Groove Agent 4 announcement

With the release of the first version of Groove Agent in 2002 Steinberg set a new milestone in the market for virtual instruments. It sounded great and was easy to use. The concept of regulating the complexity of grooves made it unique in the field of virtual drums and laid the foundation for the success of the Groove Agent series.

Today the product life cycle of Groove Agent 3 officially comes to its end. The time has come for a new beginning. As technology evolves and requirements change, software becomes dated. Introducing newly available technologies in the best possible manner to Groove Agent, we have decided to build the next iteration on a totally renewed framework.

We like to announce the product development early on to pay our respect deserved by all long-time Groove Agent customers. We have received many questions regarding further development of the Groove Agent series from users who find the concept perfectly fitting to their needs, and who also have many ideas on how to push this instrument out further. It is of great importance to us to tell you now up-front that we have listened and come to an agreement: we accept the challenge to develop another iteration of Groove Agent that takes your requests into account.

By disclosing our plans we would like to encourage you to get involved in this project from day one. Groove Agent 4 will be a completely reworked version, with familiar approaches, but many new ideas and of course a totally new sound and groove library. Please bear with us patiently while we continue to keep you up to date.

Let’s get the groove going on.

Looking into a bright future eh?:slight_smile:

Just one thing atm… GA4 - global transpose / tuning pls :wink:

Wish you all the best with the new implementation!

Aaand: thank you:)

Edit: oh, whoops… I was.talking about groove agent ONE… Lol… Well nywho, i am curious about ga4 now… Lol:)

with a 64 Bit version af GA 3.
Wasn’t the excuse for not updating the numerous old Vst(i)s, that they were made by third parties ?

that is great news , been using groove agent since it first came out way back in the day , upgraded to groove agent 2 and loved it . Im now on groove agent 3 and love it , so i will definately be upgrading to groove agent 4 , great concept , nice and easy and highly effective .Cant wait for the fourth installment !!!

Bring it on !!!

some expansion packs would be great to , ie , film and classical score expansion , ambiant and chill drums expansion
maybe even a random fill + groove genarator

This is great news!!

This thread could be a nice start for new ideas.

Excellent, Matthias!!!

Thanks again for the continued open dialog on developments!


GA4 … I’m in!

My suggestions…

1: (of course) some top class samples, with bleed control, room mics, and EQ/Compression on each. Mixable in a GA ‘submixer’ environment which can address VST plugins… and be automated.

2: within each pattern ( ie complexity setting in GA 3) a way to vary the rhythm of each sound with a probability control. So a single pattern will vary slightly after a coupe of cycles. Just to reduce the programming needed for realism.

3:A built in Step sequencer for those times a Beat style is needed which runs along side the Main GA … like the Percussion Agent but more a real sequencer.

4: I’d appreciate some more help in structuring rhythms into types typically used in Intro’s, verses, Fills, bridges, play outs, stops, etc.

Great news about the project


to whom it may concern:

I purchased Cubase 6 and GA3 in early December of 2012.

Within a very short time I recieved a complimentary upgrade to Cubase 7. No mention was made as to the inherent problems with Cu7 and GA3 on the Steinberg site.

Inasmuch a GA3 does not directly write to Cubase 7, I would certainly appreciate a similar opportunity to upgrade to GA4, at no cost or a greatly discounted price. I’m quite disappointed that GA3 is not being serviced or upgraded to work with Cubase 7.

This issue has caused me to move to other vendors for a solution. Is that what Steinberg marketing desires?

Not a happy camper…

My vote for:

  1. Bulit in beat creation editor like Beat Designer with drag and drop (it’s so cumbersome having the vsti open AND the Beat Designer window)

  2. 64 Bit please!


Ps. And a reasonable upgrade for loyal Steinberg GA 1, 2 & 3 customers :wink:

Matthias, some questions.

Is this an in-house product, or will the swedes that made G1-3 be involved?
Will/can Steinberg reuse the material that went into G1-3?
If yes, can we please get all the old acoustic and drum machine stuff from previous, as a bonus?
If no, will it utilize the HALion engine?
Are there any particular areas in which we could help with ideas?

