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Interview with the software team.

When did you start the process of developing Superior Drummer 3? I think, from my own design point of view, it was roughly three years ago. However, the planning and thinking started much earlier than that.

What was your ultimate goal going in? We wanted to create a complete production environment for percussive sound design. One that would incorporate tools for anything from mixing detailed acoustic drums for any genre to easy-to-use features for elaborate sound design, drum audio to MIDI conversion as well as thorough support for e-drums. All this while also incorporating the songwriting features we already have associated with other products. Still, we wanted the design to be easy and let the user decide at what layer of complexity to work. At the surface, Superior Drummer 3 is designed to be easy to grasp while “under the hood”, it’s really a monster.

Looking back on this pretty long development phase, how much actually changed from when you first started drawing it up to the version you are releasing in now? The nature of software development is trial and error, so both minor and major changes happen on a daily basis. Lots of details, controllers and areas have been redone, changed and rearranged over the development phase, all to as efficiently as possible allow the users to achieve their goals. However, even if details change, the initial goals shouldn’t. We’ve always worked with one mindset: make a product that is extremely deep and complex on the inside but very easy to work with. And last, but not least, make working with Superior Drummer 3 a fun and inspirational experience!

What are some of the biggest challenges when developing software? From a design aspect, finding one solution that fits lots of different users. No one should feel intimidated when opening the program – it should be easy to navigate on the surface. Aside from that, the software has to work on different computers with different hardware, screen sizes, external controllers and so much more. But all this also makes development fun. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be a challenge! 🙂

Like always, software never really gets “finished”. Are there any features you’ll be implementing in the immediate future? Yes. Although there’s a lot of new features in Superior Drummer 3, we still have plenty on the drawing board. Developing a product of this scope is a massive undertaking. The more advanced you make it, the more it allows for new features to add. It’s also a good thing that we have a very active beta testing community that continuously suggest new ideas and suggestions. We always take into account what customers have to say as well, so it will be interesting to hear everyone’s feedback now that it’s available!

Tell us about a regular day at the office for the Toontrack software team! We arrive in the morning, have a coffee (if the machine is in a good mood and works). We have a very open climate regarding new ideas and thoughts about the program, so lots of discussions occur where everyone with an idea can participate. We build and test versions all the time and process feedback from our testers from around the world. An advantage we have is that most of us are musicians and songwriters, so we try to look at every feature from both a practical and musical approach. I think that, in the end, if everyone on the software team likes what we have created, there’s a good chance we have made a very good and useful product!

Finally, now that the product is finally ready for release, how does it feel? Is there any separation anxiety involved? Well, it’s like building a hot rod in a garage. It’s really fun to do it, but the real reward comes when you can start the engine, back it out of there and let other people see and hear the result.


BIG ROCK DRUMS EZX JAM.

Longtime Toontrack user Alan Sacha Laskow wrote this custom piece for Metal Month!

ARTWORK TIMELAPSE.

Watch the Metal Bass Beasts EZmix Pack cover develop from idea to finished art!

DRUMCEPTION: CHRIS BRODERICK.

Listen to Chris Broderick’s insane riffing and lead work over Mario’s drums.

DRUMCEPTION: RIVERS OF NIHIL.

Big, ambient and haunting – listen to how the guys from Rivers of Nihil interpreted Mario’s drum track!

FLUFF – MARK LEWIS DEMO.

Fluff from Riffs, Beards & Gear tries out the Mark Lewis Metal Tones EZmix Pack.

GEAR GODS: THREE MIXES.

Trey demos three different mixing using the EZmix Packs released during Metal Month 2016.

GUEST PLAYLIST – EFRAIM JUNTUNEN (NAGLFAR).

We checked in with Naglfar drummer Efraim Juntunen to see what’s spinning in his headphones right now!

NEW DRUM MIDI PACK FOR BLACK METAL!

Steady doom-like beats, grinding tirades and violent outbursts in fills.

SUPERIOR DRUMMER 2 TUTORIAL.

Luke Oswald shows you his favorite trick for boosting the bass drum and making his overall drum mix pop.

MUSIC CITY USA SDX – ON E-DRUMS.

E-drum performance by Luke Oswald featuring the Music City USA SDX.

TOMAS HAAKE: KIT RUNDOWN.

We caught up with Tomas Haake of Meshuggah to get a rundown of his 2016 touring kit.

MASTERING & MIXING WITH EZMIX 2.

A few videos on the subject of mixing and mastering with EZmix 2.

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