Breakbeat drums: too much attack due to compression - HELP!
Old 6th January 2010
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Breakbeat drums: too much attack due to compression - HELP!

Hi guys,
I have been checking this forum for a while but I didn't find any reference to this issue. So what I'm up to? I am trying to produce some breakbeat tracks here and there and I am constantly trying to imitate that "Big Beat" sound (you know - all the Fatboy Slim's, Wiseguys and all that jazz) or the more contemporary "Funky Breaks" - and I am particularly talking about THE DRUMS. I have attached some examples of the drums I'd like to get close to and then two examples of drums I did to illustrate my problem.

So, it seems to me that the way to achieve this sound is some heavy compression, right? My concern is the "clicking" on the kicks and snares' attacks caused by the compression. Obviously, the more compression there is, the more clicking I get because there will always be the attack phase of the compressor before the volume reduction takes efect. I have tried to minimize this by using some transient altering VST's or by putting the individual drum sounds into envelopes with slow attack to make up for the clicking caused by compression/limiting but the results are not very good as you can hear. Now if you take a listen to the "desired" drums above, you don't hear anything like this - so how the heck do they achieve this fat sound without this "clicking" or simply too much attack ?

As I think about it, this is more or less also true for many electro tracks (e.g. Deadmau5 - Reward is the cheese) where you got drums really squashed by compression (especially snares on that track) but no clicking. So what's the catch?

I know there is no magical "workaround" and voila - here you go with the boomin' beats, but I am quite lost with all this. I hope my post is not too idiotic . I will be grateful for any help/opinion!
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 my_sound.mp3 (760.6 KB, 4394 views)
File Type: mp3 desired_sound.mp3 (1.65 MB, 2270 views)
Old 6th January 2010
  #2
Gear maniac
 

sounds distorted... are you using a lot of makeup gain? maybe you're overloading something somewhere...
Old 6th January 2010
  #3
yeah your beat sounds distorted and too stereo widened

try a different snare sample
Old 6th January 2010
  #4
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Yeah these are distorted, I know But what bout the attack?
Old 6th January 2010
  #5
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EddieTheRed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eazyrock View Post
So, it seems to me that the way to achieve this sound is some heavy compression, right? My concern is the "clicking" on the kicks and snares' attacks caused by the compression. Obviously, the more compression there is, the more clicking I get because there will always be the attack phase of the compressor before the volume reduction takes efect. I have tried to minimize this by using some transient altering VST's or by putting the individual drum sounds into envelopes with slow attack to make up for the clicking caused by compression/limiting but the results are not very good as you can hear. Now if you take a listen to the "desired" drums above, you don't hear anything like this - so how the heck do they achieve this fat sound without this "clicking" or simply too much attack ?
On a compressor:

Slow (long) attack = more transients/attack
Fast (short) attack = less transients/attack
Slow release = less sustain/room/verb etc
Fast release = more sustain/room/verb etc

So for less transients it sounds like you need to set your compressor for a fast attack and release, to suppress that intial transient attack but still let you compress hard. Set the attack as fast as you can and adjust the release to taste until you're getting the right amount of 'pumping' - it'll sound good

For catching transients, Stillwell Rocket is the fastest plug-in compressor I've found - you can download a fully functional trial version which never expires from the Stillwell site.
Old 6th January 2010
  #6
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golden beers's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieTheRed View Post
On a compressor:

Slow (short) attack = more transients/attack
Fast (long) attack = less transients/attack
.
should be

Slow (long) attack = more transients/attack
Fast (short) attack = less transients/attack
Old 6th January 2010
  #7
Lives for gear
 
EddieTheRed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eazyrock View Post
So, it seems to me that the way to achieve this sound is some heavy compression, right? My concern is the "clicking" on the kicks and snares' attacks caused by the compression. Obviously, the more compression there is, the more clicking I get because there will always be the attack phase of the compressor before the volume reduction takes efect. I have tried to minimize this by using some transient altering VST's or by putting the individual drum sounds into envelopes with slow attack to make up for the clicking caused by compression/limiting but the results are not very good as you can hear. Now if you take a listen to the "desired" drums above, you don't hear anything like this - so how the heck do they achieve this fat sound without this "clicking" or simply too much attack ?
On a compressor:

Slow (short) attack = more transients/attack
Fast (long) attack = less transients/attack
Slow release = less sustain/room/verb etc
Fast release = more sustain/room/verb etc

So for less transients it sounds like you need to set your compressor for a fast attack and release, to suppress that intial transient attack but still let you compress hard. Set the attack as fast as you can and adjust the release to taste until you're getting the right amount of 'pumping' - it'll sound good

For catching transients, Stillwell Rocket is the fastest plug-in compressor I've found - you can download a fully functional trial version which never expires from the Stillwell site.
Old 6th January 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
EddieTheRed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by golden beers View Post
should be

Slow (long) attack = more transients/attack
Fast (short) attack = less transients/attack
Sorry, it's late over here!
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