The Damage Drum Kit By Heavyocity
From the ever expanding catalogue of Heavyocity hybrid cinematic instruments, arguably the historically most notorious and commercially most used has got to be Damage.
This iconic standout product entirely epitomises the Heavyocity signature sound and will almost certainly be found gracing the hard drive of most modern media composers.
Despite this obvious commercial success, Heavyocity have been careful not to over exploit the franchise, or if you excuse the pun ‘Damage it’s reputation’, given that the original library was released over a decade ago, we could quite easily have been beyond Damage 10 by now!
Instead, aside from Damage and Damage 2, the subject of this review The Damage Drum Kit is officially only the third in the succession of this hard hitting line up to bear the Damage name.
The Damage Drum Kit
Instead of bringing together a huge quantity of separate sound sources, with The Damage Drum Kit Heavyocity have alternatively focused their attention on meticulously sampling a narrower pool of samples principley consisting of Three snares, two kicks, four toms, and eight cymbals among others, and then processing them further, which in combination provide a selection of kits that are a representative statement of the legend that we know as Damage.
The Damage Drum Kit runs in either the full version of Kontakt 6.7 or above as well as the equivalent free Kontakt player, and is NKS compatible for use within Komplete Kontrol.
The 24 GB library is reduced to an installation size of 11.8 GB using NCW loss less compression.
There are three master Kontakt NKI preset files consisting of the Drum Ensemble Designer, Drum Kit Designer and Drum Loop Designer.
These master NKI’s then subsequently feed a cumulative total of 60 NKSN snapshot presets divided between the three distinct categories.
Download & Installation
At the time of writing the download was handled exclusively using the Heavyocity Portal, which remains by and large accessible, aside for some unlabelled buttons, which I was able to muddle through using the NVDA screen reader on a Windows 10 system.
The same provided serial code is also used to authorise the library within Native Access, and the usual steps remain where you need to further specify your product location, and then re scan Komplete Kontrol for it to then appear duly tagged within your browser.
Komplete Kontrol Browser & Plug-in Edit NKS Parameter Mapping
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor & Product
Knob 3 – Bank: Damage Drum Ensemble Designer, Damage Drum Kit Designer, Damage Drum Loop Designer
Knob 4 – Sub Bank: Damaged, Organic, Straight, Triplet
Knob 5 – Type: Drums, Percussion, Synth Misc
Knob 6 – Sub Type: China Cymbal, crash Cymbal, Drum Pattern, Hi-Hat, Hi-Hat Closed, Hi-Hat Open, Hi-Hat Pedal, Kick, Ride Bell, Ride Cymbal, Sliced Drum Loop, Snare, Snare Rims, Snare Side Stick, Splash Cymbal, Tom, Cowbell, Other Sequences
Knob 7 – Character: Acoustic, Percussive, Processed, Sample Based, Tempo Synced,
Knob 8 – presets
Plug-in Edit NKS Parameter Mapping
Damage Drum Ensemble Designer
Page One – Mixer
Knob 1 – Close Microphone (levels in dB)
Knob 2 – Room Microphone
Knob 3 – Hall Microphone
Knob 4 – Overhead Microphone
Knob 5 – Crush Level
Knob 6 to 8 – Unallocated
Page Two – Punish & Filter
Knob 1 – Punish On/Off
Knob 2 – Amount
Knob 3 – Response
Knob 4 – Tone
Knob 5 – Filter On/Off
Knob 6 – Cut-Off
Knob 7 – Resonance
Knob 8 – Unallocated
Page Three – EQ
Knob 1 – EQ On/Off
Knob 2 – Low Gain
Knob 3 – Low Freq
Knob 4 – Mid Gain
Knob 5 – Mid Freq
Knob 6 – High Gain
Knob 7 – High Freq
Knob 8 – Amount
Page Four – compressor
Knob 1 – Compressor On/Off
Knob 2 – Threshold
Knob 3 – Ratio
Knob 4 – Attack
Knob 5 – Release
Knob 6 – Make up
Knob 7 – Mix
Knob 8 – Unallocated
Page Five – Saturator
Knob 1 – Saturator On/Off
Knob 2 – Drive
Knob 3 – Warmth
Knob 4 – Roll-Off
Knob 5 – Output
Knob 6 to 8 – Unallocated
Page Six – Delay
Knob 1 – Delay On/Off
Knob 2 – Time (Half up to 32nd Triplet)
Knob 3 – Feedback
Knob 4 – Tone
Knob 5 – Quality
Knob 6 – Level
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated
Page Seven – Reverb
Knob 1 – Reverb On/Off
Knob 2 – Pre-Delay
Knob 3 – Size
Knob 4 – Low
Knob 5 – High
Knob 6 – Mix
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated
Damage Drum Kit Designer
All pages are mapped as above, with the exception that Page 1 & 2 which are dedicated to mix level controls for the 16 available channels of sound (Panning per channel is available but only directly via the Kontakt NKI).
Damage Drum Loop Designer
All mappings are as per the Drum Ensemble Designer, with the exception of Page 1 which is assigned to Send Fx as follows:
Knob 1 – Send FX On/Off
Knob 2 – Level
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Send Modulation On/Off
Knob 6 – Amount
Knob 7 – Smooth
Knob 8 – Unallocated
Given that with The Damage Drum Kit we will be working with a smaller sample set than is usual, we are as blind users perhaps relying more heavily than normal on the parameters that have been assigned to the NKS controls.
