David Oliver’s Drum Kit By Soundiron

David Oliver’s Drum Kit By Soundiron



KK-Access Review



Soundiron have just released David Oliver’s Drum Kit which is now the third library to feature the name of this innovative UK instrumentalist and media composer.


Previously released libraries include David Oliver’s Rhythmic Odyssey & The New Shake, which as their respective titles suggest were more percussive in nature, and contain a host of wide ranging worldly rhythmic loop material.


David Oliver’s Drum Kit by contrast puts the focus firmly on the more traditional Drum Kit, and includes a range of Kicks, Snares, Toms, Hats & Cymbals in a variety of articulations and manufacturer choices.


The Pearl DLX is the predominantly featured kit within the library, which was the kit of choice for legendary jazz drummer Art Blakey. Here David Oliver’s own kit the source for the samples dates back to the 1980’s with it’s distinctive vintage tonality


Tech Specs


David Oliver’s Drum Kit runs in Kontakt 6.2.2, either the full version or the equivalent free Kontakt player, and is NKS ready for use within Komplete Kontrol.


The 24bit, 48kHz library will occupy 27 GB on your hard drive, which is compressed from the original 50GB in the NCW format.


There are ten Kontakt NKI presets included, three of which are Kit masters which come in Pro, Standard or Light versions.


Depending on your machine resources, this can be useful, as you can potentially work with the more CPU friendly light preset on a travelling laptop rig, and then replace it in the studio for your final mastering session, whilst continuing to maintain overall kit compatibility.


The remaining seven presets feature solo kit pieces, which can also prove to be really valuable for more extensive editing, as we shall learn later.


Download & Installation


The library can either be downloaded via a dedicated watermarked SoundIron installer, for which you will receive a personal link after purchasing.


For us though, the simpler and more straightforward method is to paste the provided serial into Native Access, enabling you to authorise, download and install directly from there.


The library will automatically scan into the Komplete Kontrol database the next time you launch an instance, and then you should be all set to go ahead and make some beats.


Komplete Kontrol Plug-in Edit NKS Parameter Assignments


Drum Kit Presets


Page One – ARP


Knob 1 – Arp On/Off
Knob 2 – Direction
Knob 3 – Time
Knob 4 – Mode
Knob 5 – Table
Knob 6 – Swing
Knob 7 – Random
Knob 8 – Duration


Page Two – Kick


Knob 1 – Kick Volume
Knob 2 – Pan
Knob 3 – Width
Knob 4 – Send
Knob 5 – Solo
Knob 6 – Mute
Knob 7 – Top
Knob 8 – Bottom


Page Three – Toms


Knob 1 to 8 – As Per Kicks


Page Four – Snare


Knob 1 to 8 – As Per Kicks


Page Five – Hi-Hat


Knob 1 to 6 – As Kicks

Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated


Page Six – Ride Cymbal


Knob 1 to 8 – As Hi-Hats


Page Seven – Crash Cymbal


Knob 1 to 8 – As Per Hi-Hats


Page Eight – Splash Cymbal


Knob 1 to 8 – As Per Hi-Hats


Page Nine – Room


Knob 1 – Volume
Knob 2 – Pan
Knob 3 – Width
Knob 4 – Send
Knob 5 – Solo
Knob 6 – Mute
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated


Page Ten – Overhead


Knob 1 to 8 – As Per Room

Page Eleven – Master

Knob 1 – Volume
Knob 2 – Pan
Knob 3 – Width
Knob 4 – Send
Knob 5 to 8 – Unallocated


Page Twelve – Delay


Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Time
Knob 3 – Feedback
Knob 4 – Lo-Cut
Knob 5 – Hi-Cut
Knob 6 – Depth
Knob 7 – Rate
Knob 8 – Return


Page Thirteen – Space Page 1


Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Reverb Type
Knob 3 – Room Type
Knob 4 – Room
Knob 5 – Low
Knob 6 – High
Knob 7 – Size
Knob 8 – Return


Page Fourteen – Space Page 2


Knob 1 – Mode
Knob 2 – Time
Knob 3 – Damping
Knob 4 – Diffusion
Knob 5 – Modulation
Knob 6 to 8 – Unallocated


Solo Instrument Presets


Page One – Layer 1


Knob 1 – Layer On/Off
Knob 2 – Category
Knob 3 – Volume
Knob 4 – Attack
Knob 5 – Offset
Knob 6 – Release
Knob 7 – Width
Knob 8 – Pan


Page Two to Four – Layers 2 to 4 (As Above)


Page Five – Layer Select& LFO


Knob 1 – Layer Selection
Knob 2 – LFO On/Off
Knob 3 – Shape
Knob 4 – Target
Knob 5 – Sync
Knob 6 – Rate
Knob 7 – Intensity
Knob 8 – Fade In


Page Six – Filter


Knob 1 – On/Off
Knob 2 – Filter Type
Knob 3 – Modulation source
Knob 4 – Resonance
Knob 5 – Frequency
Knob 6 – Invert
Knob 7 & 8 – Unallocated


Page Seven – Arp


Knob 1 to 8 – As Per Kit Preset Mapping


Page Eight – Scale Lock & Cross fade


Knob 1 – Scale Lock On/Off
Knob 2 – Key
Knob 3 – Scale
Knob 4 – Cross fade Amount
Knob 5 to 8 – Unallocated





SoundIron I think on the whole have made a pretty good job of assigning the NKS parameters, there are a couple of potential workarounds required , and also a missing tune control to get around, but otherwise things are certainly quite respectable and are either on a par or will in some areas even perhaps supercede other similar products in terms of it’s innovative sound design potential.


