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What do you guys do to fix extremely terrible double bass drumming?
Old 29th July 2005
  #1
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What do you guys do to fix extremely terrible double bass drumming?

Is there anything I can do to fix these in time that's not nudging every hit till it sounds right? I'm sure that's all I can do but god damn, this **** gets old.
Old 29th July 2005
  #2
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cdog's Avatar
Get a new drummer.
Old 29th July 2005
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrogantbastard
Is there anything I can do to fix these in time that's not nudging every hit till it sounds right? I'm sure that's all I can do but god damn, this **** gets old.


WORD.


Get a new drummer, or have your guy play his parts, trigger the hits into a drum program like DFHS or BFD, and record to a midi track. Quantize, and then move what beats are still lagging. You can then "humanize" the midi data so it does not sound too machine like. I have done this before and it has worked wonderfully.

Or, tell the guy it just ain't happenin'.

Good luck.
Old 29th July 2005
  #4
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henryrobinett's Avatar
This stuff drives me crazy. Record it again with either a better drummer or play him/them the tracks and hope for a come-to-jesus moment so he'll be struck down mute with talent and practice his part correctly with, perhaps, a single bass drum instead of double. It's not within the domain of engineers to be making music, musical decisions; time shifing, nudging beyond the little tiny bits That's belongs in the realm of thhe musician, for better or for worse. And the more we clean up their lazy assed mistakes the more lazy they will become and the less talent, desire and ability musicians will have. Why practice when PT can fix it? Sheesh. Sory for the rant.
Old 29th July 2005
  #5
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I ****ING WISH!!!!!!!!!!
Old 29th July 2005
  #6
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simonv's Avatar
 

When I record awfully bad musicians, I mix their mistakes loud and clear in the mix, so that they come to their own conclusions about how they suck. It's my personal revenge.

Chances are... if the musicians suck, the band won't make it big. And all your efforts are likely to be forgotten a year later. So why bother too much.

IMO, the engineer's job should be "sound capture". Not cut and paste.
Sometimes I get so sick of it that I dream of recording to tape just because editing is limited.
Old 29th July 2005
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrogantbastard
Is there anything I can do to fix these in time that's not nudging every hit till it sounds right? I'm sure that's all I can do but god damn, this **** gets old.
redo the track and this time take away his double bass pedal?
good luck!
joshua
Old 29th July 2005
  #8
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warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by simvez
IMO, the engineer's job should be "sound capture". Not cut and paste.
Yeah, unless the producer of the project wants it!

In my experience, it's best NOT to show ANY editing capabilities to a band while they're tracking. Every fugging take ends with "well I messed up one part but he can fix that" and all of a sudden YOU are responsible for the end result which of course will still typically SUCK.

Having said that...beat detective is probably being heard on 90% of the double bass stuff on the market these days!

War
Old 29th July 2005
  #9
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Kill the kick mic(s), filter out anything below 150 hz (or so...) from the OH. Get DFHS or similiar and trigger the part yourself. Get wasted and consider a new career.
Old 29th July 2005
  #10
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Yes and no

Quote:
Originally Posted by simvez
When I record awfully bad musicians, I mix their mistakes loud and clear in the mix, so that they come to their own conclusions about how they suck. It's my personal revenge.

Chances are... if the musicians suck, the band won't make it big. And all your efforts are likely to be forgotten a year later. So why bother too much.

IMO, the engineer's job should be "sound capture". Not cut and paste.
Sometimes I get so sick of it that I dream of recording to tape just because editing is limited.
On one hand you're right, on the other hand you're not.
How many earn a living of bands that make it big? Ok, the nicer jobs are with musicians who can play but they're the minority aren't they?
And my experience is that my efforts sometimes counted even 2 years later and customers returned for this exact reason.
I let them hear what I'm doing for them, too. And in addition I let them think that there's no other guy on the planet who can (or would?) do that for them. And then they'll return and pay whatever you want them too. Ok, ok, you can't do that with the Punk-Band of High School guys cause they're poor but with many others.

I sometimes send them two mixes - one edited and one unedited - and tell them what it would cost to have them all edited. Most of them decide to spend the money.
It is a "zero-fun" job but it's money and so my PT pays off.

And AE definitely are cutters and pasters today. That part of the job. Before that it was part of the job to punch in and out like hell.
But as in the past I also try to convince bad drummers to play what they really can play (or what is easier to edit heh ).
And I also try to hide the possibilities of editing as long as I can when working with new customers.

Eddie
Old 29th July 2005
  #11
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henryrobinett's Avatar
That! That, that, that THAT is the frigging problem! That's why we have such lame musicians today. Listen I'm a musician. I'm a very good musician who takes the job of being a musician very seriously. I've seen the general technical abilities of musicians in an overall decline for some years now. I'd like to see musicians get better, not worse. So by going after the buck to hide pimples and give the apparency that lame players can play in time, in tune and with taste we're doing EVERYONE an enormous disservice. Stop fixing their stinky ****.

