The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Drum sounds in RnB music
Old 19th August 2004
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Drum sounds in RnB music

Hi Dave,

since these songs appeared a few years ago, I was wondering how these great drum sounds in today's RnB music were created.

On "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child, for example, the drum samples have this dryly clipped punchyness while lacking the hardness inevitably introduced by clipping.

How is it done (if it's not top secret, of course :-))?

Also, in a more general way, how have all of those great sounding snare samples been made, e.g. on "Stripped"? Do you layer various snare samples to achieve this? Is there a certain trick how to puzzle them together?

Regards
Gregor
Old 21st August 2004
  #2
Lives for gear
good question, I would like to learn some more about this as well. If they are using old drum machines, what are they doing to those sounds in the mix stage to make them sound so tight yet big?


halcyo
Old 21st August 2004
  #3
Lives for gear
 
entropy's Avatar
I can't speak for Dave or Bootylicious but some of the guys I have worked with use L1 on their drum samples before they bring them into the sampler. It tends to give you a clipped punchiness, the downside is that it also tends to give you nowwhere to go with the EQ other than subtractive.

I would also be interested on what processing tricks Dave uses on his drum mix.
Old 23rd August 2004
  #4
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

You would be amazed what a crappy old sampler can do!
Old 31st August 2004
  #5
Lives for gear
 
digiman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by entropy
I can't speak for Dave or Bootylicious but some of the guys I have worked with use L1 on their drum samples before they bring them into the sampler. It tends to give you a clipped punchiness, the downside is that it also tends to give you nowwhere to go with the EQ other than subtractive.

I would also be interested on what processing tricks Dave uses on his drum mix.
Are you talking about the Waves L1 here?
Old 2nd September 2004
  #6
Gear maniac
 
spherop's Avatar
 

drum module/machine features

Let me share something that helped me immensely in this arena.

Yes - I think layering samples will help a lot. But the process of creating the layers is critical.

I recently bought Dr 008 from fxpansion.com. This drum module let me do 2 things elegantly that enabled me to rapidly improve my kick/snare on every track.

1) It has a type of pad that is a Layer pad - that can have up to 4 other pads assigned to it. When triggered by midi - the layer pad plays the others in unison - yet each of the others can be edited/muted switched out while playing the track.

2) The module auditions each selected sample in the open dialog while your groove is playing. So when you want to add another sample layer - you have the groove playing and simply select samples on your hard drive and they are bleded in.

These features, which I'm sure are in many kits, have enabled me to create layered kicks and snares that "perfectly" fit the surrounding context of the groove. Which is what IMHO really makes them convincing and potent. Previously - it was a struggle - layering and going back and forth between files and hitting play.

HTH
Old 3rd September 2004
  #7
Yea the Dr008 is great. Thanks for the tip on the layers, never noticed that before. I bought the DR005 back in the day so got to upgrade to the 008 but havent tested it out much.

Jesse
Old 4th September 2004
  #8
Gear nut
 

I think battery is better, no?
Old 4th September 2004
  #9
Quote:
Originally posted by manisedap
I think battery is better, no?
Not for me.
Old 5th September 2004
  #10
Gear maniac
 
spherop's Avatar
 

Battery

I own Battery.
I downloaded the demo of Dr 008 and for my needs it blows Battery out of the water. Purchased it online immediately + they have gigs of downloadable kits/samples many of whic are excellent.

Why Dr.008

1) It's approach to layering sounds - much easier to work with
2) Auditioning sounds *in place in groove* direct from the hard drive is worth the price of admission alone
3) Much more powerful, modular system with all kinds of capacity to generate tones and manipulate them.
Battery has not been updated in ages - Dr 008 is ambitiously forward looking. IMHO of course. And best way is to try em both. Tastes differ.
Old 5th September 2004
  #11
Lives for gear
 
jazzius II's Avatar
 

I'm not sure about using the L1 (or 2) to pump up Rap/RnB drum sounds....it's a limiter that munches transients......cleanly.....which means it'll attack and destroy the pump, crack or bang on your percussion.

I'd look more for something that would saturate the transients, rather then mathematically scale 'em back....this'll mean adding some distortion (looks round nervously for Labs) ..... My current fav', the Culture Vulture is a killer.....apogee soft limit works.....got a Neve pre handy?....overload that sucker!....on the digital side, Scrollworks Peakslammer and new Waves L3 are saturating type limiters that will preserve more of the punch.....tape?