I did cross reference the parameters that were available for automation from within a typical DAW parameter list (in my case Reaper) by loading up the presets within Kontakt outside of Komplete Kontrol. These appeared to be identical to those found inside KK via NKS, so there were no hidden gems to be found like a course or fine tuning control!


Pandora’s Box


On the surface David Oliver’s Drum Kit could be overlooked as being a seemingly no frills yet high quality, clean dry and tight sounding drum kit.


It’s only when you begin to explore and turn the pages of the NKS controls that you discover some really quite useful and creative features.


Kit Presets


As stated in the tech specs, there are essentially 3 versions of the kit, identical in sounds and NKS mapping, but varied in the number of round robins. This means less samples get loaded into your ram, so they are less intensive on your processor usage.


There are seven kit pieces to explore, consisting of Kick, Toms, Snare, Hi-Hat, Ride, Crash & Splash cymbals.


Each instrument feature controls for Volume, Pan, Width, Send, Solo & Mute, the Kick, Toms & Snare also have additional mix volume controls for top & bottom microphone levels.


There are dedicated pages for controlling Room, Overhead & Master microphone levels, and the levels of each instrument passed through can be determined from the send control for each kit piece.


In terms of external effects, there is both Delay and Reverb available, which are applied globally to the master mix.


This could have been a nuisance if you only wanted a certain instrument to be effected, however with the presence of the Solo & Mute controls it is possible to retain or omit individual instruments, which if you then create a duplicate track you could then again add or remove them.


Perhaps not the most resource friendly method of working, but it is a way of having a kind of drum sub bus where we as blind users are unable to access the individual track routing from within either Komplete Kontrol or Kontakt.


All Spaced Out


I particularly liked the way that the Reverb has been implemented. There are three types of Reverb available, Convolution, Algorithmic & Plate.


The Convolution features an extensive and interesting collection of spatial room types Small, large, Cathedral, Chamber, Hallway, Long, Short, Outdoors, forest & FX Long & Short.


These also have sub categories, so the potential for tweaking your environment is huge, this of course would have been something impossible to do prior to Native Instruments enabling speech feedback for the plug-in edit parameters.



SoundIron have included their Arp page within the NKS map, which may sound an odd thing to do for a drum library.

As it happens however, this does actually offer a surprisingly useful feature when if comes to expanding the creative possibilities of the library, and I would suggest more so with the Solo presets where the instruments can be played over pitch and not just the fixed midi mapped kit piece positions.


On the subject of midi mapping, the positioning of the kit pieces is certainly usable for budding finger drummers, and currently the default map features several articulations for each drum sound grouped together.


In practice this means that a degree of additional realism is on hand, where as a drummer you might hit the rim of the snare or different areas of the skin to achieve a variation in timbre.


There appears to be left and right sticking for relative instruments, and naturally as you would expect the Hats do have choke enabled.


SoundIron have created alternate midi map layouts to cater for a range of popular key assignments, including General midi, Addictive drums, Superior Drummer and other popular formats, so many use cases have been catered for.


At the time of writing, these have not found there way into dedicated presets, so currently only exist as a loadable GUI option, I have requested that SoundIron save these out as individual Kontakt NKI files, so I would be hopeful that this will be something that is addressed sooner rather than later.


The main omission for the kit based presets that could have been the cherry on the cake would have been to implement the ability to select our own kit pieces.


This is actually a feature of the Solo instrument presets, so it would have been a viable option, it’s not a complete deal breaker, but it does mean that as blind users we need to adopt a different approach to the way that we work with the library overall with NKS.


also being able to tune the kit pieces within the Kit presets would have been a desirable option, again as a workaround we will need to use keyswitched articulations in the Solo presets to pitch samples across the keyboard, as opposed to having a singular tuning knob allocated via an NKS control.


Solo Sounds


The Solo presets are exactly what they state on the tin, and include a separate preset for each of the available instruments.


The NKS mapping for this preset group differs from the kit presets, and in many ways they are more extensive in the flexibility and sound editing potential they can offer for individual kit pieces.


Just for starters, we are able to use the excellent SoundIron Sound layer selection feature which has been included in most of their Kontakt player NKS libraries for some time now.


