Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 Review + Demo + Tutorial
Thanks for watching our ToonTrack Superior Drummer 3 review. This piece of software is the future of drum production. It is the perfect drummer. In this demo, we show you how to use Superior Drummer.
Way more than a sound library, Superior Drummer 3 gives you streamlined workflow and countless features for amazing drum production right in your computer. The fully loaded feature list of Superior Drummer 3 includes:
• In excess of 230 GB of raw, unprocessed sounds in 44.1 kHz/24 bit
• Recorded with an additional eleven separate room microphones set up in a surround configuration for a complete immersive experience
• Playback in stereo or up to 11-channel surround systems
• Approx. 350 vintage and classic drum machine sounds
• New and improved scalable interface with detachable windows
• Edit Play Style, Tap2Find, Song Creator and Song Track features as well as improved workflow and search functionality
• Built-in MIDI grid editor
• DAW automation for built-in macro controls
• Support for keyboard shortcuts Superior Drummer 3 is, at its core, a dedicated percussion DAW.
Step into your own virtual studio and have the best sounding samples at your fingertips. It is way more than just a drum sampler. Recorded by award winning engineer George Massenburg, the Superior Drummer 3 sound library features more than 230 GB of raw sound with a ton of detail. Use up to 11 room microphones for a truly surround sound experience.
The sheer amount of samples is very appealing. Here is come more spec about the sounds:
• Seven (7) kits
• Tom shell dimensions cover ranges from 6” to 20”
• Optional tool selection available on select kits and instruments (sticks, brushes, rods, felt mallets)
• Optional drum head selection available on select kits and instruments
• Approx. 350 electronic drum sounds, sampled from vintage and classic drum machines
• 25 unique acoustic snares, 35 recorded configurations
• 16 unique acoustic kicks, 27 different recorded configuration
The integration with e drum kits is remarkable and lets you fine tune your e kit sound with optimized velocity response. The design of the software lets you create quick custom beats or to deep dive into timing and velocity with never having to leave the program.
It includes multiple song tracks, a grid editor, and time and tempo editor. Use the included tracker to convert drum audio into MIDI for precise timing.
Superior Drummer 3 also includes 35 different effects and a dedicated DAW style of GUI, making it easy to route, bus, send, saturate, etc. Superior Drummer 3 is an excellent piece of software. Remember, it is more than just a drum sampler. With over 230GB of samples, an intuitive, unique DAW, and e drum integration, it really is the future of drum production.
From what I have heard, this is a cover of sorts of a popular Garth Brooks song, the Dance. My friend Stig Anders Mellem from Norway has put this together. I provided bass and drums and mixed and mastered the song. That’s Stig in the picture below!
@emmakhalin sings on this. @margab is on slide guitar. Stig on piano and violin.
A song about a TV Show from a few years back that I binge watched. The great @darrengarrett on vocals. He sings along with the Morgan Tabernacle Choir at the end of the song.
Waking up this morning and I’m lacing up my shoes. Gonna take the boat on a midnight cruise. Gotta get supplies, set it up like I should. I got a feeling Angel, there’s gonna be blood.
Rita’s got the baby and she’s packing up the kids. Gonna take a breather down in south Madrid. Dad is riding shotgun and he’s going through the code. Me, I’ve got my needle, and my eyes are on the road.
Rudy’s got a problem, he’s been taking folks apart. Now he’s got my sister and he’s going to break her heart. He’s been incognito, he’s been doing it so well. But now he’s on my table and I’m sending him to Hell.
A new song by Without Focus. That’s @eipi who wrote, sings and plays acoustic guitar, @smokytubes on electric guitars, @rabbitwithmachinegun on keys and myself on bass and drums. I handled production chores on this one as well.
@martingagliardi on Bandlab recorded the guitar track. I added bass and piano. “Makin’ Whoopee” is a jazz/blues song from the 1928 musical Whoopee!. This song has been called a “dire warning”, largely to men, about the “trap” of marriage.
Steely Dan cover from their 1977 album Aja. A top 20 Billboard hit in 1978. @darrengarrett on vocals, @michelefortunato on trombones. Other instruments and production by me, @steve2k2. This was very difficult, and I had to play the guitar lead in parts. Impossible for mere mortals to do that one!
This is not clearly explained in the manual, but I found a nice guy willing to help on YouTube.
Check out the video here. In the Replies is more information on the mapping which I will try to repeat here.
You will need the Controller Editor, which came with your Mikro – you should find it installed or in the Native Access program. On my Windows 10 machine it is here: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Native Instruments\Controller Editor. You will need to open this in Administrator mode. I created a link on my taskbar.