But as someone mentioned, the ultimate sounds are best achieved thru careful layering (in the mix?)..........it's funny, we had 50cent in the studio a couple of days ago (i wasn't present)..but i heard some of the new (rough) tracks he was laying his vocals down on......they sounded like arse (GB)!.......which, i guess, goes to show how much the mix boys are putting in.
Old 9th September 2004
  #12
Lives for gear
 
entropy's Avatar
tardy reply but yes, I do mean Waves L1. And the guys that were using it weren't hitting it hard with L1, maybe knocking a db or 2 then sending into a hardware sampler. Like I said, it gives you no flexibilty eq wise but the drums had edge and presence before I touched anything. The sort of drums I'm referring to is Timbaland type things but I've also seen it and done it myself with breaks.

In fact, just processing the beats thru pre's, eq and compressors before taking it into the sampler can give some great results.

I'm also thinking that Dave prolly using a fair bit of drum multing and layering.

Still looking forward to Dave's comments
Old 26th September 2004
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Can you do crossfades in 008? like, based on velocity? So if you hit the pad soft, you mostly get the first sample, but if you hit it harder, you get progressively more of the 2nd sample?

-Stephen
Old 28th September 2004
  #14
Guest Moderator - September 08
 
Dave Pensado's Avatar
 

what I have seen...

...is the MPC3000, or 2000 is the machine of choice. Most guys just pick samples from anywhere. I keep samples that I like the sound of, and give them to my good clients. Most of the producers seem to have a DJ background, so they have quite a record collection (those 12" round black things), and they usually have some favorite records that they sample from. I am constantly amazed at how they can remember every detail of every record in their collections. I have never seen a producer that I work with do much to the samples except layer them. They get one they like, then add another for punch, another for lo end, etc. Most if not all of the processing takes place in the mix. The above describes Rockwilder, Kanye, Storch, Rodney and Damon E.

A lot of guys ask me to re-sample their drums after the mix, and then re-use them. Most guys only have 4 or 5 samples that they use a lot, but have thousands that they have never used.

I think there is also very good information in this thread. I have already explained how to process drum sounds. As always, if I didn't fully answer the question, please let me know.
Old 28th September 2004
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Thanks alot Dave, the advise you gave in one of the other threads concerning kickdrums was very valuable and already answered a great deal of my questions.

But I've still got a few (sorry for that :-)):

What can I do do to make RnB snares shine? Is there any special gear you use, any compressor settings etc.? I love the snare sounds on Christina Aguilera's album 'Stripped'.

Also, do you have any advise on how to get the bass (the instrument) right, making it sound huge and tight yet not boomy?

Is there much tube/tape/solidstate distortion involved in creating this kind of music?

Thank you very much again, it's great to have you around, I think I've already learned more in this one month than in the whole year before!
Old 29th September 2004
  #16
Dave,

Are you doing mults of each component within the layer or do you just mult the layered/mixed version?

Jesse
Old 29th September 2004
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Jesse, I'm multing single tracks only. That's what Dave does, too, at least that is what he suggested in some of his other posts.
Old 1st October 2004
  #18
Gear nut
 

I think what Dave said was spot on - the majority of stuff is sampled off vinyl. If you sample 500 snares, and then spend a could of weeks doing sound design, then the law of averages says that you will get a certain number of sweet sounds. At least this is how i work. Iv been doing loads of this stuff lately, be more for d&b and nu skool sounds. Sometimes you can get three very uninspiring drum sounds, layer them and realise you've hit the jack pot!

It really is more pot luck than any kind of method or judgement. Ofcourse you get a feel for what might and might not work, but the best hits are often a supprise.

Im sure if you get a load of nice hits together, then incorporate some of Daves mixing techniques, you'll get the results you're after.
Old 1st October 2004
  #19
Guest Moderator - September 08
 
Dave Pensado's Avatar
 

easier than you think

One of the more disappointing days in my life was when I finally saw one of my engineering heroes work. I heard these awful drum and vocal sounds he was given, then I blinked and they sounded amazing. I looked to see what gear was blinking so I could figure out what he had done (without being obvious), and I couldn't figure it out. I finally asked him, and he wasn't doing anything special, he just did some basic compression and a little EQ. I was pissed. I realized it was TALENT and NOT gear! This meant I had to go work even harder, instead of finding the magic equipment chain that would make me sound like him. Yeah, yeah, I know I am starting to sound like a broken record, but I can't impress on you enough that it is the person's taste and determination, combined with experience that determines the sound. NOT GEAR.

