Groove Agent 4 - Problem

I am a longtime user of GA 3 so I bought GA 4 immediately. I am using Groove Agent 3 inside of Ableton Live and there are no problems to start the Groove Agent 3 via the Transport-control of Ableton Live. I can´t get this running with Groove Agent 4. As I start Ableton Live, the counter of GA 4 is running, but no sound is played. If I start GA 4 via the play-button of GA 4 it runs normally. If I then stop Ableton Live GA4 stops too.
Are there any settings, that I have to change? The manual doesn’t cover this problem.
Thank you very much in advance.

Hi Cubi,

The easiest thing to do is just to record the trigger note of pattern pad into your DAW. This way you can alter and also automate the complexity with just one note being played.

If you just want to have GA playing along your DAW you have to press play every time you start your DAW. There is no sync-to-host for the play function.

No sync-to host for the play-function?
But this feature was included in all of the older versions (GA 1, GA 2, GA 3).
For me this simple function is essential and should not have been removed.

Another important question:
How can I start one of the four agents separately, so I can hear its impact on the overall-sound?
It is not covered in the manual. It seems that you have to start all agents at the same time and only
can separate it via the mixer (if you set up the channels individually before).

Btw. the manual lists all of the numerous functions, but it doesn´t give any hint about how to use
GA 4 in the best way. There are so many varieties, but it is very confusing.
At the moment GA 4 looks very overloaded and not easy to use (compared to GA 1/GA 2/GA 3).
The impact on the CPU-load is huge more than GA 3 (though I already switched to 16 bit).

I´m considering to refund it. Is this possible? How can it be done?

Thank you very much in advance.

Hi Cubi,

We are totally aware that Groove Agent 4 means a big change for customers of the previous versions. But let me assure you that it is totally worth it. There are so many new features in Groove Agent 4 that have to be learned, but also offer so many new opportunities for drum production.

Have you seen the pattern overview page already? On this page you can see which patterns are currently playing and you can activate/de-activate all the patterns of all Agents.

But dear Matthias.

If there are “so many new features to learn”, shouldn’t Steinberg have made manual (or tutorials) that could tell us how to find and utilize them? I have spent a lot of time with the GA4 interface scratching my head, reading the “manual”, try and fail and fail and fail. I have put up questions on the forum, most unanswered so far. What was really the strategy behind this launch?

That I agree is one area Steinberg/Yamaha should really invest in - good “how to” vids. I think the competition is better in this respect. Check out Sonar University


I have watched the videos 5 times each already. I have read the so called “manual” 3 times, page for page. Perhaps there are still some things I have missed out on in both videos and “manual”, but in my book that is “patience”. For almost a week now I have sat down with GA4 spending approx 3 hrs every day with it. It is still “all questions” to me. I have never experienced that with any of my more than 200 plugins. In fact in most cases I have never had the need to consult the manual at all, as most plugs are self explanatory. I have put up GA4 questions on this forum. Most unanswered by the Moderator (or anybody else). My conclusion is:
The manual is the worst ever
The GUI is over complicated
The workflow is not up to modern standards
Sound ranges from quite good to excellent

I fail to see that this products will stand up against Toontracks Ez/Superior Drummer or Native Instruments Drummer packs or most drummer software out there. (Although GA4 might have some advantage as stand alone in Live sessions. It is cheaper than Machine anyway). The beauty of GA2 and 3 is gone and replaced with something quite un comprehendible. GA4 tries to be a “little bit of everything” without making it to the top anywhere. It raises the question: “What was the strategy behind this product?”.

I am currently working on a written tutorial “how to use 3. party MIDI grooves in GA4”. It will be approximately 12 pages long! If I had written the same thing for EzDrummer it would be 3 pages tops. I will post it when it is finished in approx a week. (Still some questions to be answered first).

There definitely should have been some transition tutorials because the huge difference between earlier versions and GA4. The manual as I’ve stated elsewhere is just rubbish and is going to be of very little help to someone who is picking the app up for the very first time. I think the manual is going to lose first time buyers and folk that are new to this kind of app. That means less money for Steinberg (hope this pricks some ears up. MONEY!).
I’ve been basically poking around finding out stuff then reading the manual. Then I go, ’ oh! that’s what they were trying to say’ why didn’t they mention that in the manual or make it obviously clear or put indicators to the parts of the interface they are talking about. I could go on and on but I’ll save your eyeballs and stop the moaning.

Not finished yet though. A bit of praise first. I do think this is a great programme ( just let down by the manual and lack of training material, oops! moaning again). I definitely think I’m going to love GA4 if I can only get enough time to go learn it by myself. Poking around and pressing buttons is all good and fun but, oops! I’m off again.
Actually I keep getting dragged towards moaning because it really urinates me off when what looks like a great programme hampers the user by releasing crappy manuals and not seeing the problems that people will have moving over to what is pretty much a new bit of software.
Anyway I didn’t manage to stop moaning. So great programme rotten backup.

I agree 100%.
The simplicity of GA 2 and GA 3 is gone. I also spent a long time to get used to the new GA 4. I read the manual, I watched the videos. In my opinion it is overloaded and confusing. There are simple features, that for me where essential in the older versions, that are gone (start your GA via the DAW…). Sure, there are workarounds, but I decided to refund GA 4. Unfortunately I read in another post, that this won´t be possible, as the product is already authorized. But how should one get to know a product, if it is not installed and working? I´m curious how Steinberg reacts as I already objected my payment (btw. they didn´t react in any way to my question in the german forum).
A frustrated user, who used to love GA2 and GA3 a long time ago :cry: .

Hi Cubi,

How did you get it to work with Ableton Live?

After I’ve installed Groove Agent 4 I noticed that I only got VST3 plug inside Common Files directory, which is not even my common VST directory that Ableton Live use it. I Can’t see any VST 2 version of Groove Agent 4 and have no idea how to set it to use with other sequencers.

Thanks in advance for your answer.


No sync to host. Not good!


Please have a little patience. Sync-to-host (or follow transport) will definitely be implemented in the upcoming update.

Using version 4.2 with Cubase 8.05 how do you synch to host?

In the Transport window below the title of the kit is Click on the ‘Follow Transport’ text to turn on sync. The text turns orange to indicate on.