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Steven Slate Drums: SSD4 (First Impressions)

Hey, what’s up, guys? I’ve got a new video for you.

In this one, let’s take a look at SSD4. I picked this up about a week ago. This is just the EX version I bought. The pricing on it is just insane. I had no idea it was as cheap as it was. So I went ahead and got it.

It comes with a really good variety of kits. This is the plug-in. Just kind of walk through it. If you’re on the left, you can click through your different options. You’ve got your Construct Kit, which you can click through different drum presets, different drum sets. Right now, this is Slate EX Rock 1, I’ve got a MIDI file loaded up.

[drums, Rock 1]

Rock 2, just listen to some of these kits.

[drums, Rock 2]

We’ve got vintage stuff, so get the old Zeppelin sounds.

[drums, Zeppelin]

Vintage 60’s Rock. Check that one out.

[drums, Vintage 60’s]

Got some Metal stuff for the metal guys. These samples load pretty quick, which I love.

[drums, Metal]

You know, you don’t really have to EQ these things a whole lot, they just work well. The SSD Classic — this Nashville fat kick I like a lot.

[drums, SSD Classic, Nashville]

Sounds great. Absolute Rock.

[drums, Absolute Rock]

Just, you know, pretty much anything you’d need. Chunky Rock.

[drums, Chunky Rock]

He’s got a Hybrid Kit in here.

[drums, Hybrid Kit]

Just a big sound. Three Snare Rock.

[drums, Three Snare]

So yeah, that’s — you can switch here between kits. If we go back over to instrument, then you can cycle through kicks and snare, and you can drag them down here. So let’s say we want to dump in a different kick drum. We’ll do this Kick 08 SSD, drag it down to the kick drum, it loads up.


There’s that.

If you click the edit instruments tab, you’ve got all of your routing stuff for sending audio out of this thing so you can print tracks or whatever. You’ve got your attack, sustain, release kind of transient designer. Your dynamics and velocity controls are right there. You can pitch these things up and down, you can pan them, which is really cool.

Click here, you’ve got your mixer. Pretty standard stuff. You know, this kit I think has — what kit are we on… We’ll just skip back to this Slate Rock EX 4.


You know, so if I go to the mixer, I can solo the rooms.

[drum rooms]


[drum overheads]

And if I want less room sound…


Well whatever. And then if you click down here on the out, you can send things — these things out mono, stereo, whatever you want to do.

You’ve got those options, then you just come over here and set your inputs on your Pro Tools tracks like you would normally link them up. Then you’re sending audio out, and you can mix however you want.


You can control bleed level between how much is going into the room or overheads, which is really awesome. The routing of the bleed, which is great. If you want to add a buss, you can easily do that.

It’s got a groove library here.


Great grooves that’ll just get you started. Chorus.


Metal stuff.


Indie rock.


Then you’ve got some deluxe grooves, he’s got all kinds of stuff here. Check out what’s — we’re at 110 on the sequencer. Here’s 111, that’s close enough. We’ll do verse.






You know, and these things you can drag down into your sequencer. Arrange them however you want it.


Which is just great for song writing and throwing ideas together. I use that a lot.

But what I really like to do, I’m a fan of Trigger. I use Trigger, but I don’t really like using samples inside Trigger, because I feel like I don’t get enough control over the room and sort of overhead sounds of those samples, so what I do use it for is I’ll dump it on the track and I’ll write — I’ll use it to write the MIDI, then you can pull the MIDI out of Trigger into your SSD4 Instrument track here, and then a lot of times you’re going to have to go into your mapping — your MIDI mapping and make sure the kicks are going, the snare part is going to the snare mapping here in SSD4, make sure that lines up.

But then you can come in and you can, you know, figure out what snare you need to fit your track and your song, and you can adjust the room sounds within that as well, which is what I’ve done on this track, and I’ll play that for you.

In this one, this is kind of an indie rock thing. We use — I pulled in a kick and snare sample, everything else was tracked. Here’s what that sounds like for you.


And a bigger section.


You know, and really didn’t have to do any EQing or compression to them. This was recorded in not the best situation, but we do have room mics…

[room mics]

Overheads, and you know, the samples drop in great with them.


So yeah. And I mean, there’s no — I think we have a little bit of plate on the overheads. Not a lot, and then on the drum buss down here, a little bit of room.

But other than that, maybe some parallel compression, but not even parallel compressing the kick or the snare sample.


Anyways, that’s how I like to use SSD4, and it’s been great. Some of the best sounding stuff that’s out, easily as far as drum samples go.

You know, if you’re a home studio guy and you’re really looking for that pro, kind of LA sound, this is what the pros are using a lot of the time, so you know, when you need a kick sample, or snare sample, or toms or whatever.

So anyways, check it out. I like it. The pricing is excellent on this, and I’m probably going to do the upgrade to Platinum at some point. It’s just a matter of time.

So anyways, subscribe, go check out the website, follow me on Twitter, hit us up on Facebook as well, and we’ll see you in the next video.




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