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Raw, unprocessed and realistic high-quality drum sample libraries

Master Mi

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Heya, musical maestros.

I'm looking for the sophisticated stuff in the title.

At the moment, I'm still working with the drum samples of my Independence Pro Premium Suite - which are really good in my opinion.
But I guess, they are just around 1 GB in total - so, either they are highly compressed in size or they just lack some crucial audio information of realistic acoustic drums played by a rock-solid drummer (I think so, mainly because of a problem that occurs after I upload my tracks to Soundcloud, which is mentioned a few lines below).

Or what 's your opinion if you check the sample preview of the "Acoustic & Electronic Drums" of this library (just click on the speaker symbol)?


In this video there's also a small MIDI passage with some of these acoustic drum samples (at 3:27):

So, they don't sound really bad in the music project or in audio files at or above an audio bitrate of 192 kbit/s.

But whenever I upload a remix on Soundcloud (just happens at this platform) these drum samples tend to degrade (especially the cymbals and hi-hats) - as you might hear in the newest version of my Goldfinger remix I uploaded some days ago:

If you check the same upload at Youtube (better quality) and Niconico (best quality), this problem won't occur:



In the first place, I thought it must have to do just with the Soundcloud platform.
But if you check some other drum recordings and drum sample demonstrations on Soundcloud, you won't perceive such problems with the cymbals and hi-hats:

So, the problem must have must to do with the sample quality as well.

Maybe it's also the audio bitrate of the upload - but if I upload a track on Soundcloud usually as MP3 file with an audio bitrate of 320 kbit/s (WAV file doesn't make a perceivable difference for the stream since the audio bitrates of streams at Soundcloud are just around 128 kbit/s - and with 320 kbit/s it has at least a proper size for possible downloads I might activate sooner or later when I'm fully satisfied with my tracks) it still sounds worse than my video version I upload at Youtube and Niconico (there, I always upload the WAV in my Movie Maker program, but the highest audio bitrate I can set for the export of the movie file as WMV is an audio bitrate of 192 kbit/s - and even then, it sounds much better than the upload on Soundcloud with 320 kbit/s).


Since mostly the drums are affected by this issue, I might solve this problem with some better drum samples... maybe.

An online friend tried to convince me to get some stuff from Toontrack like Superior Drummer 3 - but with around 300 GB in size (obviously contains lots of loops, grooves and repeating stuff I don't use - I just want the raw samples for composing via MIDI editor), I don't want to clutter my 2TB big hard disk drive just for better drums.

I guess, the many possibilities of settings in Superior Drummer 3 are far too complex for me and my needs.

And I'm not sure.
The bass and snare drums or the toms sound really good - but the cymbals and hi-hats don't sound too convincing for my ears (at least not for this big library size):


So, I'm really looking for a not tooooooo complex drum VSTi software - but still one with excellent raw, unprocessed (no compressors, limiters or other effects - which you can't deactivate - used on the presets) high quality acoustic drum samples with lots of different drum units as well as many articulations, velocity layers, round robins, drum variations and possibilities to play.

Maybe you know some good drum VSTis which may satisfy my needs.


Some days ago, I also got a newsletter of different Black Friday special offers with various VSTis from different developers.
And from there, I also got to a drum collection of the Abbey Road series from Native Instruments.

Since I'm quite a big fan of the high-quality VSTi stuff from Eduardo Tarilonte and from the developers of Native Instruments, I got dragged into the collection much deeper, checked some audio demos and videos of the virtual interface, the content and the settings - and I kinda fell a bit in love with the stuff:

- 6 different drum kits from important times of drum-based music since the 30s to the modern times (quite useful for compositions of different music genres as well)
- obviously really raw, unprocessed and natural sound (or what's your opinion about this?)
- over 200.000 professionally recorded high-quality samples
- useful settings and an overseeable interface that isn't bloated with too many things
- different, interchangeable drum units
- library size of around 43 GB compressed and around 105 GB uncompressed data content (somebody knows if there 's an option to install the uncompressed data content as well?) might be totally okay  (still, I hope you can leave out all the unnecessary grooves, loops and MIDI patterns for installation - because you can always perform much better and go more into detail with the real single samples in a way you really need it for your composition via MIDI editor)
- reduced price from almost 600 bucks to around 100 bucks (which is quite an offer for an ordinary worker)

And for the sound...

If you check out only the first raw preset in this video (at 0:14), you might be also blown away of how greatly deep-sampled and velocity-sensitive these libaries are:

Even the hi-hats and cymbals of these libraries sound really good and not so stiff, lifeless and indifferent like in Superior Drummer 3, for example.

