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Modern Folk Rock Kit

Virtual Instrument by DrumDrops

Hot on the tale of the Vintage Folk Rock Kit comes the Modern Folk Rock Kit. The vintage kit was a 60s kit recorded with 5 mics in a dry room while the Modern Folk Rock Kit is an 80s Gretsch Kit, close mic'd and recorded in a brighter live room. Once again we used the engineering skills of the legendary engineer / producer Phill Brown (Laura Marling / John Martyn / Rolling Stones). To direct us on the sound of the kit we used Folk specialist drummer Martyn Barker (Rufus Wainwright, Richard Hawley, Katherine Williams) who once again sampled the kit using sticks, hotrods and brushes.

Phill close mic’d this kit as a contrast to the 5 mic process used on the Vintage kit. Mics used were classic drum mics – AKG D112 on the Kick, Shure SM57s on the Snare, Sennheiser 421’s on the toms, KM84 on the Ride and Hi-Hat, Coles 4038’s as overheads and two room mics – a Sony C48 and Neumann U89. These pick up the real ambience of this room. All of the mics were recorded through the SSL G-Series mic pre’s and recorded straight into Pro Tools.

The kit we used for this was a Gretsch Maple 4416 Kit. It comes with three rack toms and a floor tom, two snares - a Ludwig 400 and a Ludwig Brass Shell owned by Martyn. Cymbals were a combination of Zildjian and Paiste and we also include some tambourine and shaker articulations.

This Kit Can Be Purchased In Eight Different Packs

The Dual Kit Kontakt Player Pack contains not only the Modern Folk Rock Kit but also the Vintage folk Rock Kit. Both of the kits in this pack are compatible with the FREE Kontakt Player. (Our Kontakt 5 pack only works with the full version of Kontakt 5.5.). Both of the kits contain all the features found in the kontakt 5 packs but they are also completely NKS compliant. 

The Kontakt Pack comes with the Drumdrops Kontakt Instrument for exclusive use in Native Instruments Kontakt version 5.5 (full version). The new Drumdrops 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 four dynamics to choose from, two delays and two convolution reverbs. 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 61 separate articulations, 24 velocity steps and includes 5 round robins. This pack comes loaded with 16940 samples.

The BFD Pack is a sampler pack that can be loaded into BFD3, BFD2 or BFD Eco. 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 57 articulations and the kit has been recorded in up to 120 velocity steps. You have full control over each drum 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 BFD pack also includes many Folk MIDI grooves.

The Multi-Sample pack  provides up to 24 velocity steps of each articulation. Each sample included in this pack is a mix of the overhead, room mics and close mics. This pack comes with patches for Battery 3, Kontakt 5.5, 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. Some of the software patches (Battery, EXS24 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 700 MIDI drum loops covering a variety of genres. This pack is a great choice for those who want multiple velocity articulations. This pack comes with 2861 samples.

The Single Hits pack  is similar to the Multi-Sample Pack. It comes with the same patches as the multi-sample pack but only contains three velocities of each articulation and no round robin samples. The samples come as 16 bit and 24 bit WAVs. If you run any of these pieces of software and want a more basic sounding kit then this pack will be perfect.

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-sample Pack, the Drum Replacement Pack, the Single Hits Pack and most of the the seperate mic samples from the Kontakt 5 Pack. This pack gives you ultimate flexibility. You get all the patches we create and three different packs of samples. It does not contain our Kontakt instrument which can only be found in the Kontakt pack.

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 vintage folk rock sound to emulate artists such as Ray La Montagne, Elliot Smith and Bon Iver then this is a great place to start. 

The Drum Kit

Gretsch was founded by Friedrich Gretsch, a German immigrant who opened his own musical instrument business based in Brooklyn, New York in 1883. His son, Fred Gretsch Sr., took over the business as a teenager and expanded the business. Fred Gretsch Sr. handed over the family business to his son, Fred Gretsch Jr., in 1942. Soon after taking over, Fred Jr. left to serve in the navy, leaving the business in the hands of his younger brother, William “Bill” Gretsch. Bill Gretsch died in 1948 and the company was again run by Fred Jr.

