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ultima 18th February 2003 02:23 PM

Drum Replacement
 
What is your approach when it come to mixing drums as in how much of the end result is the actual recording.

Im working with a band recording an album , a rock band btw.

I worked with this band a few months ago on three songs which were all recorded in a BIG hurry and just about the only way for me to squeese a proper sound out of the drum recording was to replace the Kick , Snare , toms.

Now they are back to record an album and they are pretty much counting on me doing the same thing.

They just loved the punch and the lack of any bleed on the drum tracks we did on the demos??(Somewhat sterile to my ears)

They like the fact that they dont have to spend too much time trying to get the right snare sound for the recording and can still have a wide variety of sounds.(I can appreciate that)

The drummer brings me cd´s saying that he wants this or that snare/kik sound.
So this particular band is cosy with this technique and even embrace it.

And then it dawned on me......I didnt really try very hard and get a proper sound from the recording as i planned on exchanging them anyways...( i played a lot with room mics and such but still)

Now to my question...

Will we all lose our ability to record proper drums at the source?

How much do you rely on drum replacement...?

Is it a necessary evil?


Does it have the "Autotune effect" on the performer i.e does he feel like he´s cheating or do your clients welcome the freedom of choice.

Im just wondering if i suck at recording and the stuff i listen to is all recorded and not replaced or if replacing is what everyone does?

alphajerk 18th February 2003 02:30 PM

i dunno but the new foo fighters is horrible with a replaced snare... didnt even bother getting the dynamics of rolls right. on top of it, the snare sample they chose was pretty bad to begin with.

Jules 18th February 2003 04:33 PM

I am envious of the sounds people that do it well get.

I am still developing my skills at it.

grudge

chrisso 18th February 2003 07:13 PM

I think it is a bad mistake.tutt
You lose A LOT of dynamics. Part of the beauty of a drum sound is that every snare hit is slightly different.
I can see it as a solution for problematic drum sounds, or previously recorded material you aren't happy with.
I find it incredible that people set out not to even try and get a good sound from source.
The death of the recording engineergrimm

Jax 18th February 2003 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by alphajerk
i dunno but the new foo fighters is horrible with a replaced snare... didnt even bother getting the dynamics of rolls right. on top of it, the snare sample they chose was pretty bad to begin with.
I thought "All My Life" sounded a little wierd. The dunt-dunt-dunt guitar part sounds looped and the drums sound a bit papery.

Is the rest of the record the same way?

Finstad 18th February 2003 10:10 PM

In my studio, I use Mac and Nuendo, so I cant get a replacement plug in that case. But I have Nuendo on PC as well, so i bought DRUMAGOG. You can use 16 difference veloceties. So, I record a snare who sound good. I let the drummer hit 16 stroke on it, and put that into Drumagog. Now I get a more dynamic snare with 16 difference stokes. After the replacement, I put it into my Mac.....In Pro-Tools, you can only use 3 different samples.
BUT, I dont like to replace drums !! A drumkit is ONE instrument, and every parts of a drumkit plays together. If I dont get a good drumsound in the controllroom within five minuts, there is something wrong with the mics/placements, the heads, the tuning OR the drummer. (The drummer: "if you even try to touch my drums, I brake your f......ng face !")

Finstadgrggt

alphajerk 18th February 2003 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jax
I thought "All My Life" sounded a little wierd. The dunt-dunt-dunt guitar part sounds looped and the drums sound a bit papery.

Is the rest of the record the same way?

its worse. that is actually the best sounding of the lot.... that one and the solo guitar/vox song [no drums].

the QOTSA album with dave on it is replaced as well. sounds like ****e.

picking out soundreplaced drums is like autotune on vox now. its just getting out of hand leading to lazy engineering/mixing practices. i think anyone who overuses those two crutches should be drawn and quartered.

people are going to listen back in 10 years and go, "what the **** were we thinking?"

cram 18th February 2003 11:39 PM

Quote:

the QOTSA album with dave on it is replaced as well. sounds like ****e.
Yes.

Quote:

picking out soundreplaced drums is like autotune on vox now. its just getting out of hand leading to lazy engineering/mixing practices. i think anyone who overuses those two crutches should be drawn and quartered.
Yes.

Quote:

people are going to listen back in 10 years and go, "what the **** were we thinking?"
Yes.

Finstad 19th February 2003 12:23 AM

I think, maybe, the new generation of engineers really cant select out mics, place them and "tune " them. They just cant handle a drumkit in the studio. So, they go the easy way; soundreplace it

Jay Kahrs 19th February 2003 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jax
I thought "All My Life" sounded a little wierd. The dunt-dunt-dunt guitar part sounds looped and the drums sound a bit papery.

