Skip to main content

music & audio

Superior Drummer Master Class

Lesson 8 of 26

SDX Libraries Explained

Rikk Currence

Superior Drummer Master Class

Rikk Currence

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

8. SDX Libraries Explained

Lesson Info

SDX Libraries Explained

So at the close of the last session, we had a question about STX libraries and the question sort of lettuce into a different direction. Some stuff we haven't talked about yet, but I just want to make sure there's a clarity on how we actually record our products because we do have to drum products. Superior, drummer and easy drummer to a spirit over two point Tony's Derma to And in some instances, what we do is release a library that we've recorded in both formats. So give you a perfect example. We've been using the Avatar Library, which is ultimately the stock library that comes with Superior Drummer two point. Oh, but just for a visual change will come back to Avatar. Let's say that I was going to load the metal machinery. STX looks a little bit different. Obviously it's gonna be loading down here. This is for all of the metal heads now the metal sheen, the metal machinery. STX is also available in an easy X format, and it's called Metal Machine. Very ingenious. Don't you think that w...

e know that the same and ultimately the even though they're the same recording session the way that they're presented to you. The end user are very different. So again, with easy drummer to libraries, res drummer libraries, all of sort of the I don't want to call it final production work. But a lot of production work has been done to give you not only a lower memory footprint, lower CPU, but sort of a plug and play your in. Okay, it already sounds great. I would have done that. Compression on the kick drum sort of brings all of the effects that a lot of people would normally say Yes, associate with a sort of mix ready kind of sound. There are options, obviously an easy drummer to where you can change certain things and certain functions and features. But there's a lot less options than there are in Superior Drummer. So in the STX version, the instruments will obviously be the same on that's about it. Ultimately, everything else that's gonna happen, we'll show you kind of a mixture page a little bit. Here you have a lot of channels to work with a lot of things, and again we're just looking at the mixer channels. I've actually gotten rid of the buses in the outputs just so we can see all the options you have. And what you're dealing with is a much mawr sort of. Rohrer is not a word, but you're dealing with basically the session at its core. You get to play producer, you get to play engineer, you get to sculpt and shape these sounds as they were recorded. Really, really to your liking. And I'm not saying you can't do that in easy Drummer. I'm saying, Ah, lot of that's been done for you Now to show you the comparison again. The mixer is generally the place where you see that the biggest difference. This is the metal machinery STX So the Superior Drum Expansion Library recorded by Andy Sneak butt heads in studios drummer John Tempesta. Just brilliant, brilliant stuff. If you're in the harbor. Heavy music. Now, if I was to go into my library selection list and I was to pull up the metal machine Easy X. The graphic looks different, right? Look at the memory footprint. Does anyone remember what it was for the STX? I totally caught you all off guard. If you guys could see the studio audience that like Waas, they're trying to. They didn't know they didn't even know to look. But check this out. Let's go to the to the mixer again. I'm at the end of the mixer already. One scroll. I'm done. A lot of things have been condensed. A lot of things have put together so that they're a little easier for you to work with. Easier, no pun intended, right? But now let's go back and look at the memory difference against that was the easy X. So it's come to mental machinery and we load the pretty big difference. Yeah, so what does that mean? One is better than the other again. Better subjective to what you're doing. Sometimes people generally like to open easy exes in superior because there are some features and superior that allowed them to shape the easy X even further. But they like the fact that they have a production ready sound all ready to go. There are some people that are the converse. They love the STX because they just want the raw snare tracks and they want a process and tweak and do everything that they want to do so that it sounds the way they want it's half a dozen 16 of the other. Both products come ready for you to work within their desired format. All of our drum products work inside of the superior drummer to engine, So whether it's an easy Exxon STX, the MIDI is different. So are easy X libraries and our STX libraries both come with many performances from drummers. The midi is different, so the metal machine midi that comes with the easy X will be different performances than the metal machinery Midi that comes with the STX. So again there is value to have both have one or the other really depends on what you want to do. There's no right or wrong answer. But when you're in the superior drummer to environment again, any tune track drum products that you own become an asset because you can use them. And while we're talking about that So I'm gonna go back to Avatar now so you can see again. As I looked through this list, we're gonna talk about these things appear in a second too, just so you know what they are. But you can see that I've got all of the easy exes as I should and all the STX is loaded and we're gonna be working continually in Avatar just because anyone that has superior has avatar but one of the other things you can do with these particular set of instruments. As I explained in the construction component, you have some kit presets. You can always watch the memory down at the bottom as we load a kit, but you'll see that we've got the default kit that loads full kit based a kit alternative stick kit brush kit. So what are those alternative stick and brush kits? This is pretty cool. So in Avatar and in every STX now, this applies on Lee to STX Library Superior libraries. We have tool settings. What does that mean? Well, sometimes the producer of the engineer that we work with want to record these drums with alternative striking tools or have some sort of different tools or methods available. So, for instance, in Avatar, you'll notice you've got different drumstick options, different bass drum beater options, and then right now, the bottom snare wires air checked as being on. Now that's one of the most simple things to here. So let's select the stairs that would mean the bottom scenario. Wires on the snare drum are on right? So if you're not familiar with the way sneer works, its rounds got wires across the bottom and you could turn them on or off. When they're on, you get what we would consider to be the traditional snare sound. But if you turn them off, you now have the traditional snare wires off sound, which is great if you're working with some, sort of, I guess, more rhythmic or Tom based music. But is that in and of itself pretty earth shattering? Actually, yeah, again, we just talked about memory usage in the way that the computer works of processes information and the fact that you could just go in and select in the menu to turn this narrow wires off on this particular drum is pretty awesome. It's very, very much like being there and having control. So what's turn that