VST Drummer for Cubase

I have zero experience as a drummer. I’m looking for a VST that will give a realistic acoustic sound, along with a broad assortment of grooves.
I’m also cheap. So, I’m looking at something in the $150 or less range.
Can anyone give me advice regarding Air Strike 2 vs EZ Drummer 2, including workability within Cubase 9.5? Or is there something better?
Thanx in advance.

I have to ask the obvious – if you already have Cubase 9.5, why not use Groove Agent SE 4 ?

Thanx for the quick response, MrS.
I tried it, didn’t like the sound quality, limited choice of grooves and overall interface. I have to admit: it could be I didn’t give it enough of a chance, though.
BTW, as I mentioned, I’m cheap and don’t want to spring for the full version.

You might find something amongst the VST Sound Instrument Sets for Groove Agent that appeals, or additional drum kits such as the Simon Phillips Studio Drums which would build on what you already have for relatively little money.

Before dismissing GA4SE, check out some of the free tutorials on YouTube as well, and don’t forget you’ll find tons of free drum MIDI files on the internet that can be edited to taste.

Adding to Mr Soundman, it’s worth watching this:

… and this. Both SP expansions work with GASE4, you don’t need the “full” GA.

Thanx Parrotspain and again MrSoundman. I’ll check those out.
I’m also trying out a demo version of Strike 2 and will also try EZ Drummer 2. I’ll report what I discover – if it’s worth anything – when I’m done.
Thanx again.

These are my preliminary findings in low-price drum set VSTs. I’ve been comparing Strike 2, EZDrummer 2 and GA4SE. I understand I don’t have the experience of most others here, so these results probably won’t matter to most.
Strike 2 has the best sounding samples (to my ear) in the basic package. EZDrummer 2 second best, GA4SE a very distant third. I don’t like that you have to buy additional modules with EZDrummer and upgrade + purchase additional for GA4SE to get a broader selection. (Fortunately, the drum sets provided with the basic EZDrummer are the right ones for my current needs.)
Available groove selection: same order, Strike 2, EZDrummer, GA4SE.
EZDrummer has the easiest implementation within Cubase 9.5 Artist, Strike 2 second, GA4SE again a distant third. (I’m a plug-n-play guy, so this is important to me.)
Strike 2 has been causing Cubase (9.5 Artist) crashes. That’s a deal-breaker if it isn’t resolved. I’ve contacted Applied Acoustics to see if they have a solution.
As things stand now, IF there is a solution to the crashing problem, Strike 2 is my clear choice. Otherwise, it’s EZDrummer 2.
I hope someone can find this useful.

For less than the price of Strike 2, you should also give Jamstix a spin, it’s certainly a lot more complex but capable of stunning results.

MrSoundman – Thanx again for more info. Will try Jamstix before making my purchase decision. Cheers!

I would also check out :

  1. Addictive Drums 2 https://www.xlnaudio.com 50 % off right now

BTW, Ive NEVER had EZ Drummer nor Addictive Drums crash any DAW here. Cubase, StudioOne, Logic, Reaper

I’m sure that was an unintentional error, but just for the sake of accuracy and for anyone reading this, Strike 2 is not an Applied Acoustics product, in fact they currently don’t offer a “drummer” type product. I have several Applied Acoustic products and all of them work very well in Cubase and have never caused a crash for me.

MrSoundman –
I stand corrected. I believe that should be AIR Music Technology.
BTW – What is/are your virtual drum go-to?

shanabit –
Will check that out. But if what I’ve read recently, their demo is quite limited.
I did find this video review comparing EZDrummer 2 vs Addictive Drums 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLHcQuCgplg&feature=youtu.be
Thanx for the suggestion.
You evidently have used both. Any preference, and why?

His name is Brian :stuck_out_tongue:

Alas, I can’t afford a similar “VST.” :smiley:
I’m 72, and although reasonably comfortable, I have limited resources (and time to learn). Which is why I’m cheap and antsy.
Rest assured, your help has been — well — helpful.
BTW, I did notice you have GA4-full, but still wonder if that — on the VST front — is your favorite.

I use a variety of techniques depending on what I have available (source material and time). My favourite creative approach is manual programming but that’s the most time-consuming and a labour of love. If the starting point is an audio track, I might use drum replacement techniques and I’m currently taken by the sound of the Simon Phillips kits in GA4, or Steve Slate Drums. If I’m looking for some inspiration (especially for fills) I turn to Jamstix, and I might use the MIDI output of that with some manual edits to trigger sounds from other sources.

So in a nutshell, no one particular method, but a combination of anything that works.

One thing to mention about GA – the sounds can seem a little dead but I think they’re intended to deliver good raw material rather than fully-produced drum tracks. In other words, if you record (render) the output of GA onto seperate audio tracks and then mix them as you would a multi-track audio recording the results can be superb. If you don’t want to get into that level of detail just yet then other product will deliver more “produced” sounds quicker.

As if it matters …
I’ve decided to go with Addictive Drums 2. It has good sound out of the box. And it has plenty of knobs and sliders I can play with and make believe I know what I’m doing.
Thanx to all for your advice.

Good choice! I’ve been working with addictive drums 1&2 throughout the years and they are my go-to as far as natural organic drums. I do a lot of manual programming but AD2 has a good selection of midi beats, fills and push button kit set-ups. I compose all genres and I seldomly deviate to other drums sources. If need be later on, you can morph into more contemporary sounds. This program will let you switch drum sets mid-beat so you can sample your options on the fly. Hit me up if you have questions or need to hear some of my work samples.


It’s always good to hear how things went!

Congratulations and here’s wishing you lots of fun down the rabbit-hole of VST instruments! I’ve heard good things about AD2 and if I didn’t already have too many drum options (that I haven’t fully explored) it would certainly be on my list. But didn’t it blow your budget just a little?

You’ll be in good company here! :smiley: