Compatibility is cross-platform, and the instrument comes in standalone and plug-in formats. Like its predecessor, the big selling point is a range of quality sounds from obvious inclusions like drum kits, to the unique, such as hang drums, a 42" floor tom, and the funky-sounding Octaplus 9 action toms.
In addition to the initial high-end recording process at EastWest's new studio, all instruments have been carefully multisampled and mapped.
And with consistent articulation layout applied throughout, it's always easy to understand what you're playing.The SD2 Play interface has its own silver-grey skin, and the controls, though not extensive, are percussion-focused.
This means you get an AHDSR envelope, filter, stereo spread, reverb and delay. If you want, multiple instruments can be loaded into one Play instance, and if you have other Play instruments, these can be browsed and loaded too.
Also, because Play supports 64-bit systems, it can potentially access much more RAM (again, your particular system will be the limiting factor).
For the preset junkies out there, they've included over 100 MIDI performances that tie in with the patches, and loading these to multiple MIDI tracks gives you not only excellent instant patches, but great building blocks.
Over the past few months, EastWest have been refining Play's reliability, and we found it behaved well and sounded excellent. But really, the star of the show here is SD2's content.
In a sense, the expansive sounds are a bit 'Hollywood', but if it's impact you want, then it's here in spades. If we have a criticism (apart from the slightly high price), it's that the MIDI performances can't be accessed directly from the interface itself.