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Old 05-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
Jedi
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Default Best newbie drum VST: EZ Drummer or Addictive?

I come from a long background of drum machines - those
hideous drum sounds that made it onto so many home studio
tapes in the 80s and 90s.

Now that I'm building up a new REAPER studio, about the
only block I need to nail down right now is drums.

Addictive looks very cool! I've been watching YouTube
videos of the tutorials - including use in REAPER. Sounds
good, looks fun and seems pretty easy, while being power.

But then there's EZ Drummer - similar interface, 8000 instead
of 3000 MIDI patterns included, and other than a lot of built-in
FX, seems to have good samples as well. And it's half the price.

Any opinions on which would be better for a Drum VST noob to
get started and have reasonable expectation of success early on?

Thank you,

Jedi
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:48 PM   #2
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I won't really encourage one over the other, but I'll tell you that I went with EZDrummer personally for a couple reasons. First, I loved the sounds of the Classic and the Nashville kits. Second, the Classic kit just 'fit' my style of music better than AD. Third, (and this wasn't really a reason for me to choose, but ended up being awesome in the long run), when I upgraded to Superior Drummer, I got to use the EZDrummer kits from within Superior.

Really, you can't go wrong with either. Pick what suits your style of music and don't look back.
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #3
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thoughts:

AD is very versitile... good sounds, very tweak able as to sounds as well... has a great brush set [if you need that]

...I'd shop for it on amazon and ebay however rather than buy from XLN...

if you need percussion sounds it don't really have them.

EZ to me is more limited, however, it's big brother Superior Drummer 2 is not... it's wide open... very good kits can be had for it and the tweak that exist for it's mixer are what make it happen...

It also has the Latin percussion set...

If I could have only one... and wanted percussion included, that is what I'd go for...

If I did not need percussion, I'd likely go with AD drums..

you can convert the midi files from almost anything to work with eigher one.... but, for example, the brush kits for AD use many extra midi notes so those will be more difficult to use in other vsti's and still retain all the subtleness...

another thought... how about getting Kontakt and one or more of the drum kits that exist for that...? This would be your most open ended solution as you would have kontakt to use for other sounds as well.
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:15 PM   #4
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Thanks Hopi. I have looked at Kontact - but I really don't
think I'm ready for all that - could be a $500 mistake. I
am used to Alesis SR-16 / DOD-550 style drum machines! I'm
pretty sure that EZ or AD would be a "just fine" point to
start... I do lean to AD - granted, they pre-FX all the sounds,
so they don't enter the DAW dry. But all the FX can very
easily be turned off and VST FX used instead in REAPER. But
on the other hand, EZ comes with 5000 more MIDI patterns than
AD (I don't need percussion, not now anyway - just drums).

Odd that AD is "download only" now.... the actual DVD version
has been discontinued.

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Old 05-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #5
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I'm loving EZ drummer.
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:01 PM   #6
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Jamstix 3 --- $99
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:50 PM   #7
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When I started on this drums VST thing, I started out with EZDrummer.
Nowadays I use Superior Drummer 2, but I still think EZDrummer sounds nice when properly used.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:45 AM   #8
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I have EZDrummer with Classic, Nashville and Kit from hell expansion packs. It is getting dusty on the shelf while I use Jamstix for virtually everything now days (when I don't have a real drummer available). It takes some getting used to, but it is really versatile. If I only had the cash to by one it would be Jamstix.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #9
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Thanks to those who turned me on to Jamstix! Wow ... very
cool functionality. I think am going to go with this as my first
drum plug-in. I assume it's like the rest - create a pattern
then drag it into REAPER....?

I love how it allows you to "tweak" the drummer in a very
realistic and "human" way.

Does it allow multi-track output? Off to read more...

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Old 05-08-2011, 02:15 PM   #10
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I use jamstix to create the drum tracks, but send the midi for play to either ez or superior. You might also want to check out toontracks ez player pro.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:29 PM   #11
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AD ist not 64bit atm, and when I emailed the developer some weks ago, it sounded as if it wasn't anywhere near.

