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making those electro drums POP


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i did a search for this topic to no avail.

 

i was listening to some of my older songs (and i guess my new ones as well) and i realized that my drums are weak. I use primarily ultrabeat for percussion sounds as well as drum sounds thats are in songs that i sample. but ultrabeat's sounds and older (pre 80's and 90's) music's drum sounds always sound so small.

 

i guess all i want to know is how to make them sound nice and big, and full, and loud, and good. do i just need to compress them all to hell? i imagine theres more to it than that. EQ perhaps?

 

 

an example of what im looking for is here:

 

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=26AjWANl7Ug

 

listen to at least 2 mins, thats when the drums get real proper

 

 

thanks in advance for any input. hopefully we can get a good dialog going and lots of peeps can get their drums improved!

 

if you feel so inclined you can listen to my music (i just put them up) so you can see what im talking about, its here:

 

www.myspace.com/yacithane

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Yo Dogg!

 

I like this topic. I like drums. I like big, phat, dirty F**k-Me Drumzzzzz!!! Doof Doof chicka chicka Boom Boom!

 

The main things I look at when starting my drumkit is:

 

Types of kicks

Types of Snares

hatz

Crashes

Groove

Compression / Eq

 

Usually instead of reaching straight for ultrabeat, I'll dig into my own library of sounds and pull out 3 to 4 different kicks that each have their own character. I'll have one that has a snappy attack but no full body, one full bodied, one that sounds quite boxy, and one that sounds clicky. I always make sure the sample is at top bitrate / samplerate.

 

I'll layer them and open them into their own channel strip in the arrange window. Route the outputs to a buss, and place ur fav eq / comp in there. I use a Focusrite Liquidmix for all comp / eq'ing as the algos are sick..

 

Listen to the kicks all together, mute in and out (have a loop of just the kicks) then adjust the levels accordingly for ea one to get a nice mix. From there, adjust the amount of compression to get that nice ba-boom to taste.. add salt, pepper and voila!! Once ur happy, bounce down the kicks to one single one.

 

Use exs / UB / kontakt / whatever u got to build a drumkit that you can trigger w ya controller... import your own samples that you've now created.

 

Mess around with the groove using hatz and snares, i do the same for snares as I do for the kicks (dependant on track however), sometimes just a simple 808 snare cleverly mixed w a bit of comp / eq is all u need.

 

I found I was in the same position as you, you DO need to go that extra mile with your drums, rather than the "out of the box" approach. it adds distinctive-ness to ur sound. This technique is standard for me now, it's easy as and you'll get great results!

 

Hmmm, maybe a video could be cool (If the Ninja ain't done one already :-)

 

Chur

 

Dirtyy

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Yea listenin to that Justice track it sounds like the drums are squashed to hell with a touch of hi-pass to give it that slap. Note also that there's very little low end in there, it's alot of mid which is typical of a Justice track also in that Ed banger / Boyz Noize style of Electroclash, sick as hell tho! Wicked remix, got huge elements of Sebastian in there too!

 

Chur!

 

Dirtyy

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What I hear from listening to that song are samples that are (IMHO) a bit too up front in the mix. I understand that's the genre and style though. That said, I hear one kick sample and a layered snare with a teeny hint of a click on it to give it snap. They're overcompressed to hell in order to give them that heavy processed type of sound. probably like a 16:1 ratio with a -10dBFS threshold or something crazy like that. They also have reverb applied to make them bigger sounding although there is no reverb tail-it lasts as long as the sample.

 

Pretty simple to do I suppose-proper source material would be obviously important as well. 808 samples should actually do the trick.

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Yo Dogg!

 

I like this topic. I like drums. I like big, phat, dirty F**k-Me Drumzzzzz!!! Doof Doof chicka chicka Boom Boom!

 

The main things I look at when starting my drumkit is:

 

Types of kicks

Types of Snares

hatz

Crashes

Groove

Compression / Eq

 

Usually instead of reaching straight for ultrabeat, I'll dig into my own library of sounds and pull out 3 to 4 different kicks that each have their own character. I'll have one that has a snappy attack but no full body, one full bodied, one that sounds quite boxy, and one that sounds clicky. I always make sure the sample is at top bitrate / samplerate.

