Drum Software Options

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Drum Software Options

This is an article by instructor Todd Simpson, which tries to gather all the great info our instructor has shared through our board. May it serve you well user posted image

For those who are starting to work with EZ DRUMMER from Toon Track (Periphery did they first demos/tracks with this program and wads of folks use and keep it a secret!) Here is a video from DAVE WEINER (he plays in Steve Vai's touring band)
about building drum tracks. Enjoy!

Anybody else got some spiffy EZDrummer vids? As a guitar player, it's very handy to be able to build drum tracks without having to actually enlist a drummer each and every time.

This post was mostly for students who are just getting going with drum software. Once they are ready for more advanced stuff, I'd also suggest growing to BFD or doing what I did and adding DRUMS FROM HELL expansion Pack on EZ Ddrummer. It sounds MUCH better than the stock sounds. Also, EZ DRUMMER will let you send each and every drum sound to it's own track inside your DAW (like BFD and Steven Slate Drums) This is an amazing feature that lets me take the raw sounds and mix them my own way, adding fx, compression, eq, pan, side chain, etc. just like I would if mixing a real drum kit.


In addition, I"ll sometimes start with Ez Drummer/Drums from hell for the patterns and then replace ALL of the sounds with the STEVEN SLATE DRUMS module so that I can build a pattern quickly and then use SLATE for actual sounds that allows me to keep my indiidual tracks per drum sound and use the AMAZING slate samples which are IMHO simply the best available anywhere. Recorded at NRG in L.A. and used by just wads of producers/remixers. Here is a link with some sound demos.

If you have not tried the slate pack it's worth a listen for your personal projects. I'd have to say they sound better than BFD for rock/heavy stuff. And best of all it runs as a KONTACK instrument!


Although, I find the BFD kits are more flexible and offer wider variety than EZ/Hell and Slate put together. I almost went with the BFD kit instead of Ez/Hell and Slate. But the fact that Toon track has so many great drummers making midi loops for them (Thomas Haake from Meshuggah among others) I just couldn't say no. Not to mention the fact that Each is pretty cheap and you can start with EZ and build your way up. But to each his own!


My buddy here who produces the indieatl.com show SWEARS by drumagog for drum replacement. He records bands live so if a mic has bleed, etc. He can swap out any drum track for a drum sample and then mix it in as if it were a real track. Switches live drums to triggered drums in a sense. Sampled/triggered. Ive sat in during sessions when he's using it but I've never actually touched it. It does look cool though. The new version is way spiff. So you could use it as a plugin replacement just the same way I've been using STEVEN SLATE DRUMS. It will swap out the drum sounds (even 8 tracks of them at a time!) with sampled kits that are just amazing from Gretch, Drum Workshop and others. The baby version is actually cheaper than SLATE which is a bit shocking! A great choice.

I hadn't considered it as a sound replacement plugin until Tony mentioned it but yeah, that's brilliant!



He also LOVES autotune but not for vocals. He uses it on Guitars! Some bands don't have perfect intonation and it can cause issues. So he sometimes whips out autotune to make the guitars play nice with each other.

BFD ECO (The little Brother of the KIller BFD2 Drum Software) Is currently being offered through most outlets for $29 U.S. which is about ABOUT 30 EURO The drums sounds in this plugin are just killer. For 30 Euro, it's a No Brainer even if you have Ez Drummer already. I"ve got Steve Slate Drums EX as well and I"m getting a copy of BFD ECO before this price runs out. Here is a link to a European Online Music Vendor I found selling it at this price.


Here is a vid demo. The drums are taken from the same samples on the higher end version that costs lots more.

There' also Studio Drummer from Native Instruments (little more than $100 euro)

And of course the AWESOME unbeatable studio sampled goodness of STEVEN SLATE DRUMS (starter version EX a bit more than $100 Euro)

As you know by now hopefully, there is no such thing really as a "Best" anything. It's really what's "Best" for you. If you get a piece of software that's way over your head, even though it's awesome, that really won't help.

EZ Drummer is great for years 1-3 (very, very, very rough guideline and generalizing like crazy here, your mileage may vary) of your time as a "Recordist". There are killer expansion packs like Metalheadz and such and TONS of great midi packs. The number of avaialble MIDI packs is astounding. Full songs, parts of songs, grooves. And they are cheap.

It's really eazy to put drum bits together in to a song and get a decent drum sound with EZ and a couple of expansion packs.

Having said that, SSD has some of the most AWESOME drum samples you'll ever hear and you can stack several on top of each other which is pretty spiff. You can stack three snare drums for example to get one huge snare. It's also more complicated that EZ, has a wads more buttons/sliders because it's got more control, more effects, etc.

BFD ECO is complex too. (Though some folks I'm sure will chime in to say it's as simple as crayons smile.gif )

I've got EZ Drummer, BFD ECO, SSD EX, and NI Studio Drummer. And for guitarists in their first year or few of recording, honestly EZ and some expansion packs, and midi packs is a good call. Easy, cheap, sounds good, BINGO!

Once you are ready to dig deeper and upgrade to something a tad more Pro, you might try the starter Steven Slate. I often create drum parts in EZ Drummer, then switch to SLATE just cause it sounds better.

Hope this helps: )