OK. Whew, now that we have established that, let's discuss some gear which is better than others at certain tasks. On Christina's album I added some samples to the snares and kiks. I tried to be respectful of the original sound, but added a hi end thin snare or stick to get the pop or shine. If there wasn't enough bottom, I would add an old reworked Clearmountain snare I pinched from an old (springsteen I think) album. The stick sound I used I made about 15 years ago by taking a 1/2" steel rod and using it like a regular drum stick by hitting the snare head and rim at the same time. I did the mult thing. I put the EXACT same snare (I was given) through: 1) chan 1-board EQ, and comp. 2) chan 2-a 160xt (see other posts for settings) and out of that to a tube EQ, either Pultec or VacRack. 3) chan 3-any compressor that has attack/release and ratio control ( I used a Lacy Thompson CLX) but any newer compressor will work). That's pretty much it. Check out some of the mixes by Jean Marie Horvatz. He does pretty much the same thing, as he showed me some of these tricks (along with learning some from the AMAZING Bob Power).

For the Bass I used the 120xds by DBX sometimes, also an old Roland Dimension D, along with a MOOG parametric EQ. I also like preset #35 on the Sony M7. Every once in a while I will use Tile Room from the PCM70 on a ballad.

Did I answer everything, if not let me know? Also, again, let me add that the answers/ideas by the other guys on this thread are VERY cool. Some I already do, and some I will try very soon.
Old 1st October 2004
  #20
Gear nut
 

Here's a technique Iv been using alot lately, although not so much for R & B. Might be worth trying all the same:

- Try taking a sampled snare, then make a copy.

- Send the copy to a fuzz box (i used a GT2), then record and layer with the original

- Add a nice round 909 snare for some bottom

- Send the lot to a buss, compress, then remove all the low end crap with EQ (i cut everything below 150Hz).

- Sometimes if need be, Iv been using TransX on 808 (and similar) snares to get a really bright electronic still sound.

Iv found this method to works really well for those big beat breaks type sounds. If you get a real harsh, metalic distorted hit and mix with the other hits it really give it some character.
Old 4th October 2004
  #21
Gear nut
 

Glad your here Dave! Great stuff!

Dave, and anyone else, when you use samples to add to your real drums how are you doing this?

Are you pasteing samples as you go measure by measure? That would take me forever!

I have a Mac, 001 and some good converters & pres so Im using ProTools LE.

I have triggers in all my drums and a Yamaha DTS70 trigger to midi converter. I also have Battery, Reason and other synths for sounds.
So basically I can record the triggered midi into PT along with the real audio when I track.

The thing im wondering about is, how can I bring in samples to augment the kick or snare and lay them in the right spots?

Also I play with alot of ghost notes on the snare, does this get lost with added samples?

I suppose Battery could import samples, have to check the manual.

Ive only taken this as far as throwing the headphones on and and jaming while triggering my old Zoom drum machine. Which is a Riot!

Need some tips, easy ways to try, get into this with the gear I have.
Old 5th October 2004
  #22
Gear interested
 
Ross's Avatar
 

"Are you pasteing samples as you go measure by measure? That would take me forever!"

Try Sound Replacer.........
Old 5th October 2004
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Exmun's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by lamp
The thing im wondering about is, how can I bring in samples to augment the kick or snare and lay them in the right spots?
If you can make the sounds as a MIDI file (which you say you can do) then just assign that MIDI file to a sound or sounds from your synths or samplers.

Also I play with alot of ghost notes on the snare, does this get lost with added samples? [/QUOTE]

Since the samples are just used to spice up the original snare, you would only be using the triggered/new samples on the louder non-ghost notes. Just delete any MIDI info (if any) for the ghost notes so you don't have funniness going on with the triggered samples.

I suppose Battery could import samples, have to check the manual [/QUOTE]

I don't use Battery so I don't know if Battery can do this or not. But Dave's advice (if I understood it right) is not only restricted to using samples. If you have a synth with some decent sounds you could use those and layer then in just as you would use samples... you do have a MIDI file, so you could do anything with it. I would agree, however, that you're going to get more mileage with samples versus synth patches... but you never know.
Old 5th October 2004
  #24
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ross
"Are you pasteing samples as you go measure by measure? That would take me forever!"

Try Sound Replacer.........
I think much of this stuff involves programmed loops. This means that you would only need to copy and paste hits a few times, then you can copy / paste the loop. If the beats are already sample accurate, then you dont even need to piss about lining the new hits up!
Old 5th October 2004
  #25
Gear maniac
 
travista00's Avatar
 

the latest plug-in for drum sample replacement/augmentation is here: http://www.apulsoft.ch/aptrigga/index.php .... you can use it in pro tools via the fx-pansion vst->rtas adapter and it works very nicely. you can preview sample stacking in real time to see what sounds fit the song. good ****!
Loading mentioned products ...
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
nikthegrik / Rap + Hip Hop engineering & production
13
Frequency / So much gear, so little time!
2
Burt / So much gear, so little time!
8

Forum Jump