Steven Slate Drums 5 - Finally! Was Due for Release Mid 2014

  • No I havn't bought it. Just listened to the two videos and that was enough for me to judge if I was going to upgrade or not. What others say at GS I don't give a damn. Would the views there be a measure of how good a thing is or not? Sorry but I don't see the point why you point out what the opnions are on GS? :huh: No I'm not trying to be harsh or attack you so please don't get it wrong MM mkey? ;) One thing that's good when you get older. You care less and less about others opnions. If I don't like something enough then I don't no matter if the the whole world say something else.:)

    If you prefer the sameish thing, well good for you. Each to his own taste.

    Well, firstly, they're a "tough room" over at GS, GJ. This is why you'll often see plugin manufacturers and others quote GearSlutz comments in their advertising. If you can please the majority there, you've done really well. I'm not saying Slate's done that; I simply tried to point out to you that the feeling over there is that there's a huge variety of tones on offer in the factory library alone (no expansions). Too early to gauge an overall verdict at this point...

    I don't "prefer sameish thing", man. I was asking you if you'd heard all the kits. I can't understand how you could make the judgement you did after hearing only the small handful of kits in the demos. I mean, there are 76 carefully-selected, top-notch snares for instance. We probably only heard half a dozen in the videos - less than a tenth of the factory library.

    I'm saying all this 'cause you said that if I "prefer sameish thing", then good for me and each to his own taste. I want you to know that I'm not into sameish anything, be it music styles, guitars, drums, synths, girls, cars, food... anything! Give me a kick in the backside if I ever become like that, bud. Please. 8o

  • Hmm... I see that not only was my prediction of $79 for the upgrade spot-on, but the introductory full-retail price will end on November 30th and go to $179, exactly what I predicted as RRP a while back.

    Guess I just got lucky.

    I wasn't sure how many there were so hadn't said anything, but apparently there are 100 new drum kits.

    Also, in case anyone didn't realise it, you can copy all your Grooves (including the factory and expansion ones) from your Slate Digital / SSD4 / SSD4Library / Grooves folder to the new one and they'll all work.

  • OK, I just updated the OP with this information:

    New release thread:

    Steven Slate Drums 5 (SSD5) Now Available

    Apparently there are 138 drum kit presets, 84 kicks, 77 snares, 58 toms, 11 hi-hats, 14 crashes, 6 rides, 4 splashes 3 chinas, 1 clap, 1 tambourine and 1 cowbell.

    The physically-modeled drum playback algorithm apparently "recreates the sound of real drum parts with realism that you'll have to hear to believe. Simple round robin is a thing of the past... now each drum dissolves into the next just like a real acoustic drum kit."

    there's a demo version here:

    Steven Slate Drums - World-Class Virtual Drum Instruments & Replacers


    Steven said a few days ago:

    "... the SSD5 team and I look forward to continuing the evolution of SSD5 to add even more improvements, features, new samples, and more! Our ears are open and we are happy to listen closely to your needs!"

    To me this is significant and not what happened with previous releases.

    Also, he says that "the Deluxe 2 sounds are all raw samples, no processing." Apparently the manual is incorrect in this regard.

    Good news for some:

    He says "... we are currently editing a new expansion pack that has some really old and dirty drums that sound NOTHING like I’ve ever done!"

  • This seems like a great deal for someone who wants awesome sound quality and wants to either program the beats themselves or use existing midi libraries which can then be tweaked.

    A few years ago, I got SSD4 very very cheaply as part of a sale but, despite its sonic charms, I haven’t used it and won’t be looking to upgrade to v5. I’m too bone idle to use something these days that doesn’t help me out from an arrangement point of view. I remember the pain of doing drum programming in DAW and, for me, it utterly sucked the joy out of Home recording for a keen amateur songwriter. As part of NI Komplete a few years back I got the Abbey Road drums which I really like and they came with a reasonably useable midi library. This was huge for me.

    A couple of years ago I bought EZDrummer 2 and I absolutely love it. Yes, I fully realise that the sound quality it gives will be beaten by SSD5 and other programs but the interface makes perfect sense to me and allows me to get the drum stuff done and dusted so I can move on with the rest of the song. Once the rest of the song starts to evolve, I can then come back and easily tweak what I’ve done in EZDrummer to make it more suitable for the end result. Being able to keep the same groove throughout but telling the virtual drummer to just do a little bit more towards the end of the song is really nice and just silly things like altering the opening hit, being able to add percussion etc all in the same interface was a game changer for me. Writing the song in this manner is perhaps a weird way of working but it makes sense to my brain. I also realise that I could trigger SSD5 with midi that I drag out out of EZDrummer but I haven’t felt the need to do this with SSD4 so the new version, even though I’m sure it’s wonderful, isn’t calling to me personally.

