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Toontracks Eddie Kramer's Legacy of Rock SDX

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Legacy of Rock SDX

ROCK ROYALTY.

Drums recorded by one of the most iconic recording engineers/mixers/producers in rock history: Eddie Kramer.

 

Not many can say that they were there when it happened. Eddie Kramer has been right smack center of it as it happened, making it happen and shaping its very essence with his bare hands for five decades and counting. We’re talking about rock – the sound of rock and the deafening impact the craft of engineering, producing and mixing it right has on how it ends up echoing through history. Meet audio visionary Eddie Kramer, the uncrowned king who shaped the sound of the legends that became immortal icons of rock and who in the process became a royalty of rock himself. This is his collection of drums and a true homage to classic rock as we know it.

The Legacy of Rock SDX zones in on Eddie’s formative years in the buzzing sixties London scene and continues on through the seventies. It includes five drum kits, each sourced and tailored to mirror a significant era or sound in Kramer’s remarkable career. All drums were recorded in Kramer’s studio of choice, Studio 1 at AIR in London, and captured through signal chains of vintage microphones as well as handpicked, rare and custom equipment scouted specifically for these sessions.

These drums rock. Take it from the man who only in the first two decades of his career managed to work with The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, record the entire Jimi Hendrix catalog, capture several of Led Zeppelin’s most pioneering albums and man the board as the original Woodstock festival was caught on tape. Welcome to a bona fide treasure chest of drum sounds – ready for you to hone, mold and shape to make your own dent in rock history with.

 

FEATURE SPOTLIGHT

Recorded by legendary engineer/mixer/producer Eddie Kramer in Studio 1 at AIR in London, UK
Five full kits, all tailored after a significant era or sound in Eddie Kramer’s career
Three extra kicks, six snares and a wide variety of cymbals
Includes two timpani and 36″ and 60″ gongs
Select kits include brushes, mallets and hand/finger samples
Recorded with an additional five room microphones for playback in stereo or up to 5.1 systems
Custom presets engineered by Eddie Kramer
Includes a selection of drum MIDI inspired by classic songs from Eddie’s discography
 

ABOUT
EDDIE KRAMER.

The brushstrokes of Eddie Kramers’s ability to paint with sound has made rock history a glaring palette of color. Not only did he help shape the iconic sound of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss and many more in the sixties and seventies – his ear, touch and craftsmanship has had an immense impact throughout his entire career and to this day. We dare to say that arguably no one in his field has left a more distinct footprint on their path through rock history than he has.

Reading his list of credits from top to bottom sums his collaborations up to more than 750 albums covering all genres, all facets of rock and a myriad of the names anyone would file under ‘icons’ without thinking twice.

In addition to his deep-rooted passion for audio production, Eddie is also a published author and photographer. Eddie’s candid portraits of the rock luminaries he’s worked with over the years have been exhibited in some of the world’s most prestigious galleries and museums and have become of interest for collectors internationally.

Being frequent lecturer at workshops and seminars, he also likes to educate by sharing his lifelong well of experience from his side of the studio glass with the next generation of audio craftsmen.

 

EDDIE –
THROUGH THE
DECADES.

 

1960s

In the early 1960s, the then 19-year old Eddie relocated from his native South Africa to a buzzing London scene. During his London years, he worked at three of the most legendary studios in rock: Pye Studios, Regent Sound and Olympic Studios. In these studios is where he recorded Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Traffic and many more. In 1968, Kramer relocated to New York primarily to work more closely with Jimi Hendrix but also founded many other long-lasting musical relationships, one of them being the start of his five-album stint with Led Zeppelin. Kramer rounded off the 1960s by capturing the original Woodstock festival on tape. The recordings ended up on the three-disc album “Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More,” featuring a myriad of now iconic performances.

THE BEATLES “MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR” (1967)
JIMI HENDRIX “ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?” (1967)
JIMI HENDRIX “AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE” (1967)
TRAFFIC “MR. FANTASY” (1967)
JIMI HENDRIX “ELECTRIC LADYLAND” (1968)
THE ROLLING STONES “BEGGARS BANQUET” (1968)
LED ZEPPELIN “LED ZEPPELIN II” (1969)
JOHN MAYALL “TURNING POINT” (1969)
 
 

1970s

Eddie began the seventies by working alongside famous acoustician John Storyk to oversee the creation of Electric Lady Studios, Jimi Hendrix’s state-of-the-art studio on Manhattan, costing a then-staggering one million dollars to build and equip. Through the decade, Eddie continued to work on seminal records for Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix as well as a string of other artists such as Peter Frampton, David Bowie, Joe Cocker and many more. Perhaps most notably, his lengthy association with Kiss begins with his work on “Alive!,” an album that in many ways defined the early stages of Kiss’ career. It subsequently went multi-platinum and Eddie produced five more of the band’s albums – all of which went platinum.

