Opinions on Drum VSTs

I’m seeking just some general opinions on various drum VST plus from Cubase users. Currently I am on Cubase 6.5.3 (64-bit) with the Groove Agent One that came with. I am entertaining options to improve on the quality of this setup (without getting crazy, read: $) and am interested on opinions as to where my money would be best spent:
1> something like EZDrummer (Superior Drummer is probably going too far),
2> Steven Slate Drums, or
3> just upgrading the Groove Agent kits by way of something like the Allen Morgan kit(s)

I don’t have any problems with Groove Agent One as it is, it just seems like the included kit sounds aren’t all that great. Maybe I should just spend the time trying to build some of my own with lops/one-shot sounds from wherever? One appealing thing about the EZD option (and I think the Allen Morgan kits come with some too) is the MIDI loops you can get, since I’m not really a drummer and would prefer to concentrate on guitar playing and just tweaking the fills here and there and not having to step sequence an entire groove (with dubious results).

All opinions welcome.

I recommend Addictive Drums for all your drum needs:

Hint: Buy it at AudioDeluxe for a cheaper price.

It sounds to me like EZdrummer would be perfect for your needs. I mainly use Superior Drummer, but have also used EZ. The Toontrack MIDI libraries are great (some more than others, depending on what you are looking for).

Also, the EZX expansion kits and all MIDI packs are able to be loaded into Superior Drummer, if you should ever wish to upgrade.

everybody gonna recommand the plugin they like, but if you want "real acoustic drums just choose BFD3

I have all of these plugins. Don’t under estimate the importance of your DRUM VST, it can really enhance or destroy a track.

Steven Slate Drums 4.0
Decent price
bad plugin
bad loop selection
the best kick drums out there
sounds great in a mix but not very ‘accoustic’ as the samples are heavily pre-processed.
I preffer to use Steve Slate 3.5 because all I use from it is the kicks.

Addictive Drums
brilliant plugin
amazing acoustic sound
Mix and match kit pieces easily
tweak till you die
can be difficult to get a good sound because when are you going to stop tweaking!?
No bullcrap, THE best midi loop library out there especially for writing.

Studio Drummer/Abbey Road series
My favorite of the lot.
Plenty of good drum maps
Brilliant solid plugin
Decent drum loop selection but room for improvement
Great quality effects like tape saturator and compressors
Not easy to mix and match kit pieces unfortunately
Terrible kick drums (IMO)

It may be worth looking into MDrummer by Melda Production as well.

(As a bonus it comes as a VST3 instrument, which shows excellent future support for Cubase.)

+1 on BFD3, go in deep as you want to. I also have most of the drum VSTis out there and like BFD3 the best.

Wow, thanks for the thoughts everybody! Great writeup, Stephen - I’ll take all that into account for sure.
I’ll do some investigating on BFD3 for sure, something I hadn’t considered to date.

You people are all awesome - thank you!

I have bfd2 with expansion packs. very good but not sure if i’ll upgrade to bfd3.

I bought slate drums and found it to be quite bad. the sounds as stated in post above are very over processed and trashy sounding. the interface is clunky too. and slate support is very defensive (arrogant, even,in my personal experience) about features or lack thereof!

then I bought ez drummer. I liked it so much I upgraded to superior drummer. for me and my clients this one has been the quickest to get good sounds out of. by that I mean that simply loading a kit sounds great before any further work. but of course you can go in and edit and separate out the sounds etc just like bfd.

so either bfd or superior drummer would do you well. I haven’t tried addictive drums, but looks like others here like that too.


+1 on Toontrack drum products (all of them). I have the entire Superior product line and several of the EZ products that I use as a virtual drum locker (it’s really a bit overkill, I think a couple of products would suffice for most folks with less severe OCD). I can’t imagine ever needing anything else for acoustic drum sounds. It’s as close to working with real drums as I can remember but without the hassles and time expenditure plus there’s more flexibility for such things as the amount of mic bleed.

Add Jamstix for roughing in a groove and you’ve got a great virtual drum locker coupled with a solid studio drummer who will actually take direction and not incessantly jam while you’re trying to concentrate on working something out. :wink:

My neighbor, a jazz musician, showed me Groove Agent awhile back and I was impressed but, for all practical purposes, it’s been abandoned by Steinberg. So, I initially purchased Jamstix out of disappointment with the GA situation, however, I think it’s a superior product in most ways. It’s much deeper than GA and more useful, albeit not as easy to jump right in and get results.

Toontrack + Jamstix = you’re done; get back to making music.

Wrong, we all know that GA4 is in the works.

I agree with Scab Pickens that it’s a really good idea to get on the boat with Toontrack. They offer more kit expansions, MIDI files, and presets in more genres than any other company out there. Right now you can get EZD for $40 I believe and get the EZX of your choice for the same price. I myself cant wait to upgrade to Superior.

hi Bane. get superior asap! it’s the business. Ed

“… for all practical purposes,…”

Amen to that… :sunglasses:

Thanks everybody - it looks like I am going to be finding EZD in my virtual stocking come Christmas (thanks to the chap from Sweetwater for emailing the activation codes straight to me instead of my wife lol), so I’m looking forward to messing with that and seeing where it goes. Seems like a reasonable experiment for the relatively low price.

Thanks again all!