If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for a fantastic drum rompler to take your songwriting to the next level.
Toontrack creates industry-leading virtual instruments and sample libraries, including the popular EZDrummer 2 and Superior Drummer 3 drum plugins. While both are powerful in their own right, depending on what you’re looking for in virtual drums, they tend to serve different purposes.
So, Superior Drummer 3 vs EZDrummer 2, which path is best for you?
Toontrack is the industry standard for drum plugins
When “Drumkit from Hell” was released in 1999, it set a new standard for sampled drums. Toontrack was a two-man operation at the time, and their flagship sample library was a passion project—two musicians looking for better-sounding drums for their own songwriting. Drumkit from Hell, which changed the course of the drum sample industry, far exceeded the co-founders’ own expectations.
Meshuggah, the Swedish metal giants, used Drumkit from Hell on their 2005 full-length, Catch Thirtythree, a testament to how good those early samples were.
Toontrack exploded, and they’ve maintained their reputation with products like EZDrummer and Superior Drummer. They have also expanded their product line to include bass, keys, and multi-effect mixing tools.
*** Read more: How do Electronic Drums Work: Easy To Learn And Play
Which is better: Superior Drummer 3 or EZDrummer 2?
One thing should be made clear: EZDrummer and Superior Drummer are two distinct instruments designed to meet different needs. They aren’t just rebranded versions of each other.
EZDrummer 2 is ideal for songwriters and quick idea generation. This is true of the entire “EZ” line: Toontrack created these instruments, including EZDrummer, to bridge the gap between creativity and execution. Because of its powerful and intuitive features, you can quickly lay out an entire mix-ready drum track.
Superior Drummer gives you complete control over the drum programming process. The learning curve is steeper, and there are an overwhelming number of parameters to play with. Superior Drummer is a complete package. It includes all of the features necessary for programming ready-to-release drums.
Superior Drummer 3 packs a powerful feature set. If you intend to program your final drum track, it includes everything from room settings to drum skins to microphone positions. Tweak, tweak, and tweak some more on the raw, unprocessed samples.
It lets you label your instrument, edit the details, and save multiple versions of MIDI grooves. This is useful for comparing groove variations side by side.
Alternatively, EZdrummer includes a Song Creator feature that you might enjoy. It lets you drag and drop grooves into the creator and offers suggestions based on your arrangement. You can make changes and tweaks as you go, and you can undo up to 100 changes.
EZ2 will, however, limit you to the DAW’s piano roll, and labeling can be a time-consuming process if you want to get organized. Furthermore, SD3 is much more streamlined, making it the clear winner in terms of mixing options and features.
Let us not forget that some of us require both functionalities. Sometimes you just want to load a groove for a quick demo, and other times you want to edit/tweak the drum tracks to make them more realistic.
If that describes you, there is no reason why you can’t have both. Fortunately, you can upgrade from EZ2 to SD3 without losing any expansion packs or kits. Toontrack deserves credit for making it simple to migrate kits from EZ2 to SD3 (or vice versa, if need be). You will not be the first person to purchase and use both of these VSTs.
*** Read more: 10 Common Drum Beats & How To Practice Them
SD3 expansion packs (SDX libraries) contain files in 24-bit format. While EZ2 now supports 24-bit expansion packs (EZX libraries), many older ones still use 16-bit files.
The points we’ve discussed may have led you to believe that EZ2 libraries (both stock and expansions) are subpar. Simply put, they aren’t. They are versatile, sound good, and are ready for mixing. They’re ideal for anyone who wants to load a groove without worrying about mixdowns.
If you are thinking about getting both (now or later), you can use all EZX expansion packs for SD3 and vice versa. Regardless of which packs you purchase, all Toontrack expansion packs are fully compatible with both drum plugins.
SD3 easily wins this round thanks to its super-detailed drum sampling. It is intended to be used to fine-tune all aspects of drum samples, from mic bleed to drum tunings to velocity gates and beyond.