Is the rest of the record the same way?

Yeah, I think it sounds like poo and the songs aren't that great either. I like their last album "Nothing Left to Loose" a lot and use it as a referance disc all the time.

I don't use sound replacer. I get my sounds at the source. Sometimes I'll trigger a kick or snare to augment what we have on tape rather then using lots of EQ. Like if we have a really thin, cracking snare I'll trigger something deep and mix that under to reinforce the 2 & 4.

rubykitty2000 19th February 2003 04:58 AM

You'd think that with Dave Grohl playing a good drum kit that you could get good drum sounds without having to replace them. ****, they did it for sixty years.

Yeah, those QotSA drums sound lame.

Charles

alphajerk 19th February 2003 05:40 AM

maybe they felt it was the current production flavor of the year... i dunno, but the new foo fighters is definately one of those albums where it could of been done right and not made so freaking obvious. its like dinosaur jr's green mind album... musta been an eventide trigger on that one.

are the tools finally to blame? i know its still the operator of the tools... are they just becoming less prone to greatness? lazyness?

this guy did a track for some friends of mine on their last album. set up the drums and didnt give a **** about how they sounded to "tape"... said he would replace them later. the sad thing is the drummer REALLY takes time with his instruments, his tone, his playing... and its the most souless track on the album. it drags. i mean this guy makes bonham sound like a pussy.

Jax 19th February 2003 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by alphajerk
this guy did a track for some friends of mine on their last album. set up the drums and didnt give a **** about how they sounded to "tape"... said he would replace them later. the sad thing is the drummer REALLY takes time with his instruments, his tone, his playing... and its the most souless track on the album. it drags. i mean this guy makes bonham sound like a pussy.
That ****head should be banned from recording. You gotta record the ****in' drums and USE what you recorded! Otherwise bring in some whippity-whap drum machine bull**** and don't have a drummer in your band.... and sound like ****. The guy who recorded the drums shouldn't have been allowed to charge for the time it took to load the drums in and carelessly put mics around the kit, or to record the drummer. I would make the band aware of this guy's attitude and let word get around until he has to abandon his studio 'cos nobody's showing up. The guy obviously has no taste.

dfegad dfegad dfegad dfegad dfegad dfegad dfegad

davemc 19th February 2003 06:46 AM

My spin is that more and more AE's are getting tools to make recordings more clinical. We are expected to bring the chops up of the players and everything is sounding the same.

A know a lot of engineers who just love to replace drums as they can think about the sounds in mixdown instead of tracking. Some just like using the same sounds so they have a signature sound.
I mix in a sample kick in if the player is not the best

The players themselves are getting worse and worse and the technology is making it easy. Now drummers bring in a cd of someone’s else’s playing, you sample the hits, cut up the drums in beat detective from the best take and like magic they sound ok.
A great drummer will still eat them alive.

Drumsound 19th February 2003 07:11 AM

All this sound replaced, micro edited, pitch corrected Bull **** is to the '00s as stupid sounding reverb is to the '80s. Music and musicians making music will come back (soon I hope!).

Jay Kahrs 19th February 2003 08:12 AM

The worse the player is the better the gear needs to be. It's funny, every time something new comes along it opens up a huge pandora's box for AE's and muso's. As a whole, sound replacer could and can be a valuable tool. Last year I got to finish a project for a well known hardcore heavy weight. The basics were recorded on 2" 24, tracked at 15ips on 456 at +9/185 by someone without a clue. For those that don't know analog really well the result of that tape combination and level is distorted, smeary mush. The track sheets were pretty bad and the information that was there wasn't too much of a help. Oh, there's two mics on the kick? One in and one out, then why do they sound pretty much the same???

When I mixed that I would've loved to have sound replacer around. Instead I triggered a sample to augment the kick and managed to make the snare sound halfway decent with lots of EQ and compresson. I mean, most EQ's will let you cut or boost by 12 or 15dB so why not do it if you have to? Still, the result of that EP was not pretty even though I can listen to it and live with it.

OTHO, drums are one of the easiest things to **** up and make a recording sound a demo. It takes some time and skill to place mics around a kit, tune it well and let it sing. Again, the worse the player is the more time you need to spend on it. I hope that more and more studios around me keeping using SR on kits and spending no time doing it. Eventually people will start flocking to me because I have half a clue. I hope. If not I'm opening the laundromat.

e-cue 19th February 2003 10:18 AM

Sound replacing is like hair transplants: you only notice the bad ones. Know what I'm saying? If it's done well, you can't tell, and isn't that the objective for most drum sample replacement?

