Review: Steven Slate Drums
Positives:AMAZING, possibly the best drum VI out there!
Negatives:Stock sounds are almost TOO good. Memory issue bug (is being worked on AOR) Different articulations missing for certain instruments.
I first ran into Steven SLate at a NAMM show, with his tiny little booth tucked away in the corner of the main hall’s BASEMENT years ago. Everyone had been drooling over the Oceanway drums which came out around the same time (probably a little later) but I had heard about Steven’s amazing sounds and sought his booth out before my walk through had come to and end. A friend of mine (professional drummer) sat down at the electonic kit they had setup to demo the software since Steven’s demo artist hadn’t yet gotten out of bed yet. He started playing and I was blown away! Could not believe the sound coming out of the speakers. We played around with various kits, and the drummer faked a tune from which ever artist we picked from the list. Simply incredible. The interface at the time was a bit klunky, and recently has been redone and made 1000x better than the original (so if you’ve used it in the past and hated the interface, its time to come home!) There are a few options as far as packages go for the drums. I opted to get the platinum (everything) since I planned on using the (at the time) sounds he included with the VI as sound replacement files. (a year or two later he came out with trigger which I now use more than SSD, but each has their time and place). If you’re looking for a VI for drums (and I’m talkin BIG, HUGE, PRO drums, this is it! Looking for a new sound library for your electric kit… HERE YA GO! Looking for cute cuddly kittens that wants to has cheezeburgers… keep looking. I will go so far as to say, i have used SSD to completely re-do drums on albums with astounding results. My only gripe is that I wish there were some other articulations on cymbals and snares (a few rolls for us MIDI only folks would be awesome and some cymbal bells other than the rides would be cool too). Routing the drums is easy within the newer interface and allows you (in pro tools at least) to output your drum tracks to individual channels so you can mix the bounced tracks as you would a real drum kit. SSD recently released a Chris Lord Alge addon pack, which I demo’d and hated (all the kits sounded the same with very little variation… now that I think about it, just like CLA’s latest mix offerings… nothing new… sorry, just seems like hes not even trying anymore). No studio should be without this VI.