DrumCore 3 Guide

Pro Drum Loops and Drum Kit Samples for Songwriters

DrumCore 3 Guide

DrumCore 3 is a past version that only supports 32-bit recording software, and has been discontinued.
DrumCore 4 supports 64-bit recording software. Upgrade to DrumCore 4!


System Requirements

Quick Start

Simple instructions to get you up and running.

PDF User Manuals

Downloadable PDF user manuals


Frequently Asked Questions

DrumCore 3 (and KitCore 2) Requirements for 32-bit Systems - or see DC4 Requirements for 64-bit systems


  • G4, G5, or Intel processor 1GHz or faster
  • 2 GB of RAM (4 GM recommended)
  • 16 GB of available Hard Drive space
  • 1024 x 768 minimum display resolution
  • Built-in CD/DVD ROM Drive (for installation)
  • Mac OS X (v10.4 through 10.9)
  • Intel Pentium® 4 or Duo 1 GHz processor or AMD equivalent
  • 2 GB of RAM (4 GM recommended)
  • 16 GB of available Hard Drive space
  • 1024 x 768 minimum display resolution
  • Built-in CD/DVD ROM Drive (for installation)
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

Compatible Plugin Hosts

  • Logic Pro 8 and 9
  • Cubase 4 and up*
  • ProTools 7.4.2 - 10 (not 11)*
  • Digital Performer 6 and up*
  • Ableton Live 6*
  • Sonar 8*
  • Tracktion 3*
  • Acid 7*
  • Garageband 09*
*32-bit Only for DrumCore 3.
See DrumCore 4 Requirements for 64-bit compatibility.

Installing DrumCore 3

To install the DrumCore 3 Toolkit Application and DrumCore plug-in:

Step 1:

Insert "Disc 1 of 5, Plug-in and Application Installer" into your DVD ROM drive.

Step 2:

Open the disc to view its contents and double-click the installer icon

Step 3:

Follow the instructions to install the DrumCore plug-in and DrumCore Toolkit application (NOTE: Windows users can choose their VST plug-ins folder when prompted or use the default location of Program Files/vstplugins/).

Step 4:

The installer will prompt you for a location for the "DrumCore Data" folder, which contains all of your content. This requires a drive with at least 16 GB of free space.

MAC - DrumCore Toolkit will be installed in the Applications/DrumCore 3 folder on your system drive by default and the DrumCore plug-in will be put in its appropriate place depending on the plug-in type (AU/RTAS/VST).

WINDOWS - DrumCore Toolkit application will be installed in \Program Files\Submersible\DrumCore 3 on our C: drive by default. (NOTE: THe RTAS plug-in is automatically installed for ProTools and the default VST location is: \Program Files\vstplugins\ if present or \Program Files\Submersible\DrumCore 3\Plug-ins\VST\ if not.

Installing DrumCore 3 Content

Step 1:

Open the "Pending Imports" folder found within your DrumCore Data folder (previously specified in your Disc 1 installation).

Step 2:

Insert the "Content, Disc 2 of 5" DVD into your DVD ROM drive. Open it to view disc contents and then copy the "ContentPack1" folder into your DrumCore Data/Pending Imports folder. Repeat this for Content Discs 3-5. NOTE Pre-version 3 content (including the Exported Loops folder, possibly needed by previous compositions) is in "DrumCore Data.old".

Step 3:

Start the "DrumCore Toolkit" application, which is for importing REX2, WAV, AIFF, SD2 and ACID loop libraries (including any extra DrummerPacks) and for authorization. When Toolkit runs you are prompted to approve the import process for all ContentPacks (1-4) and DrummerPacks.

Inserting the DrumCore Plug-in into a Project

Step 1:

Open your recording application/DAW (ProTools®, Cubase®, etc).

Step 2:

Create a stereo/multitrack instrument track and insert DrumCore 3.

