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Groove Agent 3

Virtual Drummer Plugin by Steinberg
No Longer Available
Groove Agent 3 has been replaced by: Groove Agent
Groove Agent
Groove Agent Groove Agent
Groove Agent 3 by Steinberg is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin and a DirectX Plugin. It supports ReWire.
Synth Application
Sample Formats
Loads and/or Saves
Copy Protection
Dongle (USB-eLicenser)
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Groove Agent 3 combines a huge library of drum and percussion sounds with a range of player technologies to give you dynamic, ready-to-go drums, beats, rhythms and percussion in only a few mouse clicks. Top-quality drum samples and live recorded drum performances in a massive number of variations cover 123 different styles from over 50 years of music history, automatically synced to the song tempo. And Groove Agent 3 also features more kits and sounds, including 3 new top-rate acoustic drum kits, as well as the ability to import user samples in wav and AIFF format for even more flexibility.

Groove Agent 3 adds two new agents to the Classic Agent seen in previous versions: Special Agent and Percussion Agent. While the Special Agent adds a realistic studio drummer complete with new acoustic drum kits to Groove Agent 3's arsenal, the Percussion Agent is specialized in percussive grooves and beats. The new Dual Mode puts any two of the three agents together in the recording studio for virtual drum and percussion sessions – all within one single VST instrument.


  • Add inspiring live drum patterns and percussion performances in real-time to your song and quickly record the result.
  • Covers almost any style: 123 styles total - 108 Groove Agent and 15 Special Agent drum styles plus hundreds of percussion performances played by professional studio drummers - automatically synced up to song tempo.
  • Variations with 25 complexity levels in each style, including fills, intros, endings and half tempo feel variations.
  • Huge audio library: 10 detailed acoustic kits and 9 drum machines plus a vast array of acoustic and electric percussion sounds.
  • Classic Groove Agent module offers fully editable drum styles with corresponding kits and FX.
  • Special Agent module features 15 complete live drumming styles, each containing 75 different performances.
  • Percussion Agent module with 8 groups of percussion grooves with hundreds of percussion performances.
  • Dual Mode combines the creative power of two Agents playing side by side within the same VSTi.
  • Flexible User Import Sample feature (wav/AIFF) - Create your own kits.
  • Realistic rolls and paradiddles thanks to Alternating hits for each drum on every note. This means no more machine gun effect.
  • Auto Fill functionality and useful Speed control for jamming and practicing.
  • RealAmbience technology offers true recorded ambience for drum kits to perfectly blend into any mix.
  • 9-band EQ and compressor for each of the 12 stereo outputs, useful Presets included.
  • Record Groove Agent beats to a MIDI track with Cubase and Nuendo or export Groove combinations to a MIDI file for further editing in any host.
  • Supports all major formats: VST, DXi, AU + Rewire for easy Pro Tools integration.
  • Standalone version with multiple-output support included.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.00 from 1 review

Reviewed By Ned Bouhalassa
May 28, 2003

Installing Groove Agent was a breeze, except when it came to getting the kits to load for the first time. This problem does not occur with Cubase. If you’re a Logic, or other user, you can get the details about this extra procedure on the very useful Groove Agent website’s forum: http://vg.clubcubase.net/vgforum/viewforum.php?f=2

The samples are of high quality. There are dozens of kicks, snares, hats, percussion, from different time periods. Many have a boxy quality, but that’s expected when a 50s kit is used. Each element is also offered in one of two mic placements - very natural sounding. You can also route each element to one of four outputs, for further processing. The downside is that you can’t load your own samples.

GA has a fresh interface, the kits load quickly, and, since the pattern variations are MIDI sequences, it’s very easy to ‘jam’ with the machine in real-time. Everytime I start improvising with the complexity button, I easily loose an hour of my day.

The most authentic styles for me are found in the pre-80s offerings. The playing is very good, even a bit sloppy in some parts (that’s a good thing!). If you already have lots of techno, hip-hop, breakbeat, house loops, and you’re looking for something different, this tool might do the trick. As a soundtrack composer, I often have to re-create styles from the past, and this will now be the first VSTi that I will call up when I need a rumba, or a bossa nova, etc. On the other hand, I would not use this VSTi for more modern electronic music. Although, I did achieve a certain element of freshness when I combined their electronic kit with say, the bossa nova or fox patterns (50s).

In the info window, there’s a handy Range field that suggests a tempo range for each style. This helps to give your choice a realistic feel. I didn’t ‘get’ some of the styles until I set Logic’s tempo to a number in the suggested range. Of course, you can always play a Rumba at 174 bpm if you’re in the mood.

My favourite part is the MIDI keyboard shortcuts. Since all the samples are triggered below A#3, the keys above that note can do several things, depending on whether the MIDI channel is even or odd: you can select the level of complexity, add fills, mute elements, add accents, select memory locations (different kits!), even the mod wheel can add fills!

My major criticisism is that there could be more velocity layers for each element (kick, snare). You still get 3 to 5 different samples per velocity, but with the Giga libraries sometimes offering 16 samples per key, we’re all getting a little more demanding.

(As an update to this review, I'd like to state that along with many other Logic and DP users, I have experienced random muting in GA. This problem has been posted often on the official GA forum, but there has been no reply. I was hoping for news of an update, but 1 year after its release, there is nothing to report - too bad!)Read Review

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