 

I'll layer them and open them into their own channel strip in the arrange window. Route the outputs to a buss, and place ur fav eq / comp in there. I use a Focusrite Liquidmix for all comp / eq'ing as the algos are sick..

 

Listen to the kicks all together, mute in and out (have a loop of just the kicks) then adjust the levels accordingly for ea one to get a nice mix. From there, adjust the amount of compression to get that nice ba-boom to taste.. add salt, pepper and voila!! Once ur happy, bounce down the kicks to one single one.

 

Use exs / UB / kontakt / whatever u got to build a drumkit that you can trigger w ya controller... import your own samples that you've now created.

 

Mess around with the groove using hatz and snares, i do the same for snares as I do for the kicks (dependant on track however), sometimes just a simple 808 snare cleverly mixed w a bit of comp / eq is all u need.

 

I found I was in the same position as you, you DO need to go that extra mile with your drums, rather than the "out of the box" approach. it adds distinctive-ness to ur sound. This technique is standard for me now, it's easy as and you'll get great results!

 

Hmmm, maybe a video could be cool (If the Ninja ain't done one already :-)

 

Chur

 

Dirtyy

 

+1 try vengeance sampled kicks too :D

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Dirty needlez pretty much nailed it, but there's one thing i've been doing recently that really works for me.

 

Make a rolling twostep dnb kick/snare line, listen to (for example) Pendulum for the pattern and add some small kick-snare variations.

 

Layer 2/3 kicks (just make sure they're in correct phase and eq the mud of one or two) and 3/4 snare/claps. Add a sharp hi-hat doing 8's. Add a track of small effects, this can be anything from analogue noises to warped hi-hats or even edgy found sounds or reversed parts of the loop. Compress and cut a few of the elements to make sure it the main elements snap.

 

Do this 1-3 times more and bounce it all to one audio file.

 

Load it up in a recycle style software (i use phatmatik pro, but there's a free version that works well for this too) and you can just instantly start banging out beats. You don't really need to use a software, you can just cut it to transients by hand and throw it in any sampler, or make it an apple loop, but i like phatmatik because it's so instant.

 

The thing that's crucial about this is that even though it's the same kick/snare combo in each part, you get certain artifacts from the rest of the loops such as the noises and reversed parts that works great for electro-house stuff because they sound huge and fills out the whole spectrum.

 

Bear in mind that this is just for the main hits. A trick for making a nice hihat pattern is loading up a plug-in/some samples that sound like a real drumkit and program in a pretty loose pattern with plenty of alternating crashes, rides and even bell-pings. Then "sidechain" this to the kick, i hate using that word for it so i usually just map an lfo to volume in 1/4 sync, but you know what i mean. It creates that really nice sucking motion while still sounding "live" which sounds great with the huge kicks and snare.

 

This doesn't sound at all appealing when written, so i've been thinking about doing a youtube video, demonstrating it, and i just might.

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Yo Dogg!

 

I like this topic. I like drums. I like big, phat, dirty F**k-Me Drumzzzzz!!! Doof Doof chicka chicka Boom Boom!

 

The main things I look at when starting my drumkit is:

 

Types of kicks

Types of Snares

hatz

Crashes

Groove

Compression / Eq

 

Usually instead of reaching straight for ultrabeat, I'll dig into my own library of sounds and pull out 3 to 4 different kicks that each have their own character. I'll have one that has a snappy attack but no full body, one full bodied, one that sounds quite boxy, and one that sounds clicky. I always make sure the sample is at top bitrate / samplerate.

 

I'll layer them and open them into their own channel strip in the arrange window. Route the outputs to a buss, and place ur fav eq / comp in there. I use a Focusrite Liquidmix for all comp / eq'ing as the algos are sick..

 

Listen to the kicks all together, mute in and out (have a loop of just the kicks) then adjust the levels accordingly for ea one to get a nice mix. From there, adjust the amount of compression to get that nice ba-boom to taste.. add salt, pepper and voila!! Once ur happy, bounce down the kicks to one single one.

 

Use exs / UB / kontakt / whatever u got to build a drumkit that you can trigger w ya controller... import your own samples that you've now created.