You get better by practicing your instrument. There is no short cut. Musicians should be expected to enter a studio a nail it. Maybe look at them with disgust, as if they're morons. Perhaps that might light a fire underneath their asses. But to say, "Oh that's OK. It doesnt matter if you suck. I can edit that for you!" is lame, lame lame, lame lame.
Old 30th July 2005
  #12
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drundall's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=henryrobinett]play him/them the tracks and hope for a come-to-jesus moment so he'll be struck down mute with talent. /QUOTE]

This reminds me of when I was in Physics class and the professor said "In theory this could happen, but it may take several universe lifetimes in order to observe it."
Old 30th July 2005
  #13
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jjblair's Avatar
Cut off one of his legs?
Old 30th July 2005
  #14
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Kingtone's Avatar
 

I was engineering a band with a drummer who refused to admit that his double kicking SUCKED! even his band mates were on his case...
In the end.. between takes in a break.. the bass player undid one of the small screws on the double kick pedal and hid it from the drummer without him knowing. They all told the drummer it must have fallen out...
looked like the plan was going to work as he spent an hour searching the floor for the 'missing screw'. in the end he called a mate and had another pedal delivered!
Old 30th July 2005
  #15
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BrettPortzer's Avatar
 

What happens alot is the main kick is on, the left foot lags behind... Move the left foot hits to split the difference between the right foot hits, and it should dramatically improve things.

There is no real way to get around having to edit each hit individually. If you trigger it with MIDI, the notes are easier to move around though. With audio you need to move everything around and then make sure to fade everything together, etc...

Pretty time consuming, but if you just move the left foot, you'll be surprised at how it improves the situation.

[brett]
Old 30th July 2005
  #16
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henryrobinett's Avatar
That's a case where either the leader or the producer had no spine. Unless the drummer WAS the leader. As the leader it would've been very easy. I'd say, "Leave the other ****ing pedal at home!" Same for the producer.
Old 30th July 2005
  #17
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C_F_H_13's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by simvez
Chances are... if the musicians suck, the band won't make it big.
You'd be surprised at how bad some of the biggest bands in the world are.
Old 30th July 2005
  #18
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cfjis's Avatar
 

First, the title of this thread made me laugh out loud... why? I've been there.

You could try having the drummer overdub the double bass parts (after leaving them out of the main take)... this does 3 things:
1. they will probably be a bit more consistent than if they were playing whole kit
2. it will be much easier to edit (with beat detective, or whatever)... plus, you could just grab smaller sections that were the best and cut and paste them.
and
3. the BD chopping won't affect the OH's, etc. (where you can really hear the crazy edits)

I know this isn't the "true musician" way of doing things... but, sometimes it is what you have to do.

Good luck.
-CJ
Old 30th July 2005
  #19
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by arrogantbastard
Is there anything I can do to fix these in time that's not nudging every hit till it sounds right? I'm sure that's all I can do but god damn, this **** gets old.
Easy, you just try to make the best of it.
If you're tracking and think there is a better performance in it, try to help him getting out. If you are producing, let him hear what's not working and try to come up with something he can play and fits the tune.
After that, do what you have to do to make it somewhat decent. I have had times where I cut 4 or 8 decent 16th notes and pasted them through the whole double bass part. Forget the room mics, clean up the toms and filter anything you can that makes it obvious from the other mics.

If there's no way to make it decent, try to let it suck as less as possible. In the end, you're trying to provide the best of service for your clients... It will be noticed by some and overlooked/unappreciated by others (in the band). The one that notice will come back and chances are with a better band .

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 30th July 2005
  #20
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Kestral's Avatar
 

See this thread:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/the-moan-zone/38361-10-hour-what-biz-coming.html

Find someone that will do drum timing/editing for ten bucks an hour. The guy I get to do it (who charges a LOT more than $10/hr) can do 4 songs in an hour, and done right.
Old 30th July 2005
  #21
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toolskid's Avatar
 

it really helps when fixing really outta whack drums to have taken hits at various velocities at the end of the tracking. If you pay a lot of attention to detail, you may want to take hits with sustains from various kit pieces bleeding over them and combos too. Make sure you check that the hit dynamics are as closely correlated with the dynamics of the tracking as possible and that the tuning of each kit piece is consistent with the previously recorded material too. You can have a listen to left and right handed hits, but this is usually drummer dependant. Having these tedious to record hits (can take up to 20mins to record) is a TOTAL lifesaver when dealing with seriously rogue beats and unbeatable for those unwelcome swift post-tracking arrangement edits!



