SATUR809 Drum Machine Library by SUB51 – 1.5 Update, Second Look Review!

SUB51 Satu809 Drum Library Revisited

It’s a rare occurrence that KK-Access takes a second look at a product after it’s initial release, however following some excellent dialog with the developer some major additions and accessibility improvements have been integrated, so much so that I felt that it warranted a second look for us blind and visually impaired users to coincide with it’s 1.5 update.

also since the release of the Komplete Kontrol A-Series and M32 controllers, we have had a lot of new users that may well be on the lookout for some classic drum machine sounds, and given the exceptional pricepoint, it’s a library not to be missed!

Classic Beats…

Few would deny that Roland’s TR808 and TR909 have got to historically be the most used drum machines on the planet, despite now being not far short of 40 years old these iconic sounds are still fresh enough to find their way into new music tracks as well as current sample libry releases and lloops.

There are certainly no shortage of libraries and sample kits that utilise those sounds, including Native Instruments own Battery, and other fully fledged commercial products such as SoniCouture’s Electro Acoustic classic drum machine library, and also notable products from Wave Alchemy.

Despite this there is really nothing on the market that can offer extended KK compatible parameter mapping, that allows us to creatively engage with the sounds without spending a not inconsiderable sum. This is where Satur809 may well be the answer to your beatbox blues.

Tech Specs…

Satur809 will require the full version of Kontakt (otherwise the library will not work for more than 15 minutes in the free Kontakt Players demo mode).

The 44.1 kHz 24bit samples will take up around 1Gb of hard drive space, and also included are EXS24 Files, as well as 50 midi files which contain the drum patterns used for the loop presets.

The core sample library contains 12 NKI Kontakt files featuring the TR808 and TR909 in varying degrees of saturation, from clean to heavily processed.

There are also the aforementioned loop presets which feature both drum machines as looped patterns assigned to single keys on your keyboard, and these come in both tempo synced, and non-tempo synced flavours within the same loop preset, again with the same saturation processing variants.

There are also NKSN snapshot versions of the NKI files, which were originally intended for us Komplete Kontrol users, however as these can often result in a ‘missing content’ dialog message, the developer has worked hard to ensure that the NKS mapping shows up in the standard NKI file, which ultimately makes the whole library much more readily usable for us in terms of installation and accessibility.

On the topic of installation, getting up and running is a simple matter of placing the whole Satur809 library folder into a user defined path of your choice.

This can either be the default user content folder that Komplete Kontrol scans on both MAC and Windows, or a user folder you have added yourself within the standalone KK application.

I would suggest removing the folder named Komplete Kontrol files, otherwise this will create filename duplications in your preset list. As with any new Kontakt library it’s also worth performing a batch resave just to ensure everything is updated to work on your system, then it’s just a case of launching Komplete Kontrol in standalone to rescan and add the new Satur809 NKI files to your KK system database.

The included 12 NKI presets should now show up on the user side of your browser, under Native Instruments/Kontakt and then under presets, they will appear together in Komplete Kontrols alphanumeric list, but as they are all prefixed with Satur809 they will be listed together.

What’s New?…

Actually quite a bit, alongside the simpler ease of installation process, there are now up to 13 pages of assigned control mappings, with some very useful controls such as tuning, panning and more FX options.

I will list the per page mapping so that you can see exactly what there is to play with!

Komplete Kontrol 808 Page Mapping:

Page One – Master, Tone, Compressor 1

Knob 1 – Master Volume
Knob 2 – Master Pan
Knob 3 – Master Tune
Knob 4 – Tone Freq
Knob 5 – Tone Bandwidth
Knob 6 – Tone Gain
Knob 7 – Compressor Threshold
Knob 8 – Compressor Ratio

Page Two – Kompressor 2, Limiter, Reverb 1

Knob 1 Compressor Attack
Knob 2 – Compressor Release
Knob 3 – Compressor Output
Knob 4 – Limiter In Gain
Knob 5 – Limiter Release
Knob 6 – Limiter Output
Knob 7 – Reverb Pre-Delay
Knob 8 – Reverb Size

Page Three – Reverb 2, Delay, Lo-Fi 1

Knob 1 – Reverb Dry
Knob 2 – Reverb Wet
Knob 3 – Delay Time
Knob 4 – Delay Feedback
Knob 5 – Delay Dry
Knob 6 – Delay Wet
Knob 7 – Lo-Fi Bits
Knob 8 – Lo-Fi Sample Rate

