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Toontrack releases new SDX and EZX by Al Schmitt
Old 3 weeks ago
  #61
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonelark View Post
...by the time these drums (with human-played MIDI tweaked to match the tune) are mixed into a typical pop/rock/blues song, few people (if any) will think the drums are canned.
I've used this library on a few dozen sessions and I can assure you that it doesn't take a thick arrangement to sense that these are real drums. Even soloing the drum track can fool you.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #62
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SilverCrucifix's Avatar
 

Is it just me or this thread doesn't appear on the forum? the same seems to be happen randomly with some threads.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #63
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stonelark's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
I've used this library on a few dozen sessions and I can assure you that it doesn't take a thick arrangement to sense that these are real drums. Even soloing the drum track can fool you.
I completely agree. I've listened to the Decases drums soloed on good monitors and they sound authentic.

In reality ..... they are as real as a recorded studio drummer, right? The only thing that you can't get right with MIDI vs a studio drummer are live interactions between players. But most stuff is multitracked these days, anyhoo.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #64
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonelark View Post
The only thing that you can't get right with MIDI vs a studio drummer are live interactions between players.
You can get that, too! (with an electric kit)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #65
Gear Maniac
 

does this work stand alone or do i need to buy a host software first?

thanks, michael

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Press Desk View Post

Today Toontrack released the much-anticipated Decades SDX, a sound library expansion for Superior Drummer 3 recorded at legendary Capitol Studios by one of the most prolific audio craftsmen of our time: Al Schmitt. Also available as of today is the Big Band EZX, an all-new expansion for EZdrummer 2 featuring two of the kits from the Decades SDX but tailored for a mix-ready big band-inspired sound.

About Al Schmitt
With a career that took its start in the mid-’50s and with 727 recordings, 160 gold/platinum albums, 23 Grammy Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to his name, Al Schmitt is undoubtedly one of the most awarded and prolific audio craftsmen of our time. His hands and ears have literally shaped our collective music history. From now immortal icons like Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Sam Cooke to Madonna, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Barbara Streisand and Paul McCartney – Al has worked with them all.

About the Decades SDX
The Decades SDX was recorded at Capitol Studios and comes with five drum kits, all handpicked to represent a specific sound or era in Al’s career. Expect a palette of immaculate drum sounds encapsulating not only a lifetime of experience working at the apex of the industry, but just as much a personal and reflective collection of kits that in a way represents his entire body of work. From jazz and big band to rock, fusion, pop, funk and AOR – the Decades SDX covers all the styles that can be traced back to Al’s illustrious lifetime achievement.

FEATURE SPOTLIGHT
• Produced by 23-time Grammy Award-winning engineer/mixer Al Schmitt
• Recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, CA
• Five (5) kits
• 12 snares, nine (9) kicks as well as a broad collection of hi-hats and cymbals
• Includes several iconic original instruments, like the original snare drum used by Jeff Porcaro on Toto’s “Rosanna” as well as Steve Ferrone’s personal drum kit
• Brushes and/or mallets available on select kits/instruments
• Drums from the 1920s through the late 1990s
• Recorded with an additional seven room microphones for playback in stereo up to 9.1 systems



Link:https://www.toontrack.com/product/decades-sdx/


About the Big Band EZX
Although the origin of the term “jazz” is still up for debate, the leading candidate for its source is “jasm,” a word dating back to 1860 that relates to spirit, energy and vigor. Whether this is the true origin or not, those descriptive words are hallmarks that go together with jazz just as much today as they have through its entire history. The heritage of jazz and its impact on music as we know it is monumental. Arguably, no style of music has managed to seep through cultural tiers, outlive fads and trends or historically been more seminal in spawning great instrumentalists such as jazz has. Quite simply, it’s in our DNA and is the common thread in the fabric of our musical history.

This EZX is an homage to jazz on a whole and, in particular, the golden big band era. This did not only produce some of the most iconic artists in recorded history but also immortalized drumming as more than part of the rhythm section – it brought it to stage center. The Big Band EZX brings you two kits from the swing era of the ’30s and ’40s, both handpicked and tailored to provide an authentic slice of what the big band sound was and, indeed, still is. Expect two fundamentally different kits covering the entire tonal range from the round, warm and intimate to the thunderous, explosive and fiercely energetic – just like the genre itself.

