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How to make your drum samples sound awesome
Old 18th January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
How to make your drum samples sound awesome

So I've been producing music for a while, I know a bit about compression, reverbs, delays, mixing, mastering etc etc.. Yet I still can't get it right when it comes to the drums.

I usually use tr808 and other drum kits in Ableton Live. I add a bit of compression, eq everything so lows separate from mids and highs.. add reverbs on highs, duck melodies around kick.. I'm happy with my grooves and dynamics but when I compare with other tracks, they just sound better. I don't know whether it's the samples I use or whether I should invest in the drum machine controller to give it a 'live feel'.. I was wondering if you could give me some advice.

Here are four snippets from four different tracks just to show you what it sounds like:

Zippyshare.com

The drum sound I'm looking for would be something of Max Cooper (Max Cooper - Harmonisch Serie - YouTube) or Extrawelt (Extrawelt - Dark Side of my Room - YouTube). I also like tech-house'y stuff like Deetron (Grand Corporation - Wonder & Amazement feat. Jeremy Glenn (Deetron Vocal) - YouTube) or Guy Gerber (Guy Gerber 'One Day In May' (Visionquest / VQ011 B) OFFICIAL - YouTube).

Is it the complexity I'm missing? Dynamics? Samples itself are wrong? Too much reverb? What are you tricks to make it sound professional and clear?

I don't really fancy getting a library sounds, but maybe it's my only choice?

THANKS!
Old 18th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
:Metaphor:'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
There's going to be a lot of different answers to this. My Personal philosophy:

1. Get the best sounding samples you can.
2. Spend time learning various techniques for drum mixing (of which there's a lot).

Practice writing grooves, and mixing them until it all gels.

But, the fastest way to get there is to start with best source material you can. That should get you +/- 80% of the way there. The rest is about fine tuning until they couldn't possibly be any better. So start with some really, really good sample packs (Drum Tools 01, Driven Machine Drums Strike Back, etc...), and then learn more about layering, levels, compression, EQ, reverb, send effects, parallel compression, widening (or not), mixing mono signals, Mid/Side EQ, Ducking within the drum kit, Bus Effects, etc...

Drums are a HUGE can of worms to open, but very worthwhile since they carry a broad range of frequencies, and learning how to deal with them will teach you a lot about mixing everything else.

All IMHO, of course
Old 19th January 2013
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hey :Metaphor:, thanks for all your tips, there are some great things you said that I have known from theory. I've just looked at Drum Tools 01 that you recommended and they really sound great. I think I might give them a try and maybe mimic some of the loops they have in demo tracks and learn from there.

Still, there is that great temptation and desire to make my own high quality drums. I remember when Nico Jaar once said that for him there's no better kick than hitting a table with his own hand..
Old 19th January 2013
  #4
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Don't be afraid to use real drums. Why use a static 1 shot of a 'fake' shaker when you could use a real one with multiple variations and velocity layers?

All it takes is a bit of eq, compression, transient shaping.

Tonehammer used to sell some cheap but good kontakt patches, they seem to have vanished now sadly.
Old 19th January 2013
  #5
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Yes, I think I should give it a go. I always get a bit lost with a library where I have 100 sounds of a shaker, choosing the right one can be a bit confusing and time consuming! Plus, ever since I read Herbert's manifesto, I felt like it's more fair and fun to create something from scratch.
Old 19th January 2013
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Yeah, if you have the right type of mic for what you want that can be good. You could always sample some real percussion, then it's 'yours'.
Old 19th January 2013
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Here's my 2 cents.

Your Kicks sound good, the only difference between yours and the ones you posted is the "clickyness" on top.