ps: If you don't do this regularly you'll be amazed at how many drummers flam the kick and crashes on combo hits, and click their sticks together straight after the hits thus buggering up the decays!!
Old 30th July 2005
  #22
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Double pedal can be a whole lot worse to edit......sometimes one missed pedal can spoil the other's perfectly good note....lot's of replacing hits

2 choices really, redo 100% or edit 100% (ie. if you start editing, you won't be done until you edit every hit....it's easy to start with just a few bad ones....then spend hours listening and in the end between the time listening back and deciding, the whole track could have been gridded 5x)....I hope you didn't use the 3 mic technique for this one heh

Andy
Old 30th July 2005
  #23
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I just read this whole thread, now I'm really depressed. I feel for ya, dangit. It's an awful place to be, and I do agree with the 'turn up the part that sucks' attitude. OTOH, sometimes I feel like a studio can be like one of those 'schools' where you can go drive race cars for a bunch of money; the idea isn't to make a hit record, but for the guys to have something to make their cubicle jobs a little more bearable. I'd say make sure they know they aren't good players, and charge them for the 'fixit'.



Wait, here's the solution:
Attached Thumbnails
What do you guys do to fix extremely terrible double bass drumming?-double.jpg  
Old 30th July 2005
  #24
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Disagree in some points

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett
That! That, that, that THAT is the frigging problem! That's why we have such lame musicians today. Listen I'm a musician. I'm a very good musician who takes the job of being a musician very seriously. I've seen the general technical abilities of musicians in an overall decline for some years now. I'd like to see musicians get better, not worse. So by going after the buck to hide pimples and give the apparency that lame players can play in time, in tune and with taste we're doing EVERYONE an enormous disservice. Stop fixing their stinky ****.

You get better by practicing your instrument. There is no short cut. Musicians should be expected to enter a studio a nail it. Maybe look at them with disgust, as if they're morons. Perhaps that might light a fire underneath their asses. But to say, "Oh that's OK. It doesnt matter if you suck. I can edit that for you!" is lame, lame lame, lame lame.
Sorry, but I have too disagree in some points.

First of all mp3 and cd-copying are my problem to get good jobs (with good musicians, pre-selected by label's scouts who discovered them on a local stage). I don't like these editing jobs. In fact, I hate them. But it's a good portion of my income.
I understand that you're angry but I didn't start it. So don't blame me.
I love to record with good musicians and no edits.

And it rarely sounds great when editing is done. A lame drummer who isn't able to hit kick and HiHat together still won't groove. The maximum is that it will sound ok and without mistakes. And I grant you these guys won't make it big.

And they don't believe it either. I always show these guys how embarassing it would sound without editing.

You're right that there's no shortcut from getting better by practicing. But next time they come to me they've done this exact thing. Because it was expensiv to let me do their work. And it also trained their ears a lot.

Eddie
Old 30th July 2005
  #25
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recorderman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
4 songs in an hour, and done right.

OK..i find this hard to believe. Major, drum-detective editing on a song in 15 minutes?

I want some of what your smoking
Old 30th July 2005
  #26
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It depends what it is ultimately for. Most likely you won't be in this position if you are producing a Warner Bros act, although, occasionally I have seen less than good drummers. Lets use the hypothetical scenario you are producing your younger Brother's band that sucks for a favor. Go to their rehearsal and try to convince the drummer to loose all fills and parts he can't perform, and replace them with ones he can. Once you get to the point they are as ready as they can be, record them in Protools to a click in sections, punching in (Vrs, Chrs, Vrs, Chrs, Brdg) and so on. Loop parts that he did the best and then use Beat Detective to make them great.


www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 30th July 2005
  #27
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kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
Cut off one of his legs?

LOL !


Good solution.

Drummers like this used to drive me crazy.

They can barely keep a straight beat so they try to make themselves look better by NOT pulling off more complicated parts.

I say leave the recording as is without editing the part and maybe the drummer will go back to the woodshed and learn to play.

I`m with Henry R on this one.

Our main focus and time spent as engineers should be capturing a GOOD performance as good as we can as opposed to sitting in front of a computer trying to make a bad performance sound good with edits.
If they suck let them suck enough that they can hear it so they get better next time.

But than agian if they`re paying you to do the edits it`s kind of hard to argue with that.
Old 30th July 2005
  #28
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7 Hz's Avatar
Sample the kicks, sequence up the part, get the drummer to play live over the sequenced kicks. or do it all in the sequencer.
Old 31st July 2005
  #29
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I've never used beat detective. I'm a Nuendo guy. Is there anything in Nuendo that does the same thing? What exactly does it do? Put's it in time im assuming..
Old 31st July 2005
  #30
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Warning: humour follows...

Maybe get a good banjo picker to do a 'click track' for the drummer to follow. The only way he can get that cacophony out of his phones is to hit the kicks at exactly the same time as the banjo notes. He'll learn quickly.

Or maybe something more severe, maybe a .22 in the left kneecap?
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