It also needs this terrible challenge/response to function as a copy protection method.

Has nice realistic drumsounds, though.

Would I buy AD again ?
No. Because of the c/r and it somehow is a little complicated at times, since all the features are on different tabs in the plugin.
I didn't really look into that when I bought it some years ago.

I did not install it on my new system but on my old system it still gets used.
I use drumlibraries for Kontakt on my new system now. (Abbey Road and Steven Slate plus the ones from the Kontakt Factory Library)

That aside, AD is a good plugin, yet a bit pricey. But I heard you nowadays get it cheaper at some shops.

btw, I bought me some MIDI libraries for it from Groovemonkee because the ones that come with AD are numereous but not so much my taste.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:10 PM   #12
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Battery 3 deserves a shout. The only one I've tried so I can't offer a comparison but it's intuitive and incredibly versatile
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:31 PM   #13
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A good thing to also consider is the bit bridging. The less bridged the better. I love Jamstix but it can be crashing a bit in 64 bit while subhosting EZ or superior. Ralph is working on the 64 bit. To avoid the send midi to a different track with EZ or Superior with no more crashes.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:52 AM   #14
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btw Jedi, for which kind of music do you want to use your drumpluginn.

I assumed it's Rockmusic simply because of your choice of plugins, yet since you mention you have used those old school drummachines it might be a different style of music you want to make ?
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
Thanks to those who turned me on to Jamstix! Wow ... very
cool functionality. I think am going to go with this as my first
drum plug-in. I assume it's like the rest - create a pattern
then drag it into REAPER....?

I love how it allows you to "tweak" the drummer in a very
realistic and "human" way.

Does it allow multi-track output? Off to read more...

Jedi
That is what I meant by it takes some getting used to. Instead of dragging clips in, you tell the 'drummer' the style you want, what the intro, chor, verse, and fills are and the he 'plays' them. If you want something different hit the re-compose or tweak a value it it changes.

And yes it allows for multi-track output.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugh View Post
btw Jedi, for which kind of music do you want to use your drumpluginn.

I assumed it's Rockmusic simply because of your choice of plugins, yet since you mention you have used those old school drummachines it might be a different style of music you want to make ?
Yeah - pretty standard rock, with some experimental stuff
as well. The old drum machines were so AWFUL in the sounds
department! Glad I don't have to use them anymore.

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Old 05-09-2011, 08:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwoody View Post
That is what I meant by it takes some getting used to. Instead of dragging clips in, you tell the 'drummer' the style you want, what the intro, chor, verse, and fills are and the he 'plays' them. If you want something different hit the re-compose or tweak a value it it changes.

And yes it allows for multi-track output.
Ah.... so the entire drum part of the song must be composed
and COMMITTED to inside Jamstix, and once it's "done" you arm
the REAPER tracks and record the loop.

But what happens then if after tracking on guitars and bass,
that one or two beats or cymbals are wrong or need something?
If I'm reading you correctly, you're pretty much hosed at that
point, as you've already committed the Jamstix pattern "to tape".

Or am I missing something?

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Old 05-09-2011, 02:06 PM   #18
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It's easier than that with Jamstix.You can do it many ways.You can just make a song of say intro/verse/choruses etc in any style and then change the drummer/style/fill-ins as you like and any time.
you can hand edit if you want or just let JS make things up for you.It's an amazing bit of software and the drum samples are excellent and can be treated separately if required.

All the songs in my Reverbnation link are done with it.

http://www.reverbnation.com/pauldouglas
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheppola View Post
It's easier than that with Jamstix.You can do it many ways.You can just make a song of say intro/verse/choruses etc in any style and then change the drummer/style/fill-ins as you like and any time.
you can hand edit if you want or just let JS make things up for you.It's an amazing bit of software and the drum samples are excellent and can be treated separately if required.

