it took awhile for this VSTi to become stable enough for me to use it, but the current version of SR-202 has quickly become my drum sample playback device of choice. It's simply one of the most intuitive to use, with a great GUI and the ability to quickly load samples and then save all of them in a single kit file. The filters and distortion are great to manipulate and sculpt the samples, and the ability to tune the samples have made it a snap to tweeze the kit to the song so the drums are audible without having to crank the volume on the kit.
The kits that come with it are OK if a bit on the wacky side - I tend to be a guy who cut my teeth on more realistic sounding kits from the 1970s. But at least I have that option to find more old-school samples and build my own kits, or substitute some of my samples in an otherwise good kit.
It is cool that CM got Robert Miles to design one of their kits using his own sample collection.
There still needs to be some improvements on this - like, make it so you can load stereo samples instead of having to convert them to mono first. And I'd love to see at least another eight pads added to load more samples in, and more control over velocity. But for now, this VSTi does good for me in getting a kit down quickly. Muon did a great job building this, and CM made it cheap enough for me to afford.
i just picked up the may issue of CM that had all the instruments that they have released. when i had first seen the 202 i wanted to try it out when ever it was first released, now i got my chance!
i have been using battery for all my drum needs as of lately but i was still anxious to try 202.
my first thought was that man this thing is easy to use. it is layed out very nicely. i love the filter (battery needs that!!!)
the only problem that i have with vst is that it wont read some wav files..as where battery would load just about anything.
Excerpt from the orion-central review.
The user interface is rather big, but then again, there are a lot of knobs on it. The interface is made up of two major sections. The top section that has the master controls and all the sound settings that act on the current selected pad. The lower part consists of sixteen pads that can contain one drum sample each. There are also volume and panning controls on each pad and a big button that you can use to audition the sounds. The buttons even move when you play back your drum pattern so you can see which sound plays when. The knobs are moved by a vertical movement of the mouse (my preferred way). They also have the little pop-up function that shows an exact value when you move a control. All very familiar when you have seen a Muon synth, but also very useful.
Read the complete review at Orion-central:
Well what can I say? How about "This is one of the easiest to use plug-ins I have ever come across."
The interface is plain, with simple navigation and controls. Drumsets can be loaded and saved, and effects applied to the whole drumset or individual instruments!
Don't like the presets? Simply click one button and the program lets you browse for any wave file, which can then be used in your midi part just like any other drum. Easy as that.
When you have a drumset you like (or even a collection of sounds) simply save them as a kit and use them in any tune you happen to be creating!
When coupled with other plug-ins such as Halion etc., the sr202 plug-in has the capability to be one of the most powerful drum sequencers about.
Let me start by saying the concept of this plugin is great. Like a previous reviewer said, this is a beatbox, not a full-blown percussion plugin like dr008 or Battery. It's easy to use, and has a lot of great editing features--especially FILTERS, and very good ones. So it's very good for taking samples and warping them into the electronic style, and applying global filter settings onto a full percussion track. However, I have had persistent problems with stability (I have an ATI video card), with frequent crashes when I try to load into the pads one too many times, and when I close the edit window during playback. Yet I did manage to make a terrific track on it while I was discovering these problems, and for now I just leave it alone and it does OK. I would like to have the option of applying a Global filter to individual drum tunings, rather than accepting a Global tuning value for all my samples--but hey it was free. Also, though the GUI looks great, the virtual shadows on some of the knobs makes lower values difficult to see. All in all, I will still fully love using this plugin for certain songs as long as they get rid of the bugs. (By the way, I downloaded the Windows patch and it only helped somewhat.)
I've been waiting for an easy to use free VSTi for drum sounds ever since I bought Cubasis last year. Before I'd either been using GM sounds or loops created using HammerHead.
This is a great piece of freeware courtesy of Muon and those ever lovely guys at CM.
I don't bother using the supplied kits. I just import my own drum samples (usually TR-909 and Yamaha RY-8) and adjust to my tastes. I've found that many of the supplied kits need to be remapped for me to use them effectively so I generally don't bother as it's too much like hard work. What I would like to see is some sort of "Pad # to Midi Note" which would remove a lot of the guess work although I'll probably write that myself and post it somewhere.
