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Drum Augmentation/Replacement: What are the "big guys" using? Virtual Instrument Plugins
View Poll Results: What replacement/augmentation software do you like best?
Drumagog
19 Votes - 51.35%
ApTrigga
3 Votes - 8.11%
Sound Replacer
6 Votes - 16.22%
Other (Drum Rehab, DrumTracker, etc)
9 Votes - 24.32%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

Old 30th March 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
musicjohnny's Avatar
 

Drum Augmentation/Replacement: What are the "big guys" using?

Ok, here's what I want to know: how are the guys who are mixing the major label releases (e.g. CLA, Andy Wallace, Mike Shipley) who say that they sometimes augment their recorded drums with samples get their sound to be so tight in regards to their samples being in time, in phase, and without the slightest bit of machine gun effect? Basically the difference that I hear between my augmentations (using Drumagog, ApTrigga, DrumTracker, and a LOT of great sample libraries) is in those areas. Even when I augment very discretely there are still artifacts that pop up as a result of some of the 'eccentricities' in the triggering engines of the aforementioned programs.

How are the pros/all the rest of you GSers working around that? Is it a combination of programs/methods? Splitting drum tracks up and using different settings for different parts? (that's how i currently get drumagog to sound halfway alright)
Or....maybe interns with good knowledge of "tab to transient" shortcuts? heh
Let's hear some techniques!
Old 30th March 2010
  #2
Can't beat manual checking for accuracy...I've never worked for the names you mention, but plenty of guys I've worked for have the assistant check things (I'm not at the level yet where I get to delegate, but I check every hit manually for myself!)
Old 30th March 2010
  #3
I think if you try it, you'll find that no program does sample replacement-augmentation quite as well as taking the time to tab through the track and replace hits by hand. Alternate samples to alleviate the "machine gun" effect.
Old 30th March 2010
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
musicjohnny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Can't beat manual checking for accuracy...
So you physically copy and paste individual samples/hits in? I've done that before and it definitely works, but it's also time consuming and you don't get the benefit of multiple samples like with the different layers on Drumagog or some other replacement software...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUElightCory View Post
Alternate samples to alleviate the "machine gun" effect.
And that's an excellent method! do you put your alternating samples on separate tracks so that you don't cut off the tail of the sample?
Old 30th March 2010
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicjohnny View Post
And that's an excellent method! do you put your alternating samples on separate tracks so that you don't cut off the tail of the sample?
Generally not, because when a drum is struck, the previous hit doesn't continue to ring out.
Old 30th March 2010
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUElightCory View Post
Generally not, because when a drum is struck, the previous hit doesn't continue to ring out.
Technically I think it does, and when you add in room decay.
Even the early samplers had full release on samples.
But in reality if it works for you....keep doing what you're doing,
Old 30th March 2010
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicjohnny View Post
So you physically copy and paste individual samples/hits in? I've done that before and it definitely works, but it's also time consuming and you don't get the benefit of multiple samples like with the different layers on Drumagog or some other replacement software...
Personally no - I use the Massey DTM to trigger Battery or Kontakt. But I'll check the placement of each midi note by both eye and ear. DTM is pretty accurate, but still gets confused by flams and kick/snare together, although it's much closer than anything else I've used.

I don't like tab to transient very much for sample replacement because it is so mechanical - maybe if you're just using a small level of sample as re-enforcement.
Old 30th March 2010
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Technically I think it does, and when you add in room decay.
That's what I was thinking too, how do you deal with room ambience? I guess there's a fine line though between capturing the sound of the decay of the drum hit in the room and the actual decay of the drum (which would stop when the next hit is played)

The ideal solution would be to create some way to have the sound of the hit in the room continue while the actual decay of the drum itself would stop when the next hit happens. That way it would emulate the actual sound of a drum in a room where the decay of the drum head would be stopped by the drumstick hitting it and yet the ambience in the room would continue....

