There was an audio noob in a post who tried DR-008 and found it confusing. It is the best VST in my mind, apart from Vanguard for synths, to come into the world.
First off, it comes with so many kits and presets! There are no .wav files as it's all presets for modules... Once i bought it and registered it (btw tech support ROX THANK YOU FXPANSION YOU ANSWERED MY QUESTIONS @ 4:00 AM in a previous post, as i'm in US and din't realize they were in britain, bought the thing at SamAsh), they sent me a username to the site where you can download prolly over a gig of preset libraries in .rar format. i still haven't downloaded all of them. each library volume comes with like 30 preset kits, it's amazing. I love them!
Apart from those presets, DR-008 comes with the most internal presets i've ever seen a software have. You have all sorts of drums, acoustic and synthetic. The only thing I wish they'd do is make the Drum008 preset have less presets or make it easier to scroll. That's the only disadvantage, that there's no automatic wheel to scroll down, you have to click.
i have nothing bad to say about it, except that it has more channels for routing MIDI to than my keyboard has :( meaning that I have to make mulitple windows, which slightly increases my CPU load (in any case, this is AMAZING in respect to CPU: i have a P4 3Ghz and 1 GB of RAM, this thing goes SO fast and doesn't use any CPU)
I still am learning how to use it: the mixer windows look interesting nad I also have to learn how to use the various non-sound plugins, like SamplerFlam, or something like that, which i am still trying to understand. I'll problaby do that learning after finals =P
If you have a hundred bucks to spend, i would recommend dr-008 to you with all my heart. it's one of the best bargains ever. Battery is like the same price, but DR-008 gives so much more!!
This modular vsti comes with 38 modules : 4 samplers, 26 synths and 8 performance modules (sequencer, flam, roll...) i just want to "update" some olders reviews that i just read and are now wrong : There is 328 kits for 2.87 Go, 6 do more than 30Mo, 12 more than 50 Mo and 6 more than 100 Mo. So there is a lot of excellent kit, some multisampled. some kits are provided by Gmedia, Wizoo, Redshift and Yellow. There is 26 synths, some with ring modulation or FM some modules are written by top developer : MDA and SmartElectronix And finaly you can buy it for the price of a sample cd The DR-008 is the central vsti of my virtual studio.
I originally bought Battery back in the day to have a solid, sample playback drum machine, but there was still something 'lacking'. That void that needed to be filled was a synthesized drum machine. Well, I was glad to see that DR-008 blended those two desires together seamlessly, so it was hard not to fall in love! The interface is well laid out, the sampled sounds are fantastic, especially the WizLive kit, and the synthesized kicks will kick a hole right in your chest, it's hard to find something not to love about this drum module.
DR-008 now comes with well over 1 gig of sampled kits, and the addition of the new synth modules to go along with it, DR-008 has simply become the drum machine to beat. The value for money simply can't be matched in the drum market if you like to build and program your own beats by hand. Certainly worthy to take a look at the demo and judge for yourself if this will fill in the nitch for your drum module.
This vsti gets the heaviest use of any of my plugins. I'll quickly list some pros and cons.
Pros very stable fast and easy to use several different types of samplers available lots of synth modules does everything a drum machine should be able to do easy file browsing supports drag'n'drop supports mfx such as slicydrummer and fillindrummer supports use with phatmatik pro lots of sampler cells good documention
Cons I'm not sure I would call anything a "con"
There are a few features that I would like to see added (hide unused cells, amp envelope), but I believe things like this will be added in the next release.
I demo'd Battery, and found dr-008 to be far superior. Tech support is excellent. There is a large library of kits available to users. This product is winner.
DR-008 is the most flexible drum synth/sample playback instrument currently available. If you looked at the features you will see several drum synthesis modules, several pattern and fill creation tools and a rock solid performer as a VSTi.
Most everything has been said about DR-008 so I won't add too much more other than mentioning the smart idea to make a development kit available for people to create new modules for DR-008. This extends the use and purpose of this VSTi. Using something like the 3rd party Slicy Drummer module with DR-008 and you have a formidible rhythm section.
