Technology

Mini Review: SPL DrumXchanger

Real-Time Drum Replacement Plug-In 4/13/2010 11:22 AM Eastern

DrumXchanger, from Sound Performance Labs, is a real-time drum replacement plug-in that is similar to Drumagog and TL Drum Rehab. Supported plug-in formats include Audio Units, RTAS and AudioSuite. Currently available as a public beta, it includes 936 MB of 24-bit/96kHz kick, snare and tom samples arranged into three kits. The included sounds are great and you can also load and manage other samples within the interface. DrumXchanger produces significant latency (2,208 samples as an RTAS plug-in), so you should use some sort of delay compensation—either manual or automatic.

DrumXchanger’s screen interface is clearly divided into five main sections: Input, Original, External Trigger, Sample and Output. Aside from basic controls like input and output gain, it offers high- and lowpass filters for the Original, Ext Trigger, and Sample sections. One of the best features is the built-in Transient Designer for the original and the sample, which gives you the ability to modify the envelope of the sounds. You can also pitch the sample up or down, compress it with an onboard dynamics control and time-align it to match the original.

The plug-in is easy and fast to set up, but it takes about three seconds for the plug-in window to open each time. Triggering is quite reliable, mainly due to DrumXchanger’s dual threshold controls. One threshold is set for the transient level and one for the average level. The original signal must cross both thresholds to trigger the sample. You can run multiple instances simultaneously to replace/blend the kick, snare, and toms at the same time.

The following files offer examples of a drum kit’s components before and after I replaced them with Drum Xchanger.

#1: Drum Xchanger off, then on with my personal samples loaded.

#2: Drum Xchanger off, then on with SPL samples loaded.

#3: Drum Xchanger off, then on with SPL samples loaded (kick and snare only).

#4: Drum Xchanger off, then on with SPL samples loaded (example 2).

#5: Drum Xchanger off, then on with SPL samples loaded (example 2 kick only).

#6: Drum Xchanger off, then on with SPL samples loaded (example 2 snare only).

Check out Mix’s video demo of DrumXchanger from last month’s Musikmesse 2010 show in Frankfurt.

Download the free public beta version.

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