The plug-in must be loaded on an instrument track. Audio dragged out of the plug-in must be dragged onto stereo audio tracks. MIDI dragged out of the plug-in can be either dragged onto a separate MIDI track or the instrument track itself to trigger the sounds within the DrumCore 3 plugin.

How to open DrumCore in GarageBand instructions below.

Audio Loop Exporting

Loops found in DrumCore 3 can be directly dragged straight from the plug-in to a stereo audio track. To change the file format, sample rate, or bit depth, click SETTINGS inside of the plug-in. DrumCore 3 can export files in WAV, AIFF, SD2, Acid, and REX2 format.

DrumCore 3 PDF User Manuals

DrumCore 3 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What's the difference between KitCore 2, DrumCore 3, and DrumCore 4 (Lite, Prime, and Ultra)? Why upgrade to DC4?
    Is additional content (e.g. DrummerPacks and KitPacks) available for these products?

    KitCore Deluxe is a VSTi/RTAS/AU plug-in instrument for compatible 32-bit DAWs (same as DrumCore 3 compatibility above). Based on the MIDI drum instrument in DrumCore 3, KitCore offers tons of great MIDI beats. KitCore contains no audio loops, whereas DrumCore has audio and MIDI. KitCore Deluxe includes over 100 multi-velocity sampled drum kits and 3,000 MIDI grooves. KitCore and KitPacks for 32-bit recording software are being phased out, and are being replaced by DrumCore 4 and DrumCore 4 content for 64-bit recording software. KitCore users can upgrade to DrumCore 4. KitCore users who upgrade to DrumCore 4 can migrate their content to DrumCore 4. KitCore and KitPack content has migrated into the DrumCore 4 built-in store, and are no longer sold as DVDs or downloads.

    DrumCore 3 is a VSTi/RTAS/AU plug-in instrument for compatible 32-bit DAWs. DrumCore 3 contains all the functionality of KitCore as well as nearly all the same kits and MIDI grooves as KitCore, but DrumCore 3 added stereo mixed audio loops performed by celebrity drummers. DrumCore 3 also included the DrumCore Toolkit application. The DrumCore 3 Toolkit is a standalone application for adding your own loop libraries (WAV/AIFF/REX2/ACID) and/or drum samples (WAV/AIFF), as well as for editing descriptive metadata (like "Style", "Shuffle", etc.) and deep editing of drum pad data (sample layers, velocity assignments, velocity crossfades, etc.). DrumCore 3 plugin was an AU, RTAS and VST plug-in. DrumCore 2.5, DrumCore 3, and DrummerPacks for 32-bit recording software are no longer available, and have been replaced by DrumCore 4 and DrumCore 4 content for 64-bit recording software. DrumCore 2.5 and DrumCore 3 users can upgrade to DrumCore 4. DC2/DC3/KC users who upgrade to DrumCore 4 may migrate their content and DrummerPacks to DrumCore 4. Purchase an upgrade to qualify for the Content Migration Tool for migrating your DrumCore 2, DrumCore 3, KitCore, and/or DrummerPack content to DrumCore 4. Or, if you do not have your DC2/DC3/KC content installed, no worries, in most cases support is able to give your DC2/DC3/KC content to customers to download within DC4. DrummerPacks were add-on packs for DrumCore. DrummerPack content has been migrated into the DrumCore 4 built-in store, and are no longer sold as DVDs and downloads from Sonoma's online store.

    DrumCore 4 is an AAX/VST3/AU plug-in instrument for compatible 64-bit DAWs. DrumCore 4 offers 24-bit audio loops, MIDI loops, multi velocity sampled drum kits, a groove browser, song timeline, mixer, effects and more. It includes royalty free recordings of celebrity drummers in many styles. Easily integrates with most 64-bit recording software. Each edition below includes the same features with varying amounts of content. Additional MIDI and Audio content will be available for preview and purchase in the DrumCore 4 store within the plug-in. DrumCore 4 Upgrade Options. Compare DrumCore 4 Lite, Prime and Ultra.

