Groove Agent Vs Battery

Thinking of Switching from Battery?

Longtime Battery user since the ugly green interface. I really liked Battery as it seemed very simple and mostly intuitive. What I didn’t like was that the stock kits sounded pretty awful/dated and the program didn’t work for months at a time before NI updated it. So I jumped ship!

Groove Agent is interesting. I am not using the ‘automated drummer’ aspect of the program so I’m focusing on just using it as an MPC style sample machine. So I will focus mostly on this aspect.

I love the Mixer! THIS is what I was missing in Battery. You are kinda stuck with the effects they give you (which aren’t very good). Battery’s effect structure is mostly fixed as well. In Groove you can mix it up any way you like. The Tube Compressor is GOLD! Like literal gold. The 10 Band EQ is much more useful than you ever realized until you start using the thing. The compressors aren’t that great otherwise.

Exploring deeper, Groove’s effects are Halion effects. 1:1 copies-so you can get real sound design done. A lot of the Halion effects are MIA though. All the ‘legacy’ effects are not there and I kinda wish they were. I like the Multi-band effect and the enhancer (at times). As well as having a second chorus via the old legacy one. Steinberg, please bring these back to the new version.

Switching went pretty smoothly, but I do miss the one window workflow of Battery. Groove has so many tabs and sub tabs, you can honestly forget where you are. I think ease of use, instead of new features-should really be a focus for Steinberg going forward.

Let’s circle deeper into the interface. It’s not the new flat style interface that’s all the rage, so it’s kinda jarring next to more modern programs. It’s very tab heavy. Lots of options. Some weird interface decisions. For example, the colors for the pads are very faded looking. Why? Also, the trigger color is white…but the pads default to white…so if you don’t go a change it’s color manually…you will have a hard time knowing what pad is being played. The text on the pads is also very hard to read.

Groove’s included library isn’t too bad. Of course, your own will be better. But the drum samples are of higher quality. Some of the samples were recorded too hot, so there is some quality control issues here possibly. I would say 10% amazing, 20% good, 70% possible pass. The acoustic kits are good though. The interface changes when loading those kits, which I wish it wouldn’t.

Audio Quality: I have said it once and I will say it a million times. Halion sounds better than Kontakt. I’m almost positive Battery is a skinned Kontakt, as Groove is to Halion. The drum samples have more clarity and punch. I can make them go louder.

Overall…I’m glad with my purchase. The interface seems very dated and a little jumbled to my workflow-so you could have some usability snags. But the ability to make better sounding drums INSIDE the program make Groove miles better than Battery. The white pad default thing is kind of a goofy mistake, so hopefully that will get changed. Bring over all Halion’s effects so we can have all the DSP.

Hopefully with Halion 7 being done, we will see an update to Groove soon to push it further.

Amadeus e.d.p.

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