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Dave G

Addictive Drums 2 question

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Posted (edited)

I just noticed that Addictive Drums 2 is on sale this week! I'm highly interested in purchasing a custom AD2 pack, but I have a few questions first.

1)  How easy is the install/registration process? Does this involve registering and installing multiple services just to use AD2? (I've seen this strategy before and it doesn't please me.)

2) What is the value for my money? I find the package(s) details/verbiage a bit confusing. How many *actual* drum kits are bundled in each package? Are those "presets" (what are presets?) or actual kits?

3) For one who composes mostly rock,  pop, ballads, and alternative, what  AD2 drum paks would you consider most sufficiently cover such mainstream genres across the board? (After all, I'm competing with Session Drummer 3 and SI-Drum Kit.)

In the meantime, I'm going to install the AD2 Trial just to get a look.

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Dave G

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XLN Audio install and activate their products using a proprietary installer. For installation and activation the PC must be connected to the internet. AFAIK, nothing runs in the background. Once installed and activated there is no requirement to be connected to the internet.

The bundles are various collections of their ADPaks, MIDIPaks and Kit Pieces. Look at the details of the individual "paks" for what they contain.

IIRC, the demo contains a small set of drums that are free to use and demo versions of the different ADPaks available. Try the demo.

 

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7 hours ago, Dave G said:

2) What is the value for my money? I find the package(s) details/verbiage a bit confusing. How many *actual* drum kits are bundled in each package? Are those "presets" (what are presets?) or actual kits?

AD2 includes the ability to do a lot of editing and processing to the instruments, so that's where the presets are coming from. It's a lot more than a basic drum vsti. I have several different ADpacks that I got for free, or cheap, when offered by Cakewalk/XLN as promo packages. They all sound different and all are useful for getting different kinds of sounds. Most of the presets have a bit TOO much processing in them for my taste so when I use it I tend to strip it down and use Cakewalk for processing.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Chappel said:

AD2 includes the ability to do a lot of editing and processing to the instruments, so that's where the presets are coming from. It's a lot more than a basic drum vsti. I have several different ADpacks that I got for free, or cheap, when offered by Cakewalk/XLN as promo packages. They all sound different and all are useful for getting different kinds of sounds. Most of the presets have a bit TOO much processing in them for my taste so when I use it I tend to strip it down and use Cakewalk for processing.

Thank you for your input on this, Chappel. :)

I'm currently trying out the AD2 Demo, and I'm quite pleased so far. However, it seems as though some of my key mapping is missing. I can sample every preset in the AD2 browser screen, but on my DAW Piano Roll, I'm only able to play some drum pieces (usually kick drum, sometimes the snare and a few cymbals). Some presets play more notes on the PRV, and some play only a few. Also, on the AD2 browser screen, some of the visual drum kit's pieces are greyed out.

This is quite troublesome, because I compose entirely in the Piano Roll. I can't compose if my drum sounds are 95% absent.

Are you familiar with this issue? Or are some of these keys missing because it's a demo?

Edited by Dave G

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As I mentioned above, it is not a full kit. According to the XLN site, it contains the Fairfax Vol. 1 Adpak kick, snare, hihat and crash.

If you buy full kits, there are templates and a map for CbB at https://www.cakewalk.com/Support/Knowledge-Base/2007013364/Setting-up-a-Drum-Map-for-Addictive-Drums-2-in-SONAR

AD2 has a very powerful map tool built-in. The "Map Windows" is loaded from the ? in the upper-right of the plug-in UI. Not sure if this is available in the demo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I, too, only use the PRV for MIDI but I use a drum map instead of the keyboard. I've never seen anything grayed out so it's because it's a demo version. Here's a screencap of a slightly altered Fairfax Vol. 2 City Nights Preset. You can add, remove or change any of the kit pieces to any you have available. You can always buy more. You can use any kit piece with any ADpack or preset.

1629934160_AD2KitView1.thumb.JPG.c04fecf7354281236ce8444bc7344691.JPG

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I'm a big fan of AD2, and I also program the drums via PRV.  With the purchased version, you also get key mappings and it's easy to put together a map.

