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Addictive Drums Mixing Workflow Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 27th January 2017
  #1
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Arseny's Avatar
Addictive Drums Mixing Workflow

Addictive Drums has its small console inside the plugin: some routing and FX.

A) Do you mix in that AD-Console? And use the FX and drum bus processing there?

B) Or you send all the drum channels to your DAW separately. Like in Logic Pro the Multiple Outputs? If yes, do you mute AD Master section and the AD Drum bus?

Just curiuos...
Old 27th January 2017
  #2
eb7
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I send everything out to my DAW individually except for the toms, which I prefer to mix in AD and work with as a stereo track in my DAW.
Old 27th January 2017
  #3
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I work within AD to tweak and mix a kit, in general.

But I send the individual kit pieces/tracks to individual DAW tracks, where I apply effects and mix changes on a per song basis.
Old 29th January 2017
  #4
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Arseny's Avatar
Do you use the AD master channel fx as well? Or you bypass them and use instead rather some plugins or hardware on the master? Or Both, hardware and plugins?

Theoreticaly there are a lot of stages where we can apply some processing:
1. Single AD Channel
2. Drum Bus AD
3. Master AD

4. DAW single channel (plugins)
5. DAW Drum bus (plugins)

6. Hardware inserts or sends

The inuition says: the most juice you will get from the later (hardware) and then, on the 2nd place, from some good plugs and maybe lastly from the processing inside AD.

But if you bypass all rhe processing inside the AD, the kit doesnt sound The same anymore. You got to do mix it again in the DAW, which takes a bit time, but probably delivers better results, if you know what you are do and if your plugins (maybe some arrousor and similar or even reprinted distressor parallel) are not of significantly better quality than the processing inside the addictive drums?

Is the quality of all the FX inside AD on the same level like dome uad plugs?

I mean, there is a plenty if stuff going there: same transient shaper, time envelope designer, compressor, tape saturation, eq...

One interestibg thing is that some panning get lost if sending through multiple outputs. Not an isssue, you can re-pan in thE DAW, but good to know:

https://www.xlnaudio.com/support/top...ts-an-overview

Last edited by Arseny; 29th January 2017 at 09:46 AM..
Old 29th January 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
I send everything out to my DAW individually except for the toms, which I prefer to mix in AD and work with as a stereo track in my DAW.
Interesting! Why do you that with toms only?just curious!
Old 29th January 2017
  #6
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I had been using this mixer and just using the stereo track, but on my last project I bypassed their mixer and sent the drums to their own tracks. It sounded a lot more natural to me that way.
Old 30th January 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougb415 View Post
I had been using this mixer and just using the stereo track, but on my last project I bypassed their mixer and sent the drums to their own tracks. It sounded a lot more natural to me that way.
Thanks, good to know. That's what I've been interested in, if somebody is bypassing them, coz they're not on the same level like some really good plugins.

However, to me the AD internal processing sounds ok as a preview, but nothing special in general. I just didn't have much time to try it and hear it in a mix context.

Last edited by Arseny; 30th January 2017 at 09:15 PM..
Old 30th January 2017
  #8
eb7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arseny View Post
Interesting! Why do you that with toms only?just curious!
I just find it easier to set the panning and relative levels in AD, rather than have four individual tracks in the DAW. Since I output every other part of the kit to separate tracks, the AD master is just the toms.

The built-in effects aren't bad, although they're not on par with the UAD stuff. If I had to do a mix with them, I'm sure it would be OK. But I have some plugins that I'm more familiar with and that offer more parameters to control than the relatively simple ones built into AD. Also, I like having all of the tracks laid out in one place, instead of having to open AD to work on the drums separately.
Old 13th February 2018
  #9
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Yeah I gotta say I love the way the presets sound in AD once I pick a kit, and I've been tempted to keep the mixer settings that AD selects and just use their processing, EQ, compression, etc, and then mix "into" the drum kit after I stem it out...at this point, i've been sending the discreet AD outputs to Studio One individual channels completely dry, and then i basically have to re-EQ, compress, reverb the entire drum mix, and sometimes, based on my current knowledge on how to get a great drum sound, I'm curious if I'll get better results by stemming out the drums already mixed and then fold the rest of my instruments into the AD drum mix...

