Today, we will compare Addictive Drums 2, Superior Drummer 3, GGD, SSD, BFD3, to see their differences and how they meet the market’s needs.
As time has progressed, it has become abundantly clear that a drum plugin is now required for all styles of music. These businesses offer services for various genres, some of which are particularly unique or increasingly humanized.
Most home recording studios need help to hire a professional drummer who also brings a drum kit. If you’re working in a professional recording studio, programming your drums can save you time and give your recordings more depth. Finding the right drum plugin may be time-consuming and costly, especially given the abundance of possibilities.
Let’s see why these plugins that serve the same purpose are different.
Addictive Drums 2
Addictive Drums 2 is a great drum library that raises the standard significantly. Many world’s top composers have undoubtedly sampled the sounds in Addictive Drums. Further, these compilations include a broad spectrum of musical styles.
Each library comes with preset kits and prerecorded tracks designed to serve as quick inspiration. Consequently, a drum writer can assist total beginners who could benefit from all the support they can obtain and seasoned veterans who already know what they’re doing.
They’ve created a package tailored to metal fans, which is fantastic news given that AD2 has long been one of the most widely used and well-acclaimed plugins. Whether you want to tweak one of AD2’s pre-made drum kits or develop your own from scratch, the process is straightforward.
You may spend less time fumbling with the technology and more time creating music thanks to the preset drums’ user-friendly mixing features. You can use a knob to adjust the volume of the snare, kick, and high hat, as well as the overhead and room microphones.
EZ/Superior Drummer 3
Toontrack’s latest and greatest drum library is called Superior Drummer 3. The eleven-channel surround sound recording was done by George Massenburg in Belgium’s Galaxy Facilities, one of the quietest recording studios in the world.
The SD3 features 16 kicks, 25 snares, and 7 drum kits. The library also includes many mixers presets, namely 35 by well-known producers. If you need more than this to satisfy your creative needs, many expansion packs are available for purchase that offer different recording environments, reverbs, and other effects.
First off, every electric kit that is MIDI-friendly is compatible with SD3. You can use it to boost your drum kit’s live sound while performing or to record into your DAW. A great-sounding set is enjoyable to play, and this motivates consistent practice.
Although it can be daunting for inexperienced users, Superior Drummer 3 has many features that will wow even the most seasoned producers and songwriters. The software comes with many ready-to-use grooves, fills, and loops.
Genre and song section labels make it simple to locate intros, verses, choruses, and bridges among these grooves. If necessary, you can adjust the grooves in the same manner that audio is edited; different notes, velocities, and articulations can be added or removed with relative ease.
Adam “Nolly” Getgood, Matt Halpern, Misha Mansoor, and Derya Nagle, three members of the band Periphery, formed the company GetGood Drums.
Great drum sounds are a primary goal for all of them in their production work, and that is precisely what you will find in GetGood Drums. Adam “Nolly” Getgood, with assistance from renowned drummer Matt Halpern, is responsible for the high-quality sounds found within this sample pack.
As a record producer, Nolly has assisted such notable acts as Periphery and Devin Townsend. GGD’s efforts focus on fusing the most desirable qualities of professional metal productions. It includes cutting-edge drum samples necessary for modern music and SFX production.
The sound it makes puts you in the zone for writing and helps you shape your ideas quickly. It didn’t take much work, but they combined the best features of the pricey metal. It gives modern drum tones a new level of realism and raw sound compared to classic drum sounds.
Even a complete novice can quickly become productive with the interface. The audio is excellent, with sounds that are full and concentrated on the low end while still being impartial and accurate. These drums aren’t just for rock and metal since their lack of harshness makes them adaptable to various styles.
If you want to record drums that sound as good as a professionally recorded album, you need Steven Slate Drums, the latest edition of Steven Slate’s flagship drum sampler.
Steven Slate has been a vital player in the twenty years since the advent of drum samples. When utilized to supplement sparse drum recordings or as the sole source of the drum sound, the loud and beefy kit samples made available by Slate have played an essential role in the democratization of big-studio drum sounds.
Therefore, each instrument has been meticulously and exhaustively sampled, resulting in an unparalleled listening and playing experience. To provide the mixer more flexibility in modifying the mix, drums like the snare and kick are blended from above and below, front and back.
