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are pro results possible with v-drum/ bfd?
Old 14th September 2009
  #1
are pro results possible with v-drum/ bfd?

and i mean album-level results- not homerecording stuff.
do you know any major-productions where this was used?

i'm not talking about replacing drums, but having a drummer in my studio performing on a roland set with triggered bfd sounds. is this any good or a bad idea?

are there latency problems with protools hd?
Old 14th September 2009
  #2
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Done it on lots of records. You won't get a super organic sound, but it works.
Old 14th September 2009
  #3
can you give me an example. the user submitted stuff on the bfd site kind of scares me...

i think the vistalite kitt might sound cool.....
i got to make a choice in the next two days...
Old 14th September 2009
  #4
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feck's Avatar
Go to my site Stranded On A Planet - you will hear plenty of music done with just about every drum sample set out there. My clients are happy, as am I.
Old 14th September 2009
  #5
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alyricalmind's Avatar
 

It's just high quality sampled recordings of drum hits collected into a software... your drummer hits a pad, the kick drum will sound as if he had just played it. Of course the velocities won't sound 100% live but it will definitely do the job and without the hassles of trying to mic a drumset.
Old 14th September 2009
  #6
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
and i mean album-level results- not homerecording stuff.
do you know any major-productions where this was used?
I'll bet money if you were to go into the Best Buy and pick up ten random "pop" albums from the past year, that have drums, at least 1 out of those 10 would have been done with something along the lines of BFD.... meaning ONLY samples.... no real drums.

Don't have any proof, but that's what it sounds like to me. IMO, drums do NOT sound very organic in pop music right now. So, if that's what you're going for.........
Old 14th September 2009
  #7
so organic sounding rock albums are not possible?
you can tell it's the vdrum?
Old 14th September 2009
  #8
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RMJAZZ's Avatar
 

Check out Brian McKnight and Alicia Keys projects...that's what BFD sounds like. And if you are ever in the D.C. area, email me and you can come by my place and try it out.

Rob
Old 14th September 2009
  #9
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RMJAZZ's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post
I'll bet money if you were to go into the Best Buy and pick up ten random "pop" albums from the past year, that have drums, at least 1 out of those 10 would have been done with something along the lines of BFD.... meaning ONLY samples.... no real drums.

Don't have any proof, but that's what it sounds like to me. IMO, drums do NOT sound very organic in pop music right now. So, if that's what you're going for.........
It's my understanding that on most pop records the engineer is replacing the drum sounds with samples anyway.....so I bet you hear BFD or a similar software on 90% of the pop records today!
Old 14th September 2009
  #10
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narcoman's Avatar
 

there are plenty of tracks out there with vdrum/BFD type things going on. In fact there have been such combos for YEARS. Elsatica did a lot of drumKat / S1000 stuff years ago.

As for latency in HD. --- as the s/w has nothing to do with the HD cards the latency will depend on two things. The spec of your Mac/PC and the buffer setting on the cards.

It'll need to be 256 samples to make it nice and usable and the Mac will need to be able to handle the RTAS load at that rate.... so pretty much a Mac Pro upwards....
Old 14th September 2009
  #11
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A friend of mine does all the Disney Cheetah Girls/Corbin Bleu/Hanna Montana stuff.
He uses Logic pro 8 and BFD.
Old 14th September 2009
  #12
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
so organic sounding rock albums are not possible?
you can tell it's the vdrum?
Ohhhh you can get a nice "organic" sounding rock album... sure... it just won't sound very "modern". I can't tell if it's VDrums per say, but I feel I can pick out when it's 99% samples.
Old 14th September 2009
  #13
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Quote:
i'm not talking about replacing drums, but having a drummer in my studio performing on a roland set with triggered bfd sounds. is this any good or a bad idea?
These days, the end result will be fine for most pop-type productions...but the drummer may not enjoy it as much.
Old 23rd September 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
so organic sounding rock albums are not possible?
you can tell it's the vdrum?

Catch 33 anyone? Granted it wasn't triggered by vdrums and it was programmed... but DFH sounds much more organic Especially for rock, and triggers well with vdrums.
Old 25th September 2009
  #15
i looked at dfh but i don't like the kit-selection that much. bfd seems to have more unique samples to choose from. otherwise this becomes even more unoriginal, i think....
Old 24th October 2009
  #16
after testing all products i went with toontracks superior drummer, because i do agree that it sounds the most organic. i do have some trouble with it and will start a new thread about that-

but for now- thank you!
Old 24th October 2009
  #17
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inthere's Avatar
 

For what you want to do, BFD 2 is probably most suited. Their drum samples are the most lifelike.
Old 24th October 2009
  #18
not in my opinion. it sounds great- but it doesn't feel right.
Old 24th October 2009
  #19
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Peter Stengaard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by akai96 View Post
A friend of mine does all the Disney Cheetah Girls/Corbin Bleu/Hanna Montana stuff.
He uses Logic pro 8 and BFD.
I tried with v-drums too - having worked with BFD2 and all expansion packs for a while and loving it...I ended up sending the v-kit back - it was fun to play but in the end takes longer cuz you have to tweak the midi to make it sound right - velocities, timing etc...for me it's faster to just program it exactly how I want it. And btw I have Protools 8 HD on an 8 core mac and I had to work in Logic to not have constant hiccups from the cpu load that Protools hits you with...Logic is so much more efficient with software instruments...
Old 24th October 2009
  #20
You can get very realistic results if you take the time to learn how to use it to maximum effect, and of course how to mix drums, and if you play the drums for real and don't program them in. I've been really working at this for like 2 years now with BFD, and learning the whole drum production thing, and I've finally started to get results that I think are completely passable.

