Toontrack SDX: The Rooms of Hansa

Huge collection of drums captured in the four rooms of the iconic Hansa Tonstudio

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The Rooms of Hansa SDX from Toontrack features drums that have been expertly produced by Grammy Award-winning recording/mixing engineer Michael Ilbert in one of the most iconic studios in the world: the Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin, Germany. With a broad and handpicked collection of drums captured in all four rooms on the studio premises, this SDX showcases an outstanding width in regard to both tonal range and ambience.

You will be blown away with this unique collection of drums, all touched by the inimitable soul of a studio whose legacy is forever etched in music history.

Feature Spotlight 

  • Six (6) complete kits in addition to many optional configurations

  • In total, 12 snares and 7 kicks as well as a broad collection of hi-hats and cymbals

  • Produced by Grammy Award-winning recording/mixing engineer Michael Ilbert (Adele, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Pink, Muse, Ed Sheeran)

  • Recorded at the legendary Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin, Germany

  • Features four individual room configurations including the iconic “Meistersaal”

  • “Meistersaal” setup recorded in 5.1 surround with two additional height/ambience microphone pairs

  • Also includes an extra stereo ambience captured in the famous Hansa staircase (available for select kits)

  • Comes with a collection of drum MIDI grooves

New to Superior Drummer?  Buy Superior Drummer 3 here

Hansa Tonstudio

Since its inception in 1913, the magnificent building on Köthener Straße No. 38 that houses Hansa Tonstudios and the iconic Meistersaal – just a stone’s throw away from Potsdamer Platz in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district – has served as a ballroom, a concert hall, a theatre and a place for the arts. However, what forever ingrained the spirit of this place in the fabric of our culture was neither of those things – it was the music immortalized between its four walls decades later.

The Meistersaal was first converted to a studio in 1961, the same year as the Berlin Wall was erected just shy of 150 meters from the building. But in wasn’t until the mid-’70s, when the Meisel brothers Tomas and Peter bought the building and restored it to fully meet the standards of a recording studio, that its true golden years under the Hansa Tonstudios monicker began. Since then, countless classic albums have been recorded and mixed inside the building – many of which literally changed the course of music history.

THE FOUR ROOMS


The Marble Room

Contradictory of its somewhat moderate size, the reflective surface of the walls and ceiling of this “stone” room makes for an ambience that sounds huge. Luckily, the hardwood flooring effectively breaks up the diffusion and keeps the decay in check – making it the perfect ambience for controlled but still reverberant rock drums. In combination with the additional ambience channel recorded in the all-concrete environment of the adjacent Hansa staircase, you’ll be able to dial in drum mixes with an enormous and unique natural reverb.

 

The Meistersaal

Located directly below the main/live space is the Meistersaal – the indisputable crown jewel of the Hansa legacy and arguably one of the most iconic recording rooms in the world. The majestic ambience of the Meistersaal can be heard on seminal works by the likes of Nick Cave, U2 and R.E.M., just to name a few. Still to this day, the Meistersaal remains a vivid Berlin landmark and is a common stop on guided tours of the city. Since this room no longer is officially an operational part of Hansa, the amount of projects recorded here are few and selected very carefully. However, with the help of Michael Ilbert and the owners of Hansa Tonstudios, Toontrack were given the unique opportunity to capture drums in this historic space.

This SDX would simply not have been complete without the iconic ambience and aura of the “Big Hall by the Wall.” The gear Michael used to capture the Meistersaal drums features a handpicked selection of U67s, extremely rare M50s and a whole array of V72 pre-amps, just to give a few examples. We also captured the room with a classic 5.0 surround microphone positioning setup with the addition of four extra height microphones, giving you even more surround possibilities. Furthermore, an additional amplifier was set up in the room to play back and enhance the low frequencies of bass drums and toms. 

 

The Live Room

From the mid-’70s and through to today, the cream of the crop of European and international artists have recorded timeless works in this room. In here, anything from insanely popular German schlager to pop, rock and metal has been captured. For drums, it’s a perfect room – spacious but with a relatively moderate ceiling height, making it ambient without sounding overpowering. Simply put, the definition of a perfectly crafted and versatile drum room. 

 

The Vocal Booth

Although this room likely never was intended as a drum room, it has proven time and time again that if you’re after dry and muffled
drum tones – this is where to get them. This room has a special something that pushes each instrument to the edge of the
speakers without making it sound contained or claustrophobic. For beat-making, mixing and matching or hybrid kit creation, these
drum tones are optimal – transparent, direct and dry but still very graphic in the mix. In other words: dead but very much alive.

