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General FAQ

What is DrumCore 4?

DrumCore 4 is an AAX/VST3/AU plug-in instrument with 24-bit audio drum loops, MIDI drum loops, multi-velocity sampled drum kits, groove browser, song timeline, mixer, effects and more. DC4 includes royalty-free recordings of celebrity drummers in many styles. DC4 easily integrates with most 64-bit recording software.

What are the differences between DC4 editions (Lite, Prime Link, Prime Flash, and Ultra)?

DrumCore 4 is available in three editions that contain the same plug-in. The differences are how it is delivered to you (download, USB Flash drive, or Solid State drive) and how much content (GrooveSets and Drum Kits) is included by famous drummers who have played with the bands listed below. All editions can be expanded with content by more than 25 drummers in DrumCore 4's built-in store.

DrumCore 4 Lite: 4 GB of content, including 24 GrooveSets (1,400 audio and 800 MIDI loops and fills) by 13 drummers, and 11 multi-velocity sampled kits. DrumCore 4 Lite is available as a download.*

Lite includes content by 13 drummers: Alan White (Yes, Lennon), Ben Smith (Heart), Jeff Anthony (Sheryl Crow), John Bishop (Bobby McFerrin), Lonnie Wilson (Brooks & Dunn), Luis Conte (Sergio Mendes), Matt Sorum (Velvet Revolver), Michael Shrieve (Santana), Ned Douglas (Dave Stewart), Sly Dunbar (Bob Marley), Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons), Tony Braunagel (Bonnie Raitt), and Zoro (Lenny Kravitz). DC4 Lite Content List

DrumCore 4 Prime: 20 GB of content, including 160 GrooveSets (10,000 and 2,000 MIDI loops and fills) by 17 drummers, and 100 multi-velocity sampled kits. DC4 Prime Link is available as a download, and DC4 Prime Flash is delivered on a 32 GB USB 3.0 flash drive for easy installation and portability.

Prime includes all of the DC4 Lite content (with even more content from many of the drummers in Lite), plus content from 4 more drummers: Gregg Keplinger (Herb Ellis, Carter Jefferson), John Tempesta (The Cult, Testament), Matt Cameron (Sound Garden, Pearl Jam), and Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction, Porno for Pyros, Nine Inch Nails).

DrumCore 4 Ultra: 50 GB of content, including 265 GrooveSets (21,000 audio and 3,000 MIDI loops and fills) by 18 drummers, and 139 multi-velocity sampled kits. DC4 Ultra (SSD) is delivered on a silent and fast 120 GB USB 3.0 Solid State Drive with space to add more content from the DrumCore 4 store. The plug-in and content are available on the drive, providing fast installation for new and upgrade customers. The external hard drive makes it easy to install and use DrumCore in different studios. DrumCore 4 Ultra is also available as a download, which is great for those with an excellent internet connection who do not want to wait or pay for shipping.*

Ultra includes all of the DC4 Lite and Prime drum content (with much more content by many of the drummers in Prime), plus content by an additional drummer: Terence Higgins (Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Norah Jones, The Black Crowes). DC4 Ultra Content List

*Additional GrooveSets and/or Drum Kits by more drummers are available for preview and purchase in the store that is integrated into the DrumCore 4 plug-in.

How is DrumCore different from BFD, Battery, and other similar products?

Great Content — DrumCore content is inventive, surprising and invites you to try new musical ideas. Not unlike playing with a great drummer, using DrumCore is like accessing the brain of a great player and getting a feel for how they approach a beat. You probably wouldn't have programmed it the way they played it. Having incredible live performances by the world's best drummers in a simple, easy to use interface makes DrumCore the most flexible drum plugin on the market.

Easy — DrumCore is refreshingly straightforward, without a steep learning curve. Since no heavy processing is required, you won't peg your computer while creating your rhythm tracks. Songwriters and music for film/television composers (DrumCore's main user base) don't have much time to read manuals. DrumCore is made for users who appreciate simplicity and having great grooves at their fingertips.

