Tuesday, 1 September 2020 1:50 pm
One of the selling points of the Alesis Strike module is the ability to load your own samples, with the company even providing a tool to create multi-layer samples. But for most drummers, the challenge remains sourcing the original sounds. So, it’s like having a fancy stove but no ingredients.
Enter drum-tec, the German e-drum retail pioneer. Customers who buy their Strike kit or module from drum-tec already get a free add-on sample set as a value-add.
Realising there’s a bigger market for the tweaked sounds, drum-tec is now offering that freebie as a paid download for anyone who didn’t buy their hardware direct.
So, Strike owners now have a choice of two custom packs – ‘Live’ and ‘Real Acoustics’.
The kits are loaded as User kits and don’t interfere with the stock kits already loaded on the Strike. The come in a zipped folder. Once extracted, the folders must be copied into the root directory of an SD card – preferably one formatted in the module.
And a word of warning: the drum-tec patches use new sounds which were released with the Strike Pro SE (and the 1.5 firmware update). If you haven’t yet done the update – and be aware that the update is in two parts - you will find some drums don’t trigger any sounds in the new kits.
The Strike is perhaps the easiest module to update with drum-tec kits. Unlike other modules, where you need to save the kits into the brain, the Strike accesses them directly from the SD card. Of course, that means the SD card needs to be in the module to access the new kits.
digitalDrummer tried both the Live and Real Acoustics packs and there was some overlap between the two – a few kits which are represented both dry and in “live” versions, with reverb and other FX.
All kits are optimised for the standard Strike Pro configuration of snare, kick, ride, hi-hat, four toms and two crashes. Some of the rims trigger percussion sounds like cowbells.
Both packs consist of 15 kits, and the Live one (the free offering with drum-tec kits and modules) includes some ‘classic’ kits from Gretsch, Tama, Pearl and Rogers. There is Slingerland Radio King and a classic Ludwig which is available with the snare strainer on or off. The kits sound full and have lots of presence, but there’s not an overdose of FX.
The Real Acoustics is a bit of a misnomer as not all the kits are dry studio drum sets as the name implies. Yes, there are some very natural kits like a Yamaha Beech, but there are also some engineered sounds like a Phil Collinsesque gated DW and thunderous Ian Pace Pearl kit. There’s also an 808 synth drum for those ‘80s songs.
Of course, the Strike comes with a plethora of stock kits, so most drummers would probably find everything they need already loaded in the module. But personal taste being what it is, not everyone will be satisfied. And while there are plenty of onboard tools to shape and hone the sounds to personal taste – as well as the ability to use whatever external samples you can find, some users will have neither the time, the skill nor the inclination to do it themselves. For these, the €49 drum-tec packs are a quick fix which is easy to buy, download and access. Better still, you can actually hear them before you purchase by accessing the high-quality video demonstrations on the drum-tec YouTube channel.