With so many well-known and critically acclaimed drum samplers available in the world of virtual instruments, it would need to take something quite special to rival them. Enter the Vir2 Studio Kit Builder.
Combining a staggering 9GB of drum samples from 50 different kits with over 1,800 MIDI grooves, Vir2's Studio Kit Builder is a massive collection, a one-stop solution for achieving great-sounding drum tracks in a range of genres.
Kit view is well laid out, and highlighting a kit piece brings up options to change it or customise how it's played.
Installation of the Studio Kit Builder comes straight from the included DVDs and requires 9GB of free hard disk space to accommodate the comprehensive sound library. Studio Kit Builder uses the included Kontakt 5 as a host player, which incorporates seamlessly with any DAW. Like many other drum samplers, preset kits can be selected, but Studio Kit Builder offers full customisation of each kit piece for endless kit possibilities. There are in depth Humanise controls for each kit piece, including Pitch and Velocity. The Mixer section provides control of the overall kit's sound and access to the software's built in effects.
The Player section is where you can audition MIDI grooves. They're categorised by genre and then by tempo.
While accomplished virtual drummers will most likely hit record and play grooves in themselves, the included MIDI collection will provide inspiration for all. There are over 1,800 grooves split into 11 different genres, so you're sure to find an idea to get you started. Many professional-standard drum samplers lack this kind of depth in their groove libraries or offer them as additional purchases, but Studio Kit Builder includes this as standard.
Due to the highly-detailed samples, each kit took a bit of time to load up on my Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook. A more powerful system would most likely do this much quicker, but the sheer accuracy of the samples makes it worth the wait. In any case, each kit is completely customisable, so unwanted kit pieces can be removed to streamline the loading process.
The mixer offers volume controls for each kit piece in the master output, DI signal, overhead and room mics. Effects can be added to each channel, too.
The Studio Kit Builder's sounds are accurate and incredibly usable, with kits ranging from jazz, country and R'n'B to rock and metal. The mixer offers comprehensive controls for finding the right room sound for your needs, and the extensive groove collection enables you to get started right away.
To find out more about the Vir2 Instruments Studio Kit Builder, call your local DV247 store on 0845 0777 247.
By Richard Poll