Mixosaurus DAW Drums Kit Seattle WA

Compared to the beautiful graphics of recent virtual drum plug-ins, the Kontakt Player interface of Mixosaurus DAW Drums Kit A seems all business. But what a business! In my opinion, “Mixo” is potentially the best-sounding, most realistic, and supremely detailed virtual drum instrument available. However, your experience will depend on your computer’s brawn and the degree to which you’re able to master Mixo’s remarkable programming options. That said, even if you don’t take advantage of all the power Mixo offers, you’re still likely to get fantastic drum tracks.

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Mixosaurus DAW Drums Kit

MAIN_PackshotCompared to the beautiful graphics of recent virtual drum plug-ins, the Kontakt Player interface of Mixosaurus DAW Drums Kit A seems all business. But what a business! In my opinion, “Mixo” is potentially the best-sounding, most realistic, and supremely detailed virtual drum instrument available. However, your experience will depend on your computer’s brawn and the degree to which you’re able to master Mixo’s remarkable programming options. That said, even if you don’t take advantage of all the power Mixo offers, you’re still likely to get fantastic drum tracks.

Mixo gives you one kit with seven cymbals in one rather dry room, but a dizzying inventory of sonic variations: alternating samples, mic options, echo chamber send, stick or beater choices, drum muffling, flexible MIDI performance processing, effects, and most significantly, highly musical, meticulous multisampling. Its 122GB of 24-bit uncompressed WAV files comes pre-installed on its own hard drive. With the latest updates installed, I found Kontakt Player 2 to be rock solid and trouble-free, both standalone and as a plug-in within Apple Logic Pro 9 and MOTU DP6.

Loading full kits and large programs takes a few minutes. A sensible selection of memory-conserving programs includes stereo versions and kits with some articulations and/or mic options removed, some programming limited, or a combination of these.

The biggest kit includes four toms, a kick with inside and outside mics and four beaters, a snare with three degrees of muffling and top and bottom mics, stick and sidestick samples, hi-hat with close and distant mics, three crashes, two rides, one splash, and one China cymbal. Each of these in turn has various articulations (center, off-center, rim, bell, etc.) and a ridiculous number of multisamples for each articulation—enough to make for the smoothest, most musical progression from delicately soft to headbanging I’ve ever heard in a library.

02-Mixo-KP2-mixerEvery direct mic/room mic pair has its own mixer channel in Kontakt Player 2, which gives you a lot of mixing power right off the bat.

For each instrument, additional programs provide two to seven alternating samples on every stroke and velocity layer. That’s a lot of samples. No programming required: Just load an instrument that has alternates, and Mixo triggers them in order, giving even the most boring drum loop a lifelike sound.

This is where a powerful computer comes in handy. Even with 8GB of RAM, I was unable to load all four programs of the seven-alternates hi-hat, even with no other programs loaded. I was able to load the sevenalternates snare and kick, plus the three-alternates hi-hat. Memory and CPU issues are not trivial: At any given moment, Mixo can be playing 100 to 200 samples—a huge job for any computer. I was using the external hard drive version, connected alternately via USB2 (which worked surprisingly well) and FW800. I didn’t get to test the forthcoming solidstate drive version, but given how SSDs ...

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