Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
rlared
KVRist
319 posts since 1 Aug, 2016

Post Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:14 am

One area that I haven't found the right solution for is sequencing drums, both electronic and acoustic.

I have Addictive Drums 2, which I find great for quickly creating a basic acoustic drum track. But when it gets into creating variation or programming electric drums, I hate working with it. I prefer a workflow of using a sequencer rather than piano roll. I want to get something interesting down quickly and move on rather than spend a lot of time on the drums in the beginning.

What I'd like is a drum sampler that doesn't have too many kit pieces, like 8 or 16 max. Comes with a bunch of quality kits, including acoustic and electronic. Each kit piece can be tweaked with filters/effects or layered. Includes a nice sequencer on-board with repetitions, probability, modulation, swing, etc. The sequencer should help you in creating drum parts for a variety of genres with variation, verse/chorus, etc.

Being able to drag the MIDI sequences to the piano roll is necessary, but I'd also like a way to trigger the sequence via the piano roll (for example, C1 plays sequence 1, C#1 plays sequence 2).

Steinberg Groove Agent was pretty close to this, but I found the interface pretty terrible. Battery has no sequencer and way too many pads. And some of the other MPC-type plugins are DAW-specific and not VST's.

In theory I'd also be open to just a MIDI sequencer that sends output to a drum instrument, assuming that it's a fantastic MIDI drum sequencer that works magic.

Anyone working with anything that they'd recommend?

deastman
KVRAF
7049 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:24 am

Sounds like Geist 2 to me.

Also, for acoustic drum sequencing, check out Jamstix.
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Deep Purple
KVRian
1125 posts since 9 Jan, 2015 from NY, NY

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:24 am

+1 for Jamstix, and it's great value for money too.
Sweet child in time...

Protocol_b
KVRist
229 posts since 11 Nov, 2012

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:50 am

Again, Jamstix 4 - it does midi out too so you can drive whatever you want, and it comes with output maps to set up for various drum software to make life easy. Try the free version. It covers every detail on your list.

NTO
KVRist
193 posts since 8 Feb, 2011

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:11 am

Haven't tried Geist 2.
Jamstix was not as controllable as I wanted (trigger specific by notes),

Strike by Air Music Tech was do-able, and will drive your AD2 and GM mapped sets.
Less clear control, but more capable - MDrummer by Melda.

Straight2Vinyl
KVRist
243 posts since 10 Mar, 2017

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:19 am

Try the Geist 2 demo. It has everything you need and more, though for me personally I couldn't get to grips with it which is odd. Step sequencers and traditional samplers are usually super easy to get the hang of. I'll try it again some day.

SoundPorn
KVRian
706 posts since 24 Jul, 2018

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:25 am

And XLN's new X.O. doesn't fit this bill?

sidrat
KVRist
452 posts since 10 Aug, 2004

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:35 am

I've said it before and I'll say it again... Arturia SparkLE is a seriously underrated option for this type of thing. It goes on sale from time to time for about $150 (regularly $199) and comes with the full version of Spark 2. So, for less than the cost of many of the software-only options, you get the Spark 2 VSTi + a nice hardware controller to use with it if you like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3zcWN-zuK0

Also, there's an iOS version of Spark if you have an iPad...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMpcNe6HpG4

Good luck! :)

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mrj1nx
KVRian
508 posts since 29 Nov, 2015

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:44 am

Just wanted to mention Xfer Nerve. There's a series of videos on youtube that goes through how it works. I'd say it's pretty impressive for being so old (there's a resizable UI update on the way). Def worth a look. There's also a pretty cool expansion pack for it called "Re-Nerve", if you google Chris Cowie. I have it but it didn't 100% suit my workflow, but I intend to keep it in my rotation and try to get it in there over time. (I'm not using more than 5% or so of what it can do atm)

The other one I'd mention is Sonic Charge uTonic, it doesn't have sample loading, but it's still very awesome and worth checking out.

In my workflow, I mainly use Logic UltraBeat + uTonic + Logic Drumkit Designer, and from time to time, I throw in Nerve in the mix. But the foundation is Ultrabeat + uTonic (often layered kits + separate layered kicks, etc)

Protocol_b
KVRist
229 posts since 11 Nov, 2012

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:54 am

NTO wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:11 am
Haven't tried Geist 2.
Jamstix was not as controllable as I wanted (trigger specific by notes),

Strike by Air Music Tech was do-able, and will drive your AD2 and GM mapped sets.
Less clear control, but more capable - MDrummer by Melda.
I may not understand what you are saying here - JamStix definitely triggers song sections/patterns via midi note input, is that what you meant? (Not a big defender here, I don't even own it.)

I was into Strike, but found it very difficult to convince it to do probability per step, which is important to me. I could set it up for it, but it's response was weak. Like I mean it would almost never really changed the pattern to any great degree.

For the MAC, I liked Elektroid a lot, but it has no MIDI out and even when set to midi-trigger, it stupidly auto-blurts one bar every time I engage my transport. No help from the dev. So, useless in the end.

I confess that MDrummer got the best of me. It is more clever than I am. There, I said it.

Robmobius
KVRAF
3154 posts since 10 Sep, 2010 from A shit hole (Ireland).

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:56 am

Another vote for Geist 2.
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Deep Purple
KVRian
1125 posts since 9 Jan, 2015 from NY, NY

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:02 am

Protocol_b wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:50 am
Jamstix 4 - it does midi out too so you can drive whatever you want
That's usually how I use it - record the MIDI output then process that further and use it to trigger something else that has better kits.

The kits in Jamstix aren't too bad, but I have better, which is why I don't use the stock ones.
Sweet child in time...

GreyLion
KVRAF
3016 posts since 21 May, 2004 from Deep in the Heart of Texas

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:16 pm

Check out HY-RPE for the sequencing part. The free demo is fully-functional, I think, though it only lets you program three tracks and three block chains. It's fun!

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W23
KVRist
355 posts since 22 Sep, 2016

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:56 am

I have a bunch of them. I really like Stix by Xils right now. I also got it on sale, and you might find it a bit pricey. Then again, someone mentioned Nerve and that bit of software is both pricey, and in need of a GUI update (my eyesight is slowly going down the crapper, and the GUI and print is tiny). Nerve IS really cool, though. I understand GAS and all of that but, I’m betting that the OP has a pretty good drum sequencer already. It’s called a DAW. I have Stix, and Nerve, and Tattoo, and Geist (and probably a couple of others I’m forgetting) but, I am just as inclined to take a couple of drum loops, slice them up and throw them into my DAW’s sampler, and I get pretty great results most of the time. All of that other stuff I own just tells me I have a credit card, and I don’t mind stretching out payments over time for the sale of variety

rob_lee
KVRAF
7495 posts since 16 Oct, 2006 from North East UK

Re: Searching for the right Drum Sequencer VST

Post Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:13 pm

FX Geist2 is what you need. Just saying! :tu:

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