I would take a high quality 909 kick, high pass it to about 1khz, and just put it on top of your kicks. 909's have a nice big click on top that you can throw over your beefy low endy kicks you posted.
Old 19th January 2013
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Big tip for you: Split the drum into 2 parts, transient (click) & body (tail). Saturate the click to give it some thickness & loudness (i use the saturation in Magix Am Pulse to do this as it saturates without a nasty top end) & if you need sustain on the tail use an 1176 or emulation of one in parallel. If the transient is still not strong enough layer some white noise over the top & eq out the bottom end & mix slightly lower than original transient.
Old 19th January 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
jarlywarly's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
How to make your drum samples sound awesome
Re-sample them through an Oto Biscuit.
Old 19th January 2013
  #10
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kacperson's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
on trial and error i learned that whats most important for me is to have quality drum shots . al ot depends on it concerning final results. i recommend those from wave alchemy,they are pure magic
Old 19th January 2013
  #11
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Rogue Ai's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Analog compression and overdrive are what I use to make my drums "sound awesome."
Old 19th January 2013 | Show parent
  #12
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MORDICUS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Ai ➑️
Analog compression and overdrive are what I use to make my drums "sound awesome."


Distortion is your friend too ... i try as much as possible to use it before tryn compression ... good samples and good layering with eqs not overlapping ...
check the phase ...


PEACE


MORDICUS
Old 19th January 2013 | Show parent
  #13
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shponglefan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Haarp ➑️
Tonehammer used to sell some cheap but good kontakt patches, they seem to have vanished now sadly.
They split into 8dio and Soundiron. I think everything is still for sale, just from those new companies.
Old 19th January 2013
  #14
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steveswisher's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I've been putting Izotope's Trash 2 on a lot of drums recently. It's been a great way to add a bit of saturation and distortion to my samples.
Old 19th January 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
use a hardware sampler with 8 outs ran through 8 REAL channel strips and a bus compressor.
Old 20th January 2013
  #16
Deleted 0dfcc1b
Guest
I have to chime on here and add a plus one to everyone's advice here.

Drums ARE a huge can of worms, with about a billion different possibilities to getting them to sound better than good.

Its the great Territory that really takes years and years of bone crushing experimentation with every other method.

A bit of philosophy when it comes to drums. I can not claim credit for this advice, it came out of one of Bruce Sweden's books.

What I took from it, is to look at drums as a whole single unit consiting of individual 'instruments' to make the whole. When your listing to a great song with a fantastic rhythm section , whether its something Daft Punk, Mj's Thriller, or future acid house 2.0 stuff, your listing to the kit. Not JUST the snare, or the high hat, or the kik.

Once I started pushing my drums as a single based unit made out of many, I've gotten so much closer to the sound I'm after.

If you can, I suggest rent an 1176 or an api 2500 and push your whole kit through that for a weekend. Heck even try out a plugin that really 'gels' more so than the standard Abelton comp.

You can even have fun with parallel compression of having a send smash the whole kit where it sounds pretty bad ass super comped, then mix it underneath.

A, B, it. You'll like the results too.

You can even use that parallel technique for kik's and snares. Really sometimes you can have a beautiful low blooming kik without the smack and crush a send of the kik mixed underneath to really bring out the natural 'snap' thats hidden.

Works great on snare drums too.

As with anything, don't go too overboard, and always A,B science experiments like this.

Anywho.

Maybe this doesn't make sense, or I'm simply rambling on...
I'm super tired and still pretty hung over from yesterdays light South Austin social engagements we're so well known for.

Be as it may...

This stuff has really helped me a lot personally in the studio the last few months.

One more thing.

Have fun picking up some egg shakers and a tambourine, or whatever little percussion instruments you can find. I also have found that making your own hand claps to be a really cool way to add some more sonic spice to a rhythm bed. Even if your going for a completely synthesized sounding track, boxes of rice, or whatever can sound good too.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by systematika ➑️
use a hardware sampler with 8 outs ran through 8 REAL channel strips and a bus compressor.
Or if you don't have space or time you could use the E-Mu x3, looks like ****e and costs more than an E-Mu esi 2000 on ebay, but it's great, proper soft sampler, not just a sample player.
Old 22nd January 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
easy.. just add some mojo and stir well while boiling it down... and minced samples are for pussys
Old 22nd January 2013
  #19
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gregor z's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A link to a drum programming workshop I held @ SAE recently. You may find some interesting info. Several videos.

Advanced Drum Programing Masterclass Part 1. - YouTube
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