Organic Sounding — Because the DrumCore library contains real recordings of real drummers, the sounds are organic, and stand out among other drum products. Each drummer was recorded to fit their musical genre and style.

Varied Genres and Sonic Versatility — From blues and reggae to hip-hop and metal, DrumCore content covers a lot of ground. There's also a whole library of add-on GrooveSets and Kits in DC4's store, so you can expand the reach of your content library even more. See what add-ons are available on the DrumCore Drummer Bios page.

DrumCore Plays Well with Others — The DrumCore 4 plugin comes in 3 formats: VST3, AAX, and AU making it compatible with most modern DAWs, and each Kit is both MIDI-mapped, and customizable, making it easy to use with the external controller of your choice.

Bang-for-the-Buck — Price-wise DrumCore is an incredible deal. With DrumCore 4 Prime you get thousands of grooves by top celebrity drummers and their multi-sampled drum sounds across a multitude of styles for what other products are charging for a few acoustic kits and MIDI beats. DrumCore audio loops also come in a set format, rather than being split across multiple formats as is common with most other loop libraries.

Will DrumCore 4 work in my 64-bit DAW?

DrumCore 4 is designed to work with most 64-bit DAWs, like ProTools 11 and 12, Logic Pro X, and more. See compatibility list HERE.

What is the quality of DrumCore content?

All of DrumCore 4's audio content is recorded at either 48k/24-bit, or down-sampled from 96k or 192k. All analog-to-digital and digital processing was performed with extra care. Distributed sync and the best converters available were used. The content was recorded in professionally designed private recording studios using a mixture of the latest state-of-the-art digital and analog equipment in addition to a large quantity of vintage equipment. A partial list of equipment used on many of the sessions includes:

  • SSL 9000 consoles
  • Pro Tools HD
  • Vintage and new mic preamps by Focusrite, API, Neve, and Millenia
  • Compressors made by Empirical Labs, Urei, Teletronix, Manley, DBX and Fairchild
  • EQ by Pultec (EQP1A) and others
  • Numerous vintage Neumann microphones (including the M50, U47 FET and tube), Coles ribbon microphones, and the AKG C24

How were the audio loops recorded, how are they displayed, and how many audio loops are included in DrumCore 4?

DrumCore includes the best drummers of each genre performing authentic grooves, using their own drums, in top-of-the-line studios. Many of the grooves in DrumCore were recorded at multiple tempos to capture the nuances of the performances of the artists playing at different tempos. Each of the recordings that were made at a specific tempo is a loop. DrumCore presents a single icon for a multi-tempo groove, which represents related loops in a GrooveSet. DrumCore shows you only the loops that work best for the tempo of your project, making it easy to find what you need. No need to sift through the entire list of files yourself, DrumCore will help you find what you need quickly! When a Groove icon is selected, DC4 plays the loop that was recorded at the tempo closest to your project tempo. When you click on a Groove icon, the information displayed to the right of the large waveform shows the actual loop tempo and file name.

What are GrooveSets and Drum Kits?

A GrooveSet is a series of rhythmic loops and fills (audio and/or MIDI) that have a cohesive feel to them. DrumCore 4 allows you to browse through the GrooveSets that you own in your content library, or preview and purchase new GrooveSets using the store in DrumCore 4. The number of audio and/or MIDI loops and fills varies for each GrooveSet. See more regarding audio loops in the FAQ below. Content Lists of GrooveSets for each edition of DrumCore 4. Additional GrooveSets are $4.99 - $14.99 each.

Drum Kits are multi-velocity sampled drum kits, including kits by many of the drummers featured on the DrumCore Drummer Bios page. Drum Kits are sold separately from GrooveSets for $4.99 each. List of Drum Kits for each edition of DrumCore 4.

Can content from KitCore 2, KitCore Deluxe, DrumCore 2.5, DrumCore 3 or DrumCore 3 Deluxe be migrated to DrumCore 4? What content will not be migrated?

