Groove Agent please update

I really hate to compare Ableton to Cubase, but I really wish Cubase would take some notes from Ableton and update the groov agent. There are far too many menus and options etc etc. I think that Ableton excels when it comes to quickly loading kits and searching for samples etc. Cubase just pales in comparisson. That being said… I still prfer to make music on Cubase. However, I do wish they would really update the older aspects of the software.

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Please, move this to the Groove Agent forum and add the feature-request tag.

It’s super simple. Best I’ve used thus far in any DAW, bar none. I rarely have to scroll around and click much at all. I can do it in Cubase without even touching my mouse or computer keyboard (using a few cursor keys on my MIDI controller combined with a Cubase Generic Remote)!

I can even audition stuff before bothering to load up a plugin! Once I’ve found the one I want, just right click and ‘create track’. Or, in the case of GA, ‘drag the sample’ from the Media Bay onto a GA pad. The Cubase Pro media manager can also list the sample content of vstsound archives (unless they are in ‘locked layers’). I.E. Possible to use samples from an unlocked HALion sound in a Groove Agent Kit and vice verse. In some cases it can also see into ISO images of old AKAI and Roland sampler disks.

Cubase has a Power House search engine with a db that allows you to further tag sounds. Better yet, you don’t even have to open the plugin’s UI when using Cubase.

Need a Guitar Sound? From anywhere in Cubase just tap F5. Type Guitar in the search blank.

Can easily filter it down by plugin, media type, and a slew of other tags and keywords. Can change or add to the meta-data for your presets and samples at any time.

Experiment with your Media Bay in Cubase. Read the manual on it. The sound loading tab in the HSSE and GASE UI is similar in that it hooks into the same database and shows the same stuff (with everything but HSSE or GA content filtered out) in an internal window.

The Cubase media bay was designed for people who have MILLIONS of sounds to keep up with, in a swath of formats (vst/vsti/au/samples/MIDI files/MIDIloops, and more). It does help to read the manual and practice a little, but once you do, it’ll make sense. It’s a power user tagging and searching tool that also integrates all your plugin presets and/or exported tracks well into the total DAW Experience.

I use Steinberg products instead of Ableton products exactly because they have so many features that the Ableton equivalents lack. It’s okay to like a simpler, more streamlined experience. That’s what you get with Ableton Live and its included instruments. But for many of us the huge feature set is exactly why we use Cubase, Groove Agent, etc.

Groove Agent 5 is the most full-featured drum sampler on the market. Even the SE version has many of the features that make GA5 great.

And I haven’t used any Ableton products since Live 9, so maybe things are different now, but I don’t see how building kits with your own samples could be any easier than it is in Groove Agent 5. The plugin has a built-in, searchable sample browser with filters and a rating system, plus it supports non-destructive in-kit sample auditioning so you can hear how a kit sounds in a live track with a selected sample without altering the kit until you’re ready for it.

I disagree there’s a lot of menus and options that are nonsensical. For example I had to search to figure out how to mute certain notes. Hi hat closed and open hi hat. Many times I am having to look things up that should be straight forward and easy to figure out. The interface is out dated and not fluid.

Ableton 11 is pretty damn good. I would make the switch completey if that updated the key commands and allowed us to use whatever we want.

I think this plugin is great and I would like Cubase to have something clean and simple like this in addition to groove agent

I must be missing something, but if Speedrum is the drum plugin of your choice, has just the features you like and a workflow that resonates with you—then why don’t you simply use Speedrum?
Groove Agent has a lot of hardcore followers and for a good reason. The LE version that comes free with Cubase is already a slimmed down version. Why would Steinberg have any interest in developing a new drum sampler when they already have one that is liked and used by a large number of their customers?


I also fail to see how building/playing a kit is any easier in that Speedrum plugin than it already is in Groove Agent (SE/full). It honestly looks like they borrowed the layout of this plugin from Groove Agent; just with fixed controls in the center instead of tabs.

How can it get any easier than: Create new kit, drag samples on pads, play?

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It’s the look the feel the flow. Etc. You’re happy with the outdated software that Cubase is known for. They didn’t start updating their plugins until two versions ago… Steinberg could step up it’s GUIs and make their plugins more updated and a better flow .

How can it get any easier than: Create new kit, drag samples on pads, play?

How do you find the samples, though?

My favorite drum kit editor is XO. Sometimes I wish I could select other dimensions for the sample spread browser they have, but it’s still awesome compared to anything else.

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You just pop open the Load panel and select the Browse tab. You can browse any folder on your computer, and you can even browse content from Steinberg VST Sound libraries (any sample content for Groove Agent, HALion, or other Steinberg products). Check it out:

You can also drag files directly from your OS’s file manager onto Groove Agent pads. Groove Agent also has a “Prelisten in Place” option (a button in the browser) that lets you audition a selected sample in a selected pad without altering the kit, so you can play live audio while non-destructively hearing how the samples would sound in your kit. Right now it’s the only drum sampler on the market that I know of with this feature. (Battery 3 had that feature, but Battery 4 doesn’t.)

I use groove agent a lot but I agree that some of its best features are buried under menus. For example the ability to split the pitch from non pitch is an amazing feature but you have to search for it.

The ability to convert your mix from the groove agent mixer to the Cubase mixer is awesome but it’s not apparent that you can do this.

I’ve been watching these guys, maybe helpful to others:

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My question was not literally “how do I add a sample in Groove Agent.”
My question was rethorical, because the rather standard sample file browser in Groove Agent, is no better than anything in Ableton or FL Studio, whereas the XO plugin really is quite good.
If you haven’t checked it out, it might be worth a few minutes look:

It, too, supports auditioning a new sample in a particular slot/pad nondestructively (or at least with undo / back-up available.)