Fred Gretsch Jr. ran the company until 1967 when Gretsch was sold to Baldwin Piano Co. In the early 1970s Baldwin moved drum production from Brooklyn, NY to a plant in DeQueen, Arkansas. In 1982, the company was bought by Charlie Roy in a deal with Baldwin United. In 1983 the company celebrated its 100th anniversary with a line of limited edition drums with a special finish and “centennial” badges signed by Mr. Roy. There were to be 100 Limited Edition kits manufactured and sold. No one is sure how many kits were actually built.

In 1985, Gretsch was bought back by a member of the Gretsch family, Fred Gretsch III (the son of the late William “Bill” Gretsch, and nephew of Fred Jr.), who continues to own the company to this day

This Gretsch kit is a 1980s Maple 4416 owned by Martyn Barker. It works well for the tracks we were recording on Volume 2 and contrasts well with the Vintage Ludwig Hollywood used on Volume 1.

This Gretsch Kit consists of a 22” x 16” Kick drum, 10” x 7”, 12” x 9” and 13” x 10” Rack Toms and a 16” x 16” Floor Tom. The snares used were a combination of two Ludwig Snares. A Ludwig 400 14” x 5” and Martyn’s Ludwig Brass Shell 14” x 6.5”. Cymbals used were Zildjian Top Rock 14” Hi-hats, a 20” Rock Ride, an 18” Zildjian Paper Thin Crash and an 18” Plain Paiste Crash. On a number of tracks we have added shakers and tambourines. We used sticks, hotrods and brushes.

The Articulations Broken Down

Kick - Gretsch Maple 4416 Kick Drum:

  • Dimensions - 22" x 16"
  • Articulations - Hard & Soft beaters
  • Multisampling - 24 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Snare 1 - Ludwig 400:

  • Dimensions - 14" x 5"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge, Rimshot, Sidestick, brush & hotrods centre
  • Multisampling - Upto 24 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Snare 2 - Ludwig Brass Shell

  • Dimensions - 14" x 6.5"
  • Articulations - Centre, Edge, Rimshot, Sidestick, brush & hotrods centre
  • Multisampling - Up to 24 velocity layers with 5 round robin samples

Rack Tom 1 - Gretsch Maple 4416 Rack Tom 1:

  • Dimensions - 10" x 7"
  • Articulations - Centre with sticks, hotrods and brushes
  • Multisampling - 24 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

Rack Tom 2 - Gretsch Maple 4416 Rack Tom 2:

  • Dimensions - 12" x 9"
  • Articulations - Centre with sticks, hotrods and brushes
  • Multisampling - 24 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

Rack Tom 3 - Gretsch Maple 4416 Rack Tom 3:

  • Dimensions - 13" x 10"
  • Articulations - Centre with sticks, hotrods and brushes
  • Multisampling - 24 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

Floor Tom - Gretsch Maple 4416 Floor Tom:

  • Dimensions - 16" x 16"
  • Articulations - Centre with sticks, hotrods and brushes
  • Multisampling - 24 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

Ride - Zildjian Rock Ride:

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

Crash 2 - Paiste Crash:

  • Dimensions - 18"
  • Articulations - Centre with stick, brushes and hotrods and Edge with sticks
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples, 5 mics

Shaker - Shaker:

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

Hi Hat - Zildjian Top Rock Hi Hats:

  • Dimensions - 14"
  • Articulations - Fully Closed to fully open in 6 stages - Bell and edge, Floot pedal shut and open. Close and Open brushes and hotrods
  • Multisampling - Upto 12 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

Crash 1 - Zildjian Paper Thin Crash:

  • Dimensions - 18"Articulations - Centre with sticks, hotrods and brushes. Edge with sticks
  • Multisampling - 10 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

Tambourine - Tambourine:

  • Articulations - Shake and hit:
  • Multisampling - Up to 10 Velocity layers, 5 round robin samples

The Recording Studio - Miloco Livingston 1 Studio, London, UK

Miloco’s Livingston Studio 1 is located in North London. The studio has been recently completely overhauled and has a great range of gear to complement it’s varied recording rooms. With a history spanning many decades the studio has welcomed artists such as The Clash, Buena Vista Social Club, Bjork, Depeche Mode and Jesus and Mary Chain.

The control room is based around an SSL G-Series console but there is plenty of great outboard equipment. The mic pre’s consist of API, Neve’s and a lot of other great brands. The room has a great collection of microphones and recording is usually done on the Pro Tools HDX rig with HD I/O convertors.