WOODSTOCK: MUSIC FROM THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK AND MORE (1970)
JOE COCKER “MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN” (1970)
JIMI HENDRIX “BAND OF GYPSYS” (1970)
LED ZEPPELIN “HOUSES OF THE HOLY” (1973)
KISS “ALIVE” (1975)
LED ZEPPELIN “PHYSICAL GRAFFITI” (1975)
DAVID BOWIE “YOUNG AMERICANS” (1975)
PETER FRAMPTON “FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE!” (1976)
LED ZEPPELIN “THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME” (1976)
KISS “LOVE GUN” (1977)
THE ROLLING STONES “LOVE YOU LIVE” (1977)
 
 

1980s

The eighties saw Kramer working with a myriad of artists predominantly in the heavier end of the rock and metal spectrum. Aside from working with Led Zeppelin on “Coda,” his rejuvenation of Anthrax with their “Among the Living” record in 1987 as well as his work with Whitesnake, Icon and Pretty Maids are likely some of the most noteworthy collaborations.

LED ZEPPELIN “CODA” (1982)
TWISTED SISTER “UNDER THE BLADE” (1982)
TRIUMPH “THUNDER SEVEN” (1984)
ANTHRAX “AMONG THE LIVING” (1987)
 
 

1990s

In the nineties, Kramer continued to work with a broad range of artists as well as several Hendrix-related collaborations. Some of his notable accomplishments include producing and engineering Buddy Guy’s album “Slippin In,“ winner of 1995 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Record as well as a W.C. Handy Blues Foundation award for Album of the Year 1995. He also won a Grammy Award for the audio production on the video for Jimi Hendrix’s live album “Band of Gypsys” and received a nomination for “The Wind Cries Mary,” which was Sting’s contribution to the 1996 Jimi Hendrix tribute album featuring a myriad of artists.

ROBIN TROWER “IN THE LINE OF FIRE” (1990)
KISS “ALIVE III” (1993)
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN “THE PROMISE” (1993)
BUDDY GUY “SLIPPIN’ IN” (1995)
 

2000s –
PRESENT DAY

Through the 2000s and to this day, Kramer has continued to work at the very apex of the industry and with a wide variety of artists and projects. In the early 2000s, he engineered the Grammy-winning recording of the Carlos Santana feat. Michelle Branch single “The Game of Love.” In 2003, Eddie received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the AES show in New York City and in 2010 he was nominated for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One of the most recent highlights was the Emmy Award he won for his work on the Jimi Hendrix documentary “Hear My Train a Comin’.”

CARLOS SANTANA FEAT. MICHELLE BRANCH “THE GAME OF LOVE” (2002)
LED ZEPPELIN “HOW THE WEST WAS WON” (2003)
AL DI MEOLA “ELYSIUM” (2015)
 

WELCOME TO

 

A LONDON LANDMARK.

One couldn’t possibly confuse the colossal 26,000 square feet Victorian-style building towering up like a beacon on Lyndhurst Road in the midst the busy Hampstead suburb of north London for anything but a church. Only if arriving at night, while the floodlighting shoots up along all sides of the red-brick facade and glares in the massive stained glass windows, it may suggest otherwise. But a studio? Probably not anyone’s guess. It indeed is – and likely one of the most impressive ones in the world at that.

AIR Studios, founded by Sir George Martin back in 1970, was originally located on Oxford Street in Central London but had to move in 1991 when its 22-year lease ran out. It was then that the Lyndhurst location was found and a cumbersome conversion from church to state-of-the-art studio was undertaken. It finally opened its doors in December 1992. In between the two London locations, Martin also opened a branch on the remote Caribbean island of Montserrat.