First create new template and name it in the controller editor. Here a snapshot of mine (after I set it all up)
Then, select all the pads (shift click from right top to bottom left to select all). Once you do this , go to ASSIGN tab, then the action tab labeled “Press” and set Type to None.
In Superior Drummer 3, I selected the drum set I wanted and set up all the routing. Don’t forget to make sure you have set the MIDI input in your DAW to the MASCHINE Micro MK3 and also make sure your drums trigger on channel 10 if you chose to do that. Then once you are happy with your drum setup, save it as a project in your Superior Drummer. You can probably make this a default but I haven’t done that yet.
Now this is the lame but necessary part. You need to decide how you want your drums to be laid out in your head or write it down. You will need to go back and forth between SD3 and Controller Editor and change the values for each pad that matches the note values in SD3. In the Controller Editor you do this under ASSIGN>Hit tab, note. Use the format C0, NOT C-0, or you will be sorely disappointed.
In SD3 you find these notes by unfolding the “midi mapping tab on the right side of SD3. If you don’t see it, it is under the show pop down menu. make sure to unfold hamburger menu in midi mapping and view “show keys”
Now, select the individual drum with mouse to identify the value and punch that in to the controller editor.
Remember you can change the articulations of each drum but you will need to save it under: Mini in/EDrum Settings > Save as under user presets.
Make sure your MIKRO is in MIDI mode. It should show up in the little window on your MIKRO.
I did a couple of other steps as well. I set the MIDI channel to 10 on all of the pads and changed the color values. Here’s an example.
You should make sure the final template is save in the controller. You can call it up anytime you need it.
I use Sonar as my DAW (Free from Bandlab now!) – I’ve set up a nice template that has everything set up the way I like to start. If you do this you should have very little setup to do after you initialize everything.
This has been the bane of my existence, but I came across a post that showed how to do it. I am capturing it here for any poor lost intrepid souls.
If you have a tempo map that you spent hours, yea, days to perfect, you can move it to a new project. I wanted to do this so that I could update an old project to a new template. Here’s what I found out:
Load the MIDI file containing your source tempo map into Sonar as a new project. Then open up the tempo map to make sure it’s actually in there.
Then Select All and then hit ALT-CTRL-C (Copy Special) and make sure that only “tempo changes” is ticked. Hit OK. Now the clipboard should now contain the tempo map
Then open up the project that you wish to merge this tempo map with. Move the NOW to the start of the project. Hit ALT-CTRL-V (Paste Special). Make sure that the Tempo Changes is the only event type ticked. (All other event types should be greyed out as the clipboard should only contain tempo change events)
Note, you may need to open up the tempo view before doing the Paste to make sure there are no existing tempo changes that would confuse the project.
Open up the tempo view and your tempo map should be present there as pasted.
2019 is coming to an end. I put together two CDs of my collaborations with some very talented Bandlab musicians and also some solo efforts. I’m making them available to whoever wants them. The links below to Disk One and Disk Two will take you to pages that have a player that shows all of the songs on the CD. It allows you to download individual songs if you want. The player will cycle through all songs if you let it run.
I use a program called imgburn to create these images, and if you need it, you can use it to extract and burn the images to CD. It is free.
So, the process will be like this. Go to the DISK ONE and DISK TWO links. Download and UNZIP the image files. Take note of where they are saved. Normally it will be your DOWNLOADS folder. Then, if you need the software to create the CDs, go to the link about imgburn and download and install that program. Using either your own burner software, or the imgburn program, you will create your CDs from the two image files.
To download Disk One which you can burn to your own CD, click here.
To download Disk Two which you can burn to your own CD, click here.
To download imgburn and also get more information on how to install and use it, click here.
The two disk images are about 650MB each, so on a slow system it will take a while. There is a button on each disk page to download the CD images to your computer.
Unless you already have something to extract the CD images, you should install imgburn from the download link provided above. Once you have imgburn installed and the two CD images downloaded and unzipped you are ready to create your CDs.
If you see any errors or omissions on this site, please let me know.
Here are the contents for both disks.
Here is some information I have about each musician on the CD
@eipi – Dave is a Guitarist, Vocalist, Songwriter from the UK who wrote ‘Bend’, ‘This One’s for Her’ and ‘Band of Brothers’. He plays and sings on those songs, and also on ‘Norwegian Wood’, ‘Imagine’ and ‘Wild World’.