Any ideas on how to achieve that?
Old 30th March 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
musicjohnny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Personally no - I use the Massey DTM to trigger Battery or Kontakt.
ugghhh....I'd give anything to get a copy of DTM....any ideas on where to still get a copy?
Old 30th March 2010
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Technically I think it does, and when you add in room decay.
Even the early samplers had full release on samples.
But in reality if it works for you....keep doing what you're doing,
Definitely a valid point, but if you're replacing a close-mic'd top snare track (which is what I was referring to) you probably aren't dealing with any noticeable room ambience.

As far as the drum itself, any sustained vibration from the first hit is going to be overtaken by the attack and new vibrations from each successive hit, so it usually sounds cleaner (to me at least) to cut off the sample when the next hit occurs.
Old 30th March 2010
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUElightCory View Post

As far as the drum itself, any sustained vibration from the first hit is going to be overtaken by the attack and new vibrations from each successive hit, so it usually sounds cleaner (to me at least) to cut off the sample when the next hit occurs.
As I said, if it works for you why change. thumbsup

Toms in particular do have a cumulative effect however. Where each successive hit adds to the overall rumble (same as cymbals).

Not wanting to push the point as your way is clearly a valid solution, also of course you are probably hearing realistic sustain and rumble through the channels you aren't replacing (bleed).

I just wanted to make the point for anyone else reading this that a second hit does not stop a membrane from resonating and starts it afresh.
That's why the virtual drum software you can buy is set up to output the full length of every sample triggered.
Old 30th March 2010
  #12
Gear Addict
 
dave gross's Avatar
 

a good drummer heh
Old 30th March 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 
fakiekid's Avatar
 

I've recently found Apptrigga to have large amounts of latency, and I'm getting an almost flam hit with snare drums. Not only that but because of this I dont find it phase accurate.

I'm eagerly awaiting Trigger from Steven Slate!
Old 30th March 2010
  #14
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Protools Guy's Avatar
 

Tab to transient works best, but has caused the I.P. joint in my left index finger to become inflamed. Slamming down the "control" and "command" keys for every kick, snare, and tom hit for 12 songs was a lot of repetitive stress.

With me being a guitar payer, that has caused a major problem. Since then, I've been using Drumagog, and find it not as accurate as doing it by hand, but by spending a little time with it, punching in, etc., it can make life pretty good. It's definitely not a set it and forget it program. You have to futz with it a bit to get it to trigger everything, and the phase issues are noticeable on the kick especially if you don't spend time with it.

Just my $0.02.
Old 30th March 2010
  #15
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Those of you who are using tab-to-transient . . . How are you guys compensating for velocity?

Or are you deliberately going for that 'static samples' sound?
Old 30th March 2010
  #16
Gear Head
 

My personal favourite is to use Drumagog and set it so it's catching everything it should, then bus that to a new track, record it and then check all the hits individually...

This is from a recent interview with Cenzo Townshend...

