Groove Agent 4 vs expansion packs (for patterns)

I just installed Cubase 9.5 pro for the first time. I have used Cakewalk/Sonar for years - just switched. I have watched tutorials on Groove Agent SE. I am intrigued by the idea of midi drums that use great samples, and the “complexity” slider. I compose a lot of alternative rock/americana music (with an emphasis on song writing). I don’t want to spend too much time creating my own beats - I am more interested in pre-built patterns - customizing them, and modifying the final result exactly as needed.

I see 2 possible routes, but I am new to Cubase so I don’t know which is the best option: either upgrading to Groove Agent 4, or getting expansion packs. My main interest is getting great song patterns for songwriting, as opposed to getting lots of beat-making samples. To get up and running quickly with easy-to-use patterns for alternative-rock/americana, should I be looking at Groove Agent 4 or expansion packs?

Within expansion packs, I see a category called “Acoustic Expansions” (which has things like “Nashville”, “Simon Phillips” and “Songwriters Drum and Rhythms”). Then I see a section called “Style Expansions” (which has things like “Songwriter Essentials”, “Rock & Roll Essentials” and “Alternative Essentials”). I can’t tell what the difference between these catergories is, and which packs would be best for me. Although I see a list of “preset” names for each pack, I can’t find any audio samples to listen to. Are there ausio samples posted anywhere to halp choose expansion packs.

Finally, are there audio samples for the preset beats in Groove Agent SE posted anywhere? I know take an afternoon and load kits with patterns, but it would be great if I could listen to examples somewhere, and focus my energy on the patterns that are up my alley.


some steinberg stuff has 30 day trial versions, but i doubt if these are for expansion packs, as they contain midi data too …

Acoustic Expansions = Grooves + acoustic drumkit
Style Expansions = only grooves.

The Simon Phillips have very good grooves and very good acoustic drumkits (even brush drums)

I thought at one time there was audio samples for many, if not all of the expansion packs up on the Steinberg website.
Seem to remember they had several different examples for each pack nested in a built in audio player.
Can’t find them now.

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:open_mouth: Why I didn’t think to search soundcloud now that you exposed it. Great resource actually. Thank you gigasaurus.