Natural-souding drum samples

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

charlievela
gettin' sounds
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:29 am
Location: South Texas
Contact:

Natural-souding drum samples

Post by charlievela » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:47 pm

When you use drum samples to augment a track. How do you handle the fills and rolls? Every time i attempt this it always sounds artificial and canned.

I know using multiple samples could help, but there doesn't appear to be a quick way to do this in protools. Besides, I can usually detect when the trigger is just going back and forth between two samples (isn't the human ear awesome?).

Is there a trick I'm just missing?

dsw
tinnitus
Posts: 1247
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:23 pm
Location: Portland Oregon

Post by dsw » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:58 pm

In Pro Tools there's a thing called Beat Replacer that comes in the Music Production Toolkit. It makes it easy to use a sample to replace each individual bass drum hit for example. You would use it track by track so that each drum track had its own sample.
That way, whatever the drummer played, you'd still have that exact performance excpt that each hit would sound like the sample instead of the original sound. Its used on kick drum probably more often than anything else.
Are you finding that the fills sound bad because of the velocity of each hit isn't accurate enough? Would some automation help that? If there's only two samples, (loud and soft) I can see where that would sound a little funny, but maybe you could do some subtle automation to make the fills sound more like what you want.
I hope this helps...
"Analog smells like thrift stores. Digital smells like tiny hands from far away." - O-it-hz

musicians are fuckers, but even worse are people who like musicians, they're total fuckers.

User avatar
Slider
george martin
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:00 pm

Post by Slider » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:45 pm

Automation and\or multisamples.
I ride the real stuff up and samples down for fills when I have to.
It seems on some hit records they don't even bother making them sound natural.

User avatar
NeglectedFred
pushin' record
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 6:53 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Post by NeglectedFred » Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:25 pm

Are you sequencing them, or how are you getting the samples? Are they canned?

One thing you can do, depeding on what's available to you with your current method, is try different velocities on the hits, especially on fills. Re-amping a fake snare with a real one always helps a lot, especially on fills.

You could also play the entire drum section into a room and reamp it that way.. I like to use a tube mic into a slammed comp with slow attack and med-fast release times for a good mix of punch and pumping the way an actual drum kit would react.

You might even want to go as far as micing the room and speakers like an actual kit... Maybe D112 close to a woofer, a 57 close and off axis to a full range, and a pair of condensers on tweeters like overheads to cymbals - then throw in a room mic far back in the corner.
I eat glue.

User avatar
digitaldrummer
resurrected
Posts: 2381
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:51 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Contact:

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:23 pm

if you are replacing real sounds, you can also use Drumagog as it has the ability to "mix" the sampled sound with the source. In some cases that works better than a total replacement.
Mike
www.studiodrumtracks.com -- Drum tracks starting at $50!
www.doubledogrecording.com

charlievela
gettin' sounds
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:29 am
Location: South Texas
Contact:

Post by charlievela » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:57 pm

these are great suggestions. I think the thing that gets me the most is that there seems to be this high mid frequency that jumps out a lot when you hear the sample in rapid succession.

I'm working on another solution that goes like this:

1. Patch in a 1 Band EQ set to high-shelf
2. enable automation for the gain of the shelf
3. set the grid for 8th notes (or 16th notes or whatever)
4. use the random pencil locked to the grid to draw in varying amounts of high end. Within 2-3db of the original


I've never actually tried reamping a drum sound.. the set up always seemed like a hassle. But i just may give it a shot if it works as well as you say it does.

User avatar
timmymacdd
takin' a dinner break
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:35 am
Location: Rochester, MI
Contact:

Post by timmymacdd » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:55 pm

It is all sequencing...or drawing in....

Velocity makes giant difference......and is a great place to start.

snare rolls are giant as well.

learning how to drum if you don't already know is probably important too since you are doing drum parts.

ALSO it makes this a lot easier if your song was done in a strict BPM and not just live.....if you are using parts done by midi or hand. Otherwise there are no markers to show you where the beats are supposed to be.....however done live it can be done even better since you have to use your ears.

THERE IS NO quick way to do it...besides just doing it the slow way.....you have to draw and put the sh(t in. Whether it be drumagog or midi programming it is just a time issue.....but it takes longer if you are scared to do it.....it takes more time figuring it out then it does doing the song. You will learn over time how to set the loop marker and work in 2-4 bar parts of songs......that is what takes a little getting used to....It is a matter of training yourself on the hotkeys and learning to look at the graphs and recognize the markers and where the 16th's are and when to put in triplets.....you have to move all kinds of things around while working....Every song you do though goes faster and faster....

How I have figured...I spend about 3 hours listening to a final great mix of a great new song......so I cut that down to 1 hour....and spend the other two hours working on getting the fake drums to sound better before I sit down to listen to the mix....LOL- MOST of the time songs aren't worth the extra effort anyways.....but if you have a few that are great then by all means work those drums out.

ALSO samples-You need lots to choose from. roll samples are great but in order to work with them you need like 50 of them just for rolls. That way you can find four that work for the song. It is also similar to the "deciding" what to work with part of producing.....sometimes narrowing it down to what samples sound good together will lead you to what you can use and get away with.

