136: Making No-Compromise, Premium Drum Samples – With Dave Piatek (Room Sound)

135: How To Soundproof Your Studio – With Wilson Harwood

Dave Piatek and his company Room Sound set out to make the ultimate, realistic, authentic sounding, premium drum sample libraries.


Book a free feedback call with Benedikt, the host of the show!

I've been using them for years and keep recommending them for this exact reason. They are my favorite drum sample company in the world, absolutely sound like a drum kit and blend really well with your recorded drums. It's mind-blowing.

So, we were always wondering what they might be doing differently. What's the secret? How the hell do you make a library like that? Are there best practices for us to follow, when we create our own drum samples? Or when we use those samples?

This episode gives you the answers and boy, did we underestimate what goes into all of this. 😅

Dave talks about the mind-numbing, insane amount of tedious detail work that's part of creating these libraries, as well as the incredible process that they came up with to make sure they get it absolutely 100% right every single time.

He explains how they made the new Kurt Ballou Vol. 2 library that just came out (this is late summer 2022), how they kept the drums perfectly in tune, how they captured and cut 36000 (!) hits accurately and how they created a super versatile kit that combines multiple world class rooms (Steve Albini's Electrical Audio), mic configurations, processing chains and even recording mediums in one plugin.

This one got me really excited and I'm stoked to share it with you now!


PS: Sorry again, Dave, for completely butchering your name! What an embarrassing way to start an episode 😅

Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.

Mentioned on this episode:

  • Room Sound Premium Drum Samples
  • Kurt Ballou, Steve Albini, Electrical Audio, GodCity Studio, Jay Maas, Beau Burchell, Russian Circles
  • Tune-Bot, Native Instruments Kontakt, Superior Drummer, Tension Watch, The Stereo, Fueled By Ramen, Don Fury, The Descendents, Cuyahoga Community College

Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 136 - Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Malcom: if, you're looking for something like, so, detail orientated and realistic. If you listen to this conversation, you're gonna know that this is the, the company to, to look at first it's, it's just obvious. 

Benedikt: Yeah. Hello and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host Benedictine. And today I am here with my co-host and friend Malcolm Owen flood as always, but we're also joined by and please forgive me if I completely butcher your name now, Dave Piat tech, is that right?

Dave: Oh, so close, uh, PI tech.

Benedikt: Okay. I should have asked before. Hey Dave, thank you so much for taking the time to joining us today for, uh, and, and joining us today on this podcast, Dave is the co-founder of a company called room sound and they make drum samples, drum, sample libraries, um, virtual drum instruments. And they are, I've said it before on this show. So, and I will say it again there by far my favorite drum samples that I use on most of my mixes for various reasons. And we're gonna get into why that is. And, uh, I'm so excited to talk, to, to be able to talk Dave, um, today about all of this, because there's something about room sound samples and libraries. That to me is just different than all the other tools I've been using for years. And I have a couple of questions because I wanna know why that actually is and why they work so well for me. then, um, yeah, we're gonna dive into hopefully like, uh, he'll give us a little bit little like insight on how to make things like that and how to use 'em properly. And then. All things, recording and samples. Hopefully. So again, thank you. Uh, welcome to the show. Thank you for taking the time. I hope you're doing well.

Dave: Oh, I'm so glad to be here. Thank you for having me on. Uh, and yes, I am doing well. Um, yeah, I'm, I'm excited to get into it. Um, so yeah. 

Malcom: yeah. I, I just wanna say thanks as well, Dave, it's, it's great having you on, um, maybe to start, you could just kind of give the listeners your, your usual elevator pitch on, on who you are yourself and, and, and what room sounds all about. 

Dave: Okay. Uh, well, my name's Dave PayTech, uh, so, uh, I sort of, I got started kind of like in, uh, in the punk rock scene, probably like, you know, like a lot of people, um, I've kind of always, and, and, and. I'm like, I'm like real hyped up right now. Cuz I saw the descendants last night, they played like down the street from where I live and they're like, they're like my ultimate favorite, like punk rock band. And so I'm all pumped up on this now, but so anyway, I started off playing like in punk rock bands and stuff when I was like in high school and stuff like that, you know, we didn't have any money. you know, it, that, that was like 20 something years ago. I mean, I'm, I think I'm probably a little older than I look. and at that point it was like, you know, you had, if you wanted to make a record or whatever, you kind of had to do it yourself, cuz we didn't have any money. Studios were not plentiful. And the ones that were good were just like financially, completely out of reach. For us, you know, which I think is kind of gets to a lot of your audience, right? Like even now I think that's the audience that you, you guys are speaking to here. Right. so anyway, like I was Al I've always kind of been like an all-purpose kind of nerd, you know? and I like to figure stuff out. And so I was like, well, let me, let me get a four track, like a cassette four track. Uh, I'm gonna buy, you know, the home recording guide, the, the Bobby, I forget his last, how to pronounce his last name. It starts with an yeah. yeah. Yeah. Bought that. Yeah. Yeah. And then I was like, all let's do this. I bought a couple mics and, you know, Whatever. And so I was always the guy, you know, as the band got, as the bands, I was in, got more serious. Like I was the guy, like, you know, elbows up on the console, like, Hey, what, what you doing there, recording guy. And that's, that's sort of how I got into it, you know? And, in, uh, 2000, the year, 2000, we went to New York and we made a record with, uh, a guy named Don fury who, uh, I mean to, to us at the time, like, we're, we're pretty big into hardcore and punk rock. He did like agnostic, front and mad ball and H two O who actually saw yesterday. but you know, and the whole time it was just like this magical thing. And I was like, you know what? Like I enjoy being in a band like way less than I enjoy this studio thing. And so from that point on, I was like, well, this, this is kind of the direction I want to go. Like, you know, I wanna be in the studio. Um, and so, you know, a, a few years later, the consumer version of pro tools came out with like pro pro tools, Le and the inbox and the double oh two. And I just started, I bought at, I bought that and I was like, all right, well, I'm gonna, I'm gonna record my friend's bands. And I slowly but surely, you know, I became a professional recording engineer that way. and then in, in 2011, uh, a friend of mine, his name's Jamie Wilford, he's a fantastic recording engineer. Um, he also fronts the band, uh, called the stereo. Um, they were like a, like an old fuel by ramen band. Um, they just actually put out a new record. So plug for them, check that out. I helped record drums on that one. Uh, but anyway, like, we got together and, uh, he was doing like a recording workshop. Out in Phoenix where he lived. And, uh, I was like, you know what, I'm gonna come out for that. I might learn some stuff cuz I, you know, I can always learn something. Right. Uh, and a as part of that workshop, he recorded some drum samples at this awesome studio called stem recording in Phoenix. And at the end of it, like I took the samples home and I was like, oh man, these samples are amazing. And like, it wasn't like anything else that was on the market. and I like, I like real drums, you know, and not to name any names. Uh, but there is one particular company that's kind of famous for making samples that are like, you know, sound like the death star exploding, you know, and they advertise it as such as a good thing. But to me I'm just like, yeah, that's not what real drums sound like. Like I. Drum samples that sound like real drums. So anyway, uh, I, I used the crap out of these like samples that we just like recorded very quickly as part of this workshop. And, uh, I was like, I don't know how long later, maybe, maybe a month later I called Jamie up. I was like, Hey man, these samples are awesome. We should do another one and we should do it. Like we should really get in there sample multiple drums, do all this stuff. Now, grant take, keep in mind, this is, this is like maybe 2010 or 2011. So it was a while ago and the technology is not what it is now. so we basically went through and, you know, we, we collaborated on it, you know, and. We, we did a library, but it was originally, it was just gonna be for us. Right. So we both wanted this thing. We wanted more, more drums or whatever. We didn't, we didn't do any symbols. It was just all shells. And Jamie is the, the most amazing, uh, drum tech I've ever met to this day. Uh, he's way better than me. but, and he's just, he's so good at, at tuning drums and keeping them in tune, which you need for samples. we did this like library that was just for us and it was awesome, but it wasn't as good as it could be. You know, I'm always like looking to improve, you know, every, every time I do something, I, I like to best whatever it came before. I was like, okay, well, this is cool. It solved a bunch of the, my problems with the, with the last set of samples, but like more, you know, 

