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Ocean Way Drums

Reviewed By buscemi [all]
September 16th, 2009
Version reviewed: Silver on Mac

I tried not to give this all tens but as I run through the ratings, I find:

User Interface: I understand what's going on right away. I feel like I'm in my comfort zone - like recording and mixing a real drum set but on steroids, with more powerful tools than I've had before. When I first used OWD I wasn't too familiar with the Kontakt Player interface but it still made sense. I started using this, Drum Masters, and Infinite Player about the same time. So it was also a great introduction to the Kontakt "style"

Sound: These kits sound so good, they give all of the other virtual drum products I use more than a run for their money. When I think "best sound" out of all of them OWD comes to mind first. I use Drum Masters (also from Sonic Reality so they're pitting their own drum sounds against one another very nicely), EZDrummer, Battery 3, Addictive Drums, GURU, and others so I have a good set to compare. OWD kills in sound quality.

Features: OWD has a full set of features, more than enough to get great drum sounds with minimal effort. The multiple sounds (Dry, Medium, Ambient) are easy to dial in and tweak. The Kontakt Player has a great feature set and this is well-designed within the player. It is easy to have a professional-level multi-out drum set. With the added bonus that it was engineered by some incredibly talented big names at one of the premier studios in the world.

Documentation: I watched the videos on the DVD that came with OWD while I was installing it, and there are videos available on the http://www.oceanwaydrums.net/ site. The manual is very good too, and can be downloaded before you purchase the product. This is useful for people trying the free kit available at http://www.downloadablesoundz.com/freesoundz2.php

Presets: The Dry, Medium, and Ambient presets are great on their own. The sound of these drums is so top-quality that you can just load a preset but then the tweaking is amazing too. Lots of flexibility but built on really great presets.

Customer Support: Sonic Reality has never let me down with support. I've purchased many products and sounds through them and their support is always prompt and helpful. They've even helped with products that they are merely a vendor for (IK Multimedia, for example) because they are power users of the products they sell whether they create them or not.

Value For Money: I think the downloadable (DL/Expandable) series are amazing value for the money and I never would have expected them at that price point. The Silver is what I have and is still an incredible value. I believe that all of the series are well-priced to be within reach of many people and the different offerings are very flexible. I don't need the high sample rates and I'm not forced into buying them due to the availability of a version that's perfect for my needs.

Stability: I haven't had a crash and the kits all load up fine for me so I couldn't strike this down any points either. The chosen platform is a great choice for this reason.

I don't think I'm the only one who can say "if you want great virtual drums, use Ocean Way Drums" - Sonic Reality really did a great job getting a great room, great engineers, and great sounds. There's no doubt in my mind about that.
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