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Author Topic: Battery 3  (Read 14681 times)

Zennerman1

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Battery 3
« on: January 12, 2008, 12:13:50 AM »

I've been using Battery 3 for some time now so I thought I would post a run down of my thoughts.

I feel this is probably one of the most under rated pieces of software out there today. It's more "tweaker" oriented than most other drum software packages I know of. There's plenty of great preset kits to use but you will have to do some setting up to get them working good for you. It's not really a "plug and play" sort of package but I don't want to scare anyone off either.
Where Battery 3 really shines is that you can load your own samples for a truly open ended software package. It's a drum sampler.

Battery 3 is basically broken into three levels. Samples, Cells and kits.
You can have up to 127 samples in one Cell. That means 127 snare hits from soft to loud that will make up one Cell. Each of those samples have a MIDI velocity from 0-127 (soft to loud or however you want them). Then you assign the Cell a MIDI note number to trigger the sound. Your velocity playing will determine which sound is triggered. The velocity crossfades are totally adjustable. This is the "tweaking" part I mentioned above. You can use an existing "velocity map" from a preset Cell then replace it with your own samples. However, when I tried this I still needed to adjust the velocity map a little. Different samples act differently and needed to be adjusted to my playing dynamics. The benefit is a kit that responds to my playing. The overall volume and pan for each cell can be set too.

Once your cells are created, you make up a kit with them. Up to 127 cells in a kit.  8)  COOL.
You can then do things with the cells like alternating or cycling through. For example, one cell could be a left hand hit and the other cell a right hand hit. Both cells would be assigned the same MIDI note. When you trigger the MIDI note, the two cells will switch back and forth. This can give you a slight variation in sound similar to playing a drum with both hands. Or you can cycle through a number of cells for many different sound variations or different sounds all together. Many possibilities.

There are also effects you can add to each cell independantly. Lo fi, EQ and compression. There are also Master effects that effect the kit globally like reverb. I would have liked the reverb to be on the cell level rather than at the master or kit level. Still the effects are very good.

My favorite part is still the ability to load your own sound samples to make up your kit. There is an onboard waveform editor in Battery 3.
You can also load loops into Battery 3 and play them back. You can also trigger them as single shot loops or repeatable loops that latch. Hit your trigger once and the loop starts, hit the same trigger again and it stops.

Another good feature is the sounds are loaded into RAM so latency and a sluggish CPU hog program is at a minimum. Still I would recommend a dedicated computer as a drum module in any case.

Hopefully this is a good starting point for anyone interested in this software. I highly recommend it.

Cheers,
Steve
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timecutter

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2008, 02:39:00 PM »

Thanks for your thoughts Steve. 

I have also been using Battery 3, stand-alone and inside Ableton Live running on a Mac.  I like Battery 3 a lot.  What sold me on Battery 3 was the interface - it made sense to me a percussion oriented sampler, with built-in, easily accesslble & useful effects.  Kontakt seemed like overkill for much of what I'm doing, and I found the Battery 3 interface readable on a 15" laptop.   

There is a demo available on the Native Instruments web site (see http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=battery3 ). 

There have been some serious gripes on the NI user forum about Battery 3, but I suppose there are always gripes on user forums.  NI is putting out updates to Battery - I believe an update to 3.0.0 R2 is imminent. 

Peace,

Mark

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Zennerman1

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2008, 08:20:20 PM »

I had a couple of small issues when I started but now things are running great. Even been through a few updates. All is well so far. I'm getting some good kits worked up.
Cheers,
Steve
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zenkat

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 07:11:53 PM »

I am currently using a TD-20 for my sound module along with an spd-s for all my samples.
I would like to get Battery 3, and use it for everything but I'm not sure what type of interface to get to hook it to my laptop.
I am running an HP 1.8gz dual core with firewire (4 pin)  and usb 2 along with 2gig of ram
what are you guys using so that latency isn't an issue?
Thanks
Jim
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timecutter

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 11:11:59 PM »


Hello,

Battery 3 is just software, so it loads into your computer and runs - no special interface is required to run the software.    I run Battery 3 on an an old Mac laptop (G4 with 2 MB RAM) which is underpowered but which is adequate as long as I'm not using convolution reverb or otherwise overtaxing the unit.  In stand-alone mode on the laptop I'm running latencies of around 8-9 msec in Battery 3, which I seem to be able to accomodate to.   I'd love less latency, but that's about the best I can do on my old Mac powerbook.  A windows version is available.  I'm really itching to get Battery 3 onto my Receptor - hopefully that will become possible real soon now. 

As for interfaces, I use a MOTU 828 mkII firewire audio interface, which I have been extremely happy with.   On occasion I've just taken my laptop and plugged the audio output from the Mac direct into an amp - worked fine (no interface). 

Peace & harmony,

Mark

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Zennerman1

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2008, 06:51:32 PM »

I am running a MAC i book 2.0 GHz with 2 gig RAM. My interface is the MOTU ultralite. No problems whatsoever even running reverb on a kit.
This is my live setup too. I've had no troubles there either. Just keep the laptop in a safe place. Mine goes under the stage. I rarely change kits and if I have to, I just jump down and change it.

