My copy of Toontrack’s Superior Drummer 2.0 just came in the other day. I have to say that I’m extremely impressed. It’s actually better sounding than they let on. I’ll give a full blown review sometime down the road, but in this short blog I wanted to show the Superior Drummer 2.0 mixer.
In the default setup, Superior Drummer 2.0 actually comes with it’s own mixing software with EQ, compression, transient designer, and a handful of other things. All of these combine within Superior 2.0 and are ran into a single stereo track within Cubase, but can be routed to individual inputs in your recording software.
At first I was a bit concerned that this mixer wouldn’t do what I wanted. I thought I would be stuck with so-so plugins, less control, and basically be less happy than with the methods used on DFH Superior 1.0 where each drum track was routed to an individual track in Cubase.
The Plugins Are Great
First I must say that I’ve been very happy with the EQ, compression, and other effects built into the mixer. The way that Superior Drummer 2.0 tracked and the way the busses are setup in the mixer, the possibilities are enormous.
Actually Usable Presets
I’ve not been shy about my disdain for presets. Presets can take the attention away from tweaking to find the sound to scrolling through endless menus. Presets can take the emphasis away from listening and put you in some dumbed down state.
In DFH Superior 1.0, I have to admit that I seldom thought the stock sound was exactly what a given song called for. In fact, it only happened a few times. I was always going for something else. It takes a while to play with EQ, compression, levels, etc to squeeze new sounds out of drums. It was very possible to do with took quite a bit of time. This was time I did not have when I wanted to create. Superior Drummer 2.0 has solved all that.
The new mixer has allowed Toontrack to create drum samples that are very natural and neutral if you want them to be or very processed. The cool part is they can do the processing for you if you choose to use their available presets. In more primitive sample libraries, you were stuck with either natural sounds or the processed sounds in the library. If these processed sounds weren’t ideal for the song, you had to compromise.
Take A Listen
Here’s the default kit in Superior Drummer 2.0 (which sounds GREAT!) where I’ve went through and simply selected a mixer preset. It needs to be said that all I’ve done is used different mixer presets and nothing else. The raw audio from the triggered samples is exactly the same. You still have numerous options with the drum kit (different kicks, snares, toms, cymbals, etc). Of course, no one says you can’t tweak. I like the idea of selecting “X” preset that gives me very close to the sound I’m looking for and then tweaking from there.
Check out this sound clip on the Home Recording forum Superior Drummer 2.0 Mixer Soundclips.
Educational Benefits Of These Mixer Presets
The beginning dude in the world of audio engineering may not be comfortable with parallel compression and various advanced mixing techniques. That person will be very happy with the mixer presets in Superior Drummer 2.0. I think it’s cool that when the person is willing to dig a little deeper, they can see exactly what the Toontrack engineers came up with to get a sound this way or that way. “How did they add so much attack and crack to X sound”. Now you can simply solo individual busses until you find the bus with the tremendous attack. Take a look at what they did and you instantly learn a huge audio engineering lesson.