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Issue: Need to Clean up drum performance DAW Software
Old 18th December 2010
Here for the gear
clanley's Avatar

Issue: Need to Clean up drum performance

Just some quick info I'm running Pro Tools 9 on a MacBook Pro..

So I have some tracked drums: Kick, Snare, T1, T2, T3, and OH's L and R.

There are a few tempo changes and the performance is pretty much on the grid and to the click, however there are many parts where the drummer falls off an uncomfortable amount and so I want to fix it so its clean. I know a couple ways of achieving this is by using Beat Detective, or even elastic audio, the thing is, I'm not a pro with either feature and I have been messing with them for days trying to fix certain parts of this performance that are clearly off the grid.

What would be ideal is for me to be able to completely quantize the drums (it's metal) but the it seems like that is going to be impossible without ruining the sound of the overheads.

So What do I do?

I ran the kick and snare through Drum Replacement/Doubling in Logic and imported the MIDI back into Pro Tools and loaded a kick/ snare sample, so now I have the tracked kick, and a sampled kick. The same for the snare.

Will using a bounced region of the sampled kick/snare (which has no bleed) be easier for Beat Detective to sense each hit? And if so, is it possible to set up Beat Detective's parameters for say the kick, separate, and conform the regions so that it is correctly aligned on the grid and use THOSE settings again on the snare/ OH's so that everything can stay running in sync and possibly not sound like crap?

Or would it be easier to use elastic audio and manually fix the hits that are off, and even if I did it that way, are grouped tracks still affected as a group with elastic audio? That way I wouldn't have to do each track individually?

Basically what would YOU do to try to clean these up? The hardest part seems to be these Overheads.

Sorry If any of this is confusing...I tried to be as descriptive as I could

Old 18th December 2010
Gear Nut

I would do multitrack beat detective so that each track is cut and aligned exactly the same (even the overheads). My best results have come when doing only 4 or 8 bars at a time. Also, make sure BD only cuts on kick and snare transients (no hi hat or cymbal hits). And if all else fails, retrack!
Old 18th December 2010
Here for the gear
clanley's Avatar

Issue: Need to Clean up drum performance

Ok I'll try that. Thanks for the input
Old 18th December 2010
Gear Addict
emeline-rec's Avatar

i find flex time in logic works very well used in slicing mode and Q referencing just the kick and snare, once you have accurately identified/analysed the kick and snare hits (a good idea for future is to record triggers as well as mics as they can be used as well defined slice points) you can literally quantise the whole track to 8th notes then go through the track and work on any 16/32 notes that need flexing and any tom bits that need doing.

Depending on how sloppy the drummer is you will find sometimes with big expansions in time there will be artifacts and sometimes these can be tamed by adding in extra flex points between hits until it sounds more natural. Generally if you are sample replacing/augmenting the kick and snare this will also make any quantisation artifacts less noticeable and you will find once the bass and guitar are added you may not even notice it.

I've yet to try beat detective properly but many people like it.

Oh and make sure drums are grouped with phase locked editing!
Old 18th December 2010
Lives for gear
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Originally Posted by xcolbeyx View Post
And if all else fails, retrack!
I had this issue last month with a session... the drummer was rusty and I say that sincerely because he is normally awesome and totally on but he was having one of those days... long story short, I tried editing his performance but after about 100 or more little tweaks just to get to the second verse, I emailed him and said we had to do it over again. He agreed. He went back in later that week and nailed it.

Beat detective works but there are times when the groove is not there and I have yet to find any editing feature that can give you that.
Old 19th December 2010
Gear Addict

I just did this with a sloppy performance on two songs a couple of month ago, I moved every snare and bd to grid manually - Protools, tab to transient. Took me about 5 hours per song, a ****ty job, but doing it manually I can tweak it the way I want it to sound.
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