Home > Instrument Plugins, Plugins, Reviews > Toontrack – Superior Drummer 2.0

Toontrack – Superior Drummer 2.0

Wazzuuup Dawfreaks.

From the company Toontrack i bring you.

S2.0_box


First of a little about Toontrack,

Toontrack Music was originally started as a production company for composing game and movie soundtracks.
In 1999 producers Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah and Mattias Eklund of Toontrack Music decided to design a sample library for their own use.
They called Tomas Haake drummer of Heavy Metal band Meshuggah to record the drum samples. The library was called Drumkit From Hell.

Toontrack really made a revolution back then and what they did With the original DFH changed the way drum samples sounded forever.

Superior drummer 2

Every once in a while you find that something that blows your mind, that Tool you always wished for.
For me Drum sounds was a pain in the “BIP” to find, and when I found something good the price was way over a normal rockers budget.
And then there was always something missing,  always something I did not like.
The kick was good but the snare sounded crap and so on.
Well this was my life until Toontrack released Superior drummer 2.0
The next generation of the Toontrack Superior series was not just a minor change to the GUI or even more samples to make realism.
Superior Drummer was a HUGE change!
The GUI was not only upgraded it was completely reworked, and the future list was above every DAW users wildest dreams.
The gray and blue pad look was still hidden there if you wanted it, but the new GUI was to sweet to ever  look back at the old look.

Superior Drummer 2 just was from the first time i started the plugin, A MIND BLOWER!

Installation
Installing Superior Drummer is easy and you get a couple of choices on what and how you want to install S2, like less HDD demanding features.
to get a full view of what’s included in Superior Drummer 2.0 visit Toontrack´s page,
https://www.toontrack.com/products.asp?item=30

A first look

The first thing you will se when you load Superior Drummer 2 is a Drum kit with all the parts loaded just like you where at a real drum kit.
You will also see the mixer setting for the highlighted drum, a envelope section for the highlighted drum and much more.

On the top you will find presets for the loaded library and these presets are a really good start point if you´r not good at tweaking sounds.
Each drum has controls for Envelopes, Pitch, Articulation, Humanize and microphones.
You can also tell S2 how it should act on velocity.
Toontrack also looked at ways to clear up Ram for you.
There is a 16bit mode and Cached mode (load on demand), but you also have a Bounce feature that I will show you later.

Changing drums is done within the drum view.
By clicking on the small arrows on the drums you will find a variety of brands for that drum.
Introduced in the update 2.3.0 is a feature called Preview page.

preview

Click the mini arrow on one of the drums,
Then click on Preview

preview2

The new Preview page will then pop up so you can listen to the sound before loading it.

Now I want to mention that if you expand your Superior libraries,
you will soon get into the X-drum feature.
It is the only way to load a drum piece from any other SDX library, and is tricky to get into and is a bit time demanding and I wish Toontrack looked at a easier way to do this.

The Mixer

Toontrack has aimed at a mixer that looks allot like a DAW mixer.
Here you can send channels to busses or why not to a different output.
Not only can you do this. you can also add plugins to the channel strips, sadly you can only use the built in plugins that was crafted by Sonalksis for Toontrack.
It would have been great to se VST support.

The mixer is also the spot were all the bleed control is best managed.
Superior 2 is the only plugin that allows you to control the bleeds at the fullest.
Below is an image showing how the bleed control looks.

mixerbleed

By ticking the small boxes you activate that bleed and then you can with the lever adjust the amount of bleed you want from that drum bleeding into the highlighted drum.
this kind of tweaking gives you 100% control over your drum sound.

The Groves tab.

The groves section is also new to the superior line and is a good start point for your drumbeats.

Now this feature is implemented one way or another in most common Drum plugins.
Toontrack is in some ways behind on this, I think they should look at adding a edit feature within Superior.
Now you get a great amount of different MIDI files specially made for Superior Drummer, but you have to drag the MIDI files to your host and then edit them.

Next i am going to show you something that is not new for Superior drummer 2
but is the biggest reason to why Superior drummer beats everything out there.

The bounce tab

Lets say you are very happy withy your drums, but you are running low on CPU power and/or RAM ..
Bounce the drums!!!

This is a outstanding idea!
You can convert all drums in superior to 24 bit audio files, load the audio file into your Song and then just disable superior to free up loads if ram and CPU.

Before we hit the conclusion.

Here is a small sound sample of Superior Drummer 2
http://soundcloud.com/jesper-studio/sup-2

pros

+ Nice GUI.
+ Superior samples and millions of ways to get “YOUR SOUND”.
+ Easy ways to take load of the ram in just 1-3 clicks.
+ THE BOUNCE
+ The price.
+ Great support
+ User forum.

– No reverb plugin.
– X-drum is a bit tricky.

Conclusion.

Superior drummer is the an amazing drum sampler and the the price is really great for what you get and the sound is just amazing.
To take full use of Superior Drummer 2 I recommend a full installation and that is 18 gig for the Avatar library, but if you want S2 on your portable pc as well there is less HDD space demanding installation features.
If you want to extend your library, you will have to have a good amount of HDD space.
Giving users not only 2 but 3 ways to free up on system recourses is fantastic, its up to the users how they want to work with Superior Drummer 2.
Superior Drummer 2 is the best of the best even though it is huge.
the only big issue I have with Superior Drummer 2 is the X-drum configuration that can be tiresome in some cases.

The Verdict.

editors
Toontrack has succeeded with bringing the drums to the DAW at full, and is knocking XLN Audio Addictive drum down from Editors choice.

I want to thank Toontrack for letting me review Superior drummer 2.0

And to my readers.

THANKS!!

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