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DRUM...DRUM DRUM...DRUM

December 5, 2005
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Managing even a smallish library of drum loops and samples can be a major challenge . . . how do you find the exact loop you’re looking for among 20 loops named Big Rock Loop 1 through 20?

Submersible DrumCore may just be what you’re looking for. The package comprises 9GB of drum loops performed by nine luminaries including Sly Dunbar, Michael Shrieve, Matt Sorum, and Alan White, along with a powerful Mac and PC software app for playing and auditioning loops. Each loop is available as audio or MIDI; the audio loops are recorded at 5–10 bpm increments to minimize tone and feel changes when changing tempo. Loops can be randomized (“Gabrielized”) to create variations, and fills are provided. You can use DrumCore stand-alone to play loops through your soundcard or via ReWire, though it won’t sync with your DAW. Rather, you use it to audition loops, and then export them to your DAW, or if your DAW supports it, simply drag-and-drop loops from DrumCore to your DAW. You can also export directly from DrumCore to a track in Pro Tools.

With the MIDI versions of the loops you can change which drum kit is being played — use a Matt Sorum kit to play an Alan White loop, for example. And you can also play the drum kits via MIDI over ReWire from your DAW. As a final bonus, you can import your own library of loops into DrumCore and manage them, as well. However, this will take some work. You can’t, for example, point DrumCore at a sample disc and have the program pull everything in. Submersible also makes optional “DrummerPacks” available as add-ons to your library.

The drum loops are uniformly excellent — with that line-up of players, would you expect anything else? As an auditioning and playback tool, the software excels. It’d be great if playback could sync to your DAW, but perhaps in an upcoming version. Until then, the loops and drum kits are spot on, the sound is fine, and browsing your library and exporting into your DAW makes life much easier.

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