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Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby bishopdante on Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:41 am

numberthirty wrote:
gnangle wrote:define "satisfying low end or highs" and maybe we can zero in more on exactly what youre after? can you play us a sample? ive used BFD with no weird issues for quite a while and dont struggle with any of these issues. im curious to hear what youre hearing.


Could you Google Drive/Sendspace one of these rough mixes that you see an issue with?


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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby squeakystool on Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:00 pm

Thanks again for all the responses. Unfortunately I've had to give up on the library and (three finger quotations) "'replace my drum samples with samples"'.

It's a shame because, like I said, I love the kit and (certain aspects of) the recording, but there just is no bottom end and to be honest the rest of the frequency range is just as impossible to work with in the context of a mix (distorted guitar, bass etc). Whatever I do every mix is just fatiguing as hell because drums are competing with the guitars/ bass in the low mid range. It's just so bizarre and I can't seem to fix it.

Already having swapped out the library I've gotten a decent drum mix and am now remixing all the guitars which already fit soooo much better. Night and day! Suddenly I have clarity, punch, weight, low end... all the good things you want in a mix.

This is not a hate post, I'm just being honest. I say all this as a huge fan of Steve and especially of his drum recordings. That is why I persevered so much with these samples, and why I was looking for some sort of magic mix solution.

But now I just think the BFD library is 'off' for some reason .... I checked out the EZ drummer library (thanks for the heads up on that BTW!) and from the demos it sounds like the classic Albini / EA drum sound we all know and love....... but the BFD library sounds nothing like this at all :(

If anyone can get a good mix out of them I'll gladly eat my hihats .... and then (following emergency surgery) ask you for your EQ/ compression settings.

And Steve, FWIW, if you did another pack for BFD along the lines of the EZ drummer library (or just ported those samples across to the BFD platform) I'd be totally up for it. Those EZ drummer samples sound great.... so frustrating that they are on a platform I don't use.... yet... oh god... no ..

Anyway, I am not switching kits _yet again_ for these songs (I've swapped out so many already and remixed each song a million times already). Each new library means going through the original midi performance virtually note by note to get the right velocities/ articulations.... and that's on top of remixing the whole thing from scratch.

This is easier than flying to Chicago, how???!! Whoever invented drum samples should be slapped at multiple velocities. Such a love / hate relationship....

God, I wish I made EDM.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby 154 on Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:14 am

I've never played with the BFD stuff, but the Soundcloud demo (edit: the EA sample kit) they have on their page is not flattering: typical clackity metal sounding programming. That's not an insult to the recording session, which I'm sure was good, but since it's an older program maybe the internal summing or dynamics aren't as convincing.

The EZ stuff is good. In fact, I'm considering adding the 'Big Drum' one (I'd love to have some unported kicks) to my library.
Last edited by 154 on Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby japmn on Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:17 pm

I've gotten to where if I'm not using real drums, I don't really want my robot drums to sound anything like real drums. What I've heard of the BFD sounds are fine, but the cymbals always sound fake and bad to me.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby bassdriver on Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:08 am

154 wrote:I've never played with the BFD stuff, but the Soundcloud demo (edit: the EA sample kit) they have on their page is not flattering: typical clackity metal sounding programming. That's not an insult to the recording session, which I'm sure was good, but since it's an older program maybe the internal summing or dynamics aren't as convincing.

The EZ stuff is good. In fact, I'm considering adding the 'Big Drum' one (I'd love to have some unported kicks) to my library.


