Groove Agent please update

I don’t slice that way with Groove Agent.

I drag a drum loop from media bay onto a Groove Agent pad. Then I press the slice button in Groove Agent and then it puts the slices across the pads for me.

Then there is a tiny midi icon next to the slice editor and you can drag that to the track and it creates the midi to play the original loop. So I kick the notes in that midi event about on the track until I have a new pattern I like.

I’m not bothering with the sampler track and doing that part in Groove Agent.

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This makes no sense. A sample of a Yamaha drum tuned a certain way, with a certain kind of head, using a certain kind of stick, struck with a certain kind of stroke is what it is. The samples themselves should be BONE DRY (adding luster is the mixer’s job). Initialized kits should have minimal processing out of the box…perhaps with some frame-work already setup to quickly drop in your preferred processing routines. If it has much else going on at launch, you’ll have to UNDO most of it to make it actually work with a real world MIX anyway.

If you want a consistent kit that actually sounds like the same person, in the same drum room/studio, using a realistic mic and mixer setup, with the same set of sticks, is playing it from top to bottom, etc…then GA is one of the ONLY MPC style percussion products out there that offers a few such kits (and a few of them actually ship with Cubase Artist and Pro at no extra charge).

NI has a few really nice agent-style kits, but they are also kinda of pricy! You could also find some sweet cinematic-geared acoustic and/or orchestral kits with services like an East West subscription…again, not cheap…and again, the ‘luster’ that you get with such libraries is rather ‘subjective’ in nature.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule…I’m not saying nice ‘kits’ don’t exist outside of GA, but I am pretty sure that out of stuff that ships with DAWs, the GA SE kits are certainly some of the best out there. I’m also pretty positive that comparative agent kits as to what comes with the full GA5 aren’t cheap!

As for the extra stuff like Simon Phillips Jazz and Rock drums, etc…that’s gonna be pretty subjective. I find them easy to work with. They are very dynamic and rich kits for the money. The PSJ kit for example, comes with more velocity layers and such than some of the stuff that ships with Cubase, or even with GA5 full, which is nice if you’ll be EXPOSING a lot of more intricate percussion work. They won’t be for everyone, but clearly, there is nothing ‘outdated’ nor ‘lackluster’ about the quality and musical potential of the kits, or the optional grooves and patterns that come with them for leaching ideas and inspiration. Personally…if I get to the point I need something with more detail density than these kits can provide, I’m probably to the point it’d be better to just hire a real drummer with a real kit anyway!

Now, if you’re simply into rip offs of 20 year old romplers with some processing passing themselves off to people as ‘fresh new updates’, then I agree. Ya might be better off getting plugins geared to that sort of music. Akai sells them all day long for like $12 each. You can subscribe to Roland’s sound cloud, and get all their stuff going way back to the 1980s, etc.

If you’re talking about cutting edge synthesized percussion sounds…I don’t think a simple MPC sample player is the tool for the job anyway. I wouldn’t even limit myself to a ‘drum’ plugin, but would instead reach for something like HALion 6, or perhaps a specialized ‘synth’ plugin that focuses on the kind of ‘synthesis’ you are wanting to work with.

Different stuff for different needs. Every mix is different…and frankly, the sound of a drum kit being triggered by itself doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of the mix.

Saying the sounds are ‘lackluster’ and ‘outdated’ says nothing. What kind of sounds are you looking for? Ask some questions and some GA users might be able to point you to where those samples are living, or help you get most out of finding space in the mix so your drums don’t ‘lack-luster’.


Still the exact same amount of time it takes to drag a whole loop into a Drum Rack and map it out with a Simpler/Sampler instance in the same way. :wink:

Didnt know there was a MIDI icon in there to grab the MIDI sequence though. I always did it first with a sampler track to do that part of it.

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I meant choke the notes… It’s a tiny little button. It should be a right click option and it comes up.

