In a lot of Zimmer's bombastic cues (POTC2, King Arthur) he uses a lot of subtle stuff like shakers, hihats, sticks maybe even. Although his "hits" with toms, taikos etc are always loud, the high percussion stuff is always quite subtly mixed.
I'd love to learn how to add stuff like this.
Does anyone have an idea what he his using? Does he simply have a bunch of tracks with standard drumkit stuff, shakers etc. Or would some of this stuff be loop-based? I can't image that for instance in POTC2 he has really played each individual note (assuming that his percussion tracks in his mockups are included in the final recording (I guess he simply replaces his string, brass and wood parts with real ochestral dubbings, but not these propelling rhythm lines).
BTW, have you seen that interesting German docu?
http://www.hans-zimmer.com/fr/media/hzdf.avi (DivX I believe).
BTW2: play the track POTC2-Dinner is Served and listen to the waltz with headphones. The trumpet ad libs are soooo fake and badly mixed in the stereo image! Must be samples IMO.