    The biggest reason to upgrade is DC4's 64-bit recording software compatibility. If you are still running a 32-bit version of a recording program that's working for you, and don't care for any of the other upgrade improvements, then you may be fine sticking with DrumCore 3. A lot of people couldn't use DC3 any more because so many programs have been updated to 64-bit, like Pro Tools, Logic and more, so the 32-bit DC3/DC2.5 no longer work with those DAWs.

    DC4 was rebuilt from the ground up. Operating systems, DAWs, and computer hardware had advanced so rapidly that the code from DC3 could not be reused for DC4. Tools had to be written from scratch. New methods of encryption, security, and database control had to be implemented. It took more than 2 engineers more than 3 years to re-develop. The result is a plug-in that is more lightweight, powerful and modern.

    Reasons to Upgrade to DC4:
    Improved Interface (User Guide PDF Chapter 3)
    Compatible with Most 64-bit Recording Software
    Updated Plug-in Formats (AAX/VST3/AU)
    Mixer View with Insert Effects (User Guide PDF Chapter 5)
    Song Timeline for Assembling Loops (User Guide PDF Chapter 4 3
    Integrated Online Store with preview players to audition GrooveSets before purchase - includes most of the add-on content from Sonoma, Submersible Music, and third party plug-ins that was available for DC3 as well as new content from drummers like Bernard Purdie and Dennis Chambers. (User Guide PDF Chapter 8)

    DrumCore 4 received the high quality development attention it deserves, and we are pleased with the results. We are hearing great comments from satisfied customers who have updated, relieved that they can use DrumCore again. Tape Op gave it "two big thumbs up!"

    The amount of drums you get with DrumCore 4 Prime are the same as were in DC3 (which was priced at $249) - A lot of work went into migrating the content to be compatible with DC4. Pricing is $129 for the Upgrade from DC3 serial number to DC4 Prime, and $249 for DC4 Prime (new) in order to cover the resources put into development, and to ensure future development. We hope you upgrade and enjoy the improved DC4!

  2. Will DrumCore 3 work on my 64-bit operating system?

    DrumCore 3 and KitCore 2 build 21 are qualified for use on select 32 bit operating systems. DrumCore 3 may work on some 64 bit operating systems, but must be run in a 32 bit host application. Some users have reported mixed results using bit bridging programs like JBridge or BitBridge, but Sonoma does not support users trying to use this method. See DrumCore 4 AAX/VST3/AU plug-in for compatible 64-bit recording software.

  3. How do I register DrumCore 3?

    Register after installing DrumCore 3. If your first registration cannot be completed, then your copy of DrumCore 3 will run for 30 days. Be sure to register within those 30 days or DrumCore will not work. If you need to have one of your two activations reset because you have a new computer, please contact support@sonomawireworks.com.

    How to Register:

    Step 1: Launch DrumCore 3 Toolkit after installation.

    Step 2: A Dialog Box will ask you to type in your NAME and SERIAL NUMBER (Your serial number is printed on the registration card that came with your purchase).

    Step 3: Click the appropriate button to create a CHALLENGE CODE.

    Step 4: The website link is not working. Email your serial number and challenge code to support@sonomawireworks.com.

    Step 5: Support with reply with your RESPONSE CODE.

    Step 6: Type or copy/paste your RESPONSE CODE into DrumCore Toolkit in the field provided.

  4. How many registrations do I get with DrumCore 3?

    An individual who purchases and registers DrumCore 3 may register DrumCore 3 on up to two of their own computers. If you need to have one of your two activations reset because you have a new computer, please contact support@sonomawireworks.com. The DrumCore 3 license agreement allows for one end user per license; the one license may not be shared with another individual. Only one original registered user per serial number may receive support. The license is non-transferable. If a registered individual needs to run DrumCore on more than two computers, please email DrumCore Support and provide an explanation of why you need more than two authorizations, along with your serial number and the email you used to register. While we do not promise to grant more than two activations, we will consider your request. Please consult the license agreement included on the product for the full details.