Can you hear it? That steady rattle of the snare, the sizzling melody of the ride and the subtle, round boom of the large open bass drum? Welcome to the Big Band EZX, which will enable you to produce the timeless swing that has been the epitome of jazz for close to a century and a half.

FEATURE SPOTLIGHT
• Two complete kits from the 1930s-1940s era
• Recorded at Capitol Studios by legendary producer/engineer Al Schmitt
• Includes kit configurations recorded with sticks and brushes as well as with snare wires on and off
• Mix-ready presets tailored for a big band-inspired sound
• Includes a selection of big band-inspired MIDI drum grooves
Link: https://www.toontrack.com/product/big-band-ezx/
Old 3 weeks ago
  #66
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Melgueil's Avatar
 

On the Toontrack site, the video that demos the Mixer - towards the end they mention that the "Reverb" channel is a "direct feed fro, one of Al's favorite HW reverbs". Anyone know for sure which one? From a short list of the usual suspects, I wonder ...

Cdlt
Old 3 weeks ago
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melgueil View Post
On the Toontrack site, the video that demos the Mixer - towards the end they mention that the "Reverb" channel is a "direct feed fro, one of Al's favorite HW reverbs". Anyone know for sure which one? From a short list of the usual suspects, I wonder ...

Cdlt
If I remember correctly, he uses PCM96 for drums plates. But it may be also Brciasti LX480 or TC6000
Old 3 weeks ago
  #68
Gear Nut
 

Superior Drummer 3 is required for the Decades SDX

https://www.toontrack.com/product/superior-drummer-3/

EZdrummer 2 (or Superior Drummer 3) is required for the Big Band EZX

https://www.toontrack.com/ezdrummer-line/
Old 3 weeks ago
  #69
Gear Maniac
 

thank you grandaddy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandaddy View Post
Superior Drummer 3 is required for the Decades SDX

https://www.toontrack.com/product/superior-drummer-3/

EZdrummer 2 (or Superior Drummer 3) is required for the Big Band EZX

https://www.toontrack.com/ezdrummer-line/
Old 3 weeks ago
  #70
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kgdrum_nyc's Avatar
 

This might be relevant for other users:
I asked in a previous post:

Can a user(me) who installed SD3 as a stereo VI(no need for surround and limited hd space) install and actually utilize the extra mics with Decades?

I contacted Toontrack support and they answered :

"Yes, you can still choose to install the full Decades SDX setup even though you only have the stereo SD3 sound library installed."
Old 3 weeks ago
  #71
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Melgueil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stonelark View Post
The mallets and brushes are amazing. And they're just icing on the cake.

I appreciate how (at least on the drums I've mixed with so far), there is only one direct kick drum mic to mess with (not the usual kick in, kick out, kick sub). That one kick drum mic is perfect; no more needed.
Amen to that - and printing the hardware reverb to a channel then you mix to taste instead of fiddling around with yet another synthétique reverb plug in. Simpler. Then the Ambiant micc combinations.

I swore I would never buy another drum library. I was done, really was. Was.... until this ....

Cdlt
Old 2 weeks ago
  #72
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by icecubeman View Post
If I remember correctly, he uses PCM96 for drums plates. But it may be also Brciasti LX480 or TC6000
LX480
Old 2 weeks ago
  #73
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grandaddy View Post
LX480
Al uses the plugin? Not the hardware 480L?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #74
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
Al uses the plugin? Not the hardware 480L?
Sorry it’s the hardware
Old 2 weeks ago
  #75
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skythemusic's Avatar
Finally downloaded this beast. This sounds REALLY good, especially the toms.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #76
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by skythemusic View Post
Finally downloaded this beast. This sounds REALLY good, especially the toms.
Very much so, and toms aren't easy to record. These have attack, fullness and sustain. And as someone mentioned above, they're not mixed to death out-the-box. They're organic, but quickly usable without requiring an hour of mixing to get them to cut or sit properly. The size of the library tells you that they're giving us everything. Lots of velocities, long tails, and a slew of sonic detail.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #77
Gear Nut
 

Great. Just when I sold SD3 and all SDXs they finally release something interesting!

The mallets alone would be worth the price of the package.
But not worth re-investing in SD3 to get this. BFD3 serves me really well. But damn this sounds nice!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #78
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Melgueil's Avatar
 

Very interested in this. I was a bit disappointed with "Roots", didn't get much out of that pack in the mallets and brushes department. Keep going back to "Music City", which is still my favourite pack. Also had about enough of "Fortissimo" Drums ad nauseam.

