Recording - January 2017 - 46

BY GARY ESKOW

Sonoma Wire Works DrumCore 4
Depth and breadth combine in this powerful rhythm creation software
Back in the early days of MIDI, the drum sound on every song where a particular drum machine was used would be identical. Man, those toms sound great!
Let's use them again! As we all know, the Phil Collins gated snare sound was an
attempt to break through that wall and deliver a unique timbre to a specific
track. The vortex immediately sucked it in and it became ubiquitous.
Today, a multitude of drum machines-hardware and software-are available (see Darwin Grosse's overview on page 26), and the variety of approaches they represent would have been hard to conceive of a few decades ago.
Sonoma Wire Works recently released DrumCore 4, which offers a combination of audio loops, MIDI performances that replicate the audio content, drum
kits, and effects. It's an approach that allows the user to interact with some of the
finest drummers in the world. Let's take a look.
Delivery and versions
DrumCore 4 comes in three different versions; the Ultra version, which I
worked with, is delivered on a 120 GB USB3 Solid State Drive. That means that
the 50 GB of content which it ships with won't take up space on one of your
system's internal drives. The Ultra version doesn't ship with all of the content
that's available for DrumCore 4; the extra 70 GBs allow you to purchase additional audio and MIDI files which will be sent directly to this drive (providing you
have it attached to a USB port on your computer).
The lighter versions (Lite, with 4 GB of content, or Prime, with 20 GB) can be
delivered on flash drives or downloaded via the web. The same delivery procedure applies; if you bought a flash drive and choose to add more material, it
will be installed onto that medium.
DrumCore 4 works with all of the major DAW platforms. Cubase 8 had no
problem recognizing the plug-in; I simply added an instrument track within a
project and began working.
Grooves and GrooveSets
GrooveSets are the point of entry into this plug-in. I couldn't find "GrooveSets"
anywhere on the GUI, so I was initially confused as to what they were, but it's
actually quite simple. If you scroll down to the Funk category in the Browser, for
example, you'll see a list of drummers who have contributed to this style (a complete list is available on the Sonoma website). Click on the photo of one of the
drummers you will be partnering with and you'll see a list of GrooveSets that he
has created. Under Ben Smith's pretty face, for example, there's a list of five. BS
Oil tops the list, and when you click on it, then choose either Audio or MIDI,
you'll have access to a set of grooves that work together easily. VoilĂ , your
GrooveSet. Nothing keeps you from assembling a track that combines material
from different GrooveSets, however, so have at it!
The fundamental aspect of DrumCore 4 that you won't find anywhere else is
this: you can build rhythm arrangements on the plug-in's Timeline (which we'll
discuss in a moment) using only the Audio or MIDI loops, or you can combine
the two. If you choose to combine audio and MIDI, your performances will complement the audio created by these mondo talented sticksters.
Parenthetically, another option is to drag a bunch of MIDI loops directly to
your DAW's sequencer and modify them, bypassing the Timeline entirely. The
audio loops were recorded multiple times, at different tempos. DrumCore4 recognizes the tempo of your sequencer and selects the audio that was recorded
most closely to it.
46

RECORDING JANUARY 2017

Question: if you're combining audio recorded in a
studio with MIDI kits you're processing in your environment, how does the sound match up between the
two? I was surprised that the application does not
clearly indicate the kits used to record the audio. For
example, if you go to the Prog Rock category,
choose Terry Bozzio, and then load up the menu of
grooves labelled TBZ 5/4, which of the multiple Terry
Bozzio kits should you load if you want to integrate
your own sterling performances along with his? I
couldn't tell. On the other hand, when I chose Alan
White under the Funk category and loaded up the
Six Gun GrooveSet, a drum kit with that label was
waiting for me.
As it turns out, this inconsistency is due to the fact
that the DrumKits were created over a number of
years by Submersible Music. According to Sonoma,
Submersible refined its process as they created the
collection, modifying and improving things over time.
That's fine, but if you're a purist looking to replicate
the audio with kits to match, be aware that it won't
always be possible without a fair bit of auditioning
different kits.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - January 2017

Contents
Recording - January 2017 - Intro
Recording - January 2017 - Cover1
Recording - January 2017 - Cover2
Recording - January 2017 - 1
Recording - January 2017 - 2
Recording - January 2017 - 3
Recording - January 2017 - 4
Recording - January 2017 - 5
Recording - January 2017 - Contents
Recording - January 2017 - 7
Recording - January 2017 - 8
Recording - January 2017 - 9
Recording - January 2017 - 10
Recording - January 2017 - 11
Recording - January 2017 - 12
Recording - January 2017 - 13
Recording - January 2017 - 14
Recording - January 2017 - 15
Recording - January 2017 - 16
Recording - January 2017 - 17
Recording - January 2017 - 18
Recording - January 2017 - 19
Recording - January 2017 - 20
Recording - January 2017 - 21
Recording - January 2017 - 22
Recording - January 2017 - 23
Recording - January 2017 - 24
Recording - January 2017 - 25
Recording - January 2017 - 26
Recording - January 2017 - 27
Recording - January 2017 - 28
Recording - January 2017 - 29
Recording - January 2017 - 30
Recording - January 2017 - 31
Recording - January 2017 - 32
Recording - January 2017 - 33
Recording - January 2017 - 34
Recording - January 2017 - 35
Recording - January 2017 - 36
Recording - January 2017 - 37
Recording - January 2017 - 38
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Recording - January 2017 - 40
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Recording - January 2017 - 44
Recording - January 2017 - 45
Recording - January 2017 - 46
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Recording - January 2017 - Cover3
Recording - January 2017 - Cover4
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