back on? Because it'll drive me crazy, but it should be noted, and this is very important, and we'll show you an example in a minute. We talked about how a recording session for tune track works a little bit, so we go in the producer in The Engineer Drummer. Select the drums. We get everything dialed into the producers liking, and that's pretty important to We're not. We're not recording drums were trying to achieve sounds that sound good as samples. That's not the idea. The reality is we're working with top notch producers, engineers and drummers to put together album quote like This is what we would do on a record. This is how if we came in and we were gonna cut a record for someone, so this is what the drums would sound like. So once that sound is in play, the producer generally will make some decisions. Hey, that drum sounds great. We should record that drum with brushes to or that drum sounds great. We should use mallets now. Those decisions don't extend to every drum, so ah, lot of the questions we get about the tool settings and superior can be answered right here. So number one it's different in every STX tool. Settings are only available as an option in STX libraries in an easy X library. If a producer wants to record a snare drum, for instance, with brushes that will be its own set of samples and labeled as such in the drop down menu. It'll just say brushes snare. You know it will be its own particular instrument. And in superior, not every single drum is recorded with every single striking instrument. So I'll give you an example. So we've got right now we're in Avatar, right? We're gonna load the default kit. Everybody's with me. So right now, let's go into tool settings and let's use brushes. What just happened? Read, read. Warnings of doom. Can you believe read? Warnings of doom just happened on this beautiful software program. What is this telling me? It's telling me. First of all, nobody recorded this cow bell with brushes, which is a travesty, first of all. So it's saying, Hey, there's nothing available here. Seeing not loaded click it not loaded. And this particular China symbol were symbol that I have loaded was also not recorded with brushes. Now what I can do in this instance is see if there is something available in the drop down menu that was so if I click on this and I come down, I see all of these Astra gastric. But what happens if I find one with no ass trick boom that was recorded with brushes and everyone followed me there will do it again. Makes sense. So what happens is like I just said, a producer and artist get to the session and they think that a certain set of instruments will sound good, recorded a certain way. So we do it now. That doesn't necessarily mean you could just apply brushes to ever. It won't mean that at all. The same thing would go true if you wanted to go through rods. Okay, we got lucky. Everything here was recorded with rods like hot rods. You know? Is that a thing? Hot rods, like 2015 Right? Okay, Just want to make sure, um, other tool options in this particular kit K felt mallets this again. We did not choose to record the cow bell with felt mallets. I know very, very hard to believe, but this particular ride Cymbal that's loaded was not recorded with felt mallets. And as you look, both of these have Asterix by them, which means needed. One of these symbols was recorded with felt mallets. So it doesn't matter which one you load. You might as well unload that if you're going toe the difference. Nice. So can I turn the snares off when I'm playing? Huh? No. Come on. Why would we do that now? Nothing is loaded. You believe that? Okay, Does that make sense now? Why did all of those just go off when I turned off the bottom snorers or tried to? Does anyone know this is really important? So all I wanted to do was select this drum. Follow me here because I don't want anyone to be shocked. And then I wanted to see if if I could turn the bottom stair wires on. I'm sorry. Not off. And then all of a sudden, everything's like, no even things that aren't a snare. Why do you think that is? You didn't record the drums with the snares on Viva Viva Lows. Participant owes? Yep. We didn't record those articulations with the snare wires on Right. Makes sense. As I told you in the last segment, everything has more than one capture device. When you hit a snare drum in a recording studio, it's not just the overhead snare mic right that captured it. All the microphones captured something with brushes. So if you try and turn those snare wires on, it's going to say that's cool. But no, we don't have samples that can reflect that. Brilliant. And that's how superior sort of keeps you in check. So you don't, you know, do things that you're not supposed to Rookwood. And you guys do it because we did. I don't know. I was not there. There was 2000 and eight actually recording for 2006 so I don't know why we didn't do it, but for whatever reason, And it's probably the best reason for you and your music. We just didn't do it. So stop asking questions like that. Okay? All right. Are we good? All right. So we still know that the cow bell poor old cow bell was only recorded with sticks so we can go back and let's just cowbells back and play now. Feel good. Everyone understands the tool setting. So again, this is Avatar. All right, so, in the sort of description we just gave you guys about the metal machinery and metal machine, the same thing is true with avatar, and the pop rock is E X. So if you were toe put the pop rock Easy X in play. Oh well, I don't have it installed, so have to put a new path so we won't put the pop rock easy exit play because it's in a different place but will use, you know, let's go back t mental machinery, the STX because there's actually a pretty good one. Um, we talked about how the producer makes the decision as to whether or not there are gonna be tool options and you'll notice the tool settings I have have nothing. There's nothing here. I can click on it. Nothing comes down now. I don't think anyone's gonna be surprised that the expansion library called metal machinery does not include brushes or mallets. That's just gonna be our thought process there. But if I was to then go here, check this out so we won't use metal machinery. Let's use, um, well, roots sticks K recorded a Blackbird Beautiful studio. We've got some tools settings for the bass drum beater and the bottom snare wires. Roots has a corresponding easy X that we call jazz. Okay, so if we were to do that, it's come down to two. Jazz jazz opens up again smaller memory footprint tool settings. We know there's no tool settings on an easy X right, But if there were alternate tools, you'll see here, for instance, Pearl solid Maple shell. What does it say? Brushes. So you know that that articulation was recorded with brushes because it's an easy acts. Does that make sense? Is everyone still following me? So the difference to use the tools first comes from is an STX or nisi x no tools and easy X Onley STX, And the second determining factor is, did the producer actually record tools for that stuff? So it's a lot of trial and error, and you can kind of find some very, very unique combinations, as faras thes tools go depending on how it was recorded. So again, with Avatar being the stock library for Superior Drummer, the most tools available in this particular instance you know, even down to the different beaters plastic Peter felt beaters kind of cool. You can experiment with different tones of different sounds, and it makes life very, very interesting.