It is nice to see pattern sequencing in a drum VSTi. In fact, it's the biggest negative I have towards DR-008's competitors. It is especially nice to be able to set up a kit set up your drum rhythms and assign to a midi note. In effect you can get as simple or complex as you want and with tools for creating fills and shifting textures you've got an all inclusive kit.
The only negative (if you want to call it that) are the lack of high quality samples. That said there are good samples on the net for free and available at reasonable prices. If you have LM-4 you are in luck because you can import any LM-4 kit, very nice. I haven't seen the Battery kit conversion - been too busy creating and experimenting.
On the final note, DR-008 is great because it allows for simplicity but can be complex. It allows for working fast or with great precision. Although lacking Battery's sample editing tools DR-008 makes up for it with it's ease of use and different approach to how a drum VSTi should work. Attack users note, Attack is a good synth and different from DR-008. That said you can do a lot with what is provided and what will be.
BTW, there is a generous library of over 1 gb of drum samples available free in highly comressed kits. They range from good to excellent - tastes depending.
If you haven't tried Dr-008 and you use another drum machine/sample player which isn't giving all you need then now is the time to test Dr-008.
The most useful aspect of Dr-008 is it's interface in my opinion. It's very quick and easy to understand how to set up a kit in Dr-008. I like the fact that samples or drumsynths can be assigned to notes. This makes it easy to programme midi notes in a sequencer and to play using a keyboard.
The drum synths are very functional and cover a wide range of presets for familiar kit sounds. I would have liked to see more cymbals and claps but it's easy to programme these. The ability to use samples as well as synth sounds is a great advantage over most other drum vsti's out there.
The modular concept of Dr-008 bodes very well for the future and this is another strong point in its favour. The possibility to add bass and lead synth modules could lead to the Dr-008 becoming a much more versatile instrument.
The reason I wrote this review was to discuss the benefits of using Dr-008 with MusicLab's plugins, SlicyDrummer and FillinDrummer. Both plugins can be used in Dr-008 and offer the facility of midi drum rhythmn sequencing. Drum sounds in Dr-008 can be played using MusicLabs plugins and these patterns can then be programmed in a sequencer.
The MusicLab plugins contain pre-programmed midi loops and multiple instances of the plugins can be opened in Dr-008. So the whole process of creating loops, fills and endings with whatever sounds you like is phenominally easy.
Dr-008, although reasonably expensive in my opinion, is a very versatile instrument and the added bonus of third party development in the shape of the MusicLab plugins has to make the Dr-008 an essential purchase for any musician who needs a drum programming work horse.
Now if only Fxpansions and MusicLab can get together and provide us with a more competitive bundle offer then I think those who have yet to buy will be in seventh heaven.
I got the DR-008 with Sonar XL a while back, and really hardly used it, not that it wasn't good, but it was just easier to go on using my hardware drum machine whose kits and program eccentricities I was used to.One day I came across a huge zip file of several classic drum machines, and mapped them out to the DR-008 and found the process to be extremely intuitive, "nice" I thought, but again would only use the DR-008 when I needed one of those kits. So then I discover a very large drum kit on the net with multiple velocities which needs to be mapped out. Now I'm thinking this is going to be a pain as opposed to the single velocity analog style drum machine sounds I had mapped in the past, but this thought couldn't have been more wrong. The DR-008 made mapping out this huge (200+MB) kit a breeze, and extremely intuitive. Having access to all the pads in one screen, then the method of assigning/editing modules (anything from a sampler to a drum synth) to those pads was not only easy in a relative perspective, but so easy that never having done anything like this before, I only needed to consult the manual (extremely well written BTW) to find out which of the four sampler modules was the one I wanted to use. From then on in I was home free. Angus has a forum here, and has always been extremely helpful anytime I've ever had a problem with any FXpansion product. The GUI is a bit intimidating at first, but insanely easy to come to grips with, it's just not as sexy as it probably could be, but extremely functional. As far as I'm concerned this is THE drum sampler to own.
initially confusing and fiddly on the more general view settings . . . but the more you use it the more intuitive and well-laid out you realise it is . . . all the drag n drop features make it a doddle to set up your kits and tweak them on the go . . . i wouldnt describe it a pretty but it sure is functional
sound . . .
obviously the sample-based stuff depends on your samples but all the individual drumsynths sound excellent [not tried attack but im not sure it could be MUCH better than this . . . the ability to use the mda drumsynth inside dr008 is a fantastic touch too
features . . .
an absolute shedful !! . . . and pretty much all top quality . . . personal favourites ? . . .
