View Full Version : Drum Product Quandary

05-04-2005, 11:32 AM
Having decided the EWQLSO Group Buy is too rich for my bank account and my horsepower (single G4 1.25 GHz/2GB)—but having given myself permission to splurge on a new virtual instrument—I turn my attention to drums. I need real-sounding acoustic drum kits. Not much use for loops, although they're fun to toy with (for me).

DFH Superior immediately caught my attention—particularly as someone with more of an engineering background than programming.

But I don't have—or want to purchase—a lot of processing plug-ins (i.e. reverbs), and I understand DFHS is pretty stripped-down (no pre- or post-processing). Would Stormdrum be more useful to me as a way to quickly and easily obtain mix-ready drums?

Finally, there's Superior Custom & Vintage. Same price as Superior, seems to be the same interface. What's the diff? Just different instruments?

Lastly, does my computer limit my choice in any way?


05-05-2005, 04:07 AM
Hey there Bloombaber. Here's some ideas for you (certainly not exhaustive, but just what I use):

Stormdrum: Has a look based intakt wrapper (as you mentioned), but also has a Kontakt player that contains the multisamples of the instruments used in the loops. A fair mass of GM kits with some superb multilayer samples. Very easy to pull up the sounds and try them. It has a fairly broad range of unusual percussion instruments both big and small. Working with a MIDI keyboard is pretty straight forward on this library.

GrooveAgent: A Steinberg product (if you use Cubase/Nuendo etc, they guarantee compatibility) that has just had a recent version upgrade (to V2). Contains loops that are output as MIDI signals, so you can adjust the notes in the patterns. It's a pretty impressive plug-in, both in the ease of use and the sound quality. If you're not so confident in building a drum line, you can pretty much record a whole part in a single pass with this VST Plug-in.

I'm not so familiar with DFH but there's a good review in the March 2005 edition of Sound on Sound magazine.

Hope that helps,

05-05-2005, 06:49 AM
I have both Stormdrum and DFH Superior. DFH is definitely the way to go if you ultimately want the most realistic sounding parts. But there is some processing to do on the way to get there. Stormdrum has some very good kits in it, but I find myself mostly going there for big sounds.

Another option you might check out is the original Drumkit from Hell multiformat. I have it on EXS-24 and still use it from time to time. The sounds already are processed to a point. The kick, snares, and toms all sound incredible right out of the box. If you don't want to spend a lot of time doing processing you should check that out. Plus, it's really cheap now - I think about $100.

05-06-2005, 11:17 AM


05-06-2005, 11:50 AM
I have both (or all three if you could Custom & Vintage separately).

Stormdrum(SD) is the way to go if you just want to put stuff down quickly and easily. It's effortless to get good sounds. It's harder to customize the sounds though, as they've already been tailored a certain way.

DFHS (both versions) are designed to essentially give you the straight-off-the-board sounds from a miked kit. As an engineer, I'd assume you know how to process those raw signals to get the sounds you want. It will require that processing though. Given your somewhat limited system, I'd be concerned about how much power you'd have after compressing/gating/reverbing all the (13?) outputs. It's a lot more work, but you can craft the sounds you're looking for more precisely.

Custom & Vintage is just a different set of kits to the normal DFHS. The C&V label explains the basic difference, and I'll leave it to the Soundsonline or Toontrack (http://toontrack.com) descriptions/samples to guide you to whichever fits your tastes better.

I don't have BFD myself, but it seems like it's a middle ground between the SD and DFHS approaches. You have some customization potential, but not as complete as DFHS. It looks easier than DFHS, but not as easy as SD. It's a jack of both trades, but master of neither situation. That's not to say it's bad though, just different.

That's a lot of info, but hopefully it helps clarify the differences. :)

05-11-2005, 03:20 PM
Thanks for all the help. I ended up going with DFH Superior, and if all goes well, may add Custom & Vintage. I won't be processing all 13 outputs, so we'll see how much my CPU can handle.

Who knows? I may have to buy a G5... :rolleyes:

Ray Lindsley
05-12-2005, 06:20 AM
Thanks for all the help. I ended up going with DFH Superior, and if all goes well, may add Custom & Vintage. I won't be processing all 13 outputs, so we'll see how much my CPU can handle.

Who knows? I may have to buy a G... :rolleyes:

You made a very good decision. I have both DKFH Superior and Custom & Vintage, and they are both superb. I don't know what sequencer you're using, but if it's got basic reverb, compression, and EQ, you'll be able to get a great sound. As far as Superior vs. C&V, Superior is great for a modern heavy metal/rock sound and C&V is great for Pop and older rock sound. These are generalizations, though, and does not mean that you can't use both for just about any sound- both are very versatile. I've been doing a lot of jazz and 60's rock instrumentals (surf guitar, mainly) and C&V is incredible for this. I have found that C&V requires less processing then Superior, but that's mainly because of the sound I am going for and the fact that C&V also has a compressed room mike and seems to have a little more ambience, to my ears. So far the only processing I've been doing is a little compression on the snare for a little more snap. You should defintely check it out for a future purchase.

Good Luck!

05-12-2005, 05:20 PM
Thanks, Ray. Yeah, I'm already eyeing C&V, as it seems to match my sound better, too.

I'll get cozy with DFHS and take it from there.

05-13-2005, 12:06 PM
DFHS is great, but sometimes it's a bit too clean and perfect. I find C&V can get dirtier (in a good way) more easily when I want more rotund/corpulent drums. It's simple to mix & match between them too since they use a common interface.

05-13-2005, 12:35 PM
Im a DKFH fan from day one, and i own all of them including Superior, wich
is a monster.

But i must say, i recently got BFD, and ive been using the Kicks and Snares
I must admit, for alot of stuff, i like them better than DKFH Superior.
Maybe its those API preamps they used for BFD. Maybe its the Room/PZM
combo. I dont know, but the they are SUPER FAT. (when you need that of course)

But the cymbals and toms, especially the hi hat are miles better in DKFHS.

THe great thing is, BFD makes a program called BFD from Hell, wich allows
me to use the Kicks and Snares from BFD,
and the DKFHS cymbals and toms.

For me this has been the ultimate drum outfit. :cool:


05-13-2005, 04:22 PM
Yet another vote for DFHS, and especially for C&V. My searches for ultimate drums are over, thanks to Toontrack, and to EastWest which distibutes it in North America.



05-14-2005, 01:36 AM
I currently use the original DFH (in Battery2), DFHSuperior, Stormdrum, and Artist Drums (not the loop version) :p .
I’m an old fusion drummer, so I really like Artist Drums (esp. the Simon Phillips kit). My only complaint is that they are recorded a little wet (I like dry stuff, so I can roll my own effects set-up). I trigger all my stuff through pads (when I’m not just doinkin’ around). However, Stormdrum has “Nick’s Kit” which is a fave of mine because it’s basically John Bonham’s sound. Ya think Nick is a old Zeppelin fan? Hehe.
The way I work is that I have my triggers mapped to Battery2 (which are mapped to various elements of SD, sometimes Artist Drums, but usually DFHS “dummy trigs”). Then I go back and render the DFHS files, add some external sauce, balance out the big Stormdrum hits, and <poof> - instant, convincing, drum tacks :) . It takes a bit of work (so I only do it when I finish stuff) – but man, the results are worth it. I am looking into C&V because I want some real ringing higher toms. (Hard to find an 8’ power tom these days – so I’ll tune it up) ;)
Ah well, good luck! Fun Stuff! :cool: