How do you make the drums sound like a REAL drummer?

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How do you make the drums sound like a REAL drummer?

Postby BigSilly » Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:19 pm

When i used pro audio 9, i would program in my midi drums, turn the track into a wave file, then i would mess around with the equalizer to try to make the drums sound less "midi" and more "real".

I just got sonar 2, and i was wondering if anyone had any advice as to how to make the drums sound like a real drummer. I have a good Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound card, so its not the card. I want the drums to sound like a rock drummer, not techno. Thanks for any advice!
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Re: How do you make the drums sound like a REAL drummer?

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Postby GretscGuy » Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:18 pm

The first thing you have to do is program the part to sound like a 'real drummer' make sure that the part could be played on a real drummer.

Here are some quick tips that will get you started:

- Watch the highhat parts - try playing highhats on your keyboard along with the song. Be careful not to have so much going on at a time that a real drummer couldn't play the part - example - having a highhat, crash tom and snare on the same beat

- Don't quantize unless you have to. - try to get a groove going that's not exactly perfect. You want your part to have some feel to it, dance music is the one exception here.

- use swing and groove features.

- Play 'air drums' to your song before you lay down the part

- if you have several different hits of each part of the kit (snare, kick, hats, etc...) alternate between them. The subtle difference will make your kit sound more life-like.

- once you have your stereo kit recorded, add some compression and (a little) bit of reverb to the kit if you are going for a live sound. Watch the eq and ammount of verb you add!

It's a good idea to invest in some high quality drum hit cds. Some of my favs are (in no order)

Bob CLearmountain 1 &2
Heavy Hitters (keltner, White, Lee)
Steve Gadd Drum Scores (has loops and Gadd's kits - very nice)

I also have several libraries that I have made myself by sampling kits at my studio. They are in giga format and I save them with names that fit what I am doing: example - ballad kit, rock kit, dry kit etc...

Good Luck!
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Postby Guest » Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:27 pm

GretscGuy wrote:The first thing you have to do is program the part to sound like a 'real drummer' make sure that the part could be played on a real drummer.

Here are some quick tips that will get you started:

- Watch the highhat parts - try playing highhats on your keyboard along with the song. Be careful not to have so much going on at a time that a real drummer couldn't play the part - example - having a highhat, crash tom and snare on the same beat

- Don't quantize unless you have to. - try to get a groove going that's not exactly perfect. You want your part to have some feel to it, dance music is the one exception here.

- use swing and groove features.

- Play 'air drums' to your song before you lay down the part

- if you have several different hits of each part of the kit (snare, kick, hats, etc...) alternate between them. The subtle difference will make your kit sound more life-like.

- once you have your stereo kit recorded, add some compression and (a little) bit of reverb to the kit if you are going for a live sound. Watch the eq and ammount of verb you add!

It's a good idea to invest in some high quality drum hit cds. Some of my favs are (in no order)

Bob CLearmountain 1 &2
Heavy Hitters (keltner, White, Lee)
Steve Gadd Drum Scores (has loops and Gadd's kits - very nice)

I also have several libraries that I have made myself by sampling kits at my studio. They are in giga format and I save them with names that fit what I am doing: example - ballad kit, rock kit, dry kit etc...

Good Luck!


These high quality drum hit CDs you speak of - how do they work? Does it break down each drum into a wave file? Or does it give you drum beats that you can import into Sonar?
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Postby GretscGuy » Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:55 pm

There are 'loop' files that you can import into Sonar. I buy files in akai or wav format. I look for individual hits. I make a new instrument in a program like GigaStudio and then have a kit I can play.

If you have different hits, your drums sound better already - no drummer hits the drum in exactly the right place with exactly the same amount of force - these tiny variations add lots to your tracks.

Loop cd's are cool but you run the risk of uing the same loop everyone else is using - I haven't had much luck with these so I prefer to make my own.
GretscGuy
 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Massachusetts USA



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