I play mine with a ZenDrum LT, which is a great alternative for folks without the room for an electronic drum kit, but who want a really high quality instrument to play their MIDI drums with. I've not had that but for about maybe 4 months or so, so I'm still mastering it. But the drums I just did for my current tune are, IMO, something that no one would even question as not being real (unless of course they were told before hand that they weren't real, in which case a lot of people would then start trying to find reasons to say why they don't sound real.)

To me, the big things are (meaning BFD specific, leaving aside just the usual issues of mixing drums):

1. Choose the drums to fit the occasion. Get all the expansion packs, which have the highest quality raw samples in them. That gives you a variety of drums that most big studios couldn't boast. Spend the time to find the drums that fit best with the least processing. This has taken me a long time and I still have a ways to go, because the raw sound can be misleading, and sometimes just a wee bit of processing can change the whole picture and make a non-obvious selection be the good one.

2. Tweak the MIDI where needed, which is nothing but the MIDI equivalent of automation, to even further reduce the need for processing. There's just no need to use a compressor as a leveler in a BFD setup, when you can fix overly loud hits directly. Use compression for aesthetic purposes only.

2b. Be very aware of velocity/duration vs. drum tone. Sometimes a given drum will kill and require no processing when it stays within a certain velocity and/or duration range. Instead of processing it, work the data to move those outliers back within that range, while maintaining a human feel.

2c. Tweak the fade settings appropirately for the song. These control how multiple close hits on the same kit piece react. It can make a big difference to the realism, and will be different for a slow ballad vs. a fast and precise piece.

2d. Really work the damping controls, because it can also mean a lot less processing required. And, see #4 below, really use that to your advantage when working the individual channels and change it to maximize the result without processing.

3. Really learn how to take advantage of the extra benefits that BFD provides. You can control bleed. You can selectively remove drums from the overheads, rooms, and PZMs, which is very useful, and you can selectively control the volumes of each drum in those stereo channels, and selectively control their damping. You can delay the stereo channels relative to the directs for more depth.

4. Use plugs to rough out the sound for the tracking phase. Then at the end bounce it via some nice hardware. And use #3 heavily here. You can separately bounce the directs, rooms, overheads, and PZMs in separate passes, and you can change all those things mentioned above in each pass to optimize them. This often means you need far less EQ.

You can selectively change the balance between inside/outside kick or top/bottom snare separately in each of those stereo channel bounces to get what you want with less processing. You can get just enough toms in the rooms/overheads to complement your direct tom mics. You can reduce the kick drum in the rooms to avoid boominess without having to roll it off nearly so heavily and lose perhaps the heaviness of the snare you want to get from them. You can emphaize the snare bottom in the rooms for a more ambience softer sound, and emphasize the snare top in the overheads for more punch. You can push up the cymbals in the rooms and down in the overheads so that you don't need so much high end cut on the overheads to keep the cymbals from being too loud relative to the toms. You can damp the drums less in the rooms for more ambience and more in the directs and overheads.

All that kind of stuff is doable and can really add up if you learn how to take advantage of them.

5. Add distortion to taste. The BFD samples are very well and cleanly recorded, but that may not be optimal for more indie/rock stuff. If you do some parallel comp, maybe distort that a bit for some dirt. Or do a separate pass of your direct mics out through guitar pedals for some dirt and mix that in under the originals, that kind of thing. You can sometimes use the rooms for that, but if that makes it too ambient for the style, directly adding distortion is a good altermative.

6. Separately control the width/depth of the overheads, rooms and PZMs. You can do some cool stuff, like keep the drums mostly pretty narrow, which I prefer most of the time. But then set up the PZMs so that they fairly high passed but too bright, heavily limited, gated, and delayed, and fairly wide, and mixed in subtley. It can create a great sort of wide sparkle after every hit that can add a great ambience, that kind of stuff. And again, you can control the relative levels of all the kit pieces for maximum effect. Remove the cymbals or high hat from them if that's a problem, etc...
Old 24th October 2009
  #21
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Marineville's Avatar
 

I play all my drum parts into Logic using a Hart Pro kit through a Roland TD20 brain triggering DFH2. Much quicker for me that way and more natural than pressing buttons. Very pleased with the results too, especially using the Nashville add on pack. Very organic drums!

