(For Battery 3)
Really, I don't think there's anything more to ask for from Battery 3 - the interface is streamlined but comprehensive, and the sample library is brilliant.
I'll cover the library first. There are the basics, of course - TR-808 and 909, CR-78 and Linn Drums. There are acoustic kits ranging from heavy rock to pop to jazz, with several of them sampled in extreme detail. There are also a large number of experimental kits, one made entirely from basic waveforms with processing, one made from samples taken inside NI's Berlin headquarters, and many others collecting various unusual sounds. Of course, the question isn't the amount of sounds - there are dozens of programs that offer large sample libraries - but the quality of the sounds there, and when it comes to quality, Battery is hard to beat. The drum sounds are crisp and useable, and it's hard to imagine anyone exhausting the set. Battery will satisfy everyone from the pop musician looking for a quick preset to the experimental producer creating weird, glitchy sounds.
The interface is next. Battery is easy to use, despite its complexity - there's a sample browser that lets you load your own samples with ease, as well as a system of cell presets that lets you easily drop in different built-in sounds to create your own kit. Effects, modulation, and the like are all in separate tabs, so that you the GUI isn't cluttered up with controls you aren't concerned with accessing. Battery allows you to create your own sounds or use preset sounds easily, making it a real pleasure to use.
I have been using Battery since version 1. Battery 3 was not ready for "Primetime" when released and still is not. Over 20 verifiable bugs NI is aware of. So far they have done nothing to remedy the situation. Support does not return emails, they just send you spam on buying more of there products.I do not recommend this upgrade until the product is fixed. Then it should be a great piece of software. The features (once they work) will make it the best drum sampler out there bar none. The fact that Battery 3 does both audio and MIDI loops is a godsend, for that "perfect" drum track and the per cell effects are excellent, in both tonal quality and CPU load. But as I stated, hold off on this one until they get it right.NI have been developing a reputation for poor support for a few years now. Well with Battery 3 they are expanding on that reputation. I am a Battery user and feel it is the best on the market. It is really sad we waited so long for an update and this is what the loyal users receive.
Battery was my first VSTi dedicated to drums and still the one I use most. It is stable, sounds good and comes with a nice selection of sampled sets. The expansion sets are wonderful and I suggest them for anyone. The expansion sets also work in Kontakt. Two complaints that I frequently here about batter is lack of synth modules, and no dedicated outputs. I don’t mind the absence of synth modules because I consider some dedicated drum synths to be much better than what you get in an all in one package. The absence of extra outputs is a bigger problem is you want to process bass drum separately from the rest of the kit. My way around this has been to separate the bass drum to a second instance of batters. This can be done in the beginning, or when you reach the point of finalizing the mix. One of my favorite features in Battery is the ability to use drag and drop within some hosts. In Sonar I can drag slices from some VSTi’s that chop up loops directly to pads in Battery. This is a quick way to build some unique kits by chopping up everything from turntable scratch loops to machinery rhythms. Battery does not stream so some kits can take a lot of space. One the other hand, I have noticed that some programs that convert Battery kits to work in other drum VSTi’s seem to greatly increase the size of the kits, and thus those VSTi’s use even more memory when using Battery kits.
The one big problem with Battery is the advertised Akai conversion. I have never been able to get a decent conversion. In the worst case the conversion process will lock up the computer. I have tried this on 5 different computers of different brands, Windows operating systems, and CD Drives. No luck. It will just not work for me.
User Interface - Functional but nothing special to look at.
Sound - Very good.
Documentation - A book is included in the box.
Presets - A selection of nice kits, but I suggest getting the expansions.
Customer Support - Good but updates to Battery have been very slow. No answer or solution to the problem of Akai import.
Value For The Money - More expensive than the two main competitors.
Stability - Good as long as you do not try the Akai import routine on Windows.
Copy Protection - Occasional CD check.
Frequency Of Use - Very often.
CPU Load - Light.
Fun Factor - Easy to create fun and interesting kits.
With the release of Kontakt I am not sure I would buy Battery again.
Well I tested both Battery and DR-008 and decided to go with Battery for the GUI simply looks better and has all the features I need.
It's a superb drumsampler but I use it for other samples, too. For example I considered to switch to Pro Tools LE which only supports RTAS Plugins. Now I have the lovely M-Tron (which isn't supporting RTAS) and Battery witch will support RTAS (september 2003). It's so easy to recompile the tape banks for Battery and play them in Pro Tools.....*gg*
Making own sample banks is very intuitive, too.
But back to the original features. The supplied drumkits are very good and offer a large variety of sounds (most are not very big and have less layers on each hit then let's say DFH - which is a good addition btw) but they sound good.
The best imho are: 70's Funk (which I used in 'Longing for hotter days'), Vintage, Steveland's Vinyl Kit (this sounds gorgeous), Jazz and REAKTOR..... but the other's are good, too. and you can even take single cells from different kits and combine them to one.
the only bad thing I gotta say... is the way the layers can be edited..... for it's not graphically.. and sometimes difficult.
