So, we’re back! This time, to make a review of the new Sonoma Wire Woks plugin: DrumCore 4 Prime.
Sonoma contacted me to offer the opportunity of doing this review, and I thought that would be cool to tell you what’s my 5 cents on it.
Well, to start, what’s it about? Well, it’s a plugin that contains a lot (on the prime version,
more than 10,000) royalty free drum loops (audio and MIDI) of different styles, tempos and played by different drummers. Yes, that’s a lot! And you can use their MIDI loops with their own drum kits (by the way, many, many drum kits – 104 to be exact), or just take them and use with the virtual drum of your preference. All audio loops are in 24bit/48 kHz format, and can be tempo-stretched (to a limit, of course).
Besides that, you can mix their drum kits inside the plugin, and also use their FX master out (compressor, parametric EQ, stereo delay, etc). To be sincere, having some great plugins in my library, I wouldn’t use them, but for someone that’s short on them, they sound pretty ok. The best one is, for sure, the multi-band compressor. It’s clean and gives
you a lot of control over what you wanna do. The only problem with it is that you can’t see the cross-over frequency for each compressor band – hope they fiz this in their next update.
The UI is pretty straight forward. Good, but not perfect. In your left you can filter the style of the loops, in the main window, there are the artists that played, and you can click on the “Show Owned” button to show just the artists that you own the loops. There’s a small flaw in that filter, because it shows the artists that you already own a loops pack, but, when you click the artist, it also show the loops that you don’t own from them. So sometimes you’re listening to a loops, and you realize you don’t own it… can be frustrating.
In the top-left portion you can choose the MIDI kit (for the MIDI loops) and also if you want to see the Audio or the MIDI loops (on the loops browser).
There are TONS of loops and fills, of very diverse genres, time signatures and tempos, and that’s very useful for composing quick songs and jingles. Also, not just drum loops, but percussion too!
Another great thing is that when you select a pack inside that specific drummer, on the top-middle screen it shows a small description to it, like “Heavy-hitting funky groove with a busy kick and snare”, so this makes the process of finding a more specific king of loop easier and faster.
The sound quality is very, very good. You can tell that the loops were very well recorded and edited, and that you can make some very professional sounding songs using them. The only questionable decision quality wise is that the audio loops are limited to 24 bit/48 kHz quality. Maybe they could think of offering the 96 kHz options also, since nowadays recording at this quality is super common, giving that the computers are getting faster and more powerful every year, easily handling 96 kHz.
If there’s one thing that I can complain, that really bothered me, is the fact that the loops take a long time to download (in app). Explaining: when you download the plugin, it comes in its basic version (Lite), with just some of the available loops. The version I was given to test is the Prime one, that contains many more loops and kits. Then, when you install it, you log into your Sonoma account (from inside the plugin), and is unlocks the available loops for your version. So, when you select a loop you won for the first time, it has to download it from their server before you can listen/use it. And sometimes it takes a while… one minute sometimes (and my internet is pretty fast). That can break your creative flow, since you have to wait it to download, so you can listen, and if that’s not the now to use, you go to the next loop and waits again….. so on and on. The good thing is that this only happens the first time you use the plugin. But Sonoma should some with an option of “bulk downloading” all the loops at once. It would be much easier and straight forward.
Well, I would give the Drumcore 4 Prime a 8 out of 10. It sounds very good, has a great variety of loops and fills and works really well. The ok UI, the small flaw on the “Show Owned filter and lack of ability of downloading the loops altogether, in a bulk, makes it looses some points, but in general is a very good plugin, specially if you don’t have a drum loops library and is looking for a good sounding drum plugin.