Just bought this pack last night. AMAZING! I've been looking for this sound for years. I own a lot of commercial drum libraries which I still find useful (Studio Drummer, Abbey Road, Ezdrummer2 + various EZXs), but none of them come close to this for a vintage Ludwig sound. What I like best is the fact that you can get a really nice dry sound as well. The kick and snare are perfect. If you're signing up with a new account make they offer 20% off with your first purchase also. Also should mention that the Kontakt scripting is very similar to the Native Instruments drum libraries so it will be familiar if you have used those products.
*Disclaimer: I'm a songwriter, producer, and educator. My writing style may read like a billboard ad, but my user review is sincere and authentic. I only appraise a product I consider extraordinary, hence the high rating. I don't work for the developer. In fact, I rarely work at all. :-) I hope you find my review useful. — Tommy Zai
I am not a adverspammer! LOL
The 1965 Ludwig Super Classic Kit by DrumDrops is an excellent drum sample library and rhythm workstation that provides a detailed patch for Kontakt. The Pack contains up to sixteen velocities per articulation and 5 round robins that total over 8000 individual samples. The kit sounds great out-of-the-box and it is easily customizable and adjustable. Ludwig's Super Classic model was a standard configuration for the industry and used by many top drummers, including the one and only Ringo, who served a song without dominating it! The '65 kit had a simple, compact configuration; yet, it was powerful enough to drive some of the greatest bands in the history of pop, rock, jazz, soul, etc. I love having "Ringo in a box, " but even if I weren't a Beatle-maniac I would buy this sample library for the pure sound of the kit. There is something very special about it! This library is everything I sonically hoped for — authentic, warm, tight, punchy, alive, and personal without any unwanted room ambience. I'm not sure what microphones, preamps, drummers, and engineers were used to create this sample library, but whatever and whoever they are — they did a sweet job. Until now, I had been constructing my pseudo Super Classic Kit by cannibalizing bits and pieces from various sample libraries to approximate the sound I was after. Sadly, coming close was not good enough. In addition to the authentic sound, DrumDrops has created an interface that serves as a rhythm workstation. It comes with a Groove Player, featuring 800 or so MIDI patterns created by real drummers and an eight channel, 32-step per channel Step Sequencer. There is also a Groove Slicer that I have yet to explore. The beat creation aspect of this pack allows me to finally ditch some of the other subpar sample libraries that I've been holding onto that have a groove player.
Kick Drum: Vintage 1965 Ludwig Super Classic (14" X 20").
Snare #1: 1960s Rogers Dynasonic Wooden Snare (5.5" X 14).
Snare #2: 1970s Ludwig 402 Snare (5" X 14").
Rack Tom: Vintage 1965 Ludwig Super Classic (13" x 9").
Floor Tom: Vintage 1965 Ludwig Super Classic (16" X 16").
Ride: 1970s Zildjian K Medium Heavy 20" Ride.
Crash: 1970s Zildjian K Dark Medium Thin 18" Crash.
Hi Hat: 1970s Zildjian K 14" Hi Hats.
My Favorite Features:
Simple, powerful interface.
Easy to process according to taste.
Randomization feature for tuning, velocities, EQ, etc.
Sequencer and Groove player.
Microphone blend – ability to vary the balance of the different microphones at their respective positions.
Eight channel mixer (Mute, Solo, Phase Reverse, etc.) with excellent routing to DAW.
Built in buss compressor and tape saturator.
Useful mix presets.
Responsive, innovative developer.
Value for the Price:
Excellent quality vs. price ratio when compared to other vintage packs.
Quality of the Sound:
Unmistakably the real thing. Sound is phenomenal, and with very little imagination I can feel and smell the mahogany.
Can I add my own MIDI drum patterns to the Groove Player?
What revisions and updates are projected for this library?
This is a bittersweet day for me as a songwriter and producer. Sweet, because I finally have one complete, authentic, great sounding, industry standard 1965 Ludwig Super Classic Kit; Bitter, because I no longer have any excuses. My muse is looking me and asking, "Well, are you going to chew gum or bang out some beats?" Now that I have this drum sample library, it's time to create some music! I highly recommend this kit to any eMusician, producer, sound designer, film or video sound-tracker, video gamer, DJ, etc., who digs the vintage, yet timeless mid-60s sound. Tommy Zai gives this fine Kontakt 5 Pack two hard-hitting rim shots help up high! Thank you, DrumDrops, for resurrecting and breathing life back into my ultimate dream kit.
Hi VariKusBrainZ, I'm Tommy Zai. I've done a lot of writing over the years and have often been criticized that my writing sounds like a billboard ad. I nearly failed a master's level course because of it. ;-0. But I'm real and my review is real. I'm NOT adverspamming, although that might make a good screen name. LOL In short, I think Ludwig Super Classic is by far the most authentic vintage mid to late 60s kit out there. It's also a fantastic value. I've tried all of those genre kits, and while some have their good points, I've always had to replace either a snare, kick, cymbals, etc. This kit by DrumDrops is self-contained and allows me to focus on music. .. finally! I'm tired of spending my time assembling kits, collecting sounds, and trying to make it all work.