The filter is pretty good, especially as you can apply it globally or to specific samples. My personal favourite is the bitcrusher. When combined with the filter you can create some really crusty loops.
It's a shame CM and Muon couldn't make SR-202 and CM-101 available as a download over the net. I'm sure nobody would quibble about paying a very small amount of money for the priviledge.
For what it does this is a great plugin. The only complaint I have (which Muon is already aware of) is that Logic crashes when I touch a pad. I even downloaded the upgrade and it still crashed.
Moving Beyond the "it just comes free with a music magazine" snobbery i think this drum machine holds it's own among VST instruments that claim to be virtual drum machines and end up being cpu killers an user frustrators. No unbelievable stuff, just does what it says on the box.
The thing to remember is that this is no complicated si-fi synthesizer/sampler/beat manipulator. It's a beat box. A sampling drum machine. 16 pads playing sixteen samples. You can tweak those samples beyond recognition, you can really customize the feel of how a drum kit plays and off you go. Make some drum tracks.
All the edit features are extremly useful and being able to edit the whole kit globally as well as indivisual sounds makes the kit sit very well together.
The best feature in my opinion is the way this VstI saves drumkits. All samples and edits are saved into a custom SR202 file and (miricale) when you load a song you were working on three weeks ago, the drum track won't need 30 minutes of tweeking to sound as it did the last time, nor wil you have to go searching your hard disk for sounds you have moved without permision of your too expensive-too clever-drum sampler-manipulator-beat creator.
A small touch that is gaining popularity with VSTis is the heavy knobs, i.e. knobs that don't fly around like crazy from the slightest mouse click.
Ofcourse some things are calling out for improvement though. There is no support for stereo wave files and samples above 44k are labeled bad files. Hmm.
This free machine came with the somewhat expensive u.k. publication Computer Music.
It promises individual filter controls of each of 16 pads. It is a very nice looking interface and easy to program. It has a ton of potential and arrived with several nice samples.
Sadly, it froze several times on my Mac.
Muon support wrote promptly to me telling me that,
"There is a known conflict between SR202 and the ATI Rage 128 range of graphics cards installed in some Macs."
The temporary suggested fix is to turn off the 2d acceleration in my extention manager..It has still frozen with this fix though I can't be certain that the 202 is to blame.
If I had known that there was a known conflict with my video card, I would not have purchased this plug-in.
A very Good VSTi for drum programming. The longer I have played with this thing the more impressed I am with its abilities. Of course there are problems, particularly as I use Cubase VST 3.7, it refuses to save bank information. While I am assured by Muon (the programmers of the SR-202) that this is the result of issues inherent in Cubase VST 3.7, it is a pain and the usefulness of VSTi would be vastly improved if this was remedied by Steinberg for those unable to purchase Cubase VST 5.x.
While the sounds of the preset banks are good, the power available to make new presets or alter the pre-existing ones makes it a worthwhile acquisition.
For those outside of the UK, particularly Australia, CM is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. It would be an advantage if the SR-202 became available at some stage for free (or a small charge) download.
+ nice cheap drum machine for beginners
+ 30+ drumkits included
+ envelopes and filters
+ MIDI controllable
+ good value-for-money rate
+ DR-008 'upgrade' offer
- just another drum sample player
- CM distribution outside UK
Well, there are already many competitors on the "sample based drum VSTi" market. Of course this VSTi can't reach the features of the (much more expensive) category leaders DR-008, Battery, Attack or RM-III, but for it's cheap price it's a nice stable drum machine that is good for beginners who don't need all the features of the 'big' ones.
As CM-101, this VSTi is exclusively available on a CM cover disc (#40). If you don't already have a better drum machine, spending 5 UKP, the price of one CM issue, is probably worth it. The only problem is that for people outside UK it's not always easy to get CM for a fair price.
For those who reaches the limits of SR-202, there is also a special 'upgrade' offer in CM #40 to DR-008 for a reduced price ($99 vs $149).
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