My two cents after playing with the trial

Just my two cent, really.

First the good part:

  1. I find the interface, possibilites and routing SUPER. While some people (mostly coming from GA3) complain about this, I think it is very logical structured!
  2. The drag and drop integration with Cubase is great! Drag a pattern to Cubase, alter it, drag it back. Also, the integration with beat designer is great! No more trying to find out which sample is on which pad etc… :smiley: Also, midi out, ability to make patterns complex or simple, great feature.
    For my workflow, GA4 seemed to be the ideal drums companion: mixing acoustic drums with electronic drums. :sunglasses:


here is the bad part:

  1. The acoustic samples are not great. No, the acoustic samples are awful. :open_mouth: I’ve read a lot of complaints about this (and I thought it was nitpicking), before checking the sounds myself. After doing this, AWWW!! Hello? Compare this to the samples of Native Instruments Drum instruments for Kontakt. What a difference!!! And the tuning of some toms! HAVE they been tuned?

But hey, the positive parts were so great, so I invested further. Because, with the “Studio grade effects” one can achieve a lot.

  1. The effects: the insert compressor is just… Can not describe it. BAD! The standard compressor on the effects chain is evenly bad. It introduces a phasing sound! :open_mouth: Try NY compression on the room bus, or on the snare. What the hell? I must say, the vintage compressor does not have this problem.
    Trying to get a decent dry drum sound is not possible. I must say, you get a fairly great big sound when using the room mics, especially with the vintage compressor on them. But if you switch off the room mics, for a closer, intimate sound… just not possible.

I am a big fan of Steinberg. Loyal customer since CB6. Love Cubase, Retrologue, Padshop, but I am SO disappointed in the quality samples of the acoustic drums. Workflow: great! But after some thoughts, I decided not to buy GA4 because of the acoustic drum sounds.
Unless in the future, Steinberg will replace these samples with professional sounding samples, I will not buy it. Which I find such a pity, since I like its workflow so much!


I think comparing NI Abbey Road & Studio Drums to GA4 is comparing Apples to Oranges.
The 60s sets in NI sound much different than the GA4 Vintage Kit. Same for the others. By different I mean both are really good in their own way. I only wish there were more velocity layers/samples. Eight is too little.

I found that in most cases I actually like the GA4 sounds better than NI (except Studio Drummer) .
For example with the Vintage Kit I can tweak it to sound like Charlie Watts or ELO or Ringo on Free as a Bird.

I do agree with a problem in the tuning of the low tom.

Yes GA4 sound awful and should be avoided. If however you want to use the PAD function (for some reason) you can through MIDI route the groove to another drum software of your choice. Every drum software I have come across that contain some kind of MIDI player has a D&D function. It is not a specialty of GA. The specialty of GA are the PADs and the complexity slider. In other software that is solved by multiple grooves, MIDI files. Patterns in GA can not be manipulated and re-saved and still keep the complexity function. Thus I do not see the advantage of the complexity slider, except in live situations. Working with different MIDI loops in a DAW gives more sense and control. The same goes for the PADs. Why do I want the grooves to appear on a PAD? What I want is the grooves inside Cubase so I can manipulate them there. Except for Live situations. So to me GA is a Live tool and its pros has no advantages working in a DAW.

How can comparing drum sounds be apples and oranges? GA sound awful and NI great if you compare it to what it is advertised to be samples of.

GA4 sounds absolutely FANTASTIC.

Ok. Compared to what?

Compared with everything out there.
Not other software likewise.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. That is your prerogative. Mine is not better than yours. Just different.

Just a little update.

After investigating BFD3, Easy Drummer and Superior Drummer I was confused about what was the right choice for me. (mixing electronic drums with acoustic drums). They all have better recorded acoustic samples than GA4. (BFD3’s recording process, whoa, with Andrew Scheps :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :open_mouth: as engineer, and in a great studio with great outboard gear! :sunglasses:

What I didn’t mention before, I have NI Maschine for a few years, but the integration of version 1.8 with Cubase was lost in version 2.0. They made it a bit easier now since version 2.2 I believe. But I find Maschine’s workflow not suited for me.

But, today is Valentine’s day, and Steinberg gives this weekend a 44% discount on GA4. So, well, for 99 euros I bought the damn thing :wink: .

Will be using it for electronic drums mostly, and will enjoy the great workflow!

Have a great weekend boys and girls!


i also bought it today for the discount price.
generally it has nice features and honestly average sound on the acoustic drums in my opinion.(maybe its the processing ? should play with it more)
not played with it much yet, but i mostly like to record/program my own drums, some of them are really dynamic and with lot of articulation like snare rolls mute crashes etc… i find it hard and maybe impossible with GA4 to program drums as a gentle drummer with artistic flavours (not every song is a funk and heavy rock ), as it lacks mostly, snare articulations and needs at least one more snare of the left hand strike on other midi key(should be even more snares of course for more control)
needs more sampled rolls flams etc…(i see there is a midi control for this but i can’t see how this helps me when i drumming with fingers)
so in general i think in the technical side it’s a nice module but with sound and articulations its not in par with the “big” names drums Vsti… its a shame, its a flagship dedicated drums sampler from steinberg so it should be at least as good as the others in sounds quality and variety.
hopefully in near future they update the sounds for the better !

Edit: OK my bad, i was to early speaking on some functionality , i find the midi fx in GA4 useful on articulating, just one feature request/suggestion in that regard, add release control for the midi fx so it wont play the all length midi fx all the time.

I played with the trial as the promotional price interested me. Two days isn’t really enough time to make a decision, so I passed on this occasion. I have Addictive Drums 2, and yes I think that acoustic drums do sound a lot better in AD2: only an opinion, but really GA4 has a lot more to offer than acoustic kits. I shall continue to play with the rest of the time left on the trial and might change my view about buying GA4, but I surely won’t pay the headline sticker price for it - it’s too costly for what it does.