Malcom: right. 

Dave: and eventually I was like, you know what, like, if we want this. And we find this useful I'll bet you there's a million other people who would also find this useful. I think we might have a product here. And so we formed a company, uh, Jamie and I, you know, and then we went in and, and did like our first like real release where we went in and those products, you know, they were just basically like trigger instruments and wave files. I mean, it was, I mean, it was like the wild west back in two, 2011, you know, like there wasn't all the, all the software landscape was not the same as it is now.

 and then, there, uh, we got a call from Jay, Jay Moss, who you've had on the podcast here. And he had, he just like, I didn't know him and, and all of our partners have been like this. Like, I didn't know, Jay. And he was like, oh man, I love your stuff. Like, and I was like, oh, well, thank you very much. You know? And we got to talking and that's, that's how we got to working on a drum library. And it's all been like very organic like that. and then, uh, I don't know, maybe five or six years ago, uh, we kind of transitioned into the contact platform, which allowed us to do all kinds of cool stuff like symbols and you know, that, that was the first Kurt blue library that we did. and it's, it it's been great. Uh, Jamie, um, he, he's sort of like, we, it got a lot more serious, I think, than Jamie was really in it for you, you know, like it was taking a lot more of his time and he's, you know, he's got a career in audio, he's got a family and all this stuff. And so, you know, around that time, he kind of like, you know, stepped back from the, from the company and it's just kind of been me running it ever since. So, um, but it's all like, based on that, like punk rock, ethos of like, well, you want, you know, there's a thing that should exist. You can either wait for it to exist for someone else to do it, or you can just like dig in, figure it out and do it yourself. You know, like I have a, a little bit of background in computer programming, but I mean, I had to do a lot of learning, you know, to make this stuff happen. So that was probably a, a little longer a long-winded answer maybe longer than you were looking for, but , that's basically my, my, like origin story with drum samples.

Malcom: that's great. 

Benedikt: I think that was perfect. And there's so much to unpack and I, I made notes as, as we went because, uh, I, I wanted to ask a couple of questions on that. So first of all, all the way back to Don fury for a second, because, uh, our, like he was all or still is maybe all analog. Right? He doesn't use any digital, like he didn't record digitally with him probably. Right.

Dave: No, we did record digitally. Uh, so 

Benedikt: Because he's known for like, doing very simple, simple live sessions to tape and stuff like that without like any computers involved, like at least that's the stuff that I heard mostly about him. So

Dave: well, I think, you know, Don fury. I learned a lot during that session. you know, like when you look back at your life and you think about like defining moments that, that sort of like set the course for your life, like recording with Don fury was one of them for me. I mean, it wasn't, it wasn't necessarily, you know, all exactly what I wanted it to be. Like, there are things now when I look back, I'm like, oh, like, I wish we would've done this differently. You know, cuz I'm, you know, like, but back then he was this like guy that was like untouchable, cause he made some of my favorite records, you know? Um, but the way that he records it, like even back then,

Benedikt: mm-hmm

Dave: he's a pretty forward looking guy. And in terms of technology, um, at that point he was working on an ADAT system, those old like SVHS tapes. Um, and again, this was in 2000. So like the computer recording really. Computers weren't fast enough to do it. And he still does it in like, in a way, or did it then, and does it now in a way that is like analog tape. The only thing that's different is instead of analog tape, he uses a digital system, but the workflow is the exact same as analog. So like he's got a console, he's got the, you know, he, he doesn't do like pro tools, drum edits, or any of that stuff. Like, and all the like live tape stuff he does is the same way.

Benedikt: I'm just asking because I, okay. Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead. Sorry, go ahead.

Dave: oh, no, no. That's, that's all I got. I don't, I mean, I don't wanna speak for him. I haven't talked to him in years, but, uh, you know, like from what I understand, that's what he still that's what he still does. Cuz he, he moved out in New York, uh, cuz it was, it was too expensive and he moved to his studio to Troy New York, uh, which is very close to where my life my wife is from actually. But I should actually reconnect with him at some point.

Benedikt: Yeah, probably like would be interest interesting to see, uh, what the workflow and like what he's doing right now, actually. Um, so I'm asking, because I found it interesting that after that you started your own recording journey, but you went straight to like buying a computer and like the inbox and, uh, you know, the, the, the interface and all that, an early pro tools version.

Malcom: Embracing the technology. Yeah. 

Benedikt: yeah. So, so you didn't wanna go down the, the analog workflow or do what, what he did basically, but you, you embraced the, the new way of making records basically right away.

