Toontrack SDX: Legacy of Rock EDUCATION

Drums recorded by one of the most iconic engineers/producers in rock history – Eddie Kramer

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A true homage to classic rock, Toontrack's Legacy of Rock SDX for Superior Drummer 3 zones in on the formative years of legendary producer/engineer Eddie Kramer - the man behind music icons such as Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Jimi Hendrix and many more. 

From the buzzing sixties London scene through to the seventies, Eddie Kramer's Legacy of Rock SDX 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.

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.

Not many can say that they were there when it happened. Eddie Kramer has been right smack centre 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.

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. 

Feature Spotlight 

  • Recorded by legendary producer/engineer/mixer 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 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.

New to Superior Drummer?  Buy Superior Drummer 3 here

The Studio

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. 

AIR Studios exterior

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

Uncompromising Instrument Detail

To Toontrack, sampling sounds for an SDX is more than merely recording instruments. It is the craft of capturing the essence and every unique voice of each instrument to give you, the user, the ability to produce limitless and stunningly real performances.

Toontrack Legacy of Rock SDX The Amber Kit

The Amber Kit 

This kit represents a reproduction of the live setup that Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham used during the classic “The 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.

Toontrack Legacy of Rock SDX The Sparkle Kit

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.

Toontrack Legacy of Rock SDX The Jet Black Kit

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.

Toontrack Legacy of Rock SDX The Oyster Kit

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.

Toontrack Legacy of Rock SDX The SilverKit

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.

 

Examples of Articulations 

Below is an example of 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. This means that you can swap seamlessly between instruments with the same tool/configuration and maintain the exact same nuance in your performance.

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

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 CYMBALS. The ride cymbals were sampled with up to seven articulations and cover a broad range of voices, enabling you to produce stunningly detailed performances.

SNARE. The snares sampled with ‘wires on’ and sticks include eight unique articulations.

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.

Microphone Positioning & Overview

 Microphone positioning Toontrack Legacy of Rock SDX

Eddie Kramer recording Legacy of Rock SDX

The brushstrokes of Eddie Kramer's ability to paint with sound has made rock history a glaring palette of colour. 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 on music 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. In fact, 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 a frequent lecturer at workshops and seminars, he also likes to educate the next generation of audio craftsmen by sharing his lifelong well of experience from his side of the studio glass.

Eddie Kramer AIR Studios

Selected Discography 

Jimi Hendrix “Electric Ladyland” (1968)
The Rolling Stones “Beggars Banquet” (1968)
Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin II” (1969)
Joe Cocker “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” (1970)
Jimi Hendrix “Band of Gypsys” (1970)
Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin III” (1970)
Led Zeppelin “Houses of the Holy” (1973)
Kiss “Alive” (1975)
Led Zeppelin “Physical Graffiti” (1975)
David Bowie “Young Americans” (1975)
Led Zeppelin “The Song Remains the Same” (1976) Peter Frampton “Frampton Comes Alive!” (1976) Kiss “Love Gun” (1977)
The Rolling Stones “Love You Live” (1977)
Led Zeppelin “Coda” (1982)
Brian May “Another World” (1998)
Santana “Shaman” (2002)
Led Zeppelin “How the West Was Won” (2003)

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.

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 engineer, produce or mix 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.

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.

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.

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’.”

Eddie Kramer AIR Studios

Studio & Microphone Walkthrough

The Amber Kit

The Jet Black Kit

The Oyster Kit

The Silver Kit

The Sparkle Kit

The Mixer

The Articulations

The MIDI

The Presets

Please click on the link below to view the download and install guide for this product.

http://help.timespace.com/home/toontrack-install-guides

Customer Reviews

PDF FILES

Tech Specs

Product Type:

Expansion

Product Specs:

System Requirements 
  • Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 is required to use this expansion.
  • 64-bit Windows 7 or newer, 8 GB RAM (16 GB RAM or more recommended).
  • Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, 64-bit Intel-based Mac with 8 GB RAM (16 GB RAM or more
    recommended).