Reviews from Articles
Brandon Drury Review
The original review can be seen here: Invictus Audio Metal Pack Drum Samples
In the market for tip top modern metal drum samples? This review is you. I've learned that drum sounds are as subjective as the music made with them. I always look at what CAN be made with a set of drum samples. Some users look at what CAN'T be made with a set of drum samples. (Ice cream comes to mind first.) Because of that we end up with wildly different views on the damn things. With the Invictus Audio Metal Pack, one thing they can do is modern metal.
I thought the Invictus Audio Metal Pack pulls off the ultra-scooped metal drum sound as well as any sample package I've heard. I like Superior Drummer's Metal Foundry, which has quite a bit more 1k-2k in it. That sound is heard on many modern records, but the sound I really like is scooped a bit more in that region and the Metal Pack really nails that.
On some samples there was some extra oomph in the low mids (140-150Hz) but this was no big deal and probably not something everyone will feel the need to do.
These are quite a bit more natural sounding than the Steven Slate stuff although they come with the same over the top attack. It's hard to put into words. Natural isn't something many of us go for with metal drums so I'm not sure how important it is. I guess just be sure to compare the two as there are differences. I guess the Metal Pack allows more tweaking if you really feel the need. Slate works you a bit more into a corner....not that it's a bad corner by any means.
They taught on their website that these samples are designed to punch through a dense mix at maximum RMS level and I have to say that they hold that claim up extremely well.
If you are into modern metal, take a listen to the clip at http://www.invictusaudio.com/. This is what you get immediately the first time you plug in. You don't have to process them or layer them (unless you feel like it). They are ready to rock right out of the box. The fact that they nail the modern metal sound is a real time saver for me as I don't have to deal with squeezing that sound out . It's already there.
I was impressed with the variety. It's easy to lump up all modern metal drums into one generic category, but there is quite a bit of variety in the genre and the Metal Pack covers all basis.
Reliability / In Use
I loaded the samples off the DVD, fired up Drumagog (it also works in Trigger) and went to town. I never had a single problem with them. Only kicks, snares, and toms are included so you'll want to use these to supplement either a real drum kit or other sample packs.
Note: Big points for Invictus Audio for actually mixing their demonstration tracks. Most drum sample companies turn the drums up 6dB, which tells me nothing how the samples will work in a real mix and essentially wastes my time.
If you are modern metal head, just buy the Invictus Audio Metal Pack. At $129 it's a no brainer.
Sick Drummer Review - Issue 17
The Sick Drummer issue containing this review can be seen here: Sick Drummer - Issue 17
While doing research and working on my Drumagog 5 Platinum article for this issues PLAYING SMART column I discovered this extreme Metal gem out there in internet land. Metal Pack is a collection of multi-layered acoustic drum sounds that were created by engineer Jason Hywel Martin at his OmegaMediaCore Studios in British Columbia. This collection of acoustic drum samples comes well organized on two DVDs and is pre-formatted to work with Drumagog and Trigger sound replacement software. Invictus has also seen fit to give you all of their files in “wav” format as well. I simply dragged and dropped the files from the DVDs to the appropriate folders on my hard drive and then went immediately to work testing out the sounds without any issues.
When speaking with Jason from OmegaMediaCore I was told that the great thing about these sounds is that they are “pre-processed” to some degree but still have enough room in them that they can be further manipulated with eq-ing, compression, limiting and so forth to dial them in to fit your particular production needs. I think I’d have to say that his statement was accurate. This collection was recorded in 24-bit/96kHz to preserve the best sound quality possible. This sound replacement kit includes 25 Kick Drums, 25 Snare Drums and 5 sets of Toms. Each kick drum has 6 multi-sampled hard hits which are the most useful for modern Metal productions. The Snare and Tom hits however tend to be very dynamic giving you 7 velocities from soft to hard with 6 hits in each for a total of 42 samples per instrument. Invictus Audio has also included “Crack” snare hits that are presented in separate files. Each Crack hit will have 1 or 2 dynamic layers with 6 hits in each layer. Each instrument has a close mic and 2 stereo room mic positions. Their Room A is said to be a “tight” room for Speed, Thrash and Tech Metal (basically anything fast) while their Room B is said to have the “big epic” sound for slower beats.
In the end what you have here is a powerful sounding, well organized library that has been tailor made for Metal and is extremely easy to use. If you own either Drumagog or the Trigger sample replacement software or are thinking of getting it, then the Metal Pack is a great library for you to consider when expanding your library of sounds.
For more information and audio samples from Metal Pack please visit www.InvictusAudio.com and as always, your questions, suggestions, accolades, and hate mail can be sent to: Dross@SickDrummerMagazine.com
Review by George Necola
The following review was taken from George Necola's gear review blog
I recieved the DVD package from Invictus Audio one month ago. Enough time for testing so to speak. It comes in a professionally designed double DVD case. The protection is a serial number which is found inside the DVD.
Difficulties and technicalities
No problems occured during installation. It’s delivered in gog, trigger and wav formats, everything is clearly labeled and it instantly made sense to me.
Coming from homebrew sample-libraries and the biggest contender Steven Slate samples it was really fascinating to hear them at a first glance while mixing a death metal project. Compared to the Steven Slate stuff you would never imagine that the Invictus samples would fit in a mix. They sound very unprocessed and home-style at first. I put them into drumagog 5 and trigger (no not at the same time, after each other to check differences). I liked them both equally.
What I found out so far:
the samples have a lot of 140hz. You need to take that out a bit and they will work great. The midrange is kikin, the highend is kikin (sorry to sound like 50 cent) and the lowend is not over the top. You can really do drastical changes with the samples without hurting yourself (not so with steven slate; they are very processed and if they fit, they fit, if they do not fit in the mix you have to change to another sample. The Steven Slate have a lot of 200 Hz and way too much lowend for Metal in my opinion).
What’s really cool is, that the individual kits are not only coming in different beat-strength (hit-strength). NO, they come as low-kick, mid-kick, high-kick so you can stack them invidually. That works like a charm but you really need to invest time in changing the tonality with additional tools.
For my taste the delivered combos weather in drumagog or in trigger had way too much klik but with some tweaking you could get easily rid of the disturbing high-end.
Best metal-only library in pre-delivered gog/trigger format I have found so far. Even the toms sound good. You still need a lot of additional tweaking (EQ, compression, limiting) to make the samples work but if you want to mix something and not just plug and pray, it’s THE library for you. I fell in love.