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Layering Toms
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Layering Toms

For those of you that have layered toms before, do you ever tune or pitch shift the toms so that they match more closely in pitch? Toms have more of a pitch to them than say a snare or a kick so I wonder how it's usually done.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSLand View Post
For those of you that have layered toms before, do you ever tune or pitch shift the toms so that they match more closely in pitch? Toms have more of a pitch to them than say a snare or a kick so I wonder how it's usually done.
It's often a good idea to "sample" the actual toms themselves, (The ones on the kit you are tracking) with room mics, overheads, get a few velocity layers, or ask the drummer to play some standard fills...but....slowly...., sample the hits individually at realistic striking velocity, you can then tailor the decay however you like, and manufacture decay/release for the same Tom having been struck, with crossfades.

You can then treat them however you like and insert them over (Phase notwithstanding) or instead of the actual fill if the drummer played the hits it's often quite easy to recreate his fills....for that clean, antiseptic "Look at Meee! I'm an engineeeer!" sound.

I would usually do it this way as I think sample layering live drums ALWAYS sounds like **** (Lipstick on my ass...you're still making out with my ass) and indicate that recording a drummer wasn't the optimal trajectory for "beat-like" percussionisms. BFD or something like it would have been the better choice in such cases.

Didn't matter who I watched do it, and I watched some guys with decent resumes import their 200 sample perfect kick drums and start muting and unmuting...first I was like "Kay...guess this is the deal, even though I'm not hearing it" Then a little later it was "Yep...this is B.S"

To specifically answer your question: Pitch em' down, up...whatever! Just make sure they SOUND GOOD.....but in my estimation, sample layering is fools gold.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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Xander's Avatar
I always record one shots of each drum with 3-4 velocity layers and 3-4 hits of each for round-robin sampling. Then I use these as my samples either 100% or blended with the original hits. I often avoid using gates with this method, it really cleans things up and avoids pitch issues that you're talking about when using other samples.

But if the toms were hopeless and for some reason I can't get them to work in the mix, then yes, I will adjust the pitch of a sample to try to get it the same pitch that the original tom was. This ensures that it works with the sound of the original toms that still comes through the overhead and room mics. I use Slate Trigger 2 and it has pitch shifting built in. Makes it super easy.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSLand View Post
For those of you that have layered toms before, do you ever tune or pitch shift the toms so that they match more closely in pitch? Toms have more of a pitch to them than say a snare or a kick so I wonder how it's usually done.
Can you clarify what you mean by "layered"??

In general you tune toms to a scale based on the key or harmonics of the song. Depending on how many toms you could tune some to the same note just different octaves . So your highest tom could be the same note as your low floor tom. Think of a shred guitar player string skipping down a scale. He starts at a root note and ends an octave lower on the same note.

You can do lots of things, there are no rules, do what sounds the best for the song. But to keep things as musical as possible you should tune to a scale of some type. Lot's of people don't though. It takes some time to do it right.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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I just load an assload of them up on my sampler and just start jamming.

How can you go wrong?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

load an assload

Gotta remember that....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
load an assload

Gotta remember that....
I tried ****load but GS censored me.

I have some sampled banks of Roland R-8 toms and Alesis D-4 toms, pitching/layering those toms around are great for that kind of thing.

One I did, lots of layered toms...starts at 12:20.

Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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I read elsewhere where a particular engineer said he likes to do a 50/50 blend of sampled tons from a different kit along with the original toms from the band he's recording. There was no elaboration on what happens in mixing regarding tuning or anything so I was curious. The only thing I've ever blended was snares. Never toms though. I'm gonna experiment and see what I can come up with...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Head
My issue with layering different toms is that the overtones tend to be different, even if you tune the fundamental the same.

This is less of an issue with snares and kicks because the fundamental tends to die quickly. With a ringing tom though, it usually sounds pretty bad to me.

My experience has been with tucking samples under self-recorded toms or blending two different samples together.

It never sounds right to me and usually obscures the tone.

I could see using one sample with a very short tail to emphasize the transient and the other for the tone.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Sigma's Avatar
just make the drummer tune sympathetically..i've never replaced toms
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Murky Waters's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSLand View Post
I'm gonna experiment and see what I can come up with...
The right answer to every question.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Addict
Like others have said - I get the drummer to give me clean hits of all the kit at the end of the session. Then I blend the tom, OH and room mics to taste and CAPOW - it's all good to sample and match. With great drummers it's not as critical to enhance/replace as they hit each drum more consistently and accurately than the average drummer.

Tony
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