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Xln Audio Addictive Drums

Wazzzap Dawfreaks.

Its time for another review, and it’s a real treat.
From the Swedish company
XlN Audio I give you…

First of I want to thank Xln audio for giving me the opportunity to wright this review.
So are you ready? Well then lets go.

About Xln audio

XLN Audio is a Swedish music software company located in Stockholm. Since the company was founded in 2004 by Niklas Möller and Lars Erlandsson, XLN Audios’s main goal has been to develop and produce market leading music creation tools for all levels of users.
By 2009 the XLN crew has grown to a team of 6 full time workers, all with a background in music production and creative work. XLN Audio’s main product is the award winning virtual instrument Addictive Drums. Addictive Drums is currently considered one of the leading tools for drum production.
(source xln audio Homepage)

A Little about Addictive drums
Addictive drums comes with 3 full kits, Sonor Designer / DW Collectors / Tama Starclassic.
There is also some extra Kit pieces included and you can also download a nice extra kick named
Woofer wonderland.

Insert & Send Effects
Compressor / EQ / Distortion / Tape Saturation / Filter / Limiter / Reverb
100+ Presets
Clean / Distorted / Electronica / LoFi / PopRock / Rock / Soft / Vintage / Xperimental
3000+ MIDI Files
4/4 Straight & Swing / 3/4 Straight & Swing / 6/8 Straight & Swing /
Bundles (Blues, Jazz, Funk, etc) / Songs (Rock, Disco, Reggae, etc)

The Review
I don’t have the dvd installer, I got the download version from the xln audio web store
The installer comes as a zip file at a size of 1.09 gig, when extracted it has a size of 1.23 gig.
Wow only 1.23 you might think?
Superior drummer is nearly 20 gig.
But hey don’t let the size fool you,
as you will se size does not matter Ler.

Since the downloaded version holds the latest update as well, Installing is a real breeze and you don’t need to update.
However Addictive drums does not have full 64 bit support at the moment.
For windows users with a 64bit Sequencer like me, there is a beta version of the 64bit VST plugin that you can find information on how to download and install Here .

Since I run Cubase 6 in 64 bit I decided to hide the 32bit plugin from cubase and just use the 64bit plugin.
It all was loaded fine and activation is done in 30 sec.
After that the plugin loads up and you are ready to make some beats.

Here is a the main window with individual drum slots.

The GUI in addictive drums is very well thought through, after just a couple of minutes you get a hang of it and are ready to start making drums.
As you can se the AD Gui is divided in 3 sections.
Top section holds on the left a roll down preset frame as well as speed dial arrows and on the right hand side you will find a play button as well as the buttons that will take you to the drum edit, the effects and the beat window.
The main section of the Gui will be where things actually change depending on what window you load.

In the drum kit window you can se 12 slots, one for each drum.
Addictive drums comes with slots for 1 kick, 1 snare 1 Hi hat, 3 Cymbals, 1 ride, 4 toms and an extras slot that holds a cowbell. and each window has drum piece selection and speed dial arrows for the specific drum.
Here I find one thing that I feel could be changed.
The extra slot can only hold specific drums so with addictive drums it can only hold the cowbell, I know that with adpacks you will get more into this slot but since I don’t have any adpacks yet I cant show you this.
I plan and hope I soon can get money to get the retro, funk and of course metal adpackbut that’s when my budget allows so I can review them for you as well.
But as I said this slot could be opened for the user to load any drum into, so if the user would like to have a additional kick, snare or tom he/she could load that into the extra slot to get even more out of Addictive drums.

In the lower section you will find the mixer, a basic yet all you need mixer that you also will se some small changes in depending on where in Addictive drums you are located.
You have one channel for each individual drum, and you also have channels for overhead, room, one buss and then you have the master channel.
You can run addictive drums as stereo track or as multi out, To get multi out just click the out on each track.

