Native Instruments Battery 2

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Battery offers studio musicians and programmers an awesome digital percussion software-sampler. Battery 2 updates this software based sample player with enhanced sound editing and interface features making it easier than ever to create your own dynamic drum kits for any style. The focus of this review will be on Battery's new features, so for a review and introduction to just what exactly is Battery, check out our review of the original 2001 version of Battery.

The folks at Native Instruments have listened to their users. Battery 2 has a much better interface and enhanced sound quality and shaping features. It has a new 256 voice polyphonic sampling engine with support for Direct From Disk streaming. Now you can create massive drum kit libraries. And speaking of libraries, it ships with a 3.5 GB drum sample library with 23 kits, as well as updated versions of all Battery 1's original kits. Battery 2's other major new feature is the optimized and resizable interface. The window can display from 9 to 72 "cells", and the edit pane is retractable for a stream-lined display.

Native Instruments Battery 2 Image

The edit pane is significantly improved in it's layout as well. The left side has 6 tabbed menus that display the Cell, Mapping, Modulation, Filter, Compressor, and Loop pages. The right shows the graphic waveform display with simple volume envelope and pitch controls. In the middle are four simple knobs to modify the sample's tuning, saturation, bit-degrade, and sample de-grade. All these edit functions apply to each cell independently.

Native Instruments Battery 2 Image

The compressors are new to Battery 2 as well as the multimode filters with 15 filter types ranging from 6-pole resonant low-pass to parametric EQ's, vowel filters and more. Battery's loop features are expanded with up to four loops per cell and several sliders to adjust each loop. The Modulation section adds an LFO with saw, triangle, square waveforms and an additional envelope. There are no surprises in Battery 2's interface, everything you need to totally reshape each cell is easy to find and just a click away, and they're all MIDI CC assignable too!

Battery is also compatible with just about every sample format, adding support for Kontakt, Gigasampler, and REX 1 & 2 files (beat-sliced loops). The edit pane can be toggled into the import pane, from which you can import all kinds of sound formats by simply dragging and dropping them into a cell. Battery 2 itself is very compatible, functioning as VST, Audio Units, and RTAS plug-ins and stand-alone using DXI, ASIO, Core Audio, and DirectSound. It's clear that for a software synth with uncompromised sound quality and easier than before editing features and almost universal compatibilities, Battery 2 is the way to go if you're dedicated to drums and percussion.

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Demos & Media

Audio Clip 1 Hear a Battery of drum patterns! These are mostly the sample kits and drum patterns included with the program. Most of these samples are just plain and simple sounds that have been fattened up and brought to life by Battery's processing power. Listen to how punchy, tight, or funky these drums can sound.


Polyphony - 256 stereo voices
Sampler - Internal 32-bit resolution and sample-accurate timing. Reads samples in the formats BATTERY 1, KONTAKT, INTAKT, KOMPAKT, EXS24, Gigasampler, Halion, LM4, AKAITM S-1000/S-3000, REX I & II, AIFF, WAV, SDII, SoundFont2, SampleCell
Drums/Samples - From 9 to 72 cells, each with 128 velocity layers, tuning, volume envelope, pitch envelope, bit reduction, shaper and FX Loop for innovative effects.
Keyboard - n/a
Effects per cell - Reverse, Voice Group/Overlap (up to 63), LFO, ADHSR Envelopes, Multimode Filters (15 types), Compressors, Loops (up to 4 per cell)
Interfaces - Runs stand-alone with ASIO, MME, Sound Manager, or as a plug-in using VST-2.0, MAS, DXi, FreeMidi and DirectConnect
Macintosh - Minimum: Mac OS X 10.2.6, G3 500 MHz, 256 MB RAM
Recommended: Mac OS X 10.3, G4 733 MHz, 512 MB RAM
VST, RTAS, Audio Units, ASIO, Core Audio
Windows/PC - Minimum: Windows XP, Pentium III/Athlon 500 MHz, 256 MB RAM
Recommended: Windows XP, Pentium III/Athlon 1 GHz, 512 MB RAM
VST, RTAS, DXi, ASIO, DirectSound
Date Produced - 2004


Images from Native Instruments.