Dave: I mean, that was almost purely a financial decision. I mean, like I understand signal flow, like, you know, I'm I'm, I just turned 41. So like I'm old enough that I sort of came up. Like in a hybrid kind of mentality, right? Like all the signal flow from the old school, like analog stuff. Like I get that, you know, but then also like I'm a digital native too, right. I'm, I'm like the perfect age to kind of like step into both of those worlds. Um, and it was just super clear to me. I mean, obviously it was cheaper and easier to do it that way, but it just, even back then in what was probably 2003 or 2004, like there was enough happening on the computer in pro tools where I was like, this is clearly the way things are going to be, 

 you know? And I was never, I think a lot of the people that made the transition from analog to digital, it was difficult for them cuz there's things you do in analog, meaning like analog tape, uh, that you just cannot do in digital. Right? Like with analog tape. And I'm sure we'll probably talk about this later. When we talk about the tape samples in the new library, like you can, you can push those levels into the tape in a very kind of like non. I mean, you have to calibrate the thing. There's no doubt about that, but like you can kind of be a little loosey goosey with the level that you send in. You know, if it, if it's a little hot in certain places, no big deal, right? Like And if you, but if you try to treat digital that way, all you're gonna get is like odd order or harmonic distortion. That sounds terrible. So I think that's really the thing. I, if you approach digital, not the way that you approach analog, but you, you think about it as this perfect thing, you know, that it is going to give you what comes into it. You know, like there's no like magic in the box. So if you think about it that way, then you can make records. That sound everybody as good. And honestly, in a lot of cases, probably better than what you could with analog. You just gotta treat it like what it is. And I feel the same way about like guitar amp, Sims, right? I, I mean, you can see behind me, like I have a couple amps. Like I love those amps, but like when. When I do a, but I have no problem using like a di and amp Sims, because I'm not trying to treat the amp SIM like these things, it's its own thing. And if you just like address it and be like, well, let me put away my preconceived notions about what this is and just like, make it sound good. Well then there you go. 

Benedikt: Yeah. 

Dave: know?

Benedikt: Well, a hundred percent, a hundred, a hundred percent. I'm just, um, I was asking because mainly because if you wanna make something, if you wanna get into something like making virtual instruments and stuff, as you said, it takes a lot of. Time in front of the computer, learning all of that. And you, you sort of have to like that. So if you were the, the Don fury type of guy, like, I don't know if, if, if you would've, you know, go you a few would've went down that path necessarily. So you, you kinda like working on a computer, I guess, and like creating these things there. And as you said, you're a digital native, so this, this is just part of it. yeah, it's a, okay, so that was the first question that I had. The other question. You said it started with those early room sound lab, uh, samples, which I also still remember, but I don't, I, I might be wrong, but I don't think they are available anymore. Is that right? Because I, I think you now only have the signature libraries, but I might completely be wrong. But I remember going to your website when there was the, the J MAs volume one, um, library that you had, which was not a content instrument, but like triggered TCI files and wave files, I think. And then there was the room sound samples that were not a interest thing. And, and I remember that, and then it switched to the signature stuff that we see now, is that correct? And, if so, why did they disappear? Because they were great, honestly, the original room sound samples.

Dave: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you very much. Uh, you're gonna might be blush here. we did our first three libraries, uh, are not available anymore and that's the, the first two, like room sound, branded libraries, and then the collaboration with J Moss and SJC. and that's just because like, as a company, i, I always, I remember apple back in the nineties when it was, when the company was like failing. And one of the things that Steve jobs did when he came back to the company was he simplified the product line. And he said like, you know, his whole thing was like, you know, I know this is gonna upset some people, but we gotta consolidate some things. We have to have like more consistent branding. We can't have a thousand different models. Like people are not, people are going to be confused by that. Right. And. It was the same way with, with our previous libraries, like they weren't contact player. So you had to actually own the full version of contact. If you wanted to use the contact version. there were TCI files, there were wave files. and, and I don't, you know, like I have my thoughts about slate products. trigger is a good product for certain uses, but as far as the realism that you can get out of it with our samples, it is not the greatest way to trigger samples, because a lot of what makes our samples work well is not just, you know, everybody thinks like, oh, well, you just, the way to get realism is you throw a bunch of multis samples at it, right? Like you sample it a million times and you know, Ram usage goes through the roof and that's how you get realism, but that's not actually true. Not if you want to do it in a way that is authentic sounding. And I, I play drums, you know, so, and I'm especially attuned drums. So a large part of what makes the stuff sound realistic is the thousands and thousands and thousands of lines of code. It's kind of like a, like a fly by wire kind of system. Right. and that's something that trigger can't do. Like there's no customization and trigger instruments. It's just firing samples. So, that's, that's the main reason why we don't offer TCIs and that's probably like the, the, one of the biggest support questions you get is like, oh man, like why, why don't you guys offer the TCIs? And it's just like, well, you like the way our drum samples sound, they don't sound like that as a TCI. it requires all this like backend processing and kind of like fly by wire. Like when you, when you say, Hey, gimme a snare drum with most samplers and, uh, trigger included. Uh, it's just like, okay, well, what's the velocity. Let me send you a random sample, you know, and it randomizes it. And that's the extent of it with, with our libraries. It's like, okay, cool. You want a snare drum hit? What other snare Drumm hits have been played recently? What voices are active currently? How long has it been since the last snare drum hit? Cuz that's all gonna pull from different sample pools and that's the thing that makes it sound realistic. So because of that, those first three libraries, I'll be honest cuz I do all the contact development. I was not nearly as good at programming and contact and contact has its own custom programming language, it's a like a pretty fully featured programming language. So, you know, that, that's why those, those particular libraries aren't around anymore, uh, is just because I I'm, I'm like crazy about the quality of the and the realism and they just weren't up to snuff that, I mean, that's basically it.

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. That was basically my, my story with drum samples and why I came to, to like these so much and, and used your samples almost ex exclusively now, because I felt like for any, like, for some genres, like, especially like modern polished sort of metal stuff, there is plenty of good solutions out there. And there have been for a while and I've used them all the time and it works well, but whenever you wanna do something, punk rock indie, hardcore sums up genres of metal. And I, I come from a punk rock background myself. I've played in hardcore bands for years, and I just always loved realistic sounding drums. And when I wanted to do something like that was, which was most of the time, I always felt limited by the available tools trigger for the exact reasons that you mentioned. And then also other stuff, like as much as I like, for example, the tracker in superior drums, it's great for getting the mid information out of the actual drums, but then when. Wanna layer it with the samples and not just replace them, you run into other issues. Some samples are not cut, cut accurately, or, you know, and then every single library has its own sort of flaws or some, as you mentioned, sound just too over the top, just two processed. And I, the velocities are, are weird. You can never use 1 27 because it's just crazy. And like all these things and like none of these solutions were perfect. And then I found room sound and it just gave me all of that. And it was the first time I remember using it like the first, um, oo, but also Bober gel really was what sort of, um, that one was just crazy. Um, to me it was, I remember using that for the first time on some, on a song that had like quiet ghost notes and like fill SNA rolls, building up and stuff like that. And it was the first that time I thought my triggered samples sounded not just like the original performance, but actually better. I was able to blend them, make it sound better, but still like the original performance in a way. And that's just, yeah, that just that's exactly why I love these samples so much. I, to be honest, I never really use. The built in processing might be great, but I have to be honest, I just never really use it as much. I just use the samples because they are amazing. I use them like a kit. I sent the multi outs to the doll, layer them with the existing drums. Um, treat them as a fight, recorded a drum kit, and that's what I do with it. And it works. And I don't really think about, I, I don't even realize I'm using samples. I print them. They're in the session. They're perfect. And that's what I want. And so, and, and it's interesting to hear that you come from punk rock background yourself and had these same problems, obviously with other products. And that's why you make these like makes perfect sense to me. 