There also seems to be a feature of choking the cymbals like this video shows (after 4:30):

I think I've nearly made my decision of going for the Abbey Road Drummer Collection.


But first I wanted to hear your opions as highly critical composers, remixers and listeners.
Maybe there's also a professional drummer around who could give some additional tips on this topic?

Edited by Master Mi
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  • Master Mi changed the title to Raw, unprocessed and realistic high-quality drum sample libraries

Seems like your main problem is platform specific, so I'd do an experiment:

Upload with more headroom. Spotify recommends -1 dB True Peak. The article on their site said it's to avoid distortion or clipping when encoding to lower quality. Or something like that.

I'd even go as far as to upload it as wav, highest quality, more than 1 dB of headroom. And maybe just the hats and cymbals. If I don't hear a problem with that, I can start stepping back towards my previous upload until I replicate the problem.


As for samples, I wouldn't mind some samples for layering, normal drums and other percussion and weirdly recorded ones and other useful sounds. Any recommendations?

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It has definititely to do with the platform - but I'm not sure if that's the only problem why the hi-hats and cymbals, which should originally rather sound like "tss", sound more like "shhh" with less defintion and less sharpness (as if a PS5 game would remastered for the NES or so) in the Soundcloud stream.
You can perceive to this phenomenon very well at 0:53 in this track if you compare the Soundcloud upload with the Youtube or Niconico upload.

But it could also have to do with the samples, because in tracks by other composers and remixers who use different drum samples, this problem doesn't seem to occur (at least not in such a bad way).


And apart from a rather unimpressive reverb effect with a recording studio preset, there are no other big effect plug-ins on the drum tracks - no delay, no bitcrusher (although it sounds a bit like it), no compressors/limiter and a small EQ reduction is only present on the bass drum in the frequency band around 350 Hz.

There don't seem to be any clipping issues throughout the frequency band (measured from about 40 Hz to 20000 Hz - the highest signal peak seems to be in the bass section at about -5dB).
The highest master track peaks (around -5dB) and the highest peaks of the individual tracks (around -10dB due to my individual mixing method, where I set the volume of the loudest/strongest instrument to a level where the peaks don't really go above -10dB, and all other instruments/synths are below that) show similar results.

Perhaps the most accurate measurement of my metering devices shows a "Max. True Peak in dBTP" value of -4.3 dB.

So, I think the clipping factor can be ruled out.


What was interesting, however, was uploading the same remix composition at different audio bitrates to Soundcloud and taking a Snipping Tool screenshot of the slightly different visual displays of these versions (I'm not entirely sure what the displays actually show - but I suspect they are alternative representations of the waveform measurement).

Although the WAV upload (as well as my regular 320 kbit/s upload) obviously sounded better than the 192 kbit/s and 128 kbit/s uploads on the 128 kbit/s Soundcloud stream, it seems that Soundcloud limits the dynamics somewhat on uploads at higher audio bitrates (according to the waveform displays in the screenshot image below):



Maybe you can't rely on these waveform displays because they are not accurate enough.
But who knows - it could also be that the uploaded audio files are processed with compressors or peak limiters on Soundcloud.

In case the problem is also caused by the quality of the drum samples, I will try to use higher quality drum samples and upload a single drum track in the future.

What do you guys think of Native Instruments' Abbey Road Drum Collection - one of the best drum VSTi stuff out there?
(quick reply, please - because if I remember correctly, the Black Friday special ends around December 14 this year).

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Unfortunately, the VSTi developer Native Instruments seems to follow a political-economical way of pressure and double standards against the people of the Russian Federation and Belarus because of the war with the government of the Ukraine - a way which I don't want to support as long as they continue with that:


I'm not even really sure if the creation of music should be polticized and economized that much at all.
Music should rather come from the minds, hearts and souls of people, instead of being just a tool within an unjust political and economic morality.

I mean...
Did Native Instruments make such an outcry back then, when the US government, based on private companies, waged a huge war against many Arab nations, in which many civilians - including women and children - were shot and bombed to pieces?
And did they equally exclude the entire population of the USA from their client list to put (a hypothetical) pressure on the US government back then?

So, what do the developers of Native Instruments even think they will achieve with their customer poltics against (mostly) the common people of the Russian Federation and Belarus.

I guess their leaders won't have the big urge and time to compose soundtracks in these days of war between their countries and the continuously expanding NATO getting closer and closer to their borders - so, they might not bother too much with some joyful hours of DAW pleasure at the moment.

