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Where is the art in using generic drum samples????!!!! Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 17th August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Where is the art in using generic drum samples????!!!!

My competiors in my area are all using generic drum samples in their mixes. Of course the groups they work with are saying "wow this guy gets a great drum sound" Are you [email protected]@ing kidding me! Yes I like to use samples along side (parallel) to the real drums but I make my own from the drummers drumkit. I spend the time to mic the kit great and EQ and move mics and.... etc. to get a good sound. I have a great live sounding drum room my cymbals sound nice and airy a great natural ambience on each drum. I listen to their mixes and the only thing that sounds great is the kick snare and toms the cymbals sound week vocal are small can I go on? And the people around here think it is just great. Where in the hell is our art that we love going?
Old 17th August 2007
  #2
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Hmmm, many of us been wondering the same thing. This stuff is here to stay it seems so come to grips with it. I think you don't have to be on one side or the other. The work I get can be roughly divided into 2 categories, lets call one "art" and the other "commerce".

art = music where human expression is THE thing you are expected to capture. This includes jazz, folk, blues, classical, experimental, ethnic and many kinds of indie rock music.

commerce=everything else, usually competing against other music "products". In this sense, some pop music is as "commercial" as music made for jingles, eg, a beer ad, or music made for a sports show etc.

Obviously check with the client (note how I didn't say "artist") to see what they are expecting, but as a general rule of thumb, if it's commercial and the aesthetic seems to demand using samples, why should you care? Do the gig and take the money.

If it's art and someone wants to blur the line and suggest using samples, remind them why this may not be a good idea as it compromises integrity. If they insist and you cave in, it's their integrity that's diminished, not yours.

Of course, there are exceptions, like hard core bands who know their records wont sell, but love their fave generic samples too much to care about "real unadulterated human expression". Pity that, I'd probably have more respect for the genre if they did....
Old 17th August 2007
  #3
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u b k's Avatar
 

the art police have spoken.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 17th August 2007
  #4
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dokushoka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeStoker View Post
My competiors in my area are all using generic drum samples in their mixes. Of course the groups they work with are saying "wow this guy gets a great drum sound" Are you [email protected]@ing kidding me! Yes I like to use samples along side (parallel) to the real drums but I make my own from the drummers drumkit. I spend the time to mic the kit great and EQ and move mics and.... etc. to get a good sound. I have a great live sounding drum room my cymbals sound nice and airy a great natural ambience on each drum. I listen to their mixes and the only thing that sounds great is the kick snare and toms the cymbals sound week vocal are small can I go on? And the people around here think it is just great. Where in the hell is our art that we love going?
Are guys saying that your drum sounds are great?

If not, why not consider doing what your competition is doing? If it makes clients happy, who cares? Its their record.
Old 17th August 2007
  #5
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fair call, maybe I came across a bit pompous, but seriously, ever since I realised this art vs commerce thing there has been less stress in my working life. I go to work with either my art hat on , or the commerce one (with matching suit and tie)
Old 17th August 2007
  #6
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5down1up's Avatar
 

the art is to use the right tools, everythings goes
Old 17th August 2007
  #7
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Watersound's Avatar
 

Define "generic" drum samples and realize that maybe some of these "generic" drum samples were made in some of the "best" rooms with killer kits, Neve boards and all high end mics and outboard. I think that what defines generic sounding to me has a lot less to do with drum sounds than it does with vocals/arrangement/lyrical content.
Old 17th August 2007
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watersound View Post
Define "generic" drum samples
Definition found in the "THRILL" KAPEDIA:

1) Same samples used by the same 8 guys who mix the same music in the same way all the time.

2. Drum samples that you were either too lazy or not creative or for whatever reason couldn't get on your own.


3. Drum samples that you literally took from someone else's record.


4. The drum samples that everyone uses because they think the top guys use it because they think they have to sound like those guys because if they don't they won't be able to get clients. In turn they try to sound like a mastered version of the top guys which these days sounds like a clenched fist so they are creating these mixes before it gets to mastering that sounds like a clenched fist already which after mastering sounds like a clenched fist clenching a clenched fist.


God forbid you mix a snare these days with a lot of thud or ping.

Or how about a dead fish kick? Remember those?

Are people replacing rim shots as well?
Old 17th August 2007
  #9
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In America, commerce IS an art.
Anyway, you statement is rude! That would mean that anybody making dance music is not an artist!
Old 17th August 2007
  #10
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C_F_H_13's Avatar
 

I know what you mean. It is annoying when people say "man his drum sounds are bad ass", and all they are is Steve Slate samples (WHICH ARE BAD ASS). But how far do we take the "is this art" argument?

There are people among this very message board, who don't think that using "editing" or "comping" is art. There are people who still believe that multitrack recording is not art, and that true art is a single live performance by musicians. It's all a matter of personal opinion.
Old 17th August 2007
  #11
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It's not only annoying, i feel sorry for them!
Some people are still living in their 60's man! It's so lame!
Wake up! Almost 50 years have past since The Beatles!
Old 17th August 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
In turn they try to sound like a mastered version of the top guys which these days sounds like a clenched fist so they are creating these mixes before it gets to mastering that sounds like a clenched fist already which after mastering sounds like a clenched fist clenching a clenched fist.

