Author Topic: Loading VSTs on to Strike module  (Read 209 times)

Loading VSTs on to Strike module
« on: November 23, 2021, 01:19:50 PM »
Hi guys, new Strike owner here. Currently using a Roland kit, occasionally triggering sounds from Superior Drummer and/or EZ Drummer. This works out pretty well, but I find the whole process somewhat tedious and find that I prefer just drumming with module sounds for the sake of convenience. I decided to order a Strike module because the internal sounds seem pretty good out of the box, plus I've heard some really good custom kits.

I also like the idea of loading some of my VST kits into the module to use as internal sounds, obviously. My question is should I use SD3 kits or EZD kits? Of course the SD3 kits are better in terms of fidelity and definition, but the file sizes are much larger and I would think that might be a limiting factor when loading them onto the module. And truthfully, the EZD kits sound pretty darn great, too, despite being only a fraction of the size. I'm thinking about picking up some EZXs on sale this week, but figured I would ask about this here first. Some of the EZX's I'm looking at are basically trimmed-down versions of SDX's that I already own.

Thanks!

Offline Chaser

Re: Loading VSTs on to Strike module
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2021, 07:10:43 PM »
Hi guys, new Strike owner here. Currently using a Roland kit, occasionally triggering sounds from Superior Drummer and/or EZ Drummer. This works out pretty well, but I find the whole process somewhat tedious and find that I prefer just drumming with module sounds for the sake of convenience. I decided to order a Strike module because the internal sounds seem pretty good out of the box, plus I've heard some really good custom kits.

I also like the idea of loading some of my VST kits into the module to use as internal sounds, obviously. My question is should I use SD3 kits or EZD kits? Of course the SD3 kits are better in terms of fidelity and definition, but the file sizes are much larger and I would think that might be a limiting factor when loading them onto the module. And truthfully, the EZD kits sound pretty darn great, too, despite being only a fraction of the size. I'm thinking about picking up some EZXs on sale this week, but figured I would ask about this here first. Some of the EZX's I'm looking at are basically trimmed-down versions of SDX's that I already own.

Thanks!

Welcome to the Forum !
Basically it's as you mentioned..EZD2 is processed/mix ready...SD3 Raw/unprocessed and about twice as many samples..at least..EZD2 is for quick songwriting.SD3 is for Production/Studio use.

The STRIKE module outputs the onboard FX through the Main Outputs...if you use the Individual outs the FX are not applied.
So if you use SD3 dry kits/samples and apply the onboard STRIKE'S FX (so you have a variety of options/kits) you have to output from the main..the FX/proccessed sound won't output from the individual outs..but if you use a EZD2 processed kit..or pre-mix everything on SD3 you can use the individual outputs but you lose the benefit/options of a dry kit and using the STRIKES onboard FX's...so it depends on your requirements for outputs.Live performers use the Dry signal/ individual outs to the FOH.
As with a number of software developers other than ride there is no bell or bow articulation in Toontrack..FXPansion has Bell,Bow,Edge for most cymbals depending on expansion..The last few expansions for SD3 have grown in size,more kits and started using a lot more articulations for positional sensing..something like 15 for the ride for Roland users..don't know about the Hi Hat and Snare..haven't had a chance to take a look at the last few as they have been sitting..

I presume you are going to use SDSE?
The size of the exported kit depends on how you set up SDSE initially regardless of the Vst/Software library size..
You can set up different .ini files for different Software/Vst.
There are a number of adjustments that can be made to accommodate whatever you need ...24 bit..16 bit mono..playing style /kit piece as not everyone needs 100+ velocities for a Tom rim or kick or a bell,simple Hi Hat range or dynamic ,or if you just crash the crash and china etc..basically you can set it up to export for a dynamic player/Jazz etc..or heavy hitter Metal etc

In the latest/recent versions of SDSE (starting v2.9.9) you can now use the Max Tune up option that was available as a memory saving feature for 2Box.
You set Options > Convert > Max tune up to 5(increasing max tune will lower the sound quality and save more space.)
after export..open the Strike Editor and create your new instruments, making sure to set the 'SEMI' parameter negative to match your max tune setting (for max tune up 5 in SDSE, set SEMI to -5 in the Strike Editor)

It saves a lot of space for a small loss in sound quality.
I haven't done a comparison as I haven't used SDSE for quite awhile.

So while you are waiting there are some things to consider as you go through the SDSE Manual

Re: Loading VSTs on to Strike module
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2021, 07:39:58 PM »
Thanks for the info. I'm actually not planning on using SDSE because I'm on a Mac. I was considering running it in a Windows emulator, but there is newer software called XtractpleR that runs natively on both Windows and Mac, so I'm trying that instead. I was going to capture audio in stereo at 16-bit and 48000 kHz. There are default values for how many samples to use and minimum /maximum velocity, but I have no idea if this is optimized for the Strike or not. Basically the velocities are set between 10-127 (not sure why not 1-127?), and samples range from 30 for snare center, to 15 for most toms and cymbals (25 for hi-hat edge), and so on. Depending how many pads I sample, this projects a kit size around 150-175 MB. Would you recommend more or fewer samples per instrument? Oh, you can also modify sample duration, so for example cymbals are longer to account for the longer decay time - but I imagine these won't need to be messed with.