Malcom: Yeah, it, it's kind of interesting to think. Cuz when people go hunting for drum libraries, they're usually just looking at the sound of the samples, not really considering the brains of the software behind it, like the, the actual program you've coded. Um, and, and what that brings to the table that like I, For one hadn't considered that so that that's, that's very cool. Um, now I'm curious when you were creating this product, obviously you wanted to, well, you realized that people would want it, but you were first and foremost, making it for your yourself, to solve a problem you had, were you wanting to make it to layer with real drums or to create an all in one? This is gonna sound like a, a drum kit on its own. Um, and we don't even need to record drums. Like obviously both are possible, but what, what was your goal going into it? 

Dave: Uh, well, I think that that sort of depends on where you catch, catch me in the development of the company, right? Like the first the first set of things that we made, we didn't even do symbols. 

Malcom: Right, right. 

Dave: you know, it was designed to be a replacement library, like drum replacement or augmentation.

Benedikt: Dave, sorry to sorry to cut you off real quick, but that, I just have to say that this point, because this is almost exactly a question that we got from our audience. So I'm just gonna ask it now, because it's almost the same as you had Malcolm them because Daniel, James, from our community, I wanted to just mention the people who also have these questions. his name is Daniel James from our community, and he asked, asked the maker of this product, what was your original vision for how they would be used and how has that ended up differently to what you intended? So basically same question, but I just wanted to give this shout out to Daniel. Thank you for asking.

Dave: Oh, okay. Well, thanks for your question. so yeah, it started off as, you know, replacement augmentation. That's what we wanted to use it for. as things kind of progressed, and things got more serious people. I mean, the reception from the start was so much better, like, than we anticipated. And I mean, this is basically my full time job now is doing room sound and it started off just as like, oh, well, we'll do this little thing. We'll set up a web store, no big deal. You know? so as that first library kind of like got some interest and, and Jay, you know, and there, there are so many people that bought that, that like, I was kind of like. I was super, I can't say who it was, but they were like some big time people that bought it and loved it. And I was like, oh, well, you know, maybe, maybe our reach can be a little broader here. You know? Like if this is having such a good kind of reception, like I'll bet you, there's a whole bunch of other people that would be interested in this. And I, and you know, I'm kind of a dork and I, I love, I love doing new stuff. So I was like, well, you know, I feel like we kind of figured out, you know, how to do shells, but symbols, that's a challenge. Right. And so, you know, everything to me is just like a puzzle to solve. And so I sat down for a couple days and I was like, all right, well, how would I do symbols? And this is years ago, this is before. I mean, I'm way better at programming and contact and doing everything now. But even at that basic level, I was like, I'll betcha. I could figure out symbols. And, and we did. And, you know, And it's been constantly evolving, but, and then it was like, well, you know what, like there's a whole market for this, for people that are not engineers. Right. Because I'm an engineer, you guys are engineers, but there's way more like guitar players that just want kind of good sounding drums. Right. So, I mean, if you remember from the old products, there, there was no builtin processing, right? Like you Benedict, you're talking about, you know, not using the built in processing and you know what that's, that's the exact use case we envisioned, but all the people that just want a finished sound, that's also the use case that we envisioned. Right. So like, The way that this all came together was like, basically we record the samples. We, I, I sort of like put 'em together in the instrument. And then our partners, our signature partners, like Kurt or Bo, or Jay were the blasting room guys, you know, I delivered the instrument to them and there's all these mixing tools built, built in. And I'm like, okay, mix it like a record. And there's your presets. So you can, you can change it, nothing's baked in, but there's enough of those like processing tools that, you know, basically you can have a, a finished sound from a stereo output, which is the use case for like all the guitar players that just want kind of kick ass drum sounds to play along to, and to compose with. Like, because I think that's important, right? Like there's a lot of recorders and, and they know how to, like, you're saying like, you know, you just use the samples and you know how to process 'em, but there's plenty of people that don't wanna learn how to do all that. And so that's another audience. And so the question is like, how do you serve both those audiences? And I know that we might be kind of getting into the weeds here with a question, but like, you know, I envisioned it originally as a, as a tool for recorders, but the, it expanded to be everybody cuz everybody should have access to great drums, you 

Benedikt: Yes, a hundred percent. And, uh, I think even like people who know how to process them or, or mix them or whatever, even they benefit from it. Because if you wanna do a quick demo or is it just capture an idea or, you know, sometimes things have to just move fast and then, then it's perfect that you have these presets, like. That's I totally, or if you're just a fan of somebody's drum sound and you wanna recreate that or see what's going on, or, you know, like for me, I'm such a huge OU event. And when the first OU library came out, I tried immediately. I didn't even do anything. Like I immediately went to the God city preset and just picked one of the mid loops and hit play. And it sounded like my favorite OU records because he's such a signature sound. And I was like, that's what I've always wanted to do. And I never achieved it. Like, and now I have to just see what is going on here. So it's just super interesting to see that too, when it comes to signature libraries to just see how people treat them or Bose, um, what's the, the crazy multi-instance, um, that mix preset that he has where it's like multiple instances for different things and yeah, yeah. That one, that approach, I wouldn't have never came up with an approach like that. And it was so cool to see that and so useful too. So that alone, like the learning experience was, was cool for me. So that, that made the, the processing and the presets worth it. 

Malcom: that's interesting. You're, you're kind of reverse engineering, how they mix drums from these presets. Cuz you can literally look at how, how the mix is set up in inside of the drum software. That's awesome. I like 

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. 