Very long winded. Now compare say… Circle drums
To groove agent and then come talk to me. Even xln addictive drummer is miles better sounding than groove agent.
I find the majority of groove agents drums to be uninspiring . In fact I deleted the entire library tonight😂
Much better kits on the market.
Dryer, fatter, nastier, cleaner. You name it

WaveLab 11 and Groove Agent 5 are moving over to Steinberg Licensing, presumably with an upcoming point release. I think it is near certain this indicates Groove Agent 6 will not be released in the next 12 months.

Long winded to offset the over abbreviated cries to turn GA into competing products. Some of us shopped around for years, looked at those other products, and chose GA BECAUSE it is what it is, comes with what it comes with, and offers the type of workflow that it does.

It adheres to an awful lot of LONG STANDING INDUSTRY STANDARDS. Hence, people who bother to learn the standards one time, don’t have to keep relearning things every time we pick up some new software.

The extra integration with Cubase/Nuendo is certainly a plus. Hands down on being one of the best options on the market for working with surround sound mixes (loading and syncing parallel kits really comes in handy here)…most certainly for kit building products in the price range of GA5.

Superb for adding sound effects and such into video/film/games.

Miles better sounding?
“Dryer, fatter, nastier, cleaner. You name it…”

That makes no sense. It’s a simple MPC sample player of which you can link to the same effect plugins of any other tracks/samples/instruments in the mix. Even in its simplest form, as it ships with Cubase, it comes with dozens of kits, and hundreds of patches to get to a general initialization point (standard mix arrangements) to begin a project. Thus, even someone who’s never mixed a drum kit into a song in their life gets a general reference point to start with that’s relatively common in numerous hit songs.

That’s why it’s called ‘agent’.

Uninspiring? I load a kick drum, I tap the pad. It sounds EXCATLY like a freaking kick drum through whatever mic it was recorded with. What’s it supposed to sound like to make it sound ‘miles better’ and ‘inspiring’?
Groove Agent 4 - Blues Rock Demo in Groove Agent 4 - Full Demo Tracks (

Six Funks Eight Sticks (Full Demo Track) in Simon Phillips Jazz Drums for Groove Agent (

Circle Drums? Again, not making sense…

Circle Drums isn’t a plugin. It is collections of drum loops being played by real performers, and in some cases you also get some individually sampled pieces to work with. You track them in whatever daw or, or load them in whatever sampler you like. It’s not even the same kind of product. In fact, you can load this stuff in GA a zillion different ways to build your own kits.

Please explain what is ‘better sounding’ about XLN. If you mean there are lots of opportunities to open your wallet and buy more individual/specialized kits, that may be true, but it has nothing to do with the base player/engine, or value for the price (what all comes in the box, and the quality of it, at a similar price point).

At $800 for the bundle, it damn well better have a lot of nice kits to choose from. While it’s not all that important in the grand scheme of things, that XLN XO plugin interface is flat out hard to look at to me. I’m not really seeing yet where it offers a single mixing or workflow advantage over GA.

I’m NOT saying it’s not a good product…but to be honest, if I were sound crafting and doing a lot of custom kit building, from what I see thus far, GA is ‘miles simpler/quicker’ to use…particularly when I’d be needing to build kits for 6 and 8 channel surround sound mixes.

I’m also curious as to what it cost to get into the XLN series and equip it to the same level in terms of kits to choose from as what comes standard with GA SE in Cubase Pro. What could you get for similar money as the full version of GA5?

As for random groove/pattern generation and whatnot…it’s not something I personally use all that often. I do have some criticisms of GA like everyone else. I can’t wait until users get access to the macro screens and can do lua for GA. I’d like to see a little quicker cycle on new releases, and more third party kits out there (lack of user access to lua and macro building is a big reason why there are not more third party kits out there). Still…GA SE is quite nice for something that comes with the DAW. GA 5 is what it is…a bread and butter MPC style kit builder that comes with a lot of solid ‘standard acoustical kits’ for the money.

If I were doing EDM, I wouldn’t be very impressed with the kits that come with GA; but…I could be buying those cheap kits from places like AKAI all day long and resampling them for GA :wink: When it comes to bog standard acoustic drum kits…it’s quite SOLID for the money. Yes, even in 2022…a kick drum sample still sounds like a kick drum sample.


