Big Fish Audio | Music Tech Magazine | Studio Kit Builder Product Review
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Studio Kit Builder | Music Tech Magazine

Rating: 4/5 Back to Studio Kit Builder product details

Key Features:
- Over 8GB of samples
- VST, AU and RTAS
- 130 drum sounds
- Over 50 drum kit presets

There are plenty of options when it comes to drums and numerous sample packs and drum plug-ins exist to satisfy most needs. However, here Vir2 is focusing on presenting a well-rounded acoustic drums plug-in that aims to give you quality drum kits and plenty of variety at a good price.

Although the plug-in is a Kontakt device it can be used with the free Kontakt Player included with both the disc and download versions. The main GUI pages are Player, Mapping, Kit and Mixer. Player lets you preview from a very large library of included MIDI files, which pretty much covers any genre you can think of. Once selected, you can drag and drop the MIDI file to your sequencer window in the background. The programming is quite dynamic - if a little light on timing and groove - but we found them very useful for getting ideas together quickly, which is where we feel SKB excels.

The Mapping page lets you manually re-assign the preset layout for MIDI mapping and is based around a simple drop down menu system. Simply find the MIDI key you want on a piano roll-style keyboard and assign it to whichever part of the drum kit you prefer. MIDI CC assignments can be customized for electronic drum kits as well, so although we don't have a kit to hand, we imagine that running this plug-in in standalone mode would provide a great sonic palette for drum practice, gigging and recording work.

The Kit page consists of a static drum kit view from where you customize or build your own kits. Although humanise functions are handy, they are quite liberally applied to all drums asides from the cymbals section - great for instantly sounding like a human, but not so great for getting predictable results from your programming. Nonetheless, we found the sound quality across the kits to be good enough for faking various drum sounds in most genres.

MTM Verdict: While it doesn't excel at everything, Studio Kit Builder is sufficiently capable given the price. A useful tool for library music, sync or anyone who needs a large palette of rhythm sounds in one place.

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