@rabbitwithmachinegun (Robert Foy) from Georgia, primarily a keyboard player, he prefers creating or collaborating on original works. He utilizes synth arps (kinda like a loop), and drum loops on occasion but mostly creates from scratch. He is a member of Without Focus and plays on ‘Bend’, ‘This One’s for Her’ and ‘Band of Brothers’.
@dawningday Guitar – Klint was part of the band Without Focus who worked on ‘Bend’ and ‘This One’s for Her’
@elizabethdarcel is a singer/songwriter from Kansas City, Missouri. She started singing at 4 years old in church choir then moved on to school performances. In 2017 she started focusing heavily on writing and producing her own music. Her influences are widespread across all genres – influences include John Mayer, Maggie Rogers & Fleetwood Mac. Her style varies from song to song easily switching between a folksy Americana feel while other tunes provide R&B, Country, Pop & Jazz feels. Most recently, Elizabeth was featured on Phat Talk Radio and the November Featured Artist for the Bandlab Blog as well as being regularly streamed on several internet radio stations. Elizabeth did the vocals on ‘Killing Me Softly’, ‘I’ll Be Around’, and ‘Walking in Memphis’ on this CD Set.
@eungang – Bill Farr is a songwriter and guitarist, formerly from the Boston area who now resides in the Land of the Morning Calm, S. Korea. Bill wrote ‘Night From Day’, ‘The Other Day’ and ‘The Nameless Heights’ and produces his own music. Along with his songs here, he also played on ‘Killing Me Softly’, ‘Norwegian Wood’ and ‘Wild World’, ‘San Tropez’ and ‘Lucky Man’.
@darrengarrett is a guitarist, bass player, keyboardist, drummer, vocalist and songwriter from the Winnipeg area. He sings on ‘Walking in Memphis’ and ‘Use Me’ on this CD set.
@thelonewulfproject Doug is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter from the Des Moines area. He plays guitar on ‘Tupelo Honey’, ‘Well Wishes’, ‘Ruby’ and does vocals on ‘Here Comes the Sun’, ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters’ and ‘From the Beginning’.
@kiwichrys is a songwriter, performer, vocalist, guitarist, music teacher, and songwriter from Auckland New Zealand. She wrote ‘Well Wishes’ and provided lyrics for ‘Words’ and performed on ‘Words’, ‘Well Wishes’, ‘Every Night’, Harvest Moon’, ‘Always Remember Us This Way’, ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’.
@textured_grooves is a professional drummer from Manchester UK with over 30 years experience who does session work (both live or programmed). He played on ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’, ‘The Other Day’ and ‘The Nameless Heights’.
@azzronika Aaron is a guitarist, keyboardist, drummer, vocalist, songwriter, and bass player who provided vocals and some instrumentation on ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’ and ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters’. His musical influences include Queen, The Beach Boys, Vocal harmony groups, Beatles, Muse, ELO, EJ and Film OSTs. He writes and has a large portfolio of original material. A pianist by trade, he loves arranging lots of instruments and sounds. Visit and subscribe to his YouTube page, won’t you?
@mojoespage Joe is a Guitarist, Keyboardist, Drummer, Vocalist, Songwriter, Bass Player from Florida. He likes to produce good music for singers. He produces all his tracks but prefers to have others perform the vocals. Check out his album, MoJoe & The Indispensables for his best collabs. Joe played guitar on ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters’.
@cocobark – Cocobark is an Americana artist from Houston, Texas. She’s been compared to Natalie Merchant and Neko Case, but Coco’s distinct style is one of a kind. You can find her recent work on Spotify under “cocobark”. Coco sings and performs on ‘Tupelo Honey’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’, ‘You Don’t Know Me’ and ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’.
@therealmadamez is from California, Madame Z is a singer/songwriter and multi-faceted creative talent whose music has been described as jazzy neo soul with a rock edge. www.madamezmusic.com – She wrote and sings on ‘Choose Happiness’.
@michelefortunato is a professional trombone player from Italy – he plays and records around the world. Michele played trombone on ‘Fall Apart Blues’.
@doesdwars From the Netherlands, Walter is a songwriting who is adept at composing, arranging and mixing all kinds of music. He plays guitar, bass, drums and is a vocalist. With kiwichrys , he wrote and produced the song ‘Words’ for this release.
@the_mooney_blues from West Virginia has been playing guitar and singing since the 90’s, and is also a vocalist. He is an in demand collaborator on Bandlab, and played and sang here on ‘Lucky Man’.
