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Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

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Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby CS70 » Thu May 24, 2018 12:59 pm

Probably the most asked question in the history of midi drums, but I've been playing a bit with the demos and would like to hear any user opinons. The AD 2 demo is limited to very few kit pieces so hard to evaluate fully. The EZDrummer 2 demo was full but worked for 10 days so could play around a little more.

Both sound good and have more control than I probably need :-). They seem to be pretty awesome pieces of software, but quite costly (and occupy lots of space), so I plan to buy only one of them. EZ Drummer seems more intuitive to use - for example, you can drag the loop on a MIDI track and plays just like in the interface, while for AD when I drag it, it sounds quite different than in the interface (seems to be using a different kit?); or it wasn't immediate to me to understand which specific midi note was expected for which kit - info I need to program the pads.

EZ Drummer is marginally less expensive, but not so much to be really a factor.

My initial use is mostly for demo, but I'd like to learn to program realistic drums and in perspective even use them for actual productions, so long I manage to make them of the quality I need. Genre goes from acoustic songs to hard rock (no metal). Occasionally I do some fusion/jazz without the band, so there the plan would be to use the package for actual production work.

Basically the questions are like, what can I do with the one that I can't with the other (I mean, without significantly more effort)? About the built-in libraries which come with the basic package, is one of the two more flexible than the other (that's mainly for the demo angle of course). Any other aspects worth considering?

Cheers!
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby Music Wolf » Thu May 24, 2018 2:21 pm

Hi

I'd previously used BFD but tried EZ Drummer, liked it, I think added an expansion pack, then upgraded to Superior Drummer and I'm now on SD3.

I'm trying to recreate the sound and feel of a real drummer (but without the turning up without their kit, not turning up at all, trying to play under the influence, not keeping tempo, not remembering what they played last time etc).

I really, really, like the way that you can audition grooves and then just drag and drop into Cubase. The quality of the bundled grooves does highlight the weaknesses in my own groove construction so I tend to start with the SD3 groove and adapt. The problem with SD3 compared to SD2 is that the groove library is massive - just too much choice.

The HD space required is also not insignificant. Initially I just downloaded the basic sounds but you do, in my opinion, need the ambient sounds in order to bring things to life. I haven't bothered with the bleed sounds as yet.

If you do go with EZD then I'm pretty sure that the upgrade path isn't too much more than going straight for the flagship package.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby The Elf » Thu May 24, 2018 4:10 pm

If you have Kontakt then I'd suggest 'neither'. Grab a few decent kits, such as some of the Slate drum libraries and you're done.

Unless you need the MIDI patterns, of course...
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby Alba » Thu May 24, 2018 8:27 pm

If you do go the Kontakt route then make sure to check out the Natural Studios kit and particularly for the sort of stuff you do. http://naturaldrum.com/index.php?option ... &Itemid=59
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sun May 27, 2018 9:11 pm

Somehow I ended up with both. eZDrummer does weird graphic glitches on my system but works fine. AD works great. I prefer AD as I have been using it longer and am used to it. If I spent a bit more time with it then I'm sure assembling a song with its midi patterns would be as easy as it is with AD.

and now the confession -

I'm using Logic. The built in drummer and patterns are working really well for me so far. Easier than EZ or AD. The kits, so far, sit well in my mixes. I don't spend the time eqing and adding different verbs to different kit pieces except for rolling off everything below 50Hz. I haven't needed to isolate kit pieces on their own tracks to treat them separately as they work well as a stereo mix. Could my drums sound better? - sure if I was releasing tracks on their own but I'm not, there is usually dialogue, sound effects and other noises over my tracks. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby CS70 » Sun May 27, 2018 11:29 pm

Thanks guys, I don't have kontakt as I'm not really a synth guy but it's an option. I was trying to make my life easier, not harder... :mrgreen:
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby The Sponge » Mon May 28, 2018 10:09 am

This tread sparked my interest in trying out NI Abby road modern drummer.lets just say after 5 years of Ezdrums I have seen the light.
They sound far more real to me especially the overhead mics.despite my attempt to eq the multi out channels, different room sounds, and trying some expansion packs I could never get them to sound right, But within a short space of time the Abby rd drums just sound better.as the mapping alows for a simple click on the Ezdrums midi map its a very easy process to work with my existing drum tracks.I am now keen to try some of the Kontakt sample avalible from Ndk and drumdrops etc.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby CS70 » Mon May 28, 2018 2:16 pm

Which NI Abbey Road package did u try? There seems to be quite a bit..

And, is it enough to have Kontakt Player?
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby The Sponge » Mon May 28, 2018 7:59 pm

The modern drummer one.Kontakt works great, as the drum mixer has ssl eq,comp,verb etc all easily tweakable to suit your mix.plenty of midi maps to suit most drums software.The sparkle kit sounds great.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby CS70 » Mon May 28, 2018 9:35 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby My Own Silence » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:14 pm

Of all I used I still come back to Superior drummer. I've made loads of good demos with it. You can use all the EZ drummer expansions in it but honestly the Avatar kit in version 2 was all I ever really needed. I still use version 2 and love it. The included EQ and compression effects are great and the interface is pretty easy.

So I vote EZ drummer if you options are limited to the first 2 as that's also made by the same company.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby OneWorld » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:22 pm

The Elf wrote:If you have Kontakt then I'd suggest 'neither'. Grab a few decent kits, such as some of the Slate drum libraries and you're done.

Unless you need the MIDI patterns, of course...

I too have a lot to say for some of the NI offerings, I use Studio Drummer, Abbey Road and African Drums.

