Musical Sampling Medusa: Ensemble Drums + Sound Design | Available Now!

charlieclouser

Senior Member
Bought it, installed it, played with it for a few hours. Impressions:

- It's basically a "drum kit ensemble" library - no taikos, dun duns, surdos, etc. - with some extras like concert bass drums, stomps, claps, shouts, a grab bag of stacked hits, some dark and aggressive synth patches, and a bunch of tempo-locked loops of hi-hat, cello chugs, distorted guitars, and a variety of "cine-pulse" type loops. There's a nice clean electro-acoustic guitar chug loop tucked in there too.

- The sound is very large but tight. The start points are very precisely trimmed, so it's not a total flam-fest like 8Dio's "v8 private collection" drum kit ensemble library, but it still feels like it's four (?) arms hitting the drums. The sound is big but not messy.

- The drums are well-tuned, beefy, and satisfying. Low toms have great tone and no weird rings or overtones.

- There are no individual mic samples - all the drums except for the stacked slams ("concussion") are presented as four pre-mixed stereo pairs that sound to me like close, overhead, room, and "fat mix". They're all good choices and provide a decent variety of sounds, but it's a slightly different approach than other big-dollar libraries. For me this is a good thing - I hate dealing with a zillion lame-sounding dry mic positions. This way it's lighter on CPU and disc too.

- Even the closest stereo pair still has a good bit of room; it is much more focused than the others, however it is not completely dry.

- There is a "humanize" control on the GUI that seems to fiddle with start points, or swap over to some "more flammy" samples in some layers to give a looser sound. It works very well. There are four levels of humanize: off, tight, natural, and loose.

- There are plenty of dynamic layers - most drums seem to have between 9 and 12, hats have 8 or so, and cymbals have 5-6. One thing I like is that the ride cymbals turn into crash cymbals at the highest velocities, just like in real life - so you can do a convincing Dave Grohl impression.

- There are many round-robins, usually between 12 and 16, some drums have as many as 20 or more, except for some cymbals which seem to have 6 to 8 or so (I didn't count). The round-robins and dynamic layers are very well matched, with no sudden dynamic split points or detectable patterns to the round-robins.

- The .nki is unlocked so you can get under the hood and mess around if you want, but the mapping doesn't look completely transparent - some scripting trickery seems to be in effect so if you're trying to remap sample ranges you might break something. I think the extra zones visible in the map have to do with the humanize feature - they might be those "more flammy" samples that are swapped in when you choose different levels of humanize.

- As near as I can make out, the list of drums is concert bass drum, kick drum, snare center/rim shot/sidestick, hi-hat tight/mid/open/foot and loops, crash 1/2, ride edge/bell, tom lo/mid/high/rim, tambourine hits/shakes with release triggers, cymbal rolls with release triggers, stomps, claps, and then all the stacked hits.

- There's not an absolute ton of bonus content, but it is all quite useful and tastefully done. Evil synths, dark drones, power guitars (in both playable maps and loop banks of chugs in a variety of chords and single notes with different amounts of muting), cine-pulses, and a really good "trap 808" kick/sinewave patch that tracks the keyboard. It's all good stuff. No faff.

All in all, a fat, tight, powerful sounding selection of drums that will get you an aggro sound, can be used as a "normal" drum kit, has just the right amount of bonus content and loops, and won't have you wandering four folders deep in the surdos wondering if there might be buried gold that you forgot about. At list price of $179 it's a good deal, and at intro price of $119 it's a steal. So grab it!
 
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Aaron Sapp

Senior Member
Thank you for the kind words, fellas! Means a lot after developing this bad boy (or girl?).

We recorded this library early last year, then re-recorded it because we weren’t completely satisfied. It was also a real challenge achieving super-tight performances. Plenty of expletives were exchanged. :laugh:
 

Craig Sharmat

Moderator
Moderator
Great sounding library. I was surprised when Aaron started doing drums (though i'd seen him preform mid drums well many yrs ago). The first 2 libraries Jolene and Ruby are excellent libs but this appears to be a considerably deeper and useful addition.
 

AndyP

Senior Member
I love it! The sound is brilliant and the additional patches are useful. Clear purchase recommendation!
Except for Jolene, I have all the MS libraries and have not been disappointed once.
 
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videohelper

New Member
Love this library! Doesn't try to do everything but totally nails what it does. Drums feel really musical, especially in a mix context. For those of you worried about the roominess, you can blend the tightest settings successfully with some of the other big drum/perc libraries like HZ, Audio Imperia, etc.

Aside from the biiiig drums, the tambourine is my new workhorse and will def be coming back for the claps. If you trill them, it actually sounds like applause - never heard another library pull off that trick.

+1 on getting this.
 
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Aaron Sapp

Senior Member
Sure is! Looking into it right now. Will keep the thread apprised. Believe it's a hosting issue. Lovely timing. :)

EDIT: Site is back to normal!
 
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