The Edit window

A nice and easy edit window is essential for speeding up your production and addictive drums has a outstanding edit window with all tools you need.
It holds controls for each drum that you highlight, such as overhead and room control.
you can also tweak Specific controls like in this picture you can se Mics, A lever to move left and right to adjust the balance between the Beater and Front mic.

snareIn the snare section this Lever is for top / button mics
and you also have buzz control that I really like.
It controls the amount of buzz you want bleeding to other drums.
This is very handy if you ask me,
course I don’t like to much noise on my kick Blinkar

The edit window also holds the EQ, compressor, Pitch,
Distortion and saturation Plugin that you can use with each individual drum.
If the master channel is highlighted you will also find a Tape plugin.
On the far right you will find output volume and levers to adjust the two send effects.

The Fx window

The FX window is very simple to understand.
You have two very nice sounding reverb channels with separate control for reverb type,
timing adjustments and EQ.
Having two reverbs is really ideal for drums as you get a loot of tweak options and control.

When you are in the FX section the mixer gets a small change as well.
You get two levers to adjust the amount of fx you want for each drum. You can also add reverb to the overhead channel, the room channel, the buss channel and the master channel.
This whole fx/reverb section is something I missed in
Toontrack superior drummer 2.0

The beat window

Beat windows are more common nowdays and Xln audio also scored top on this.
As you read in the beginning of this review there is over 3000 midi files to toy with.
Simply scroll the window or make a search and there is midi files that will cover most music styles.
If not there is more midi to get from
Xln audio.
But Addictive drums comes with more then just plain beats. You can actually change speed and length before you grab the midi file and pull it to your sequencer and the adjustments will be copied into the created midi file in your sequencer. after you imported the midi you can adjust them for even more variation.
Not only that. you can use the filter to filter out stuff within the midi file and this feature is awesome =)
you will also find map presets. that is able to run Addictive drum as Native AD drum map, Gm drum map and you can also load V-drum maps as well.

With Superior Drummer and BFD against it I must say Addictive drums really stands out strong.
All in all I Addictive drums is an awesome drum plugin, and with the small size you start wondering what magic XLN audio put into Addictive drums.
AI said in the beginning of this review don’t let the size fool you!
I would actually turn around and say, this is by far the best you can get.
Since it is lightweight but really good sounding, and does not like the bigger Superior drummer 2.0 take hours just to get a descent sound and even more hours to get a pro sound.
I have not worked with BFD but I know it’s a 4-5 dvd installation which putts BFD around the size of Superior 2.0.
Addictive drums sounds awesome right out of the box, and with additional tweaking it will sound pro but wont take forever to get you the sound you want.
Addictive drums has everything, A great GUI that makes the tweaking not only easy but very fun.
And compared toontacks expansions for superior 2.0 any Adpack you get can be combined easily with what you already have.
Compared with Superior drummer 2.0 where you have to ad an X-drum and then go through a long process
with mapping and mic routing to get it to work.

Addictive drums comes with 2 reverbs on the Fx channel and that is is just awesome!!!
The other small things like Buzz and the very easy mic controls for mic balance
on kick and snare just makes me love this plugin.
The sound of Addictive drums is very nice and realistic, as I mentioned before
listen to some demos on Xln audio Demo page and you will understand what I’m talking about.
Janus by Morten, Collision with Plan Three, progressive jam by Dimitri Nalbantove
and Gaddictive by Henrik Hansson really sounds nice to me.

If you are in the market of getting a drum sampler for your music, look no where else.
Xln Audio addictive drums is the most bang for the buck.
and will fit most music styles and you don’t have to have the latest computer to be able to use it fully.

Pros and cons for Xln audio Addictive drums
+++ Gui
+++ Adpacks is a breeze to mix and match to build your own drum kit.
+++ System resources
++ the mixer
++ the price.
+++ Fast load times.
+++ Realistic and awesome sound.
++ v-drum support.

– No native 64bit for pc and mac, (only win vst 64bit beta at the moment but you have to do a extra
activation if you want to use both 32bit and 64bit)
– The extra slot can only load specific drums, I really wish that all drums could be loaded to this slot.

But these two things are minor and one is soon corrected and one can always hope for the other so for Dawfreak points its full out.


The Xln audio Addictive drums is a Great Drum Sampler.
but it lack some features that Toontrack Superior drummer have.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you back soon for more Dawfreak reviews.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. September 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm
  2. April 29, 2013 at 10:27 pm

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