AD2 might be the best value for my buck, out of all the add-ons I've ever purchased.

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Posted (edited)

The bang for the buck deal on Addictive Drums is to buy  an official "custom" bundle from a 3rd party distributor. Funny, but they don't sell that at their XLN store.

You get AD2 with your choice of content.  So pick any 3 kits (ADPaks), plus any 3 MIDIPaks, plus 3 additional kit pieces. You don't have to select them all up front, as XLN will show unused credits until you select all the parts you registered.

For example take a look at this at Audio Deluxe. You have to sign in to see the member discount in the cart. https://www.audiodeluxe.com/products/xln-audio-addictive-drums-2-custom

With code "SUMMER2020" you get a discount of $23.97 so your order total would be $125.98.

Highly recommended, and the only way I've bought their kits!

Plus once you have started with AD2, you might be interested later in the occasional XLN sale, when all their stuff goes for 50% off. That's when I've stocked up on extra "custom" bundles.

Edited by abacab

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The only issue I have with Addictive Drums is the periodic loss of authorization and the subsequent "wrong computer"  error message. This is I believe triggered by window updates. Its not a big job to go into online installer and rectify it but I should really not be happening and it does not inspire confidence.

I am not sure of the frequency of the problem these days as I usually use Superior Drummer of BFD3 both of which I prefer. Addictive drums is a good solution however if you like you drums a little more "mix ready".

 

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3 hours ago, Vernon Barnes said:

The only issue I have with Addictive Drums is the periodic loss of authorization and the subsequent "wrong computer"  error message. This is I believe triggered by window updates. Its not a big job to go into online installer and rectify it but I should really not be happening and it does not inspire confidence.

 

Mmm - I may have spoken too soon in saying its easy to resolve, this time its proving more tricky to sort out. I may be doing something daft. I will try tomorrow and if that fails contact support.

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On 6/27/2020 at 3:30 PM, Vernon Barnes said:

Mmm - I may have spoken too soon in saying its easy to resolve, this time its proving more tricky to sort out. I may be doing something daft. I will try tomorrow and if that fails contact support.

Apparently the XLN license activation is tied to the machine ID. This changes with every Windows 10 version upgrade, i.e. 1903, 1909, 2004, etc.

Maybe they should use Pace iLok instead? I have had no issues with that!

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, abacab said:

Apparently the XLN license activation is tied to the machine ID. This changes with every Windows 10 version upgrade, i.e. 1903, 1909, 2004, etc.

Maybe they should use Pace iLok instead? I have had no issues with that!

I have AD2 on account (waiting to get some kits, etc.)  so I haven't faced the re-authorization issue.  Maybe someone know, does that need to be done just with Windows upgrades?  I have had issues with Pace iLok and uninstalled it along with software that uses it.  However, please correct me if I am wrong, it seemed like  Pace/iLok and/or the software that uses that protection scheme needs to log in every time the software is boot.  In fact, one software package tried to sync to the corporate servers frequently (i.e., while using the software).  I opted out of that "feature." but the software still tried and failed.

If XLN requires re-authorization once in a while, to me that seems far less intrusive.  I suppose I will have to download a kit to find out. 

Edited by User 905133

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, User 905133 said:

I have AD2 on account (waiting to get some kits, etc.)  so I haven't faced the re-authorization issue.  Maybe someone know, does that need to be done just with Windows upgrades?  I have had issues with Pace iLok and uninstalled it along with software that uses it.  However, please correct me if I am wrong, it seemed like  Pace/iLok and/or the software that uses that protection scheme needs to log in every time the software is boot.  In fact, one software package tried to sync to the corporate servers frequently (i.e., while using the software).  I opted out of that "feature." but the software still tried and failed.

If XLN requires re-authorization once in a while, to me that seems far less intrusive.  I suppose I will have to download a kit to find out. 

The issue with XLN is that if your Windows machine ID changes, then it looks like you are using a different computer that has not been activated with XLN yet. Usually a quick fix, Nothing running in the background like some other protection schemes. Just the XLN Installer that you run on demand.

But you will need to sign in to your XLN Audio account on the web to adjust your computer activations.