When I sound replace, I don't lose dynamics, or anything else. If I did, I'd just program a drum part in an MPC and make sure the other tracks lined up with the drum program (aka, making music for robots yet.grudge ). I invite any tools into my trade, as long as I can use them effectively.

Replacing drums it NOTHING new (DMX, 2290, H3000, Wendel, F16, 3000, etc...)... It's been done for decades, but there seems to be a new school of AE's now-a-days in the DAW world that don't seem to respect the craft, or haven't gotten the knack of it yet. I don't mind the turd polishing all that much, unless it's planned.

Like if a drummer says "I know my drum sounds sucks, but just record them and replace them with "DrummerX" ", that attitude won't do jack crap for the , so called, recording process.

chrisso 19th February 2003 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by e-cue

When I sound replace, I don't lose dynamics, or anything else.

How?
10 years ago I played on a live album that was mixed by a World renowned mixer/producer.
He replaced all the kick's and snares right off the bat, without trying to use the ones that were there.
Thing was, the gig was all about dynamics.
On one particular song there was a lightly stroked snare in the verses and full hits on the chorusses.
He got the volume changes right, but the lightly stroked snare sounded like a lightly stroked cannon.
He'd used the same sample for both dynamics.
Sounded ultra lame IMO.

C.Lambrechts 19th February 2003 09:12 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by e-cue
It's been done for decades, but there seems to be a new school of AE's now-a-days in the DAW world that don't seem to respect the craft, or haven't gotten the knack of it yet. I don't mind the turd polishing all that much, unless it's planned.



Sad but true ...

e-cue 20th February 2003 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by chrisso
How?
10 years ago I played on a live album that was mixed by a World renowned mixer/producer.
He replaced all the kick's and snares right off the bat, without trying to use the ones that were there.
Thing was, the gig was all about dynamics.
On one particular song there was a lightly stroked snare in the verses and full hits on the chorusses.
He got the volume changes right, but the lightly stroked snare sounded like a lightly stroked cannon.
He'd used the same sample for both dynamics.
Sounded ultra lame IMO.


It's a time involved process and depends on the tools you are using to accomplish a seamless 'drum replacement'. In the case you mentioned, obviously the proper amount of time and skill wasn't spent on the task. But there's several ways that usually all depend on what you have to start with. With the "Sound replacer" plug in, you can set 3 different samples at 3 different thresholds with a slider for dynamics as well as a "mix" control if you desire to add the original drum with the sample that is to 'replace it' (I usually use no original signal and just put the replacer sample on a separate track so you can make adjustments easier). If you are using the F16, you can set different thresholds on different outputs, etc... If you are using a Wendell, good luck. I hate those things. (You're stuck with their samples).

Picking the right samples is important too. At the end of each session I do, I ask the drummer to give me several kicks, snares, hats, etc at several different velocities. The coolest Noble & Cooley or Black Beauty snare "wack" ain't gonna help you jack**** if the drummer is doing delicate drags and rim knocks.

Also, one of the biggest mistakes I hear with sound replaced drums is that AE's try using the best sample they have. This is wack a lot of the time. You should identify what sucks about your drums and replace THAT, not the whole thing (unless the whole drum track sucks). If you are missing the 'knock' on your snare, find a nice 800htz-ish snare. If you are missing sub on your kick, find one (with no attack) that's got a beefy low end to it. A lot of the samples I have in my 'library' sound like crap by themselves, but sound perfect for blending.

Jax 20th February 2003 08:51 PM

Hey e-cue, do you ever use Big Bottom Pro on kick or bass? I notice it sure sounds like **** soloed (which isn't how it would be used, generally), but I've had pretty good luck getting controlled low end energy into tracks with it. Pretty easy to go overboard with it and make things sound bad, though.

e-cue 20th February 2003 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jax
Hey e-cue, do you ever use Big Bottom Pro on kick or bass? I notice it sure sounds like **** soloed (which isn't how it would be used, generally), but I've had pretty good luck getting controlled low end energy into tracks with it. Pretty easy to go overboard with it and make things sound bad, though.
Yeah, and I agree totally. The 'girth' on the stand alone unit is a great example of this. You can also get some dope sounds from running "LO Fi" after this (and if you gate it, wahlah, insta-loop)

I guess that's why they call it "mixing" and not "solo'ing".

Sofa King 20th February 2003 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by chrisso
I think it is a bad mistake.tutt
You lose A LOT of dynamics. Part of the beauty of a drum sound is that every snare hit is slightly different.
I can see it as a solution for problematic drum sounds, or previously recorded material you aren't happy with.
I find it incredible that people set out not to even try and get a good sound from source.
The death of the recording engineergrimm



Ok,
Now that my helmet is properly affixed..........