So I never really thought about it, but is the much larger file size of the SD3 kits due to the NUMBER of samples? In other words, the individual samples themselves are roughly equivalent in quality and size, it's just that SD3 has so many more of them?

Offline Chaser

Re: Loading VSTs on to Strike module
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2021, 09:27:35 PM »
Thanks for the info. I'm actually not planning on using SDSE because I'm on a Mac. I was considering running it in a Windows emulator, but there is newer software called XtractpleR that runs natively on both Windows and Mac, so I'm trying that instead. I was going to capture audio in stereo at 16-bit and 48000 kHz. There are default values for how many samples to use and minimum /maximum velocity, but I have no idea if this is optimized for the Strike or not. Basically the velocities are set between 10-127 (not sure why not 1-127?), and samples range from 30 for snare center, to 15 for most toms and cymbals (25 for hi-hat edge), and so on. Depending how many pads I sample, this projects a kit size around 150-175 MB. Would you recommend more or fewer samples per instrument? Oh, you can also modify sample duration, so for example cymbals are longer to account for the longer decay time - but I imagine these won't need to be messed with.

So I never really thought about it, but is the much larger file size of the SD3 kits due to the NUMBER of samples? In other words, the individual samples themselves are roughly equivalent in quality and size, it's just that SD3 has so many more of them?

Less velocities..less articilations no mic bleeds etc etc..The same with other developers like XLN AD2..
I have the original DFH/Superior which was still wav files and each kit piece had hundreds and hundreds...when they changed to proprietary format no one knows the sample count..
You can set SDSE to infinite and it would export around a 4GB kit for SD3..for EZD2 a few hundred MB...AD2 couple hundred.
I am familiar with Extractpler..the recent 2.40 update fixed all the problems and complaints with having to use the legacy Sunflower 2 channel for Mac and Loopbe MIDI and dealing with Windows Stereo..now you can select MIDI device and audio device from the menu.They also had 2 fixes come out..Win 2.42 and Mac 2.41.
I need to finish constructing all the separate keymaps/config files for a friend as you have to do a new config files for EZD2 as each kit is mapped differently.
The downside for Extractpler is 100 velocity and no Brand/Instrument/size naming etc..just Crash,Ride Snare,Kick etc etc.
I did the original STRIKE.ini (with jman.. RIP) for SDSE years ago.I spent months doing the filing/folder/naming system with Dennis for BFD3..AD2..SD3 and all the expansions..
The upside for Extrapler is it doesn't require a designated DAW like SDSE does (Reaper).
There is a misconception about these programs...these programs do not extract the wav files from proprietary libraries , they are basically MIDI automation and tap out all the velocities into one long wav file..then slice it up.
It's a hell-uva lot faster than the old days..

The STRIKE module handles 16,24 and even 32 bit waves..

EDIT:
When I get some time I'll fire up Extractpler and see what it actually exports from EZD2...do you have a particular expansion in mind?
« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 09:40:07 PM by Chaser »

Re: Loading VSTs on to Strike module
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2021, 09:52:54 PM »
The downside for Extractpler is 100 velocity and no Brand/Instrument/size naming etc..just Crash,Ride Snare,Kick etc etc.

I could be misunderstanding you, but I believe you can name the samples whatever you like, but they do default to tom1, tom2, tom3, etc. And what do you mean by "100 velocity?"

Do you think that SDSE is a better product, enough so to justify having to deal with a Windows emulator and Reaper (not my DAW of choice)?

When I get some time I'll fire up Extractpler and see what it actually exports from EZD2...do you have a particular expansion in mind?

I was working on the Basic Rogers kit form the Post-Rock EZX. I also have the new Fields of Rock SDX, which is excellent. I've got my eye on a few new EZX's: Duality I and II, Into the Dark, and may also pick up the Progressive EZX because it's on sale ($39 at Thomann!), even though I already have the Progressive Foundry SDX.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 10:21:12 PM by MJB »

Offline Chaser

Re: Loading VSTs on to Strike module
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2021, 10:25:41 PM »
The downside for Extractpler is 100 velocity and no Brand/Instrument/size naming etc..just Crash,Ride Snare,Kick etc etc.

[quote I could be misunderstanding you, but I believe you can name the samples whatever you like, but they do default to tom1, tom2, tom3, etc.

The time I spent on SDSE was so that it could autoname the exported kit piece..by size WxD or DxW..Brand..Series type etc
The STRIKE Editor supports only so many characters..but the module supports more..
Example...
https://www.alesisdrummer.com/index.php?topic=7655.msg51240#msg51240

When I get some time I'll fire up Extractpler and see what it actually exports from EZD2...do you have a particular expansion in mind?

I was working on the Basic Rogers kit form the Post-Rock EZX. I also have the new Fields of Rock SDX, which is excellent. I've got my eye on a few new EZX's: Duality I and II, Into the Dark, and may also pick up the Progressive EZX because it's on sale ($39 at Thomann!), even though I already have the Progressive Foundry SDX.

I have the Post Rock and Progressive..the new expansions I don't...I always wait for a sale..

EDIT:
I forgot to mention..I don't belong to any Social Media..but you could also check the STRIKE Owners Group on Facebook.
It seems that's where the majority of the STRIKE users are and more than likely quite a few are using both SDSE and Extractpler....

« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 11:00:57 PM by Chaser »