Pro Drums Loops and Drum Kit Samples for Songwriters
For the most comprehensive instructions with images, see the Installation and User Guide pdfs links below this Quick Start (also installed with DC4).
DrumCore 4 PDF User Guides are available in your DC4 install documents, and will be updated here as more information is added.
DrumCore 4 Installation and Migration Guide (Mac/Win) (3 MB PDF) - v4.3 Updated 9/25/17
DrumCore 4 User Guide (Mac/Win) (18 MB PDF) - v 4.3 Updated 9/25/17
*Compatibility is subject to change.
You must have Administrator Access on your computer to install DC4.
**See status/caveats for using these DAWs with DC4 below.
**Status of Using DAWs with DC4 (including Test Result Dates):
See the compatibility list above for the most comprehensive list of DAW versions working with DrumCore 4.3.4.
Below are test results from some DAWs that work with DC4, some that work but have caveats, and some that do not work yet.
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.
DrumCore 4 is available in three editions that contain the same plug-in. The differences are how it is delivered (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. Crossgrade from one DC4 edition to another with more content.
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 - 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.
DrumCore 4 is designed to work with most 64-bit DAWs, like ProTools 11 and 12, Logic Pro X, and more. See compatibility list above.
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:
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.
There are Content Lists and a chart that list how many GrooveSets and audio loops and fills are included each edition of DrumCore 4.
Because DrumCore shows you only the loops and fills you need for your project tempo, the number of icons in your DrumCore 4 Browser will appear to be fewer than the number of loops and fills in your DrumCore library folder, and in the Content Lists on the website.
A GrooveSet is a series of rhythmic loops and fills (audio and/or MIDI) that have a cohesive feel. 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. More regarding audio loops in the FAQ above. 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.
More info about GrooveSets and Drum Kits can be found in the drumcore-4-user-guide.pdf that was installed with DrumCore 4.
Each edition of DrumCore 4 includes the same plug-in with various amounts of content:
• DC4 Lite (
$49 $29): 24 GrooveSets and 11 Kits (35 x $4.99 = $174 content value)
• DC4 Prime ($149 - $249): 160 GrooveSets and 100 Kits (260 x $4.99 = $1200 content value)
• DC4 Ultra ($639): 265 GrooveSets and 139 Kits (404 x $4.99 = $2000 content value)
Looking to update your DrumCore 4.x version to the newest version number? Email email@example.com with your current version and we will provide easy update instructions.
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, email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
See the DrumCore4InstallandMigrationGuide.pdf that is online and installed on your computer (page 10). Follow those instructions for best results.
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.
For DC4 Lite, download and install the intital 1.5 GB file 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 you may use the DC4 SETTINGS panel to download the remaining 2.5 GB of DC4 Lite content to an external drive.
For DC4 Prime Link, download and install the 4.11 GB file on your computer's hard drive. It is possible, after installing the 4.11 GB file, to change the location of the content (not the plug-in) to an external drive. Then you may use the DC4 SETTINGS panel to download the remaining 15+ GB of DC4 Prime Link content to an external drive.
While the DC4 plug-in must remain on your computer, DC4 content may be moved to an external drive before or after downloading more content within the plug-in. See how to Move Your DrumCore 4 Library Below.
The DC4 plug-in (about 100 MB) and the "main-ca.crt" file that DC4 needs to find when it registers must reside on your computer in their original locations. If you need the Migration Tool (28 MB) that migrates content from prior versions of DrumCore (DC3/DC2.5/KitCore) to DC4, the Migration Tool app must remain on your computer as well.
Default DrumCore 4 Content Locations. By default, DrumCore 4 sets the path to one of these locations, depending on your DC4 edition and OS:
How to Move Your DC4 Library and Change the DrumCore Path:
For more, see the DrumCore 4 User Guide pdf (section 7.2.1) - "Changing the DrumCore Path" or watch the Video Tuorial: Moving DrumCore 4 Content to an External Drive.