Well now we're talking about an entire sound which indeed is quite generic. I won't name names but one or two of the top dogs is responsible for a sound that ultimately many others are trying to emulate- not surprising and there will always be that one guy people admire and try to sound like. And then coupled with the state of current masters and volume wars...I see where this is going. Bottom line, I myself do prefer a real drum kit and I do layer samples along with that, i just think the issue to address is way bigger than drum samples. If you are not worried about the "commerce" side of making music, turn your radios off people! I did and am much happier for it, but I'm lucky enough not to have to care about the current state of the record industry- thank the good Lord!!
Old 17th August 2007
  #13
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeStoker View Post
My competiors in my area are all using generic drum samples in their mixes. Of course the groups they work with are saying "wow this guy gets a great drum sound" Are you [email protected]@ing kidding me! Yes I like to use samples along side (parallel) to the real drums but I make my own from the drummers drumkit. I spend the time to mic the kit great and EQ and move mics and.... etc. to get a good sound. I have a great live sounding drum room my cymbals sound nice and airy a great natural ambience on each drum. I listen to their mixes and the only thing that sounds great is the kick snare and toms the cymbals sound week vocal are small can I go on? And the people around here think it is just great. Where in the hell is our art that we love going?
On drums do you use compression/limiting? eq? reverb? did you slam your analog two inch tape back in the day? All in the name of great drums sounds? huh???

All about as artificial samples brotha. Get a great drum sound with just your mics , your console eq'ed flat w/ no fx comps etc. Then you can bag on samples
Old 17th August 2007
  #14
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I don't really give a crap about art...

...but canned drum samples are like acid washed jeans and doo rags....
Old 17th August 2007
  #15
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lefthando's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeStoker View Post
Where is the art in using generic drum samples????!!!!
The 'art'... is in making them sound like they were recorded as a kit.
Old 18th August 2007
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I think I get a fine drum sound, my sounds are all real made by me. My stuff is not too squished but still loud and "tuff. I can listen to a metal or hardcore record and hear the same damn snare and kick on all these different bands sure they cut and sound great but I don't like being all the same. I was looking for opinions from other guys who care. I feel the same way about overcompressed mastering as I do fake samples, and it seems alot here feel the same too. Ultimately I am hired and if some band was to bring me samples to use hey if they pay I'll work. Trends are trends and we all have to adapt. I don't do as much metal as I use to but here is link to a metal band I recently finished.
MySpace.com - bled by design (NEW SONGS UP!) - spokane aka "spocomton", Washington - Metal / Hardcore / Metal - www.myspace.com/bledbydesignmusic They are young guys but their favorite record is ...And Justice For All. Lots of clicky kick, not much Bass guitar ,lots of guitars and they wanted blended vocals. This has kind of an old school sound but still modern the snare sounds loud and real with alot of compression but still not too squished sounding. I feel I have my own sound just like someone would have their own style of guitar playing or what have you. I just wanted to rant and bitch and moan cause I never have here. Love you guys.

Lee
Old 18th August 2007
  #17
I have said this before but.... here goes.....

I approach every production with a scale in my head. That scale is "real" vs. what I call "hyper-real."

Hyper-real is more than real, the kick does not sound like that in the room, the cymbals, toms and snare have the perfect blend, the bass is way more defined than it is in any room next to the rest of the band. Hyper-real is just that, everything glows, it's more than the sound of parts in the room.

Some things, like a jazz group or a classical recording are over on the "real" side. Natural and in the room, call that a 1.

A roots rock band might be, oh I don't know, they would probably be a 3 or so. Still more "real" than "hyper-real" but less "real" than Jazz.

A heavy band like the one from your link, I consider that to be a "hyper-real" band. Really up there in the 9's or 10's. I would also think of a techno recording in that same category as well as some other stuff, even some pop.

You were asking where is the art? My answer is the art comes from determining what works for the band and then using the tools at your disposal to achieve that goal. The art is hearing something in my head and then getting there... that is art.. to me anyway.

Would I replace a snare on a jazz band? Hell no..... BUT on the other hand I would not use the same 3 or 4 mic techniques I would use with a jazz band on a hyper-real band either.

Would I replace a snare on the band from your link? You bet your a$$. They are hyper-real to me and the only way to get there is to use "hyper-real" tools. I don't have a problem with that.

Old 18th August 2007
  #18
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CaliTone's Avatar
 

Great drum sounds start with a great drummer. Unfortunately I don't have the luxory of recording great drummers all the time. So when there's a ****ty drummer, I'm definitely going to use samples, compression, eq, beat detective, whatever the hell I can get my hands on to make it sound better. I'm in this to make money, so if I can make money polishing terds with samples, by all means, I'm going to do it. I have no problem with it. Art doesn't pay my mortgage or pay for gear. It's all about the green baby! heh
Old 18th August 2007
  #19
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lefthando View Post
The 'art'... is in making them sound like they were recorded as a kit.