And the common people of these countries are not likely to write a nice letter like this to their leaders:

"Dear leaders of our nation, I know we get more and more surrounded by US and NATO bases.
But as a musician I want to beg you. Please give up your ambitions and let the western forces take over our country until everything gets so peaceful, joyful and just like in the western coun... (Wait - that's not the truth. After the fall of the Soviet Union and with growing influence of the western political and economical forces the common people of our country suffered from severe poverty, corruption, political and economical crimes. And even lots of the workers and the common people of the USA today can barely afford housing in this life-hostile swimming pool full of real estate sharks - just for food and clothing they might need to get a second job during the night time to avoid hunger or just living in a mere tent. I'm not sure if they even have the money, time or even the inclination for VSTis and composing music in this situation. And if they lauch a big wave of fascism like in the Ukraine and many other countries controlled by the western forces, just to destroy and reshape the society with fear and terror, even the ordinary life will be a completely different game than just working all day and night for room and board.)"


So, I won't support VSTi developers like Native Instruments and buy their (indeed really good) VSTi products as long as they continue excluding the common people from the Russian Federation, Belarus and other countries from their customer list.

If they were doing a big action against the global arms industry under a slogan like "More common metal 'n' mithril for brass, amps and the biggest fucking drums instead of loveless bombs, ammo and guns", it might be a totally different one.

But the way it's being handled right now, I'll be on the lookout for other VSTi horizons.

I'm pretty sure there are also some really sophisticated VSTis from Japanese developers (like Yamaha/Steinberg or Roland) that I've completely overlooked in my musical journey so far, and that may also still be some of the best the world has to offer, as I've come to expect from Japanese developments.


But on the other hand, I think I'll stick with my 70 GB large Independence Pro Premium suite full of well-sampled VSTis that won't even clutter up my hard drive space with unnecessary loops and pre-made stuff I don't want to use for compositions and remixes either.

Since the drum VSTis in this library are really excellent stuff, I kinda feel the urge to create a new and very realistic VSTi-based solo drum composition to show what I can do with this stuff.
Yeah, guess it will probably be my next music project.

Look forward to my upcoming drum solo track "Drum Grooves Lvl. 3", which will be created entirely with my Independence Pro Premium Suite and maybe some other good drum VSTis from my good ol' DAW Samplitude Pro X4 Suite from MAGIX. ))

This could also be a nice step to take my drum programming skills to the next level.


Edited by Master Mi
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  • 4 weeks later...

hey mi, funny to read this here.

i agree completely.

it is that spirit of berlin. seems like they all lost their mind in that fucking city. brainless dittoheads. it`s babylonian madness, kind of.


i ditched all my native instrument stuff years ago because i am helplessly OCD about too many plugins, but recently decided to get a new account and just buy the one instrument from them i kind of need, the MM Bass from Skarby. seeing this fucking bonkers boycott message spawned a weird reaction.... somewhere between flabbergastment and not-surprised-by-pretty-much-anything-anymore-these-days.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/7/2023 at 8:16 AM, Nase said:

i ditched all my native instrument stuff years ago because i am helplessly OCD about too many plugins, but recently decided to get a new account and just buy the one instrument from them i kind of need, the MM Bass from Skarby. seeing this fucking bonkers boycott message spawned a weird reaction.... somewhere between flabbergastment and not-surprised-by-pretty-much-anything-anymore-these-days.

If you already bought the NI VSTi years before, I guess you won't make any changes with this ancient stuff in these days.

I'll keep and use my Native Instrument VSTis from the time before the strange boycott message and won't buy further NI stuff as long as they keep doing this boycott against the people from the Russian Federation and Belarus (or the people of countries that might be on their sanctions list in the future).

I'm still not fully sure what the real motivation of a mere VSTi company can be to get so deeply involved into politics.
I wouldn't say that they are part of a dark political agenda just because of that (as long as they don't demand weapon deliveries towards the war countries and be part of the stern beard fraction yearning for the next Generalplan Ost).

But if you really want to end war, there are much better and more diplomatic ways - first, not to get involved in the war and not to put extra energy into the war.

I'm sure there will be not much more peace in a war if more and more people, organizations and countries from all over the world get involved into the trouble - it will rather end up in a "world war" I guess.
But if less people participate in a war-like conflict, there might be peace much faster and the greedy people behind those wars have to put themselves into the line of fire if they still think that all the money, ressources and treasures have a so much bigger value than life itself.