Today, AIR Lyndhurst accommodates the entire scope of the demands of the recording industry and handles anything from capturing full orchestras for scores to serving top artists of all genres with album productions.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Studio 1, which was the choice room requested by Eddie Kramer for this session, has the perfect acoustics for rock drums – big, reverberant but far from uncontrolled or overpowering. Over the years, it’s hosted names such as Coldplay, Radiohead, Muse, Biffy Clyro, U2, Paul McCartney, Adele and Katy Perry.

Having recorded literally every major name in rock history, the undeniable DNA of AIR runs in the artery of music history and the fabric of the entire popular culture heritage of the 20th century. We couldn’t be more proud than to bring some of that invisible magic to your songs.

 

SOME FACTS YOU MAYBE DIDN’T KNOW

AIR is an acronym for Associated Independent Recordings
In 1989, AIR Studio in Montserrat had to close after Hurricane Hugo devastated the Caribbean island it was located on (the last album to ever be recorded there was The Rolling Stones’ “Steel Wheels”)
The Lyndhurst Hall is one of the world’s largest recording rooms
The Studio 1 room used to be a lecture hall and can accommodate up to 45 musicians
Studio 1 has a moving wall which allows you to control the natural reverberation of the room
 
 

*All other manufacturers’ product names are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Toontrack. See full notice here.

 

THE AMBER KIT.

This kit represents a reproduction of the live setup that Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham used during the classic “Song Remains the Same” recordings at Madison Square Garden in 1976. The drums, cymbals, timpani and gong were all sourced to be as close to the original setup as possible. During the recording of this SDX, a considerable amount of time was spent referencing the original video recording. As a consequence, we recorded configurations with snare wires off, mallets and hands to get all the different sounds that Bonham used during the performance.

 
 
 

THE SPARKLE KIT.

This serves as our tribute to Eddie’s studio work with Led Zeppelin in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Both in composition and sound, this kit is very similar to the setup that was used on Led Zeppelin II, “Houses of the Holy,” “Physical Graffiti,” and “Coda.” Simply a mind-blowingly big kit that still has that intimate and tight proximity.

 

 
 
 

THE JET BLACK KIT.

This kit was sourced as a reference to Eddie’s work on the “Beggars Banquet” album and is a near-replica of the very drums that Charlie Watts used for the original sessions. Charlie comes from a jazz background and this kit really underlines that heritage. Aside from the brands, sizes and finishes being historically accurate, also some of the original microphone pre-amps were retrieved from the Helios console residing at Olympic Studio and used in this SDX session.

 

 

THE OYSTER KIT.

This is another homage to the “Beggars Banquet” record. A kit hybrid made up of drums just like these and The Jet Black Kit is what Charlie Watts played when tracking the “Sympathy for the Devil” song at Olympic Studios in 1968. This is also depicted in several scenes in the movie with the same name.

 
 
 
 

THE SILVER KIT.

This setup is a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell and the work Eddie did on the albums they recorded together. Just like Watts, Mitchell was also from a jazz background. To highlight that and as a reference to his unique crossover style, heard on for example “Up from the Skies” featured on the “Axis: Bold as Love” record, we sampled this kit with drumsticks as well as brushes.

 
 
 
 

MICROPHONE
POSITIONING & OVERVIEW.

This floorplan shows you how the drums, gong and timpani were placed and how the general ambience microphones were positioned in Studio 1.

1. STEREO OVERHEAD
Neumann U67 (large diaphragm tube condenser x2)
Neve AIR Montserrat mic pre-amp, Neve 31106 EQ

2. MONO Overhead
Neumann U67 (large diaphragm tube condenser)
Helios mic pre-amp, Helios EQ (Olympic)
Thermionic Culture Rooster mic pre-amp, Pultec EQP1A EQ

3. MONO AMBIENCE
AEA R44C (bi-directional ribbon microphone)
Neve AIR Montserrat mic pre-amp, Neve 31106 EQ

4. AMBIENCE NEAR
AKG C24 (large diaphragm stereo tube condenser)
Neve AIR Montserrat mic pre-amp, Neve 31106 EQ

5. AMBIENCE MID
Coles 4038 (BBC ribbon microphone x2)
Neve AIR Montserrat mic pre-amp, Neve 31106 EQ

6. AMBIENCE FAR
Blue Bottle (large diaphragm tube condenser x2)
Neve AIR Montserrat mic pre-amp, Neve 31106 EQ

7. FRONT CENTER
Schoeps MK 21 (small diaphragm condenser)
Neve AIR Montserrat mic pre-amp, Focusrite ISA 110

8. FRONT L/R
Schoeps MK 21 (small diaphragm condenser x2)
Neve AIR Montserrat mic pre-amp, Focusrite ISA 110

9. REAR L/R
Sennheiser MKH 20 (small diaphragm condenser x2)
Neve AIR Montserrat mic pre-amp, Focusrite ISA 110

 

