Big Fish Audio - Carnival Drums - 2,000 samples and 1.4 GB of the most exciting sounds of a Brazillian carnival
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Zero G

Carnival Drums

2,000 samples and 1.4 GB of the most exciting sounds of a Brazillian carnival
Carnival Drums - 2,000 samples and 1.4 GB of the most exciting sounds of a Brazillian carnival
Loop Type:
Drums Loops
Acid, EXS24, HALion, WAV, Reason, REX, Apple Loops, NNXT, Logic Sampler
  Please make a selection above
  • Loops


Over 2000 samples and 1.4Gb of the most exciting sounds of the Brazilian carnival. This fantastic library presents the main drums of the Brazilian Samba Baterias (samba percussion ensembles). Vibrant, exciting, full of spirit and colour. These drums from the baterias of Rio are so powerful they will send shivers down your spine.

We gathered together 10 professional Brazilian percussionists who play each year at the Rio Carnival and we recorded them in a state-of-the-art studio using close mics, stereo overheads and distant stereo room mics to capture the pure exhilaration of the performances. And because each of the 10 drummers played the same drum and rhythm in unison, mixed loops with 6 different drum parts have the sound and force of 60 carnival drummers.

As well as over 1400 loops in four different mic positions we have also included detailed multi-layered hits of all the drums in the most popular sampler formats so you can create your own rhythms to augment the loops. The bateria is the very essence of what makes the Carnival and its music so exciting, but outside of Rio the organization of the bateria and how it works was a mystery, until now...

Let the rhythm move you, and celebrate life – Brazilian style!
Drums used:

Surdo de Primeira: This is the largest surdo (bass drum), the one that gives the crucial marcação [the second, stronger beat] to the samba-it's the base of the rhythm. The Surdo de Primeira is the drum that provides the primary beat that the listener concentrates on. The singers are guided by this surdo. In general, there is a surdo de primeira right next to the principal singers as a guide. It has a lower tone and a stronger tuning than the Surdos de Resposta (the responding bass drums, second and third surdos).

Surdo de Segunda: This is the response to the surdo de primeira. It sustains the samba rhythm while the Surdo de Primeira is at rest and is its counterpoint. It is the middle-pitched Surdo Drum.

Surdo de Corte (Surdo de Terceira): A type of tuned floor-tom played with the hands, the highest of the three surdos. It chimes in between the other two (a little before the Surdo de Segunda). It gives a special interest to the cadence, breaking through the rigidity of the other two surdos and it gives a swing to the rhythm. Although played fairly softly to create a pure note, together, the Surdos drive the Samba like a bassline.

Caixa: Pronounced 'kay-sha', a type of snare drum worn on a shoulder strap. Played in large ensembles, Caixa rolls blend together in a shuffling wall of energetic white noise. This is what gives character to the samba. Only through the sound of the Caixa can you really identify a certain school. It's always played with two sticks, and has two cords [snares] across the drumhead that gives it a different kind of tone. It sets the tempo, but allows flourishes that can't happen in the surdos. The way you play the Caixa also varies from school to school: in some the player puts the drum at waist level, playing with two hands; others place the Caixa higher, using one hand as a support and the other free.

Repinique: Pronounced 'repineeki'. A two-headed tuned metal drum worn on a shoulder strap, played with either two sticks or one stick and a hand. The sound is like a very highly pitched timbale.

Tamborim: A small, high-tuned handheld drum with a very short, tight sound, in samba it is played with a bundle of nylon rods and is rapidly flipped around to create ghost notes. The slight natural timing differences between players give an impression of intense claps or rattles. The tamborims give the punch and the shape to the samba.

Agogô: A hand-held two-bell instrument similar to a cowbell and played with a stick.

Timbal: A large floor-standing conical drum which is a bit like a conga but with a more deep and forceful sound. Played with the hands, it can produce a variety of sounds from a deep well-defined thud to a high resounding hit.

Pandeiro: A large, deep tambourine played with the hand.

All the rhythms were performed by 10 professional Brazilian percussionists who play every year at the Rio Carnival. They was recorded in a modern theatre with excellent, lively acoustics thanks to polished wooden floors and huge adjustable acoustic curtains.

Each drum was closed-miked and stereo overheads and distant stereo room mics were used to capture the ambience. Because each of the 10 drummers played the same drum and rhythm in unison, mixed loops with 6 different drum parts have the sound and force of 60 carnival drummers.

Despite the variety, the collection is built on 12 core rhythms.