The advantage here is that it has four layers of selectable sample sources, meaning you can effectively blend more than one sample together to create more unique individual drum sounds.


In the case of David Oliver’s Drum Kit, the samples that you select come in the form of drum instruments from various manufacturers such as Sabian, Paiste, Mapex , Zildjian & Pearl, or alternatively you can opt to have all articulations loaded across the range of your keyboard.


The selectable sample pool for each of the four layers is specific to the Solo instrument type you have loaded, and the first three layers offer the close, room & overhead microphone positions as their primary content.


Add to this the availability of a sub synth or synth waveform, and your tweakings can be transformed from naturally organic to something more synthetic & experimentally electronic in nature.


The default Solo presets have all articulations assigned across the keyboard allowing you to use them as needed, or you can optionally use keyswitches to switch to having one articulation pitched across the keyboard.


This is the method I eluded to previously with the kit presets, it’s not as preferable as a dedicated tuning control, but can act as a workaround if you really want to detune a sound.


Toms can turn into Timpani’s, and Cymbals can become Gongs, well I’m sure you get the picture!


The Solo instruments include attack, sample offset and release, something which is not included in the Kit mappings, although Width & Pan remain present, at the expense of dedicated top & bottom microphone positions, which instead find their way to being a selectable sample in the aforementioned sound layers.


The LFO controls are quite extensive, again this goes further still to expand the sonic creativity. We can choose a layer and then turn a knob to target how we want the LFO to be applied to the layer in question, Volume, Bass, Treble, Pitch, Pan, Resonance & Frequency can all be exploited with the LFO, and these can also be tempo synced to your DAW with a full range of timing meters.


Next up comes the equally detailed filter page which includes a large set of filter types. These can be applied in a number of ways, Velocity Frequency, Velocity Resonance, Modwheel Frequency, Modwheel Resonance, Key Position Frequency, Key Position Resonance, Graph Frequency, Graph Resonance or simply none at all.


The whole point is that these comprehensive controls are offered on a selectable per layer basis, making the number of possible combinations pretty substantial.


The Arp page is again available, along with Scale Lock and Cross Fade, although I did not quite comprehend the whole use case for the scale lock option when ostensibly they are being applied to drum sounds.


Accessibly Making The Most Of David Oliver’s Drum Kit


There is no denying that there are some useful and interesting controls and options on offer with the David Oliver Drum Kit Library.


The downside is that the more comprehensive NKS controls that are found in the Solo Instruments are not also included in the Standard Kit presets, and to a lesser degree vice versa.


If you only want to play the drum kit presets, then the opportunity to radically change the kit sounds in a single preset instance via NKS will be a little limited.


If on the other hand you don’t mind loading several instances of the library across multiple tracks, then it is entirely feasible to perform some very detailed kit tweakings.


You can bypass the inaccessible Kontakt track mixer routing by duplicating your final recorded drum track, and then using the Solo or Mute switches in the kit presets to add or remove instruments, thus making a kick & snare only track etc.


If you need more finite detail over the sound or use of articulations, then you could cut out your snare notes via your midi editor, and paste them into the Solo Snare preset, and then blend and filter your sounds in greater detail.




Overall I did really like the sound and flexibility that David Oliver’s Drum Kit offered. I have provided links at the end of the review to SoundIron’s walkthrough videos which demonstrate the quality of the sounds.


In terms of accessibility purely through Komplete Kontrol NKS parameters, there is the omission of the sound selection layers in the kit presets, which would have made the library more appealing to users who just want to load a kit and play or record, with everything on hand within one preset, yet still maintain the ability to alter the sounds.


The current lack of NKI presets for the alternative midi key maps is something that can easily be rectified by SoundIron.


The lack of a dedicated per kit piece tuning control knob via NKS is frustrating, so if I were to wish for a perfect update it would be to add a few extra pages to include the sound selection layers and a tuning control to the kit presets.


If, depending upon your required use case, you can live with these accessibility shortfalls, and are happy to apply the odd workaround to your workflow, then David Oliver’s Drum Kit is certainly an equally viable and very affordable alternative contender which can stand up to, and in parts surpass other Drum Kit products on the market.



David Oliver’s Drum Kit is available for purchase from the SoundIron website for the introductory price of $79.00 (Regular price $99.00)


David Oliver’s Drum Kit – Product Page:


Walkthrough: David Oliver’s Drum Kit:


Composing a Jazz Style Track with David Oliver’s Drum Kit:


Behind The Kit With David Oliver:


David Oliver’s Drum Kit – User Manual:



(c) Chris Ankin




July 5th, 2022





The author can not accept any responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this review,or Any inaccuracies found therein. All opinions and product functions stated are based solely on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product and/or gathered from official factual sources such as the developer, web or supplied product manual.


About the Author


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

He has also worked extensively in, and been associated with music, recording, film Soundtrack, Game & media, the creative arts, publishing and investments since 1982 under his own name and various other pseudonyms.



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