Stay away from Fxpansion. Roli bought the company, and ran it into the ground. InMusic has purchased BFD, expect everything else from Fxpansion to inevitably become abandonware.
I have the original Synth Squad, D-Cam Dynamics, and BFD 3, and BFD 3 is buggy beyond buggy, and this is because Roli toyed with that code. I would never upgrade Synth Squad to what Roli did to Strobe and Cypher, and abandoned Amber and Fuser.
Also, D-Cam Dynamics is abandonware… which is sad, because a version 2 of that, from Fxpansion would have been nice. But I imagine the guys @ Fxpansion made out pretty well, so good for them.
As far as Sugar-Bytes drum computer - I downloaded the demo, and I checked it out… It is really awesome, and if I did not already have my system, and way of making drums, I probably would have bought it. My problem with SB drum computer is that it is almost, “too much.” I would tweak that thing for hours for the snare I am looking for.
That being said, “if I did not already have my way of doing drums.” Sugar-Bytes drum computer would be my choice. I’m still considering the baseball cap.
Microtonic is ancient. So is Waldorf Attack. They are both ancient. I get Attack bundled with something ages ago… I still use it every now and then.
Furthermore: “Why are vsi drum synths so sparse?” They aren’t really. There’s a ton of them. But it is best to understand what is going on with drums, why sample libraries are so popular, and how you can go on about shaping your own sound.
A electronic kick and/or tom drum, and can be made on just about any synth with a sine wave, and all the other electronic drum parts - electronic snare, hat, cymbal can be put together basically using a sine for the tonality and a white or colored noise.
A lot of drum sample libraries are representing or classic hardware drum machines, filled with the sounds of producers who have created new drums by synthesizing, resynthesizing, splicing, layering etc, or samplings of great sounding accoustic kits.
A lot of people, for example, “me,” demand drums in the mix be a sample. This means, that if I used Sugar Bytes drum computer in Renoise, I would eventually be sampling each part - so I would only be using the oscillator features of that vsti, which is one of the reasons I passed on it.
This is probably open for debate, but I personally believe that drums are steadier in the mix, when they are a sample.
I’ll tell you, I have a very funny basic way of making drums in my tracks, and I’ve been doing the same bloody thing for years, and years, and years…
EKS Pro for my kicks - I sample in Renoise, and I use some eq and compression, I sample again. BFD 3 - I rip out all my snares and cymbals by sampling in Renoise + eq, and compression. Sometimes I layer, sometimes I resynthesize with an additive synth vsti.
Occasionally I will pull a drum sound out of Reaktor, or use the Waldorf Attack.
I really considered that Drum Computer, i think it is awesome, but like I said, I have my way of doing drums already…