Spitfire Audio Resonate review

If you combine one of the UK’s leading sample library companies with a grand Dame, you are probably going to find something pretty special…

  • £199
Spitfire Audio Resonate
(Image: © Spitfire Audio)

MusicRadar Verdict

If you need a great resource for interesting and otherworldly sounds, Resonate will provide you with a hearty resource.


  • +

    Great resource for interesting and acoustically derived sounds.

  • +

    The interface invites real-time control.

  • +

    Beautifully recorded with full mic control.

  • +

    Much more than just four instruments!


  • -

    Limited appeal for more regular producers.

  • -

    Sample loading isn’t the fastest.

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Spitfire Audio Resonate: What is it?

Composers and producers are always on the prowl for new and exciting sounds. As any media composer will tell you, there can be plenty to inspire from a library packed with timbre from another realm. 

The recording location for Spitfire’s latest library, sees a return to Air studios. This time however, the company has enlisted help from Dame Evelyn Glennie, who is one of the greatest percussionists of our time. But this is not just another percussion library. Resonate consists of four percussion instruments, some of which aren’t immediately identifiable as such, and all played in less than conventional ways, with a number of different articulations and enhancements.

Spitfire Audio Resonate

(Image credit: Spitfire Audio)

The four main instruments on offer are Barrel, Timpani, Water Tank and Thundersheet. While there is a small degree of more traditional percussive strikes, the main concept for this library involves using further instrumentation as resonators. This means that from an initial strike, hit, scrape or bow, a long and unwinding sonic identity prevails, inviting the listener to sit back and enjoy the subtlety and harmonic overtones. 

To partner this concept even further, the 45 different instrumental articulations are embellished with seven unique microphone placements and perspectives. These range from contact mics, which have been placed to the resonating chambers themselves, to microphones placed under water. 

Spitfire Audio Resonate: Performance and verdict

One of the possible problems with this library, inevitably becomes its endearing quality; the fact that even with the best description Spitfire can offer, you are never entirely sure what you are going to hear until you hit a note. 

Do you know what a barrel sounds like when it’s scraped with a ball? No, neither did we, but we do now!

Let’s be honest, do you know what a barrel sounds like when it’s scraped with a ball? No, neither did we, but we certainly do now! The long and almost horn-like quality reverberates around the cavernous hall, to the most extraordinary set of harmonic overtones. 

Resonate is equipped with plenty of deep and sonorous hits. It also makes a virtue out of the longer samples, many of which respond beautifully to real-time control. 

Also consider...

ProjectSAM True Strike 1

(Image credit: ProjectSAM)

ProjectSAM True Strike 1
The True Strike series is one of the earliest and still relatively highly prized percussion resources.

Soniccouture Haunted Spaces
A sizeable collection of samples collated into a Kontakt instrument, with plenty of otherworldly sounds.

Part of the Spitfire instrumental interface opens up the capacity for real-time control of reverb, compression and filtering, but one of the most interesting elements is described as Stretch. This effect is accessed through the employment of longer samples, where the timing structure of the sample itself can be played around with, in real time. 

Some of the samples are open to tuning, while played via the keyboard, but many are locked into the initial resonant tonality, produced by the instrument itself. In some settings, this may limit its usefulness, but it also underlines the need to consider this library as more of an effect library, and great effects they are too! 

Getting real and EVO

The most striking point to make about Spitfire Audio’s Resonate is that it provides a relatively unique position in the sample market. If you want a percussion library, this is not what you need! 

Resonate builds on the concept that if you agitate an instrument, or even items such as barrels, it is possible to create and enjoy an incredible set of sounds. Add into the equation the application of resonating instruments, chambers and spaces, also used in an unorthodox way, and you create a palette which is entirely unique. 

Should you need even greater encouragement, Spitfire has also included its EVO Grid technology, which lays samples across the keyboard, in a sometimes randomised way. While this may sound haphazard, the random combination, coupled with real-time control of the sounds and associated effects, can create real sonic magic. The key phrases here are, get stuck in, and suck it and see!

Spitfire Audio Resonate

(Image credit: Spitfire Audio)

Last hits

Resonate is pretty unique and quite unlike the more traditional percussion-fests that we come across. We would be lying if we said that this would be an ideal purchase for all, as it is at the more niche end of sonic business. In line with the Spitfire ethos, it is an ideal library for composers and producers working in the realms of media, film or post-production special effects. Like other notable percussion libraries which have utilised unorthodox percussive elements, to such great effect, this will doubtless be a hit for anyone needing those new and acoustically interesting sounds for their scoring work.

MusicRadar verdict: If you need a great resource for interesting and otherworldly sounds, Resonate will provide you with a hearty resource.

Spitfire Audio Resonate: The web says

"It’s a sound design masterpiece crammed full of both beautiful and spine-tingling resonances which are full of life and character."
Sample Library Review

Spitfire Audio Resonate: Hands-on demos

Spitfire Audio

Composer Daniel Willett

Sample Library Review

Tim Shoebridge

Spitfire Audio Resonate: Specifications

  • Mac OS X 10.13 to OS X 11. Minimum: 2.8GHz i5 (quad-core), 8GB RAM. Recommended: 2.8GHz i7 (six-core), 16GB RAM. Intel and M1 Macs supported. 64-bit DAW Required (32-bit DAWs not supported).
  • Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or Windows 11 (latest Service Pack, 64-bit). Minimum: Intel Core 2.8GHz i5 (quad-core) or AMD Ryzen 5. Recommended: Intel 2.8GHzi7 (six-core) or AMD R7 2700. 64-bit DAW Required (32-bit DAWs not supported).
  • File size: 32,229 audio files. 23.05GB compressed. Download size: 23.14GB.
  • CONTACT: Spitfire Audio
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