BTW: the custumer support is pretty good.... they even have updates which are not on their homepage... you just gotta drop them a mail.
All in all it was definitely worth my money.
i decided to try out the demo of dr-008 after reading the review below. Please ignore this guy - the list of things the dr-008 can't do with comparison to battery is massive (samplestart, number of loops, pitch of a batch of multisamples etc.)
OK Dr-008 has a few synths on it for making drum sounds and they are OK and i think some of its samplers are OK for mangling one shot samples BUT
Battery is for playing large sample driven banks using multiple layers - and dr-008 does a pitifull job of this - Battery does it perfectly
PS If you wanna drum synth - waldorf attack has more variation and can be played as full synth too
I'm a long time Redrum devotee but as I started using
fruity more and more I really needed a vsti drum
sampler. The market is not terribly competitive, with
DR 008 and Battery being the two main opitons.
I found DR 008 incredible ugly and unintuitive, but
it is well liked on this forum. As for battery:
gui: basically good, oversized, and the 1 color
flashing hit light would have been a bit more tasteful.
I think this would be a better instrument with 10-
20 cells.(there are 54)
sounds: 20 very nice kits, i would have a liked real
808/909 kit instead of the more generic '80's drums';
but these sounds are around. Particularly nice is the
reactor kit, with lots of funky noises. The accoustic
kits are nice. I did not notice any multilayer patches,
but I really haven't had it long.
sound quality: How can you f*ck up a drum sampler?--
oh yeah--Reason. No funky gain/grain issues here.
One big thumbs up; try the demo...Battery consisitantly crashed Sonar when I tried to create a custom drum map.
Battery has become my favourite and most-used VST sampler – replacing both HALion, and my hardware sampler.
It's a deceptively powerful and flexible instrument, capable of doing much more than playing the supplied drum kits.
I use it for just about everything; single hit sounds, loops, basses, vocals – even for triggering AIFF mixdowns of other VST instruments (a trick which can save you a lot of CPU, especially if the other instrument is Reaktor).
I like the GUI, and the fact that most parameters are either visible immediately, or just one mouse-click away. I like the built in waveshaping and bit-reduction effects, and I love the option of having up to eight stereo and sixteen mono outputs to the VST mixer!
The "FX loop" function, with its snap-to-zero option, makes it very easy to create looping sustain portions for pitched sounds (as well as nice glitchy drum noises), and the pitch envelopes can be used for some excellent "warped" effects.
Copying a drum loop to multiple cells and adjusting the Start point and amp envelope settings for each copy makes it surprisingly easy to separate phrases into single hits – for "do-it-yourself" ReCycling – and this is something I find myself doing more and more.
The only thing that Battery lacks is a resonant filter – and it's so easy to insert (for example) OhmBoyz's freeware Frohmage into a mixer channel that you soon forget about this omission.
To sum up: an extremely usable, functional VSTi, which I have come to depend on probably more than any other.
I bought battery because I liked the fact you could build up an ENORMOUS drumkit - 54 cells, terrific!
Supplied drumkits are good, I like the jazz kit especially. However, I found the presets to be confusingly laid out and building kits was a most laborious task. If there's to be an update sometime I'd really appreciate a GUI for sorting out your velocity layers a la HALion or LM4. Also I've found myself going first to a HALion sample set rather than the Battery one to find samples to put in the drumkit.
But it's pretty stable - I had one memory spike go nuts once but since then everything's been OK.
Everything's down to quality of sample at the end of the day, and the ones supplied are fine, just a little difficult to find.
Excerpt from the orion-central review.
The user-interface is BIG and it will fill a 800x600 screen completely. But it is big for a reason: there are 54 pads to load sounds into and all controls that are available to process a sound are available on the same screen. There is also a preview of the sound wave you are working on, that shows al kinds of manipulations as curves over the waveform. Because of this, working with Battery is a breeze and the learning curve is very short. Besides this there are several settings for each and every part of the instrument and everything is accessible by little buttons that are placed right on the spot where you need them. I have to say that I didn't touch the user manual once while exploring the possibilities of Battery.
Read the complete review at Orion-central:
battery is so great... very easy and simple to customize kits and make your own... i bought because it is very fast to build and dev kits. I would like to see more FX besides a wierd IDMish loop/glitch effect... but this same effect allows you to use it more then a drum sampler! as a previous review stated, you can build synth instruments with it. I found it for $139 so price is way to good to be tru.
With the release of Battery 2 Native Instruments had a lot to live up to. Drum synths like FXpansion's BFD and LinPlug RMIV went far beyond the original drum synths or sample playback programmers.
* lots of new capabilities for editing the actual sample
* 3.5 gb library of extended drum sounds including a fantastic sine wave kit and orchestral percussion as well as the standard all around useful drum kits.
* you can program kits or even specific drums; say all your snares in the 72 cell interface. the cells can be reduced to a row of 12.
* easy drum open, previously used and import/export handling
* cell, map, mod, filter, compression and loop windows in a tabbed area of the interface
* more import options like Rex and Intakt files loading as individual drums
* still no drum programmer!
