Kitcore is sold in two forms: Kitcore and KitCore Deluxe. The difference between the two is in the number of drum kits and MIDI groove files included with the package. This review covers KitCore Deluxe v.2.0.
The first thing to say is that anyone who buys KitCore is well advised to pay the extra $50 for the Deluxe version, unless you have absolutely no interest in acquiring an additional 2000 MIDI groove files and something like 100 additional drumkits for the relatively little extra cash. The quantity of MIDI files alone offered with the Deluxe version is greater than a lot of standalone MIDI file offerings selling for more.
Both the MIDI Grooves and the Drumkits are well constructed, and the variety of kits included in the Deluxe version is truly impressive. Each kit represents a kit used by a well-known professional drummer, e.g. Michael Shrieve, Alan White, etc., with appropriate sounds for everything from rock to blues to country to hiphop and electronica on tap. Because drum sounds from different kits can be combined and saved as a preset, the flexibility is enormous. It's hard to imagine that someone who needs anything like a conventional acoustic or electronic drumkit wouldn't find a decent option in KitCore.
The kits themselves sound good to very good in general, with the cymbals being the weakest parts. While the cymbal samples provided are generally well-recorded, they simply don't have enough velocity levels to be as convincing as the cymbals in EZDrummer. The snares, kicks, toms, etc. don't have the same problem. In fact, if you combine KitCore Deluxe with EZD, with Kitcore handling the drums and EZD the cymbals, you get what amounts to a fabulous expansion set for EZD at a fraction of the price of a single EZX expansion. In any case, these kits work very well in a mix, and at this price the variety is remarkably good value for money.
The software works as a VST plugin, and includes a pad setup with individual volume, panning, and tuning controls for every drum sound, as well as an overall volume control. Each kit is accompanied by a decent-sounding percussion kit that is apparently the same from kit to kit.
A groove browser window offers the ability to audition MIDI grooves against the selected drumkit, which can be dragged and dropped to a MIDI track in your DAW when the right groove is selected. A very nice feature is a visual display of the current MIDI pattern. The patterns are apparently based on actual performances by the drummers represented by the different kits. In any case, the grooves are very convincing, and a very wide range of styles are represented.
Submersible Music's tech support is extremely responsive to requests for help and to bug reports, as I can attest from personal experience. I have experienced relatively minor bugs with the product, none of which can't be worked around fairly easily.
Summary: this product is easy to use, sounds very good, and will plug a lot of holes in most people's drum inventory. The value for money is excellent. Recommended for those who want plenty of good drums and grooves for cheap, and recommended also as an inexpensive high-value add-on to other drum samplers like EZDrummer. Songwriters looking to put demos in multiple styles together especially should find a lot to love in this package.
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