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StormDrum 2

 My KVR
Percussion Plugin by EastWest
No Longer Available

User Reviews by KVR Members for StormDrum 2

User Reviews of older versions

Reviewed By Seidhepriest [read all by] on February 11th, 2013
Version reviewed: XP SP3 on Windows.
Last edited by Seidhepriest on 12th February 2013.

The real value of this sampler is in ethnic percussion instruments. Everything else is so-and-so. The taiko is useful, and there's a lot of Mideast percussion, from clay drums to doira to zils, dumbek, and udu (and much more). This is a really useful sampler for percussion flavours and to add unconventional drums to a music piece.

There're some minor Kompakt bugs, like Stormdrum complaining it's running out of memory whenever loading a largeish instrument, thinking the PC "runs out of memory" whenever there's a largeish (>256 MBs?) instrument loaded. That, on a PC with 3 GBs RAM, more than 2 GBs free. Running this together with Battery 3 is dangerous, as it's either Stomdrum's or Battery DFD engine working at a time. You have to render stems in separate DAW projects, then mix them together.

Stormdrum also offers some regular drums, trying to justify the price by throwing in a lot more than just ethnic percussion (which is quite good really). Now this is why it gets the lower review score: the Western percussion is anything but properly arranged and recorded.

GM drumkits are incomplete, missing toms and percussion. Some mappings are crazy, like a hi-hat on A#1 below the bass kick (GM standard is metronome bell). Stuff that would've been pretty easy to record, like handclap, is missing. The cowbell that's offered as a separate instrument tends to sound cold and thin (it does sound more or less fine on monitor speakers, but it breaks into cold on consumer kit). In addition, the drumkits have a natural reverb, which is an issue for someone who's used to dry drums that can be processed with reverb you yourself fancy.

Overall the makers of Stormdrum pride themselves on having used the best Neumann microphones and having invited famous drummers and so on and so forth, but the issue is, because of a lack of high-frequency damping (acoustic treatment?) the drumkits tend to sound cold and with a somewhat muddy reverb. It's not all bad, if you're into using drum samples with natural reverb then it might work. But the character of the samples is more on the cold/foggy side with not as much liveliness (it's only 88.2/24, not even 96/24, and apparently the ADC they used isn't anything special). The problem here looks like the people who recorded this were regular live band sound engineers, not sampling engineers. And, the finer condensers tend to pick up quite a lot of the room ambience/character (unless close-miking), which again is a bother.

So again, if you absolutely need some kind of ethnic percussion (taiko, bodhran, etc. - though at the current prices buying a large bodhran is a lot cheaper) and if you've found this in a bargain bin/sale, then it's worth it. The ethnic percussion does sound rather nicer than the Western drums, and quite special. It was recorded with minimal ambience, too.

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