Townshend’s upstairs preparation and post-production room, featuring the SSL Duality, a Pro Tools HD3 system and several monitors, comes into its own the moment a project arrives for mixing. “The first thing that happens is that Neil Comber, my assistant engineer, will prepare the session for me, cleaning it up and laying it out in the way I like. Sometimes the session will come in as a Logic file, and Neil will have to build a Pro Tools Session from it, which can be quite laborious. We have to check every edit as we transfer things to Pro Tools. Sometimes there are 120 tracks to go through! During mixing later on, I’ll have the Logic session on a separate computer somewhere for me to refer to and to see if they used any particular kinds of plug-ins, panning, balances and so on. Even when we get a Pro Tools file, we often receive just a bunch of files without having any idea what they are. Tracks may just be called ‘Audio 1’, ‘Audio 2’ and so on, and we’ll have to work out what’s what. If sessions have been FTP’ed we also need to check that we have the right amount of tracks, and so on. Sometimes the sessions are so big that they won’t play. Pro Tools won’t play more than 96 tracks at 96kHz, and to compensate people may have been bouncing and so on, and then we have to deal with that.
“Quite often, Neil will also add five or six snare-drum samples and three to four kick-drum samples and kick-drum ambiences, and he’ll time those to make sure they’re accurate for each hit. We’ll talk beforehand about what samples to add. Basically, they are there to beef up the existing kick and snare, if necessary. I don’t replace kick and snare drums, and probably 50 percent of the time I’ll decide that the kick and snare I have are so good that I don’t need to add anything. The reason he adds them at this preparatory stage is that I don’t have the time to start adding samples when mixing, because we only have one day to mix a song. So Neil will add them in case we need them. All in all, Neil usually has three hours of work to do before I can actually begin the mix.
“The samples I use are usually things I’ve recorded over the years. But I’m not purist about it. If I hear a good sound somewhere, whether from a library or from something else, I’ll borrow it. I have quite a few sample libraries, but you have to audition the sounds, and I don’t have the time to listen to hundreds of samples. Neil uses the Drumagog plug-in to trigger the samples he adds, but you still have to go through each hit and move it in time to make sure it’s 100 percent correct and the phase is correct. You look at the waveforms, but you also need to use your ears. Time-alignment software is very time-saving, but the drawback remains that it’s not as good as doing it manually. I also use the Aptrigga2 plug-in, which is great for things like tambourines, because it’s a little random, and you don’t want to have tambourines bang on time. Sometimes we spend as much time trying to slightly offset things to make them sound more natural as trying to get them to sound exactly in time.”
Old 30th March 2010
  #17
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BB Bill's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakiekid View Post
I've recently found Apptrigga to have large amounts of latency, and I'm getting an almost flam hit with snare drums. Not only that but because of this I dont find it phase accurate.

I'm eagerly awaiting Trigger from Steven Slate!
As someone who does this on a regular basis, I can tell you that there are no trigger plugs that work flawlessly 100% of the time. TL Drum Rehab, Drumagog etc, whatever I'm using me or my assistant always go through the track, zoom in on every hit and tighten up some of them. The track always sounds tighter after doing that.

Not knowing anything about Trigger from SS, it might have a lower error rate but I doubt it'll be a "set and forget" scenario.

CLA, MBA and the big guys always have their assistant do sample replacing and I can guarantee you that they just don't slap Drum Rehab across the snare and that's that.

And for fills and such, it is not uncommon to ride up the real snare and ride down the triggered snare to avoid the machine gun thing.
Old 30th March 2010
  #18
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicjohnny View Post
ugghhh....I'd give anything to get a copy of DTM....any ideas on where to still get a copy?
100$ and the license and drm installer are yours!
Old 30th March 2010
  #19
maq
Gear Nut
 
maq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreedymonk View Post
My personal favourite is to use Drumagog and set it so it's catching everything it should, then bus that to a new track, record it and then check all the hits individually...
+ 1
Old 30th March 2010
  #20
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Ben B's Avatar
 

Not to be a "Debbie Downer" here, but I've heard sloppy drum augmentation on major releases more often than I'd expect. I'm kind of surprised that it happens at those levels. I doubt it's the fault of what specific drum replacement software is being used, since manual correction is always possible after the fact.

-Ben B
Old 30th March 2010
  #21
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Ben B's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieTheRed View Post
Those of you who are using tab-to-transient . . . How are you guys compensating for velocity?

Or are you deliberately going for that 'static samples' sound?
This doesn't answer your specific question, but...

The thing that's always been frustrating to me about using TTT for this is that a pasted-in drum hit will often overlap the next transient in the track. I end up having to use two or more duplicate tracks to get around this problem (alternating between them), and then bus everything to a new track and record the result.

To be honest, I usually just use Sound Replacer, and then TTT for any instances where SR fails to get it right.

-Ben B
Old 30th March 2010
  #22
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Cutting triggers and sound replacer is the only way to get a perfect drum augmentation job done every time.

Massey's DTM does a damn fine job, but you need to fix a bunch of things.