An iLok account is not required, but is recommended in order to activate DC4 on two computers and manage your licenses independently, without having to contact Sonoma support. If you register DC4 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, using the iLok License Manager software, with or without an iLok dongle.
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 DC4 registration on two of your computers, and move them between computers and iLoks. See the FAQ below this one for authorization info. While registering DC4, you will be prompted to select whether you want your DC4 license to be tied to your computer using the iLok License Manager software, or to an iLok dongle. If choosing to use an iLok dongle, you must have an iLok dongle plugged into your computer during installation. If you choose to use 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.
While you only get one Activation Code for DC4, you can use that code for two DC4 licenses. To manage your DC4 licenses, open iLok License Manager and sign in with your iLok username (may be different than your Sonoma/DrumCore 4 username). Then you can drag a DrumCore license to a second computer or iLok dongle, or deactivate a computer it was activated on previously. There is a helpful video here that shows how to activate licenses using the iLok Manager.
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. Consult the license agreement included in the DC4 plug-in installer for the full details, or email email@example.com to request a copy of the license agreement.
During DrumCore 4 registration, it is recommended that you sign into your iLok account when asked, so you will be able to manage your DrumCore 4 activations. If you sign into your iLok account when registering, you can activate upto two machines or iLoks with your serial number, and you can manage your activations. If you activate without signing in to an iLok account (anonymously), you will not be able to manage your activations, and you will need to contact support if you wish to activate DrumCore 4 on another computer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions. Follow the DrumCore 4 Installation Guide.
There are separate solutions for these 2 problems depending on which error message you receive. See the written instructions and video for your solution below.
Select the "DrumCore" folder in the following directory:
Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/DrumCore
Note: If you have moved your DrumCore folder to alternate location, either on your machine or an external drive, make sure to point the plug-in at the folder called "DrumCore". Do not select the "Library" folder inside that DrumCore folder.
To fix the error message in red text that says, "DrumCore 4 Library Not Found:" [video]
When DrumCore 4 is launched the first time, it asks you to select the DrumCore folder. If you selected the wrong folder the first time do the following:
1. Close your DAW
2. Go here: MacintoshHD/Users/[username]/Library/Application Support/DrumCore/com.sonomawireworks.drumcore
To open the DrumCore folder, you may need to go to the Finder, hold down the Option button, keep the Option button held down while you click on the Go menu, and select the Library folder.
3. Delete the preferences file named: com.sonomawireworks.drumcore
4. The next time you open DrumCore 4, it will ask you for the DrumCore folder.
The path to this folder is: /MacintoshHD/Library/Application Support/DrumCore
NOTE: This is NOT the "Users" Library folder. It is the top level "MacintoshHD" one, where the DC4 content was installed.
To find the "MacintoshHD" directory, right-click the name (at the top of the Finder Window) of the current directory, and it will have a dropdown menu and show the hierarchy of the current directory. All will lead back to the Macintosh HD.
NOTE: If you moved your DrumCore folder to alternate location, either on your machine or an external drive, make sure to point the plug-in at the folder called "DrumCore". Do not select the "Library" folder inside that DrumCore folder.
File paths are also listed in the DrumCore 4 Install Guide on page 19.
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.
Three options to access content:
1. Drive: DC4 Lite/Link users may crossgrade to a DrumCore Prime Flash or Ultra drive from Sonoma or select worldwide dealers.
2. Migrate: DrumCore 2.5, DC3 and KitCore Upgrades: Migrating is faster than downloading. If you don't have your previous version on the same computer as DC4 for migration, you could download your DC4 edition content, or you could upgrade to Flash or Ultra to install from a drive. Email email@example.com with proof of purchase for any add-on content you may have purchased for your previous version, so we can give it to you to download within DC4.
3. Download: Improved in v4.3, DC4 Lite/Link users can go to DC4's SETTINGS tab and "Download All Owned Content" with one click; or click each GrooveSet's cloud icon to queue the downloads you want first - the SETTINGS tab will show download progress for each file; or crossgrade to Flash or Ultra to install from a drive. When you purchase add-on content in DC4's Store the same download options apply. There are a number of factors that will affect the download speed, like your computer's capabilities, how heavily Sonoma's servers are being accessed, and how much space you have remaining on your drive where your DC4 library is stored (flash drive, external drive, or computer).
