Superior Drummer

Are there any features in Artist 6 to help Superior drummer sound more ‘real’ ? ie to make the hits sound less perfect/uniform ? I am making up the drum loops using the mouse and not using any midi device.

What’s your skill level at programing rhythms?

Pretty good - I can play drums/understand drums.
I just want a more real sound.

Assuming that, as you’re asking the question, you’re fairly new to either CB or SD or both… Certainly being a drummer is going to help a lot, that’s half the battle!

You might have already tried it, but starting working by dragging dropping and comping patterns from the Grooves Library and then editing in Cubase to get what you want can get you reasonable results pretty quickly. some of the patterns have ghost notes which can add to the realism. they might not be the patterns you need but you can change them about pretty quickly and build up your own groove libraries.

Going in and tweaking the velocities a bit usually helps when you’re inputting with the mouse, as does making use of the range of available articulations for snares, hats etc. Putting in ghost notes can be time consuming but worthwhile

Getting to know your way around the drum editor and controller lanes to work efficiently on these sort of tasks really helps. As does using an input device if you can get your hands on one, even a super basic velocity sensitive keyboard or some basic pad jobby like a nanopad. It gives you a head start with shaping dynamics and feel.

Artist or Full is not a problem, nor is Superior Drummer.

If you are a little percussion savvy I guess getting ANY kind of velocity sensitive device is a good idea.
Recording a full verse, chorus or any kind of full part in one go makes a great difference.
You can follow along the flow of the music and do what you should do as a “drummer”.

Then you can use the Iterative Quantize to iron out the hand played MIDI notes that are seldom perfect.
That moves the notes a certain percentage towards the “perfect grid” instead of spot on.
Hit it once and if that won’t do a second time will get you in the ballpark.
The important thing seems to be the velocity so if you have played the notes by hand they are already there, hopefully?
With all those velocity levels sent into a product like SD2 you should have something useful by now?

As a bonus it’s waaaaaaaaay faster to do it this way over doing it with a mouse.
Borrow somebody’s MIDI keyboard if you can just to see if this makes sense to you.
It works for me and I would never dream of doing an attempt of “real drums” just with the mouse.

You can even slow down the Tempo until you have the MIDI drum parts recorded the way you want them :bulb:
You need to get the accents, syncopations and dynamics in the right spots and since it’s not acutally real drums anyway, why not cheat all the way? :wink:

I agree with what’s been said above. The mouse is not the best/easiest way of getting realistic drums out of a rompler like Superior Drummer. You will get much better results using unquantized MIDI loops and editing them as needed. Toontrack sells MIDI packs for pretty cheap (~$30 each) with hundreds of patterns of real performances and in different styles. If you don’t have any type of MIDI controller, then this would be my suggestion.

The best option is recording drums via an electronic drum set, of course. And perhaps pads or a MIDI keyboard as a second best. But the mouse alone is just too time consuming and requires too much effort to get it to sound real. If that’s all you have though, then consider the MIDI loop option. There are several companies that sell them, besides Toontrack.


  1. Google MIDI Drum Programming Tips… there’s a 2 page doc all over the place that shows how to drag/push each piece for lots of pop styles

The rest will sound patronising…sorry.

  1. Spend a couple of $ and order some MIDI files by a drummer you like. Analyze. Actually, if you actually bought Superior, you have some -really- good examples.

  2. Don’t have a drummer you like? Well, that’s the problem… Every guy I know how programs drums well either plays drums really well OR can pick out a great drummer’s style in 4 bars. Listen until you can air drum just like yer fave. Then the programming takes care of itself… the mouse just takes longer.

In short, if the performance is real… Superior sounds as real as it gets.

In addition try some of the mixer presets in SD if you want to alter the kits, or try tuning drums, or adding an extra drum or two, or breaking MIDI patterns into separate tracks, so, for example, the kick can be processed differently than the snare. Really there’s a LOT one can do with SD; it’s not a ‘one trick pony’ program. :slight_smile:

The interesting part that you don’t get in say Battery (which I also love, but more for “unreal percussion” more than real drums) is this extended GM drum layout with rolls, flams and whatever. They also have left and right hand in eight velocity layers with eight samples per layer plus bleed and room ambience haha! SD is just insane! :sunglasses:

To me it’s just too much to set up from scratch every time so I (finally :blush: ) set this Cubase template up, with individual output into Cubase channels with more plugins. Then the presets for the N.Y Avatar kit takes me a long way getting started with SD. I also have Custom&Vintage and the bfd Superior kits from previous version and I’ve begun to make a few presets for those as well but … phew! :astonished: :laughing: it will take some time …

I made this template where all the drums are set up + Broomstick Bass → Ampeg SVX + Two tracks of Amplitube for guitars and that sounds almost like I want it out of the box! Just add music :slight_smile: Now it’s much more fun! AAMOF I’ve started transferring some projects that just lost site of the road soundwise and also in the labyrinths of Cubase. I export/import them via Track Archives which is hard the first time but after three runs it’s second nature and painless.

When I open them up in my template BOOM! Not only does it sound reasonably good but it’s now much more inspirational to add some final spices/instruments. Those old songs/new projects also looks the same structurally and are easier to find my way around to make individual tweaks. Maybe not for ALL project ALWAYS, but templates are my new/old favorite feature of Cubase right now. What a relief!!! :sunglasses:

Bottom line: When it’s set up properly it sounds like drums coming out of studio monitors → if it doesn’t sound like drums it’s not SD’s or Cubase’s fault …

Love Superior… have used Toontrack’s stuff pretty much since I first started recording and with each new release they put out something great. The only kit I wasn’t too sold on was the Metal Foundry expansion (surprisingly!) but that stock Avatar kit is amazing, particularly the snares!

Yes, the Avatar kit is simply amazing. You can get a LOT done with that one kit alone when combined with the flexibility of the Superior Drummer engine. The possibilities are just endless, and I love that about it. Superior Drummer does not limit you in either sound quality, nor creativity. That’s for sure!

I agree, the Metal Foundry expansion was very poor! still looking for a good proper classic rock sounding kit!