- import of lm4 [and [in beta] battery] kits - the vsi[i] embedding and sequencing [beta again] - the ability to preview samples for your loop in realtime - the drag n drop support [dr008+pHatpro=rhythm bliss]
documentation . . .
exemplary . . . very clearly laid out step-by-step stuff
presets . . .
well not exactly . . . but the regularly updated selection of free kits available to registered users are of excellent quality [especially now the wizlive kit is back online] . . . and the recent addition of the kits from the gmedia boxed version online just makes this aspect of the plug all the better
support . . .
angus is THE man . . . always available to answer queries / sort stuff out . . . always willing to take the time for his customers and very forthcoming [to me at least] with beta versions of new modules for testing etc.
value . . .
not exactly cheap [but not expensive either . . . compared to its nearest rivals like battery / attack . . . which youd need in combination to touch dr008 performance] . . . but excellent value for money considering the scope and capabilities of this plugin
stability . . .
its never EVER crashed on me
overall . . .
if you couldnt have guessed . . . i absolutely LOVE this thing !!
I first tried programming drums from Soundfonts...bad idea...Then had heard so much about the Dr008 from word of mouth that I had to give it a go. I've never looked back since. It's incredibly easy to use, with the latest update integrating with Sonar's Drum editor view you'd nearly have to try to get something wrong. Earlier versions have given me some stability issues when on very complex projects although I haven't had any problems since updating to 1.11 . There is now a huge library of kits available free to registered users (over 600mb and growing), aswell as a number of commercial kits for purchase.
The few times I've had to contact support the response has been very quick and always on the mark.
To be honest I haven't tried any other drum synths, but thats just because I've never needed anything (yet :) ) that I can't find in the Dr008.
Phenomenal... If I have one complaint about this amazing piece of software, it's that FXPansion didn't do a better job selling it to me in the first place! So I wound up with LM-4 and Battery, and Attack... when all along this kickass piece of gear was out there waiting for me.
The concept of DR-008 takes a few minutes to grok, and the excellent manual is definitely not an optional read in my estimation... you really need to check it out to see what all is possible.
Frankly, there's just nothing else to compare it to. An open, modular drum-oriented sample playback platform with a bevy of modules. 'Battery vs. DR-008' isn't a fair comparison, though I've seen many conversations on this topic... you might compare ONE of DR-008's modules to Battery, likewise you might compare ONE or TWO of DR-008's modules to Attack, but again... this doesn't make sense. In reality, DR-008 is all of these tools and more. The ability to have a different 'module' on each pad is flat-out brilliant.
And I have to weigh in on the UI design, too. Having four separate views for different needs is phenomenal. DR-008 really works the way I work, so I can switch between a high-level, 'birds-eye' view of the drum layout, to a more detailed mixing console type layout for detailed work.
The DR-008 kits that came with SONAR 2 XL, including goodies from Manytone and Kenfen, are for the most part top rate. (Some duds, but mostly immediately useful) I think it would be smart to include kits that show off more of DR-008's other modules, rather than just the simple sampler.
And the whammy for me? Drumsynth support. I've been using MDA's drumsynth as a 'secret weapon' for quite some time now... and DR-008 has one built right in, plus all the awesome presets that come with DrumSynth are available immediately in DR-008 using the DrumSynth008 presets.
Battery and LM4 kit import support round out the amazing list of features, and frankly, I can't say enough.
