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Keni

Thoughts about Addictive Drums 2

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As I haven’t managed the $400 tag on Superior Drums or BFD, I continue to struggle with AD2 which for  me was bundled with Sonar. Over time I have bought extra drum packs/kits and individual pieces. I’ve managed to cobble something together that isn't too bad but I’m so tired of living with less than satisfying sounds. I bought another snare yesterday only to discover my dislike for it too. They never allow us to hear the actual samples, only samples with lots of processing. So while I’m glad to have something, too many years stuck with this.

 

If I had credit I would buy better, but that is sadly no longer an option. I also have SSD5Free and MTPower Drums (and Session Drummer 3) but none have what I’m looking for.

 

So I wonder now. I prefer the BFD3 interface, but the company’s situation makes me hesitate in the extreme. SD3 has some goid sounds but the interface is similar to aspects in AD2 which I don’t like, but learn to live/work with.

 

Finally, my question! I’m interested in hearing opinions regarding these drum synths to help me decide on a direction to choose.

 

 Thanks!

 

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21 minutes ago, Keni said:

They never allow us to hear the actual samples, only samples with lots of processing.

I thought part of the idea was for the user to mix and process them as if they were real drums.

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18 minutes ago, bdickens said:

I thought part of the idea was for the user to mix and process them as if they were real drums.

Yes, but as the programs contain processing capabilities, they sell those results instead of the recording results. We can remove/replace the processing but with AD we don't get to hear the fundamental sample. Just not what I want. AD has a very limited library of sounds and though I own a number of kits, I’m far from thrilled.

I don’t know how I will pull it off, but I must get something better!

 

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I ended up getting a drum kit & started learning to play.

 

I'm sure you are aware that the sound you hear on the record is NOT the sound that was in the room.  They are the result of - you guessed it -  lots of processing.

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20 minutes ago, bdickens said:

I ended up getting a drum kit & started learning to play.

 

I'm sure you are aware that the sound you hear on the record is NOT the sound that was in the room.  They are the result of - you guessed it -  lots of processing.

Yes... I’m well acquanted with recording mixing drums. I've been a working engineer/studio owner for over 50 years...

 

BTW, I do play and own a kit, but I can’t use it here in an apartment... sadly even worse, it’s a senior living apartment!

Edited by Keni

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One word. MODO.

MODO drums by IK Multimedia. Physical Modeling for drums. The cymbals are sampled.

 

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39 minutes ago, Keni said:

Yes... I’m well acquanted with recording mixing drums. I've been a working engineer/studio owner for over 50 years...

So then you probably have a much better idea of what you want to hear then I do of what I want to hear!

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15 minutes ago, bdickens said:

So then you probably have a much better idea of what you want to hear then I do of what I want to hear!

Ha! Maybe I’m simply a crotchety old man who's very picky?

 

As an engineer, I've spent uncountable hours recording/mixing drums and strive for my ultimate drum sound to this day. Lots of good stuff along the way, but drums in the box has been chased it seems forever. As it has improved, I feel close. I could live with AD2 as an interface (with it's issues) if they only had and displayed drum pieces more to my liking.

 

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2 minutes ago, bdickens said:

All I can really advise is don't let perfect become the enemy of good enough.

Not an enemy... a driving force pushing me to improve.

My 12th solo album  (Outside by In Exile on Deep Space Records) shipped to me from manufacturing today. It’s official release isn't until 11/23/21 so I’ve got lots if time to prepare for sales. As always using CDBaby to facilitate distribution and collections to/from all streaming/download sites as well as hardcopy (CD) sales.

So I’m feeling a bit burnt with the limitations of my current drum sound.