Has anyone approached it that way in a rock format with decent results? My hunch is my own decisions about EQ and compression are probably less-informed than the preset mixes that AD selects in the plugin itself. Of course, AD is mixing the drums to sound great soloed, and once they are sitting in the larger mix, things may need additional tweaks and now you've already committed to all your drum mix settings...obviously I can tweak fader settings, but would be curious how things sounds with everything else dialed in via the AD mix and FX console...

Anyone have any experience with that approach?

Last edited by mrpiano; 13th February 2018 at 05:59 PM..
Old 14th February 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiano View Post
Yeah I gotta say I love the way the presets sound in AD once I pick a kit, and I've been tempted to keep the mixer settings that AD selects and just use their processing, EQ, compression, etc, and then mix "into" the drum kit after I stem it out...at this point, i've been sending the discreet AD outputs to Studio One individual channels completely dry, and then i basically have to re-EQ, compress, reverb the entire drum mix, and sometimes, based on my current knowledge on how to get a great drum sound, I'm curious if I'll get better results by stemming out the drums already mixed and then fold the rest of my instruments into the AD drum mix...

Has anyone approached it that way in a rock format with decent results? My hunch is my own decisions about EQ and compression are probably less-informed than the preset mixes that AD selects in the plugin itself. Of course, AD is mixing the drums to sound great soloed, and once they are sitting in the larger mix, things may need additional tweaks and now you've already committed to all your drum mix settings...obviously I can tweak fader settings, but would be curious how things sounds with everything else dialed in via the AD mix and FX console...

Anyone have any experience with that approach?
I've used AD both ways.

I think it is important to decide if you think the effects within the AD plugin sound good to you -- I personally think they do sound good -- so I:
  • Use the presets list to first find a kit that matches closely what I want to hear for the song.
  • If the kit needs tweeks, I start by changing out kit pieces, such as the kick drum, or the hihat, to get the sound closer to waht I want.
  • Tweek the level of the room mic and overhead mic channels.
  • Adjust the level of the kit piece itself, because that effects the level to the overhead and room mics also -- otherwise just changing the fader level on the snare channel, for instance, only affects the level for the mic that is on the snare -- not the overhead and room mics.
  • Tweek the effects last.

If you are not happy with the AD effects, send the drums to individual DAW channels and mix from scratch.
Old 14th February 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
I love the presets in AD and think the effects are mostly good enough to mix with, the slight weak link I find is the relatively small size of the kits which I hear reflected in less velocity layers/round robins (eg obvious transitions and some machine gunning)... Not impossible to get around by tweaking midi but I wish they were just more generous with the sampling, and don't really get why xln skimp on this. Same with addictive keys, nice recording, great presets, but only a few layers.
Old 18th February 2018
  #12
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If I use a midi groove from AD, I usually start by selecting all the hits in the MIDI editor, and reduce the overall velocity — this changes the overall feel of the whole kit, and is especially helpful for softer songs.
Old 5th April 2018
  #13
I've been using ezDrummer 2 and AD2 for a fair while, trying to bash square pegs into round holes. EZD2 I find easier to find a midi groove suitable for my song (but even that's a battle) but AD2 has much better sound. Trying to mix EZD2 into my stuff is a walking nightmare. Totally my fault, as I'm sure plenty of people get great results.

The biggest frustration for me is in not being able to find midi bites that suit the feel of my song. AD2, for example, has a gazzilion offerings...which just don't work for me. So frustrating.
Old 1st July 2018
  #14
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I've been using AD for about 5 years, off and on, and only more-recently got serious about becoming more of a 'power user' and relying on its advanced features more-heavily.

Short answer to your question: I used to do A, now I do B. I route everything except the "bus" to individual tracks, and mute the Bus unless i want to use it for a return for AD2 internal effects.