  5. What is the quality of DrumCore content?

    All the sessions are at least 48k/24bit, and some are down-sampled from 96 and 192. 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 amount of vintage equipment (microphones, compressors, mic pres, etc.).

    A partial list of equipment used on sessions includes:

    • SSL 9000 consoles
    • ProTools HD
    • Vintage and new mic preamps by Focusrite, API, Neve, and Millenia
    • Compression by Empirical Labs, Urei, Teletronix, Manley, DBX and Fairchild
    • EQ by Pultec (EQP1A) and others
    • Numerous vintage Neumanns (M50, U47 FET and tube), Coles, and AKG C24

  6. Can I use my electronic drumset to trigger DrumCore 3 sounds?

    As long as your drumset triggers General MIDI note assignments, yes. The MIDI note assignments in DrumCore can't be altered, but all drum sounds are mapped to GM.

  7. I moved my drum library to a different drive, how do I get the DrumCore 3 plugin to see it?

    After moving your DrumCore Data folder you need to set the path to the new location in both the plugin and the Toolkit. In the Toolkit you can change this from the Preferences window which is found under the DrumCore Toolkit menu on a Mac and the Edit menu on Windows. In the plugin simply click on the Settings tab to find the option. This is the same on both platforms. If you move the DrumCore Data folder to a secondary drive it would copy the folder by default. Make sure you remove the DrumCore Data folder from the default location or DrumCore will always look there first by default regardless of what you have manually set it to.

  8. How do I create my own drum kit in DrumCore 3?

    In order to build drumkits using your own samples for use in DrumCore 3, you must use DrumCore Toolkit. On a Mac, the default location is Applications/DrumCore 3/ and on a PC the default location is C:\\Program Files\Submersible\DrumCore 3\.

  9. I have installed DrumCore 3, but I don't have any content. What happened?

    Make sure you have installed not only the install disc, but the four content discs. After installation, be sure to run the DrumCore Toolkit application to finish the install. WINDOWS USERS: Be sure to run the DrumCore Toolkit application as an Adminstrator.

  10. How do I open DrumCore 3 in GarageBand '11?

    Launch Garageband. Create a new Software Track. Click Edit on the right side under the Software Instrument. Under Sound Generator click on the Instrument to bring up Garageband Modules or Audio Unit Modules. Select DrumCore 3. Double Click on the graphic to the left of DrumCore 3 to open the plug in. Drag and drop audio to track.

  11. Why are some of the loops red and others black in DrumCore 3?

    Each loop in DrumCore was recorded at multiple tempos (BPM) so that the audio can be time stretched across a great range while still sounding perfectly natural. If the tempo of your project is beyond the suggested range of BPM, the loop will change from black to red. While this is considered an extreme tempo stretch, the loop still might sound great and be usable. When in doubt, let your ears guide you. DrumCore will always tempo stretch from loop closest in BPM to your project to deliver the most natural sound.

  12. I have installed everything correctly but am getting an error message, are there any patches I can download?

    If you are experiencing a .dll error or having troubles running the program, please email support@sonomawireworks.com.

    If you receive Error 8313, check the forum for a possible solution.

  13. I have an older version of DrumCore, is there an upgrade path to get version 3.0 or 4.0?

    DC2/DC3/KC are no longer available. Owners of DC2/DC3/KC can upgrade to DrumCore 4. Email support@sonomawireworks.com if you have any questions.

  14. Are KitCore, DrumCore, KitPack and DrummerPack drum recordings royalty-free? Can I use this in music I plan to release publicly?

    Yes, owners of a license to DrumCore 3, and the content they are using in DrumCore 3, may use the content royalty free in their compositions. Please consult the license agreement included in the software for full details.

  15. Is there a free version of DrumCore 3?

    We are no longer supporting DrumCore 3 FREE. Instead, we recommend that you buy DrumCore 4 as a new user.

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