I haven't done it for a while but even though in Studio Drummer you can drag a MIDI loop onto the DAW, I sometimes set a MIDI track input to be the output from Kontakt - eg MIDI Track 1 out is Kontakt Studio Drums, and MIDI track 2 input is the output from MIDI track 1

I am not sure you can do that with Kontakt Player though, I use the full version of Kontkt

What I didn't like about some of the NI products, drums loops in particular, made my CPU wheeze, up to 50% and I have an i7. But I read on the internet products like Studio Drums loads with all the dynamics, and FX loaded by default - turn them off and sure enough the CPU use dropped to less than 10%
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby leighelse » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:07 am

Drums are my Worst Thing. I'd like to be able to play, often use unusual rhythms, and have always struggled to get drum tracks I felt comfortable with. I looked at both of these products and opted to go for EZDrummer2. The learning curve was similar but different with both of them, but I was fairly quickly able to get a fantastic drum track for a song I'd just written with the demo version of EZDrummer, which probably tilted me in that direction.

EZDrummer2 isn't perfect. I don't find the "tap to search" function works well for me, generally suggesting fills and little else, so I often audition most of the library for each new song, shortlisting possible loops, then narrowing the list down. I have bought a number of extension packs and one additional kit, and think I have a decent range of available textures now.

My workflow tends to be that I drag multiples of the same loop into the EZDrummer2 sequencer as a backing to get the bass and rhythm tracks recorded, then go through and replace blocks of these with loops from the same family more suited to each part of the song. After that I export from EZDrummer2 into a MIDI track on my DAW and finesse the beats as required. EZDrummer will automatically be driven by that MIDI track, although the original track in the internal sequencer still plays as well until I remember to turn it off!

There's a recent example at https://soundcloud.com/leighelse/nothing

For me, EZDrummer2 has been the least work and most satisfaction of any drummer replacement I've worked with. I'm sure Addictive Drums is also very good and if I'd chosen to go that way I'd be singing its praises just as highly.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby CS70 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:39 am

leighelse wrote:Drums ..

Thank you! Much appreciated! I've been using both (AD in demo version with its super-limited kit and demo beats set) and I've come to appreciate both. Sometimes it's easier to convince the software to do something than the drummer!

But I do quite simple rock stuff with it - I leave the odd stuff to the real drummer in case. :)
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby Kwackman » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:36 am

I like EZ drummer (and use SD3) too, I just find them easy to use. YMMV.
I use it with Cubase, using a drum map, which makes things (for me) very simple to use.
They (Toontrack) often do offers where you can buy the add on kits at reduced prices.

If you have access to a real drummer, it might be fun to see if they can program decent patterns into it for you?
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby Darren Lynch » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:08 pm

Tried both, like both. One difference I always heard was that AD2 sounds fuller, warmer. In fact there is something fundamental about what Toontrack think a drum kit sounds like that I didn't share. Many of their kits have a 'papery' quality, if that makes sense. BUT - The EZ expansion pack Big Rock Drums is like having AD2 inside EZ2. Big, thick, woody, leathery ( :blush: ) rock drums, much more rounded than most other Toontrack fare. Oh, the stock drums in EZ2 are also really good.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby The Bunk » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:49 pm

Only ever been with EZDrummer but more than happy with it for my routine rock stuff. I'm still with EZD1 I think as I haven't really felt the need to upgrade but also I had a right ball-ache trying to install it in the first place. But that was almost certainly me as opposed to EZD itself or Reaper. A producer mate has also given me some tips of improving the sounds but I'm totally happy with it. My only criticism - and this may well have been improved with the new upgrades - is the fills patterns. They're mostly very similar in batches, but I've always felt they go from "obvious / cliché fills" to "utterly mad fills" with little in between. I invariably make my own.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby CS70 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:29 pm

Darren Lynch wrote:Tried both, like both. One difference I always heard was that AD2 sounds fuller, warmer. In fact there is something fundamental about what Toontrack think a drum kit sounds like that I didn't share. Many of their kits have a 'papery' quality, if that makes sense. BUT - The EZ expansion pack Big Rock Drums is like having AD2 inside EZ2. Big, thick, woody, leathery ( :blush: ) rock drums, much more rounded than most other Toontrack fare. Oh, the stock drums in EZ2 are also really good.

You definitely must have better ears than mine, I don't notice any systematic difference in the two products - they are different for sure as they're different samples but the better/worse depends on how much the sound matches what I'm doing. But I am most definitely no drummer..
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby Darren Lynch » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:33 pm

Better ears? Nah. But I do hear a clear difference between the basic sound of EZ and AD, especially in their first versions. EZ have historically favoured larger room ambiences than AD, and the mission to provide mix-ready kits also means EZ sounds come pre EQ'd. What this adds up to is a very usable bright, modern sound. Sometimes that's what's needed, sometimes not. More recent expansion packs for EZ nod to the seventies drum sounds currently in vogue. Room ambiences have got smaller and the drum sounds a tad softer , which I prefer.
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Re: Addictive Drums or EZDrummer ?

Postby Gone To Lunch » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:24 am

I was a drummer for years in my youth, and I chose AD because I thought it was 'better', ie sounded more like the drums I used to play.

I mostly switch off all the preset effects that come with the various kits and compression, reverb etc as part of the overall mix.

Stylewise, I don't like the fashion for heavily processed drums. I prefer a natural 'acoustic' sound.

The biggest weakness is I think the cymbals, but this is true for all of them. I would like them to bring out a super-duper deluxe cymbal set, Paiste 602s, vintage Avedis Zildjian (what I used to play for real) but maybe the originals would not license it ?

I use MOTU Digital Performer 9.5 in case it matters.
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