DC4 Content Downloading Tips:
• Make sure you have DrumCore version 4.3.4 as that version includes improved downloading. If you are getting Error Code 360, the security certificate expired because you are running an older version of DC4 and need to update to 4.3.4. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• DC4 must remain open while you are downloading.
• Drum Kits that you own will download first, so you will not notice GrooveSet downloading progress until your Kits have completed downloading. Give DC4 a few minutes to start showing progress for GrooveSet downloading.
• Wait to Preview Content: It is best to allow your owned content to download before "previewing" any new content. Previewing a GrooveSet starts a new download each time you click a preview button on a GrooveSet. This could start too many files downloading at once, which may be tough for your computer and internet bandwidth to handle.
• If downloading content in the SETTINGS Tab stalls (due to internet interruption or something else): Make sure you have enough space where you are trying to download the content (4 GB for Lite, 20 GB for Prime, or 50 GB for Ultra plus any extra content you may have). Then restart the plug-in, and click "Download All Owned Files" again.
• If downloading is slow, and you have a firewall: Either try temporarily disabling your firewall, or check the firewall settings to make sure you can download multiple packets easily.
• If downloading is stuck on a file: Try checking the x next to the file in Settings and try to download it later. If it gets stuck on that same file again, tell email@example.com the name of the file and what is happening. There is a workaround for a rare problem.
• If the drive where you store your DC4 content becomes full, DC4 can't download more content and you will get Network Error Code 0. For information about how to change the location of your content, see section 7.2.1 of the DC4 user guide that is installed with DC4 and linked to here.
We don't expect you to have any problems, but if you do, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your OS and recording software version, how much space you have remaining where you are attempting to download the file, and any screenshot(s) that you think might be helpful.
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.
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.
See the DC4 User Guide for the most complete instructions.
Before you purchase DC4, there are some previews of DC4 online.
After you have DC4, there are many ways to search:
Using the following menus in DC4, you can filter through DC4's massive library to hone in on the perfect grooves for your project. As you search, you'll find grooves that you own, and more grooves that are available for preview, purchase and download. Browsing and downloading tips below.Genre: 22 styles: Alternative, Ballad, Blues, Click Tracks, Country, Dance Hall, Funk, Hip Hop, Industrial, Jazz, Latin, Metal, New Orleans, Pop, Prog Rock, Punk, R & B, Reggae, Retro Rock, Rock, Ska, World Music
DC4 Browsing and Downloading Tips:To see the list of each drummer's GrooveSets and Drum Kits: Open your DC4 plug-in, click the BROWSER tab at the bottom of the plug-in, then click the word "More..."
To browse only the drums you DO own, press "Show Owned" button to dimmer text. To browse all the drums you DO and DO NOT own, un-press "Show Owned" button to brighter text. There is not a way to browse Only the content that you DO NOT own. However, you can tell if you do not own it in the store, and if there is an "eye" icon (preview icon) on it.
While there are no previews of Drum Kits, you can listen to a kit's corresponding GrooveSet preview to get an idea of what the kit will sound like.
Downloading tip while previewing GrooveSets: Make sure that you have downloaded all of your owned drums first (click "download all owned content" in DC4's SETTINGS panel). This will ensure that you don't have too many simultaneous download attempts. Click only one preview "eye icon" at a time, wait until you hear it, then move on to the next one. Previewing a GrooveSet downloads that GrooveSet file, just like purchasing it, which can take a while because they are large files. If you click to preview a second file before the first one is downloaded, you'll have to wait until downloading completes for the prior file before hearing the second. If you keep clicking preview files before they are all finished downloading, you can bog down your computer and/or bandwidth by downloading too many files at once. After you purchase a GrooveSet that you have previewed, you don't have to download it again, the database just marks it as owned and you can start using the GrooveSet that you already previewed/downloaded right away.