* sometimes hard to find where you are in the interface
The thing that makes Battery 2.0 vastly better than it's prior version is the depth of editing one can use. If the list of features weren't enough the cell area has improved as well. Mouse over a kit and you get the basic information on each drum including assigned key. Right click and there are many utility and workflow capabilities.
The sound is better as well which is good because everything is exceptional from Battery's competitors.
What it comes down to is how you work.
BFD has a 3 part system, drum selection, studio modeling and grooves. It also has 2 expansions, the 22gb BFD XFL which adds to the real sounding drums in a huge way, and the 12gb 8 bit kit, the latter a great combination of African and Latin percussion mixed with truly inspired TR808 and 909 samples, some played through studio speakers and the room miked. The 8gb of original sounds are also wonderful and deeply designed with four to six different articulations and many humanizing controls which can be abused to make wild sounds.
RMIV has a similar GUI to Battery but features more drum sounds of high quality but less layering. That is made up by the generous library of beats available along with a great output section with a very respectable distortion that sounds warm to mean.
However Battery has stuck to their guns and developed the apex of drum tweaking. You can use a sound as a pitched instrument or drum kit. Sampled sounds are still 128 levels, do you hear each one? No, but your audio software can prove it. If you want to tweak, think differently or want to be the master of your drum's domain Battery 2 is for you. It is a wonderful tool for making songs using looped segments or just triggering song parts and with the addition of more cells, the ability to play a song or kit that essentially gives you a song in a system.
Samples are 24 bit and able to use all kinds of bit configurations and imported formats. This will end up being a big area of contention in 2005 I suspect.
The review before is similar but still mostly is true of the Battery concept. The time spent on the competition was spent out of respect, as they have their own unique features, but Battery has made a comeback. The once neglected drum kit is now a bit ahead in it's sample editing functions with a good set of features and quality sounds. It will appeal to it's old audience and should pick up a few new drum mavens.
The only serious omission is a drum programmer. I can't think of a drum kit more deserving! Ah well, at least N.I. has a contender again.
- - - -
An excellent drum sampler but much more, battery can do a number of smartly developed sample based effects including looping, sample manipulation, pretty much everything you'd want from a drum synth, better yet Battery can be far more. You can set up pitched sounds over as many intervals as you want, you can use huge samples, you can layer and modulate at will, and you are doing so at the sample level.
The interface is good if not a little like a spreadsheet but it's very functional and simple to learn. There's enough here to appeal to users at the novice to pro level. As time moves on Battery has some serious contenders to deal with, particularly Fxspansion's DR-008. The thing serious drum designers will love about Battery are it's huge number of layers per cell. The included samples and kits are impressive as are the new sample libraries.
Pros: good interface, smart selection of editing and effect tools, low system resources
Cons: a bit large but with 54 cells, aging quickly and seemingly neglected
I've created orchestral sequences, rendered to .wav and mixed classical music fragments in Battery, pretty cool for a sampling drum machine. :) You can easily develop entire songs in Battery.
Depending on your sampling needs this may be all you need. Not to be too harsh but user requests have been requested yet a year has passed and no improvements have been made. Smaller companies are able to dedicate their resources so even though Battery is still a fine drum sampler some users may feel abandoned.
I got this because it's dead easy to use and allows you to work intuitively, which is key for me. Some are put off by the lack of filters, but it doesnt really bother me. The SR 202 which came free with Computer Music #40 has filters if I need them, but I haven't bothered to figure it out yet. I'm into having an excellent library and just tuning and tweaking the envelopes so everything fits in the mix. The drum library that it comes with is absolutely blinding. It is very easy to load, tune, and tweak sounds and is a joy to use.
I agree with petitpapa, i don't know what planet DMT is coming from but we haven't been using the same machine it seems. before trashing a great product with totally non objective comments take your ear plugs off! This VSTI rocks. Great samples, ease of use, quick to set up. The best drum sampler i've tried so far. the manual is not thoro enough, the copy protection is annoying (CD is required too often)
On the wish list: filters (NI says that a filter for each of the 56 pads would be CPU intensive), a window with the name of the loaded kit, some fxs...
well, that would be a perfect machine then.
Battery is pretty good, I especially like the ability to attenuate and pan different instruments directly in the user interface. The included kits are above average guality but not "outstanding" for my purposes (latin/pop/r&b). The interface is a bit large...but honestly I can't see any other way way to achieve the same usabililty. The ability to shape individual sounds is very useful and intuitive.. My one complaint isn't shared by many...but I'd really like to see integrated pattern sequencing (synced to the sequencer's clock), also integrated effects (like Sampletank's approach) would be fantastic especially if settings could be saved along with the kits.
Simple to operate and load. Lots of features etc etc
which you can try on the demo download. But Hell , I bought it just for the quality drum samples all sampled, mapped and done for me. The quality of the samples is great and for the price, the package is cheaper than a lot of akai drum kit CDs of lesser
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