The Articulations

 

In this video we walk you through some of the articulations recorded for the Legacy of Rock SDX. The exact same set of articulations were multi-sampled with unparalleled velocity detail for each instrument type, configuration and striking tool.

 
 
HI-HAT.

Due to the complex nature and immense variation in voicing this instrument offers, the hi-hats were recorded with up to 27 unique multi-sampled articulations.

 
RIDE.

The ride cymbals were sampled with up to 8 articulations. Unique to the Legacy of Rock SDX are the ‘Bow Tip 2’ articulations for impressive realism when playing the ride cymbals on e-kits with positional sensoring technology.

 
SNARE.

The snares sampled with ‘wires on’ and sticks include nine unique articulations while the subtle and many striking options needed in order to produce ultra-realistic brushed performances, this tool required 15 articulations.

 
CRASH.

The crashes were sampled in up to seven articulations, allowing you to produce anything from subtle crescendos to using any crash cymbal essentially as a leading instrument.

 
HANDS.

Snares as well as all toms, crashes, ride and hi-hats offer a fundamental selection of articulations recorded using hands as a striking tool.

 
TIMPANI.

Inspired by Bonham’s playing style on the timpani, these were sampled using regular drumsticks and captured with three articulations each.

 

THE PRESETS.

To inspire and enable you to make music immediately, the Legacy of Rock SDX includes a broad range of mix-ready presets for all kits, tools and configurations.

 
 

EDDIE KRAMER’S PRESETS.
Eddie’s selection of presets were engineered in Studio 1 at AIR and feature his very own take on mixes for each different kit as well as several of the included configurations.

 

TOONTRACK IN-HOUSE PRESETS.
These presets were created by Toontrack’s sound design team as serve as our very own homage to classic rock and Eddie’s illustrious discography.

 

KIT PRESETS.
In addition to the mix presets, there are kit presets available that enable you to quickly access and audition an unmixed state of all the different kits and configurations included.

 

THE MIDI.

Just like the drum sounds, the main portion of the MIDI circles in on the era of Eddie’s career that stretches from the full-on rock years of the sixties through the seventies. Inspired by the like of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, this MIDI will take you through thunderous onslaught of classic rock, the jazz-inspired psychedelic grooves to the straight-on pounding and in-your-face rock beats. The MIDI library also features a collection of grooves and patterns specifically designed for use with the brushes, mallets, timpani and gong as well as the hand and finger sounds included. In addition, all of the MIDI was recorded exclusively using the SDX sounds and all of its articulations, giving you a vivid display of all its rich detail in the context of different fitting performances.

 
 
 

SDX AND EZX.

– WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

The Classic Rock EZX comes with two mix-ready drum sets, both derived from the five kits featured in the Legacy of Rock SDX. The EZX is best described as a slimmed down version of the SDX, both in terms of number of instruments, available articulations, microphones and mixer channel options. The EZX was produced to provide a specific type of mix-ready sound while the SDX, in addition to its large pool of presets, features raw and unprocessed drum tones.

Looking for an instant classic rock sound – go for the EZX. Looking for all the options you need to mix, match and design the kits of your wildest dreams – go for the SDX.

 
LEGACY OF ROCK SDX.

Works with:
Superior Drummer 3
Size: approx. 180 GB | Kits: 5 (plus additional instruments)

CLASSIC ROCK EZX.

Works with:
EZdrummer 2 and Superior Drummer 3
Size: 4.5 GB | Kits: 2 (plus additional instruments)

 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS.

64-bit Windows 7 or newer, 8 GB RAM (16 GB RAM or more recommended).

macOS 10.9 or higher, 64-bit Intel-based Mac with 8 GB RAM (16 GB RAM or more recommended).

For the full Installation of this product you will need approximately 180 GB of free hard drive space, plus an additional 180 GB is required for the installation process

A working Superior Drummer 3.2.0 (or above) installation

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