Summary/Short Description: Great sound quality. Generous variety of drum kits, and loops (audio & midi). Clean GUI. Easy navigation.
Starting with the user interface, it is clean, uncluttered, and easy to use. Navigation is simple and straightforward. Drag and drop for audio loops and MIDI clips into your DAW is an absolute breeze.
The 11 kits in DC4 Lite all have great sound, with good variety for a "Lite" version. Also, the sound of each kit piece can be altered in the "Kit" tab, with pitch, gain, and ADSR, per sample. You get 11 sample layers, which can overlap. DC4 even randomizes which sample is played when layers overlap. On top of all of this, you can easily use your own samples. Best of all worlds.
DC4 easily solves a common problem: dynamics can be off when driving one drum VI with another, or importing a MIDI clip. Some snare/tom/kick hits can get way too loud, and soft ones can disappear. This is easy to track down and fix in DC4. Just loop the section, find the offending pad, and adjust the level of whatever sample is off in the sample editor. The layout in DC4 makes this as easy as it gets.
I love the hat opening and closing articulations. You know. That Tsssup...Tsssup...ttt-Tsup sound. Tssup bro! Love it.
14 drummers are included, each with several audio & MIDI clips. * There are more audio clips than MIDI for most drummers, and the audio loops are summed, so you can't adjust individual kit pieces. However, there are still 800 MIDI loops, 500 of which are under the "Song Beats" icon. There are several variations of many loops, which work seamlessly together. There are also drop-down boxes that let you look for different styles, shuffles, time signatures etc. And everything can be time-stretched (audio or midi).
The effects sections are very streamlined, accessible, and simple to use. It's impossible to get lost, and you are very unlikely to have situations where a setting gets accidentally messed up, and you can't figure out what went wrong. Everything is easy to get to and intuitive.
So much to love that's it's hard to keep this short.
* I have never even considered doing a Youtube video. But maybe I'll try to do a demo. I'm very surprised that there's not many out there.
I bought the AIR Instrument pack a few years back, mostly for Strike2. Well, I really do like all of the instruments included in this package except for Strike. It shows so much promise, but it has some serious bugs. For example, triggering fills usually doesn't work well. The fills almost never start when intended. And MIDI export is broken: First you you have to play and record a section, and then drag it into your DAWs' timeline. Even if it records what you intend (which it usually doesn't)- it inserts weird gaps in the timeline.
The problems I describe are not problems with latency, CPU or settings..or anything like that. Others have reported these issues, and they haven't been fixed- for years. And if you install Strike anywhere but the desktop, or want to store Strike's content on an external drive, you may encounter many confusing issues with the installation.
I give the other instruments in the AIR Instrument pack 4 or 5 stars. So the Instrument pack is really very good, but not Strike. The demo videos make it look great. But it just does not work as intended. And fixes and improvements have not been done for a long, long time.
Sorry- can't recommend Strike 2. But I have done a review on KVR about a different drum V.I. that I really like.
I have several good, and even great drum VI's, both free and paid. But Jamstix surpasses them all. Jamstix enables you to make drum tracks for all types of songs, and not have to buy bunches of MIDI packs. Or spend eternity on editing.
Jamstix is awesome for turning static MIDI loops & patterns into dynamic, realistic drum tracks. You can manipulate every aspect and nuance of a MIDI loop in every way imaginable. Easily add fills of any sort, hi-hat patterns, tom fills....on and on. You can make sections busier, or more sparse. You can play with the dynamics at will, and even play with that elusive "pocket feel" (nuanced timing in the beat, basically) It's very difficult to explain all it can do in a compact way.
Jamstix can emulate the playing style of many different drummers, and you can even mix and match their styles- per kit piece. Also, there are many different styles/music genres to pick from. The flexibility and versatility is the best I've ever come across, by far. And you can build whole songs, fast- once you get the hang of a few things.
Now, there IS a bit of a learning curve. Sometimes it's tricky to know what exactly Jamstix is going to do with a loop, at first. But after 2 or 3 days of tooling around with it, I have it doing more than any other drum VI that I've used in the past. Already.
I personally do like the included drum kits (and mixer), but if you have other drum VI's whose sounds you want to use, Jamstix can easily drive those.
The interface is very unique. I really like it, but certain people pass on Jamstix because it's a bit different than most drum VI's. I say, let these people miss out! I don't want them to have access to my secret weapon anyway.
There are many great to excellent drum VI's out there, but Jamstix is definitively my top pick.