how do I drums

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how do I drums

Postby Feedback » 08 Jun 2014 01:12

Short and sweet, I've tried making drum loops before, but every single time I have, it's been time-consuming, ineffective, tedious beyond belief, and never sounded very good.

At the moment I'm using what basically amounts to a fancy drum machine that my DAW includes, but I'd like to start making my own drum loops eventually, and I feel like I'm probably doing things terribly wrong, so if someone would be willing to enlighten me on a good method for making drum loops, that'd be awesome. :grin:
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Re: how do I drums

Postby FLAOFEI » 08 Jun 2014 05:22

Could you share what you made so we can hear the problem? And perhaps an example of what sound you are going for?
From what you wrote the problem could be any number of things, and it's hard to know what advice to give.
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Re: how do I drums

Postby Navron » 08 Jun 2014 13:21

The key to drums is good samples.

In the absence of good samples you can layer different sounds together to create good samples. Most EDM snares incorporate 3 elements:
1. The snap (clap, whip, gunshot, etc)
2. The body (usually a tom drum sample of sorts)
3. The tail (can be created with carefully crafted reverb, but a lot of folks utilize white noise with a fast decay and long release)

Kick drums are usually no more than 2 sounds:
1. The kick (low tapping sound)
2. The sub (sub oscillator with a very quick attack and decay)

Lastly, the trickiest part of drums is picking samples and/or creating your own samples that work together. For example, a breakbeat/DnB style snare won't sound right if the rest of your samples are not breakbeat. Heavy dubstep kicks and snares don't work for trance, etc.
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Re: how do I drums

Postby Feedback » 08 Jun 2014 17:53

I'll see if I can whip something up to demonstrate the issue I have sometime this week Flaofei; it's been a while since I didn't just use the DAW's drum machine, so I don't have anything readily available to demonstrate.

I appreciate the advice Navron, but my music isn't exactly EDM, so I'm not sure how applicable that is to what I do. :lol:
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Re: how do I drums

Postby S.P.P » 10 Jun 2014 13:29

The easiest way would be to use a drum programming VST (I recommend Superior Drummer). Failing that, you should go find a good pack for the genre you're going for (there are PLENTY of good quality free ones, just google around for a minute or two) and program them in yourself using the piano roll. If you do this, make sure to edit velocity and swing to add realism to it. Also be sure that the sample cuts of if you play a sound twice, before the first has finished. Add panning to your individual drums too, to emulate a real kit.

You can get more complex of course, duplicating the finished drum track and adding effects to simulate mics etc., but that's the basic idea.
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Re: how do I drums

Postby Mr. Bigglesworth » 21 Jun 2014 03:19

I find it helps to have a lot to chose from. My library consists of close to 50000 samples to give you an idea, but you're not required to have that many (I haven't needed to download any for months haha), if you want some on the cheap, magazines like Computer Music will sometimes bundle a sample cd with an issue, I got pretty expansive kit with a bunch of kicks, snares, hats etc etc from an issue of Computer Music that I use pretty often now.

As for making them sound good, I'll just say that the biggest mistake a lot of people make is not keeping the levels of the samples balanced relative to eachother. In terms of both volume and EQ. For example, your snare drum really isn't gonna need much hapenning below 150 hertz, especially if you're putting it under a kick in a four on the floor beat, you should always roll off everything below 1 kHz on hi hats, crashes, rides etc. You don't listen for the low end of a hat, and it interferes with other low end frequencies, so getting rid of it won't hurt any.

Speaking of levels in terms of volume, this is pretty simple. In half time or 2 step drums, your kick and snare can be hitting around the same volume, and I'd keep hats and the likes at around -5 db as a general rule, in 4 to the floor beats it's a little different, the kick has to shine through, so the snare generally has to be a little quieter (panning it slightly can help it pop out a little more in that case).

I'm on my phone right now, so when I get the chance I'll do something proper with pictures and examples to show you what I mean.
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