Yes, qualified customers who have purchased an upgrade from KitCore 2 or DrumCore 3 to DrumCore 4 will be provided with a tool to migrate select previously purchased content to DrumCore 4. Those who qualify for, and purchase a DrumCore 4 upgrade will be given access to, and a license to use, the DrumCore 4 Migration Tool. This tool will migrate select DrumCore 3, KitCore 2, DrummerPack and KitPack content that you have a license to use, that is installed on your computer, and that is also available in DrumCore 4's embedded store, to DrumCore 4.

If you do not want to install your previous version of DrumCore or KitCore, you DO NOT have to use the Migration Tool. Instead, you may download the content that is part of the DC4 edition you purchased. If you purchased add-on content for your previous edition of DrumCore or KitCore, simply email with proof of purchase, so we can give it to you to download within DC4.

Content that will NOT be migrated: non-DrummerPack content and non-KitPack content, and the DrummerPacks that Sonoma no longer has license to offer (e.g. Big Fish Audio's Bone Crushing Drums, Brain: One Stroke Done, Brush Artistry, Jazz Drums, and Roots of South America), and the Bun E. Carlos DrummerPack from Sonic Reality.

Please see the DrumCore4InstallandMigrationGuide.pdf that is installed on your computer (page 10). The DrumCore 4 Installation and Migration Guide is also here. We recommend following those instructions for best results.

What about migrating content from DrumCore 2.5 or 3 to DrumCore 4 Lite?

Registered users of DrumCore 2.5 and DrumCore 3 cannot upgrade to DrumCore 4 Lite. The DrumCore 4 Lite Upgrade is only for KitCore 2 users. The upgrade path from DrumCore 2.5 and DrumCore 3 is only to DrumCore 4 Prime Link Upgrade, DrumCore 4 Prime Flash Upgrade or DrumCore 4 Ultra Upgrade. The only DrumCore 4 Lite users who will receive the content migration tool are registered KitCore users who purchase the DrumCore 4 Lite upgrade. To purchase an upgrade, go to the DrumCore 4 Upgrade Page, and you will be directed to the DrumCore 4 upgrade products that you are qualified to purchase.

How do I install DrumCore 4?

See the DrumCore 4 Installation Video or call ILIO's support hotline at 1-818-707-3655.

Do I have to install DrumCore 4 on my computer, or can I move DC4 and DC4 content to an external drive?

For DC4 Lite, you'll need to install the 1.5 GB initial install on your computer's hard drive. It is possible, after installing the 1.5 GB, to change the location of the content (not the plug-in) to an external drive, then download the remaining 2.5 GB of DC4 Lite content to an external drive.

For DC4 Prime Link, you'll need to install the 4.11 GB initial install on your computer's hard drive. It is possible, after installing the 4.11 GB, to change the location of the content (not the plug-in) to an external drive, then download the remaining 15+ GB of DC4 Prime Link content to an external drive.

For DC4 Prime Flash and Ultra, the content can be stored on the drive. If you run out of room on the flash drive, you can move the content to a larger drive.

The DC4 plug-in (about 100 MB) and Migration Tool (28 MB), if you need that, must reside on your computer.
The DC4 content may be moved to an external drive before or after downloading more content within the plug-in. Here's how:

In DC4, click the Settings tab. By default, DC4 sets the path to one of these locations, depending on your OS and product version:
Ultra and Prime Flash for Mac and Windows: /DC4/DrumCore
Prime Link and Lite for Mac: /Library/Application Support/DrumCore
Prime Link and Lite for Windows: C:\ProgramData\DrumCore
Click the button that says, 'Choose DrumCore Path'. A dialog box will open, allowing you to navigate to your desired content location.
Select the desired folder and click, 'Open'.

For more about how to copy or move the location of your DrumCore 4 content, see the User Manual section 7.2.1.