I can also thoroughly recommend the Korg PadKontrol, great if I'm too lazy to shuffle over to the kit and play it in!
Old 24th October 2009
  #22
The ZenDrum is vastly superior to the padKontrol. So for folks looking for something way better than those very inexpensive and hard to play pieces like the padKontrol, but less expensive and space sucking than a full e-kit, the ZenDrum LT is a great option:

Zendrum | Catalog
Old 25th October 2009
  #23
BFD2 played on a Yamaha DTXtremeIII kit, MIDI recorded into Pro Tools HD:



Customer's tunes done with BFD:

https://www.platinumsamples.com/Customer_Tunes.html

Rail
Old 25th October 2009
  #24
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badboymusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatinumSamples View Post
BFD2 played on a Yamaha DTXtremeIII kit, MIDI recorded into Pro Tools HD:

YouTube - Platinum Samples: Bobby Jarzombek playing Evil Drums for BFD

Rail
That my friends is why I use Evil Joe's Platinum Samples.

Although, I had to ask Bobby not to twirl the sticks like that (watch at 2:27), as my cat kept going crazy and jumping on him.
Old 30th October 2009
  #25
well, i listened to a lot of examples (including the one obove) and that (bfd) is not my idea of organic sounding drums. but i don't meen to make a toontracks indorsment since i have a very, very hard time making it work with my setup.........
Old 31st October 2009
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
well, i listened to a lot of examples (including the one obove) and that (bfd) is not my idea of organic sounding drums. but i don't meen to make a toontracks indorsment since i have a very, very hard time making it work with my setup.........
The biggest shortfall I hear in examples like this is that typical machine gun sound often heard mostly due to the improper, or lack of velocity mapping (which is drummer-specific by the way; one size does not fit all).

Proper velocity mapping will ensure that the difference in striking a pad at varying velocities, even if minute, will translate closer to the way a real kit would sound (providing differences in loudness, brightness, transient attack, pitch, sustain, etc. based on velocity). Note that drums sound a lot different as you veer closer to the rim as well, but this can be emulated somewhat by randomizing the samples, for one. I'm not sure if that Yamaha kit can trigger different samples based on distance from the center of the pad, but if so, that would be the obvious method there.

Another trait I find lacking in examples like these is the realism of the many tones/overtones a cymbal can produce. Hi hats, for example, are extremely difficult to emulate, and nothing comes remotely close IMO. Especially if the drummer plays the hi hats intricately, which was not the case in the above example at all. By the way, there's nothing stopping you from using real cymbals here, which would be easy to mic up, and would give a much more natural sound.

Lastly, there's also the lack of "drum bleed" in a lot of these samples, which provide even more realism IMO. In other words, many of these samples are typically recorded alone without other drums next to the mic'ed one, also with their respective mics on (unless something's changed since I last listened). An example: Listen to a typical well-mic'ed kit that doesn't use any gating. When a tom is struck, for example, you're going to hear the snares vibrating from the tom resonance!
Old 31st October 2009
  #27
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Pro results are pretty easy with BFD once you get the hang of it. I myself use Digi's Strike, start with a preset of suitable vibe and proceed to change everything about it. Presets can sound a bit stiff in my opinion, but are easy to change.

But the more 'real' you want it, the more time you have to invest. It's nothing for me to spend a whole day writing/rewriting one drum track, or an hour on one fill - it's what you have to do to get it 'just so' (if you're not a drummer). Results are way worth the effort though.

We don't release too much without some level of drum replacement anymore - it's the sound the client demands
Old 31st October 2009
  #28
BFD does provide drum bleed. You can choose not to use it, but it's there.

As to the machine gun thing, I deal with it by mapping each drum to two pads on my ZenDrum. So I end up playing rolls with two hands, hitting different pads, so it has the kind of variation you'd naturally get because of different attack with separate hands (fingers in my case.)
Old 1st November 2009
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSueMe View Post
.
In other words, many of these samples are typically recorded alone without other drums next to the mic'ed one, also with their respective mics on (unless something's changed since I last listened).
And for the record, all of Toontrack's samples are recorded within the full kit set up, through all mics, bleed everywhere as per a real kit on a real recording session.
Old 1st November 2009
  #30
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSueMe View Post
The biggest shortfall I hear in examples like this is that typical machine gun sound often heard mostly due to the improper, or lack of velocity mapping (which is drummer-specific by the way; one size does not fit all).

Proper velocity mapping will ensure that the difference in striking a pad at varying velocities, even if minute, will translate closer to the way a real kit would sound (providing differences in loudness, brightness, transient attack, pitch, sustain, etc. based on velocity). Note that drums sound a lot different as you veer closer to the rim as well, but this can be emulated somewhat by randomizing the samples, for one. I'm not sure if that Yamaha kit can trigger different samples based on distance from the center of the pad, but if so, that would be the obvious method there...
Yes. That's the single biggest issue IMO. A lot of folks don't set up velocities well (or don't set them up at all) then wonder why the sounds are not organic and blame the s/w or the triggers etc.

It *can* be done, however.
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