I prefer the BFD3 over EZdrummer. I think the difference is that somebody spent some time making good sounding presets for EZD, while BFD3 is more of a tool where you get the samples but you have to make your presets on your own. as I said most of those presets in BFD don’t sound very good to me. but once you start tweaking the samples you can get great drum sounds. every single drum has different room and ambiance mics that you can blend in. you can alter the dynamics and the sustain and so on.

the sound cloud links I posted is just a random midi file playing the presets as they are loaded from the program. no tweaks. I agree that the EZdrummer sound really good as is. in a mix I find them quite „boomy“. I agree with japmn that the cymbals and hi-hats don’t sound very good in BFD but then again, I’ve tried a lot of sample libraries and the cymbals are always the most critical element.

my band didn’t have a drummer for over an year and so I programmed all the songs so we can keep practicing, and I must say that the BFD deluxe drums sounded much better than the EZD in that context. clearer and more articulated.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby 154 on Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:42 am

bassdriver wrote:I prefer the BFD3 over EZdrummer. I think the difference is that somebody spent some time making good sounding presets for EZD, while BFD3 is more of a tool where you get the samples but you have to make your presets on your own.


Yeah but once you have a few EZ libraries 'making them your own' comes down to an endless combination of drums and cymbals, onboard effects with different packs, pitch adjustments (if you bother with that..) etc. I've never opened up a preset kit and mix and thought 'done'. I prefer that to changing the envelope/sustain/attack/eq/etc to samples that don't sound great to begin with.

I will say: if you're leaning heavily on the EA samples, they work best with 1 guitar recordings and less so with left/right panned heavy stuff. In my opinion at least. Though sometimes even that can be met halfway if you just substitute a more modern, attack-y kick sample.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby squeakystool on Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:06 am

gnangle wrote:just by virtue of how the OP phrases their posts, its obvious to me that BFD isnt the issue, ..


Well yes, I made that very clear (several times) from my very first post.

The frequencies that are problematic in the Deluxe pack (and the overall drum mix issues I am having with it) are NOT present with other BFD sample packs I have, including the original BFD content.

I already said I can get a decent balanced mix (frequency wise) that works in the mix (heavy guitars bass etc) using other sample packs, but the Deluxe pack always falls short in the low end, and it has low mids that always seem to conflict with the guitars and bass. Drum mixes lack low end weight and end up being very fatiguing in the low mids/ mids.

The reason I posted was because I still really wanted to use the Deluxe pack because...

1. I like the kits in the Deluxe pack and certain aspects of the recordings (clarity, focus etc)
2. I am a big fan of Steve's drum sound in general, and the sound of the Kentucky room as I hear it on other records, and I wanted to get something similar with the Deluxe pack, but was finding it impossible.
3. I was not hating on this pack, but genuinely asking if there was some sort of mixing techniques that would unlock that sound.... the drum sound that everyone seems to be able to get in that room.

SInce posting I was pointed at the EZ drummer Alt Rock sample pack, also recorded in the Kentucky room, and this pack seems to have a lot more of what Deluxe is missing, such as the weighty low end and room ambience. It sounds like the 'signature drum sound' of EA / Steve. The Deluxe pack does not sound like this despite being recorded in the same room.

gnangle wrote:....ive used the shit out of BFD and had like zero issues ..


So have I and I do not get these mix issues with other sample packs.

Have you used the Deluxe pack specifically and if so are you able to get that 'trademark' live room sound that is so apparent in records recorded in the Kentucky room?

If so can you give me a quick run down of your mixing process? I will be eternally grateful.

If you don't have it you can compare the BFD Deluxe demos with the EZ drummer Alt Rock demos (both recorded in the same room).
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby bassdriver on Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:42 am

I ended up making my own preset. I use the Yamaha protour 24 kick and the vistalite toms from the Deluxe expansion and the black beauty snare from BFD1.
that sounds perfect to me. I struggled much more with the EZ alternative kit in the same mixes. my preset is rather dry, but that’s what I really like about BFD, that you can easily blend in/out the room sound.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby steve on Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:07 pm

squeakystool wrote:Thanks again for all the responses. Unfortunately I've had to give up on the library and (three finger quotations) "'replace my drum samples with samples"'

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the drums on records you've heard that I've recorded were played by people, and that's almost certainly why you liked the drums on them, the people playing the drums. The "sound" as divorced from the playing is an almost meaningless detail, and it doesn't surprise me in the least that you find other sounds more suitable for your work, since you aren't recording a performance but trying to simulate one. They're two completely different disciplines.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby squeakystool on Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:04 am

steve wrote: ...the drums on records you've heard that I've recorded were played by people, and that's almost certainly why you liked the drums on them, the people playing the drums.