Each instrument can have as many as 24 velocity layers for smooth and organic velocity response. The use of sample replacement, or the blending of high-quality recordings with our artwork, may be controversial among drummers.
To be sure, there’s no doubt that Slate’s samples are the most helpful for electronic drum arrangements. Many round-robin alternatives prevent the “machine gun effect,” in which even single-stroke rolls seem robotic. Instead, chokes for specific cymbals, MIDI hi-hat decay, and shell-specific rim clicks are provided as extra strikes and articulations.
Regarding accurate acoustic drum kit replication, FXpansion’s BFD has consistently been one of the best available options; it was the first virtual instrument to make any serious attempt.
For the most part, the most recent release has a built-in groove sequencer with a ton of entirely editable prefab patterns and a library of highly customizable and practically miked-up sampled drum kits, replete with a mixer and a broad range of effects.
An enhanced authorization wizard from FXpansion checks all of your third-party and legacy BFD1 and two content within BFD3 after a simple and pleasant installation process. You get a collection of acoustic drum kits that have been painstakingly sampled and feature many sample layers, and equally, multiple articulations have been sampled.
For example, the set has as many as thirteen distinct articulations. This opens the door to creating a sample-based performance that sounds great and lifelike, provided the programmer and musician are up to the task. This means no machine gun rolls or sections in which every hit on every drum triggers the same sample.
Addictive Drums 2
AD2’s UI is based on the same idea as Addictive Keys, with picture galleries serving as the primary means of discovery. Bread-and-butter presets favoring more natural percussion sounds may be found in the Kit menu, while more processed presets demonstrate just how far you can take the kits from their origins in the Selections menu.
The complete inventory of the kit’s components is on the Kit page. Now that there is less chaos, it’s easier on the eyes. This update has increased the kit piece allotment from 12 to 18. Previously, you could play only three cymbals at once. Thus, this significant improvement opens the door to two additional rides.
You can customize your drum set by adding toms, cymbals, or anything else you can fit into the three extra Flexi slots. The Xtra slot in AD is being phased out in favour of these more flexible Flexi slots. Each channel in the mixer has MultiFX inserts on the Edit tab, one before and one after the equalizer.
In addition to the regular Compressor/Distortion module, you may choose from three other effects: Noise, Delay, and Echo. While Tape emulates analogue Tape’s characteristics, Shape is a transient shaper that you may use to fine-tune the “snappiness” and “sustain” of any individual AD2 channel or the master output.
These effects, along with the Saturation Limiter (also included in AD), are managed by the same effects module. Tape/Shape/Saturation and Compressor/Distortion toggles are located in both the pre-and post-effects modules, giving you complete control over the order of effect application. Only on the Bus and Master channels does the Noise module come after the post-EQ effect module rather than before.
Superior Drummer 3
The user interface might be more flexible regarding how it is organized, regardless of how pretty it looks. Resizing the main window and selecting “scale” from the View menu are two examples. Similarly, you can remove and float the Grooves, Mixer, and Tracker screens. SD3 may be adjusted to look fantastic on any screen resolution.
Thanks to the upgraded Grooves tab, you can search and filter your SD MIDI drum clip library more precisely. In addition, you can preview clips in the main results pane before being dragged and dropped into your host DAW/sequencer or the new Song Track zone at the window’s base.
While manual filtering and browsing are still options, the new tools here make it incredibly simple to go from a single clip to an entire drum part for a song. If you go to the Groove tab, you’ll see that the two big buttons are Tap2Find and MIDI Drop Zone.
By dragging the MIDI loop you want to use from the results pane onto the drop zone, you may incorporate it into your composition. As a result, SD3’s search algorithm will consider that trend when suggesting new loops to test. And then there’s the musician who creates the tunes.
As soon as you open this window, you’ll notice a MIDI Drop Zone at the very bottom, into which you can drop a clip from the Results pane or your Tap2Find efforts.
Finally, clips you could use in the song’s verse, pre-chorus, chorus, etc., are listed in the Song Creator’s remaining panel. You can add these to the Song Track one at a time or rapidly compose a whole drum performance and audition it in the Song Structures area.
You can adjust the instruments and microphone volumes independently through the interface. Panning, phasing, soloing, muting, routing, and individual channel volumes are all at your disposal.