Choking means different things for different kit pieces. The best approach can also have much to do with how many samples are involved in your ‘choking process’. Is it Hi-hat? Timpani? Some kind of African drum where it also detunes when choked? There are often numerous ways to do it. I can’t think of a single plugin out there that I wouldn’t need to read the OM and see what methods are offered and which would be better for my scenario.

Quite often the simplest thing to do is just use multiple pads and envelopes. Next option might be using basic dynamic controllers (CC7 and/or CC11 plus ‘pitch bend’) to build ‘choking effects’ in the performance track itself, but I do understand that there are cases where you’d want/need to use stuff like continuous foot or breath controllers to trigger an array of things on the side (along with playing the pad). I’ve never seen any product where you would not need to pause and do a little research to get that sort of thing implemented and tuned up to behave as desired.

If I were building a kit to be played by Finale or Sibelius, or something intended to be used by a live performer (say on a keyboard, or using MIDI drum pads and CC controllers), I’d go about it in a different way than something I know will only be used in a tracking DAW (I’d be more inclined to simply use multiple pads for various stages throughout the ‘choke’ and go for a more direct VST automation approach if I want to force fancy controllable dynamic or detuning effects). In either case, it would be a little more involved than just clicking something in the main UI…I’d have to go look at the OM and see what options it offers, try things, and practice a bit to get it to behave as intended.

Also, for what it’s worth…if I were building the ultimate drum kit, intended to be triggered by a live performer with MIDI pads, foot controllers, etc…I personally would NOT reach for an MPC style sampler. I’d want more horsepower…more layers…more envelopes…LFO…scripting abilities, more of EVERYTHING. I’d be reaching for HALion 6 since that’s the best and most powerful sound design product I have at present (and it integrates really well with Cubase…full surround sound, etc). It wouldn’t be something I could do in 10 minutes like the stuff I typically build with MPC style plugins. Oh, and yes, I’d need the OM open…and probably would even be making visits to the LUA forum to get pragmatic examples and information, tips, and ideas. It’d be a much more intricate process…as was some of the kits/plugins (clocking in at prices approaching $112 US per individual kit) you’re asking us to ‘compare with GA’.

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The XLN UI is all about selecting the right samples out of your entire bank of samples (wherever you get them from – like most tools, it indexes all the sampes from all the different tools, unless they’re encrypted)

To me, the way that I can browse “nearby” and “similar sounding” samples by sound, in the 2D space, is the killer feature. The mixing/production comes later, in the regular Cubase timeline, with automation and all that.

But, everyone has different needs! That’s why there’s many different choices, and ideally, everyone has the ability to try many choices and settle on the ones that work for them.

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You like Groove agent and I don’t. No need to write a book for each post. I’ve explained very clearly what the problems are. I’ve used many drum plugins. And many MPC models, and machine, etc etc
It’s very flawed. And I’ve given the reasons why. A chapter long post isn’t going to convince me. I know good work flow and good design vs bad design when I see it.

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I kind of agree. Groove Agent is a plugin with its own complex eco system with patterns, mixer, agents and whatnot, and it needs time, commitment and muscle memory. It looks daunting at first with lots of sections, tiny icons, texts, boxes etc. When you need all of it, it is great.

I believe the appeal of something like Ableton Drum Rack comes from the immediacy and simplicity of it. It is instantaneous to load, has simple GUI and features on the face and deep features are out of sight until you need them, and can be instantly saved with embedded samples by drag dropping it to the browser user library or anywhere you want.
For simple things like that I use Battery or Atlas. Of course they don’t have the integration with Cubase like Groove Agent has which is quite useful like you can export slices of the Sampler Track to it easily. Also the preview in place before loading a sample feature of GA is awesome.
Maybe a modular approach would be good for it. Disabling and hiding the features that you do not want to use. Stripping down the interface to your liking.
Or maybe an integrated Drummer Track like the Sampler Track which is for immediate basic things when you do not need all the bells and whistles of Halion.
I personally only use one agent, never use the internal mixer or the pattern features or acoustic kits. But for people who use those, it is a great system. It is just not for the impatient :slight_smile:

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No matter what arguments users make to try to convince you of GA’s quality and user-friendliness, you’re not interested.