In the past i used rackmount/MPC samplers with ~-8-16 outs and had lots of custom drum libraries, and i'd keep the drums 'out of the box' (even tho they were programmed in midi) because it reduced complexity in the DAW and i liked the punch i got from recording them back in as groups

Then i went to NI Battery and tried emulating the same process in the box for a few years, w/ mixed results

Then i tried using AD and i liked the speed with which i could flip between kits and quickly customize kits and mix them. It was more flexible and intuitive than Battery, w/ much/most of the same capability

for first 2 years i mostly mixed AD kits 100% in the plugin itself, and just routed everything to a stereo track.

more recently i've been doing a lot more parallel drum mixing, and the routing options of AD began to raise problems (and doubled the CPU demands that AD put on the DAW)

In the last few months i built a Group-Tracks template within Ableton, where AD2 is in a 'master' Drum Rack with all the pad outputs muted, and then all the AD2 audio is routed pre-fader to a set of return tracks, which i can mix & process individually within Ableton, using Ableton or 3rd party vst's

What i prefer about this process is that i can do all the drum midi programming on a single track/clip (and where the drums are all labeled in the piano roll)...

....and i can also have all the individual drum audio returns mixed in the DAW itself, which means i can turn off 80% of the AD2 internal FX drum-processing, which cuts the CPU use of the plug-in down about 30-50% or more.

I think some of the internal AD2 processing can sometimes be good/useful (the pitch + envelope controls, specifically)...

... but i think what they do with it for preset kits is often gratuitous/over-the-top to create the appearance of "wide range of sounds!". nice for "wow" factor when auditioning a range of options, but in reality IMO, you're not going to use ANY AD2 kits exactly the way they're set up as presets.

In most cases, you're better off stripping off most of the AD2 processing and just bringing the raw drums in clean to record. if you want to dirty/wet them up, you can do so to taste after the fact. That's just me, tho.

In case anyone wants the Ableton template, here it is. It should be self explanatory

Dropbox - !SUPER AD2 Group.als

Cheers,

(this is my first post, fwiw. lurker since ... early 2000s or so
Old 1st July 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CEOUNICOM View Post
Short answer to your question: I used to do A, now I do B.
Thanks! That encourages us to turn off the AD2 processing, especially if one has high quality plugins. But the AD2 processing still has its role as a preview.
Old 1st July 2018
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arseny View Post
Thanks! That encourages us to turn off the AD2 processing, especially if one has high quality plugins. But the AD2 processing still has its role as a preview.
To be clear -

I think some of it is often more important than as "preview" - i think AD2 does a lot of smart stuff with their drum processing in specific areas;

e.g. pitch-matching drums with one another, and shaping individual envelopes so that similar sets of multisampled drums can be used in extremely different ways. think of how a real drummer will tune heads, or tape snare skins, or pad their kicks to reduce boominess + ring (or vice versa - loosen up heads and get more 'slap' and bass)

basically, the "top line" of FX in their edit window - the pitch, envelope controls, and filters - imo are the best and most-powerful tools they offer. The slight tweaks there are in fact 80% of the real value between different preset kits

the second tier of the Fx/processing - iow, the added noise, compression, saturation, verb sends, etc - ... imo, you can ditch ALL that stuff. its nice as ear candy by itself, but often it doesn't help when you are trying to make drums fit into your specific mixing situation.

the presets sound cool! don't get me wrong. But i personally find it both better sounding, and less-CPU intensive, to simply set up a parallel compressor-chain, and/or a saturation chain, which I can add to taste during the mixing process. Starting with them 'premixed as they are' often feels like you're using someone else's drums in your song.

hth
Old 1st July 2018
  #17
AD2 needs to compile their midi into song structure. They have huge numbers of loops with no corresponding fills, intros, verse, chorus, outro etc.
Old 20th July 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
AD2 needs to compile their midi into song structure. They have huge numbers of loops with no corresponding fills, intros, verse, chorus, outro etc.
If that's how you roll, I recommend you get a hold of some of the EZ Drummer + Groove Monkee MIDI libraries, and use their AD-mapped versions

(or convert them: there's a simple utility floating around on the net that will convert midi files from one Drum-Mapping to another)

New Version of MIDI File Mapper

i'm not a big user of those sorts of things, but i have borrowed from them on occasion for more-complex programming purposes.
Old 21st July 2018
  #19
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I generally dont like a lot of processing on my drums. So I am happy with the more natural sounding presets and usually just tweak stuff like room amount, snare top/bottom blend etc..
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