers with 6 round robin samples

Hi Hat - Zildjian New Beat Hi Hat:

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

Crashes - Zildjian K Dark Thin Crash and Zildjian Vintage Cie Crash:

  • Dimensions - 18" & 16"
  • Articulations - Centre and Edge
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity layers with 6 round robin samples

Snare - Vintage 1963 Premier Snare Drum:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 5.5"
  • Articulations - Dampened and Un-Dampened - Centre, Edge, Rim and Cross-stick
  • Multisampling - 16 velocity layers with 6 round robin samples

Rack Tom - 1963 Premier Outfit 54 Rack Tom:

  • Dimensions - 12" x 8"
  • Articulations - Centre
  • Multisampling - 16 Velocity layers with 6 round robin samples

Ride - Zildjian K Custom Medium Ride:

  • Dimensions - 22"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge and Bell
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity Layers with 6 round robin samples

NB: All Drums were fitted with Pre International Coated Ambassador Remo heads

The Recording Studio - Miloco The Pool

Miloco's The Pool is one of London's most popular recording studios. It was built five years ago as a partnership between producer Ben Hillier and Miloco and quickly became one of London's leading tracking studios. As far as tracking rooms go it has pretty much everything: a vast live area that resonates vibe and creativity and a studio with an incredible array of vintage esoteric gear and of course the 1963 Premier Outfits 54 vintage Drum Kit.

The gear has been amassed by producer Ben Hillier and music entrepreneur Johan Ekelund (co-founder of Kobalt Music Publishing). Not many rooms can boast over 40 different microphones, 50 Mic Pre's, let alone four drum kits. The room also contains an equally impressive selection of compressors and EQs.

At the centre of the Control Room can be found a rare vintage EMT console. The outboard racks are full of great gear with highlights including Neve 1079's and 1272's, API Mic Pre's and Telefunken V76's. Compressors include Urei 1176's, Altec, Neve 2254's and Tweed. The monitors are Barefoot, Yamaha, Auratone and Tannoys and recording is normally done on to a Pro Tools HD3 rig, loaded with many plug-ins.

The Pool has had some great acts pass through in the short space it has been open including Graham Coxon, Noah & The Whale, Mumford & Sons, Florence & The Machine, Foals, The Horrors and many more.

The Recording Equipment

With so much great gear at our disposal we could not wait to get it all warmed up and turned on. The Mic Pre's used were all a combination of Neve 1079's or 1272's. For the mics there was a great combination of common gems, Ribbons, Valve mics and Ambient mics. All of the drums were recorded without compression and only the Kick drum used an external EQ - The Lang PEQ - 2A. The snare was recorded top and bottom and there were stereo room mics as well as two Earthworks ambient ceiling mics. All of the mics were wired directly into the mic pre's and then sent direct to the Pro Tools interfaces keeping the signal as clean as possible. On the Hits Packs we do not use tape to keep the noise floor as low as possible especially on the quiet velocity's.

The Microphones

Kick Out – AKG D25

The AKG D25 is a classic vintage AKG Dynamic Microphone that is often used with Kick Drums. It comes with a swivel mount that is unlike most shock mounts, and has a great bottom-end response.

"This is my favourite kick drum mic of all time - it just give me the right amount of weight I'm looking for in my kick drum sounds." BT

Snare Top – Lomo 19A19 Valve Microphone

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).

"I use this mic a lot for all sorts of things but this is the first time I've tried it on a snare drum - it has an inherent "dirt" to it that I love." BT

Snare Bottom – 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"

"I love the brightness and grit of 414's on drums - I often use these for the hi-hat as well." BT

Hi Hat – Neumann KM84

The Neumann KM84 microphone is a small capsule cardioid condenser and was the first mic made with 48v phantom power technology. The microphone has become a real favourite for classical music recording because of its smooth faithful reproduction but it's also known as a favourite mic for drum overheads.

"This time I opted for a KM84 on the hat - it's a little smoother that the 414." BT

Toms – Neumann U87

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.

"I normally use a mixture of Sennheiser 421's for toms but fancied something different this time - the 87's sounded excellent in this case." BT

Ride Cymbal - AKG C451

AKG's C 451 was one of the all-time great studio condenser microphones. One of its most common applications is for drum overheads, and many engineers say there's nothing quite like it for miking cymbals - the metallic "crash" and brilliance come through perfectly.

"I choose this mic for two reasons - it's has a nice brightness to it that works well with ride cymbals and it's pretty directional - important when you're micing a "busy" section of the kit." BT

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.

"I've been using these mics as overheads for the last 3-4 years now - I love the weight they give to the overall sound of the kit." BT

Stereo Room 1 - AEA R88 MkII Stereo Ribbon

The R88 mkII is optimised for recording instruments and ensembles in stereo. The R88 uses the large ribbon configuration of the classic RCA 44 series microphones, which gives the mic solid 20Hz bass response and a smooth high end which is flattering to complex tones.