I was talking more about the recordings themselves. Both the records of real bands that I've referenced AND the EZ drummer Alt Rock samples (from what I've heard of them) seem to have the low end that I'm after, and the natural room tone that is characteristic of recordings in that room.

Also using other drum sample libraries (such as the BFD original content) I can find the low end I want and have no problem balancing the drums in the mix sonically ..... even if they are lacking in other respects.

So it has nothing to do with the performance. Obviously using drum samples is a compromise, but I perform the parts on an e-Kit and I never quantise, use live guide tracks (not fixed tempos) and only tweak the dynamics of the midi to suit each library. So it's about as naturalistic a performance as you can get. One of the reasons I wanted to use your Deluxe library was that I love the kits and find they respond well to the midi performances, reproducing the dynamics and articulations authentically (compared to a lot of other libraries).

The only real issue I have is that I cannot find enough low end and all the energy seems to be focused in the low mids/ mids. The drums seem to compete with the guitars and bass in that region. I find I always have to drastically scoop out the low mids/ mids in the drums to create space for the other instruments and vocals to sit, as well as to bring up the low end of the drums (relatively), but that this solution starts to sound very unnatural and fatiguing overall.

Other libraries (using the same midi performance) just seem to sit much better with a natural low end thump and weight to the kick and toms and less energy in problematic the 200 to 1k region .... before even touching an EQ.

It's frustrating because I don't actually like the modern rock drum convention where the drums are scooped out and augmented with loads of samples and sub mics to create that thud/ clicky sound leaving a massive hole in the middle for the guitars. I like the drums to be represented more naturalistically with a less scooped EQ overall and more room tone. That's why I like the Deluxe pack 'in principle' ..... but in practice I'm finding it really hard to get to sit properly.

Again, I don't want to come across as a negative Nancy. I would not have sought advice or persevered as long as I have if I did not like this pack. I may try the EZ pack and see how I get on with those once this project is over...
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby numberthirty on Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:51 pm

gnangle wrote:its like listening to a broken record here, youre just repeating the same thing over and over and expecting us to give you a different result. i think there is a definition for this behavior? you see... i like my humans to have a more 'full' response, with a punchy middle area and all sorts of information. instead ,when i read your posts, i get this thin,tinny and sort of oblique resonance with that full low end THAT JUST OBLITERATES the nice tone im after,and it just falls short of making any fucking sense. So if you could adjust your outputs to have more numbers and a more honed in frequency range ,and trim back the faders on all the 'anecdotal' bullshit, we might be able to get the sound we're after here. not to be a negative nick,nancy or for that matter a pessimistic 'peter', but i just dont know if this ability is in the expansion pack of your mind to do.maybe you should just take your shoes off and dump out your drawers in the kitchen and stand there a while looking at it.


Just to throw this out there...

EZDrummer is apparently throwing in a free expansion pack with a purchase of EZDrummer 2.

Free...
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby japmn on Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:40 am

Wtf is this even about? He tried some samples, couldn't get what he wanted out of them. Had to use other samples. Samples are a because I can't response from the get go. I wish him well with whatever he landed on. I'd rather hear a drum kit and player recorded with a single 58 in front than Fuck with drum samples all day. But yeah, ya know... Nirvana drums and shit.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby squeakystool on Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:12 am

gnangle wrote:its like listening to a broken record here


To be fair, I did make everything pretty clear in my original post, then everyone kept replying with suggestions or questions that I'd already answered in the first comment or two. So I had to keep repeating what the actual problem is.

I also 'signed off' many comments ago, with no hard feelings, when it seemed that nobody had any answers for how to get a workable mix out of these samples and that the thread was going nowhere. But then the replies kept coming, again addressing things that I'd already covered in my initial comments or things that have nothing to do with the actual problem as described.