Been searching for something more organic. Maybe this one is the answer.

Cdlt
Old 2 weeks ago
  #79
Mho
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Yes, I would like a dry expansion, low snares, soft hits, intimate as hell pack.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #80
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guavadude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mho View Post
Yes, I would like a dry expansion, low snares, soft hits, intimate as hell pack.
+100
The problem I find with most of the libraries is that they try to cover too much sonic territory and be all things to all people every time. There might be one low tuned snare or dry kick. The problem then is that I’m using the same sound on all of the tracks I produce in that style or maybe that choice isn’t quite right.

I need multiple choices of instruments that are in the same room that aren’t drastically different. If I’m looking for a muted kick, I need a variety to choose from to find what best fits the track. I need shades of gray and right now every library is gray, bright orange, dark purple and chartreuse.

I care a lot less about where the drums are recorded and by whom than I am about how they function in the track.

Decades sounds amazing and I get the concept of “decades”. I would have killed for separate libraries exploring each decade with more options and not trying to cram it all into one. But I’m sure Al is a busy guy and you get what you can.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #81
Mho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
+100
The problem I find with most of the libraries is that they try to cover too much sonic territory and be all things to all people every time. There might be one low tuned snare or dry kick. The problem then is that I’m using the same sound on all of the tracks I produce in that style or maybe that choice isn’t quite right.

I need multiple choices of instruments that are in the same room that aren’t drastically different. If I’m looking for a muted kick, I need a variety to choose from to find what best fits the track. I need shades of gray and right now every library is gray, bright orange, dark purple and chartreuse.

I care a lot less about where the drums are recorded and by whom than I am about how they function in the track.

Decades sounds amazing and I get the concept of “decades”. I would have killed for separate libraries exploring each decade with more options and not trying to cram it all into one. But I’m sure Al is a busy guy and you get what you can.
+1000. Suscribe every word.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #82
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
One of the best sounding kits you'll hear anywhere. Al an TT nailed this.
I'm adding this to my list of "when it goes on sale"....
Old 2 weeks ago
  #83
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guavadude's Avatar
And I also don’t need surround mics or six options for room mics. I need a 10x or a 100x more samples in the pool or something that makes the response more realistic.
I know that midi and the 127 velocity limit is the main problem but I’d gladly trade the room mic data for more variations of the basic hits. That way instead of 10 round robins, there’d be 100. Our hearing can detect the slightest variations of sound, or lack there of. Real instruments have an infinite number of inflections and slight variations and for VIs to get better, there’s going to need to be advancement in that area.

Every year it gets better and better and I do think Decades is the most organic, most versatile library available from anyone!

Last edited by guavadude; 2 weeks ago at 03:17 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #84
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
That way instead of 10 round robins, there’d be 100. Our hearing can detect the slightest variations of sound, or lack there of.
Good point. To me, the golden number isn't as low as 10 but it's not as high as 100 either. Auditory memory being as terrible as it is, I don't know that we'd be able to detect repetition beyond 20 hits, and when it's a piece that's hit less frequently (like toms or crashes) then we'd not likely recognize repeated samples in the context of a song.

Still, to be truly "perfect" (whatever that would be), a slew of round-robins does seem crucial. With these current kits, I don't really notice repetition.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #85
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guavadude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
Good point. To me, the golden number isn't as low as 10 but it's not as high as 100 either. Auditory memory being as terrible as it is, I don't know that we'd be able to detect repetition beyond 20 hits, and when it's a piece that's hit less frequently (like toms or crashes) then we'd not likely recognize repeated samples in the context of a song.

Still, to be truly "perfect" (whatever that would be), a slew of round-robins does seem crucial. With these current kits, I don't really notice repetition.
Hi hats, ride and snares are where I still see room for improvement which makes sense since these are what’s hit repeatedly and where the majority of the groove lies.

I’d like to see an approach where it’s one kit, say a vintage Gretsch, and it’s a more detailed version of just that. A variety of brushes and rods, mallets and different sized sticks.

So much effort is spent on improving the software tuning and features. I’d love to see more variations of a great snare like a solid shell Slingerland in a low, med and high tuning, each with open, partial and fully muted sounds and with a full complement of stick devices. No one has done that yet. Now you get one choice and they move onto the next snare long before they’ve fully explored all the great sounds it can do.

