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Memphis Soul Kit

Virtual Instrument by DrumDrops

The Memphis Soul Kit was recorded using a legendary Gretsch 1960s Round Badge Kit. Currently they are one of the most sought after kits from that era. We recorded this kit to capture a certain sound, the sound of the late 60s and early 70s that came out of the Royal Studios in Memphis. Home to legendary producer and founder of Hi Records, Willie Mitchell. This studio was responsible for recording hit after hit from famous Soul Artists such as Al Green and Ann Peebles. We have studied and recreated the drum sound.

Unlike the one microphone, large open room drum sounds coming out of Motown and Stax in the 60’s/early 70’s, Willie Mitchell preferred a small dry room, often using three or four microphones on the drum kit. To capture the same sound we used the perfectly suited dry live room at Miloco’s The Square. The concept behind the mic positioning is unique to this release. We used four mic’s, each placed in carefully selected positions around the kit, so each mic captures the drum kit as a whole, meaning you can use any one mic as your drum sound, or you can blend any or all of the mic’s to create your ideal sound. 

The drum kit was produced and recorded by South London drummer Timmy Rickard who has studied the grooves and sound of this great era. The kit is a classic sounding late 60s kit with wallets placed on the tuned down snares,  a tea towel was used on the floor tom and we have recorded the ride with and without a chain. Also included are four classic vintage snares and the kit is finally topped off with some percussion - congos, a tambourine and shaker.

Like other Drumdrops kits it can be purchased in seven different packs.

The Kontakt 5 Pack comes with the Drumdrops Kontakt Interface for exclusive use in Native Instruments Kontakt version 5.5. 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. The Kontakt pack comes with 65 separate articulations, 16 velocity steps and includes 5 round robins. In this kit our Kontakt feature known as Mix Blend comes into its own. You can control the balance of the 5 microphones positioned around the kit on each and every drum. This means the Kontakt pack comes loaded with an incredible 17935 samples. 

The BFD Pack is a pack that can be loaded into BFD2 or BFD3. The BFD pack contains 16075 samples. It contains all 60 articulations that our other packs have and the kit has been recorded in up to 80 velocity steps. You have full control over the five 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 Sample pack provides up to 16 velocity steps of each articulation. Each sample included in this pack is a mix of the five kit mics. This pack comes with patches for Battery 3, Kontakt 5.6, EXS24, Maschine, Geist, Studio One's Impact Soundset, Ableton Drum Rack, iDrum, Reason Refills, TX16Wx and SFZ (which is 1.0 compliant and has been tested with Plogue Sforzando, Cakewalk SFZ and Linux Sampler) but the samples can be used in any drum machine or sampler that reads 24 bit WAV files. We also include 16 bit samples for old school samplers. Some of the software patches (Battery, EXS24, SFZ and Kontakt) also support round robin samples. We have included three round robin samples of each velocity for added realism. The multi-sample pack now includes over 1474 MIDI drum loops covering a variety of genres including over 100 Soul loops. This pack is a great choice for those who want multiple velocity articulations. This pack comes with 2143 samples. 

The Single Hits pack  is similar to our multi sample pack but provides three velocities of each articulation and no round robins. This pack also includes presets for Battery 3, Kontakt 5, EXS24, Maschine, Geist, Studio One's Impact Soundset, Ableton Drum Rack, iDrum, Renoise and Reason Refills but if you run any drum machines such as Akai MPC60s this pack may be ideal as the samples come as 16-bit WAVs and 24-bit WAVs. This pack comes loaded with 180 samples.

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-sample Pack, the Drum Replacement Pack and all the 17610 seperate mic samples from the Kontakt 5 Pack (but not the Kontakt Instrument which is only found in the Kontakt Packs). This pack gives you ultimate flexibility. You get all the patches we create and three different packs of samples. In this kit we have also included an SFZ 2.0 compliant patch which has been tested with Plogue Sforzando and it uses the seperate mic 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 to read about the kit and work out which pack is best for you. If you want a late 60s Al Jackson Jr drum sound then this is kit for you. If you can't wait to get your hands on these packs then check out our drum tracks album Royal Drops. This drum track album contains 15 Soul drum tracks recorded using this very kit, with the same mics and in the same studio. All the tracks are available to buy as multi-tracks, stem packs and drum loops. We think this kit is awesome and there is nothing out there like it. 

The Sound

The Drum Kit - Memphis Soul Kit

The Memphis Soul Kit was recorded using a vintage 1960’s Gretsch Name Band Kit which was finished with a silver sparkle and consists of a 20” x 14” Kick drum, 13” x 9” Rack Tom and a 16” x 16” Floor Tom. The snares used were a combination of a Gretsch Renown Maple 14” x 6” snare with a Red Sparkle finish (c.2010) a Gretsch Renown maple 14” x 5” snare with a Black Oyster Swirl finish, a Ludwig Acrolite 14” x 5” (c.1970) and a Ludwig 400” 14” x 5” snare (c.1960). Cymbals were wonderful dark sounding Bosphorous New Orleans Hi Hats (2 x 16” Crashes), a 20” Ride and an 18” Crash. We have also included samples of the congas, tambourine and shaker.

The Round Badge design was the first badge used on Gretsch drums going all the way back to 1883. The identifying badge was round with GRETSCH written across the top and DRUM MAKERS SINCE 1883 along the bottom. The Round Badge was attached to snare drums and bass drums using a standard brass grommet which also provided a vent-hole for the drum, but it was attached to tom-toms using a carpenter’s upholstery tack which therefore left those drums unvented. Final production of Gretsch drums with the Round Badge was in 1971. The 60s kits have become renowned for their sound. Loved by the Jazz fraternity with the smaller kick drums they have become a much sought after kit.