GetGood Drums is popular because you can use it with Kontakt to create a realistic drum kit that you can mix in Cubase. You can slam the rooms and process simply the overheads without affecting the tom mics.
You’ll notice a significant improvement when put next to Superior Drummer 2. The other libraries pale in contrast to this one. It’s up to you to decide whether to program your portions or play them live.
If you aren’t a drummer, a small MIDI controller is what you need. On the other hand, you can’t go wrong with GetGood Drums if you play the drums electronically; it’s compatible with all electronic drum sets, and its samples are superior to any module-based drum set.
SSD’s default display, the kit, is a blank slate of drum shadows waiting to be populated with sounds from the Kit Library. Each drum is displayed in a grid format in the Cells view. The carpeting in front of the drum set gives off an air that it belongs to Steven Slate, so that’s what we’re going with.
The Edit tab allows fine-grained manipulation of individual drum settings like volume, articulation, dynamics, mic volume, panning, and ADSR envelope. In the end, the Create tab shows you a catalog of kits and drums you may use to assemble your own from scratch using the drag-and-drop interface.
Selecting Mix brings up a new Edit submenu with individual faders. This map shows the whole MIDI mapping table for external MIDI devices. Grooves also feature an integrated drum MIDI library that may be explored and experimented with, complete with audition and drag-and-drop support for external MIDI equipment.
The Settings menu is where you’ll find options like switching views, adjusting the level of detail, resampling, streaming, resizing the user interface, and setting the master volume.
Two more options, Instruments and Kits, can be found to the right of the primary Create menu. SSD’s Instruments tab provides access to a vast drum library with hundreds of options, all with unique articulations. The Kits tab, which houses presets that load a complete kit at once, might help you quickly discover the correct tones.
The windows in BFD3 can be rearranged using tabs on the left, right, and bottom of the window frame. All the tabs are accessible via the left-hand frame’s tabs, allowing for speedy mapping to external control surfaces.
Finally, there’s a massive tabbed mixing control frame down the bottom. The interface may be a little old-fashioned, but everything is well-organized and straightforward; there are no hidden features. The UI is visually very different from BFD2.
It’s more graphic than photographic, can be resized horizontally (to accommodate huge mixer setups), and looks great. However, the kit parts (now named Drums) still have full-colour mugshots, keeping the same “child in a candy store” vibe that has always been a part of the BFD experience.
Although there is a short period of adaptation due to the GUI’s many changes, you’ll quickly find that it’s more user-friendly than its predecessor, BFD2.
Addictive Drums 2
Two multi-effects modules have been added to v2; these take the compression, saturation limiter, and distorted units from v1 and mix them with the new transient shaping, tape saturation, and distortion algorithms found in v2. Two additional controls—Response and Tone Designer—are also in the Kit Piece Controls menu.
The response enables fine-grained filter cutoff adjustment, volume velocity modulation, the presence/absence of round-robin “Alternate” mode, and velocity limiting/offset. All of this enables for granular regulation of the individual responses of the drums in a MIDI-controlled kit.
With the help of the Tone Designer, drum sounds like snares, and kicks can be reshaped great. Although TD’s specific behavior varies from piece to piece, it generally alters the composition of frequencies, including resonant frequencies and those that contribute to brightness and boominess.
The Link feature is not only beneficial for snares and kicks, but it also allows the user to connect other drums to be triggered at the same time. Last but not least, the engine has a sample library of synth tones and noises that you can use with the kit’s components.
EZ/Superior Drummer 3
There are 16 total outputs, including all the channels you’d expect to find in a full drum kit mix, as well as the extra channels needed for surround mixing, bleed settings for adjusting the amount of “leakage” between mics, and Time Offset and Instrument Release knobs. But from five internal effects, there are now 35, which changes everything.
You can choose from at least ten different dynamics processors, three equalizers, five different distortions, six different reverbs, three different delays, and many modulation effects. With a maximum of fifteen on each channel and bus, the range of musical expression is nearly limitless.
The process of falling has become much less picky as a result. It is possible to separate the cymbals from the overheads, and SD3 can also save each of your bleed channels to its file. Furthermore, the inclusion of Macro knobs is greatly appreciated.