And pick one great sounding room (not S3 library’s) and just stay there for awhile. I’m constantly having to mix and match between libraries from different rooms and mess with those mics. And let Al Schmidt do all the recording!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #86
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This an amazing sample set - really truly amazing!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #87
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
I’d love to see more variations of a great snare like a solid shell Slingerland in a low, med and high tuning, each with open, partial and fully muted sounds and with a full complement of stick devices.
They've implemented some of that in SD3 with the Tuning and Envelope and Offset parameters. You're talking about additional recordings or lower/higher pieces, and this isn't that, but it does a very good job of manipulating the existing samples to sound higher/lower/shorter/etc.

While I agree 100% that it would make SD a better product, I understand that Toontrack has to consider the costs involved. Studio and engineer time is expensive, and with Al Schmitt it's very expensive, and these add'l features would require a LOT of time. Pulling in a new snare requires much more time that just swapping and re-tuning. That new snare affects the rest of the kit.

These things would likely force the price to increase, but I'm guessing that most people wouldn't be warm to paying more when they can use the adjustments to approximate the same result. Since the sound adjustments happen early in the chain, they're run through the processing further down the stream and that helps make them sound more legit.

It's not a true replacement for lower/higher/longer/shorter kit pieces, but, in session, it's worked well for me so far.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #88
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
Hi hats, ride and snares are where I still see room for improvement which makes sense since these are what’s hit repeatedly and where the majority of the groove lies.

I’d like to see an approach where it’s one kit, say a vintage Gretsch, and it’s a more detailed version of just that. A variety of brushes and rods, mallets and different sized sticks.

So much effort is spent on improving the software tuning and features. I’d love to see more variations of a great snare like a solid shell Slingerland in a low, med and high tuning, each with open, partial and fully muted sounds and with a full complement of stick devices. No one has done that yet. Now you get one choice and they move onto the next snare long before they’ve fully explored all the great sounds it can do.

And pick one great sounding room (not S3 library’s) and just stay there for awhile. I’m constantly having to mix and match between libraries from different rooms and mess with those mics. And let Al Schmidt do all the recording!

I've been saying the basically the same thing for a while. I'd love to see a developer like this (be it Toontrack, Fxpansion, third-party) put out a product with fewer kit pieces, but more tuning/head options. I don't need 12 snares where 10 are tuned in similar ways, and 1 is tuned low, with another snare (usually a piccolo) tuned high. I'd rather have three good snares with 4 tunings each: low/loose, low+damped, mid, high. I'm fine if they want to change out the drum heads for different tunings/sounds - just make them sound good. Same with the toms. Maybe even do some variations with no resonant heads.

Also don't need or want hundreds of room channels. Agree that if you're going to record GB's of more data that it makes way more sense to dedicate some of that space to rides, hats, and crashes.

I also get that manufacturers want to load up samples in that 80-100 MIDI velocity range where people are usually playing, totally makes sense. But there also needs to be a healthy number of samples at the lower velocities - don't skimp there. I have a library that where even low velocity tom hits sound thunderous and some where low velocity ride hits just sound all wrong.

This library does sound excellent from the videos though. Makes me want to go out and buy Superior Drummer and this expansion, but I'm deep enough in a competing eco-system with hundreds of GB's of drums already that it just doesn't make sense for me to do that. It's a shame Toontrack and similar companies don't just put out a player and let users buy expansions because that would be much more tempting for me at this point.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #89
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkybot View Post
I also get that manufacturers want to load up samples in that 80-100 MIDI velocity range where people are usually playing, totally makes sense.
True. I think many people program MIDI drums at higher velocities, which less dynamic range, than real drummers. A kit played softer can be so expressive, but we have a tendency to murder the keys up to 127. Play softer, people. Turn up your fader if it's too quiet!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #90
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkybot View Post
This library does sound excellent from the videos though. Makes me want to go out and buy Superior Drummer and this expansion, but I'm deep enough in a competing eco-system with hundreds of GB's of drums already that it just doesn't make sense for me to do that. It's a shame Toontrack and similar companies don't just put out a player and let users buy expansions because that would be much more tempting for me at this point.
Yes. Especially since they are the only ones who make the expansions.
Funny thing is that they use that model with EZKeys.
Having to buy the base package just to have access to the expansions makes it too expensive for many.
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