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Loot Audio spoke to Sam Brown of Paper Stone Instruments to learn more about his sample libraries and studio methods

Hi Sam! Tell us how you got into the business of making sample libraries...

Well.. my next door neighbour at my old house happened to be Glyn Lloyd who set up sampleism many years ago and I’d been thinking about sampling a palm mute version of the grand piano in the live room of our studio.. It came together really easily and I loved doing it.

Tell us a little about your studio – main components, how it came together…

We’ve been in Paperstone studio since 2003. First taking over the old projection room and then in 2007 renovating the main cinema. Recently we’ve rebranded the studio as Kinema Audio and opened a new mastering suite.

Tell us a little about your recording techniques and the people you work with...

Our primary focus is composing music to picture. And from this we get ideas about tools we feel we need to make our compositions flow easier. Also, we always try to capture the tone of the live room as it sounds incredible and we wanted Kontakt instruments that worked seamlessly with session musicians we were recording live on our productions. We regularly produce music for BMG EMI and Universal so we need Midi instruments that cut it when turnarounds are tight.

What plug-ins or outboard do you use?

In terms of process / personally I’m mad about PMC Monitoring - 1073 preamps - prism  conversion, retro 414s and my Flea47. I couldn’t live without Pro Q 3 and UAD Plug-ins.. But while I mix in the box I like to master mainly analogue. I use 4 mastering eas a Dav, tquelizer, Gyraf and a drawmer 1974 and love my thermionic Phoenix and Elysia Xpressor for dynamics.

What is the library you created that you are most proud of?

Probably the PSI Kick - we multisampled 5 iconic kick drums and painstakingly phase aligned both sub bass and more generic triggers. I feel I can create the most amazing kicks so easily. And the fusion of real world kicks and triggers just exceeded my expectations when the final product came together. 

Do you have any interesting plans for the future?

In terms of the future I  would love to do a PSI Artist series - featuring some of the amazing session musicals that we work with! Also I would love to hire a celesta and capture it forensically in the auditorium.

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PSI Kick

PSI Kick

The PSI Kick Drum is a deeply sampled kick drum library featuring a massive collection of drums with loads of added control and functionality to enable you to sculpt the perfect kick drum.


Blend and control each drum with additional Trigger and Sub Samples

Use the trigger samples to add extra bite to the attack with a selection of acoustic and electronic triggers to choose from. Control the Tuning, Pan, Attack, Release, High and Lo Pass Filters for each trigger independently to the main kick. Each Trigger also has two microphone positions which you can blend together to craft the perfect trigger.

Use the Sub to add bottom end to the core kick sound with an additional 13 tuned subs and 13 misc subs to choose from. Control the tuning and release for each sub individually.

Each Drum has 5 microphone positions and up to 27 Velocity Layers. If you've ever used the PSI snare you'll know just how flexible this system is for producing perfect drums for any purpose.

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PSI Snare

PSI Snare is a 1.02GB, 5596 sample, Multi-sampled Snare Drum, playable in the full version of Kontakt 4.0.2 and 5.0

There is a simple concept behind the PSI Snare – Rather than going down the normal route of superficially recording a range of snares, our focus was to capture the huge amount of different tones and effects that can be created on one high quality drum. In fact we wanted to offer the user all the flexibility and sound shaping possibilities of owning a real snare.

The wide range of hits and tunings means The Snare is capable of working in many different musical styles, it works like a dream as a replacer/enhancer snare in drum mixes where the original recording of the snare left something to be desired. It can also be programmed very creatively using its powerful editing controls and its ability to use the controls either in Global or Local mode.

The end result features 35 different playing styles and tunings with up to 56 velocity layers recorded in 5 mic positions:

'Close'(Mono), 'Bottom' (Mono), Tube (Mono), 'Overhead' (stereo) and 'Room' (ambient stereo).

The 35 Hits include 6 tunings, Muted Snares, Open Snares, Hands, Buzzes, Flams, Brushes, Hot Rods, Rim Shots and Rim Clicks.

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PSI Snare
Palm Mute Piano

Palm Mute Piano

The PSI Palm Mute Piano is a Cinematic, Finger Dampened Piano. Professionally recorded to produce a unique and meticulously sampled Grand Piano using finger dampening to create what is essentially a brand new instrument.

The Piano has been sampled in 3 individual articulations to create the widest range of tones possible, staccato, sustained, and the epic sounding pedalled. The recordings have also been made using 3 microphone positions which can be individually controlled and blended to maximise the range of obtainable sounds and effects.

Palm Mute Piano was recorded in Studio 2 of Paper Stone Studios in Nottingham, UK, a converted cinema auditorium dating back to 1914 with incredible acoustics. This combined with with a class A signal chain has given the PMP a beautifully captured rich and characterful sound all of its own.

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