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Opinions wanted: Addictive Drums vs. EZ Drummer

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  • Opinions wanted: Addictive Drums vs. EZ Drummer

    I am a semi-newbie at this (I have used ProteusX to generate drum sounds from my TD-3 kit, so I have some limited experience -- but nothing with the new dedicated drum software). BFD and DFHS seem a bit much for me for just getting my feet wet, both in terms of price and computer resources. So, it looks like my practical options are down to EZ Drummer and Addictive Drums. I've read more about EZ Drummer, and it's cheaper, so I was concentrating on that. However, after checking out the samples on their respective websites, I actually liked the sound samples from the Addictive Drums better. But, I haven't made a final decision and I'd like some advice from people who have used either with their Vdrum modules.

    My priorities are:

    *natural acoustic-like drum sounds for a classic rock (Led Zep, Free, and so on), jazz-rock (modal jam band-y type stuff) and folk-y (against just acoustic guitar and vocals, for example) context.

    *No machine-gunning! Or at least minimized as much as possible. The machine-gunning from my module is driving me nuts.

    *Easy [and correct] interaction between my TD-3 module and the software. I get quickly frustrated by having to do too much rerouting in MIDI.

    [I currently have two crashes, hi hat and ride for cymbals, and three toms. Single kick, and of course a snare. I would like to expand to four toms eventually, and maybe a third crash, but my (module TD-3) is maxed out and any expansion might be quite a bit down the road]

    So -- any recommendations?

  • #2
    Oh yeah, this will be for recording purposes only, into my desktop PC-based system.

    Specs:
    Pentium 4 CPU, 3.00 Ghz, 1GB RAM, Windows XP service pack 2

    80 GB hard drive, 15 GB free to hold programs, 28 GB free on my data drive

    Emu-1820 audio/MIDI interface

    Cubase SX

    Comment


    • #3
      Q) natural acoustic-like drum sounds for a classic rock (Led Zep, Free, and so on), jazz-rock (modal jam band-y type stuff) and folk-y (against just acoustic guitar and vocals, for example) context.
      A) I think either of the kits will provide what you're looking for. Not EZ Drummer is basic, then extra kits sold via add-ins. Addictive I think has one add-in, but overall the original includes quite a few drums and a TON of tweaking. So the same single snare can sound like whatever you want by adjusting pitch, room sounds, effects, etc. I found AD more enjoyable out of the box so I haven't used EZ much. But AD has some pre-sets for total acoustic, jazz, tight jazz, rock, and more.

      Q) No machine-gunning! Or at least minimized as much as possible. The machine-gunning from my module is driving me nuts.
      A) This is COMPLETELY dependent on the module. Your module takes the drum triggers and converts to MIDI. If your Roland module is machine-gunning then your soft synth will to. You need to correct configuration in your module to fix this.

      Q) Easy [and correct] interaction between my TD-3 module and the software. I get quickly frustrated by having to do too much rerouting in MIDI.
      A) You'll likely have to apply a MIDI map or just setup a kit in your module that sends the correct matching MIDI notes to the soft synth. And each soft synth has different keymaps. This should be the least of your worries and is easy enough to do.

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      • #4
        EZ seems to be more e-drummer oriented specially when used with Roland modules ... with AD you will miss chokes with your cymbals (there are some work arounds posted here.. just search for addictive.. but will not work the way you do with your cymbals right now).. and you will need to remap your module to get the hi-hat triggering properly .. maybe even using a midi mapper .. again just a couple of topics below this one there are some tips from Chris Jude on how to get it working...

        Machine gunning: is a consequence of the module's limitations as well ....not completely dependent on your module .. you are NOT supposed to have excessive machine-gunning with VSTS - they have many layers/velocities/humanize features set up to avoid this machine-gunning..unless you are doing something very wrong with your module settings...

        Pim
        Roland TD50, Roland PM30 and KC 550 Studio Capture /Dell XPS I7 32GB RAM Reaper,Superior Drummer,BFD3 (all exp. packs),SSD5 Ezdrummer 2, XLN Addictive Drums

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        • #5
          Gastric and Pimenta, thank you very much for your responses! I have already learned quite a bit from both of them.

          It seems we are on a bit of a different wavelength in regards to the so-called "machine gunning" effect, though.