Cheers,
Steve
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timecutter

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2008, 10:59:56 PM »

My G4 Mac Powerbook is only 1.25 GHz - perhaps that is making a big difference, since I've also got 2 GB of RAM.  If I overtax that little baby with convolution or otherwise, the sound just decomposes.  Not just little pops, but really just decomposes.  This is not related to Battery 3 - it happens in Kontakt or in MOTU Symphonic instrument or Digital Performer.    I'm really looking forward to upgrading to an Intel Mac.   

Mark
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Zennerman1

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2008, 09:40:10 PM »

Hey Mark,
You won't be dissapointed when you upgrade either. That should clear up all your issues.

Cheers,
Steve
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SWriverstone

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2008, 03:29:51 PM »

Hey all...thanks for the info on Battery 3. Zenkat, I have an older PC laptop, Pentium 4, 3ghz (WinXP) with an Echo Indigo PCMCIA card interface---I've been getting latency in the 3-4ms range just using standard MIDI keyboard controllers with software like Reason and Kontakt.

In my experience, the power of the processor isn't nearly as important as the interface and the amount of RAM you have. (Of course newer faster processors certainly help, but aren't necessary).

I was just listening to the Battery 3 sample collections on the NI website (the little MP3 player)...and I was impressed at the wide range of samples they include, such as African and North Indian percussion, orchestral percussion, etc. (in addition to the endless variations on drumkits!). And as Zennerman pointed out, I already have piles of my own samples, so being able to use those is a big plus!

Scott
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SWriverstone

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2008, 08:12:06 PM »

Hey Timecutter and Zennerman...

I've been doing some more research online into Battery 3, and I'm starting to find all kinds of people griping about Native Instruments product activation and the Service Center...people saying they couldn't activate the product...that the Service Center makes using it a pain, etc.

Have either of you guys had any issues with this? Or is this a case of people whining about nothing?

Thanks,
Scott
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Zennerman1

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2008, 08:44:34 PM »

The first time I tried to register I could not. So I backed out and tried again and it worked. It wasn't too hard.
Yes, I would rather just enter a serial number but oh well.
The good side is when you register you are able to go get upgrades without any hassle. Just log in and download. It even keeps track of what you already downloaded.

Steve

Hey Timecutter and Zennerman...

I've been doing some more research online into Battery 3, and I'm starting to find all kinds of people griping about Native Instruments product activation and the Service Center...people saying they couldn't activate the product...that the Service Center makes using it a pain, etc.

Have either of you guys had any issues with this? Or is this a case of people whining about nothing?

Thanks,
Scott
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timecutter

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2008, 09:45:28 PM »


Hello,

I haven't had any problems with the NI Service Center application on the Mac, though it did bite me while trying to activate Kontakt 2 on the Receptor (but that was while running the Service Center application on the Receptor).   As it happens, I just used the Service Center today to download the new Battery 3 update (3.0.4) - worked just fine.   

I'd really love to get Battery 3 running on Receptor - it is not user installable at this point but I'm hoping it will be real soon now (like after winter NAMM which is coming happening right now...).   

M
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SWriverstone

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2008, 05:32:04 PM »

Hey guys...one more question about Battery 3 ('cause I can't seem to find this info on the N.I. website anywhere)...regarding the 12GB sample set...did they do a pretty good job multisampling the various kit instruments? (Did they do it at all?) I'm wondering how good the dynamic response (soft to loud) is?

I'm guessing they might not have multisampled with several different mic setups (ala BFD)...but I'm hoping there are at least 3-4 diff. sample layers per instrument?

Thanks,
Scott
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Zennerman1

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2008, 08:01:59 PM »

Battery 3 has what are called "multi mic" kits. These kits have the close, room and reverb sounds in them. Each sound can have it's own level, pan, effects etc added and mixed in. Plus you can copy these cells into another kit. Another cool trick is to copy a dry sound into another cell then add effects to it then mix it back with the dry sound. You can get a good fat snare by doing this. The only short fall is the reverb. It can only be added to the kit globally. The whole kit gets reverb. Not all of the kits in Battery 3 are multi mic kits.

The dynamics of the NI kits are amazing. The pop kit is one of my favorites.

When I load my own samples in, I will make exact copies of the sounds and add my own reverb to one set of the samples. Then I can mix the wet and dry sounds together.

Cheers,
Steve
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timecutter

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Re: Battery 3
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2008, 08:44:43 PM »

All of the acoustic kits that I've looked at in Battery 3 are multi-sampled, typically with three to five samples spread out over the 1 - 127 velocity range.  Some cells, particularly some of the percussion cells, have a higher number of samples (like seven).   The velocity expressiveness in Battery 3 is not nearly as fine-grained as BFD, but its quite good & workable in my opinion.   

Battery 3 kits are composed of cells - a cell might be a tom hit or a taiko hit or a closed HH, for example.  Each of the cells in the acoustic kits supplied by Battery 3 are indeed multisampled.   If you're importing your own samples to create your own cell (or tweaking what's provided), you can multi-sample and velocity cross-fade to your heart's content. 

Mark


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