Dave: and I gotta throw it out to con uh, to native instruments. Uh, just, you know, native instruments has been a fantastic partner. Contact is such an amazing platform. I mean, there's, there's little things about it. I would change for sure. But, uh, I mean, in terms of being a, a partner, like you can't beat the efficiency, the sound quality, I mean, they really have it figured out like the contact engine and that's, that's really, I couldn't do this in any other sampler, you know, everybody's always like, oh, well, you, you know, we hate using contact. Can you like switch to another sampler? I, I don't want to, like, it is such a mature. Platform. It is so good at Ram handling and it's very CPU efficient. so yeah, 

Malcom: So, uh, I'm So, curious because I, I've got a little bit of experience with writing code, just through curiosity and taking some courses and stuff like that. I've got some experience with making drum samples, but I've only ever done just straight up one shots and stuff like that. Um, and then I've never done bothered, like, you know, symbols, and then there's also inside of this there's mid grooves and stuff like that. There's so much stuff. How long does it kind of take to, to put one of these libraries together for you? Just in like the ballpark approximate? cuz it seems like an enormous task 

Dave: oh, it's, it's crazy. You know, like, people, people sometimes ask about like, well, what, like what's the secret like, and, and. You know, like some people would be like, oh, well, like, I'm sure you can't like discuss all the stuff you're doing behind the scenes. And I always say like, I'll tell anybody who wants to know exactly what I do, because there's no secret to it. It's just mind numbing detail oriented work for months and months and months. Like, if you want to go and steal it, like steal my techniques, go for it. Like, you probably don't have the mental fortitude to get through it. That's really what it is. Like, that's my, that's my like, you know, intellectual property dongle, if you will. Right. It's just like, if you wanna do 

Malcom: hard, 

Dave: you go for it. But like, you better give up on your life for a year, you know? you know, to, to your point about the, like the sample cutting. Like I cut personally every sample by hand Deno by hand. Listen to them, like audition the whole sample. I don't like do automatic anything because of what you described. Right. 

Benedikt: unbelievable that this happens honestly, like it's unbelievable to me that this even happens like one, some of the major samplers, like we couldn't figure out why we weren't able to blend them with our real rums. Programming was kind of fine, but like blending was impossible until we printed and what looked at every single sample and turns out that some were cut into the way form. Others had a couple of samples of space before it, and you know, like all over the place. And it kinda was fascinating to see that this, that this actually happens and it was not a small company. Right. So

Dave: Yeah. I mean, that's been my experience too. I mean, everything that I do is based on, you know, my, like my reaction to things that I did not like in other commercially available products, like I did not set out to be like a drum sample company owner. Like if somebody had made the thing that I wanted, we wouldn't be sitting here talking. you know, um, 

Malcom: And you'd have years of your life back. 

Dave: yeah. Uh, but I mean, that's, that's really, the thing is like, you know, the, this newest library, uh, I mean, granted COVID, and that created a bunch of delays, but I mean, we've been working on it for three years, you know, and, and that, I mean, I do, I have done a lot of other stuff in the meantime, you know, it's not my only gig. I still make records. I teach at a college, I teach audio production courses, like a couple courses every semester. So it's not like, this is my, the only thing I do. but I mean, for in large part for the last three years, this is what I've been working on. And, you know, I, I think it's one of the things that I, that I always said, and I'm gonna try to keep this going as long as I can is like, you have to be really careful when you're setting up a company about how you set up the company. I room sound is definitely not the biggest drum sample maker. And that's fine by me. if, if we hired a bunch of people and had a huge marketing department and all this stuff, like, I, I mean, I I'm biased, but I think with the quality of our product, we could be way bigger. But the problem with that is once you take on all that overhead, all that staffing, you know, I'm, I'm of the opinion, like when you hire somebody, you are, you are making a commitment to that person that you're, you know, your job is relatively secure. Like you're never gonna have to worry about your paycheck bouncing, you know, and the company is gonna make decisions that enable that. Right. And so. I get it with a lot of the companies that maybe the, the products aren't quite as well thought through because they have all this enormous overhead and they have bills to pay and they have people that depend on them and they have to get their products out. You know, like I did not wanna spend three years working on this Kurt library. Uh, I was hoping it would be out in a year, but after a year I was like, this is not right yet. We gotta, it's gotta be right. And because our overhead is so low and we are such a small company, like that's. That's the thing that enables us to do these things and not take the, you know, the route where we, we like, all right, we have X amount of time to cut these up. And if it, it cannot take longer than this, because then you know, the, the budget for the marketing and all this stuff, you know, it's like, it's like that video game, cyber punk, 20, 77, right? Like that game could have been awesome, but like, because of all of the overhead and all that stuff, like they had to get it out at a certain time and whatever, like, and I just for room sound products like that, it's so much of me goes into that and I, I really want it to be quality. So. Three years on this one. The next, the next thing that we do is not gonna take three years. Like oh man, I hope not 

Malcom: Yeah, 

Dave: uh, but if it, but you know, what, if it does, it does. And when it comes out, it will, it will be three years later and it'll be right and I'll be a hundred percent proud of every aspect of it, you know? And, and also for our partners, you know, like Kurt's name is on it, you know, Jay's name is on his Bose is on his, the blast room guys. Like every single person. I want them to be stoked about the thing that comes out. And if 

Malcom: totally. 

Dave: three years, it takes three years,

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. 

Malcom: Yeah. So we should talk about your new library. Um, give, give us the elevator pitch on that. 

Dave: uh, well, it's just a continuation of, you know, what we've been doing for just basically since the beginning. It's, kind of like the ultimate manifestation of my. Obsession with having, uh, you know, virtual drums that sound real and indistinguishable from real drums. you know, Kurt, you know, Kurt by now, you know, we have known each other a long time. I know what he's about. He knows what I'm about. and I've gotten a lot better at what I do. so, one of my favorite bands that Kurt works with is a band called Russian circles and their drummer, Dave turn Krantz is also one of my favorite drummers. Uh, and they're, they're a Chicago band. And so, you know, Kurt and I talk all the time. And when we were in this. Planning stages for this. He's like, Hey, what would you think about going out to Chicago and doing a record at electric or doing a library at electrical? And instantly, I was like, Ooh, this is, this is something, you know, like, uh, cuz for those of you who don't know electrical audio is the, uh, studio, uh, owned by Steve Albini. Who's another famous recording engineer. and it's a primarily tape based studio. I mean they are a hundred percent caught up on all the new digital stuff. They're not like, backwards leaning. I mean. 

 The studio is awesome, but the rooms in that studio are kind, they kind of have a life of their own. And I was like, oh man, I am totally interested in this. Now, if you're familiar with Kurt, like he's kind of famous for doing a lot of processing on the way in. And certainly his, the first version of, of his library that we recorded his personal studio. We leaned on a lot of his like compression and EQ and stuff on the way in. And so that's, that's what gives us its signature sound. Right. But with this one, I was like, you know what, like, I want this to be more versatile. So. He got sounds and used his like EQ techniques and stuff on the way in. And then right before we hit record, we just switched it all off. So he kind of knew that he was getting what he needed, but then the idea was, well, we're gonna record all these things raw. We'll take 'em back to God's city. We can mix 'em there. We can use the internal effects so that, you know, if you don't want, you know, like the Kurt blue sound, you can just take that off. And it just sounds like amazingly recorded and sampled and, you know, you know, played drums in this legendary studio. So you can kind of make it sound like anything. And that's really, that was the thing about this library is like, we were aiming for like ultimate versatility. So like we didn't, we didn't like sample a ton of kit pieces. But we sampled stuff that that would be good that using the included tools, you can basically do anything you want with it without having analysis paralysis. Cause like, I don't care about having 10 snare drums. That all sound basically the exact same. Like I would much rather have like a few that all have dramatically different character and then you can shape him and that, and that's sort of what we did here. so yeah, I mean, I could, I could talk forever about this library. Like I said, it's been three years in the making and 