Same with drumagog and others... if you don't have missed/extra triggers then you have a moving phase relationship (which drives me NUTS when I hear it!)
Old 30th March 2010
  #23
Gear Head
 

Sorry if this is dumb question, but what exactly do you mean by "cutting triggers"?

I've seen that phrase several times before on GS and never quite understood what it meant.

Do you mean copy and pasting a transient spike on every hit you wish to trigger in order to have consistency? And if so, why not just copy and paste the samples at that point?

I have used Drumagog in the past and it always seems to work best by punching in each section, compensating the controls to catch the hits in that section. Still have go in and nudge for precise timing though for sure.. which kind of sucks because then you are locked in to the sample choice. But I guess thats what you get for not getting it right the first time.
Old 30th March 2010
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
musicjohnny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tincan View Post
100$ and the license and drm installer are yours!
Haha for a plug that was free to begin with? I don't think Mr. Massey would approve!
Old 30th March 2010
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicjohnny View Post
Haha for a plug that was free to begin with? I don't think Mr. Massey would approve!
technically it wasn't free - more a "buy one get one free"!
Old 30th March 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juarez View Post
Sorry if this is dumb question, but what exactly do you mean by "cutting triggers"?

He just means record a midi track with physical drum triggers along with the mic'd up kit.

Neil
Old 30th March 2010
  #27
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by juarez View Post
Sorry if this is dumb question, but what exactly do you mean by "cutting triggers"?

I've seen that phrase several times before on GS and never quite understood what it meant.

Do you mean copy and pasting a transient spike on every hit you wish to trigger in order to have consistency? And if so, why not just copy and paste the samples at that point?

I have used Drumagog in the past and it always seems to work best by punching in each section, compensating the controls to catch the hits in that section. Still have go in and nudge for precise timing though for sure.. which kind of sucks because then you are locked in to the sample choice. But I guess thats what you get for not getting it right the first time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amishsixstringe View Post
He just means record a midi track with physical drum triggers along with the mic'd up kit.

Neil
Nope. Midi Drum triggers act very funny on certain things and I still have to check them... they are fine for live stuff, but for studio precision is key.

I mean duplicating a track (for example kick in) and cutting a small slice of the transient then having sound replacer use that to analyze where the kicks are at.

Process to another track then phase align.

Bam. Perfectly in sync & in phase samples.

Need a different sample? Load up sound replacer and it takes 15-20 seconds.


I went through the whole process in detail maybe a year or so ago on here with pictures and everything..... search and ye shall find.
Old 30th March 2010
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
As I said, if it works for you why change. thumbsup

Toms in particular do have a cumulative effect however. Where each successive hit adds to the overall rumble (same as cymbals).

Not wanting to push the point as your way is clearly a valid solution, also of course you are probably hearing realistic sustain and rumble through the channels you aren't replacing (bleed).

I just wanted to make the point for anyone else reading this that a second hit does not stop a membrane from resonating and starts it afresh.
That's why the virtual drum software you can buy is set up to output the full length of every sample triggered.
If you really want to get that picky about it, it's true that a new hit doesn't stop the membrane from resonating. However, the two hits DO interact and it isn't nearly the same as the initial hit resonating undisturbed.

Neither technique is really going to provide the same results as an actual drum hit quickly twice in succession. One technique has too much cumulative resonance that isn't accurate to the real life sound and the other technique has no resonance at all.
Old 30th March 2010
  #29
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post

I went through the whole process in detail maybe a year or so ago on here with pictures and everything..... search and ye shall find.

Awesome. Thanks man.
Old 30th March 2010
  #30
Logic 9 has a function called Drum Replace where it analyzes the the track you want to trigger and gives you a sensitive percentage rate to choose from and converts it to midi. I call up Superior Drummer 2, assign the midi track of sampled drum to that and it triggers in time, accurately and without much fuss. Velocity is usually all I have to tweak. I've used Dgog, Sound Replacer and this has been by far the most efficient way for me to get the job done.
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