So I've had SSD3.5ex for a couple years now. I've been pretty happy with it over all for the past year or so after spending some serious time getting it to sound like I wanted it to. However, I've always been drawn towards Superior Drummer based on everything I've heard from it. The cost was always too prohibitive. Superior went on a 50% off sale last month, so I decided it was time to snag it + the Metal Foundry expansion. I haven't yet spent a whole lot of time messing with it, but I do finally have what I think will be at least the base of my kit for it.
So, I decided to post up a quick comparison between the two. Keeping in mind, the Slate kit has been a work in progress for almost 2 years now, the guitars were tweaked to fit the slate kit, and the bass as well. I haven't re-eq'd any of the instruments to fit the SD kit, I just replaced the drums and went with it--I did actually adjust the EQ on the master track a bit, pushed the hi&lo passes out further and other such nonsense.
Enough of the rambling:
Steven Slate Drums 3.5ex
Superior Drummer 2.4.0 w/ Metal Foundry 1.0
edit: Changed the SD clip...been working at it more.
I prefer the Slate. The drums feel a bit low in the mix, though it could be that it's not exactly a straight-forward tune.
Yeah, drums are too low. But I think I prefer the Superior Drummer clip in this case. And one way I approach mixing: Err on the side of loud drums. It's always a bit easier to turn up/EQ a couple tracks of guitars, rather than balance an entire drum kit. Mix the drums first to make sure it sounds how you want, and then slowly raise the guitars.
Slate drums always sound awesome and punchy, but also fake. If Slate made more samples and velocities, it could be pretty much objectively the best drum software. But it's limited to 4 samples of 4 velocities, so it always ends up sounding fake to me.
Yes, more velocities from Slate would be great. Every tom hit ends up being 90% or higher.
All my tom hits are 127..
the slate mix is definitely still going to sound more polished and thereby better. I mean I had been working on that kit for a solid year, superior I've put in about 6 hours of tweaking all together.
I used to err towards louder drums, but then I kept getting comments that they were too loud. So now I get to where I think it's good, then bump the guitars a bit more. I'll adjust it again while I'm waiting on flights today.
Im in hoping to avoid mixing superior and slate, but if all else fails I'll bring in the kick and/or snare from slate. I definitely like the cymbals more in superior and the toms as well. I think over time as I figure out the room mics and bleed levels and everything else superior will eventually outdo slate altogether.
of course I'm also still tempted to pick up a new version of slate, I've heard it's a pretty big upgrade.
I still use Slate kicks a lot. Those can afford to be a little less dynamic in my opinion.
hopefully nobody bothered with/saw the link before this edit
I've reworked the kick & snare a bit, adjusted the hell out of the room mics, took all the overheads/room out of the extra compression track so that only the shells are doubled there, adjusted levels & eq a bit on the toms, and tried to get the overall mix a bit better. I think its really starting to come along. I'll also post an updated slate mix, I just upped the level of the drums to give a more balanced comparison between the two VSTi's.