SDX THE ROOMS OF HANSA
A WALL OF SOUND.
A massive collection of drums captured in the four different rooms of the Hansa Tonstudio.
The Rooms of Hansa SDX features drums produced by Grammy Award-winning recording/mixing engineer Michael Ilbert in one of the most iconic studios currently in existence: the Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin, Germany. With a broad and handpicked collection of drums captured in all four available rooms on the studio premises, this SDX showcases an incredible width in regard to both tonal range and ambience.
Welcome to a unique collection of drums, all touched by the inimitable soul of a studio whose legacy is forever etched in music history.
- 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
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
- Basic Setup: This is a basic install of the library featuring all close, primary overhead and
primary ambience microphones.
- Size: Approx. 23 GB
- 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 Bleed Setup: This is the full install of the library. It features all microphones and bleed.
- Size: Approx. 122 GB