    The worst (or best, you tell me!) thing about this thread is it’s just caused me to watch a bunch of SD3 videos. If Black Friday or Christmas has a decent offer on a crossgrade then my wallet may be in trouble. EZ Drummer mentality with better sound quality, the ability to tweak groves on a drum roll in the same EZ interface and also electronic libraries. It’s very tempting. I’m currently working on a song with my daughter that needs some 808 style sounds and, whilst I have some in Studio One’s ‘impact’ program, I’m struggling a little with my ability to make them sound how I want and writing groves in the pattern editor (which I appear to be pretty bad at :) )

    Sorry for the slight hijack (hopefully Nicky will forgive me :) ) but can anyone who owns SD3 tell me if the number of midi libraries that comes with it as standard are decent in comparison with EZD2? My one criticism of EZ Drummer is that the original loops were pretty good but they needed a few more and I didn’t like their business model when you bought expansions..... if you bought the Americana kit for instance, you got *some* extra suitable midi loops but if you wanted a decent variety you had to buy them separately which I am not impressed with.

  • It comes with quite a few midi loops, but not a tonne of them. That’s because the company also sells midi packs.

    SD3 has a fair number of electronic kits btw. Didn’t see any 808 style thump drums though, maybe I missed it.

  • Gary_W , you'll be an SD3 user soon. ;)

    Everything about your workflow applies to me as well.

    I owned SD2 before but using it was far the EZD 2 experience, so I ended up using EZD until SD3 catched up with the 'EZ' workflow.

    Sorry for the repeated hijack.

    that’s the problem with music making forums..... they constantly show you alternative ways of doing what you already do but better :) I’d love to pick it up but cannot justify 269 euros (especially with our wonderful current U.K. exchange rate) but if a sale is kind then ‘hopefully’ :)

    And thanks for the info Nightlight - I missed your post as I was writing mine. It’s a shame they don’t put more in there midi-wise but, along with the ez Drummer 2 libraries I have plus the midi from NI Abbey Road, I think I’d live :)

  • Sorry for the repeated hijack.

    Your thoughts are always welcome to me, Ingy! <3

    Besides, I think it's only fair that all perspectives are shared 'cause this isn't an advertisement for Slate, but rather a heads-up that this cheap-and-great-sounding option is finally (after a very-long wait) out there.

    From we Kemperites' perspective, everything in the "Other Gear" subforum is and should be fair game for scrutiny with our intended or imagined usage in mind, IMHO.

  • Here's some additional thoughts after having used SSD5 for a week or so. The replacement for the round robin script is really really well done. The drums really do sound very very authentic, without much programming required, especially when using the Deluxe 2 kits. However, as the new kits are largely unprocessed, you now have to up your mixing chops, which isn't a bad thing, in my opinion. I suppose you could always substitute them for the ones from the signature packs (Blackbird pack excluded) once you've come to the point of mix down, as by then the programming should be done and dusted and the new scripts are implemented across the board, though with slightly less realism (though you'll probably never notice or hear at that point). With the new kits being so raw, you have more scope to sculpt them to suit other genres better. For me and some of the projects I'm working with, I need a more lo fi, dirty sound sometimes, and you can coax that out of these. Slate has also hinted at a new pack due soon that is sampling a really old, dusty, lo fi kit, so that'll probably be a no brainer for me, once that gets released.

  • Good stuff, Sammy!

    MIDI-groove info added to the OP:

    From Baxterbrown over at GearSlutz:

    Groove Monkee has an extensive library and they are in the process of making them SSD5 compatible. I bought the Hi-Octane groove pack Friday and their support team said they'd likely have the SSD5 compatible version ready by this Tuesday.

  • OK, so I'm way behind the curve compared to you guys but....

    First I managed to get my Yamaha DTX to create midi in my DAW...all I needed was a midi cable into my focusrite...who would have thought!

    Then I downloaded the trial version of SSD5...sounds so much better than my Yamaha, really pleased. Might purchase the full version when I get some cash!