For what it's worth, I'm a teacher. I use music as a means of reaching "at risk" teens in a developing area of Asia. This semester I will continue teaching the history of western music, focusing on the 60s. I will use a controller, maybe even the virtual one by Aerodrums, to have the kids bang out beats. Who knows, maybe I'll find the next Ringo or Bonham. ;-).
Hi Cap'n Spanky, Yes! I have compared Ludwig Classic Super Kit to EZ Drummer, Superior, and Addictive. I do not own all of them, but I played with them and their vintage packs. I didn't want my review to mention other products, but I'm happy to share why I chose DrumDrops over the big three competitors you mentioned.
EZ Drummer is straightforward and sounds good out-of-the-box. It's great for home demos a la Garage Band workflow; however, it's not versatile enough and has a baked in processing — not dry enough for my taste. Superior Drummer is an excellent system that has lots and lots of control; however, the learning curve for comprehensive control is steep and users cannot easily replace instruments. The stock libraries and the Custom & Vintage SDX have a lot to offer. There are many usable instruments in there, but I feel the snares were weak and the toms weren't punchy enough. Also, the cymbals are average. As a result, once again, I am forced to mix and match to get the 60s sound. Addictive Drums I love the cymbals throughout their collection, and the Black Oyster expansion is no exception. This also has its own engine, and it seems a bit easier than Toontrack for building your own kit.
I'm sure a good 60s-ish kit could be assembled by with mixing and matching instruments within and outside of any of the above mentioned, but I'm tired of being Dr. Frankenstein. With the 1965 Ludwig Super Classic Kit by DrumDrops I have my dream kit where it belongs — in one kit! It might come down to your workflow, your finances, and if you already own Kontakt. It made sense for me to go with DrumDrops!
I do not like the ringeing after sound of the snare in the Ludvig kit. The just introduced Slingerland I find much better. But then agian personal taste is difficult to compare.I own:
MOR (Ministry of Rock from EastWest). For drum sound I think nothing compares.
Addictive. 1 was ok. 2 is a step backwards as they chenged the browsing system.
DrumCore, so far only 32-bit and we are waiting for DrumCore 4 with 64-bit. I paid for the upgrade almost 2 years ago. Still not released. Just great service. Most companies goes out of business whith this way of doing business.
EzDrummer 2. Superiors lillte brother but with an upgraded GUI. Sometimes I use EzDrummer for composition and turn to Superior before mixing. Superior har slightly more hit variety. (and other drumsets).
Native Instruments. Some good kits but less interesting GUI makes these kits less used by me. If I am going to do it the cumbersome way for sound, I turn to MOR.
In daily use I find Superior Drummer the best. I am not a drummer and I always start with pre made grooves. MOR does not have a MIDI player so it is a little bit cumbersome to use (as Drum Drops).
Thanks for the point about the snare ring. We left it on purpose as we felt it was a good part of the character of the snare on this kit. You could always gate it to remove the ring I guess. We are releasing a Folk Rock kit soon which was recorded on a Ludwig Hollywood (same kit as the Classic but with two toms) and this maybe a good choice for you, although it only close mics the kick and the snare utilising 3 kit mics as well. (Old 70s style recording). There will be lots more kits though and like you say people like different kits for different reasons.
Do you think the MIDI player in the Drumdrops kontakt pack is difficult to use ? How would you like it improved ?
That you can drag grooves directly from the browser instead of the neccessary loading one by one first. This saves a double click.
It seems that "change grooves on a fly" has a little delay. Seems that Drum Drops want to finish the loaded groove in full (?) before changing to the new groove.
Otherwise I find Drum Drops great and I am looking forward spending time with the new Slingerland kit.
As of the snare ringing in the Ludvig kit, I know I can gate it but the ringing starts early and gating will snap off the snare too early.
BTW I like dry drums the best. I have each drum in a separate channel in my DAW (Cubase or Logic) and add whatever FX there. Thus FX in the drum software is not needed from my point of view. I rather have the development fundings spent on more sets, or multiple samplings (like with and without the ringing on the Ludvig snare), than FX like EQ, reverb and so on. Not even a pan and a volume fader is needed as it is in the DAW. It does not matter if they are there but it is really not needed.
Thanks for your feedback. I think some of those features with the MIDI grooves are not possible because of the constraints of Kontakt. Fair point about the ring. We shall try to have non ringing and ringing snare options in future. We have just introduced what we call a 'one shot pack' for £ 5.00. This has just one velocity of each sample and people can listen to the sound of the kit before deciding if they want to buy one of the more expensive packs.
We tend to record most of our drums dry. We don't use artificial reverbs but will use brighter sounding drum rooms if it works for the sound we are after. Understood about the kontakt features. We primarily aim at getting the best sounding drums and then think about how we can make them versatile for the customers. But we are all about the sound... Thanks for the feedback.
I also notice the natural after-ring decay, and in most cases I like it, but when it's not desirable I tame the release points with a soft gate. Yet, I'm always in favor of the driest sound possible as I prefer to place kits in the room of my choice. ;-). The Ludwig Super Classic remains my favorite kit, and I certainly look forward to checking out the Folk Rock kit, which also uses a Ludwig Hollywood. Way to go DrumDrops.