 

Michael Ilbert

Michael Ilbert has been recording and mixing records non-stop since the mid-‘80s. His career began on the west coast of Sweden, working for rock, punk and up-and coming pop bands of the time. The quality of his work quickly transitioned into gigs in the mainstream realm with productions for the likes of Roxette and many more. Since 2007 Michael works out of his own room at Hansa, delivering mixes back to back for the absolute top tier of the industry. Some of his recent recording engineering work includes Grammy Award-winning records for Adele and Taylor Swift, to name but a few. With a background in recording and mixing anything from punk and metal to electronic pop, his experience is enormous – something that shines through in the broad range of sounds and engineering techniques that The Rooms of Hansa SDX presents.

 

 

The MIDI

To give you the perfect battery of grooves and fills to get you started on your journey through this SDX, Michael Ilbert and drummer Norman Garschke weighed in not only the rich history of records recorded at Hansa but also what type of grooves would work the best for each room, the different kits and the era or style they best represent. Each room has its own designated library of MIDI, making it easy to call up a groove, a kit and a preset that all harmonize perfectly both on a sonic and a performance level.

THE MARBLE ROOM

Here you’ll find MIDI that perfectly fits the rather aggressive, rough and edgy sonic characteristics of this room and kits. Think new wave, alt-rock, punk-inspired rock and, well, any kind of loud rock that calls for an edgy kit and the perfect grooves to go with it.

THE MEISTERSAAL

The MIDI for this room was greatly inspired by some of the iconic artists that recorded seminal works in this majestic hall. In short, this section provides thunderous rock grooves and big fills – tailored for use with the breathtaking ambience of the Meistersaal.

THE LIVE ROOM

The grooves we chose to lay down for this section work great with the warm, thick and lively sound of the different variations of the 1970s L.A. Kit. These drums really shine when played slightly laid back and not hammered upon, so expect grooves with loads of nuance and feel.

THE VOCAL BOOTH

The extremely dry and absorbing space of this room brings out the most bare and honest nature of these beautiful drums. For that reason, Michael had a crystal- clear vision of showcasing these amazing instruments with a collection of subtle, nuanced and balanced grooves that really give the drums room to shine – all performed at low velocities and with a relaxed feel.

MALLETS AND ROTOTOMS

This category gives you material specifically suited for use with the rototoms and octabans of the Marble Room kit configurations and/or the Meistersaal Twin Shell Kit recorded with mallets. Mix, match and have fun with these many groove variations showcasing the unique mapping and extensive expression that these instruments offer.

The Drums

Kits recorded in the Marble Room

THE TWIN SHELL KIT

This is a very special kit, custom-built by Berlin-based boutique drum manufacturer Udo Masshoff. The stand-out feature in these drums is the the so-called “twin shells.” These shells make use of both steel and maple, resulting in drums that produce very warm, powerful and unique tones with an amazing frequency range.

These are simply my all-time favorite drum kits and snares. Udo just got it right with these! They can be played hard without choking and also soft and still sound huge with a lot of presence and a great low end.” – Michael Ilbert

As an alternative, Toontrack recorded the Twin Shell Kit in a more damped way by applying tea towels to the toms. They also added Michael Ilbert’s personal and favorite Masshoff snare drum, the mighty 14x8 ̋ “Big Chief” – a pure powerhouse made of stainless steel.

THE ACRYLIC KIT

This is the personal kit of German drummer icon Armin Ruehl and the very same one he’s played on many of his many tours with Herbert Gröenemeyer. The acrylic shells of this kit produce a very direct and focused sound – rich with higher-mid overtones although with a warm, round tone with a deep low-end. To make it even more interesting tone-wise, we added four 6 ̋ acrylic octabans in varying lengths of 8, 10, 12 and 14 ̋ – giving you monster kit with seven toms.

This is a unique and one-of-a-kind kit. Instant vibe with big tom sounds.” – Michael Ilbert

THE ROTOTOMS KIT

Why stop at octobans? For the Acrylic Kit, Toontrack also recorded a setup featuring rototoms in 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 ̋ sizes. These were recorded to go in the standard tom positions and will provide that characteristic, piercing slap sound for the toms. In combination with the thunderous Wahan bass drum, the smack of the Masshoff snare and the soaring voice of the Red Label cymbals, you’ll have a classic but still profoundly unusual kit.

