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Toontrack SDX Music City USA review by DV247 Magazine

Toontracks Music City USA is the latest expansion pack for Superior Drummer 2.0. There’s already a vast amount of drum sounds available from the Custom and Vintage, New York Studios and Metal Foundry expansion packs for Superior Drummer, but Music City USA adds an authentic taste of Nashville to the SDX series.

Utilising drummer Harry Stinson and engineer Chuck Ainlay, the same guys that produced the drum sounds for the EZ Drummer Nashville pack, Toontrack has assembled another selection of tasty hardware and let the two of them loose. These guys obviously know a thing or two about recording drums – the ‘70s Ludwig Black Beauty 5”x14” snare included here is absolutely to die for. Recorded at Sound Kitchen Studios, all the samples in Music City USA have a natural feel and transparency which puts this pack in a league of its own in my opinion. Although the actual quantity of drums is not huge – you get just five kick drums, five snares, five rack and floor toms, only one hi-hat and eight crashes and rides – the quality is stunning. I listened to a ride cymbal in great detail, particularly the decay, which died away completely naturally without any glitching at the tail.

Not mentioned in my previous review of Superior Drummer 2.0 was the articulation function of the individual drums. Obviously it’s the snare and hi-hat which have the most articulation options as they have more ways of being hit than the other drums. The hi-hat in particular, as well as the usual open and closed positions, can be struck with just the tip of the stick or on the edge to produce a different feel. The snare has the option to be hit on the edge, rim shotted, or flamed as well as about another half dozen ways, all assignable to different notes, making it easy to compose a really expressive drum part that doesn’t sound robotic or undynamic.

As well as the aforementioned Ludwig snare, there’s a 5” Tama Artstar, a ‘60s wooden Roger’s Powertone and a 6” Ludwig chrome brass – all great sounding drums. The default tuning on the snares is obviously how they actually sound, and messing with the tuning makes them sound rather odd. In fact my only beef with Superior Drummer is that the tuning function is hard to use – any over adjustment and you’re in special effects territory. I will be leaving the drums tuned exactly as they are when I use Music City USA in my own recordings. If they’re good enough for a top Nashville drummer and engineer, who am I to argue?

Toontrack is building a fine – and big – library of drum samples for Superior Drummer, and I’d like to see some more modern whole kits at some point from maybe DW, Yamaha and Sonor. Stay with DV247 Blog for reviews of the other SDX expansion packs. Meanwhile I’m off back to Music City USA.

Original Source: DV247 Magazine