There are three slower patterns with a laid back groove:

Samba Reggae, Maxixe and Samba Rock – all typical of Salvador, and Bahia from NE Brazil.

The others are all faster and typical of Rio de Janeiro:

Axé, Samba Um, Dragões, Samba Dois, Samba Torcida Break Um, Samba Torcida Break Dois, Samba Tres, Samba Quatro and Samba Torcida Break Tres

'Torcida' here means something like 'audience participation' and so these 'Torcida Breaks' are the moment in the carnival that the rhythm breaks down and draws the audience to cheer and clap along.

This collection consists of both loops (Rex2 and Acidized Wavs) and multi-layered sample hits (EXS 24, Halion, Kontakt & NN-XT) so that you can combine expertly performed loops with your own keyboard or pad-triggered patterns, knowing that because the loops and hits are from the same drums, players, mics, mixes and venue, they will blend perfectly in a project.

For maximum usability the loops have been organized several ways – there are loops with only individual drum parts (e.g. Caixa-only loops) and there are ensemble performances with all parts of the Samba drum orchestra playing together. There are also recordings from different mic positions (close, overhead and room) where you can choose one or create your own mixes by stacking up the different mic channel loops of the same rhythm in your sequencer and making your own mix. And if you don't need this level of detail there is also a whole set of ready-to-go percussion ensemble mixes.

The loops are organized into the following folder structure:

For each type of loop (Wav, Rex2 and Apple) there are two master folders named 'Individual Parts' and 'Full Mixes'.

'Individual Parts' contains only loops of one particular type of drum – e.g. Caixa-only loops or Pandeiro-only loops.

'Full Mixes' contains loops with all different types of drums playing together in a full percussion ensemble arrangement.

Download Sizes

Version Compressed Download Size
Logic Sampler/Reason/NNXT/EXS24/HALion/Apple Loops/REX/WAV/Acid Download includes
  Carnival Drums 1:  2 GB
  Carnival Drums 2:  1.57 GB
  RAR Unarchive Instructions:  

*When ordering the download product from Big Fish Audio you will be given one or more links for each of your product purchases. The links will be active for 24 hours. During this time you should download the file and expand it. You can return to your Big Fish Audio account at any time and download your products. You will find your products in the "My Products" area of your account page.

License Agreement

The Following End User License Agreement is included with Carnival Drums. This License is only valid for the individual who has purchased an unopened, new and lawfully made copy of Carnival Drums from a dealer or distributor authorized by Big Fish Audio.

"ZERO-G LICENSE AGREEMENT 1. The sound samples included on this product remain the property of Zero-G Limited and are licensed, not sold, to you for use on your sampling software or equipment. 2. A right to use the enclosed sounds is granted to the original end-user of the product (Licensee) and is NOT transferable. 3. The Licensee may modify the sounds. and MAY USE THE SOUNDS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES WITHIN MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS, subject to section 7 below. 4. This license expressly forbids resale, relicensing, or other distribution of these sound samples, either as they exist on the enclosed discs, or any modification thereof. You cannot assign, lease, lend, rent, upload or download to or from any database or server, or transfer any or all of the sound samples to another user, or use them in any competitive product. 5. Licensor will not be responsible if the sound samples do not fit the particular purpose of the Licensee. The sound samples are licensed 'as is' without warranties of any kind. Neither the Licensor, or any distributor of Licensor's products, can be held responsible for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss arising from the use of any sound samples licensed from Zero-G Limited in whatever form. 6. The Licensee may use these sound samples for Foley and sound FX in TV or movie soundtracks, video game soundtracks, gaming machines, or toys, but Licensee may not re-distribute the sounds as sounds, multi-sounds, samples, multi-samples, programs or patches – meaning the Licensee cannot re-sell them as part of a sound sample library of any kind thereby effectively competing against Zero-G. Note also that use of the sound samples in isolation in video game soundtracks, gaming machines, or toys where they appear in isolation or as sound effects as part of a music game or remixing game is not permitted without first obtaining a separate written License (subject to availability) from Licensor. 7. Use of the sound samples in 'library music' (also known as 'music libraries' or 'production music'), which is intended for commercial exploitation by relicensing to multiple third parties, is permitted PROVIDED that the samples are used within a musical context and are not presented isolated or 'solo-ed'. The sound samples must be used 'in combination' within musical compositions. For such usage, any rhythm loop samples (which Zero-G regards as being musical clips in themselves) must also be combined with other types of samples or sounds to effectively form a new composition, rather than simply being looped in isolation."

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