All the songs in my Reverbnation link are done with it.

http://www.reverbnation.com/pauldouglas
Thanks Shep. But maybe you can explain: If I create a great
drum song in Jamstix, then record it onto my tracks, if I find
I need another beat or hit, I can just re-arm the drum tracks
and record it back in? Everything stays in sync doing it
that way?

I really like the philosophy of Jamstix... I understand it
can be used to trigger other drum programs (EZ, AD, etc.) as
well? Is that correct? If so, how does it work?

Thanks so much,

Jedi
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
Thanks Shep. But maybe you can explain: If I create a great
drum song in Jamstix, then record it onto my tracks, if I find
I need another beat or hit, I can just re-arm the drum tracks
and record it back in? Everything stays in sync doing it
that way?

I really like the philosophy of Jamstix... I understand it
can be used to trigger other drum programs (EZ, AD, etc.) as
well? Is that correct? If so, how does it work?

Thanks so much,

Jedi

Yes or you can just go into it's Bar editor and add or remove any beats you want.You can also lock any and all of the parts you have done so as not to change things you don't want changed


There's an excellent forum as well and,"Ralph" the maker listens to it's users and is on hand to help,

http://rayzoon2.com/forum/

I could never go back to the old way of doing drum tracks now I use Jamstix.Also there's just the sheer fun of jamming to some of the Drummers/Styles which has led to quite a few of my songs so it's an inspirational piece of software as well.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:19 PM   #21
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I have to +1 Jamstix. It is, in my view, simply amazing for a non-drummer/non-drum-programmer. It's probably less useful if you're going to compose strike for strike.

Quote:
Ah.... so the entire drum part of the song must be composed
and COMMITTED to inside Jamstix, and once it's "done" you arm
the REAPER tracks and record the loop.

But what happens then if after tracking on guitars and bass,
that one or two beats or cymbals are wrong or need something?
If I'm reading you correctly, you're pretty much hosed at that
point, as you've already committed the Jamstix pattern "to tape".
It's really easy once you get to know the interface, but no you don't have to work that way at all. You can split the composition (inside JS) into little pieces (1 measure or greater I guess in whole measures) and you can tweak it to your heart's content before you commit. When you are happy with 100% of the piece and every hit is exactly where you want it, then you can render stems (anywhere from a stereo downmix to 8x stereo outs). If you track more stuff and something in the drums isn't working, it's easy: just delete whichever stems you want to replace, open JS back up and tweak away.

Some positives about the JS engine:
-You can tie it in to a different set of drum sounds (any other VSTi I believe) and control kits which sound arguably better than the ones which come with JS.
-The AI is simply impressive overall and in its details
-the variation you get from a jamstix drummer utterly blows round robin triggering out of the water
-the bar editor is great, once I figured out how to use it things became much simpler in getting my idea from A to B

Jamstix, despite its awesomeness, does have a few negatives worth mentioning:
-I don't get a lot of critical bugs (that quit REAPER) but I've had a few. Considering REAPER's stability with a WIDE assortment of other plugins, it's not the most stable plugin ever coded. It is, however, still very usable; if I had ever lost a major composition (or even a big part of one) due to a crash I would not recommend it quite so wholeheartedly. That said, it could potentially happen one day.
-The UI took me some time to get used to. I don't know if that's because I'm not all that trained in percussion or if it's just not the greatest UI ever. That said, like most things, once you learn your way around it's not bad at all. But it did take me some time to get used to it.
-It's very much oriented towards rock and (to a lesser degree) metal. That's not to say that it can't do Mambo (I believe it does several different variants if I'm not confusing Mambo with something else) but it's extremely deep if you're into metal/rock, it is less deep in many other categories (by depth I'm referring to the general amount of variation available for a particular genre).
-I've had some trouble with tempo changes lately. I'm working on a song right now that goes back and forth between 6/8 and 4/4 and I can't get Jamstix to make that second switch back to 6/8. I have yet to hit Ralph up on the forums, though (JS support is REAPER-esque [to me that's a huge plus]). I might just be doing something wrong.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheppola View Post
I could never go back to the old way of doing drum tracks now I use Jamstix.
I can surely see why. I really like the "human interface".
A little complex at first, but VERY impressive.

