Let’s get one thing straight: DrumSpillage is not a virtual modeling Roland 808 or 909. I don’t doubt you could come close with some careful programming, but that is not what this plug-in is about.
DrumSpillage is all about drumsynthesis. It’s got sixteen drumpads, that can be played by clicking them or via midi. Drumkits are assembled by choosing a drumsynthesis model for every pad and edditing the sound according to taste. Every model is specially designed to create a certain type of drumsound like a bassdrum, a snare or a hihat. Because these models are build from components that every synthesist will recognize, like oscillators, filters, envelopes and lfo’s it’s not hard to start programming these models right from the start.
DrumSpillage is a virtual analog drumsynthesizer, where elements like oscillators, filters, envelopes and lfo’s are recreated using physical modeling. This is not to be confused with the physical modeling of drumsticks hitting membranes. DrumSpillage is not for realistic sounds. DrumSpillage is for unheard before, and often experimental, synthetic sounds.
DrumSpillage is very useful in genres like minimal, techno, electro, or other genres where sounddesign is important like (ambient) electronica and soundtracks. I somehow do not envision myself using it for country or bigband jazz…
I think the DrumSpillage UI is an extremely well designed piece of work. It’s not only very beautiful, it’s also a joy to work with. I would, in fact, like to call it a work of art. It’s great! It’s quite small, so it does not waste screenspace, but it is not so small that the controls become hard to manipulate. Fonts and colorscheme make everything very easy to read, and everything is just where you’d expect it to be. I do, however, advice you to read the manual, because there are a few tricks in there that you might overlook, and those make DrumSpillage even faster to operate.
DrumSpillage is not immitating anything, so it’s hard to judge it by compairing it to anything else. However, considering the fact that DrumSpillage emulates analog circuits I would expect it to sound warmer and maybe a bit dirtier than it does. DrumSpillage is clearly a child of the digital age, it’s clean, crisp and cold. I do not think that’s bad, perse, and you might fix it with some vintage warming plug-ins or running it through some real analog outboard gear.
Features-wise I’d like to point out some things that may be useful to you:
- Every pad can have it’s own range of midinotes to respond to (instead of just one) so you can do some melodic stuff with the models as well.
- Single pads or complete kits can be exported to audio files, for use in your favorite sampler.
- It has a great randomise function, that can be a great help when you’re looking for something altogether new and fresh!
- It does NOT (I repeat NOT!) have a step, or grid-sequencer. You have to sequence your beats in your host sequencer (DAW, whatever you like to call it).
The documentation is well written. I do advice to read both manuals.
There are some great presets coming with DrumSpillage, but I do not think you need them, and I don’t use them. They do show you what’s possible with DrumSpillage, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll be programming this thing before you’ve auditioned more than 2 kits…
I did not contact customer support, so there is nothing I can say about that. Only that AudioSpillage was fast to send me my download link and registration codes as soon as I ordered DrumSpillage.
Value For Money
The balance between complexity, flexibillity and price is just right, as far as I’m concerned.
I use DrumSpillage in Logic Studio 8 on OSX 10.6.7 and have not encountered any problems. I also had no problems routing pads to individual outputs, which can be tricky in Logic.