"Again this is a lovely warm sounding ribbon microphone which can sound great as a room mic if you get it in the right place." BT

Stereo Room 2 - Neumann Gefell CMV 563's

The Kondensator-Mikrofon CMV 563 is a tube condenser bottle microphone manufactured by the division of the Georg Neumann company in Gefell, East Germany, which has since been renamed Microtech Gefell.

"I wanted something completely different to the R88 as an alternative and these Gefell CMV's fit the bill - very hifi sounding mics." BT

Ceiling Mics – Earthworks SR30's

The SR30 is a cardioid condenser microphone with extremely flat frequency response across an extended frequency range, and Earthworks’ trademark “fast impulse response” capsule. The microphone was initially introduced in 2000, as the SR77.

"The Earthworks are a good flat sounding condenser mic - they always sound good every time I use them. The real sound of the Pool." BT

The Spec Breakdown:

  • Kick - AKG D25 - Neve 1079 Mic Pre & Lang PEQ-2A EQ 
  • Snare Top - Lomo 1919A Valve Microphone - Neve 1079 Mic Pre
  • Snare Bottom - AKG 414 - Neve 1272
  • Hi hat - Neumann KM84 - Neve 1272
  • Floor Tom - Neumann U87 - Neve 1079
  • Rack Tom - Neumann U87 - Neve 1079
  • Ride Cymbal - AKG 451 - Neve 1272
  • Overheads - Coles 4038 Ribbons (x2) - Neve 1079 (x2)
  • Stereo Room 1 - AEA R88 MkII Stereo Ribbon - Neve 1272 (x2)
  • Stereo Room 2 - Neumann Gefell CMV 563's (x2) - Neve 1079 (x2)
  • Ceiling Mics - Earthworks SR30's (x2) - Neve 1272 (x2)

The Drummer - Adam Faulkner

Adam Falkner is a busy UK session drummer and musical director. Recent highlights include touring and recording with Dido, Babyshambles, Amy Macdonald, and One Eskimo.

Adam is no stranger to sampling drum kits, having done many sample libraries for other manufacturers. He has the patience of a saint, which is thoroughly needed when focusing on recording each drum meticulously at varying velocities. Working in tandem with Martin Oldham from Drum Tech Support, Adam got the best out of this beautiful Premier Kit.

The Engineer - Ben Thackeray

Ben Thackeray has been engineering many bands for over 10 years. After studying at Alchemea Ben began plying his trade at Mark Angelo Studios until he landed a job at the famous Mayfair Studios in London. At Mayfair he worked alongside some great Producers including Nigel Godrich, Jim Abbiss, Ken Nelson, Tony Hoffer and Tom Elmhirst on sessions with Radiohead, Coldplay and Supergrass.

After Mayfair Ben began engineering at Miloco Studios working for a wide variety of acts including The Happy Mondays, My Bloody Valentine, Bloc Party, Rachel Zeffira and many more.

For the last six months Ben has been recording and sampling many drum kits for Drumdrops. With each kit taking about 6 weeks to record and edit there is nothing that this man does not know about drums.

The Drum Tech - Martin Oldham

Martin Oldham is a professional drum technician who specialises in studio and live work. He has worked with many artists across different genres of music including Tinie Tempah, The Libertines, Beady Eye, Chic, Earth Wind and Fire, The Roots, Pendulum, Friendly Fires and Pete Cater to name a few. His work can be heard on albums recorded in top studios throughout the UK - many of which have utilised his large collection of vintage drums which range from the 1920's to present day.

"When I was approached to be involved with the Drumdrops project it was something that I couldn't say no to as it echoes my beliefs in drum recording - getting the right sound at source. By using good drums, the correct drum heads and accurate tuning, the drums are given the best platform to shine as instruments. The utilisation of good mics, placement and understanding of the engineers craft is where Drumdrops excel to bring the artist a pure drum sound." Martin Oldham

The Drum Owner - Ben Hillier

The 1963 Premier Outfits 54 kit is owned by Producer (and Drummer) extraordinaire Ben Hillier (Depeche Mode / Blur / The Magic Numbers / Elbow). Ben is best-known for his original approach to production. He has been involved in building studios all over the world, including a palace in Morocco for Blur’s ‘Think Tank’ album, to an abandoned schoolhouse on the banks of Loch Ness for Doves’ ‘Some Cities’. In 2006 Ben decided to put his heart and soul into Miloco’s Pool where this Premier kit now resides. He owns another three great kits which will be available to purchase as sample packs soon.

The Kontakt Developer - Channel Robot

Channel Robot was founded in 2009 in Melbourne Australia. Channel Robot specialise in developing unique 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 Kontakt UI Designers - Ether Creative

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