Just wondering what people think of Slate’s SSD5 drum library? I have SSD4 and thinking about upgrading to 5. Seems like a worthy upgrade (especially as there are sales on at the minute)!
As a mixing engineer, I disagree. Not that Superior drummer doesn't sound more like a real drum kit. Coincidentally, I was just discussing this with a friend a couple of weeks ago. We agreed that the SD3 libraies sound like drums recorded in a studio that we frequently receive from clients in a mix project.As a drummer I've found all of Slate's drum samples sound artificial. The latest version is no different to my ears.
I've been doing drum tracks with Superior Drummer for years. After dozens (maybe hundreds at this point) of satisfied customers later it's been worth every penny.
I guess you are not talking about superior drummer 3(you can select any drum part you wish without loading a whole kit)Incredibly, toontrack doesn't let you do that. You have to load up a drum kit and then choose from the two or maybe three included snares from that kit. If you don't find what you're looking for, you have to load up another kit and start over.
EZD2 can do that and so can SD3. You must own the first EZD. I can see you being underwhelmed if that is your only experience with Toontrack. EZD2 and SD3 are leaps and bounds beyond that. In fact EZD2 and now SD3 has some pretty innovative tools for creating drum beats that no other drum sampler ,in this category, has yet to match. I own AD2 and love it but it's ability to find and create drum rhythms does not compare to EZD2 which is why at times I will use EZD2's midi out feature to take advantage of the kits and sound shaping tools in AD2 which is where IMO are much better than the mixer in EZD2. So having EZD2 and AD2 combined make for a more complete setup and probably the only reason I haven't upgraded to SD3. The Fairfax kit in AD2 is still one of the best kits out there. I do own SSD4 but honestly haven't given it the love it deserves due to owning AD2 and EZD2.What both the Slate and Addictive Drums systems allow you to do is to scroll through different snare sounds from all libraries until you find one you like. Incredibly, toontrack doesn't let you do that. You have to load up a drum kit and then choose from the two or maybe three included snares from that kit. If you don't find what you're looking for, you have to load up another kit and start over.
one man's trash is another man's treasure.I’ve tried A Drums and SD 3 and for me they were trash
Lol thanks Diablo3! I got a drummer friend who's always ranting about his guitar samples, and I'm a guitarist - and he always jokes about how much I rant about drum samples. Especially snares. Don't get me started on snares again. :D
Well. I think I’ll buy it then. Thanks!I think Slate Drums have been in the 'fashionable to diss" category for a little while - probably since the heady heights of SSD3, when every instrumental clip on YouTube featured a basketball-in-a-gymnasium kick drum and a big donk snare. Good times. And - the material isn't exactly pushing new boundaries, the interface is virtually identical - it's hard to tell what's improved about it, if you're coming from SSD3 or 4.
There's something unusual (in a good way) about the Slate Deluxe 5 samples that I'm not smart enough to explain, except that I notice it whenever I use it. Basically - they sound mixed no matter what you do to them. Throw them right in a track and they'll work. Throw an 1176 on your drum bus, and they'll sound great. Slam them with a limiter or a maximizer, and they'll sound great. Brighten or darken up the kick or the snare, and they'll probably work. Throw reverb on the snare, or layer 4 or 5 snares on there. Still works. And somehow it always sounds additive - which I never have the same experience in Superior or BFD. I add a layered snare there and I have to bring it out over the main snare to hear it, or it doesn't really add anything. Every SSD5 layering experience basically consists of "what would happen if I...oh, that's cool! What if I....oh, that's cool!".
The big difference I can hear between Slate Deluxe 4 and 5 is that 5's Deluxe samples integrate better. I always thought Slate 4's Deluxe kits were a stab at being a Superior Drummer kind of a library, relatively dry and unprocessed - and I'd always want to tweak those deluxe kits before layering with anything else, so you'd have to set up outs to accommodate that - and you've already switched to just using Superior long before that time, and SSD4 wouldn't get used. Slate 5's Deluxe kits are actually a huge improvement, because dry, they're relatively detailed (wouldn't use them on a sensitive singer-songwriter thing, but...well, duh...) but are dialed in for instant use, but are pretty clean and unaffected and take FX like EQ and dynamics like a champ. And take layering amazingly well.
Superior Drummer 3 is a fantastic library, and the SDX's are great, and full of character, and they're obviously highly recommended and recommendable. But if you're writing any rock tunes post-"Misery Business" then you're probably going to indulge in a bit of snare and kick layering, and SD3's never feels expansive and explosive, and SSD5's pretty much always does. So - that'd be my verdict. SD3 has all the detail and versatility you could ask for, but when you've got hard-panned stacks of Marshalls or Boogies to cut your snare and kick through, SSD5 owns that job like a T-Rex at a watering hole.
Speaking of Misery Business - that David Bendeth expansion is on sale (or was last I checked) for $49. The expansions for SSD are the real sleepers, because the initial response is usually something like "I paid $49 for a dozen snares and kicks that sound kind of the same?" - until you start layering them on the SSD5 deluxe kits, and things get stupid (in a good way) very fast. The Blackbird is amazing, too - but in an "I'm playing in SD3's yard" kind of way that complicates things a bit. I like them as subtle alternatives to the SSD5 for the bed to layer on top of. Ultimately at $49 I've gotten as much value, and usually quite a bit more if in a focused kind of way, then most EZX's I've picked up. Even the much-lamented CLA expansion - which, yes, does manage to make a dozen snares all sound virtually indistinguishable from each other - is superb for giving a bright sheen to a set of samples, because they're super-bright and super-punchy. Is it worth $50? Well - I've used those samples more than, say, Indiependent, which I spent more on, and which has generally been meh for me.
There's a lot missing from SSD generally - the grooves, their integration, effects or mixing, anything but the drums and layering them, really. It might not be a good general first-choice library, except for people working in specific genres and workflows. For new buyers $99 is awfully good for those who can accept its limitations, and for the upgrade - well, ultimately the use value of the samples is whether they'll end up on your finished products, and SSD5's Deluxe kits are far more likely to do that than SSD4's, so I'd definitely give the thumbs-up there.