Native Instruments has released the Drum Lab, a new powerful virtual drum library for Kontakt featuring advanced drum layering techniques with an intuitive workflow designed for fast results.
The secret weapon of top professionals in a super-intuitive interface that makes mix-ready drum design fast and fun. Create thousands of new drum combinations that bear your signature stamp and kick with ultimate impact. Get into the lab and start experimenting – DRUMLAB guarantees a winning formula every time.
All drums were recorded in three different rooms to ensure maximum sonic versatility. High-end modern and vintage gear captured every nuance of the performances on analog tape. Grammy-winning producer Kenny Barto was then brought in to polish the sounds to a professional shine. Drum Lab also integrates perfectly with MASCHINE for the ultimate in hybrid drum groove production.
So, DrumLab is a drum track creation workstation and runs as an instrument in Native Instruments’ Kontakt sampler or the free Kontakt player on IntelMac and Windows PC. It has also been optimized for NI Maschine. The focus is clearly on acoustic drum sounds for the rock/pop area. The sounds can be easily adjusted and modified without sinking into a swamp of parameters.
When designing the user interface, as with the competition, care was taken to present everything in a very clear and image-oriented manner. This drum software is equipped with a groove section with many preset rhythms and a powerful effects department, so you don’t need anything else apart from a DAW to produce convincing drum basics.
With just a few clicks and controller movements, you can create an authentic-sounding, grooving drum kit without studying the manual. The grooves themselves can be adjusted with “Grid”, “Tightness” and “Swing”, but an editable step matrix is still missing. It’s nice that you can also flexibly assign the grooves to various keyboard keys, making intuitive remote control possible.
The heavyweight library is about 5.6 GB unpacked and contains 38 drum kits that were sampled from various acoustic drum kits and electronic sound generators. The sounds were recorded by top drummer Derico Watson, the mastering was done by Kenny Barto from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E team. Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Jay Rock. Nine bass drums, ten snares, six times three toms, seven hi-hats, six cymbals and 20 percussion sounds are available.
There is also a large number of electronic variants. The kits, which are divided into several abstract categories such as “Raw”, “Punch” or “Soft”, sound organic and present and have their own character. Of course, not all styles can be covered with it − if you need Latin or jazz drums, for example, you should look elsewhere − but most rock, indie or funk styles can be produced convincingly with the DrumLab sounds.
You can use DrumLab to produce absolutely convincing and professional-sounding drums in a very short time. The operating concept is musician-friendly and time-saving. Anyone who is into rock, indie, pop, rare groove, soul, but also trip-hop or big beat will love DrumLab.
The competition from Toontrack (EZdrummer, Superior Drummer) or XLN Audio (Addictive Drums) has been around in this area for a long time and has more specific libraries (e.g. blues, metal, etc.) in their program. But when it comes to the optimal workflow and a slim user interface, DrumLab has the edge; When it comes to sound quality, you meet at eye level. A feature that is welcome in practice is the ability to crossfade between acoustic and electronic sounds.
Drum Lab for Kontakt and Kontakt Player is available for $99 USD / 99 EUR.