The Recording Equipment

Phill close mic’d this kit to get a more modern drum sound.

“This kit was set up in the bright live room at Livingston Studio 1. All mirrors and tiles it is one of the best drum rooms still left in London. I close mic’d the Kit in a pretty standard way and had two room mic’s to give size, energy and openness.

“I wanted this kit to be tight and punchy. I used very little EQ on the recording side and recorded to the 16 track Studer. I mixed it in the Engine Room where I added a little punch EQ from the SSL G-Series console.” - Phill Brown.

The Microphones

Kick Microphone – AKG D112

“This was the replacement for the classic 1960’s AKG D12. The D112 does not have as much ‘air’ as the D12 but is more directional. The mic was place 3 inches away from the skin, dead centre of the drum. ” - PB

Snare Microphone (top and bottom) – Shure SM57

“Although I have tried other microphones on the snare, I always come back to the 57. Mainly because it is tight and directional.” - PB

Tom Microphones – Sennheiser MD421

“These are not particularly special microphones but as we had 4 toms with this kit. I wanted microphones that were fairly directional, to minimize cymbal spill.” - PB

Overheads – Coles 4038's

“Beautiful ribbon microphones from the 1960s. Warm and with a natural top- end.” - PB

Room Microphone 1 – Sony C48

“It was set up about 6 feet from the kit and compressed gently with a UA 1176. I originally bought this microphone as a vocal mic, but now use it extensively on drum overheads, percussion, room sounds and acoustic guitars. It is bright and airy.” - PB

Room Microphone 2 – Neumann U89

“Placed about 12 feet from the kit and heavily compressed with a UA 1176 to achieve extra punch with fast attack / fast release and pumping.” - PB

The Spec Breakdown

  • Kick Mic - AKG D112 - SSL G-Series Console (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Snare Mic's - Shure SM57 - SSL G-Series Console (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Tom Mic's - Sennheiser MD421's - SSL G-Series Console (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Hi Hat & Ride Mic's - Neumann KM84 - SSL G-Series Console (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Overhead Mic's - Coles 4038's - SSL G-Series Console (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Room Mic 1 - Sony C48 - SSL G-Series Console (Mic Pre / Outboard)
  • Overhead Mic's - Neumann U89 - SSL G-Series & Urei 1176 (Mic Pre / Outboard)

The Drummer - Martyn Barker

Originally heralding from Ellesmere Port, Merseyside, Martyn has been a professional drummer for 30 years, starting his career with the band Shriekback and recently playing with Billy Bragg and Marianne Faithfull. His touring, recording and composing experience has covered many genres from Folk, Soul, Rock, Pop, African Blues, Jazz, Indie and Ambient. He is a busy session drummer on an ongoing basis both in the U.K and France and has recently been working, composing and producing for his own projects (most notably ‘Big World Blue’) and for other artists.

His recent folk rock projects have been Joe Boyd’s Way To Blue - Tour and Live Album, Hal Wilner’s Rogue’s Gallery - Tour and Album, and The Winterson’s Bright Phoebus - Tour. Other artists Martyn has been working with include Martin, Eliza and Norma Carthy, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Chris Difford, Emmylou Harris, Peggy Seeger, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Mary Winterson, Lou Reed, Shane McGowan and Katherine Williams.

The Engineer - Phill Brown

Phill Brown is a legend who needs little introduction. In fact so prolific is his career that he has written a rather good book about it called ‘Are We Still Rolling ?’ Phill began his career in the 60s as a Tape-Op at the now closed Olympic Studios. Working with Artists such as Dusty Springfield, The Rolling Stones, Traffic and Jimi Hendrix he learned under engineers and producers such as Jimmy Miller, Glyn Johns and Eddie Kramer. From there he progressed to in house engineer at Island Records studios in the 70s. Some of the artists he engineered for during this time were Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, John Martyn and Bob Marley.

From 1976 Phill became a freelancer and his CV continued to grow – Talk Talk, Roxy Music and Dido to name a few. From the Stones’ Beggars Banquet to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To heaven’ to Steve Winwood’s first solo album to Roxy Music’s Manifesto and on to a pair of multi-million selling Dido records and the much-adored final two Talk Talk records, Phill Brown has been at the creation of some of the most treasured music of the past 40 years.

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