          My module (onboard sounds) gives machine gunning on [especially] snare rolls. This is a limitation of the TD-3 module -- it only has three sounds on any given snare (a low velocity sound, medium velocity sound and high velocity sound). Each sound can itself be generated at different voulme levels, but similar volume hits generate the same sample (as if from a drum head starting at standstill) each time you hit it. These same sounds happening again and again in a short period of time come across as an artificial-sounding "machine gun" effect. [I strongly believe] this has nothing to do with "doing something very wrong with my module settings". For one, it's a TD-3 -- there aren't that many settings! Yes, playing with a constant eye to dynamics helps, but, to get to the point, I have to avoid licks I would play (and enjoy) on an acoustic kit. I'm tired of that and am seeking a solution.

          Also, I have set my module in terms of pad sensitivity and dynamics, as well as adjusting head tension on my drum heads. I think I'm pretty much getting what it can give, though perhaps an expert could tweak it a bit better, Again though, it's a TD-3 -- there aren't exactly endless parameters to work with,

          The TD-12 and TD-20 have positional sensing and an "interval control" to try to get around this machine-gunning problem. I have neither of those modules, but many feel that even that strategy isn't completely successful (I have little to no opinion myself, as my experience with those modules has been limited to short tryouts in stores). Regardless, either module involves money I don't have at the moment.

          Many seem to feel that the ultimate answer to getting more realistic rolls (via edrums) is in randomly assigning slightly different samples [of the same drum] to any given hit. EZ Drummer at least (I don't know about Addictive Drums] follows this strategy. From their website:

          "The 'Humanize' function introduces small variations in the hits, making EZ Drummer play more like a real drummer"
          "The humanizer function combines drum hit randomizing and non-cycling"

          I think they use what they refer to as "layers" of samples -- many samples of a hit at a given velocity (say, a medium velocity hit), rather than the Roland module's one sound that it plays over and over again.

          So, it sounds like EZ Drummer has this situation well in hand (I like their samples in this regard). I don't know about Addictive Drums though -- do they take a similar approach?

          EZ Drummer also seems to map to VDrums easily, while Addictive Drums (according to Gastric's post that I just read) requires some workarounds (though he says it isn't difficult).

          I've also read that EZ Drummer only handles three toms (at least straight up). At the moment I only have three toms, so that isn't an immediate problem, but I do wish I had four.

          I really like the EZ Drummer interface that I see in their FLASH demo on their website.

          Overall, EZ Drummer is seeming more straightforward, but Addictive Drums sounds better to me (from the web page sound samples).

          Perhaps my main question is, does Addictive Drums have a feature similar to EZ Drummer's "Humanize" function, that uses multiple layers of samples to avoid the machine gunning effect on rolls?

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't own a Roland module so I cannot comment on anything related to that specifically. But AD simply has a MIDI keymap. You simply need to map your module to match up with AD's keymap. Regarding chokes, AD does support choking on the ride and cymbal. For example, to choke the ride configure your module to send MIDI note 63 to AD, or use some MIDI map to do that for you by accepting whatever your module sends, then converting it to note 63, and passing that to AD.

            I'm assuming you can simply dedicate a kit in your module to configure and send the correct MIDI note to AD, another to EZ if you need, etc.

            Comment


            • #7
              Gastric,

              This is exactly what I meant: it is a workaround and choke will not work as it works for him right now (grabbing the cymbal) .. since AD dos not support aftertouch..

              Pim
              Roland TD50, Roland PM30 and KC 550 Studio Capture /Dell XPS I7 32GB RAM Reaper,Superior Drummer,BFD3 (all exp. packs),SSD5 Ezdrummer 2, XLN Addictive Drums

              Comment


              • #8
                I have been extremely pleased with EZdrummer so far. I tried AD and just didn't care for it as much. I know it is supposed to be corrected in an update (maybe it already is), but the hihat functionality was very lacking on the AD version I tried, at least without using some kind of midi mapping program.

                Anyway, EZdrummer deals with the machine gunning as mentioned before, by randomizing samples that are triggered, so if you do a loud roll, it plays an assortment of the loudest samples without repeating any back to back.

                EZdrummer comes with a midi map, and took all of about 10 minutes to get setup. I use Toontracks Solo for practice and Pro Tools for recording so I don't have to deal with any addition program to route the midi to get it to work.