Each of these knobs may be attached to a MIDI controller for convenient one-knob control over multiple settings and DAW automation, and they can be assigned to as many different places in the software as you wish.
Standard drum kit samples are provided, along with some extras. For instance, the users can select one of nine snare types by entering the snare menu on the mixer page or clicking the snare menu button on the drum kit visual.
Drum channel volumes and tom/percussion bleed, and you can adjust bottom snare mics under the “Settings” tab. In the Options menu, you can adjust the overall mic balance and the balance for each instrument.
Phase-coherent layering examples are provided for your convenience. There’s also a master equalizer, reverb, and parallel compression. It’s compatible with Kontakt and provides a full-featured means of making a wide range of drum beats, thanks to its built-in Parallel Compressor, Groove Player, and Master EQ.
One of the significant drawbacks of Steven Slate Drums is that it has no effects. This may put some off, but the two tiers of room microphones added plenty of reverb, and the separate ADSR settings for each drum acted as a compressor and gave the input MIDI a unique feel.
But with SSD, you can adjust each drum and cymbal separately. To modify global drum settings like volume, tuning, and phase, click on a drum and the Instrument Master panel will pop up. Finally, you may find a Dynamics knob for smooth MIDI input velocities near the top of the window.
For instance, recreating the just-behind-the-beat feel of a drummer’s performance requires adding a medium attack to all the snare mics. His SLR mic is just one more way in which the drum mix is given a more natural and nuanced mic bleed effect.
People like that Slate didn’t cram in a ton of unnecessary effects since, upon deeper inspection, they realize that a strong drum tone and some decent room mic options are all needed. Adding more plugins to the chain is simple if you need a stronger reverb, delay, or compressor.
When using the BFD3 mixer, you can rest assured that all features will work well. The four tabs of the mixer window let you dial in the perfect mix by isolating individual instruments, mics, and sends. Controls for instruments, including volume, mute, solo, phase, record arm, and panning, are accessible via the Faders view.
Using the plus and minus buttons, you can add or subtract kit pieces and aux sends, allowing you to build a kit with five unique kick drums. The mixer’s Effects view allows for effect routing at the track level, while the top window’s Effects view allows for global effect configuration.
Apart from the usual eight compression, six EQ, and five delay/reverb knobs, there are also some fun effects like phaser, flanger, and chorus. With the Sends view in either, you may add up to four effects before or after a signal is routed using the faders.
The Effects section of the mixer is also where you may change the volume of the sidechain inputs. You can tweak individual kit elements in the Tweaks window with controls like Trim, Tune, and Damp, and auxes’ sidechains can be cut. The mixing parameters, sends, and effects are highly customizable. It can take a while to figure out how to utilize the mixer and set up effect chains because of how complicated it is.
Addictive Drums 2
You can purchase addictive Drums 2 for $180, which gets you three kits, three MIDIpacks (Beats), one hundred and thirty presets, and three Kits. The AD2 core is included, of course. These have extensive libraries of drum sounds that work for any style, and you can purchase the extension packs for $160.
XLNAudio, on the other hand, has bundles starting at $325 with six kits to pick from and a Complete Collection that includes everything they sell for AD2 on the site for $870.
EZ/Superior Drummer 3
With the base price of $289, you get access to the entire Superior Drummer 3 engine, 230GB of samples, seven kits, 25 snares, 16 kicks, and 350+ electronic drum machine sounds.
In addition to providing a wide variety of sound presets for use in any musical style, this version also provides an extensive library of MIDI ready to be integrated into your compositions. Extra content is available for an additional $165 for each set. It isn’t easy to pick a favourite because they have various instruments and sounds to choose from.
Each collection includes drumsticks, rods, brushes, many kicks, snares, hi-hats, and so on, and MIDI played by the musician with whom they created the collection in collaboration. Prices for their bundles, which include the base SD3 system plus either one or two SDX add-ons, begin at $539.
Unlike its competitors, GGD sells individual plugins for each drum kit. They’re all uniquely styled and serve specialized purposes. Their most affordable drum set is $59, while their most costly set costs $119. They are sold in bundles containing various pre-blended settings designed to save the artist time and effort.
Each one offers a free demo period of 14 days and offers a variety of MIDIs performed by real artists to add to your collection. Prices for them typically range from $25 to $30.