Benedikt: Yeah. 

it's, it's, it's, ridiculous. Like it's totally bonkers. Like I was, I was hoping for it to be that because the, I love the initial car blue one, but as you said, like, that just sounds like Caru matter what you do, basically. I mean, yeah, there's more to than that, but like that, that wouldn't do it justice probably, but still it's it has a signature sound and I ended up using the bow one or the blasting room ones or one of the others for other stuff a lot. And this one, I was hoping for it to be more versatile, but would still maybe get some of that, that Kurt on if I want to. And that's exactly what I experienced when I tried it. And like, let's talk about maybe some of these details that you put in there also, because I think part of the versatility is not really the different cells that you can choose, but things like two different pairs of overheads, one being condensers, one being ribbons. One is like a space pair. One is like, I think I'm correct. You like a space pair and the other one is bloom line or X, Y, or something, you know, two different configurations or RTF or 

Dave: Yeah. 

Benedikt: Yeah. and then. 

 Yeah. And, and like, these things are so useful because you can get something wider or tighter you can get or narrower, you can get it like more open or tighter, you know, you have so much control over how the kit sounds and feels, um, with the exact same drums, but just by picking the right microphone combination and then all these rooms, of course. And I'm very curious to, to hear about that too, because, like how did you, as far as I remember there were multiple rooms used in this one library, like, how is that possible in at electrical? And if so, like how did you pull that off to have like the, the different rooms all baked into this one thing basically?

Dave: So electrical is, uh, a huge complex and they actually have two studios that are not physically connected. They have the main, like what, what we call studio a, which is basically like an Adobe brick room. Um, and that's the one you, it kind of like looks the coolest and you see it in all, like the document, like the Dave gro Sonic highways thing, that's the studio they were in for that. it's like more of kind of like a pro like, you know, what you would sort of traditionally think of as a recording studio. Like it's big, it's set up in that way. It's got multiple rooms and it sounds great. it's I would say it's like kind of a little bit more. Designed then studio B, which was the original studio. So the, the, uh, the story goes like Steve Albini, he, he purchased this, this complex, uh, and at the time he had a, um, a home studio that he was working out of and he, sold his house to help finance the purchase of the studio. And studio B was the first one that was ready. And it was, it's kind of like a little, I don't wanna say rougher, but it's like a, it's like a little more punk rock, you know, and, and while he was working in studio B, they finished construction on studio a, which is like the more fancy of the two studios. the thing about studio B though, is it's cheaper to work in there. And so a lot of my favorite bands, like my favorite, like punk rock records were done in the cheaper studio and it has the live room. There has this. It's huge. It's all like masonry. And it's really tall. It's like two stories tall. And so the drums just sound bonkers cool in there. But if you don't want that sound, it's hard to take that like, like real like Zeppelin kind of room sound out of the drums in there, unless you throw it in the ISO booth and it's a whole thing. So the idea was always, we were gonna record the library in room a, but I was like, you know what? Like this is gonna be like, let's just, let's just rent the whole complex, cuz we're gonna have to do that anyway. Cuz unless the isolation is totally, you can't have somebody like wailing on a base amp, even though the isolation between the studios is really good. Like you can't have any noise for sampling, so I'm gonna have to rent the whole place. Anyway, you know, I'm gonna have to, you know, book out both rooms. Why Don. Since I'm already gonna be paying for that. Why don't we just like book out a second engineer and a second drummer and we'll sample the drums twice in studio a and studio B, but studio B will only care about the room mics because we can use the close mics from studio a and I had this idea, you know, one of the things about, uh, our libraries is like, I have this, like, it's like musicality by spreadsheet. It's like The sampling process is so detailed, like down to, you know, we meter stuff by like a 10th of a DB for consistency. So like, the sampling drummers, I've never had a sampling drummer that agreed to do a library with me twice because the process is so insane. Uh but so I thought to myself like, well, this process is so defined and dialed in I'll betcha. That we could blend studio a and studio B together. And you'd never know the difference that it was played at a different time, by a different drummer. 

Malcom: Right. 

Dave: so when we set out to do this, it was a big experiment. I was like, I don't know if this is gonna work. 

Malcom: Yeah. 

Dave: and, but I, but I hired, uh, you know, like one of my childhood, uh, friends, he was an amazing drummer, his name's Chris leprie. And I was like, you know what, if, if you're cool, like come out, like this is gonna be an experiment. So Dave turn Krantz, you know, hand and Kurt handled their business in studio a and John Sam Paulo. Who's a staff engineer at electrical. And, uh, my, my good friend, Chris, uh, went through the process in studio B. And then at the end I put 'em together and it wasn't until the instrument was basically done that I, I was like, did this. Turns out it did. Uh, so you can actually physically blend studio and studio, uh, studio a and studio B together with this library. You cannot do that in real life. This is the only way to do that. And it sounds amazing cuz you have this like Adobe brick, close mic kind of studio, a sound, which sounds like awesome. But then if you want to get that bombastic studio B sound, you can just put it up on a fader and it totally works.

Malcom: Crazy. The, the, only thing I can think of that's close. 

Dave: the last room?

Benedikt: No.

Malcom: The only thing I can think of, that's close to doing this that I've heard of in real life is like Bob rock, setting up a PA system in another room and rerecording like rooms like that or something, which 

Dave: we actually tried that, but it it just doesn't sound. Right. You know, like it sounds kind of like a room, but there's nothing like, you know, a drummer hitting like a nice deep rim shot, you know, in the room, like actually generating from the drum. Uh, I mean, I would've loved to have done it that way because it would've been so much simpler. like 

Malcom: have to replay

Dave: like I cannot tell you the amount of time I spent on sample prep to make sure all of this stuff worked together. so 

Malcom: Well, I'm glad it worked. That's awesome. 

Benedikt: Yeah. Tell us about the process of se of, of sample of sampling then? Uh, maybe because that's something, I think a lot of people don't really get because Mo what most of us have done before is probably what you set Malcolm is like record a bunch of, um, one shots or just recorded some samples in the beginning of the sessions, or you could layer them later or replace hits and stuff like that. But like, the way you, like, what you need to do for these libraries is way different than that. And then symbols of course are their own thing. So what goes actually into the, the process of, of making samples like that? What do you have to watch out for? I know there's a million things, but maybe a couple of key things that, that like anyone should know about who wants to make even just a small libraries for it to work well in the end, like, what are some things like, what's the process like broken down.