 

Mess around with the groove using hatz and snares, i do the same for snares as I do for the kicks (dependant on track however), sometimes just a simple 808 snare cleverly mixed w a bit of comp / eq is all u need.

 

I found I was in the same position as you, you DO need to go that extra mile with your drums, rather than the "out of the box" approach. it adds distinctive-ness to ur sound. This technique is standard for me now, it's easy as and you'll get great results!

 

Hmmm, maybe a video could be cool (If the Ninja ain't done one already :-)

 

Chur

 

Dirtyy

 

first off, mr. dirtyy, good on you for the detailed response, very cool. BGTD, the reverb observation is slick, im definitely gonna give that a try. and kraze, your right, im having a little trouble following what your saying, but i am intrigued especially by this part

 

Bear in mind that this is just for the main hits. A trick for making a nice hihat pattern is loading up a plug-in/some samples that sound like a real drumkit and program in a pretty loose pattern with plenty of alternating crashes, rides and even bell-pings. Then "sidechain" this to the kick, i hate using that word for it so i usually just map an lfo to volume in 1/4 sync, but you know what i mean. It creates that really nice sucking motion while still sounding "live" which sounds great with the huge kicks and snare.

 

some clarification (or better, a vid) would be way cool.

 

anywayz, dirtyy your approach seems like its the proper 'tree' for me to be 'barking' up but i dont really have my own sample library that i have built up or anything but i do have battery 3 (ill just assume no one is familiar) which is a massive drum sampler by NI. i can imagine doing a familiar approach cept just having them all in one battery kit and then making them all trigger with the same note. do you eq and comp each kick individualy or just as a mass? or both? i noticed as i was tinkering in battery that it has its own eq and comp, but you say you use your Focusrite. is the difference really that substantial? whats the dilly with logic's?

 

now when you say 'Mess around with the groove using hatz and snares' i suppose thats pretty self explanitory, but perhaps you could go into a little more detail as to how you go about this, especially with the hats, i always have a problem with this. (im starting to grow weary of straight closed 8ths)

am i going down the right pathway here?

perhaps if you (or anyone) could post some examples or what were talking about here, that would be neato. same goes for you dirtyy, a vid is a good idea (assuming, of course, that the ninja hasent indeed done one already, which i dont think he has)

 

this question was aimed at professor needlez, but i would be interested in hearing anyones opinion or techniques or work flow on the matter so dont be shy.

 

i suppose the only way to really get this out of the hypothetical realm and into the realm of reality is to get off the damn fourm and try it out, ill give it a shot tomorrow (i have to go to bed now) and report back.

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anywayz, dirtyy your approach seems like its the proper 'tree' for me to be 'barking' up but i dont really have my own sample library that i have built up or anything but i do have battery 3 (ill just assume no one is familiar) which is a massive drum sampler by NI. i can imagine doing a familiar approach cept just having them all in one battery kit and then making them all trigger with the same note. do you eq and comp each kick individualy or just as a mass? or both? i noticed as i was tinkering in battery that it has its own eq and comp, but you say you use your Focusrite. is the difference really that substantial? whats the dilly with logic's?

 

Ok, what I do is if a sample is in a Battery kit, I will get it out of there and on to the arrange window as a separate file. Usually that will be in audio format (aiff, wav) rather than Midi. In terms of Comp/eq'ing each separate kick, the choice is yours mate. No hard or fast rules here, as long as you've got them routed to a bus, and blend the channels nicely you'll get a good result. If there is a kick thats a bit muddy, then yea,hit it individually. Again, just use your ears.

 

I use the Focusrite as I love the sound of the vintage emulations - not to take anything away from the Logic compressor AT ALL, they are nice as too and the Multipressor is great too. Again, its personal choice. Bcoz I do a ton of Comp/Eq'ing i like the fact I can free up my CPU by using the LM. That extra headroom can be used for more tracks and synths!!!!

