SSD 4.0 Truly Rocks
Great program! Easy to use. And just like having John Bonham on your PC. Nice job SSD!
Great program! Easy to use. And just like having John Bonham on your PC. Nice job SSD!
This past year I got out of my comfort-zone to improve my sound. I went with ProTools12 and a CreationStation400. Since every song I attempt starts with drums, I'm affected by them with every track that follows. The SSD Classic category contains so many excellent kits, it's ridiculous. The editable drum-engine is easy to use. You'll find yourself scrolling thru kits over and over, not trying to find a good one, rather trying to choose between them. You can also make your own kit and save it under 'user'. I leared today just how important velocity is when tracking a laid-back song. They are different samples and when the energy matches the song it takes on the right personality.
Previously I had been using AD 2. While it had an impressive amount of flexibility in terms of the sounds it was able to produce, SSD just blows it out of the park. It has less features albeit, however the quality of the drum samples is the best that I've seen in a virtual drum software. It only has a few kits, but right out of the box there are hundreds of presets that range from heavy to very light and airy.
First I would like to say that SSD 4 is amazing!!! It does have a learning curve but that is what youtube is for!!!! It has takin my Roland TD-12 V-Drums to a completely new realm. Second, buying from Sweetwater has been a blast of fresh air! I initially bought the midi interface for $39 & I got a personal response that I haven't had since I was a teenager hanging out in my local mom & pop music store. From now on if I need any piece of gear I will be going here 1st!!!!
I have been mostly familiar with BFD and Superior Drummer, so when a friend told me about SSD and how good they sounded, I was intrigued to say the least. My friend was deadon about how great this drum software sounds!!! Still getting into the program but from the minute it was installed it's pretty much read to go and up to you to start creating! I'm now a dedicated Slate fan!
Holy Spirit! For starters, the sounds of these drums are in a whole different ballpark from the sounds that I was using. These are so fabulous.
And then there's the "Grooves", i.e. MIDI clips. OK, I guess we're supposed to call them ... (burp) ... "loops", these days. These MIDI clips are terrific as well. So usable.
Both the sounds and the grooves are so far superior to what I had cobbled together. Let's just say that this package is downright inspiring and exciting. Very inspiring!
I think there are quite a few excellent drum sample libraries out there today but SSD 4.0 is by far my favorite and the one I use for the vast majority of my work. The samples/kits just sound "right" in my recordings vs many of the other libraries I've tried that sound excellent in isolation but just don't sit right in the mix to my ears "out of the box" and require more playing around with to get things sounding the way I want. I also use SSD 4.0 for performing live/using loops and they sound great, again, these drum kits sit so very nicely in there own space in a live mix with my voice/keyboard/bass. The samples sound great going through my live sound system of QSC k12's and a QSC sub. Nice variety of pre-programmed kits come with the software and do just about everything I need. Of course there are lots of options to customize the kits, mix/match, etc.
In the end, one of the best pieces of sample software I bought and a great value too. The only regret I have is I wish I purchased this software earlier.
I'm using this with an old Roland TD-3 kit and it works great. In the past I just used the Roland sounds, which are good, and recorded the audio signal. Now I use Steven Slate and record Midi and it is so much better. The sounds are amazing and I like being able to adjust the mix of the drums within the plugin, if I decide later that I want to change the mix. You can also send individual drums to different channels so you can add different plugins to those drums. Great plugin and a bargin at this price.
If you are a drummer and/or jack-of-all-trades musician and have a decent midi trigger, e.g., Roland V-Drums or electronic kit, a DAW and Steven Slate Drums 4.0 Platinum - then you possess a top notch solution for recording fantastic drums. Team Slate hits it out of the park!
Without taking away from the value of playing on an organic kit, there are many instances where that's not possible or realistic. While I'm a keyboardist/guitarist/percussionist, I also play a V-Drums kit (Roland) in order to trigger pristine drum kits available in the Steven Slate Drums 4.0 Platinum. No microphones, no cables (other than a single midi cable), no extensive drum tuning, no replacing drum heads. The only compromise is making due with the feel of the electronic drum kit. This fantastic plug-in even comes with loops that you can midi-edit to your heart's content.
I'm hugely thankful that Steven Slate has made this technology available (and truly affordable) insofar that I can capture insanely great drum sounds directly into my DAW; plus, I can (and have) tweaked and created my own kits to taste. Wow! Playing Steven's kits feels wonderful, satisfying and as a recording musician, makes me sound that much better! Thank you, Steven!
Sounds great. A bit more difficult than EZ Drummer, but the quality is stellar.
I love Midi drums as they do what ever I tell them. BUT!! The General MIDI samples never do my songs justice. Especially the cymbals! These Samples are REAL!! Wow I have a real drummer on my stuff now. the Difference is incredible as I do Heavy rock. Even the Country drums sound like Tragically Hips Kit. Led Zep kit and beatles are exact. ITS GREAT!! Finally got what I was missing.
