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are pro results possible with v-drum/ bfd?
Old 17th July 2010
Gear Guru
u b k's Avatar

In my experience the samples simply don't move air the way raw recorded drums do, nor do they blow up when compressed, they just kind of go 'thwap' like a wet piece of cardboard. I have a few theories as to why this is, but those don't seem important here.

The samples have tons of snap, it always sounds digital and artificial to me even when processed thru some hefty analog comps and eq.

What falls flat for me the most is the way the room fills up with sound when drummer really begins to play into it, the way the room breathes. These sample engines have a decent variety of tones and timbres, but they fall waaaay short to my ears when it comes to the raw dynamic power of the real deal.

I'm not sure how much any of this matters to someone going for results that are 'pro' or 'modern', because to my ears even real drums haven't sounded very real in pop music for the better part of 3 decades, and in the last 15 starting with country and moving into top 40 everything just sounds generic and 'samey'.

I have no doubt I could produce results with something like addictive drums that would fool most people, including engineers on this board. I know this because I've done it. But that was within a specific context going for a specific vibe, and by keeping it simple and focusing on groove and tiny but meaningful variations the effect was more than good enough. But lord it was tedious, and IMO recording real drums is vastly more efficient and the results are ALWAYS more satisfying on a visceral and emotional level.

Hell, a 4038 2' over the snare sounds and feels better to me, but if you don't have the kit and the player, or if the label and producer are calling the shots, then you do what you gotta do.

In short: good enough? Yes. Inspiring? Not that I've ever heard.

Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 17th July 2010
Lives for gear
John Suitcase's Avatar

Every now and then I think about buying one of those 'drum brain' units and a handful of piezo triggers, just to lay down a midi version of the drums when I'm tracking something. I don't know that I'd use it, but it might be nice to have, especially with drummers who want a sound that's basically nothing like what their real drums sound like. Of course, I rarely use any samples, unless I have a technical issue. Having said that, does anyone do this? Just as a safety, rather than going back and using a trigger on the mic'd sound, just use something like an Alesis D4 (showing my age!) and record a midi track, while also recording the actual mic' kit?

I'm also thinking that the cymbals will sound better than samples, as will the room (providing it's decent!)
Old 17th July 2010
Lives for gear
stagefright13's Avatar

Well once again I read almost none of this thread. So keep that in mind.

I like BFD A lot. Very cool program! You could actually use it to record an album. But these programs really fall short when the song changes mid swing or when you record a slower song and those samples are still kicking like song 2 etc.

Too much work for me. I rather mic it. It is actually faster and sounds better. But is great for song writing. You can link up a string in BFD and go nuts. And sounds good!

The best thing is to enhance the drums with samples. You still have the original feeling but also have the snappier sound. Just my useless opinion.........

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