Battery is a virtual-drum module that does one thing, and does it really well – it plays back drum samples. There’s more to it than that, of course: it comes with a great library of sounds and has one of the best interfaces available for this kind of work.
The upper half of the window consists of a matrix of up to 72 cells. Each cell can contain up to 128 layered or velocity-split samples, along with a set of parameters that affect the sound, such as tuning, compression and modulation. You can mute or solo these cells and tweak parameters individually or by groups, rows or columns.
The lower half is divided into four sections.
At the right, the Output section has master-volume fader and pan controls, and lets you choose a stereo output pair. To the left of this is a waveform area with controls for modifying amplitude and pitch envelopes. Here you can see the effect of applying compressors, filters or other processing to the samples. In the centre of the lower section, a column of controls lets you modify selected cells. These let you change the pitch of all the sample layers in a cell, change the saturation level to increase or decrease the punch, or lower the bit resolution and the samplerate to create grungy sounds.
The leftmost half of the lower section has six tabs running along the top that reveal different controls and displays. For example, the Cell tab displays cell control and grouping parameters while Map tab reveals layered or velocity-switched mappings for the selected cell.
Each sample cell has its own multi-mode filter section with presets optimized for drum sounds. Choose the Filter tab and select a cell and apply a preset – or tweak the filter parameters to make the sound darker or brighter while viewing the graph. To control dynamics, select the Compressor view and choose a preset.
Battery 2 is the best drum-sample replay software available. The realism of the acoustic and jazz kits has to be heard, and the electronic kits are just perfect for today’s rap, R&B and electronic pop music. In fact, if you need programmed drums for just about any genre of contemporary music, Battery 2 is as good as it gets.