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Triggers and samples BEFORE DAW's...How?
Old 1st November 2010
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Triggers and samples BEFORE DAW's...How?

I've read that engineers used drum samples to augment or replace actual hits before DAW's existed. This apparently has been going on since the eighties.

In fact I heard that Wallace used some on Nevermind, and it was used on the first Rage Against the Machine album. Cant confirm any truth to this though.

How the hell was this done with tape? I cant seem to fathom how this was done without using software.

guess i'm really showing my age huh.
Old 1st November 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Drum Triggers were around long before software. You had pads over the drum which had sensors in and triggered samples from a sound module.

You could plug the triggers into the desk and record the wave that the trigger produced. Wouldn't sound anything like a drum, but 're-amped' back through the Drum Module it would.

Alesis DM5 Drum Module | DV247

it's a classic.
Old 1st November 2010
  #3
Gear Nut
 

I understand they used midi data provided by drum pads etc. since the early 80's. That makes sense.

What I wanna know is how they took a previously recorded drum take, and augmented or replaced the hits with other drum sounds?

Basically, how, before DAW's, did they do what can be done in seconds today with drumagog, or trigger?
Old 1st November 2010
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomof81 View Post
I've read that engineers used drum samples to augment or replace actual hits before DAW's existed. This apparently has been going on since the eighties.

In fact I heard that Wallace used some on Nevermind, and it was used on the first Rage Against the Machine album. Cant confirm any truth to this though.

How the hell was this done with tape? I cant seem to fathom how this was done without using software.

guess i'm really showing my age huh.
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Old 1st November 2010
  #5
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomof81 View Post
I understand they used midi data provided by drum pads etc. since the early 80's. That makes sense.

What I wanna know is how they took a previously recorded drum take, and augmented or replaced the hits with other drum sounds?

Basically, how, before DAW's, did they do what can be done in seconds today with drumagog, or trigger?
I had an AKAI 'S' series sampler that had a very versatile trigger input section. It could handle a wide range of levels and respond faster to them than it would to a MIDI source.

You could feed the triggers from the plastic pads, you could feed the triggers from piezos mounted inside real drums, (which I did at gigs) and you could feed the triggers with line level signals from the tape deck. So if your drums were individually miced, the prerecorded tape channels could serve as your trigger source, though of course you could also record the MIDI while you were performing.

Each trigger input could spit out a drum sample- actually 2, a loud and a soft, and fade between them depending on the velocity.

the MIDI was slaved to the tape by locking to SMPTE time code striped on Track 16 or Track 24 whichever was the 'last' track on the tape. I still have that sampler and a whole shoebox full of drum sounds -all on floppy disks!
Old 1st November 2010
  #6
Gear Nut
 

So these units work exactly as software does today?
Old 1st November 2010
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Thanks joeq. very helpful!
Old 1st November 2010
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Gearslutz has it all - if you know where too look

Butch Vig on samples used by Andy Wallace while mixing Nevermind:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchVig View Post

Re: samples, I'm pretty sure Andy had a bit of them mixed in the background on kick and snare. He would load them into an AMS, and trigger them from the sync head with a delay. He didn't replace the drums, just used the samples for ambience.
I wanted to steal them, put them on a DAT! But every day when he finished a mix, he would turn the AMS off, then load them back in the next day.
Old 1st November 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
paultools's Avatar
 

The Linndrum drum machine had trigger inputs to fire the internal drum sounds. This was a big selling point for this machine, but sometimes worked better in theory than in practice.

The machine that really got it going was the AMS DMX, which you could use to capture sounds, and then trigger them from an audio input. It was a little tricky to truncate the sampled sounds until you got the hang of it. Many engineers had DATs of their favorite drum samples to feed into it.

One problem was the latency of the machine. I can remember flipping the tape over and recording the trigger track through a digital delay in order to move it up in time sound that the sample would fire on time. There were some Studer tape machines which allowed you to take a feed off the sync head while the playback head was feeding the console, so again using a delay, you could dial in the timing of the sample.

AMS DMX followed by the RMX = the sound of the '80's snare drum!
Old 1st November 2010
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the info guys. I figured it was a digital box.

I just wanted to confirm that there wasn't any magical analog method.
Old 1st November 2010
  #12
Gear Guru
The early Emu Emulators had trigger ins. So did the Akai S-900 and S-1000.
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