                J
                Edrums- KD-120, PD-125 (3), PD-105 (3), Yamaha PCY155, PCY-135 (4)
                Module - Roland TD20X
                Software - Pro Tools and Toontrack Superior

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                • #9
                  Based on all of the comments here I'd think you'd want to try them both. The main complaints about AD seem to be related to the MIDI key mapping. Again, I don't have a Roland module. But with my Alesis I had to keymap with both programs. I think you should be able to accomplish this via software or directly in your Roland module. I've done both here. The advantage do a software MIDI mapping solution is you can record the MIDI from your module, then just switch maps to accommodate whichever soft synth you want to render.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys, I'm going to try out EZ Drummer first. Ultimately I may end up with AD, but EZ Drummer seems like the easiest first step.

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                    • #11
                      I do see in EZ that there's a lot of clearly labelled hihat pedal MIDI keys detailed. I believe AD supports those as well but I'm not exactly sure. But I do see open A/B/C/D as well as a few different "closed" maps.

                      I'm crippled with a simple on/off hihat pedal so I can't comment from personal experience yet how AD supports variable HH pedals. But after re-trying EZ as well as the Nashville pack I still prefer the overall sound samples in AD. There just seems to be a wider variety available.

                      Be sure to post back with your comments once you get it all setup and running.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just started using my TD9 with EZDrummer and the Nashville ad-on...and found the snare and hi-hat to be much more expressive. The soft hits are REALLY soft, and the loud ones are nice and punchy. Much more like an acoustic than I expected. The snare buzz when hitting the toms is makes it sound extremely real.

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                        • #13
                          Mark me down as another big EZD fan. I have the basic kit and the DFH add-on. Out-of-the box realism and really easy to use. Mapping with the Roland module was a breeze although keyboard mapping thru Cubase was really hit and miss (ie, it required me to figure out the mapping).

                          www.myspace.com/rubberuniverse
                          TD-12, DTX502, SD1000, EZDrummer, Diamond Drum 12" snare, S1000 toms/cymbals/kick, PCY10/100/135/155, CY-5/14, Hart Ride, Hart Acupad 8" kick, Epedal Pro II, Concept 1 pads/cymbals, SD1000 & Roland V Sessions racks, PD-7, Kit Toy 10" splash, DMPad ride, SamplePad, PerformancePad Pro

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                          • #14
                            I've tried both. EZdrummer is probably the easiest option. It sounds good, relatively easy to setup and is vdrum friendly. All the addons will cost a small fortune, although realistically speaking only a few are worth buying. You cannot mix and match kits unless you load multiple instances inside your host (a tiny bit fiddly but can be done). There are plenty of velocity layers so you needn't worry about machine gunning. One complaint I have with EZ is the sound setup, which no matter how hard I fiddle with the room mics never sounds that great. Unfortunately there is no demo of EZ as far as I'm aware so you can't try before you buy.

                            Now Addictive Drums... Boy oh boy, in my opinion it is head and shoulders above EZ, providing you put the time into setting it up properly. It sounds way better than EZ too, and due to the processing engine built in it has an almost endless array of sounds and kit styles. It has one add on pack which I haven't tried but according to some is a bit lacking, but others think it's brilliant.
                            I will reiterate though - it is tricky to set up properly - especially getting the hi-hat working properly, and the cymbal chokes. But it can be done! And when it works correctly like mine does now, it rocks! And the best thing is you can download a demo from AD's website.

                            It's also worth considering BFD2 and DFHSuperior2 in the same breath as AD, as they are all relatively similar in price. BFD2 looks great (you can download a demo of BFD1.5), DFHSuperior2's YouTube demo looks great too.

                            Hope this helps!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by g00nerz View Post
                              You cannot mix and match kits unless you load multiple instances inside your host (a tiny bit fiddly but can be done).
                              A little off topic, but it might be worth noting that one of the features of Superior 2 is the ability to load individual instruments from the existing EZD, EZX and Superior lines (as well as the new sounds included with S 2, of course).

                              | Argos | Your Cloud | Lost In Germany | Life Wasted | Identity Crisis
                              | The Xerophyte | Red Barchetta | Subdivisions or Drums Only |

                              Superior Drummer w/ Metal Foundry, dfhS samples and Platinum Samples Evil Drums.

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