Dave: Uh, I mean, so I, I, I think that Sam doing sampling is not dissimilar from just making a record, right? Like you can go into a record with no pre-production and, you know, you can come out with a recording, but like, if you really wanna work at a high level, you kind of have to go in with a plan. And that's, that's the thing. A lot of times when people talk about samples, 

Malcom: Hm. 

Dave: Yeah. I mean, a and I have a lot of friends that are just like, oh man, this is so cool. I want to do this. Like, can you tell me, uh, like how to do it, like a real simple way? And I'm like, no, because pre pre I mean, like, I'll tell you how I do it, but it's not gonna be simple. Like there's no way to do it simply and have the level of quality that you need to really do it. Now, if you just wanna build out a little library for yourself, I mean, that's, that is very simple, right. But if you really want to get into this like, sort of deep sampling thing, there's no simple way to do it. You have to sit there and meticulously think about it. And, and I'm very like sort of process oriented and. one of the things that I, that I like to do is define these things in, in very distinct stages. So when I'm planning a library, I mean, I don't really do this anymore because we've, we've kind of like worked out our sampling system. But at the beginning, like I was saying with earlier, when I was talking about the symbols, like, it's like, okay, before I record note one or hit one of a symbol library, like you gotta go through and say, okay, what are, what is every single way that this thing can be played? How, and it's not just like, well, you know, you can hit it, you can crash on it, you can play it on the bow, you know, how do these different articulations interact with each other? So it's like the, the, the way to really think about it is that way. And once you think about it that way, then you're like, okay, well then I sort of understand how the engine has to work in order to make this sound realistic. And I can sample to that end. Right. 

 I mean, as far as just the detail goes, I mean, we just, we have. a lot of times people, when people sample they'll be like, okay, I'm gonna go, I'm gonna play 10 hits. I'm gonna go from the softest. I can hit to the loudest I can hit. And then I'll chop those up and I'll put 'em in and I'll velocity map 'em I mean, that works, but it's not realistic. So what we did was we figured out like sort of this velocity chart of like, well, that corresponds exactly to mid values, uh, and, and the scaling and the contact sampler. So we're like, okay, well, if you, if you play it at this, you know, at this velocity, if you send mid velocity, you know, 96 in what is the peak value that that should be now, we're gonna write that down. Now we're gonna have the drummer play until they hit that value. Exactly. 

Malcom: right. 

Dave: with the left hand, the, well, you, you have to meter it every single hit I'm I'm metering the exact peak value.

Benedikt: but but is it just really just peak value? Not, and not like how, how it sounds like the attack and all of it, because sometimes it might be louder, but not sound as impactful as maybe a quieter hit. Like that's at least how I think about it. Like, is it, is it really just the peak

Dave: Absolutely. Well, it's the peak value in your sampling. and then you fill in all that other feel stuff on the back end with the software,

Benedikt: Yeah.

Dave: right? So, so I put this thing together, right? And then I have an electronic drum kit that's like super dialed and I'll just play, you know, press roles and, and nuanced stuff. And I'm like, oh, this doesn't feel right. Let me tweak the code. You know, and I, I do that for every drum. I do that for every symbol, but, but the thing that's important is that you have this very, very consistent way that you ingest the samples so that then you, the engine can know what is happening. And that's what the peak values is all about. And that's why, you know, like, Your listeners might not necessarily be familiar with all of our stuff, but the, the new, the new Kurt library has a lot of like the, the engine. It's a complete rewrite of the sampler engine from the ground up. That's part of what took the three years. and so the symbols and everything sounds what I would say. I is like, kind of like an order of magnitude better and more realistic than previous libraries. And that's not to say that the old libraries don't sound already sound realistic. They do, but this is just like next level. But the, you, you know, what the awesome part is, and this is something that we've got in the plan is because of the consistency of our sample ingest process. I can, I'm gonna go back and we can actually, it's like backwards compatible the new engine. We can apply this to the old samples. And now the old samples can be as realistic as these new ones, because our sampling process is so defined and so thought out and so consistent. And that's why no drummer ever wants to do more than one of these with me, because I am just an absolute nut.

Benedikt: Yeah. 

Dave: it comes to like the quality of the ingest of the samples.

Benedikt: had you ever, had you ever someone tell you to just fuck off it? Like, I don't wanna do this anymore. Like let, like I'm out here. Has that ever happened or are they patient with you? 

Dave: has never happened, uh, there, and to be honest, like whenever I approach a drummer about this, I'm always like, listen, man, like. What you think this is gonna be is not what it's gonna be. It is, is gonna be hard. And they're all just like, you know, they pump out their chest and they're like, ah, I got this, no problem. And then once we get into it, they're like, oh, well, I can't like go back on this now. Cuz I was real, you know, I, I was real macho about being able to do this, but I, I, I mean, I'm, I'm playing it up a little bit, you know, like, and all of the drummers that we've worked with are fantastic and, and you know, you can't just be any drummer. It has to be a drummer that I know to have a good, uh, sort of, I don't wanna say work ethic, but like a good, good attention to detail and good mental stamina, because that's really what you need. Like you have to be able to hit really well and consistently and all that, but you also have to have the mental stamina that's easily just as important.

Benedikt: fascinating that two people sound different when they, when all you need to do like, quote, unquote, all you need to do is like hit a drum once that this will sound differently when two people are doing it, especially over the course of a long session like that, and then left hand, right hand and different articulations and stuff, because you would think like, it doesn't matter if you sit down or I sit down or I work class runners sits down, you know, should have, should sound the same, but it doesn't. And that that's, that's 

Dave: Well, that that's actually not, that's not totally true. Um, our, our sampling process is specific and detailed enough that it largely takes the performance of the drummer out of it. Um, and, and so like when I talk about a drummer being a good drummer, um, like, I mean, you gotta know how to hit a good rim shot, you know, but yeah. like sure. But once you get to that point where you're hitting the drum, In the proper way, it kind of takes the drummer out of it. The real thing that the quality of the drummer that is super important is the ability to do those hits consistently. Cuz if you can't, it will take twice as long to record. And so that, that's a, like a big thing. So that's like the mental fortitude part and then the, uh, the ability to be consistent 

Benedikt: Mm-hmm mm-hmm interesting. about the symbols? What, yeah, totally.

Dave: Oh, oh, it's, it's a nightmare. Hell that you can, that you can't even imagine, 

Malcom: you like, like all the jobs, like being the drummer, being the drum tech, being the engineer, it sounds just so hard across, across it all. 

Dave: Well, that, that's why, like I always say, like, I will tell anybody that wants to listen what the secret is. It's just being like a weird type, a dude who, who can just sit and at a computer for three years.