All I was asking for was for some mixing tips to actually get enough usable low end and weight out of this sample pack and a workable drum mix that actually sits properly with guitars and bass. It was a simple request with no weird hidden agenda. If you have any practical suggestions on how to achieve that I'd be ecstatic to hear it. If you want to make the whole thing weirdly confrontational then I am a lot less interested.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby bishopdante on Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:41 am

japmn wrote:if I'm not using real drums, I don't really want my robot drums to sound anything like real drums.


+1

(Also, it's often advisable when sampling drums to chop up sections of real drumming rather than program stuff note-by-note, since it gives a much more human feel)

japmn wrote:What I've heard of the BFD sounds are fine, but the cymbals always sound fake and bad to me.


That's pretty much most drum samples, particularly ride cymbal samples are inevitably nothing like what happens when you actually play a cymbal with a stick and load it up with mechanical energy which dissipates over a timescale of several bars.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby numberthirty on Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:28 am

squeakystool wrote:...

I may try the EZ pack and see how I get on with those once this project is over...


Seems like a potential fix.

Is there a good reason not to just do it now?
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby biscuitdough on Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:10 pm

To be fair, the answer to this question was evident from the start: these samples don't work with the rest of OP's mix. Other samples do, so use something else. Not much else to it.

However, gnagle, what's up? Did you play the drums for this sample set? Why so personal?
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby total_douche on Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:42 pm

bishopdante wrote:
japmn wrote:That's pretty much most drum samples, particularly ride cymbal samples are inevitably nothing like what happens when you actually play a cymbal with a stick and load it up with mechanical energy which dissipates over a timescale of several bars.

When I used samples, which I recorded myself off my sister's kit, that was the big thing, and that required as lot of pre-planning in terms of how I actually recorded the samples. I had five hits for each intensity level for variety, but I also had to get the cymbal ringing and use the very last hit of a figure for the final sample, and than I had other samples for the first hit. And that was how I was able to get a rhythm going without it sounding like the cymbal was being struck from a static state every time. The process of actually putting a drum track together was painstaking because I had to think in terms of not only what a real drummer could play, but in doing my best to randomize each hit - cymbal or shell - to have the minor variations one would expect from real drums. This meant, as you might guess, several alternate hits for each intensity level on the shells, too.

In the end it sounds OK... but it's a lot of effort for a result that's only convincing in a loud mix.

So I've been teaching myself to play drums because bashing out a real drum track takes a lot less time. Of course, the problem is getting good enough to track anything, and that's why I haven't recorded anything in years, because it's taking forever to get good enough to track anything.
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby bishopdante on Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:38 pm

total_douche wrote:So I've been teaching myself to play drums because bashing out a real drum track takes a lot less time. Of course, the problem is getting good enough to track anything, and that's why I haven't recorded anything in years, because it's taking forever to get good enough to track anything.


I have no doubt that there are plenty drummers out there with kits and recording equipment who would happily accept bribery for a day or two's work replacing a sequenced set of sketchy drum machine parts...

(@DFTR&Co)
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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby numberthirty on Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:16 pm

bishopdante wrote:
total_douche wrote:So I've been teaching myself to play drums because bashing out a real drum track takes a lot less time. Of course, the problem is getting good enough to track anything, and that's why I haven't recorded anything in years, because it's taking forever to get good enough to track anything.


I have no doubt that there are plenty drummers out there with kits and recording equipment who would happily accept bribery for a day or two's work replacing a sequenced set of sketchy drum machine parts...


(@DFTR&Co)


Somebody fire up the "Rob Brown" signal!

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Re: Struggling with Kentucky Drum Mix

Postby total_douche on Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:34 am

Yeah, but I'm looking for a pretty particular sound and I like the idea of doing it all myself. Also I'm broke. I've been getting there, though. I've been learning drums at the same time my brother and I have been teaching my roommate to play bass for a project we've been working on, and I'm getting much better. It's also the only form of exercise I can stand, so it's just a good idea all around. Also, I get to pretend I'm in a real rock band every time we get together in my basement.
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