Have you tried using it with other embedded drums, like
Addictive or EZ Drums? How does that process work? What
is your opinion of the Jamstix drum samples overall?

Thanks for taking time to address all my noobiness...



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Old 05-09-2011, 02:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
I can surely see why. I really like the "human interface".
A little complex at first, but VERY impressive.

Have you tried using it with other embedded drums, like
Addictive or EZ Drums? How does that process work? What
is your opinion of the Jamstix drum samples overall?

Thanks for taking time to address all my noobiness...



Jedi
You are welcome and I've only used it a couple of times to fire some other software like Addictive Drums Demo but it works fine and there are different ways of doing it so has many possibilities.

The drum sounds are of superb quality and been recorded without Massive studio effects leaving the user free to affect them the way they want.

I went a bit mad on this track with,"Up-Front" drums but not much processing but loved the acoustic sound of the kit.

http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_songs/232089

and this track uses one of the,"Electro" kits,

http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_8460281


You,"Will" get frustrated at 1st but it's worth persevering and people like myself are around to help.
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Last edited by Sheppola; 05-09-2011 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
I can surely see why. I really like the "human interface".
A little complex at first, but VERY impressive.

Have you tried using it with other embedded drums, like
Addictive or EZ Drums? How does that process work? What
is your opinion of the Jamstix drum samples overall?

Thanks for taking time to address all my noobiness...



Jedi
The JS kits are a lot better than I expected, honestly.

They are potentially inferior to other kit sets in:
variety: it seems like it's a few JS kits comp'd/eq'd in various ways to get various sounds. That's cool and all, but that's my job! Just hit me up with nice raw samples of kits. There were a surprisingly small number of dry kits in the JS library (incidentally I own most of the expansions which indeed came with more kits). Maybe most people aren't looking for dry drums, I don't know. That said, it's not a sample set so the limitations of its libraries are forgivable.

That said, I don't own AD or EZD so I can't give you a direct 1:1 comparison. I know many people do sub-host AD or EZ in their Jamstix so there must be those out there who prefer those kits.

The process of sub-hosting is fairly straight forward: you launch a process of that VST from Jamstix and then you can tweak it/access it normally (except through Jamstix rather than through an FX insert). I messed around with several electronic drum VSTis and Jamstix handled them quite nicely. It can also be used with a sampler VSTi as well in that manner.
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:44 PM   #25
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You can also just send the MIDI out from JS to another drum VSTi. Sometimes that works better here than subhosting the .dll.

-Susan
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post
You can also just send the MIDI out from JS to another drum VSTi. Sometimes that works better here than subhosting the .dll.

-Susan
Thanks all for the great tips... much appreciated.

So to send MIDI out, is that like an export and then drop
into an empty MIDI track in REAPER? Are all the JS "human
traits" coded into the MIDI file?

Jedi
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:52 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
Thanks all for the great tips... much appreciated.

So to send MIDI out, is that like an export and then drop
into an empty MIDI track in REAPER? Are all the JS "human
traits" coded into the MIDI file?

Jedi
You can do that, and yes the humanization will be there, but I meant in real time. In other words, JS outputs MIDI while it's playing, which you can route to a different VSTi, or even break out into different channels for multiple other VSTis -- it's very flexible!

And BTW, you don't need to export the MIDI, you can just drag it from the JS GUI.

-Susan
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:25 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan G View Post
You can do that, and yes the humanization will be there, but I meant in real time. In other words, JS outputs MIDI while it's playing, which you can route to a different VSTi, or even break out into different channels for multiple other VSTis -- it's very flexible!

And BTW, you don't need to export the MIDI, you can just drag it from the JS GUI.

