Accoustic Agent - Virtual Drummer

G’Day all.

I have been a Cubase user since 2007, know my way around much of the product by now, but just yesterday I activated Cubase Pro 8 and thought I’d check into the GA SE4 product.

I have only ever used previous iterations of GA SE as a drum rompler, and programmed my drum parts the traditional way … last year I lost my real drummer, he passed away suddenly, so I figured that Acoustic Agent could be an alternative to his great programming, and my less than perfect efforts!

I watched all the you tube videos, I scoured the operations manual and the plugins reference PDF, but so far, I cannot find a definitive step by step on how to build a song using Acoustic Agent.

I can call it up, I can audition fills, intros, verses, choruses, etc… but when I try to drag these onto a track, they lose their integrity and are not the patterns which seem to play from the pads…

Can anyone steer me in the right direction? I must say that the documentation from Steinberg is never as good as it should be…

Thanks in advance.

Well, after messing around some more, and downloading the GA4 (full version) manual a light went off in my head…

:unamused: :bulb: :unamused:

I was over thinking it. Patterns on pads… hmmm, trigger from midi keyboard whilst recording a midi track live. Doh!

What confused me was the jam along stop/play button thing… Anyway, I made a good start, :blush: but made myself appear a little foolish here. (wife said it comes naturally to me) :laughing:

Instructions however, are sorely lacking.

Carry on, nothing to see here. :unamused:

GA4 is not the best software around. I find it quite terrible in both GUI and sound. No wonder you struggle a bit. For sound I am preferring MOR (Ministry of Rock from EastWest) for GUI I prefer EzDrummer by Toontrack. EastWest also have a new release that looks interesting and if it has the same quality sound of MOR and some of the GUI of EzDrummer it might be a winner. At least it seems to have a built in groove player which is missing in MOR. Other Drum software that is very good are the “Drummer” packs from Native Instruments. DrumCore4 looks promising (if it ever will be released - they have promised it for two years now). I have no experience with Slate but have heard a lot of great thing about it. Superior Drummer by Toontrack is great (EzDrummers big brother), however a little old on the GUI side so one could expect an upgrade there soon. Much to dig into instead of fumbling around with GA4. I bought it, wrote a necessary manual for it (on 3. party grooves) and then totally buried it.

I’m not the biggest fan of GA4 but come on! “Terrible sound”? Really? Terrible? Most producers squash the living daylights out of the drums in order to find bandwidth for instruments and vocals - if you listened to the solo’d drum tracks of most professionally produced tracks they’d sound pretty thin. So I don’t get why people obsess over having to have gigabytes of ultra high quality drum-kits - the sound of GA4 is fine - the biggest failing is probably the lack of velocity layers compared to some other competitors - but it sounds a damn sight better than “Terrible”!

I assumed the topic was about the Acoustic part of GA4 and that the sampled drum sounds of Acoustic drums could be compared to other Acoustic drums. Then it would be a comparison sample by sample. In some genres the difference of sound quality of the drums is more noticeable than others. Squeezed drums are not as comparable as drums with “full” dynamic with the original sampled sound. It is here where the comparison is relevant.

It is also a question of the use of the word “terrible”. Some will call it “terrible”, some perhaps “not as good”. But when a software is released in 2014 and do not measure up to software released in 2008, in my world that is “terrible”. It is also a kind of “flag” to have people stop and think. It is a flag raised in good meaning. A flag telling people to have a second look at other software and perhaps not buy from the same company producing the DAW. Just because it bears the same identity as the DAW it does not automatically mean quality, no matter how satisfied one is with the DAW. The flag is raised to help people save money, buy something else and make better sounding music, and with less effort due to better GUIs.

The point I’m making about squeezed drums is on most recordings we don’t even get to hear the full sonic spectrum of the drum kit - GA4 sounds pretty good - probably not he best but certainly good enough. Many producers out there are running their drum samples through Akai sampler emulators or such like - indeed GA4 provides that facility - reducing the bit depth to 12 bits to get some apparent “grit”! A hit record is a hit record regardless of what the perceived quality is and GA4 is plenty good enough sound wise - I suspect the Beatles who spent most of their recording career squeezing the drums onto one or two tracks - would have killed for the sonic quality of GA4!

Anyhow what do todays’ listeners know about sound quality? They’ll be listening to the track on crappy sound-buds after the track’s been through the MP3 or AC3 ringer. Given the awful audio hardware most people listen on now, the trick is finding space in the mix - not worrying about authentic sound reproduction.

You are right that there are many situations where GA4 is good enough. However there are free software out there that also are fully capable. My point is that there are many situations where sound matters. Here GA4 is …eh… well… sorry: Terrible.

I think we can agree to differ on this one! :smiley: GA4 isn’t the best - but I struggle to see how anyone could call the sound terrible. Similarly I own all the NI drumkits (I have Komplete Ultimate) and some of my best sounding tracks are with GA3 (not even 4!) because the drums just sit in the mix better - on their own the NI kits sound better.

I don’t think we differ at all. When you are saying that NI sounds better on their own, well there you have the answer. Sometimes you need that quality, sometimes you don’t. I have made tracks with both GA3 and 2. In those songs they were suited for the projects. But there is a reason for not using them in all projects. (as I believe you don’t either).
The only thing we might disagree on is the use of the word “terrible”.

I don’t think I’d want to use a terrible sounding anything with anything! :laughing:

A bit of a tangent but a case in point about sound quality is Goyte’s “somebody I used to know” - I REALLY like that track and am happy to listen to it in the car or on the radio in the kitchen - however it is completely unlistenable (if there’s such a word!) on my HiFi - the hiss around the guitar sample for instance drives me nuts - I can hear how the song has been cut and pasted together - good HiFi just pulls the mix to pieces and it sounds dreadful. Luckily most people don’t have good HiFi these days - so it didn’t stop the song selling by the squillion! (may as well make up more words while I’m at it.)