Page Four Lo-Fi 2, Phaser

Knob 1 – Lo-Fi Noise
Knob 2 – Lo-Fi Noise Colour
Knob 3 – Lo-Fi Output
Knob 4 – Phaser Depth
Knob 5 – Phaser Phase
Knob 6 – Phaser Feedback
Knob 7 – Phaser Dry
Knob 8 – Phaser Wet

Page Five – Drum Level 1

Knob 1 – BassDrum Level
Knob 2 – RimShot Level
Knob 3 – SnareDrum1 Level
Knob 4 – HandClap Level
Knob 5 – SnareDrum2 Level
Knob 6 – LowTom1 Level
Knob 7 – ClosedHat1 Level
Knob 8 – LowTom2 Level

Page Six – Drum Level 2

Knob 1 – ClosedHat2 Level
Knob 2 – MidTom1 Level
Knob 3 – OpenHat Level
Knob 4 – MidTom2 Level
Knob 5 – HiTom1 Level
Knob 6 – Cymbal Level
Knob 7 – HiTom2 Level
Knob 8 – Cowbell Level

Page Seven – Drum Level 3

Knob 1 – LowConga1 Level
Knob 2 – LowConga2 Level
Knob 3 – MidConga1 Level
Knob 4 – MidConga2 Level
Knob 5 – HiConga1 Level
Knob 6 – HiConga2 Level
Knob 7 – Clave Level
Knob 8 – Maracas Level

Page Eight to Ten – Indevidual Drum Pan (knob assignments as per pages 5 to 7)
Page Eleven to Thirteen – Individual Drum Tuning (knob assignements as per level & pan pages)
Any variation in the number of pages available is purely down to the number of drum sounds featured within each instrument.

In the case of the loop presets, naturally the drum sounds are baked-in samples, and as such individual drum tuning and adjustment is not possible, however all of the same effect functionality has been retained and still available, assigned in the same way as pages 1 to 4 of the drum machine kits.

In Use…

Everyone will be well aware of what these drum machines sound like, unless you are truly new to this planet! The strength of Satur809 lays beyond the content of the standard kit sounds, which incidentally are all well sampled.

The ability to be able to create your own custom drum kits using the various fx, and also mixing, tuning and panning the individual drum sounds is where this library goes much further than the equivelent kits found in for example Battery, which literally has no parameter control mapping available.

Unusually, global kit and loop panning is assigned to the modwheel, aside from otherwise making this modwheel configuration void, the developer has opted to make this linkage. This is not as strange as you might at first think, as in use, particularly on the loop presets, this can prove to be an interesting reltime creative tool, and works well at higher tempos for adding some sonic excitement.

Given the wide sound customisation potential of Satur809, the musical possibilities are quite expansive, everything from ambient, hip hop, techno or even as simplistic and yet effective as a stripped down beatbox backbeat for a singer and acoustic guitar, all these genres are achievable, and with the inclusion of the realtime modwheel panning and phaser fx you can also go pretty wild if that’s your bag!


Being somewhat of an old school drum machine geek, I was impressed when I first reviewed Satur809 back in September of last year.

Now I’m even more impressed with these additional new improvements which SUB51 have taken the time to implement, they have clearly gone the extra mile , and done so with accessibility firmly in mind, a rare commodity which I wish I could say was higher up the priority ladder of many of the major sample library developers.

The cost of Satur809 is an absolute steal given the level of Komplete Kontrol mapping integration that has been added, everyone should have these classic sounds in their composers toolbox.

it makes good creative sense to be able to further tweak and tailor these very distinctive sounds to your own personal taste. Satur809 allows you to be both as old school cliche as you want, or as creatively modernas you like in one single library, for little more than the cost of a coffee and a sandwich!

Sub 51 ‘Satur809’ is available directly from the Sub 51 website with the usual cost being £15.00
For a limited period as a version 1.5 product update launch offer, it is available with 25% off at a cost of £11.25
Existing Satur809 owners should contact SUB51 at the following email address:

SUB51 Satur809 Product Page

Sub 51 Website:

(c) Chris Ankin
April 16th, 2019


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.


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