Here Heavyocity has done a reasonable job, however there is still a subset of controls that remain absent which would have allowed for more significant sound editing possibilities.
Ostensibly as the intent is geared more toward being a drum kit designer, we do have limited opportunities to make really dramatic kit design changes without the ability to choose and swap out our choice of samples, tuning, and kit mappings, or process drum sounds individually via NKS.
We do of course have access to the distinctive Punish & filter parameters, as well as EQ, Saturation, Delay, Compression & Reverb, however via NKS these are applied globally.
As always I took time to cross reference the NKS parameters against those present within Kontakt on it’s own, and aside from additional channel panning in the Drum Kit Designer, all seemed identical.
Adding per channel panning to Komplete Kontrol would have added an additional two pages of mapping, and if we extended the wish list further to tuning a further two, which would have brought the total to ten pages which is still a reasonable number.
The Sound Of Damage
The sound and tone you can expect from The Damage Drum Kit is in the words of Heavyocity themselves that of a premium hard rock & metal kit, which pretty much aptly sums up the overall vibe.
Most users will not of course generally be using this library on a down tempo acoustic love ballad, so everything naturally leans towards the hard hitting punchy cinematic genre that Heavyocity are absolutely renowned for.
The Damage Drum Ensemble Designer
This bank contains 16 ensemble presets that demonstrate a selection of Epic drum kits, as well as some dedicated to specific instrument types such as Hi-Hats & Cymbals, Cymbal Reverses, Performance Snares, Toms, Sticks & Clacks.
The Damage Drum Kit Designer
The drum kit designer bank features 26 pre assembled kits featuring a variety of examples constructed with a content cross section from the sample pool.
The kits each include 16 instrument sounds which are assigned from C2 to D#3, they roughly follow the GM midi standard, but the real idea is that they can work with the more modern Maschine and MPC 16 pad controller conventions.
I did plug my Alesis Nitro e-kit into the system, and the drums did respond nicely to the pads on the e-kit.
In terms of the pad routing of sounds, given that these settings will not be accessible with a screen reader via the GUI, it should be possible to reassign any instruments to more appropriate pads that were not already ideal, out of the box, using a midi re-router plugin such as can be found within the Reaper DAW.
The Damage Loop Designer
The Loop designer has 12 presets, with each having around 3 octaves or so of individual loops assigned individually to their own key.
these come in both straight and triplet meters and cover the more traditional Heavyocity territory we have come to know and love.
There are a good selection of great sounding variations with FX, reverses, de tuning and trailer style audio assaults a plenty.
Keyswitches do not feature heavily within The Damage Drum Kit, however with the loop presets Heavyocity have included some stutter FX found between F1 & B1, which trigger a tempo synced machine gun effect spanning from 16, 32, 64 & 128 note time variations, which get applied to the currently playing loop when held down, which is welcome and quite handy to have.
Damaged Kit Sounds
The sounds have as ever, been recorded to a high and pristine standard, the kicks are punchy with a strong sub bass which retains the definition without being woolly.
Snares are equally powerful, crisp and bright, there is a particularly noteworthy and serviceable buzz roll on the D#2 key.
The Toms sound well balanced and nicely tuned, as did the metals of the Hi-Hats and Cymbals, and naturally choke has been applied to the Hats.
In a clean state The well recorded Damage Drum Kit happily holds it’s own among other libraries in the genre, but of course it’s the addition of the FX processing that when applied in the sound designed presets, make them more unique and targeted to the media creator and thus transforms their characteristics into something much grittier.
I cannot in all fairness find any criticisms with the quality of the sounds within The Damage Drum Kit, and certainly for my sighted readers (many of whom have contacted me and tell me that they specifically read the reviews to find out about the nKS mappings which are seldom mentioned elsewhere), they can be assured of a thoroughly versatile library that extends and befits the legacy of the existing Damage line.
For some blind users at least, on this rare occasion, they may find themselves somewhat wanting with the sound design potential afforded to them via the NKS system, which is not helped by the number of presets versus overall access versus price.
For others though, who perhaps do not need to invest in the full Damage or Damage 2 libraries, this may not be such a deterrent and work out as a more cost effective way of introducing the distinctive Damage sound into their compositions with a smaller outlay.
The Damage Drum Kit is available from the Heavyocity website, For a limited time, Heavyocity is offering the Damage Drum Kit for $99 (reg. $119). In addition, Damage 2 owners will get an additional 20% off with serial.
Offers end June 14, 2022.
The Damage Drum Kit – Product Page:
The Damage Drum Kit – Preset Playthrough:
The Damage Drum Kit – Demo Walkthrough:
The Damage Drum Kit – Content Overview:
The Damage Drum Kit – User Manual:
(c) Chris Ankin
June 1st, 2022
The author can not accept any responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this review,or Any inaccuracies found therein. All opinions and product functions stated are based solely on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product and/or gathered from official factual sources such as the developer, web or supplied product manual.
About the Author
Based in Buckinghamshire, England, Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review author and contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.
He has also worked extensively in, and been associated with music, recording, film Soundtrack, Game & media, the creative arts, publishing and investments since 1982 under his own name and various other pseudonyms.