Superior Drummer Packs

Toontrack Releases New Bundles and Classic SDX for Superior Drummer 3 – EMusician

The revamped Drums page provides multiple sub-panels for sound editing and access to the new Song Track. However, Superior Drummer 3 is now upon us and, almost nine years on, I think it is fair to say that expectations are high. So, just how have Toontrack attempted to make Superior, well Best, Better?
superior drummer packs

Toontrack Releases Orchestral Percussion Expansion Pack for Superior Drummer 3

The revamped Drums page provides multiple sub-panels for sound editing and access to the new Song Track. However, Superior Drummer 3 is now upon us and, almost nine years on, I think it is fair to say that expectations are high. So, just how have Toontrack attempted to make Superior, well Best, Better?

Superior Drummer Packs

As shown in the various screenshots, SD3 has received a complete visual overhaul. The new look is modern but, despite the visual differences, transitioning from SD2 to SD3 is pretty painless. More importantly, while there are lots of new and improved features, the core functionality remains intact. High-quality drum sounds based upon super-detailed drum sampling, comprehensive mixing and a huge catalogue of MIDI drum grooves still lie at the heart of SD3.

This runs to over GB, and includes six new acoustic kits as well as around electronic drum sounds and a small collection of percussion instruments. Within the main kits there are plenty of choices, including more than 30 snares and nearly as many kick drums. All the samples are presented at All the usual plug-in formats are supported. Upgrades and crossgrade options are available as is for an extra cost an SSD containing the full sound library, which is useful if the prospect of downloading GB is not something you wish to contemplate.

For example, the top edge contains the main menu drop-downs, tabs for the four main screens — Drums, Grooves, Mixer and Tracker — and, on the right, drop-downs to access the sample-library presets. On the far right of this strip is a RAM usage indicator; while some of the SD3 kits have a sizeable RAM footprint, there are various resource streamlining options available both here and within the Performance tab of the Settings menu.

Looks aside, the UI now offers very flexible options for customising the layout. In addition, each of the Grooves, Mixer and Tracker screens can be detached and floated. Whether you have a large or small screen, you can find your own perfect fit for SD3.

Drum Construction As before, the Drums page is where you configure your kit. As well as the very smart overhaul of the kit graphics, the various sub-panels used to customise your kit have been reorganised and now all appear on the right. MIDI grooves can be dragged and dropped here to build your drum performance. Very usefully, you can also create multiple tracks to experiment with different performance options.

Playback follows your host when SD3 is working as a plug-in. This zone can also be resized as required. This should give you some idea of the scale of the recording behind Superior Drummer 3. As mentioned above, SD3 ships with an impressively weighty sample base, the highlights of which are six new acoustic kits based upon Gretsch, Ayotte, Pearl, Yamaha, Premier and Ludwig drum sets.

There is also a very diverse preset collection that covers a huge range of musical styles and includes options such as sticks, mallets and brushes. As before, you can customise your kit in a multitude ways. The right-hand side sub-panels include numerous options on a per-kit-piece basis, including, amongst other things, level, tuning, humanise and, in the Pitch FX tab, the ability to define a pitch envelope.

However, beyond these panels, SD3 offers four highlight features for kit customisation. First, there is a fully featured instrument browser, with a range of different filter options. Second, you can now mix and match any kit piece from any of your SD libraries or expansion packs within a single kit. Custom graphics are provided for the full back catalogue of SD expansion packs.

You can now stack multiple sounds within SD3, with a full range of editing options for each drum within a stack. Third, a new drum-stacking feature allows you to fully capitalise on this mix-and-match capability. The stacking capability is built into the drum browser, and any stack is then shown within the main Drums window whenever the kit piece is selected.

Each layer of the stack can also be selected for individual editing via the sub-panel tabs. Fourth, you can now import your own samples. However, if you are prepared to put the time in with the stack feature, you can import multiple samples and use the Level and MIDI Velocity Gate sub-panels to create some velocity-based sample switching. Getting Groovy The revamped Grooves tab now offers a much more sophisticated environment, with numerous filter options to browse and search amongst your SD MIDI drum clip library.

For example, top-left of the Groove tab are two large buttons: If you have already found a single MIDI loop you like, you can drag and drop it from the results pane into the drop zone. Hit this and you are presented with a blank two-bar MIDI clip into which you can play for example, via your MIDI keyboard some basic elements of a drum pattern. This might be just a kick, or some combination of kick and snare, but the pattern will simply loop while you overdub until you are happy with the basic idea.

You then hit the Show Results button, whereupon SD3 searches the clip library to find MIDI loops that closely match, or would work alongside, the basic pattern you have created.

And then we have the Song Creator. The rest of the Song Creator panel is then populated with a selection of clips that might make suitable options for verse, pre-chorus, chorus and so on. These can be individually dragged and dropped to the Song Track, but drag and drop from the Song Structures section and you get an instant, fully formed, song-length drum performance ready to audition. Double-clicking on a clip in the Song Track opens a new tabbed window.

The Edit Play Style page lets you adjust the number of hits and the velocity for each individual drum within the pattern. Kick too busy? You can easily dial it back with the Amount knob. Hats too quiet? Add a Velocity offset. And if you need more options, then the Block menu positioned at the top of the Song Track section offers all sorts of extra features.

Finally, the Track menu also allows you to add a tempo envelope to the Song Track and to insert time signature changes. Amongst all these features and new elements, two things are perhaps worth really highlighting here. First, given that all the new SD3 kits have been sampled with enough microphones to offer These are available even if you are simply working with a stereo output as the channels are just presented to you as alternative ambience choices.

