The Battery Drum Sampler by Native Instruments has been a great success with a large following and great acclaim. We have found Battery very useful in our own composing and loop making efforts and love it to death (see our Battery review). Now Battery users are in for a real treat with a couple of new products from Native Instrument’s Sound Line. We’re going to take a look at Battery Studio Drums, a cd-rom sample library which provides 25 instantly playable Battery Kits.
Although Studio Drums was specifically made for Battery, the 25 kits can also be utilized in Native Instruments all new Kontakt Sampler, plus the over 3,000 24 bit WAV files can be utilized in other samplers and software provided that they support 24 bit files.
As Native Instruments describes it, Battery Studio Drums is a “comprehensive, meticulously recorded collection of over 1.1 GB of acoustic drum samples designed for the Battery Drum Sampler”.
We couldn’t agree more! Battery Studio Drums is a sparkling collection of ultra realistic high quality drum sounds, mapped to take advantage of Battery’s multiple velocity layers. The result is a high level of expressiveness not often found in traditional sample libraries.
The sample library was developed in partnership with Yellow Tools and combines over 3000 edited samples of five studio drum sets in extraordinary 24 bit sound quality. The recorded drum sets include drums from DW™, Pearl™, Sonor™, Tama™, and Yamaha™ with Cymbals from Sabian™, Paiste™, Meinl™ and Zildjan™.
Two BATTERY CD-ROM’s contain twelve GM-compatible studio-kits, eleven chromatic snare kits, and three tom kits (from 8 to 16 inch). The sounds cover a wide variety of musical styles like Pop, Rock, Jazz, Soul, Funk, and more. Up to 16 velocity layers per drum (for bass drum, snare and toms) make the STUDIO DRUMS highly playable, expressive, and authentic.
The biggest benefit this collection provides is that the 25 kits that are instantly playable! They’re already mapped and optimized for Battery. Load a kit and you are ready to rock! (or hip hop or whatever!)
The kits in Studio Drums are all very useful and easily fit in a variety of genres. This collection emphasizes the realism of drum kits played in a studio environment, and are particularly well suited to Pop, Rock and Jazz, however funk, soul, blues, grunge, hip hop and big beat are also represented by their own kits. Of course the way the drums sound on your projects is a direct result of how you play and mix them. So don’t let the talk of realism scare you away from utilizing the kits in electronic music. We did!
The Studio Drums samples were recorded using six bass drums, ten snare drums, seven tom sets, four hi hats and four cymbal sets. In particular I was blown away by the crisp and realistic ride and crash cymbals which beautifully exhibit long smooth decays. Finally the days are gone where ride and crash cymbals would artificially fade too quickly or utilize a phoney sounding loop point to extend the decay. That was always one tell tale sign of a sampled drum kit. Quick fading cymbals. Because in the old days of hardware samplers, RAM was such an important consideration (or lack of RAM) most sampled cymbals in most sample libraries were faded out too abruptly to save on RAM or badly looped. Same with ride cymbals and even toms. The samples in Studio Drums are artifact free and all realistically decay like real instruments do, all in 24 bit precision.
Also, Battery Studio Drums offers an unbelievable variety of one hit snares and well executed snare rolls. The amazing thing you first notice when playing these kits within battery using a velocity sensitive keyboard controller is the incredible variation in sound depending on how hard you strike the keys. Battery is excellent at offering multiple velocity layers and Studio Drums takes advantage of this. The snares will pop and get louder with realistic dynamics not usually found in sample libraries. Sure, you could find some sampled kits elsewhere that had a couple of different velocity layers, but Battery offers 16 of them and Studio Drums takes advantage of this!
For convenient access it is recommended by Native Instruments that the contents of the 2 CD-ROM’s be copied to your local hard drive. You can however load them direct from the CD-ROM’s. We were at first wary about dropping 1.1 GB of data onto our already stuffed hard drives. It didn’t take long and we were convinced that’d be a good idea after reviewing the kits and finding their usefulness. So if you have the space, it’s nice to have the kits instantly available on your drive.