Here you can download and listen to the sound files, demonstrating the work of this remarkable VSTi. Like with the other virtual instruments I’ve illustrated (such as Steinberg Virtual Guitarist, Native Instruments FM7), in my music takes you can hear some additional instruments because I wanted to show a real music material, not just some dry drum tracks.
I have to admit; the process of creating valuable examples for the "virtual drummer" appeared more difficult, than for its guitar “brother”. The thing is that it is not enough to show the sound of drum samples and a pair of rhythmic figures. Groove Agent has gained the "revolutionary" reputation not as drum sampler (though with his sampler part everything is OK). The main advantage of the VSTi is it’s almost “live” sound, and abilities to independently change a character of performance; playing breaks and fills, etc. It is almost impossible to demonstrate all of these features on two-three measures of the material - the drummer in fact is not a solo guitarist, he/she cannot continuously play breaks and alternate rhythm patterns. Besides, erudition of the virtual drummer is not small – it plays and perfectly orients in fifty four various musical styles. Each style has unique set of instruments and play techniques.
After some experiments, I’ve decided to take several styles (equally covered the full range of styles) to make simple arrangements for each style and to create demo drum parties. I’ve made twenty three styles totally. Almost all of them used acoustic drums because I wanted to illustrate "the virtual drummer", not the "virtual drum-machine programmer". However, in my demonstration I included three electronic drum-kits, too.
Unfortunately, a fairly demonstration of all the abilities of Groove Agent requires to create a long examples (they have turned out rather big without it). The matter is that Groove Agent rhythmic patterns could contain up to four or eight (and may be more in some styles) measures. For example, three measures occupied by static pattern, in the fourth measure some variation is played, in the fifth measure a little varies the character hit on a ride cymbal, and in the eighth measure Groove Agent is playing some filling on a snare drum. It is very good for work, because it dilutes the monotony of a static rhythm like live musician, but it is inconvenient for demonstration. What if I want to show six-seven characteristic patterns of style in one example?
So, I’ve decided to allocate for each pattern no more than two measures and if some interesting variations are outside of this range, – I will place them here manually. Thus, all drum parties of the examples are constructed under the two-measure scheme: a static rhythm => an easy variation. On the fourth measure follows a break. Differently: a static rhythm => an easy variation => a static rhythm => a break. Complexity and length of a break are defined by the structure of the arrangement. For example, in the middle of chorus the break will be more similar to easy filling during ordinary playing and before bridge or coda - will sound more significantly.
Of course, you can use a similar method during your work, but the resulting drum party can be turned out, perhaps, is a little bit rhythmically oversaturated. However, I could hear more complex parties, played by live drummers.
Also, I tried to combine several styles into one example at once (as I did it, illustrating Virtual Guitarist), but eventually I’ve refused this idea because it complicates perception of demo even more. Nevertheless, you can use such method in your work if there will be a necessity.
Each example has a name of appropriate style (specific position of the “Style” slider on Groove Agent’s control panel) and represents two-part or the three-part musical structure which can be repeated if Groove Agent able to demonstrate something interesting. If the style was not so complicated (more truly, has less contrasting rhythm patterns and fillings) I made shorter arrangement. Anyway, even the longest examples are sound for about a minute and only few of them are little longer than one minute. Examples are given in two types: the first file contains the complete mix, the second - only Groove Agent drum part.
I’ve made all arrangements and mixes in two sequencers: Emagic Logic Audio Platinum 5.5.1 and Steinberg Cubase SX 2.2. As the bass module I used an excellent VSTi named Spectrasonics Trilogy. The synthesizers were Native Instruments FM7 and Emagic ES2. The guitars were - Steinberg Virtual Guitarist and Steinberg Virtual Guitarist Electric Edition. The main sampler was Emagic EXS24 with AKAI sound libraries, electro piano was Emagic EVP88, and for Hammond organ emulator I used Emagic EVB3. All my music examples are relatively simple for the sake to attract your maximum attention to the drum tracks. For the same reason the volume level of drum tracks in my audio mixes has been slightly increased. During the mixing I used only a dynamic processor for some tracks and a reverb for ambience – all in necessary minimum.
I wonder if you could help me. I have just bought Steinberg studiocase. I know a bit of music & midi.I am trying to programme the Groove agent SE to a pattern I have in my head. Could you give me a step by step procedure to programme a groove for an ethnic song I am trying to accompany.I can wirte the rhythm pattern in notes.
Please let me know the method to do it by step entry of the drum notes.thank you and much apprecaited.
Sorry, Jibby, but the last Steinberg sequencer I have seen was Cubase SX (?)2.2. So, I can not tell you anything about Groove Agent SE. However SE is the simplified version of Groove Agent VSTi and I think it has a smaller set of functions and features than original VSTi. In the full version of GA you can not add, modify or delete any pattern or filling. But you can record it`s MIDI output into standard MIDI track of your sequencer. This recorded MIDI clip can be edited (copied/pasted/splitted/&) and played back through GA as through any sampler/syntesizer. Don`t only forget to disable MIDI input of GA or it will start playing pattern in parallel with your MIDI clip. If you want to create your own pattern use the same way - disable GA input (switch off virtual drummer) and record from keyboard (or add in piano roll pane) your notes. In the full version of GA all drum samples are mapped from MIDI note B0 up to A3. You can freely play them without triggering the virtual drummer engine.
If you need more detailed assistance try to ask your questions on GA forum - go to this page http://... and click "forum" icon.
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