At its base price of $175, SSD 5 provides you with its essential core functionality. With over 1400 MIDI tracks and 400 instruments covering everything from Rock and Metal to Jazz and Indie Reggae, this pack is a must-have for any artist.
New kits, pre-mixed presets, and a sizable sound library are just some of the features of BFD 3, which you can purchase for as little as $300. This kit was designed specifically for rock, metal, and jazz. It has tom resonance modeling technology, a fast and efficient engine, and seven brand-new kits recorded in two studios.
Addictive Drums 2
Addictive Drums 2 is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.
EZ/Superior Drummer 3
EZ/Superior Drummer 3 is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.
GGD is available for Kontakt 5.7 or higher (NOT the free Kontakt Player). Kontakt 5.7 is available for Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.10 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2, AU, and AAX formats.
SSD is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.
BFD3 is available for macOS 10.10 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in standalone mode and VST2, AAX, and AU plugin formats.
Pros And Cons
Addictive Drums 2
- It has a wide variety of solid ADpaks organized by genre at your disposal.
- More than twice as many insert effects, including a great Transient Shaper and a contender for “Best Compressor” (for drums).
- There are 18 kit-piece slots and the ability to connect kits.
- The Beats page offers various flexible editing options for MIDI grooves.
- User Experience (You can easily lose your work)
- Buggy Menu
- Hard to mix.
EZ/Superior Drummer 3
- Good way of working with drum parts.
- More flexible choices for mixing and effects.
- Highly refined drum-subbing technology.
- It’s hard to believe how reasonable the acoustic kits are.
- Even though it’s more expensive than SD2, it’s still a fantastic deal.
- Reduces the need for actual drummers.
- The rest of the instruments in the Mix will have to compete with the drums, which will be a challenge.
- Ready to play.
- Smooth Interface.
- Great sound.
- Good MIDI Packs.
- Suited for a lot of genres.
- Works great with Electronic drums.
- Too compressed drums.
- Sometimes buggy.
- It consumes a lot of resources.
- Hard to map MIDI from another mapping.
- Unnatural sounds sometimes.
- Great Sound Quality.
- Clear Interface.
- Sound is restricted to modern style.
- Jazz and other older genres are not fit.
- There aren’t many Midi-grooves.
- There is only one drum kit included.
- The interface design is modern, clear, and easy to use.
- Powerful, yet very simple to use.
- The included grooves make creating a drum track a breeze.
- Great audio quality.
- Very few, assuming you can pay the entry fee.
- Unless you have fiber-optic broadband, expect a lengthy download time.
- Your drummer may resign.
The accent is on the details throughout because multi-sample technology is used by most of our guide’s featured software/sample packages. A drum set, for instance, is mic’d in the same way it would be for a traditional recording, and then each drum is hammered and sampled hundreds of times at volumes ranging from barely audible to loud.
Software with a more approachable library of mix-ready sounds and streamlined controls, with standard EQ and processing, incorporated. Instead of spending hours analyzing mic leaks between kit pieces, you could use that time playing and writing down your thoughts.
First, you like having total control over the sound design process, right down to the sample level. However, you may mix the two, and all the programs mentioned here include default settings that will get you up and running quickly. How far you want to go is the only real question.
Consider the library’s size. While it’s great to have access to the most realistic drum kit recordings, remember that certain apps can easily consume hundreds of gigabytes, which is a lot of space on most smaller laptop SSDs. As such, you should examine your current capacity and, if necessary, acquire a quick external disk to store your samples. In addition, check that you have complied with the system’s other requirements (especially regarding RAM).
The sounds available span a wide range of musical genres, from the light and airy jazz kits to the thunderous and muscular drums of current metal. There are some books that everyone should have on their shelves because they are the cornerstone of every library and are the best resources for a wide variety of topics. Researching the available add-ons for a software suite is a clever idea before making a final purchase decision.
We hope this post has shed light on the features and benefits that make these plugins so powerful and enabled you to define their scope so you may find the exact solution you need.
Death metal enthusiast here. I am a Romanian musician and producer with over 13 years of experience in the music industry. I’ve experienced all types of Metal up until now, playing Melodic Death Metal, Brutal Death Metal, and Black Metal with different bands. Learning by doing is my base principle, which is why I’ve been drawn to sound design from an early age. Read more…