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I owned this instrument for quite a while some time ago, but ended up selling for reasons described below. I'm a songwriter guy, so that will reflect on my review.
I'll start with the PROs:
The dynamics and round-robins are great, this might be my all time favorite kit in terms of feeling "alive" when you play it. At times I had some issues with keeping the dynamics in a certain range, but that can be solved by setting the response curve.
The sample quality is outstanding, NI and Abbey Road are sure 2 good companies.
The room mics sound lovely, definitely add to the "alive" feeling, I liked the control over mono and stereo room mics for various applications.
The CONs (for my specific situation):
Being a song writer, I want my instruments to load within a certain time range, so they are ready when inspiration strikes. Due to the long loading times, I found my self often waiting for the VST to load, so I wouldn't recommend this as a songwriter tool.
I couldn't manage to make the drums "sit" in the track. I suspect this might be due to the specific sound of the gear and room used @ Abbey Road. Whatever I did with the drums, I never was happy with the result as they wouldn't blend well with the rest of my recording. I never experienced this issue with another drum library, I tried my best, in the end I just became frustrated and sold it.
Again, this one might be my personal taste, but I couldn't find a basic, generic, bread and butter snare drum that would fit my music. They all sounded kinda fancy, but I couldn't find a basic, ol' pop-rock snare drum, or at least not the kind I was looking for. Again, I never experienced this issue with another drum instrument.
At the time I owned this product, the cymbals and snare drums couldn't be used between the 2 provided kits. Meaning, if I liked the cymbals in kit 1 and snare in kit 2, there just wasn't a way to use them together. I found this incredibly annoying, knowing the ride I like is there, but couldn't be matched with the kick I liked.
Routing and working within Kontakt was cumbersome and left me frustrated from time to time.
I don't really think MD is a bad product, the quality is definitely there but I think a potential buyer should take the above mentioned CONs into consideration before buying. Maybe watch a youtube review or at least listen to the samples on NI's page.
This Sample Set is a fantastic piece of software! It's looks and sounds gorgeous. I've been playing drums for 30 years, and these samples are very, very realistic. That's probably due to the fact that each drum and cymbal has 30 velocity layers.
The mixer controls are easy to use, and well laid out. The randomize works well without making everything sound too randomized. And the GUI is gorgeous. Seriously, these graphics kick butt.
The Lite kits are easiest on my CPU. The fully loaded presets take awhile to load, but are very stable and glitch free once loaded.
Not only that, but the FREE Kontakt 4 Player is stable, and glitch free too! Bloated-overly-coded-slow installer aside, well done NI: You deserve a case of beer for this one.
Installing this on my PC was a trial by fire. It tested every ounce of my PC tech ability. In the end though, it all worked out great.
Let me explain what I had to go through to get this up and running:
1. My HD space was quite full (I had less than 3gigs left), and NI's verifier/installer refused to complete it's process. At first I thought the installer was the problem, or might have even been corrupt.
2. So I called NI support. They were GREAT and very helpful. They suggested I "make room" on the C drive. I couldn't free up enough space no matter what I tried so...
3. I did some research and figured out how to clone my C drive to the other larger drive in my PC (I ended up using HDClone). Then I had to merge the free space with the clone using Partition Magic, as well as reposition the drives on the boot chain. After erasing the original C drive contents I was all good to go!
It sounds easier than it reads. It actually took 4-6 hours to troubleshoot, clone, etc..
If you're impatient, word to the wise: Even after all that the NI install process took about 35 minutes. I'd even go so far as to say that the installer is the slowest I've ever used in my 10 years of DAW plug-in use (especially considering that the 16GB Braunschweig Upright Piano I use took far less time to complete).
All in all, though, the Abbey Road 60's Drum Sampleset is a winner.