Online Review: Battery Studio Drums,
    by Native Instruments

Battery Studio Drums


When we reviewed Native Instruments Battery in december 2001, I wrote in the conclusion: "The libraries of drum kits in Battery, that Native Instrument deliver, are of very good quality and "fat" enough to keep you going for a long time. The total of 31 drum kits under Battery give you enough stuff to cover most music styles. The superb editing features will do the rest".

This conclusion still stands: out of the box, you can get along with Battery for a long time. But at a certain moment, you most probably want more: real -and I mean really real- drum sounds, like the pro's have. Well: that wish is fullfilled. Native Instruments joined with Yellow Tools, a recording studio in Karlsruhe, Germany. Aim of this project: the production of two CD's, packed with over 3.000 drum samples with absolute professional quality, ready for use in Battery.

The Yellow Tools Studio was packed with well known top drum gear, like Pearl, Sonor, Tama, Yamaha, Sabian, Paiste, Meinl and Zildjian. Most definitely not the rubbish of the drum world, right? On the microphone side, good stuff was used too: Neumann, Shure, TLM, Schoeps. Recording was done with ProTools. And sound editing was performed with sonicWORX PowerBundle (reviewed in this site). The use of Prosoniq stuff does not wonder me, as this company is based in the same city as Yellow Tools ;-).

The result of this professional approach is absolutely fabulous (to quote the British totally distorted comedian Joanna Lumley). The samples sound perfectly crisp and clear, as if the real drum gear is parked in my Mac. I must confess I am most certainly not a drummer, but a keyboard player. But my ears are very OK, and I recognize quality when I hear quality. These samples were done and edited by a good crew.

What's in it for you? You get two CD's, stuffed with the best drum gear you can dream of. Small studio set, large studio set, chromatic snare kits, stereo studio kits and large tom kits: it's all there. As the booklet, that comes with the CD, explaines: "More than 3.000 individual samples were recorded from a wide variety of collector-quality kits. Six bass drums, ten snare drums, seven tom sets, four hi-hats and four cymbal sets were all recorded at multiple velocity levels and playing styles". This all usable in a wide variety of styles, from pop to rock, jazz, soul, funk, dub, reggae, and more. Fully compatible with and usable in Battery, the drum sample player of Native Instruments.

As you can read in our site goal statement, we normally test during real time production. We had to do it differently this time, as we are in the middle of a holiday season right now, and only have some audio restauration projects running where sampled drumkits do not have value. So I did some small test production work to test the two CD's, but that does not deliver a project quality I would like to show in this website. Instead, I downloaded two of the sample files NI presents at their website to give you a good idea of the very high quality of the samples in Studio Drums. I can assure you that, what you hear in these samples, is what you get when you buy. I heard it with my own ears during the mini test productions: these samples are of the best quality. Beware that you need a lot of hard disk space to store all these samples in Battery's folder: more than 1 GigaByte. By the way, in the same folders you will find html files explaining the kit assignments. Very handy. I incorporated these files in a local portal site I use to keep track of all the information causes coming into my mailboxes.

Sample 1: a pop song, edited and mastered:

(267 KB)

Sample 2: the drum track of the pop song, with the drums sounds as they come out of Battery, so not edited, not mastered:

(254 KB)


The conclusion on Studio Drums is short and clear: d...... good. The samples are crisp and clear, sound very best, and are usable in a wide range of digital studio projects. I know it looks suspicious when in any online review the highest possible rating is given, but I give Studio Drums a
10. It is just that good, just as plain simple as that.

More detailed product info can be found at the web site of Native Instruments.

All reviews in are written by Peter J. Bloemendaal. All rights reserved.

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