SUB51 – Satur809 Classic DrumMachines Library

SUB51 – Satur809 Classic DrumMachines Library

Classic Beats at a Bargan Price!

In a marketplace brimming over with sample libraries it’s refreshing to discover this small UK based developer releasing some new libraries at remarkably reasonable prices.

There have certainly already been a few variations released of Roland’s classic TR606, 808 and 909 drum machines but never quite as affordable and certainly not Komplete Kontrol compatible, so I thought it was well worth a spot in the limelight for these guys with this mini review of their Satu809 library.

Contents & Specs…

Running only in the full version of Kontakt and Komplete Kontrol, included in the library are the following:

⦁ 12x NKI Kontakt instruments Inc. 808 and 909 clean, medium, heavy saturation and Loops.
⦁ 12x NKSN Komplete Kontrol pre-mapped snapshot files.
⦁ 50x MIDI Files.
⦁ 150x WAV Loops.
⦁ Total File Size 1.31GB.

No Frills, Just Pure Beats…

The Satu809 which is our focus here, centres on clean well sampled drum sounds from Roland’s iconic TR808 and TR909 beatboxes, as well as the clean kit versions there are several other kits featuring the same sounds but with varying degrees of tape saturation.

Also included are some 150 pre-recorded loop kits where a single loop is assigned to individual notes on the keyboard, again there are variants with tape saturation Fx.

The loops are not tempo synced to your DAW so may not prove as versatile as they could have been as loop samples, but the associated midi files are included to enable you to recreate them yourself in your DAW of choice, and as such do offer a nice added content bonus along with the original wav samples.

Komplete Kontrol Snapshots…

All of the Kontakt NKI files have equivelent NKSN snapshots with Komplete Kontrol parameter mappings spread over up to nine pages. I did run into a couple of issues with ‘sample content missing’ dialogs popping up, however I found if I browsed and located the library folder the preset loaded, I then saved out the snapshot again using either the same name or a similar one, subsequent loads did not throw up this dialog again.

Sensibly the drum mapping follows standard GM layout, which all to often gets abandoned these days, it was created as a midi standard for a reason so developers really should adhere to it. This is not an issue here thankfully, so midi drum files like those supplied will playback with the correct drum sound positioning.

NKS Mapping…

As this is not an official licensed NKS product it will only reside on the user side of your browser, and hence there is no categories, types, sub types, modes etc to be found.

This being the case we’ll jump straight to the mapped parameters to see what’s available. The following representing the TR808 parameters.

Page 1 – Compressor

Knob 1 – Threshold
Knob 2 – Ratio
Knob 3 – Attack
Knob – Release
Knob 5 – Output
Knobs 6 to 8 – Unallocated

Page 2 – Limiter

Knob 1 – Input Gain
Knob 2 – Release
Knob 3 – Output
Knob 4to 8 – Unallocated

Page 3 – Reverb

Knob 1 – Pre Delay
Knob 2 – Size
Knob 3 – Colour
Knob 4 – Damping
Knob 5 – Stereo
Knob 6 – Dry
Knob 7 – Wet
Knob 8 – Unallocated

Page 4 – Delay

Knob 1 – Time
Knob 2 – Damping
Knob 3 – Pan
Knob 4 – Feedback
Knob 5 – Dry
Knob 6 – Wet
Knob 7 to 8 – Unallocated

Page 5 – Phaser

Knob 1 – Depth
Knob 2 – – Speed
Knob 3 – Phase
Knob 4 – Feedback
Knob 5 – Dry
Knob 6 – Wet
Knob 7 to 8 – Unallocated

Page 6 – Lo-fi
Knob 1 – Lo-Fi Bits
Knob 2 – Sample Rate
Knob 3 – Noise
Knob 4 – Colour
Knob 5 – Output
Knobs 6 to 8 – Unallocated

Page 7 – Tuning 1 to 8

Knob 1 – Bass Drum
Knob 2 – Rimshot
Knob 3 – Snare 1
Knob 4 – Clap
Knob 5 – Snare 2
Knob 6 – Low Tom 1
Knob 7 – Closed Hi-Hat 1
Knob 8 – Low Tom 2

Page 8 – Tuning 9 to 16

Knob 1 – Closed Hi-Hat 2
Knob 2 – Mid Tom 1
Knob 3 – Open Hat
Knob 4 – Mid Tom 2
Knob 5 – Hi Tom 1
Knob 6 – cymbal
Knob 7 – Hi Tom 2
Knob 8 – Cowbell

Page 9 – Tuning 17 to 24

Knob 1 – Lo Conga 1
Knob 2 – Low Conga 2
Knob 3 – Mid Conga 1
Knob 4 – Mid Conga 2
Knob 5 – Hi Conga 1
Knob 6 – Hi Conga 2
Knob 7 – Claves
Knob 8 – Maraca

The above mappings are replicated for the TR909, but have one page less to reflect the lesser number of drum sounds found in that device.

As you can nsee some fairly useful parameters have been assigned, the FX are fairly standardised, but it’s nice to see the additions of a phaser and bitcrusher to the usual array to add some extra versatility.

Particularly noteworthy are the tuning pages, these allow you to extensively detune up and down plus or minus two octaves from the standard instrument pitch and can produce some interesting and creative results.

It would have been the icing on the cake to have volume and pan cntrols over individual drum sounds, , This would of course added several more pages, however I’m told these are not ruled out for possible future updates.

Classic Sounds…

It’s quite evident that time has been spent in the recording process, the clean patches are accurate representations of the original machines, I’m fortunate enough to have an original 1984 TR909 sitting on a shelf in my studio, and these samples are pretty damn close to my ears.

All the other presets are tape saturated variations of those clean recordings and welcome additions to the library which Sub 51 have thoughtfully included to add even extra value for what was not a lot of money in the first place.


Sub 51 have gone out of their way to address certain accessibility issues I came across and reported during the review process, which is a great testimony considering they previously were unaware of the existence of Komplete Kontrol’s accessibility mode.

If you don’t want to shell out for a far larger drum library with more presets and ready made sound design content, and simply want to add some of the flavours and elements or even full kits of those classic analogue drum machines, then you really can’t go wrong with this pocket money priced library from Sub 51, I’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on their future releases.

Sub 51 ‘Satur809’ is available directly from the Sub 51 website at a cost of just £9.50 UK


Sub 51 Website:

(c) Chris Ankin 2018
September 4th


The author accepts no responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of reading this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product in combination with information gathered from official factual sources on the web or product manual.

About the Author

Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close