 

...Hence this post to gather info about SD3 and BFD3

 

 

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Personally I think the drum options you listed are for different purposes. SD3 and BFD3 obviously have presets but also are aimed at giving the user the ability to take the raw sounds and craft their own sound from scratch. AD2 is more aimed as having a ready-to-go premixed sound to insert directly into a mix, sort of like you outsourced to a session drummer and engineer for the drum parts. Now as for which one you wind up using won't really make two s***s of a difference to the end listener. Hell you could even go against all conventional wisdom for the style of music you play and stick static electronic drum samples of a tonality that isn't normally associated with your genre and as long as the mix slaps, people will not care, not one iota. They are after all just percussive noises, intended to thump, thwack, doong or whoosh and then get out of the way of rest of the track. Whether you use a top-tier acoustic drum sampler, or record yourself hitting objects around your home, they can all be shaped to achieve a similar thing in the end. 

However given what you have said in regards to raw sounds, my vote would be for BFD3. The sound of the kit samples with all fx off, is the most raw sounding. SD3 is pretty raw too when you take everything off, but it makes me feel like what I am hearing has been just a tad pre-processed/leveled, etc. In regards to the significant price and storage size differences of both products my vote would also be for BFD3. I know that all the options of SD3 might be enticing, but like all instruments you will wind up with a small amount of "go to's" and the rest will just occupy drive space. They both sound interchangeably as good when mixed, so really it may be a question of how much stuff do you want collecting virtual dust?

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"They are after all just percussive noises, intended to thump, thwack, doong or whoosh and then get out of the way of rest of the track. "  Love it!  🤣 😂

(Any drummers here, look away now...)

  • Haha 2

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I've used AD2 on hundreds of tracks for production music libraries, I think it sounds good straight out of the box and rarely feel the need to do too much extra processing to it but I do tend to layer a lot of my drums so I may well have an electronic kick from another VSTi  holding down the low end subtly making the whole kit sound bigger. I also use a lot of percussion layers / loops which of helps too.

I've mixed plenty of real drums in my time as well , I guess it depends partly on the music you're making but I've used it for everything from Punk-Pop-Rock-EDM and some more trad type stuff  - I am sure there are better sounding options like SD3 if you want something that sounds more detailed and realistic but in a dense production it's probably hard to tell much difference.  

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Thanks guys... now I’m starting to hear what I’m looking fir.

 

All 3 of these are the same in essence.  They all allow for extensive processing. That’s good for some, but I prefer to  process the recorded sounds my own way using a well sampled/recorded drum kit. Not a kit that needs a lot if processing to sound good.

I guess much of my method harkens back to my studio upbringing. Getting a kit to sound good, then record it as opposed to recording a kit then processing it to make it sound good.

These all have internal eq/compression/etc., but I prefer to turn it all off and use such devices of my own choosing.

Both AD2 and SD3 treat some cymbals as overheads instead of individual pieces. I can work with that but I prefer BFD's approach with individual faders per cymbal...

...but I worry about the company health of BFD from fxpansion to the new owners.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Keni said:

...but I worry about the company health of BFD from fxpansion to the new owners.

https://fxpansion.com/news/bfd-joins-inmusic/

IMHO, there is a questionable track record with inMusic regarding ongoing support and updates for the products that they have acquired. I have several other products that were once good, and are now languishing under their ownership...

I would advise a wait and see for inMusic.

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39 minutes ago, abacab said:

https://fxpansion.com/news/bfd-joins-inmusic/

IMHO, there is a questionable track record with inMusic regarding ongoing support and updates for the products that they have acquired. I have several other products that were once good, and are now languishing under their ownership...

I would advise a wait and see for inMusic.

Thanks abacab...

 

Just the kind if info that might help me.

 

Off to check the link...

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5 hours ago, Keni said:

I prefer to  process the recorded sounds my own way

I have a similar assessment of AD2, and earlier versions of TT SD, have not yet spent much time with TT SD3, but still hearing too much 'room' in the kits I looked into. Nice rooms, mind you, but not what I was looking for. 

Was hoping there might be some potential with MODO Drums, but once again, the variable parameters struck me as "digital manipulation" vs. actual engineering moves. Might have something to do with how resonances are being modelled (or not), but I didn't hear enough to make me spend more time on it 

Given your experience, BFD3 sounds like the best fit and had by far the most usable cymbals as well as 'real' drum sounds. They did some nice engineering on a lot of their expansions without excessive 'processing' for acoustic material/projects. 

