Toontrack have announced version 3 of their Superior Drummer virtual instrument. Not content with the 20GB of samples in version 2 they have produced 230GB of raw data from 6 kits with fully immersive sound. You might need a new hard drive.
Superior Drummer 3
All recorded at Galaxy Studios and engineered by George Massenburg this is a serious piece of work. Recorded in 11.1 immersive surround sound at 24bit and 44.1kHz. There are 6 kits in all; Ayotte, Gretsch, Pearl, Premier, Ludwig and Yamaha. Each one comes with a bunch of alternatives and additional snares, kicks and cymbals. Some of them even have the ability to select different drum heads. On top of all that they’ve included around 600 samples from electronic drum machines. As with previous versions, you can play it with your fingers, sequence it or run grooves from the included MIDI performances.
Key new features
The “Tracker” is what they are calling the most efficient and accurate audio to MIDI conversion on the market. The idea is that you can use this feature to replace live drums. Drop in the recorded files of your drum parts and Superior Drummer will detect the hits, and the instrument, and allocate the right drums to a MIDI version of the performance. So then you can replace something that wasn’t recorded well, or completely change the performance, or the timing or whatever. You can also mix the two, have them both, or have some and not others. That’s pretty extraordinary drum replacement technology.
The mixer has been revamped with a new effects section and busses. It includes 35 mix effects all tailored to mixing drums (would you believe). They have a macros section which allows you to allocated parameters from whatever effects to a row of knobs at the bottom for easy access. Also new is “Bleed from instruments” where you can bleed sounds from other drums into each other – more authenticity than most of us can handle I think. There’s now an option to bounce everything out to separate tracks.
To round it all off the GUI is scalable and resizable to fit all the highest definition screens and work spaces.
It all looks pretty awesome to be honest.
Superior Drummer 3 will be available on 12th September from Toontrack for £287. Or £147 if you are upgrading from version 2. That’s going to be one hell of a download. More information on the Toontrack website and check out a walkthrough of the new features below.