After giving up waiting, I changed allegiances. :wink:

But I still use Groove Agent for generating ideas, which I may then convert to MIDI for use in another product (with much better samples).

However GA 3 was far too buggy with fills and the like being mis-triggered. Also after extensively working on one song in the first release of GA3, the second release completely screwed up a lot of hard work on automation. That really put me off trying to do tricks in GA3.

So I’d be interested in GA 4, with a good upgrade price for existing users. But You need to get you software testing sorted. :slight_smile:

And ensure that you maintain the generate MIDI function. Larger drum kits with more toms? And Don’t forget the roto toms!

And what about Virtual Bassist as well? Another great product that has been languishing. Could the two be combined, to create a general Rhythm section? That would be a great product.

I’m not to worried about Virtual Guitarist, now I can actually play some guitar! :slight_smile:

Hi all,

Thank you for all the positive feedback! The next Groove Agent iteration will be developed in-house in order to share commonalities with our other existing instruments and to benefit from the ongoing developments and improvements of our VSTi software.

As I mentioned Groove Agent 4 will have a totally new look and feel and will start a new contemporary approach to the original concept of Steinberg’s virtual drummer.

What you can do is clear your mind and think outside the box about what you would like to see in the next Groove Agent or what you are missing in your virtual drummer products.

I’d like to see the ability to entirely separate the different drum sounds into their own groove channels, so that I could mix a bossanova bass drum, a rumba snare and a techno hi-hat. :slight_smile: Not that I am necessarily interested in that particular example, but the point is that a virtual drummer can become limited to predefined styles and patterns. I’d like to have the option to “shake it up” a little bit, to be able to think outside the box while making music. How cool would it be to be able to call in say a frantic bongo play and add a few techno parts to it.

I think I like the option to not think of it as a drummer at all, but more like so many arms and legs playing. Not being able to really emulate a real drummer anyways, considering how many styles and feels a hundred drummers could come up with, I think that “Virtual Drums” fits better (than Virtual Drummer) for a digital drumming plugin. :slight_smile:

I don’t think I like the various drum categorizations and semantics to be enclosed as one “drummer”, but rather that all the various drums be considered a single percussion channels to which you can apply sound layers and a groove (or playing parameters) to form a single rhythm part. This way you can mix these rhythm parts very easily to form new beats. You pick a number of these parts to form a set (or “drummer”) that consists of many different sounds and grooves.

I should be able to use a single of those rhythm parts as a program in the plugin. :slight_smile:

I hope that made sense there (it does inside my head).

For me a virtual drum app replaces a real drummer … They just don’t quit the band all the time! :slight_smile: :smiley:

Up until now I have used old style drum machines , Groove agent, EZ Drummer and Superior Drummer. They all have elements that I like… The sounds of Superior Drummer are great, the scope of patterns in EZ is awesome, GA was fast to get things going … And yes, the simplicity of 16 th note buttons on a drum machine was awesome to punch in unusual rhythms and percussion… I love lucky accidents.


Programming superior drummer a sound at a time is a nightmare ( for me). IN EZ Drummer finding the ‘right’ pattern combination takes enough time to kill the urge to do it. Automating GA to get variations was too fiddly, and no one can make a drum machine do a fill!!

So I’d like GA 4 to be able to get a beat up and running quickly. So I’d like to be able to create a single ‘GA track’ which drives the instrument for the entire song. Assign it a kit and a beat to start. Then as the song progresses split the track into sections which can be Intro, verse, bridge, chorus fill kind of designations. Roles really. Then be able to make fast and easy variations to each section until they fit the music being made. ‘Easy’ meaning a click or two. I saw an EQ plug in that worked by applying a preset then asking if the engineer liked the result. The user clicked YES or NO and refinements were made, hopefully intelligently, based on the response. At a certain point the engineer could drop into the real controls to take over. Kind of a cool way to home in on a result… Could beat making work in a similar way especially since most users aren’t actually drummers and might have a hard time ‘finding’ the right thing?