Okay, so I gotta confess, I hesitated reviewing this because earlier this week there was a debate raging about the review ratings being too high, and I knew I'd look like a gushing idiot when I wrote this. But, you know what? This thing is absolutely lovely, and deserves near-perfect ratings. First, there's the interface. Well, it aint pretty on the surface, but it gets the jobs done, and manages an awfully lot of information in the space allotted. The modular approach allows a lot of flexibility, hence complexity. I briefly glanced at the electronic documentation, and it seemed thorough enough, but frankly, the interface is so intuitive, I've not looked at the manual again. No paper manual, so an eight for documentation, but like I said, I've not needed it. How does it sound? In a word, marvellous. The combination of synthesis and feature-packed sampling modules makes this all the drum-machine I'll need, and more. I've always used drum-machines in a very utilitarian fashion; load a bunch of samples, get the beat down. With DR-008, however, I'm INSPIRED, and that's invaluable, isn't it? The various modules have presets, and the presets cover more than I'll need in this lifetime, including the dear old CR-78 and Acetone sounds. However, I still have a blast crafting my own sounds with the various modules' editors. Angus of FXPansion seems attentive to his customers needs and questions, and a nice enough guy, at that. He's earned the respect of many here at KVR, and that's a good sign. I've not had any trouble with the DR-008, and have worked it pretty hard this week. It never faltered, or gave me reason to think it might. Oh, and I forgot to mention the fantastic 16-step sequencer module. Man, that's cool; sequences zones accross the keyboard. I got it with the SONAR 2 XL upgrade, but would gladly have forked over the $149 asking price. Fantastic!
When I start a song, this is all the drum synth I really need. Rock solid, versatile, and once you get over the intimidation of all this power it's really easy to use. Of course it's got great sampling options, but what I really love about it is the synth modules--the Triangle is not an obvious need, but incredibly sweet sounding and versatile. I have NEVER found the tambourine sounds I wanted until I used the Tambourine module in DR-008. The freeware module from DelayDots, the Synare, was exactly what I needed in one song I needed. The various kick modules are killer. And so on. And I love the versatility of the output configurations. A class product.
The best modular drum sampler/synth ever. i'm not joking. inside of it u have all that u would have in a drum module: easy access to parameters, multiple views for different use, individual mixing with big sliders, weird synthesis tecnique ( try to make your own drumsound !! ) and many types of samplers ( from easy to multiple to velocity layers one ) and multiple outputs freely assignable ( with the UNIQUE possibility of having the AUX out !! when u start understand what is for u never forget this ! ). Also is really modular and you can plug not only drumsound but event like flams or easy stepsequencer or inverter... and so... 10 !
Pro: + flexible open module concept + both sample based and synthetic drums + easy drag&drop drumkit creation + LM-4 kit import
Con: - no waveform+envelope display in sampler modules - ugly graphics (well, I know what should count is the sound quality and easy handling (which are great) but somehow my eyes also wants to be pleased :-)
This is one of the strongest current available VSTi drum modules.
The biggest advantage is the (as far as I know) unique flexible open concept: the sound is created by various plugin modules.
On a 8x12 pad matrix, you can assign any of these pads to any of those modules using easy drag&drop, you can choose between several samplers (from a simple one through velocity layered to envelope controlled) and several synthetic drum generators covering nearly all needs. There should be more in development, and the first 3rd party module from DelayDots is available now. You can also import the available (freeware+commercial) LM-4 kits.
It combines sample playing extremely well with numerous types of drum synthesis, which can be mixed and matched and tweaked freely.
To date it has 13 different synths and 4 different samplers. This is a lot to explore, yet there are enough presets or LM4 kits to import so that you can get started immediately, without having to "get technical".
There are other goodies also inc auto flam, alternate, roll and sequence.
An attractive feature is the animated interface so that from one single screen you can see everything that it going on, no matter how complex the kit, an essential to my mind.
I don't own Battery or Attack, but DR-008 appears to combine the best of both for around the same money, another good point.
Angus Hewlett, the author, is committed to developing the product with promises of more features, synths etc. So far he has backed this up with the free Synare synth module, which is some proof of this committment.
17 months later: Still using it. Drum machine of choice!
20 months later: Now got low cost Slicy and Fill-In Drummer Plugs. Just keeps getting better.