For more on DC4 Browser searching, see section 3.2 of the DC4 user guide that is installed with DC4 and linked to here (searching by tags is section 3.2.5).
If you have trouble downloading or finding the drums you need after following the tips above, please email support.
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. See the DC4 User Guide pdf (section 5.5.) for more info about using an external controller (external keyboard) with DrumCore 4. If you search for "External Controller" in the Guide you'll find helpful info.
Yes, using the Kit Editor, which works specifically for the MIDI kits. You can not only draw in individual ADSR envelope curves for each sound, but you can also create drum groups in the Kit Mixer, and apply effects on a per-channel basis. The Kit Mixer allows you to adjust the levels for your drums by either using the groups already embedded in the MIDI kits, or you can create custom groups on each mixer channel, for a more unique sound. See the DC4 User Guide pdf (section 5.5.) for more info about the Kit Editor.
Yes, using the Kit Editor, which allows you to make changes to the sampled sounds used in the MIDI kits. There, you can create custom kits by swapping out sounds from one kit to sounds from another, and save your changes to be usable in future projects. You can also layer and blend multiple sounds in a single drum assignment using Velocity Layers. Want your snare to crack when it’s hit hard, and roll off gently when tapped lightly? Velocity Layering allows you to do just that, giving your custom kits greater depth and feel.
The audio loops are stereo mixed files which cannot be separated into independent drum sounds.
With tempo-stretchable audio loops, there is always a limit past which a loop will begin to sound unnatural. If the tempo of your project is beyond the natural range (both too fast and too slow) for a particular loop, the text beneath it will turn red, to let you know that playback might not sound right. For this reason, many of the audio loops in DrumCore were recorded at multiple tempos so that the audio can be stretched across a great range while still sounding perfectly natural, and audio loops that are closest to your project tempo will always deliver the most natural sound. Of course, there are always happy accidents, so when in doubt, let your ears guide you!
Audio loops must be dragged into an audio track in order to be played. Create an audio track in your session and drag your audio loops into that track to hear playback. Instrument tracks will only work with MIDI information, as they are made to trigger the instrument loaded on them. You can drag MIDI loops to your instrument track, or write a MIDI sequence directly in a region in the track.
DrumCore 4 add-on content can only be purchased in the DC4 Store that is built into the plug-in. There is no website store for DC4 add-on drums. In DC4, it's easy and convenient to preview GrooveSets before you buy them. You can also listen to a few previews here. See what add-ons are available on the DrumCore Drummer Bios page. Buy DC4 Lite ($49), DC4 Prime ($249) or DC4 Ultra ($639) to access the DC4 Store. More info about the DC4 Store and payments can be found in the DrumCore 4 User Guide (chapter 8).
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. Consult the license agreement included in the DC4 plug-in installer for the full details, or contact email@example.com for a copy of DC4's LICENSE.txt.
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. See the license agreement included in the DC4 plug-in installer for the full details or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of DC4's LICENSE.txt.
Sonoma's Software and Drum Content are Not Returnable
Sonoma's software and add-on drum content cannot be returned or refunded if purchased from sonomawireworks.com. Email email@example.com if you need advice about compatibility, or if you have any questions, before you buy.
Sonoma Return Policy and Sonoma's Shipping Policy
"DrumCore is so handy and so very easy to use! It's very close to having a live drummer with you."Learn more about DrumCoreAnthony Gonzalez of M83
"I'm obsessed with this recording app on my iPhone- the Sonoma Wire Works FourTrack. It's like you have a superpowerful studio in your pocket."Learn more about FourTrackTrey Anastasio of Phish
"Just tried out Sonoma Wire Works GuitarJack plus the new upgraded FourTrack app. Beautiful crystal clear sparkling audio in iOS!"Learn more about GuitarJackJordan Rudess of Dream Theater
"RiffWorks is an incredible tool to get songs done stupid fast!"Learn more about RiffWorksJohnny "Juice" Rosado of Public Enemy