Review: Drum Particles Collection for Kontakt by Chocolate Audio
48 GB of quality drum samples!
Plenty of customizable parameters to make even the most meticulous drum programmer happy
Extensive preparation and labor required to use the files. Documentation is simplistic.
Drum particles is actually 4 different drum libraries, spanning 10 meticulously recorded drum kits with a myriad of studio-grade microphones and consisting of a staggering 250,000 samples. That’s roughly 48 GB of sample material. But make no mistake about it, these aren’t pre-made drum loops. These are single hit samples, made specifically so you can program them any way you like.
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Review: Drum Particles Collection for Kontakt by Chocolate Audio
In 2003, Chocolate Audio partnered with Scarabee and released Imperial Drums, the first ever, multi-mic’d drum library available for a software sampler. The product was an instant hit. Over the years, Chocolate Audio continued to produce outstanding libraries and they continued to receive requests to produce a Kontakt version of Imperial Drums. With the release of Drum Particles, you can now own 4 of these legendary drum libraries including Imperial Drums, Contemporary Vintage Drums, Modern Retro and The Black Album Drums, made with Metallica’s infamous drum kit.
Setting up a drum kit to record it, is an art form unto itself. Microphone choices, positioning, mic phase, room tone… It’s a wonder that mere mortals ever attempt this at all. One could make the argument that drums are the most difficult instrument to record. But before all you kazoo, washboard and spoon players fire off complaint letters to my editor, starting a flame-war is not the point of this review. My point is, that, perhaps, you have already encountered this wee bit of wisdom. Maybe that’s why you’re considering purchasing Drum particles right now?
It would be a wise decision. Drum particles is actually 4 different drum libraries, spanning 10 meticulously recorded drum kits with a myriad of studio grade microphones and consisting of a staggering 250,000 samples. That’s roughly 48 gigabytes of sample material. But make no mistake about it, these aren’t pre-made drum loops. These are single hit samples, made specifically so you can program them anyway you like.
As only the most meticulous recording engineer would demand, there are 300 individual drum “pieces.” Hundreds of samples per articulation and divided up into 11 round robins. Cymbals have up to 5 round robins and there are up to 4 close mics on each drum piece. There are 4 sets of room mics, as well, giving even the most budget strained producer, a full-scale big budget drum studio without the demand for overtime, exotic coffee and doughnuts.
I’ve stated before perhaps the pinnacle of my musical prowess begins and ends with playing chopsticks on a keyboard (and poorly, I might add.) If I were to sit behind an actual drum kit, the results would be on par with something you might expect from a wind-up monkey. But in the hands of an expert, Drum Particles will make any Kontakt instrument-based drum track come to life. The samples sound magnificent and after playing with the kits, it’s clear to me why some of these near decades-old samples are still being sought after today. They are pristine, authentic and virtually brimming with inspiration.
Available in several instrument configurations per title, this is a library that lends itself well to experienced programmers and may inspire novice users to reach beyond their comfort zone. Each interface is sparse and succinct. There’s nothing to distract you from your task and yet, plenty of powerful options to engage your skills as a producer. Loading each kit into Kontakt as an individual instrument, such as hi-hats, snares or kick drums, allows you to assign the outputs to specific channels, and work with just a single element per track. Conversely, you can load the “multi.nkr” files to find the entire kit mapped across your keyboard.
This is the configuration I used most often, while my bride kept offering up all kinds of advice. “Try using headphones!” she’d yell through my closed studio door. My musical friends were equally verbose, offering recording tips like “Don’t forget to Quantize!” I noticed that with the Imperial Drums Multi loaded, I was using over 9 GB of memory for the samples. No wonder they sound so authentic!
There are plenty of alternate kit parts to play with, like kick drums, snares, toms, hats, cymbals, and adjust the mic mix – all from within the Kontakt instrument. You can tune drums by tone or cents, adjust the envelope and even change the key mapping. Clicking the small coffee cup icon located near the top left corner of each instrument window, opens or closes that particular instrument’s full screen, giving you access to all the controls I mentioned.
Aside from the sheer size of this product, the only word of caution I would offer, is that you probably need to spend some time listening to great drummers. These kits will reveal your rhythmic ability (or lack there of) rather quickly. You’ll need to think and play like a drummer. Otherwise, your tracks may contain strange or unnatural transitions, rolls or hits that actual drummers would never do.
So, is Drum Particles a good value? Only you can decide if you’ll actually use these samples in your productions. The folks at Chocolate Audio have provided demos and walkthroughs to help you get started, along with how to utilize some of the features of the library. I encourage you to explore all these resources prior to buying this product.
In summary, I think I’m going to be playing a lot more drums! There’s enough material here to produce tailor-made drum tracks for years! In the earliest days of my youth, I was a well known “finger drummer” which meant I was very good at annoying my classmates by drumming on my desk. My father was a Jazz drummer in the 50’s and even though he forbid me from pursuing a career in music, I think he’d be a little bit proud of his progeny for “…trying.” With a regular retail price of $299, this kit is a good value at its current sale price.
After purchasing, you’ll receive an email with an extensive list of download links for a total of 27 files. I strongly recommend you prepare by verifying you have enough space available for all these files.
Among the smaller files are the 4 primary Kontakt instruments, a user manual and then the compressed .rar files for each title. What follows are the compressed file sizes for each kit. Remember, once expanded this entire collection will occupy 48GB on your hard drive.
Kontakt Instrument 11.7MB
Parts 1-4 are 2.15GB Each
Part 5 is 1.33GB
Kontakt Instrument 12.5MB
Parts 1-4 2.15GB Each
Part 5 is 1.53GB
Kontakt Instrument 12.3MB
Parts 1-6 2.15GB Each
Part 7 is 1.89GB
The Black Album
Kontakt Instrument 10.1MB
Parts 1-4 are 2.62GB Each
Part 5 is 1.67GB
Drum Particles Manual (PDF) is 3.2 MB
Hey, guess what time it is? It’s time for me to try to “drum” up a few bucks for our tip jar at https:/Pateron.com/SLR. C’mon, you knew there’d be puns. That’s what I do… I have more puns than you can shake a set of sticks at. I mean, I’m literally the “cymbal” for bad jokes. (Rimshot!) And, let’s face it, you’re the one still reading this… You can tell me to beat it at any time. But seriously, please consider donating before you “kick” me to the curb. Oh, and thanks for reading this! Our “hats” off to all our readers.
Contributor Steve Blizin reviews Drum Particles Collection for Kontakt by Chocolate Audio
“Drum particles is actually 4 different drum libraries, spanning 10 meticulously recorded drum kits with a myriad of studio-grade microphones and consisting of a staggering 250,000 samples. That’s roughly 48 GB of sample material. But make no mistake about it, these aren’t pre-made drum loops. These are single hit samples, made specifically so you can program them any way you like.”