-Susan
Very cool indeed! I once had a MIDI gizmo called the
Kurzweil Humanizer - feed MIDI into it and it would "human
it up" with little variations... but it worked very very
poorly and I sold it after 2 songs.

Jamstix has a very impressive engine (IMO) on doing this.

Jedi
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:27 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheppola View Post
You are welcome and I've only used it a couple of times to fire
I went a bit mad on this track with,"Up-Front" drums but not much processing but loved the acoustic sound of the kit.

http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_songs/232089
Listening to the second track right now - cool tune! Totally
makes me think of the guy who sings in Dead Can Dance.

But the first link just pulls up the whole list... which song
were you referencing?

Damn... that's a COOL SONG!! (Who)

Do you have that on a CD / Amazon MP3 download for purchase in
high resolution? I see Straticus, but that album doesn't have "Who"...

Jedi

Last edited by Jedi; 05-09-2011 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:32 AM   #30
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Just a heads up....In addition to the demo that you can download and try (which you should definitely do), Jamstix is on sale until May 23rd. You can pick it up for $79 which is a steal in my opinion.
http://www.rayzoon.com/buy.html

As far as your questions on how to edit or change things, it is very easy to lock parts and or unlock to edit if you need to.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:39 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by bigwoody View Post
Just a heads up....In addition to the demo that you can download and try (which you should definitely do), Jamstix is on sale until May 23rd. You can pick it up for $79 which is a steal in my opinion.
I just ordered the whole enchilada - the Jamstix 3 Studio
edition that has pretty much everything all the other packages
have. $159 ... what the heck - seems very reasonable to me.

Downloading now.

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Old 05-10-2011, 02:38 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
Listening to the second track right now - cool tune! Totally
makes me think of the guy who sings in Dead Can Dance.

But the first link just pulls up the whole list... which song
were you referencing?

Damn... that's a COOL SONG!! (Who)

Do you have that on a CD / Amazon MP3 download for purchase in
high resolution? I see Straticus, but that album doesn't have "Who"...

Jedi


1st link was meant to be this
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_3053584

I've not put a high res version of,"Who" up in the store yet but you can grab the 128k from here,

http://www.box.net/shared/kq9ll0mb0v


Thank for the comments
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:45 AM   #33
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Thanks for the opinions here...JS looks really interesting and flexible.

After a few false starts, I went EZDrummer with an modern EZX pack and you tend to want more or course. I got mine from the internet(ebay;audiodeluxe) on sale for about half price. It is a great easy to use program and great sounds. In part it inspired me to switch to Reaper to get the multiple outs to further tweak the sounds.

The drag and drop interface is great and easy to use...you can of course get your own midi files or make your own grooves and save them to your library in EZD. There is also a humanize function.

JS looks interesting with more of a virtual drummer, not just set patterns and grooves and rolls good as they may be in EZD.

Might consider it myself in time after reading this thread...cheers
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:05 PM   #34
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UPDATE: I've now purchased Jamstix (the whole enchilada) but
also bought EZDrummer (basic kit, no add-ons like I did in JS)

Just know that EZD does NOT work well in 64-bit REAPER!!!
They offer a 64-bit patch, but it DOESN'T WORK IN REAPER.
And the install was HORRID. The DVD in the box was useless.
Had to download the latest version. Plus the 64-bit patch....
and it STILL doesn't work in 64-bit REAPER.

I have a thread about all this in Reaper Comparability Discussion....

Jedi
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:54 AM   #35
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" UPDATE: I've now purchased Jamstix (the whole enchilada) but
also bought EZDrummer (basic kit, no add-ons like I did in JS)

Just know that EZD does NOT work well in 64-bit REAPER!!!
They offer a 64-bit patch, but it DOESN'T WORK IN REAPER.
And the install was HORRID. The DVD in the box was useless.
Had to download the latest version. Plus the 64-bit patch....
and it STILL doesn't work in 64-bit REAPER. "

Oh....not so sure about that...