@paranoidcitizen – Veena is a Guitarist, Vocalist and Songwriter – She wrote and sang on ‘Dance Class’ for this release. She always enjoys playing around with novel and unique sounds. She grew up learning Indian classical singing and aspires to bring elements from her roots into her music. She also hopes to record her first EP of acoustic songs next year.
@gbailey Gerald Bailey is from Arkansas and has been playing guitar since he was 10. He has played on Bandlab with the Global Remotes and contributes his lead and rhythm guitar to many tracks on Bandlab. He plays here on ‘Dance Class’.
@jannasyn Kai Hale is a keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter and plays ukulele – She wrote and performs on ‘We’ll Get By’.
@steve2k2 A&M Recording Artist, Private Lightning Band, Home Recording, Cakewalk Sonar Platinum user, Love Izotope and Waves products. Based in Massachusetts, I provide whatever was not mentioned in these previous bios. Very thankful for all of the contributions from the many talented artists on these CDs.
Back in the early 2000’s I had an evaluation copy of Wolfram Mathematica, which, don’t get me wrong, was great, but too clunky for me. I’m a hobbyist – love math, but easily confused. Also, the full featured product was like thousands of dollars, so – no way.
Fast forward a few years and I got an iPad and came across Wolfram Alpha and an app!! I think it was $2.99 – that’s my range 🙂
Well it has been just great, highly recommended. But I really didn’t go much past the obvious formulas, even though the integration was spectacular, with the ‘show me how you did that’ feature.
Recently I started reviewing my calculus. My son’s old books were just sitting around. Paying hundreds of dollars for his books, I figure I might as well get some use out of them, right?
So I am at the point in his calculus book where they are showing how volumes are computed. It’s fairly straightforward so far. This problem I am going to detail here gives you two functions (just based on x and y) and asks you to rotate the enclosed area around an axis and determine the volume that the structure holds. See the charts, it will be clearer.
I’ll include the problem here and some images, along with the solution in the book.
So my first thought was to calculate the area in the R region and then just revolve it around the x axis. I was able to get the area (1/6) – but revolving it doesn’t really work. (Multiply by 2*pi*R) I think the problem there is that the radius changes, but I have to think about it some more. Wolfram Alpha was easily able to tell me that 1/6 was the right answer for the area.
The point here is not the solution, but it is the fantastic ability for the Wolfram Alpha program to understand input. So let’s get on to that.
Just for the heck of it (and based on the instructions from Wolfram to just enter what you think will work), I entered the following, and the freaking app knew exactly what I meant:
As you can see it showed the method of integration needed. We are talking about a washer type shape – a larger circle of rotation with a smaller section cut out. (based on circular area formula pi*r^2)
If I had this back in the day, I probably would have graduated a grade point higher than I did! Stupid Slide Rule.
Not only does the app give you that solution, but a plethora of other information AND a graph:
Totally radical, dude.
Here’s another example. Two pages from the book and two images from Wolfram Alpha on my iPad.
This is a new song from Without Focus, a Bandlab band, written by @eipi – The first 2 verses are a poem from one of his favorite novels Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon. Without focus is @eipi on acoustic guitar &vocals, @rabbitwithmachinegun on keys (inc horns) and myself @steve2k2 on bass, electric guitars, programmed drums and production.
Here’s a cool new song, written by @doesdwars from the Netherlands (on Bandlab) who does most of the instruments and the mix. @kiwichrys from New Zealand (naturally) wrote the lyrics and did the vocals beautifully. @koenfu#sax and Frans #trombone. I played the bass guitar and one of the electric guitars for a couple of licks in the middle.
Here’s another hit from the band Without Focus from Bandlab. An original by @eipi who sings and plays acoustic guitar. Without Focus is @eipi, @dawningday on guitars, @rabbitwithmachinegun on keys, and me on Bass and Drum programming.
This is a new song by @chrysalynn on Bandlab. She’s a great vocalist and plays acoustic guitar as well. On this version, @thelonewulfproject plays acoustic and lead guitar as well, and I added bass and drums.
I found this fascinating, but I don’t know everything in detail. Here’s what I just did.
I downloaded a music track of a guitar playing from Bandlab. When I imported into my DAW, I noticed that the waveform was not centered. It appeared to be above the mid-line, leading me to think there was a DC component. It was present through the whole track.
I exported it from the DAW and then reimported it as an additional track. It was centered. It looks like the DAW export might have done some processing.
The differences brought me back to my EE days. The top image with the ‘DC’ component shows a step function. The image in the bottom has eliminated that DC component. Looking at the point where the step was, it looks like a little pulse remains, with some ringing afterwards.