All of the top drum brands are represented in the sample base, and you can easily layer multiple tones/samples to create unique and hybrid sounds. If you have your own samples, you can also use them with the VST.
SD3’s core functionality is similar to previous avatars, but the UI has been updated to be more flexible. You can change the look of the UI, and the Drums, Grooves, Mixer, and Tracker screens remain for the majority of the drum sampling.
EZ2, on the other hand, can assist you in focusing on your composition rather than customization. The simple user interface comes at the expense of customizability. Don’t get me wrong: you have some premium kits and highly usable pre-mixed sounds that will suffice.
It includes several unprocessed drum kits with preset tweaks that can be heavily customized. The presets sound fantastic on their own and are ideal for quick adjustments. You can even replace or combine different parts of the drum kit to create something unique. To get the most out of them, you’ll have to deal with EZ2’s relatively simple mixer.
Its straightforward interface makes it simple to record a drum track on the fly. This saves time for beginners, songwriters, and professionals who only want to create demo drum tracks for reference purposes.
The Search and Browser tabs are very useful for quick navigation, and the different tabs can also be used to find groove files for your project.
SD3, on the other hand, is for those looking for a full-featured drum plugin with a lot of flexibility. If you’re willing to put in the effort, the built-in mixer, raw audio samples, and advanced features will let you fine-tune drum tracks to your heart’s or ears’ content.
If you intend to send it to a session drummer later, this may be overkill. In any case, EZdrummer 2 has a more user-friendly and beginner-friendly interface. SD3 has a significant learning curve that is difficult to justify if you do not require advanced features.
*** Read more: What Does Quantizing Drums Mean? [Hapitones]
Choose Superior Drummer 3 if you want complete control over your drum programming and sound shaping. Be prepared for a learning curve, but keep in mind that it will be worthwhile.
Choose EZdrummer 2 if your requirements are basic and straightforward. You’ll find a plethora of usable pre-mixed grooves that will suffice until you can send your tracks to a real drummer.
It makes it simple to stay focused on composition and creativity rather than getting bogged down in mic placement and bleeding. It has all of the basic tools required to work quickly, conveniently, and convincingly.
- Is it possible to progress from EZdrummer to Superior Drummer?
Toontrack’s Superior Drummer 3 is the ultimate in drum production, with custom drum graphics, a scalable interface, and detachable windows. This is a special offer for Toontrack EZdrummer 2 users to upgrade to Superior Drummer 3 at a discounted price. Contact your Sales Engineer for more information.
- Is EZdrummer included with Superior Drummer?
One thing should be made clear: EZDrummer and Superior Drummer are two distinct instruments designed to meet different needs. They aren’t simply rebranded versions of each other.
- Does a superior drummer have a better sound than EZdrummer?
If you intend to release music with programmed drums, I wholeheartedly recommend Superior Drummer. Whereas EZDrummer provides ready-to-record drum sounds, Superior Drummer provides raw, unprocessed samples that you can shape and process however you like.
- Do you require a DAW that supports Superior Drummer 3?
Superior Drummer 3 by Toontrack is a virtual drum instrument that can be used standalone or as a plug-in within your DAW.
- What does Superior Drummer 3 include?
Over 230GB of raw, unprocessed sounds are included in the drum sample engine. George Massenburg, the legendary photographer, captured this at Galaxy Studios. Recorded with 11 surround microphones for stereo and up to 11.1 surround playback. Individual or third-party samples can be imported by dragging and dropping.
*** Read more: How To Remove Drums From A Song? 2 Methods
Superior Drummer 3 and EZdrummer 2 are two drum plugins that allow producers and musicians to create realistic and convincing grooves without the need for a physical drummer or drum kit. These virtual drums continue to astound us with their realism and ability to mimic the nuances of real drummers as technology advances.
This article compares Superior Drummer 3 vs EZDrummer 2, and we’ve articulated the key differences, functionality, and features to help you decide which one is best for your workflow. We hope this article has assisted you in determining the best drum VST for your needs.