What you call ‘Workflow’ is very personal to everyone, it is something that cannot be compared.

You find GA outdated and well it’s time for you to invest in a new electronic drum kit that corresponds to your aspirations and will allow you to stimulate your imagination.

GA doesn’t seem to meet your needs anymore, so don’t waste any more time and look elsewhere.

Do you know the story of these two neighbors who meet in front of their property? One says to the other, “Your grass is much greener than mine.” The other replies, “Ah yes! I think yours is much greener than mine.”


Except you haven’t.

I was asked to compare ‘drum loop’ sample collections, of a live drummer playing (no velocity layers, etc…stuff not even meant to be triggered via MIDI/VST), and told it sounds ‘miles better’.

I’m very confused at such a comparison. One product is a bunch of recordings of a guy playing his drum set.

The other product is several gig of individual samples, intended to be shaped by filters/envelopes/etc, and be triggered via performance data tracks.

Then there was yet a third product brought up, of which is sold more or less by individual pre-fab, custom made kits that range from twentyish bucks per kit, to close to $220 per kit. To get the ‘bundle’ with everything would set ya back $800.

So…if we’re comparing ‘agent style kits’…and price points…and considering stuff that comes free with the DAW, vs stuff you have pay extra to get into, etc…

Again, all this is different from grabbing a drum loop (one velocity layer to deal with) and slicing it up to trigger via MIDI.

We’re all over the map…and it’s still not clear what is WRONG with GA, or why it would seem ya think practically any other product on the market is better.

You say there is ‘nonsensecial’ stuff all over the GA GUI, but I fail to see it. Everything on the main GUI of plugin makes perfect sense to me, and always has. Were there some things I might have done differently had “I” designed it? Sure…but there’s not anything so bad that it drastically impedes a good work flow.

Can it be improved? Of course! I’d like to see it grow up to be more HALion like…with split windows, more undockable frames, etc. All the things that make it a CUSTOMizable GUI. Ultimately, when we users get access to the macro page, we can get super creative, and plug in just about any GUI for our kits we can dream up. But that’s just me I guess.

Some people hate all that flexibility in the HALion GUI, and want a one size fits all workflow, and I get it, but to me, it’s the best part of the thing! I like that I can have a one frame GUI with only a few things I need…or expand it all out to many frames, or even many windows across many monitors depending on how much information I really need to see.

A post was split to a new topic: Stopping and starting a drum loop (set on Jam Mode)

Wonder how that will work for Absolute users, as Groove Agent isn’t a separate entity on the e-licenser currently.

I believe there is a paid update to HALion in the roadmap, which will presumably lead to a new Absolute (on Steinberg licensing) in due course. Absolute on Steinberg Licensing would require Steinberg Licensing versions of HALion, Groove Agent, Backbone, The Grand, Retrologue and Padshop IIRC, of which only Groove Agent, Retrologue and Padshop are currently released.

I think HALion 6 will stay on eLicenser, which means Absolute 5 will also stay on eLicenser.

Groove Agent 5 has gone Apple Silicon with the new license activation system as of today !!! Seems to have an AAX version for Pro Tools too.

Also I thought that everything is moving from elicense over the course of the next 12 month, even 3rd part software vendors have to move because Steinberg will be turning off their elicense server.

Wasn’t that mentioned in the original message last year that came out about licensing Cubase 12. The message from Steinberg and was well before C12 was released. But it might still be in the announcements section if this forum.


Installed the update but it does not seem to be using the new activation manager so maybe that will happen in the background in time…hmm…

But it is M1 native

Again. I pointed out very clearly what is wrong. If you fail to read what I’ve posted… I’m sorry. If you disagree. Cool. I don’t care either way😂