    Thanks all/Nicky!!

  • I am loving the reviews. A little bummed that a lot of the samples seems to need more treatment than in the past (that's what I have SD3 for) before they are mix-ready, which is my main draw here. But there seems to be plenty of highly processed samples to keep me happy.

    This'll have to wait until the new year (spending some time in Serbia soon, trying to save for that), but I think this is a 100% buy for me (it's too fairly priced not to)...I think I'll get the free version just to tease myself until then. :D

    Disclaimer: When I post demo clips for profiles, there will be some minimal post-processing, unless stated otherwise. I normally double-track hard L/R, and add to the main buss a small amount of EQ and a limiter/comp set pretty light as well. Sometimes I get test profiles in advance of release, though 90% of my clips will be from packs I have purchased.

    Edited once, last by Locrain ().

  • Yup, many are raving about the sound quality and playability from e-kits, Bruce.

    Dare I say it, quite a few have said they much prefer the sound over SD3. At least one I've seen owns all the SD3 expansions and still prefers Slate now.

    This is the sort of home run I've been hoping Steven would hit throughout the long, agonising wait. With any luck updates will not only add the grooves he mentioned but also some useful functionality enhancements, something he's already alluded to, so it's looking fantastic from my POV.

    By the time I finally get to install and hear it "properly", all this dust should've settled, so I'm super-pumped! 8o

  • I'm not surprised that those new to recording like myself would prefer SSD to SD just due to the Slate samples being ready to go OOTB, but SD3 kind of has a reputation for having the "best" samples that still need some work. So, for someone who has put as much money as they must have to get all the expansions, to prefer SSD5...certainly impressive. Like we were discussing, no good in getting too caught up in reviews, but they do seem really good.

    I did get the free version. The kit is pretty good, I think it's identified as a "rock" kit, though I did find it to have less "heft" than "rock" kits I compared it to in SD3...but it's hardly fair to compare, as I have the entire stock SD3 library to go through. I really like the snare. Nice and snappy. Overall, a well-balanced kit. Very dynamic, in the sense that it seemed to be less compressed than the SD3 kits, but I really liked that, it seemed to "cut" through at lower volume than the SD3 kits I listened to.

    I think it sounds more natural than SD3 with the midi track I made/modified from a groove in SD3. Dunno if that was just my mind playing tricks, but it sounded more like a drummer, less like a drum machine. I am not a great drum programmer yet, and I have noticed it sounding "choppy" in SD3. This seemed better.

    Took me a while to figure out to export a midi file of my track from SD3, and if there is an intuitive solution to getting that midi file to somewhere where SSD5 could find it, I missed it. I ended up using a solution posted for SSD4 that involved going to the folder where the grooves are kept, then creating 3 sub-folders with different file extensions so SSD could sort it correctly, then dropping it there...then dragging it from the grooves section of SSD to a track in my DAW, which then gave me a good bit of trouble, but I think I know why I had the issues I did, and how to prevent it in the future. There must be a better way to do this...I should finish reading the manual. :D

    The splash was triggering correctly (flashing blue) when it should have, but there was no sound, when I clicked it with the mouse, it flashed and sounded. Dunno, probably user error. :D

    The interface is bad. At the price point I couldn't care much less, but it's 10 years behind. I guess you could look at as Slate worked on the things that really matter, like the way the thing sounds, haha. But the GUI is pretty rough.

    It's still a must-buy for me. I don't get why it's so cheap. With the entire library, and all the grooves, it's going to be awesome.

    Disclaimer: When I post demo clips for profiles, there will be some minimal post-processing, unless stated otherwise. I normally double-track hard L/R, and add to the main buss a small amount of EQ and a limiter/comp set pretty light as well. Sometimes I get test profiles in advance of release, though 90% of my clips will be from packs I have purchased.

  • I think it sounds more natural than SD3 with the midi track I made/modified from a groove in SD3. Dunno if that was just my mind playing tricks, but it sounded more like a drummer, less like a drum machine. I am not a great drum programmer yet, and I have noticed it sounding "choppy" in SD3. This seemed better.

    Logic would suggest it's the new-fangled "physically-modelled" playback engine (round-robins gone and fancy-assed scripts that're designed to make it "play" more-naturally) that's responsible for this, Bruce.

    Thank you for the detailed review of the demo, mate. Tempted to hit you up to email me all your grooves once you're done convertin', brother... :/