 

now when you say 'Mess around with the groove using hatz and snares' i suppose thats pretty self explanitory, but perhaps you could go into a little more detail as to how you go about this, especially with the hats, i always have a problem with this. (im starting to grow weary of straight closed 8ths)

am i going down the right pathway here?

perhaps if you (or anyone) could post some examples or what were talking about here, that would be neato. same goes for you dirtyy, a vid is a good idea (assuming, of course, that the ninja hasent indeed done one already, which i dont think he has)

 

Ok Hatz. Start of with good source material. keep it simple - sometimes I find, especially if your trying to make a sick Dirty Electro beat, that too many hatz make it sound a bit housey???, the trick here is simplicity. And ya know what? Sometimes a closed 8th is all u need, as long as u use rhythmic delays and mess with the velocity. That is, drop it in for a bit, then take it out for a passage of the song, once the track drops again, what 4-8 bars then drop in again to add to the groove. See what I mean? I bet u can hear it in ur head already. I'll definitely do a couple vids on a big kick and on rhythmic delays, nice and simple, again. Alot of my approach is about subtraction, so taking elements out, then rhythmically adding them in to "move the groove" so to speak... hope this helps.

 

this question was aimed at professor needlez, but i would be interested in hearing anyones opinion or techniques or work flow on the matter so dont be shy.

 

Lol. Just remember bro that there are a million ways to skin a cat. My way is just another. Alot of it is experimentation to see what suits your style too. I'm not saying my way is the ultimate, but it is the way I work and it suits my style. I like BG's style too, I know exactly what he is talking about there, I was playing it out in my head as i was reading his post bro!!!!

 

i suppose the only way to really get this out of the hypothetical realm and into the realm of reality is to get off the damn fourm and try it out, ill give it a shot tomorrow (i have to go to bed now) and report back.

 

Mate, sometimes I feel when i get into my studio and turn Logic on, that i have to make a track. What I'm doin now is setting aside session times solely based on Sample building, or testing out new tricks, making big kick drums, ya feel me? Those sessions are cool coz u can test out all those plugins u may never have tried, mess around with new soundscapes, without the pressure of feeling like "s*** I have to produce something else I'm a timewaster and the label will dump me". Ya know what I mean? It's like learning time so to speak. For instance, tonight I'm spending a couple hours working on gates. Thats it. All gating. Not making a track, I've just got some ideas on gating that I wanna try - anything new I learn I will share with the LP massive!!

 

Am keen as to hear from the others too!

 

Ok keep an eye for some vids from me real soon!!!

 

Peace and Light,

 

Dirtyy

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ok dirtyy, after tinkering around a bit i think i got everything pretty much figured out my tracks are definitely sounding a lot better already. its fuckin amazing what a little experimentation and time can do. one last thing i cant figure out though is just how you get your drum sounds out of battery and into the arrange page in audio format like you say. ive done everything i can think of. when i find the sound i want in the finder it says its a 'battery cell' file and i cant drag it into logic.

 

kraze, i just checked out Pendulum. that s#!+ is the s#!+. it got be back really interested in your technique, after reading it through a few times i understand it a bit more. im gonna give it a shot, and ill report back

 

thanks everybody so far that have given their two cents. its definitely appreciated!

 

Jack

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Hey dude,

 

Good to hear you attacking it - wicked stuff.

 

To get a sample out of Battery, just place it in the Piano Roll as Midi, then bounce that bit down to Audio. Should be fine. You can either do it Wet or Dry. maybe go dry then start from there. That way you can go back to the source if you want to change something later.

 

Choice

 

Dirtyy

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I was intrigued/inspired my this thread and although nver attemptng any dqnce music before decided to have a go at making my drums as "phat" and "poppin" as possible.

 

 

Waves W1 plug in was what achieved this best from what i tried.

 

it was fun and educational thankyou

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finally justice have reared there ugly heads into the arena! ha, :P

 

some good tips and whatnot, my two cents...

 

try importing a kick as audio file into the arrange window, opening it in the sample editor and purposly moving the sample start time so it "pops", this can give a nice click sometimes, and you can generally adjust it

 

resonance, get a v fast resonance and mix it it with the attack of the kick, sounds like a compressors working its tits off somewhere, but its just the resonance.

 

anymore on this topic would be much appreciated though!! surely fader 8 or someone must be able to make the most ear splitting bad ass break the speakers beat.

 

 

:)

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