Jamstix is interesting, thanks for pointing that out, maybe on my 'wish list'

EZDrummer worked for me Win7 i7 quad core 64 bit. Uses 'bridge mode' in reaper but have had no problems at all running it on my system.

The installations are big and I had to download it (bought the license) and the registration is a little convoluted with a few emails and such...

But persevere, it does work as do the extension packs (I got Claustrophobic).

One of the reasons for switching to Reaper was the ability to use EZD with multiple outs and it does this well, introduced me to the idea of templates so I can just load the template and it loads the required tracks and EZD with the appropriate outs. This allows each to be separated and processed individually if you choose.

So, not sure what the problems have been, but I don't know that I had to load 'patches' for 64, though there were a few extra files required. As I say, it runs in 'bridge mode' in reaper 64 without any problems at all!
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:13 AM   #36
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Ezdrummer or Addictive doesn't matter IMHO if you put more emphasis on other parts of the drum part. After all both are a bunch of samples.

I work like this: record the bass using a click-track then begin to write drums.
I go hardcore and write the drum pattern from scratch in the piano roll, while playing back the bass-guitar only. I do this all the time, adjusting the velocity carefully on almost every note, making natural sounding drum rolls, kick drums should have less velocity during verse, and more during other parts of the song to make it more expressive, and many more tricks on hihat and snare. Trying to simulate a real drummer who begins to headbang during a good riff and squeeze the hell out of his kick and snare, while calm down during other parts of the song and hit the drumkit lightly. Reaper offers great help to "randomize" velocity within a range giving more "humanized" feeling.

When finished, I separate the snare, the kick the toms and the overhead/room mic into individual tracks so later I can carefully EQ them to fit in the mix.

Ezdrummer and Addictive are both avesome, have different samples attached to different velocity, also have some kind of "humanizing" effect, and that's all. You are the one who write good scores that trick others believing you have a real drummer.
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Old 06-11-2011, 07:07 AM   #37
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Quote:
It also needs this terrible challenge/response to function as a copy protection method.
Though I'm not a fan of callenge/response, I do have to give AD a thumbs up on the ability to login to the website and remove authorizations then reauth new ones as needed.

As far as which is better between AD/EZ its mostly up to the indvidual and trying the demos. I chose AD because it was easy to get 100% dry natural kit sounds. I like to build my drums with the mix and use the same verbs/fx as Reaper. Both are good VSTs though.

Karbo
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:46 PM   #38
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I have addictive and am very happy with it. you can mix each drum individually so thats great and the program itself has a lot of tweaks to each of the drums, reverbs distortion compression etc. so you can get many different sounds. easy to set up with my yamaha dtx multi 12 drum pads as well . you can also buy midi loops and extra drums/sets. As i live in ireland its a good idea to buy from america as the exchange rate is good so you save a lot and also its cheaper in the states. so you save on the double . addictive makes life so easy when programing drums especially if you use the midi loops and then change them to what you want this is much quicker way of getting a good drum sound/pattern.most of the work is already done for you. works well in reaper so far. this makes recording so much more fun as i have always found drums to be the hardest challenge sonically and programatically. still a lot of learning to do though as i am relatively new to reaper (2 months) so I'm running up that hill as kate bush once said.. everything's a waveform right.............?
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:04 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
UPDATE: I've now purchased Jamstix (the whole enchilada) but
also bought EZDrummer (basic kit, no add-ons like I did in JS)

Just know that EZD does NOT work well in 64-bit REAPER!!!
They offer a 64-bit patch, but it DOESN'T WORK IN REAPER.
And the install was HORRID. The DVD in the box was useless.
Had to download the latest version. Plus the 64-bit patch....
and it STILL doesn't work in 64-bit REAPER.

I have a thread about all this in Reaper Comparability Discussion....

Jedi
Blimey! I am fairly well locked into EZD and Superior, but run Reaper 32 in WIn7 64, so I never bothered trying it in 64 bit Reaper.

Off to try it now.....
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