I use drum samples all the time, and have used them for years.
I do primarily hard rock records, where the larger than life, consistent, big kick and snare is kinda mandatory.

I use them for the simple reasons of consistency and discretion.

There’s no way a snare will sound as good, big, open. etc, while a drummer is smashing away at 170bpm, as it does just hitting it and it alone.
Plus there is no bleed of other pieces of the kit.

So that being said, im not looking for a different sound, I like mine, I just want a more constant, cleaner version.

So at the end of each take, I will take several individual hits of each drum.
Same drum, same tuning, same, mic, etc etc etc.
So if I add drums I will add the SAME, all killer no filler, 100% beef snare on top of the performance snare.

Now triggering,
The problem ive found with sound replacer and the like is that they only look at dynamics for sample choice.
For example, lets say the drummer plays a 1 bar fill of 16th notes, all at triple forte. Then sound replacer says, "Oh loud, ok lets put the loud sample on"
So now you got 32 rapid fire, machine gun like, same samples.

Horrible.

I use an old Yamaha triggering unit, it allows the [I believe] unique option to rotate through samples, as well as the not so unique, dynamic cross fading of samples.

So ill take, 4 soft hits, 4 med hits, 4 loud hits, stack them, establish crossfade points.
This is where the magic happens, regardless of velocity, the unit triggers a new successive set of hits, each time it sees a trigger input 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 etc..

I’ve had reportedly good success with this method.
Let me know what you think!

crispy 21st February 2003 12:22 AM

Quote:

The drummer brings me cd´s saying that he wants this or that snare/kik sound.
Why would any drummer be happy with the prospect of wholesale sample replacements to his kit ('oh yeah, AND edit the **** out of it at the same time, why dontcha').

For me SR is the last resort, when nothing else will work.

Jeez, don't these guys have any PRIDE in being a musician?

Jules 21st February 2003 01:15 AM

"I use an old Yamaha triggering unit, it allows the [I believe] unique option to rotate through samples, as well as the not so unique, dynamic cross fading of samples.

So ill take, 4 soft hits, 4 med hits, 4 loud hits, stack them, establish crossfade points.
This is where the magic happens, regardless of velocity, the unit triggers a new successive set of hits, each time it sees a trigger input 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 etc..

I’ve had reportedly good success with this method.
Let me know what you think!"

Q - what is the unit called?

Q - can you detail how you get around latency & phase issues?

Thanks,

kfhkh

Sofa King 21st February 2003 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Jules
"I use an old Yamaha triggering unit, it allows the [I believe] unique option to rotate through samples, as well as the not so unique, dynamic cross fading of samples.

So ill take, 4 soft hits, 4 med hits, 4 loud hits, stack them, establish crossfade points.
This is where the magic happens, regardless of velocity, the unit triggers a new successive set of hits, each time it sees a trigger input 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 etc..

I’ve had reportedly good success with this method.
Let me know what you think!"

Q - what is the unit called?

Q - can you detail how you get around latency & phase issues?

Thanks,

kfhkh



Jules,
It was/is called a DTS70 [?], Yamaha stopped making them like 10 years ago.
It’s only a trigger interface, no sounds, just trigger to midi.
It was crazy money, like $800-$900, but it works.

Regarding the phase/ latency issue. I record the samples into PT, typically the sample lined up under the "real" track. I bump the sample track forward in time, until it sounds right against the "real" track.

I really wished that Sound Replacer had this "rotating note" feature.
As most of the drummers I record play consistently.
This is a good thing, except with Sound Replacer, as it does not do well with same velocity hits, as it plays the same sample until you play softer.

I haunt every Digi big wig I get alone with about this. The politely nod, smile nervously, and excuse themselves.

Id hate to tell you what Digi suggested as a work around.

They suggested copying the original snare track 4 times.
And on track 1 of the copies, using tab to transient, tab 4 times, select and delete that hit. Repeat to end.
Go to track 2 of the copies, using tab to transient, tab 3 times, select and delete that hit. Repeat to end.
You get the picture.



Anyway.
I feel drum replacement is like any other tool, auto tune, beat detective, etc.
Used tastefully, it’s a great help.

Take care

jho 22nd February 2003 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by alphajerk
. i mean this guy makes bonham sound like a pussy.
Blasphamy!!!madd

heh

alphajerk 22nd February 2003 05:01 PM

not if you heard him play. way better timing, way better swing, way better soul, way better tone, way better drummer.

Jax 22nd February 2003 06:54 PM

here he goes again ..




khrthjdrt

lol

alphajerk 22nd February 2003 07:36 PM

maybe i will have to export this video i shot to quicktime.