The Articulations Broken Down


Gretsch Round Badge Kick Drum:

  • Dimensions - 20" x 14"
  • Articulations - Dampened & Undampened
  • Multisampling - 16 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples, 5 microphones


Snare 1 - Gretsch Renown Maple Snare:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 6"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge, Rimshot, Sidestick, Rolls & Hoop
  • Multisampling - Up to 16 velocity layers, 5 round robin samples, 5 mics

Snare 2 - Gretsch Renown Maple Snare:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 5"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge, Rimshot, Sidestick, Rolls & Hoop
  • Multisampling - Up to 16 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples, 5 microphones

Snare 3 - Ludwig Acrolite Snare:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 5"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge, Rimshot, Sidestick,Rolls & HoopMultisampling - Up to 16 velocity layers, 5 round robin samples, 5 mics

Snare 4 - Ludwig 400 Snare:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 5"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge, Rimshot, Sidestick, Rolls & Hoop
  • Multisampling - Up to 16 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples, 5 microphones


Rack Tom 1 - Gretsch Round Badge Rack Tom:

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

Floor Tom - Gretsch Round Badge Floor Tom:

  • Dimensions - 16" x 16"Articulations - Centre, centre with tea towel
  • Multisampling - 16 velocity layers, 5 round robin samples, 5 mics


Hi Hat - Bosphorous New Orleans Crash Hi Hats:

  • Dimensions - 16"
  • Articulations - Fully Closed to fully open in 6 stages - Bell and edge, Floot pedal shut and open.
  • Multisampling - Up to 12 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples, 5 microphones


Ride - Bosphorous New Orleans Ride:

  • Dimensions - 20"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge and Bell (with and without chain)
  • Multisampling - Upto 10 Velocity Layers, 5 round robin samples, 5 mics


Crash 1 - Bosphorous New Orleans Crash:

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

Crash 2 - Bosphorous Traditional Crash:

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


Shaker - Shaker:

  • Articulations - Left and Right
  • Multisampling - 5 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

Tambourine - Tambourine:

  • Articulations - Left, Rightand hit
  • Multisampling - 5 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

Congas - Congas:

  • Articulations - Hi & Lo Congas Open and Slap
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

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 many hit records over the years. The studio is used for recording and mixing. The live room delivers a good tight drum sound and consists of a wooden floor and fabric panelled walls and ceilings. This made it perfect for the drum sound we were seeking.

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

The equipment used was minimal. As only five microphones were used we utilized the vintage external mic pre’s recording straight to Pro Tools. All of the kit microphones used were ribbon microphones. We used 3 x Coles 4038 ribbons and for the overhead an STC 4021 ball & biscuit. We also setup a room microphone which was a U47 FET running through a Calrec PQ1061 Mic Pre. In our Kontakt 5 pack all five microphones can be accessed on every drum in our mix-blend feature. 

The Microphones

Room 1 (Positioned near the Snare) – Coles 4038:

  • We used one Coles 4038 positioned between the hi hat and the rack tom, which gives a snare heavy drum sound. This microphone ran through a vintage Neve 1066 mic pre.

Room 2 (Positioned near the Kick Drum) – Coles 4038:

  • The second Coles 4038 was positioned under the ride cymbal between the rack tom and the floor tom, which produces a bass drum heavy sound. This was recorded through a vintage Telefunken V76 valve mic pre.

Room 2 (Positioned at the rear of the kit) – Coles 4038:

  • The third Coles 4038 was positioned about 4ft behind and to the right of the drummer, on the floor tom side, capturing all the lovely attack sound from the vintage Gretsch kit. This was also recorded through a vintage valve mic pre.

Overhead Microphone – STC 4021 (aka Ball & Bisuit Microphone):

  • The other overhead microphone used on some of the drum tracks was an STC 4021 (aka - Ball & Biscuit mic). This was placed in a more conventional overhead position, directly over the snare drum, capturing that classic lofi drum sound.

Room Microphone:

  • We setup a Neumann U47 FET microphone as a room microphone. This microphone was set back from the kit to pick up the tight room sound. 

The Spec Breakdown

  • Near Kick - Coles 4038 (mic) - Telefunken V76 Valve Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Near Snare - Coles 4038 (mic) - Neve 1066 Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Rear of Kit - Coles 4038 (mic) - Telefunken V76 Valve Mic pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Overhead Mic - STC 4021 (mic) - Telefunken V76 Valve Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Room Mic - Neumann U47 FET (mic) - Calrec PQ1061 Mic Pre (Mic Pre / Outboard)

The Drummer - Timmy Rickar

Timmy Rickard is a South London based drummer, composer, engineer and producer, and the founder of Monosole Music. Timmy has toured all over the world as a live drummer, but his heart is in the recording studio. He is often found working on various projects with different producers in studios across the UK and Europe, and also at his own studio in South London. This is where Timmy spends his time producing and mixing tracks for various artists, but mainly recording drum tracks, championing his less is more approach to engineering.

Timmy is a big fan of this 70s drum sound and as well as playing the drums produced the session.

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

The 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 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.

To buy Multi-tracks, stems and loops recorded on the real kit head to Loopmasters HERE.

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