A-MEN
Old 18th August 2007
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

I can chime in for the common folk recording in a basement studio(!)
I have recorded 2 cds (my original music) and for both, I recorded real drums.

I have purchased a bunch of Toontrack products (C&V, EZDrummer, and all their expansion packs).

I never could get the sound I wanted (and heard in my head) from recording my real drumset. (side note: I have been recording a while and have decent gear). The tones were absolutely average, but I never would think of using samples for my original music....but wait.

I started using the Toontrack stuff for recording quick cues, demos, and one-off projects for various media opportunities. I slowly found that the sound coming out was the sound I had in my head. Of course, you still have to mix them to make it mesh with your instruments, but it lets somebody with a not so flattering basement studio, feel like they can get closer to what they hear in their head.

Now as a MUSICIAN, I sometimes battle the whole "this isn't real...it's not authentic" controversy, but life is short...if at the end of the day, I have a drum sound that I am personally happy with...then it's all good. I mean, if you really mix the Custom & Vintage drumset well and close your eyes....it is really tough to think it's fake. Samples have come a long way since the "machine gun" Boss units!

(again, I am sure this thread is for pro studios, but I thought I would give an opinion from the guy who get's happy with purchasing a new set of A7s or the BLA mod!)

Thanks
Keith
Old 18th August 2007
  #21
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Quote:
The 'art'... is in making them sound like they were recorded as a kit.
Or the art of it could be to make 'em sound ultra fake, or whatever else...doesn't mean it's ART though, which is in the ears of the beholder I guess. My ears and my mind says don't use 'em.

the word "art" has lots of definitions....here's a few:

12. skilled workmanship, execution, or agency, as distinguished from nature.
13. trickery; cunning: glib and devious art.
14. studied action; artificiality in behavior.
Old 18th August 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeStoker View Post
My competiors in my area are all using generic drum samples in their mixes. Of course the groups they work with are saying "wow this guy gets a great drum sound" Are you [email protected]@ing kidding me! Yes I like to use samples along side (parallel) to the real drums but I make my own from the drummers drumkit. I spend the time to mic the kit great and EQ and move mics and.... etc. to get a good sound. I have a great live sounding drum room my cymbals sound nice and airy a great natural ambience on each drum. I listen to their mixes and the only thing that sounds great is the kick snare and toms the cymbals sound week vocal are small can I go on? And the people around here think it is just great. Where in the hell is our art that we love going?
As a composer/performer/writer I never felt there was much "art" in engineering to begin with. So if the samples help a great song/arrangement shine, and it's as easy as inserting drumagog -- well, what's wrong with that ?

If the MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT is unique and innovative, will it really matter that the drum sounds are samples ?
Old 18th August 2007
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I have no problem with sound replacement, on the metal link I left the drums are sound replaced. The kick I made from his kick but enhanced, the toms are the same, the snare is his snare sampled and mixed in with the real dynamic snare for punch and cut. I make all my own samples and I don't think I ever use them again as to not sound the same I don't save all my effects presets and I zero out my console after every project so as to not be influenced by my other productions.
I like to be a bit original in my productions. Sound replacement is a greaty tool but I don't like hearing the same drum sound all the time.
Old 18th August 2007
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post

If the MUSICAL ARRANGEMENT is unique and innovative, will it really matter that the drum sounds are samples ?
I don't know....would it matter if Van Gogh used Paint Shop Pro?
Old 18th August 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
As a composer/performer/writer I never felt there was much "art" in engineering to begin with
You are kidding, dont ya
Old 18th August 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
I don't know....would it matter if Van Gogh used Paint Shop Pro?
Not for me
Old 18th August 2007
  #27
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by C_F_H_13 View Post
I know what you mean. It is annoying when people say "man his drum sounds are bad ass", and all they are is Steve Slate samples (WHICH ARE BAD ASS). But how far do we take the "is this art" argument?

There are people among this very message board, who don't think that using "editing" or "comping" is art. There are people who still believe that multitrack recording is not art, and that true art is a single live performance by musicians. It's all a matter of personal opinion.

Very wise words
Old 18th August 2007
  #28
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H-Rezz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
the art police have spoken.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
heh
Old 18th August 2007
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer View Post
In America, commerce IS an art.
Anyway, you statement is rude! That would mean that anybody making dance music is not an artist!
Well in the 60's and 70's people made "dance" music with real human performances, maybe that's why its the only kinda dance music I would dance to...

Anyways, don't mean to infer that using machines ain't art necessarily, Karleinz Stockhausen for example, now that's art!

Methinks some of you peeps don't consider the difference between art and CRAFT maybe.....
Old 18th August 2007
  #30
EJW
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EJW's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
Or the art of it could be to make 'em sound ultra fake, or whatever else...doesn't mean it's ART though, which is in the ears of the beholder I guess. My ears and my mind says don't use 'em.

the word "art" has lots of definitions....here's a few:

12. skilled workmanship, execution, or agency, as distinguished from nature.
13. trickery; cunning: glib and devious art.
14. studied action; artificiality in behavior.
Bravo.
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