Bust a Beat: Ocean Way Drums DL (Review)

November 15, 2009 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook Bust a Beat: Ocean Way Drums DL (Review)on Twitter

Most musicians out there have heard of NAMM, one of the biggest and longest running music product trade shows in the world. It’s always fun to walk up and down the aisles, checking out what’s new for just about any instrument you can think of, but I, of course, tend to stick to the software and music hardware section that’s all the way at the end of the hall.

This year I chanced across Ocean Way Drums, a company that focuses on– you guessed it– drums! I was immediately impressed with the realistic sounding drum samples that I heard, but when I saw the price tag, I knew that they were well out of my range. As it turns out, Ocean Way Drums has since remedied this problem with the launch of Ocean way Drums DL, a set of 5 kits for a reasonable price tag of $249.99. For those who aren’t into composition, I know it sounds expensive, but trust me… their Platinum line runs for $1995!

Check out our impressions of the Ocean Way Drums DL line after the jump.

First of all, I’m a hobbyist when it comes to writing music, as you’ve probably guessed. I don’t consider myself a professional, and I do most of my music writing using Renoise, an upgraded tracker that handles VST instruments. Since the Ocean Way Drums kits are sample-based, they require a separate piece of software to manage the individual samples to turn them into playable instruments, and in this case, the Ocean Way Expandable Player is powered by Kontakt (RTAS and VST), which I actually don’t own. It would have been nice of Ocean Way Drums had created their own standalone VST handler for their products, as it would have definitely made things easier on me.

Once I got Kontakt up and running, however, Ocean Way Drums DL was easy to get going. The downloading and installation process will probably be the biggest obstacle to getting started, as the 5 kits are 10 gigabytes in size, but OWD provides pretty extensive instructions on how to get things up and running, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Once opened in Kontakt, it’s simply a matter of picking which kit you want to use. There are 5 kits, as I mentioned, but each comes with three different presets, including dry, medium, and ambient. I preferred ambient with its thin layer of reverb, giving it a more lively feel.

On that topic, I can find no complaint when it comes to how the samples sound. They’re clear and crisp, and as I mentioned, the three presets allow you to get that sound you’re looking for. There’s a nice variety of sounds, and when you buy the DL Edition, you also get a code to download two DL kits or one multichannel kit. This is a nice bonus that lets you customize your purchase to your needs. In terms of what’s here, there’s everything you’d expect from a standard drum set, including bass, snare, toms, hats, side sticks, and a variety of cymbals. They all come in high-quality 24kbit/48k, and are truly some of the best live drum samples I’ve had the pleasure of using. You can also mix and match samples in the expandable player, creating your own customized kits if there are particular sounds that you like from the 5 kits.

Anyway, I had fun playing around with the kits. If you’re in the market for live drum kits, Ocean Way Drums has a lot of options, and the ability to download additional kits of your choosing when picking up the DL Edition (you can also buy them separately a la carte), you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. I’m happy that they’ve decided to put this more affordable version together for those of us who don’t plan on making a career out of writing music. You can visit Ocean Way Drums and learn more about the different editions they offer on their official website.

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