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Decades SDX by Al Schmitt

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Decades of Experience.

A massive collection of drums recorded by one of the most prolific audio craftsmen of our time: Al Schmitt.

The Decades SDX was recorded at Capitol Studios and comes with five drum kits, all handpicked to represent a specific sound or era in Al’s career. Expect a palette of immaculate drum sounds encapsulating not only a lifetime of experience working at the apex of the industry but just as much a personal and reflective collection of kits that in a way represents his entire body of work. From jazz and big band to rock, fusion, pop, funk and AOR – the Decades SDX covers all the styles that can be traced back to Al’s illustrious lifetime achievement.

Features

  • Produced by 23-time Grammy Award-winning engineer/mixer Al Schmitt
  • Recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, CA
  • Five (5) kits
  • 12 snares, nine (9) kicks as well as a broad collection of hi-hats and cymbals
  • Includes several iconic original instruments, like the original snare drum used by Jeff Porcaro on Toto’s “Rosanna” as well as Steve Ferrone’s personal drum kit
  • Brushes and/or mallets available on select kits/instruments
  • Drums from the 1920s through the late 1990s
  • Recorded with an additional seven room microphones for playback in stereo up to 9.1 systems

About Al Schmitt

In retrospect, figuring out that Al would end up behind a console is somewhat of a no-brainer. He literally grew up in a studio. Already at the age of seven, he hung out with his uncle Harry, who also was an engineer, to help set out chairs for musicians, clean patch cables and whatever came with being a helper during sessions back then.

This was in the thriving days of the late 1930s New York big band and jazz scene. That scene was buzzing, with loads of work and studios scattered all over the city. From there, his path was pretty much laid out. Working his formative years under the tutelage of many of the era’s legendary engineers, he honed his craft before relocating to California. After that, the rest is music history. For real.

In fact, Al Schmitt’s footprint in the recording industry is hard to fathom or even put down in words. Just the numbers alone are mind-boggling: 727 recordings, 160 gold and platinum albums and 23 Grammy Awards.

Scrolling through his discography is even more daunting – his hands and ears have literally shaped our collective music history. From now immortal icons like Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Sam Cooke to Madonna, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Barbara Streisand and Paul McCartney – Al has worked with them all.

The Drums

The Decades SDX includes five kits as well as an impressive selection of snare drums, kick drums and cymbals.

1930s Broadway Kit

This genuine 1930s kit combines two legendary drum brands and serves as our tribute to Al’s work with immortal crooners like Frank Sinatra and many others. The original calfskins on all instruments produce that uniquely warm and time-accurate tone. Great for any jazz context – ideal for big band arrangements.

1970s Soul and Tight Pop Kits

  • The 1970s Soul Kit: There probably are no better suited drums than these to pay tribute to Al’s work on seminal albums by the likes of Al Jarreau, George Benson, Steely Dan and the Yellowjackets. Looking for that unmistakable 1970s dry, deep, round and in-your-face type of tone? This is it – complete with some of Al’s signature dampening, often a “must” during this very era.
  • The 1970s Tight Pop Kit: The same set but recorded with thin towels covering all drums. The result? A tight, snappy and muffled tone with loads of transient punch while still maintaining that heartwarmingly thick resonance. This excessively muffled way of deadening the tone was used a lot during the 1970s. Listen to Al Jarreau and Steely Dan (to name a few) and you’ll hear it.

The 1980s Rock & Fusion Kit

This unique prototype set was picked as a reference to Al’s work with some of the biggest AOR and melodic rock acts of the 1980s. Looking for the “million dollar” drum tone? This is it – punchy yet silky smooth.

The Ballroom Swing Kit

The rise of jazz and swing in the early 20th century wasn’t only a milestone for music on a whole, it was also epoch-making in terms of drums. This is the era when we went from an often random collection of percussive instruments to standardizing what we still refer to as a classic ‘drum kit’ setup. These original drums from the 1930s and 1940s were selected as a homage to the very beginning of Al’s career and his work with the pioneering artists that defined the genre. Problem getting the drums to cut through the horn section in your mix? This kit’s got you covered.

The Modern Jazz Kit

Al’s more recent work with award-winning vocal and small ensemble jazz artists like Diana Krall, Natalie Cole and others is represented by this kit. If there is a “studio standard” for drums, this is it. These drums have an almost eerie way of combining balance, nuance and detail.

System Requirements

  • 64-bit Windows 7 or newer, 8 GB RAM (16 GB RAM or more recommended).
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, 64-bit Intel-based Mac with 8 GB RAM (16 GB RAM or more recommended).
  • Stereo Setup: Approx. 28 GB 
  • Surround Setup: Approx. 54 GB
  • Height Surround Setup: Approx. 76 GB
  • Full Installation (including bleed): Approx. 99 GB
  • Plus an additional 99 GB required for the installation process
  • A working Superior Drummer 3.0.3  (or above) installation.

Please Note: This SDX requires Toontrack Superior Drummer 3.0.3 or above to work.

Any references to any brands on this site/page, including reference to brands and instruments, are provided for description purposes only. For example references to instrument brands are provided to describe the sound of the instrument and/or the instrument used in the sample. Plugin Boutique do not have (nor do they claim) any association with or endorsement by these brands. Any goodwill attached to those brands rest with the brand owner. Plugin Boutique or its Suppliers do not accept any liability in relation to the content of the product or the accuracy of the description. "RHODES" is a registered trademark of Joseph A Brandstetter.

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