 

Kits recorded in the Meistersaal

THE TWIN SHELL KIT

This is the same kit as the one that was recorded in the Marble Room. In the Meistersaal, though, it has an altogether different voice. It sounds huge! Toontrack also captured it with mallets which again, introduces a completely new voice.

 

Kits recorded in the Live Room 

THE 1970s L.A. KIT

Early during the planning for this SDX, Michael expressed his desire to record a classic Camco kit in the Marble Room. Toontrack eventually found the ideal one over in the UK and ended up shipping it over to Berlin for the session. This specific set is from the brand’s 1970s L.A. era and this kit is probably best described as the perfect allround choice for a kit. Having a thick and warm sound but still a really crisp finish to its tones, it really works in any mix or style of music.

This Camco was the only vintage kit I brought in for this session. I’ve been a fan of these drums for a long time already. I think they were the perfect choice for the Live Room.” – Michael Ilbert

 

Kits recorded in the Vocal Booth

THE MAHOGANY STAVE KIT

This is another choice rather off the beaten track when it comes to drum selection – but for a reason. For the tight and dry space of the Vocal Booth, Michael Ilbert specifically wanted to record one of the beautiful high end kits of Californian custom drum builder Sugar Percussion. These shells, all individually crafted from solid mahogany chunks, really sound unlike any other drums – extremely articulate, nuanced and deep. The beauty of these drums is that they project a wonderful wooden tone even when played with very low velocities, something Michael was specifically looking for in the Vocal Booth tones.

This kit is kind of like my secret weapon kit...until now! Again, beautiful craftsmanship and amazing-sounding instruments. To me, this sounds just like a wood kit should!” – Michael Ilbert

THE 1960s ITALIAN KIT

This Meazzi Wooding kit from the 1960s is truly something of a sonic revelation. The moment you hear it you’ll know why. It has a deep and mellow tone that fit perfectly for this confined space. This is the second set from Armin Ruehl’s personal collection and one that Michael Ilbert knew very well from previous recordings of his. He had a clear plan of how to capture it for this SDX and it came out beautifully.

This ‘Wooding’ kit is another one of Armin’s personal sets. It just sounds ‘right’ to me, especially when played at softer to medium levels.” – Michael Ilbert

 

The Presets

DEFAULT PRESETS – BY MICHAEL ILBERT

Michael’s idea behind these presets was to demonstrate the most honest and natural state of the different kits and configurations. Each preset involves careful consideration in terms of instrument choices as well as extreme scrutinization in regard to microphone balancing, leveling, phase correction and instrument bleed. Aside from all of that, the processing is minimal, giving you a raw but expertly engineered starting point to continue to build on. This collection of presets is perfect for quickly auditioning the massive amount of options this SDX has to offer and for finding something on the fly that works for the song you’re working on.

MIX PRESETS – BY MICHAEL ILBERT

In the second batch of presets, Michael digs deeper into the endless ways of working with the sound shaping tools that Superior Drummer 3 has to offer. While still very much on the acoustic and natural side of things, these presets will cater to a more niched use and involve a heavier portion of processing. Tight, snappy, heavy, roomy and squashed – these settings will go great with anything from tight pop to roomy rock.

TOONTRACK PRESETS

For these presets, the Toontrack sound design team unleashed their creativity to engineer a variety of kit presets that range from round and warm and to edgy, modern and downright out-of-this-world-like.

For the full Installation of this product you will need approximately 122 GB of free hard drive space, plus an additional 122 GB is required for the installation process A working Superior Drummer 3.1.7 (or above) installation.

MINIMAL INSTALLATION

  • Basic Setup: This is a basic install of the library featuring all close, primary overhead and
    primary ambience microphones.
  • Size: Approx. 23 GB

PARTIAL INSTALLATION

  • Default Mix Setup: This install of the library is suitable for most applications and includes
    all microphone channels used in the default mix presets.
  • Size: Approx. 82 GB

FULL INSTALLATION

  • Full Bleed Setup: This is the full install of the library. It features all microphones and bleed.
  • Size: Approx. 122 GB

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

Press Quotes

"Superior Drummer 3's core acoustic drum library is already excellent but, with The Rooms Of Hansa, Toontrack have both nudged the bar even higher and broadened the sonic palette. This is hugely impressive stuff and, for existing SD3 owners, very competitively priced considering just what is on offer." - Sound on Sound

"As an expansion to the already brimming Superior Drummer 3, this SDX offers a vast collection of awe-inspiring sounds and spaces." - Music Tech

"Stunning sounds and amazing playability" - Computer Music 

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).