Class Description

Superior Drummer is the industry standard for pro-level virtual drums. It is used on countless albums, at nearly every studio on the planet. Yet, most users are barely scratching the surface of the software’s capabilities.

In Superior Drummer Master Class, Rikk Currence, CEO of Toontrack North America, will give you the definitive guide to Superior Drummer. He’ll help you unlock countless new workflow efficiencies and creative possibilities. 

You’ll learn about:

  • The basics of the Superior Drummer interface
  • How to use the Construct page to assemble your kit 
  • Getting the Grooves page to work with MIDI 
  • Working the Mixer page – including effects and routing 
  • Navigating the Mapping page and using Superior with e-drums

You’ll also learn the advanced features that are the real key to getting the most out of Superior. Rikk will show how to use X-drum to assemble custom kits and layer sounds to create custom drums, and how to use the Bounce page, a highly-underutilized feature in Superior that enables you to bounce out every piece of the kit as its own audio file – the ultimate solution to bleed problems!

Superior Drummer Master Class with Rikk Currence will reveal the full potential of Superior and enable you to do things you only dreamed were possible.

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Shayne Sheldon

I am very pleased with this course. It was originally presented as a free live stream and is the first CreativeLive course that I have taken in. I am so impressed, that I have purchased it. If you are a current Toontrack Superior Drummer 2 user (or are thinking of buying SD 2) and are looking for a guided way to learning this software, this course is one of the best learning methods I have ever come across. I doesn't matter what your experience level is with Superior Drummer-- there is something here for beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Though I would recommend having a working knowledge of MIDI, audio and computers. Absolute beginners to using software instruments and creating music in their computer might find the information in this course a bit overwhelming. Instructor Rikk Currence takes you thoroughly through basic to advanced concepts showing the true depth of this virtual instrument program. Rikk takes you through the program settings and options; creating custom virtual drum kits; settings for MIDI controllers and E-Drum kits; using the SD 2.0 as a stand alone virtual instrument, as well runninf it as a plug-in in a Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.) like Avid's Pro Tools. So much more is covered in this course, that I can't fully begin to share it all in this review. The knowledge I gained from this CreativeLive two day course has given me extra insight, increasing my functionality with Superior Drummer 2. Two thumbs up for this Master Class-- I can't recommend it enough to all Superior Drummer 2 users Thanks to Rikk Currence and CreativeLive for a superior course on Toontrack's Superior Drummer 2.

Ian Stephenson

Great course, the tutor kept it entertaining and held our interest whilst still getting over a huge wealth of detail for all levels of user. recommended :-)


Killer class! Well worth purchasing. Each lesson is effectively thorough, as well as comfortably paced. And Rikk’s sense of humor makes the learning process all the more enjoyable.