I absolutely love this VSTi! It's easy to use and sounds great. You won't regret this purchase. It's a no-brainer. It has something for everyone - from metal to jazz. Definitely a solid competitor to the Toontrack products.
It's easy to get a great mix with this software. Would recommend to close friends.
The mix ready kits are a real life saver. And they sound supurb. This is perfect for home recordings cause most project studios couldn't get a kit to sound this good even if they did mic up a live drum set. You'd have to be in a high end studio to match these sounds. The Zeppelin kits are especially cool. I've tried most every drum software out there and this is the only one that gave me the end result I was looking for.
I've used a number of drum programs over the past few years. This one is fantastic. Very natural sounding instruments, and well-played grooves that can be dropped into the instrument(MIDI) track.
I often have to make backing tracks, and they need to be done quickly. This is the best program of this type I have used.
This absolutely gives me the drums sounds that I need. I can reproduce every sound that I can play on my drums. I just don't have the mic's and quality drums to get these sounds, so I make them! It's SO easy to use, it has changed the way I record.
Best drum samples and program I've used. Very smart program and easy to use. Even has grooves in all styles. Very adaptable and editable. I already had the Slate FG-X Mastering Compressor and the MIx and Channel bus plug ins. Great company
I have A well equipped studio with A house kit etc. etc. But often need A drum program. No one wants to play to A click track when I can use BFD. Or something. Only problem is I never got along well with other sampler interfaces. 'Till now.
I got Slate Trigger A while back and was able to use it in like minutes. THAT I LIKE! That's the reason I bought it. Trigger was so easy and sounds fantastic.
Same deal here. EASY to use! I wish everyone else thought the way these guys do. Then they slap in some of the best samples ever. It sounds like I spent all day miking A kit!
Thanks guys for making something that is 1 EASY to use. And 2 fantastic sounding. What more could ya want.
Covers alot of genres with great sound detail. Very easy to use, you'll be making music in no time.
The SSD4 Platinum VST is amazing! If you are looking for the perfect kick,snare ,toms whatever, SS drums has the answer with their amazing drum kits and cymbals. I use the stock sounds on top of adding my own taste to the samples. Either way you won't be disappointed.
Absolutely lives up the hype. Awesome sounding kits - easy to use, sits in a mix well. Absolutely slays AD2 demo I tried. I did have some issues downloading the files - 10 gigs of files are easily corrupted (Slate - checksum next time!), so I'd recommend buying the DVD's. Install was flawless once Slate sent me the DVD's (their customer service was prompt and helpful). Highly recommended.
Great tool. Was looking for something a step up from easy drummer and definitely found it with the latest SSD. Great drum tones. Intuitive yet very capable user interface. You can use it right away for simple things while you take your time to go deep with its tweekability. Had a few questions and the customer service was really responsive. A+
Slate drums take a while to both get downloaded, set up and to figure out how to best use all the options they have built in but the options are really the key to why this is a great virtual drum program. Being able to double up on kicks, snares, etc. allow new levels of punch to sequences. You also have to put some time to get the Midi mapping right, etc (programs like Strike are much easier on this) . The Slate team is quick to respond to questions as they arise.
I was a previous EZ Drummer user, and was never quite satisfied with the tones in mixing situations. With SSD4 the drums really 'crack' and have the bandwidth and frequency content you'd expect from a good recording. I only give it a 4.5 because the Superior Drummer MIDI mapping didn't quite capture everything, so I had to reset a lot of my MIDI notes for drums/cymbals. Overall, it's well worth the money.
Very easy to use and the CLA drums are amazing. They sound huge. Worth every penny.
Great sound! Very user-friendly interface. Stable work.
Wish: I would like to have a variety of rhythms, in the form of MIDI files.
I have had this for a few months now and it has been pretty good. I will start off with the bad, then get to the good.
With this software you can import your own samples, but you can not use your own multi-velocity samples unless you want to assign each different hit to its own note one the piano roll.
My other complaint is that when it went on sale not too long ago I figured they were about to release a new version. I called the number on the SS website and asked them and they told me that they were not, so I decided to buy it. Long story short, they are, actually coming out with a new version very soon...so I would hold on and wait because it will have more samples and I have read online (not on their website) that it will also have flow note technology.
That being said, I started off with EZdrummer, which was ok, but I do like this one much better. The reason why is because I found EZdrummer samples either sounding too squashed from overuse with compressors and a little bit mushy sounding. These samples are much more natural sounding.
There is a collection of samples that have not had any EQ or compression added to them, which is nice if you want to edit to your preference, and there are some mix-ready samples if you want to just be able to drop something in without having to do much work.
I would say if you are a person that thinks modern music is ruined with the loudness war and is unlistenable because the amount of compression on the mix, you will like these samples more (especially if you use the raw samples), but it will require a PROPER touch of compression and some EQ, etc. to your liking.