Second, unlike the modest offerings of SD2, SD3 is supplied with an impressive selection of 35 dedicated effects for use within the Mixer. These include multiple types of delay, distortion, EQ, dynamics, reverb and modulation. There are over 30 effects included for use within the SD3 Mixer and the quality is uniformly high.

Two further features are worth covering here. However, if that does become an issue, you could always use the comprehensive suite of options for rendering out bouncing your drums to audio. Second is the Macro Controls. These can be opened via the button to the right of the transport controls and are displayed in banks of five are available in total.

SD3 parameters such as Mixer or effects controls, or drum parameters such as the envelope decay times or tuning, can be assigned to these rotary knobs. A number of the kit presets make good use of these and the potential is obvious. This is ably illustrated by one of the tutorial videos shipped with my review package that shows a Macro Control used to control amplitude envelope decay time; it provided a brilliant way to add extra dynamics in different sections of a performance. Replacement Therapy Superior Drummer has always excelled in the creation of a complete drum performance from scratch with no actual drummer required.

However, in SD3, it can also perform another valuable role: This functionality is contained within the Tracker screen, and I think it is fair to say that Toontrack have knocked it right out of the park first time with this brand-new element. George Massenburg and drummer Norman Garschke. Tracker then uses some very sophisticated AI-based algorithms, first to identify the type of drum kick, snare, hi-hat, tom and so on that dominates each track and, second, to detect the transients for that drum sound while ignoring transients from other sounds that have bled into that track.

Having tried this with a few multitrack drum recordings of my own, I was very impressed with the results that SD3 achieved without any intervention on my part and, in particular, by how well the algorithm handles multiple hi-hat articulations and captures the playing dynamics of the original performance.

Tracker also provides tools for defining the original tempo and generating a tempo map from the audio recordings. It perhaps required more user input to fine-tune the detection process but the results were remarkably usable. Although I did my testing on a pre-release version of SD3, I have to say that all this sophisticated functionality behaved pretty much flawlessly. Auditioning this new virtual drummer was, therefore, a real pleasure. SD3 is feature-rich, has an excellent MIDI groove library, brilliant tools for building a complete song-format drum performance, great mixing options and a comprehensive drum replacement feature.

Every sound feels absolutely pristine unless, of course, a preset includes effects that deliberately aim for a more grungy feel , and the kick drums particularly striking. Hold on to your subwoofers, because there is some serious bottom-end punch available here. Toontrack have also done a great job with the range of presets supplied, which demonstrate that the six new kits can actually cover a huge range of musical styles.

Loading SD2 kit or expansion kit presets into SD3 worked absolutely fine but, having done some side-by-side tests, the actual sound was identical to when that same kit was played within SD2. Sonically, Superior Drummer 3 is undoubtedly superior. Conclusions Real drummer or virtual drummer? However, in sonic terms, SD3 delivers drum tracks that sound incredibly realistic at a fraction of the price that the combination of a top studio, top kit, top drummer and top engineer would entail, and it does it with a very modest amount of effort.

Jobbing session drummers really would need to bring their triple A-game to compete with this. As an all-round virtual drummer package, SD2 was always competitive and, over the years, became an incredibly popular choice despite some very able alternatives perhaps most notably BDF3. However, I think SD3 takes the virtual drummer concept to a completely new level and, while the price might be a barrier to some, it is undoubtedly well worth it.

Toontrack have got an absolutely nailed-on winner here, and all I can say is that I feel sorry for session drummers who are looking for work. All of these are capable of creating great drum tracks, but I think the overall package offered by SD3, while at the top end of the price range amongst these products, has seriously raised the bar.

First impression: The levels of articulation and detail available are exceptional. The drums allow for incredibly dynamic playing, with grace notes being reproduced perfectly and the drums really opening up as you hit harder. The huge choice of drums available is fantastic. I had endless fun auditioning snares I have no hope of ever owning, each one beautifully recorded and giving an incredible tonal palette of sounds. The ability to introduce bleed individually into any or all of the room mics makes for almost endless possibilities and brings to life what are already amazing-sounding kits.

Drum replacement is a great way to augment an existing drum track, and is something I often do, so I was keen to check out the new Tracker feature.


Products 1 – 42 of 49 Rock/Metal Drum Expansion Pack for Toontrack Superior Drummer , with 63GB of Unprocessed Drum Sounds – Mac/PC AAX, RTAS. Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 . Free drum MIDI pack of your choice, a $ Value! Purchase this Toontrack Progressive Metal Drums MIDI Pack. During the Months of June & July Get 40% Off Toontrack Superior Drummer SDX Expansion Packs! (Download Only).

Toontrack Releases SDX Expansion for Superior Drummer 3 by Bob Rock

Publish date: The focus of the series has been to capture the most notable and legendary drum rooms in the New York area: About Superior Drummer 3 Building on the legacy of its predecessor, Superior Drummer 3 was redesigned from the ground up to introduce a completely new and improved workflow, integrated drum audio to MIDI conversion, 35 mixer effects, scalable interface, detachable windows, a comprehensive MIDI library, an all-new core sound library recorded by George Massenburg and much, much more.

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Watch: Toontrack Releases Orchestral Percussion Expansion Pack for Superior Drummer 3 | MetalSucks

Hot on the heels of the praised Superior Drummer 3 release, Metal Month will include a new SDX expansion for Superior Drummer 3 produced. Toontrack has announced the release of the long-awaited Orchestral Percussion SDX, a sound library expansion for Superior Drummer 3. Products 1 – 42 of 49 Rock/Metal Drum Expansion Pack for Toontrack Superior Drummer , with 63GB of Unprocessed Drum Sounds – Mac/PC AAX, RTAS.

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