And with each song you get faster at it. I spend about 2 hours and drum parts for each song and that will get you a great sounding track.....but it is most difficult to critique since you are the one doing it so you will always hear and know exactly how you tricked it up. Usually though it will sound better than the actual drummer.....sad to say. But sometimes that is what doesn't sound real......

It has everything to do with using different samples....and different velocities...and just pure drummer brains....If you are programming the stuff put some mistakes in there and leaving hits out and missing some of the timing is a hell of a lot more accurate in getting a "real" drum sound. And even if you make it sound really crappy as if you didn't place the mics right....well then it even sounds closer to the real deal....LOL

THERE is no software that does it on its own. some make it a lot easier.......but NONE do more than 25 percent of the work.

User avatar
farview
tinnitus
Posts: 1204
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: St. Charles (chicago) IL
Contact:

Post by farview » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:56 am

Drumagog is the way to go. Multi-samples won't do you any good unless you have enough of them. 2 or 3 isn't enough. When I make my sample collections, I have 4 velocity layers with 9 samples in each layer. Drumagog figures out from the level of the original hit which velocity layer to trigger from, then it randomly chooses samples from that layer. Since there are 9 samples, you won't get two of the same samples in a row, ever.

Drumagog will also read midi.

It can be very realistic sounding.

www.drumagog.com

User avatar
firesine
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 483
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:52 am
Location: NorCal

Post by firesine » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:32 pm

Sound Replacer (not beat replacer) allows you to load 3 different samples, presumably of different velocity levels, and set a different threshold for each. This way, it will automatically replace ghost notes with a soft hit and create fairly believable fills. However, this usually only works when augmenting and not completely replacing. One of the things I like about adding samples is that they are never as dynamic as the original performance, so it can really help a drummer who is all over the place velocity wise. Remember to go back and check the phase and time alignment between your original track and sample, Sound Replacer is never perfect.
Mmm, lung butter.

User avatar
firesine
suffering 'studio suck'
Posts: 483
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:52 am
Location: NorCal

Re: Natural-souding drum samples

Post by firesine » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:36 pm

charlievela wrote: Is there a trick I'm just missing?
I think the trick is finding a good balance between sample and original. Also, sending both through a single channel and/or compressor can help marry the two.
Mmm, lung butter.

User avatar
MASSIVE Mastering
buyin' a studio
Posts: 852
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.) IL
Contact:

Post by MASSIVE Mastering » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:40 am

Drumagog with the "Rock Drums" samples. Top shelf.
John Scrip - MASSIVE Mastering

A National Acrobat
gettin' sounds
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:53 pm

Post by A National Acrobat » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:17 am

I generally only use the Sound Replacer with heavy bands as it would stick out like a sore thumb on any kind of indie-singer songwriter stuff.

For kick, I use a specific sample from Drums From Hell collection. My mentor gave me a TON of samples of drums...even from Brendan O's stash when he recorded 'Purple' (haven't used those yet).

Kicks are easy, just let er' rip on the SR.

For snares, get some good samples (even if you have to do it) of the snare with different velocities, then sound replace accordingly. Since you'll have a separate track set up for the SR snare track, just C&P the rolls from the original snare tracks. Chances are they'll sound good enough but sound replacing anything but straight ahead-full on rolls will sound artificial no matter what.

Drumagog is pretty cool but I spent the money on a Distressor (completely unrelated). I have enough cheating tools right now, I'm going to focus on making the band play better. I'm sure that will be an easy process....


:roll:

User avatar
farview
tinnitus
Posts: 1204
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: St. Charles (chicago) IL
Contact:

Post by farview » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:06 am

A National Acrobat wrote:I generally only use the Sound Replacer with heavy bands as it would stick out like a sore thumb on any kind of indie-singer songwriter stuff.
That's where Drumagog mops the floor with sound replacer. Drumagog is able to give you beleivable sample replacement with open dynamic performances. You simply can't do that with three individual samples.

There is a review of Drumagog in the latest issue of TapeOp.

A National Acrobat
gettin' sounds
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:53 pm

Post by A National Acrobat » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:10 am

farview wrote:
A National Acrobat wrote:I generally only use the Sound Replacer with heavy bands as it would stick out like a sore thumb on any kind of indie-singer songwriter stuff.
That's where Drumagog mops the floor with sound replacer. Drumagog is able to give you beleivable sample replacement with open dynamic performances. You simply can't do that with three individual samples.

There is a review of Drumagog in the latest issue of TapeOp.
No, I hear you. I downloaded the demo and it looked really promising. When I get an extra $280 or whatever, it's the next download I'm going to get.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9037
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Post by vvv » Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:03 pm

FWIW, building my drums from one-shot samples as I often do, I find it useful to take a snare sample, for example, and detune it by a half step, and another by a whole step, and use those randomly within fills, flams and even loops.

I reckon it's kinda like using different velocity hits, but I just cut and paste manually ...
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 50 guests