Edited by abacab
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3 hours ago, abacab said:

Apparently the XLN license activation is tied to the machine ID. This changes with every Windows 10 version upgrade, i.e. 1903, 1909, 2004, etc.

Maybe they should use Pace iLok instead? I have had no issues with that!

Or they could do whatever nearly everybody else does. I don't know exactly what that is mind you, only that I have a lot of paid s/w from Arturia, iZotope, IKM, and NI, (not to mention Adobe CC), and none of them ever periodically lose their authorization, despite the semiannual Win10 updates.

Just XLN. It's quite irritating.

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I agree that XLN is a prime example for that, but I had such problems with other plugin providers, too! But I cannot remember which ones! 😄

AD2: I like it and use it, too. But as one said before, there is a lot of processing in their presets and I prefer to do the processing in the DAW (CbB) by myself! I don't like those over-defined presets, because they often conflict with the rest of the mix. Yes, they sound cool when you run the drums on its own. But as soon as you add several other tracks (bass, guitars, synths, ...) they get your mix too busy!

The 2nd thing that I dislike in AD2 is that many of their drum instruments are too roomy. If you listen e.g. to their snare track only, then it is very quiet, i.e. the snare goes mainly thru the overheads and room mics. This makes it very difficult to mix when you want to increase or decrease the snare, because you also affect other components and the sound of the snare. And if you want to choose your own room and reduce the room/overhead on some instruments, then the sound is quite weak (snare, toms). Regarding roomy the worst for me is the kick, because until today I have never managed to get the more natural sound that I want (that is very easy to achieve within NI drum kits).

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19 hours ago, marled said:

I agree that XLN is a prime example for that, but I had such problems with other plugin providers, too! But I cannot remember which ones! 😄

AD2: I like it and use it, too. But as one said before, there is a lot of processing in their presets and I prefer to do the processing in the DAW (CbB) by myself! I don't like those over-defined presets, because they often conflict with the rest of the mix. Yes, they sound cool when you run the drums on its own. But as soon as you add several other tracks (bass, guitars, synths, ...) they get your mix too busy!

The 2nd thing that I dislike in AD2 is that many of their drum instruments are too roomy. If you listen e.g. to their snare track only, then it is very quiet, i.e. the snare goes mainly thru the overheads and room mics. This makes it very difficult to mix when you want to increase or decrease the snare, because you also affect other components and the sound of the snare. And if you want to choose your own room and reduce the room/overhead on some instruments, then the sound is quite weak (snare, toms). Regarding roomy the worst for me is the kick, because until today I have never managed to get the more natural sound that I want (that is very easy to achieve within NI drum kits).

I agree on the processing - I too prefer to control that from the DAW, and also concur on kits like AD2 that sound great played by themselves, but often have to be tweaked a lot, to get them to sit in the mix.  I find the Native Instruments kits in Kontakt libraries to be absolutely amazing, and have generally switched to using those, as firstly I get more output channels available to split kit pieces to their own audio output channels in Kontakt, the sounds are amazing, and the mapping is at least on par with AD2, and quite possibly even provides more midi note choices.  (the Kontakt Studio Drummer library, for example, has notes mapped from note number 22, all the way up to note number 105, and includes note numbers mapped to things like Hi-Hat fully closed, 1/4 open, 1/2 open, 3/4 open, loosely open, and fully open).

Addictive Drums 2 also has a bunch of notes mapped, if you use their AD2 standard mapping in the Map Window. 

One additional comment on the kits in AD2 - a single kit, such as Studio Prog, when you pull up the kit in the AD2 instance, offers perhaps 20 different variations, which are all displayed in the kit window, so even if you have a small number of kits, there are still lots of those variations to pick from.

Here is a link to info and links for downloading a drum map and project template for Addictive Drums 2 for Cakewalk:

AD2 setting up a drum map in Sonar (Cakewalk)

Bob Bone

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Thanks for the detailed comments assessing the strengths and weaknesses of AD2's sound design implementation, mapping, etc.  When I get around to downloading/installing/using my kits, etc., these details will most likely be helpful.  Thanks, too, for the initial questions that elicited these comments!

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