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cheap Software Sampler, NI Battery perhaps?
Old 31st May 2006
Lives for gear
jgrif08's Avatar

cheap Software Sampler, NI Battery perhaps?

A friend was askin me for a recommendation and I wasn't totally sure what to tell him. He his looking for a very basic drum sampling program to make beats he can practice guitar to while his drummer is not around. Basically what he wants is rather natural sounding drums (as opposed to dance / hip hop kits) and the ability to manually lay them out (as in a step editor) into loops. My first thought was Native Instruments Battery, althouh I've never used this program. Is Battery a capable standalone instrument or does it require a host? Does it have a step editor to create drum loops? I've read a couple of reviews of the program that have kind of left me wondering about its abilities as a standalone.

Any other suggestions? Try to keep it under $400...
Thanks in advance.
Old 1st June 2006
Gear Maniac
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No Battery does not have a step editor.

Maybe something like EZ Drummer from Toontrack would be more up his alley. It comes with a ****ton of MIDI files which he can edit in any DAW.

If it has to be standalone, how about Guru? I have never used it, but I am under the impression that it is more electronic. I don't think there are many other alternatives for standalone.

Band in a Box is popular for practicing.
Old 1st June 2006
Gear Addict

If it's just for jamming, maybe Spectrasonics Stylus RMX would be a better option than a sampler.

This gives you amazing sounds, great loops and tons of flexibility to create instant drum backing tracks... rather than spending forever trying to program good beats from one-shots.

Don't get me wrong - I massively rate Battery, and use it for parts of all my beat making, but for what you've described, I think Stylus may be a great option.

It really does sound awesome - and with the chaos feature, it just comes alive! Much more fun than playing to a robotic loop over and over again.

Cheers - Rez
Old 1st June 2006
Gear Maniac
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RMX is very similar to EZ Drummer... RMX would be better suited to Hip Hop and electronic sounds, and EZ Drummer for Rock and acoustic sounds.

Both require a DAW for play back.
Old 1st June 2006
Gear Addict

Yeah that's true - Stylus does require a DAW for playback, but you could just use something really stripped down (i.e. cheap).

I don't know about EZ Drummer - it may be a great program, Dave Swift obviously has more experience with both so can better make a comparison.

There are loads of great sounds in Stylus though - and the interface is awesome. The features are great - especially chaos and there's nice tools for shaping the sound to get what you want. It's easy, quick and diverse to get great results!

Like I said, EZ Drummer may be better - I just don't know that program. I'd go to a store where you can have a play around and see what you feel more comfortable with.

It's just for jamming, so ease of use is key.

Old 1st June 2006
Gear Head


Intakt is a pretty cool loop player. Check out to see if it runs independent of a DAW. You can get different versions from East West that come with specific sample sets including natural sounding drums. If he has a PC get a basic version of FruityLoops for $49 or if he has a Mac, get Garage Band with a loop package for less than $150. Also, for jamming he coud just get a drum machine or a used Boss SP303 or SP505 drum sampler.
Old 1st June 2006
Gear Maniac
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Another thought... iDrum
Old 1st June 2006
Gear Addict

If he wants to program his own beats in a standalone app, it's pretty much a toss-up between iDrum and Guru.. Reason might also be worth a look (it has the "ReDrum" programmable drum machine). None of the others has any kind of step sequencer / grid editor.
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