Is an iLok account or dongle required for DrumCore 4?

An iLok account is not required, but is recommended in order to activate on two machines and manage licenses independently, without having to contact Sonoma support. If you register DrumCore 4 without using an iLok account, you will need to contact support if you need to change computers or make other license changes.

An iLok dongle is optional for DrumCore 4. You can activate a DC4 license on your computer, without an iLok dongle. iLok version 1 dongles (blue) are not compatible with DrumCore 4, only version 2 (black or grey) or 3 (silver) dongles may be used. You will be prompted to select whether you want your license to be tied to your computer, or to an iLok dongle. If choosing to use an iLok dongle, you must have an iLok dongle plugged into your computer during installation.

The DC4 installer will install the iLok License Manager on your computer (appears as PACE License Support in the Windows installer.) The iLok License Manager makes it easy to manage your licenses and move them between computers and iLoks. See FAQ above for authorization info.

How many authorizations am I allowed with DrumCore 4?

An individual who purchases and registers DrumCore 4 may authorize it on up to two of their own computers. The DrumCore 4 license agreement allows for one user per license; only one original registered user per serial number may receive support. The license is not transferable to another individual. Please consult the license agreement included in the product for the full details.

What are eye and cloud icons? How does downloading work?

Eye Icon (Unowned/Preview): DC4's Browser will indicate which loops you don't own yet, but can preview, with eye icons. Clicking on any loop with this icon on it will download a preview to your content library. Once it downloads, the icon will turn into a play button. If you wish to purchase a GrooveSet, click the button next to the GrooveSet description in DC4's Browser to go to DC4's Store page for that product. Cloud Icon (Owned): DC4's Browser will indicate which loops you own, but have not installed, with cloud icons. When you click a GrooveSet or Drum Kit with a cloud icon, the content starts downloading. DC4's library is so large that several options are available for content access.

Why are there different numbers of MIDI loops than audio loops?

The MIDI loops in DrumCore were programmed by hand by a drummer to maintain as much feel as possible as performed by the artists, while lining up well with the grid without feeling quantized. There are less MIDI loops than audio loops because the MIDI wasn't recreated at every tempo since MIDI is stretchable without artifacts.

Why isn't DrumCore 4 appearing on my computer or in my DAW's list of plug-ins?

DrumCore 4 is not a stand-alone application. DrumCore 4 is a 64-bit plug-in and requires a 64-bit host application, so it opens within a compatible DAW. Is your DAW on the DrumCore 4 compatible software list? Make sure your DAW is 64-bit and is compatible with AAX, VST3, or AU plug-in formats.

If you are on a Mac, and your DAW can operate in both 32-bit and 64-bit mode, it may have opened in 32-bit by default. Open your Applications folder and right-click on your DAW's icon. Select "Get Info." There should be a check box marked "Open in 32-bit mode". Make sure this is unchecked and try reopening your DAW. If you still do not see DrumCore, you may want to rescan your plug-in directory. Consult manufacturer's info for your DAW for instructions on how to do this.

Can I use my MIDI controller to trigger DrumCore sounds?

Yes. DrumCore's Drum Kits are all mapped to the General MIDI Level 1 Percussion Key Map, but individual instrument MIDI note assignments can be changed in the Kit Editor, allowing you to create custom maps that work with your specific controller.

Are these drum recordings royalty-free? Can I use this in music I plan to release publicly?

Yes, owners of a license to DrumCore 4, and the content they are using in DrumCore 4, may use the content royalty free in their compositions. Please consult the license agreement included on the product for the full details.

How do I give credit to the drummer from DrumCore 4 in song credits?

You are not obligated to give credit to the drummer. If you opt to give credit to the drummer in your album liner notes, or elsewhere, it must be clear that it was not created by the drummer directly for you. After the name of the artist, you must put Drums by DrumCore®, or whichever third party manufacturer produced the drums. Please consult the license agreement included on the product for the full details or contact

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