That being said, the 'relaunch' of BFD Drums via InMusic has been an absolute mess. As much a advocate as I am for BFD, at this point I can't recommend it given the current state of affairs. They've tried to implement some form of mandatory online authorization which regularly deactivates *everything* you've ever bought, including the many years of expansions before InMusic. There are additional issues but the concern is this has been going on for months with no definitive response to the showstoppers. The only acknowledgement I'm aware of is a couple of the original FXpansion crew sticking fingers in the dike to prevent a complete meltdown of their existing customer base.

I'm actively looking for a replacement as well. 

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4 minutes ago, jackson white said:

I have a similar assessment of AD2, and earlier versions of TT SD, have not yet spent much time with TT SD3, but still hearing too much 'room' in the kits I looked into. Nice rooms, mind you, but not what I was looking for. 

Was hoping there might be some potential with MODO Drums, but once again, the variable parameters struck me as "digital manipulation" vs. actual engineering moves. Might have something to do with how resonances are being modelled (or not), but I didn't hear enough to make me spend more time on it 

Given your experience, BFD3 sounds like the best fit and had by far the most usable cymbals as well as 'real' drum sounds. They did some nice engineering on a lot of their expansions without excessive 'processing' for acoustic material/projects. 

That being said, the 'relaunch' of BFD Drums via InMusic has been an absolute mess. As much a advocate as I am for BFD, at this point I can't recommend it given the current state of affairs. They've tried to implement some form of mandatory online authorization which regularly deactivates *everything* you've ever bought, including the many years of expansions before InMusic. There are additional issues but the concern is this has been going on for months with no definitive response to the showstoppers. The only acknowledgement I'm aware of is a couple of the original FXpansion crew sticking fingers in the dike to prevent a complete meltdown of their existing customer base.

I'm actively looking for a replacement as well. 

Thanks Jackson.

Yeah, that sounds much as my own thinking has been leading me. I also just noticed another item. System Requirements. This machine is hardware limited to windows 8.1 which works great and I have no problems with. Surely not the non-stop issues I hear of with win10. 😉  BFD requires win10 and I don't know if it is only regarding support or actually will not install on win8.1? So now I'm leaning more towards SD3 typically my second choice.

 

It seems a shame that along with the changes in many recording situations (non "pro" studios)

The simple work model of:

1:  Instrument makes a good sound

2: record it

 

...had been replaced (mostly due to single-room studio environment issues) by something more akin to:

1 :record it

2: make it sound good

 

What in my earlier days I would think of like "fix it in the mix".

 

Nothing wrong in so doing at all, but if I'm paying for something I prefer to choice what I'm buying. I don't want to buy a less than optimum sounding kit (of any given "flavor") forced by a talented engineer to conform to his desire. I want to buy a brilliant sounding drum kit well sampled/modelled/etc and at the mercy of MY will to shape to my desire! 😉

 

Having those as options is a wonderful extra for those who desire such, but for me, I consistently find it lacking in the end. But I digress. A few months back I installed SD3 on a friend's mac for him. Interface? much like AD2 for me, livable, powerful, not the best for all "issues"? But heard some great sounds in passing. Probably very internally processed <sigh>.... but one can hope?

 

Between this and having a negative budget, I think I'm doing ok for what I got, but would like to find a better solution. I don't need a whole lot of what these programs offer. Just the basic discrete multi-layered drum pieces and a basic mapping output is all I use. I turn off all vst's internal fx/rooms/etc and map to discrete outputs.... My tape machine! That's more the way I think as a musican-turned engineer of so many years. I understand well how so many others prefer to simply scroll therough presets to find someone else's work to achieve. We all need partners at some level but we can each choose?

 

It's funny how over the years, the sounds I recorded in studio for others always far exceeded what I could create in my bedroom/home+ studio for myself. But it has improved with time and technology to where I can feel so close to the solution..................

 

Sorry for rambling on.

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