They might try to impress people with their nationalist and hyper-patriotic gunshot mentality, try to force people to fight their wars or even torture and kill them if they defy the high rollers.
But if the stubborn horse really wants to kick its owner, it really kicks its owner.

"Sometime they’ll give a war and nobody will come.“

And some people did exactly that.
They - obviously a smaller and still intact village community of Ukrainians - came together and just burnt their instruction orders in front of the military guy:


That's a really effective way to take the energy out of a war or a beginning conflict and end it from the perspective of the common people.
Focus on life, the down-home interests of the community and the whole humankind, instead of being mentally dragged into nationalist, over-patriotic bullshit war propaganda lies with lots of capitalistic cockroaches behind the theatrical stage.

I know, it might be a little bit more complex than that.
But even in modern times within the age of large private companies and private banks, there are much more of the common people (those who would only suffer from wars) than those greedy monsters, who rather invest in wars to make profits from those money-bloated conflicts - just like in some sort of a war as a business model for companies, banks and investors.

The common people only need to understand that they would only ever suffer from wars, and so the common people would have a great common interest - a thought that may already be somewhat difficult to think for people who have grown up in capitalist systems, when it is often hammered into their brains that their neighbours and work colleagues are their greatest competitors and rivals in this life destined to boot each other out and to be the same selfish, worthless and destructive assholes like those who claim to own them with their money and "power".

Maybe, sometimes you already have to imagine your life after a war, when a war already ruined everyone and everything that was dear to your heart.
I guess it should help to appoach those who want to send you to war in a completely different way.

And I'm really sure that one of those profit-over-life businessmen wouldn't feel too much like almighty gods after they feel the first hard knee-strike into the face and seeing their own blood in the streets instead of just seeing the blood of others from far away in their daily newspapers.

Those kind of businessmen might always have had the deep feeling of owning your life just with their money and that they can just buy the world.
But it's not exactly money that rules and shapes the world - it's rather energy.

So, if the stubborn horse really wants to kick its owner, it really kicks its owner.


But getting a little bit back to the VSTi and home studio content..

The fact is that the guys at NI develop really good, high quality VSTis and are therefore in a sort of superior position of power (like many other companies) to spread their political message.
But the customer as well has some power with his choices of consumption (there are also other good VSTi developing companies) or with nonconsumption (strategy of self-sufficiency and austerity).

I mean, I'm quite happy with spending my money mostly on good organic food from an organic cooperative (gives me vital energy, health and joy by really affordable, raw organic food), my housing organisation (nice and affordable flat with green environment with an old village centre of my hometown, far away from the busy downtown area) or - if neccessary - on clothes, my bike, some stuff for my flat and home technology, my computer and DAW environment and that's probably it.

So, from my side there's hardly any bigger cashflow towards harmful profit-over-life companies, private banks, insurance companies or nasty organisations like that.
What the government does with the taxes (weapon deliveries towards Ukraine) might be still a different thing - but even there, they can't squeeze too much out of me 'cause I only work 4 days (30 hours) a week for a construction and landscaping company.
So, I can enjoy lots of free fresh air, long weekends, more free time in exchange for (just a little bit) less money, much less taxes - and maybe also less weapons of mass destruction.
At least for things like these, I kinda love my rather uncomplicated new life.

My homestudio (just from the hardware technology) is also pretty complete - besides my desired Yamaha Pacifia 212 electric guitar (I really want to learn to play at least one string instrument - and an electric guitar is a pretty cool and versatile one), I don't need more gear 'n' hardware stuff because I'm fully satisfied with it.
And since I've spent over 5000 bucks on my DAW environment in the last 10 years (about the half of the money for DAW-based hardware - about the other half for software), i also have a really decent amount of good quality VSTis and synths for various music genres, VST plugins and sound designing software tools.

I'm still looking for VSTis from time to time, but these tend to be unprocessed high quality VST instruments or quite rare and exotic ones that I don't have in my libraries yet, for example some really well sampled Caribbean steel drums like the promising Steel Drum VSTi from 8Dio, a good Handpan VSTi like the one from Wolfgang Ohmer or the excellent stuff from Eduardo Tarilonte like Forest Kingdom 3 and NADA that might be very useful for my own composition "Paradise" in the future.

But for now, I'm pretty happy with the VSTi libraries I have so far.