Within the sections of the GA track I envisage an drum instrument track/time based note editor break down of each sound which might have variable and independent styles, time bases ( half time, double time , shuffle , triplet , ) , accent controls ( flam, etc), sample editing for each sound in the part along with mixing controls.

The notes on the individual tracks would of course be individual hits and could be moved as any other musical note in CB. But perhaps logical units within the playing ( a fill, a flam, etc ) might appear as a single event for easier relocation and copying. This would also allow the user to click on it to get a variation, in the instance only that bit was inappropriate. Of course I’m sure these units could be expanded to reveal the actual hits within.

There should also be an actual drum set UI with an automatable drum mixer with local ambience, EQ , compression ( VST plug in based) . Perhaps this mixer might also mirror itself in the main CB 7 Mixer too… For those who like to line up the whole project at mix time.

I agree that having a Beat Designer kind of sub grid-editor that could be used as a loop within the over all GA Track would be great. Maybe a ‘sub instrument’ that could be placed at strategic points for little percussion bits or flourishes.

I guess I’m arguing for GA 4 to be tightly integrated into CB. For it to act like drummer… play along basically with a new song, then let me ‘teach it’ refinements quickly and easily as the arrangement develops… Yet like a real player still leave us room to take advantage of the happy accident!

Hope this makes vague sense… but you did ask! LOL


Great news!

As a mac user running 10.8 on a new laptop, I’ve missed groove agent. Having owned the original version & purchased both upgrades since, I have been unable to install the program properly as the original installer will not work on the last few versions of MacOs.

There are some great suggestions here - I’d just ask as one who struggles with most drum platforms - please ensure the simplicity and ease of use are maintained on the surface, while allowing more seasoned users to delve deeper for advanced functionality.

I may be wishing for the impossible, but please can the new version be code protected, without the need for a dongle?

I’m afraid the support I’ve received from Steinberg around Grooveagent and Cubase has meant that I (reluctantly) switched DAW platforms a few years ago. With control surfaces and audio input, I am short on USB slots as it is, and the risk of losing the dongle makes me reluctant to use it outside of a studio environment.

I sincerely hope that support will improve with Grooveagent 4, and wait with baited breath.


While I am not arguing against your wish, I must say that after Steinberg having purchased the eLicenser from Synchrosoft, there is little chance of them granting it.

Some ideas:

  • An automatable transform audio effects section on the output section (stutter, filter, tape reverse etc). like in Loopmash.
  • Beatbox phrases (and/or individual samples.
  • A way to analyze an audio file (or live input) and convert it to a midi pattern with similar sounding samples assgined to it.
  • I can imagine that I could record a beatbox performance by myself, throw it in Groove Agent and get a beat built with drum samples out of it.

And some of the ideas I posted earlier.

  • A built in midi editor to dive into a current selected pattern and adjust notes of that pattern in particular (while maintaining the original groove).
  • A way to edit the the percussion agent patterns as well.
  • Free Improvising generator (for intro’s, intermezzo’s and endings.

Good luck!


How about a companion app for iOS … to go with Cubbsis maybe? Or standalone?

So we can work on material on an iPad ( on the go … ) then port it over to Cubase later?

Sounds like fun!


I had the original GA and loved it. Wanted to upgrade to a newer version. I can get GA2 at a really good price, but I’d rather have GA3. Is it worth it or am I going to be wasting my $$ (like icf GA4 comes out in a month and there’s no upgrade or only costs $59). I’m a bit befuddled that it was taken off the shelf totally before the upgrade comes out. I’ve never seen that before.

This is great news! GA3 is the cornerstone to nearly ever project I produce.

I would like to second the motion to PLEASE release a 64 bit version of Groove Agent 3 before moving on. I suspect it will take a long time before we see the new GA4 so, in the meantime, please, give us a GA3 that will work in a 64 bit environment!

Requests for GA4 - definitely more styles and patterns plus the ability for users to develop their own and expansion packs would be great. More patterns in time signatures other than 4/4 would be great - GA3 has so few options for 3/4, 6/8 etc.

I can’t wait!