I would also like to add that the sounds that come with groove agent are… Lackluster. Very underwhelming. I’m really impressed with stock Ableton sounds. They have some incredible kits. Their kits are very well created for stock sounds.
I’d say that they are the best in the business when it comes to stock drum sounds.

I just find Grove agent outdated. I’m not trying to bash it. But i really think it needs to be redesigned.

Too many menus to search through and it’s not intuitive. That’s all.

I can somehow relate with OP post. I am someone who is with groove agent from early days (Groove Agent One) I cannot comment on GA library since I am solely programming my drums from one shots. That being said after many years with GA I recently switch to Atlas not using AI but only because of workflow.

Although Groove Agent is almost head to head with FXpansion Geist in terms of possibilities, RoundRobin, layers, envelopes, slicer, editing, stretching, Live sampling, decomposing and many more which Atlas doesn’t have. On the other hand Atlas is programmed in a way where you can do some stuff fast, it’s really ergonomic, its like FabFilter Pro Q ergonomics in compare with other same type EQs. Or Sylenth there are other synths that have many more features and possibilities but when you take it you can program sounds really fast with good results cause everything is there, similar is with Atlas in my case.

Personally i don’t use it’s AI browser, I am using it in combination with MediaBay.
But having ability to lock parameters, Fast Envelope(Shape), Soloing/Muting pads(much intuitive than in GA), sequencer, embedded samples with the project(so no need to find missing samples since all samples are saved within plugin itself) no menus, unnecessary right clicks etc etc. Also Atlas constantly getting improved with every update, always something new without cluttering UI which makes my workflow much faster.

Steinberg has announced that Wavelab and Groove Agent are next in line to get the new dongle free copy protections so let’s hope for a superb update soon

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Personally? It’s by far the most powerful media management database of any DAW I have ever used to date. Bar none. It’s powerful. It is customizable. It is very versatile.

When in the Cubase Environment:

  1. I just tap F5 which brings up media bay.

  2. I use the power-house search features to filter down to audio samples, and whatever other filters I wish to apply.

  3. I use the search tool to get even more specific if needed, after-all, there are tens of thousands of samples, including those from dozens of different plugins in the db. (You can customize what directories and devices on your system are constantly monitored for media to show up in this media bay. You can tag it to include more information at will)

Note, you can also open the left pane of media-bay and limit the search to specific storage devices, directories, VSTSound archives, and in some cases even ISO disk images for things like Roland/Akai sample CD-ROMS, etc. Yep, unless sample layers are ‘locked’ in the VSTSound archive, you can use the samples from something like HALion 4 content in Groove Agent, and vice verse.

In this example I have things set to only show samples from the Groove Agent SE Common Content VSTSound archive.

  1. I can audition the stuff right there in media-bay without having to load it into anything at all.

  2. Once I find the sample I want, I simply drag it to a pad in GA.

If I am using GA in a different host that doesn’t have any sort of media bay that features drag/drop across plugins, and want build a set quickly using existing sample content (I.E. From a scoring DAW like Sibelius, Finale, or Dorico)?

Well, the media bay above is also hosted in a slightly abbreviated from inside GA itself. It does have a ‘browser tab’, with many of the same features and abilities as the Cubase media bay. To the best of my knowledge it actually shares the db with Cubase/Nuendo, or other plugins that use the HALion engine if those happen to reside on the same system. I.E. If you use the browser tab in GA and ‘tag’ a sample with some meta information, it will also be tagged in the Cubase media bay, as well as in HALion’s browser tab.

In this case I know I’d like to find a sample with the pattern “clap” in the name, so I do a search accordingly. I can audition them at will without loading them to pad or anything first. If I enable the ‘path’ column in the viewer, it’s not hard to see exactly where the samples are coming from (somewhere on a system drive, in one of the plugin VSTSound archives, from a Roland/AKAI ISO Image, etc).

Note, with most hosts it’s also possible to drag stuff onto a GA pad from your OS file-system browser as well. I.E. In windows 10, click the folder icon in the task bar, use Windows File Browser to locate the sample you want, and drag it directly to a GA pad.


Hmm for me the workflow between taking a drum break and putting it into a sampler instrument is exactly the same whether its Ableton Live 11 or Cubase Pro 12. Its no quicker or slower or different in either one. In Ableton, drag a break from the browser (or Finder/Explorer wherever) and drop it into a track. Now you open the clip editor, add your warp markers/transients, slice to a new MIDI track and voila its in a Drum Rack. Same exact thing in Cubase, only you drag/drop your break into a sampler track, cut it up there, then export to Groove Agent. But then again, I dont really rely on the built in browsers, they’re both pretty similar (Ableton’s browser vs Cubases MediaBay or the browser in the right hand column), my sample library is organized to the point I just open a Finder window and grab what I want and drag/drop it there.

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Seriously? It’s literally the FIRST thing I see in the UI. It is not ‘buried’ in any menu.

Every note gets a pad. Every pad has a mute and solo button. It’s possible to ‘remap’ the pads so different MIDI events can trigger them, but out of the box it’s a 1:1 MIDI-Note ratio. Not complicated at all. Never has been.

It’s based on an industry standard MPC design and it’s been this way for decades.

If you don’t like MPC interfaces and want something more power user HALion 6 might be more up your alley, but it is hundreds of times more powerful and even MORE complicated. You won’t get into it without being willing to read the OM, and for maximum benefits you might even want to learn a scripting language like LUA.

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