For a longer moment, I really thought I might need a better drum library.
And now I'm not even sure if the NI VSTi library or other drum libraries are really much better than my Independence VSTi library, which also contains a lot of raw and unprocessed VSTis.
And I've never been a big fan of being forced into the Kontakt concept, where you have to pay for Kontakt Instruments (which is perfectly fine, of course), the Kontakt Sampler (for using instruments that don't work with the free Kontakt Player), and the latest upgrades for Kontakt (for using the latest VSTi content that only works with the latest version of Kontakt).

I think I really have to work much more with the content I already have (saves a lot of money and gives wings to creativity and compositional skills).


Finally, perhaps something that might help you with your Scarbee MM Bass, which is obviously a great sounding bass VSTi with lots of useful features and 13 keyswitch articulations.

I have a similar set of electric bass VSTis in my Independence Pro Premium Suite (Electric J-Bass, M-Bass, P-Bass, S-Bass and different alternative electric bass combi presets resembling specific music genres - like "American Ballad 3 combi", "Berlin Ghost combi KS A-1", "Reggae 1 combi KS A-1", "German Punk combi KS A-1" or "Rock Aggressive combi KS A-1") with some really good electric bass sounds and electric bass presets, which can have just a few up to 14 keyswitch articulations.
The Independence Pro Premium Suite also has a huge set of high-quality VST plugins you can not only use within the Independence sampler but also with other instruments in your DAW.

It's twice the price of the Scarbee MM Bass - but it also contains an acoustic bass in addition to the electric bass.

Maybe just listen to the two audio demonstrations at "Acoustic & Electric Basses" on the internet page:


If you're interested I can also show you some pictures of the interface, the presets and stuff like that.

If you should insist to buy the whole Independence Pro Premium Suite library for the 300 bucks, I would rather recommend to get the whole DAW Samplitude Pro X7 Suite for the same price (they got a special offer until the January 14):


In the Pro X Suite version, the full version of the whole Independence library is always included.
But not only that - in addition to that you get around 47 well-sampled VSTis called "Vita Solo Instruments" with some common and some really exotic instruments and some really nice electronic synths (you can also listen to some audio demos of the specific VSTis and some electronic synths here):


Not enough...
The Suite version also contains the full version an awesome, realistic and pretty complex electric guitar and bass amp plugin called "Vandal" (with which you can shape the sound of your electric guitars and bass into kinda any direction of your imagination), lots of professional metering functions (like loudness metering, vectorscope, many other sound analyzing devices or even a spectral editing function) and a huge set of additional VST plugins, of course.

If you want to look up the whole content, check out this link:


Samplitude was (and still is) also developed in Germany, a part of the company is also active in Berlin - but they don't seem to care too much about politics (unlike NI).
Maybe it also has to do with the roots of the company behind Samplitude, which was created in times of GDR (when East Germany was under the guidance of the Soviet Union) at the SEK'D (Studio für elektronische Klangerzeugung Dresden) in connection with the technical university of my hometown.

Edited by Master Mi
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skarby is irreplacable for me precisely because you don`t need any keyswitches to churn out funky basslines. i hate keyswitches, man :)

but i hate the NI Access software. i always end up installing something else from that all-in-one package i got 5 years ago. after that i quickly realise i don`t like all these "new" fangled plugins and deinstall it all again. i`m sure i`ve done it once every year atleast.

i`m just damaged goods when it comes to this. i hate having loads of theoretically very good plokins that i can`t really appreciate and that end up hampering my creativity.

to make it clear: i deliberately opened a new NI account and bought the bass i already owned (atleast it was on 50% discount), just so that all these other fucking plugins don`t show up in the fucking Access software. yup. that`s how bad it is for me.


talking about drums...addictive drums 1 was the first pricy plugin thing outside of fruity loops i ever bought. must`ve been 2007. i`m happy about this. it`s so good that it made me realise you can forget about the software upgrade craze once a certain base quality is covered. sufficient round robins, good sounds. no cpu, only takes 1.2 gb on HD.

i am using a 150 euro netbook for music atm. 64 gb ssd :D it amazes me that this is basically enough for my needs today. 


i do appreciate the long blog post - it`s nice to hear you found personal peace in simplicity.

the ukraine-russia-stuff is quite a mess and i can`t say i understand it too well - my problem is just the masses of people that seem to have it all figured out and become ez mode opinionated zombies. it just seems so cheap.

actually, it`s quite funny; seeing the NI retard boycot gave me some rather illogical but effective comfort in considering that maybe, just maybe, my plugin related problems aren`t just down to my silly OCD, but that subconsciously, the mass market consumerist vibe of those things always rubbed me the wrong way....like corporate voodoo, or something.

(it`s probably just OCD, but hey, who knows.)

Edited by Nase
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