Academy Dashboard Forum Production Digital Recording Using Addictive Drums (or EZDrummer or Steven Slate, etc.)

  • This topic has 16 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Jim Folzman.
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    Stephen Korst

      Hi all,

      Since I'm a little late to the discussion on this PLAP video, I've inserted the link for reference here -->

      I use digital drums like Addictive for my songs. For the most part they've been adequate, at best. I'd like to get your advice on how to make my digitally-recorded drums sound more "real" and less "robotic". In the video, Warren, you record drum tracks to the song just as I've done.

      You say that you would print the drums, then add other samples to it and make the drums even bigger. In addition, do you think it's worth the trouble of tweaking the compression or reverb or other settings in AD before printing?

      Also, one main problem I've had when using AD is the drums peaking really hot on the meters. Do you have any advice on how to control the recorded drums so that they aren't not clipping? Should the drums be closer to -12db?

      And, when mixing the digital drums, as opposed to drums recorded in a studio, do you apply all the EQ, compression, parallel compression FXs, etc. the same as you would live drums? Do you try to simulate overhead and room mics recorded also?


      Arthur Labus

        Hi skorst,

        i use extern software to make drum tracks from samples. So it is kind similar situation for most of you "problems" 🙂
        Lets try to find some answers:
        - "real" sounding track - it is up to you AND used samples. You have to vary the velocity of most hits (best in a way like real drummers do), specially in fills and breaks. AND you better use layered samples.
        - Samples are already processed and ready to mix - mostly. After all you can do anything with the track.
        - Room mics and/or Overheads are available (mostly) as tracks or samples too, so there is no need to simulate them.
        Anyway, if you have close mics samples only for example, you can try to add ambience or reverb. I can name some good plugins in you want.

        Your turn steve 🙂

        Jim Folzman

          New member here, and I'm jumping in on this thread because it's the closest to what I'm looking for after searching.

          I've been playing drums for almost 40 years. I play other instruments as well, but drums are my favorite thing to play. My recording projects consist primarily of songs I write and record for myself, but I don't have the resources or space to have my drums present for recording, nor do I have the mics to get them mic'd up. So I've tried several methods for programming drums, from Fruity Loops to demos of different drum VST plugins, and I'm always disappointed with the end result. It's usually because the interface is either too limiting, or it's so convoluted to get things to sound like I want. Finances prohibit me from going out and getting something like Superior Drummer and a Roland kit to trigger it from. I've heard some amazingly life-like programmed drums here and other places, and I'm on a quest to find the right solution for my recordings. Arthur Labus, I've listened to some of your recordings and I'm impressed with the drums.

          Arthur Labus

            Hi Jim ! Welcome !
            Thank you very much for kind words, it is hard work 🙂
            At first: what OS you are running ? Windows, Mac or Linux ?
            I am using Hydrogen and MIDI/Kontakt for programming drums.
            Hydrogen is stand alone drum machine, freeware, for Linux, Windows and Mac.
            You have patterns, and a matrix of patterns to create a drum track. Mixer for every single instrument.
            You can export whole track as stereo file or all instruments to single files. Or MIDI.
            There are dozens of free drum kits available.
            I am also using the same drum kits with MIDI in my DAW (Reaper) via Kontakt (Native Instruments) due there are some features not possible with Hydrogen (round robin is featured just in last version of Hydrogen for example) but also Hydrogen is partially superior to MIDI programming. It is all about your workflow.
            You could try Kontakt Player for free (works for 15min, need to restart) with Drummica samples for example.
            There is a also free VSTi plugin: MT Power Drum Kit 2 - for free. It is quiet good for staright rock stuff too.
            Last but not least - i am using drum kits from Analogue Drums. It is not that "global player" but hell yeah the samples are just straight from drummers heaven. Meanwhile i have them all, there are not soo expensive.

            Any questions ?
            If you would like to try some options i can guide you 🙂

            Jim Folzman

              Win7, and I use Reaper for my DAW.

              Arthur Labus

                Great, almost my system 🙂 I have updated my post above ...

                Jim Folzman

                  Awesome, thanks for the info! Let me digest it, and check out some of the things you mentioned. One of the things I'm looking for is...and I'm not sure of the exact terminology...variable velocities. For example, the ability to use several different samples of a single drum that will vary depending on the velocity I want. This is particularly important for the snare drum.
                  I've amassed quite a collection of drum samples over the years, and some have multiple samples for each drum. I'd love to be able to utilize that.

                  Arthur Labus

                    I know exactly what your mean Jim - look for "layered samples".
                    All options i've mentioned are able to handle it.
                    If you wanna build your own drum kit with layered samples - Hydrogen can do it.
                    There is an editor build-in or you can use a linux script to create the drum kit.
                    You need to organize the samples with numbers and run the script. I am using Live-CD Linux.
                    If you are trying Hydrogen, please download and install free drum kit from the Download/Sound Libraries - Big Mono Kit.
                    You will be not disappointed ! 😉

                    Jim Folzman

                      Played around with Hydrogen and the Big Mono Kit. I see hope for this! One thing I'm looking for and couldn't find in the interface was how to cut the open high hat with either a pedal HH or another closed HH note. I'm sure it's there though. Here's what I did in a couple minutes.

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                      • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Jim Folzman.
                      • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Jim Folzman.
                      Arthur Labus

                        This is actually very good Jim, love the ghost notes !
                        Thats great that you like it.

                        Choke/cut samples - see here:
                        MUTE GROUP - you can join any instrument as mute group - played sample of that group will mute the previous.
                        Works excellent with hihats !
                        I usually looking for something rarely used and add it to open/semi hihat and then just add a gentle hit if needed to mute.

                        Jim Folzman

                          Awesome. Got the mute group set up and the hi-hats are behaving correctly. I also found the Auto Stop Note box, and unchecked it for the snare. It was causing some weirdness on the quick ghost notes. Sounds much better now. So far this looks like it might be the solution I've been looking for. I'll try and get some of my collection of samples in later and see how it goes. Thanks for all the info!

                          Arthur Labus

                            You're welcome Jim !
                            If you have any questions or something - just tell.
                            That Big Mono Kit is really awesome and perfect vor Hydrogen.
                            You can pan the instruments too 🙂
                            In Reaper, you can work parallel on drums and everytime you save new version it will updated in real time !

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