The drums sound pretty good, the cymbals are OK (not the greatest, but still usable). The grooves that it comes with I don't really care for, but not an issue if you like to create original tracks.
Bottom line. Yes, I do like them, but wished that I would have waited for the new version to come out and I would recommend this over EZdrummer. It may require a little bit more work, but the samples do allow the flexibility and headroom to tweak them to your liking.
I would have given this a review a 5 if it allowed you to import your own multi-velocity samples (which for most people probably would not be an issue at all, unless you are creating your own samples or have some existing samples and want to use them) and if they used different cymbals (the ones included are not bad, just not what I would have selected for my type of music, but still very usable).
One other thing is that these samples do have some type of propriety file compression on them and can not be played by other players (if for example you were wanting to use these samples for their sounds, but in another program).
If this review sounds negative, it is not meant to, but I wanted to point out some things that I wished it would have had.
I love the Slate drums and the big new Kontact package I just got, But the very best thing is not having to go crazy trying to install and get the things to work. That's always been a major hassle for me and Sweetwater has made that easy, I called them and they put a guy on the phone who logged into my computer and slam bam..it was done. I was thrilled, I will never ever buy any software from anyone else again. You have made the experience of new VST's just great.
Thanks Andrew (this guy knows his stuff)
Solid VST. Very useful. Sounds are pristine. Usage is simple. Nice product. Buy it!
I am using a hybrid roland/alesis drum set (4 roland toms, 2 rides, 1 hi-hat, 1 crash, 1 kick, 1 snare) with alesis trigger i/o via USB/MIDI. Using Virtual Drum Software in PT HD as instrument tracks. I've tried BFD2, Superior Drummer 2, EZ Drummer, Addictive Drums and lastly Steve Slate Platinum Drums v4.0 so I've been around full circle. I was going to stick with SD, however I just was not satisfied with the options that were available such as the amount of toms or rides for example. Also MIDI Mapping with SD is kind of a pain and I can't quite get it down (however MIDI mapping in BFD2 and AD is very simple). Still I stuck to my guns and went with SD. Then I discovered Steven Slate Platinum Drums bought it and have just now installed it. First off, the MIDI Mapping is extremely easy to do with an Alesis Trigger I/O the simplest I have found so far. In addition, the mixer allows for more control over more features unlike some other drum software. I do wish it had reverb however you can get around that fairly easily.
THEN IT HIT ME. I realized how easy and fun it was to add different types of toms, rides, hi-hat's you name it. Unlike ANY drum software I've seen or used today. You have Carte Blanche as far as what exact sound you want - in fact there are so many its too much but that's okay. The hardest part in dealing with this software is to not OVERDO IT.
Does SSD sound better/worse/same as SD? You know its hard to tell and if depends on the song you're recording for one thing. I know I will still use SD occasionally. However given all the components in these programs, I would hedge my bets of SSD. 1) Simpliciity of MIDI Mapping 2) Realistic Sounds 3) Nice Mixer 4) Easily change sample of drum whether it be toms, or kick, etc. All in all if you have been waiting to see what to get I'd recommend SSD platinum all the way. (BTW - you get about 10 GIG with this software. BFD2 and SD are VASTLY BIGGER yet I have found no advantage). The hardest part now for me is dealing with my Alesis cymbals so if you go e-drum all the way get GOOD cymbals and pads.
The close miked drums sound great, they hit hard and there is a huge selection. However I have to rate this for what it is a virtual (studio recorded) drum kit. The "room mics" sound like convolution reverb and everything has already been over processed so you can't really get your own sound out them and there are not enough samples at different velocities to prevent machine gunning. That being said these are five star samples that are great in conjunction with something like Toontrack's Superior drummer. The kicks, snares and toms add a nice punch when you blend them in with some natural sounding drums.
Not very happy with the sampler/player software... For me XLN Drums GUI makes Slate feel below par. Also noticed that the volumes on all of the kits is rather low when compared to other drum software, had to use gain boosts for a stereo mix with Slate drums SSD4 to get enough overall volume. I have not tried the single channel routing yet. The samples also seem tricky to fit into the mix, again XLN simply drops right in and with a few simple tweaks the drums are sitting just right with the mix.
The grooves are horrible that come stock, you will definitely need to purchase other groove templates and songs as well. I love all of my other Slate plug-ins, I have them all, but the SSD4 is not for me, I was very disappointed with the whole experience...
I was really looking forward to using these in my production and the sounds are great. But it hogs up so much memory that it makes it virtually impossible to use the plugin even with a fully loaded mac pro. So until the issue is resolved, I'd hold off on buying these. Certainly gathering virtual dust on my end.
If your looking for ease of installation, ease of use and solid tech support in your drum sample library programs....don't buy this.
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