Steinberg Groove Agent 4

Virtual Drum Studio for Drums, Beats and Percussion

  • Over 22,000 samples and more than 3800 grooves and patterns
  • Acoustic Agent - virtual drummer with detailed acoustic drum sets
  • Beat Agent: Drum sampler for electronic music productions
  • Percussion agent
  • Pattern editor
  • Style player
  • Jam mode
  • Board mixer
  • Cubase Integration with Drag & Drop
  • Complete automation and automatic exchange of Drum Maps
  • Plug-in format: VST 2.4, VST 3, AU
  • Language Version: German, English, French
  • WIN 7/8 and Mac OSX 10.8 / 10.9

Warning: Requires USB eLicenser: Article Nr 178823 (not included)

Further information

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Akustik Keys/Pianos No
Beat production / Drum machines Yes
Wind Instruments No
Cinematic / Effects No
Chorus / Vocals No
Drums / Percussion Yes
E-Pianos No
Ethno / Folk No
Guitars/plucked instruments No
Loops/Construction-Kits No
Orchestra Instruments No
Organs No
String Bass No
Sampler No
String Instruments No
Synthesizer No
Vintage Instrument No
Hardware Controller No
Copy protection eLicenser
Stand Alone No
AAX Native No
Audio Units Yes
VST2 Yes
VST3 Yes

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13 written ratings Read all reviews
computer utilisation

Great Virtual Drum Software

Kristijan, 15.08.2017
I was using Cubase and Groove Agent 4 SE trailer or some limited version. And that was not enough for me. I need it more options, for serious job.
So here is much bigger library of samples and patterns.
Sound library could be more adventurous, but it's OK.
I'm using this on Windows 8.1 with Cubase. Installation was very easy and quick, no problem.
You can have 4 different agents, depends what you need, and you can combine them.
You have 3x acoustic kit: Studio Kit, Vintage Kit and Rock Kit.
I'm not expert with this software, I know only basic thing, but as I can see there are really so much things and options you can do or adjust.

And do not forget. You need to have USB eLicenser, because here is not included.
I already got it with Cubase, so no problem.
But without it you will not be able to activate it, so keep that in mind.

Now is time for learning this software :)
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computer utilisation

Rather a waste of money, at least for me.

Howard, 27.01.2018
Summary - I am one month and about dozens of 'how to' videos carefully watched. This is what I have found so far.
Positives: Good quality samples, acoustic drums sound good, jolly useful as a sample editor.
Negatives: Rhythm pattern handling poor. Unstable. Erratic cross DAW implementation. Samples and patterns can only be accessed through Groove Agent itself.
I use VSTs in a my home studio, mainly for my own pleasure. I use Reaper mainly, but I also have a licence for Cubase Artist 9 which was where I came to use Groove Agent SE. I thought it would be a good idea to supplement Addictive Drums 2 with the electronic kits in Groove Agent 4 full version. The Steinberg videos looked promising. As a fully licenced VST it should work across all DAWs, and there is the stand alone version.
The usefulness of this VST is, however, very limited, it only works seamlessly with Cubase as a host, and even then has crashed the DAW on several occasions, despite having increased (doubled from default values) both the available dedicated RAM and swap files. The stand alone version does not consistently respond to either my Impulse keyboard, or even worse not at all to my Akai MPC: it only works reliably with mouse clicks.
In Reaper it can be made to respond to the MPC for input, but the MIDI channel inside Groove Agent has to be changed back from the MPC's 10 to Groove Agent's default channel 1 to play back. Patterns can be imported, but then pattern pads have to be disabled or their MIDI channel changed to play back as Groove Agent uses the same trigger notes for patterns as for individual samples in many of the presets. It also crashes Reaper randomly, when changing or loading kits for example.
In Cubase it mostly works as advertised, with the caveat that trying to use more than one agent at a time if there is a non default drum map appears to be impossible. It certainly does not respond in the way that the training videos indicate, even though I have been very careful to duplicate the settings used exactly.
The other glaring problem is the way in which drum kits and patterns are named and loaded. And this is what I find to be the most frustrating part in a sea of frustrations. You cannot, for example, just load the Rock kit; you have to choose from a bunch of preset versions of the kit which have names that don't in any meaningful way indicate what you are getting. Want a pattern with 8th hi-hat hits? Entirely random, the patterns are also in sets with perhaps indicative style names, but then named things like 'main 1', 'intro 2' etc which give no information as to what they actually are. And the absolute worst thing - the sound and sample libraries are locked to Groove Agent itself in preset files that only Groove Agent can access, unlike the samples that come with Akai's MPC for example. Frankly I am appalled by this restriction which dramatically restricts a purchaser's options.
On the, very limited, plus side, there sound and pattern libraries are quite extensive, but more slanted to the electronic drum agents, and in practical terms impossible to navigate with any chance of easily finding what you are looking for. There is a plethora of built in effects and modifiers, and extensive and fairly easy to use sample editing. And, of course, it works as a sample player for any sounds you may already have.
It is, surely, possible, to get good results from this VST, particularly as a sample player and editor, but the interface is a challenge to master, I would say that if you already have GA SE bundled with your vesrion of Cubase it's almost as good to use multiple instances of that than splash out on the full version. You are, of course, limited to using it in Cubase, but is that so bad?
Performance can be erratic, and the online videos and written manual are typical Steinberg - assuming a level of basic knowledge that is often difficult to discern. The manual in particular is if anything slightly worse than the Cubase one, which is a masterclass in how not to write a user manual.
It is not possible to get refunds against software licences, so I would urge anyone who is thinking of investing in this VST to check it out with an existing expert user before committing to purchase - I wish I had. Don't just watch the Steinberg online videos and think it will work like that - it simply doesn't in many ways.
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