Benedikt: Yeah. 

Dave: and, basically like, I, I mean, it's not musical. I, I mean, the, the end part is where I'm like tweaking the code to make it sound its best. But like, you know, probably 85% of it is like the most mundane, like it's like spreadsheets. It's like musical spreadsheets 

Malcom: Totally. Totally. yeah, it's uh, that's so right. Brain for, for that part of it processes. Right. Um, but that's, I'm so glad you do it. thank you 

Dave: I do it. So you don't have to. 

Malcom: exactly. Exactly. It's really great. 

Benedikt: What, what

Dave: And, and the thing, the other thing that I will say about this is like, you know, we have currently our entire library is signature libraries and every single signature person that we partner with is some degree. I mean, they're not all as like, sort of crazy as I am about this stuff, but they are all incredibly detail oriented. Like there have been people that approached us about doing a signature library and I'm just like, you know, I don't think this is the right fit, you know, cuz they're more kind of loosey goosey or whatever, you know? Um, it's really, I feel like it's just, it's very similar to making a record is like for this sort of thing, like you have to work with like-minded people that are, you know, it's not, every person is not right for this, you know, and that's fine. You know, there's nothing, nothing against those people, you know? So.

Benedikt: Yeah, totally. Totally. 

Malcom: question there. I think, 

Benedikt: Uh, yeah, but the, but only if you don't like you just wanna add, add something to this. 

Malcom: no, go, go ahead buddy. 

Benedikt: Okay. about the symbols I wanted to ask because that like the consistent hits and all of that, um, obviously matters with, um, the shells. It also matters with the symbols, but sampling symbols sounds so much more of a nightmare even than the shell part, just because I like imagine a ride symbol that just rings out forever. And you not only have to do this over and over and over and over again consistently, but you have to wait forever until the thing is like quiet again. And then you can go again. At least that's what I imagined it to be. And like that, yeah, that is kind of even more crazy to me. And then, yeah, and also like, what's what has to go on like under the hood of the, of the engine and the sampling is these are like huge samples, right? When we cut a snare hit or something, it's like, A short, small in size also like piece of data. But like, if you have a sample of a ride symbol, that's a long Wafa and also needs a lot of space and all of that. And, and the thing has to be able to handle those. And so I, I can just imagine that symbols are even harder to do so maybe you can talk a about, about that a little bit.

Dave: Uh, yeah, I mean, the, the symbols are hard to do just from a sort of a tenacity of the sampling team kind of standpoint, because like you said, ride symbol, you gotta wait. I mean, sometimes it's 30 seconds. Sometimes it's 45 seconds. You gotta let that thing decay completely. 

Benedikt: That's can you turn this into like a meditation thing or something like where somebody's hitting something and 


Benedikt: know, it's just

Dave: You know, it's funny that you say that, cuz like some of the sampling drummers have have said like it's, it's like that, like you get into a, into like a, a, like a meditative state when you're doing it. I, I mean, I don't, I don't know, like all of your fears, all the things that you think are terrible about doing it true. Like they are all true. It's horrible. 

Malcom: I can just picture the drummer, like accidentally like resting their drumstick on the snare in front of them and it's clicking, oh, we gotta do it again. Or there's stool squeaks or like, you know, like, 

Dave: I, I always tell 'em like, like don't breathe, 

Malcom: yeah, don't breathe. Hold your breath.

Benedikt: Yeah, 

Dave: hold your breath. You know? Uh, I, I mean, I'm, I'm laying it on kind of thick here, but uh, it is, it is every bit as difficult as you imagine. 

Malcom: here, here's a question. Do you just bring in one drum at a time, that up 

Dave: No. 

Malcom: you have a whole. 

Dave: So kind of going back to what I was saying before about like, you know, drum sampling is not dissimilar from making a record is like, uh, we set up the entire drum kit, mic it up together, check the phase as though it's a drum like a real drum kit. So, you know, for maybe for listeners that are not like super well versed in, uh, recording theory and stuff, you know, when you get a drum kit that you're recording like a real drum kit, there is no such thing as perfect phase. It's a compromise because anytime you have microphones that are like different distances away from a sound source, you're gonna have these phase interactions. as long as like, whenever you do phase checking on a complete drum kit for a record, it's always like a compromise, right? So it's like, how do I adjust the phase relationships? So they favor the ones that I want. 

Malcom: right. 

Dave: you can never get it. Perfect. but the problem with sampling is like you, it's this artificial process where it's like, oh, all the things that I wish I could do in real life, I can now do, because it's this artificial process where we're doing one hit at a time, we can make every single snare hit perfect. You know, D you know, dead in the center, nice meaty hit. You know, every sample can be perfect. The phase can be perfect. We can set each drum up individually and make sure the phase is perfect with the, with the overheads. And there's no compromises, so you can, you can make this, you can make these, uh, hits that are like technically perfect, but that's a problem, right? Because if you want the drums to sound. The drummer never plays every hit perfectly. The phase is never a hundred percent, you know, perfect. It's always a compromise. so we set up the drum kit as if we're recording it for a record. You know, obviously we check phase and all the phase relationships are as good as they can possibly be, but they're not perfect, 

Malcom: Right, 

Dave: you know? And so what, the way, what I, what I like to call it is like, um, systematic imperfection, like we were talking about how, how it's like, you know, musical spreadsheets. Like I, we have systemized all of the mistakes and the, that that drummers make, you know, when you play fast, you play a little bit off center or, you know, your hits are not all directly in center. They're kind of like all over the place. More, the faster you play, that's that sort of like con contextual stuff that our engine can do that you can't do in something like trigger. you know, it monitors what's happening. So it's like, oh, well you're playing fast now. So it's, we're gonna draw from different sample pools and, and that sort of thing. Um, yeah, I mean, I, I suppose that's, that's kind of like a long-winded 

Malcom: No, that, that, that, that did answer, the question for sure. That's that's really cool. So now, uh, here's, uh, question for you and I'm curious what you prefer because. When I record drums, I, I do the same thing. I get it as good as I can on the way in. And then that's usually what I roll with, um, where I know some people will then go in and align their drums to better the phase relationship, like in, in the edit, they'll grab their room mics and, you know, move them forward in time. So that they're more on top of, their, their close mics in a, in a phase relationship. generally I, I like, I mean, I'm not gonna say I haven't done that to some extent, but. I, I generally don't. because part of like that distance is literally what I'm looking for. That is the sound I'm I'm going for. So I'm wondering when you're building a, a, a drum sample library where that's totally possible to do, you could do that with every, every hit, like you said, what, what, what is your, what, what do you like? 

Dave: I mean, I like drums in a room. So I'm for in large part, like I'm leaving, 'em, leaving, 'em natural, you know, uh, FA the, the thing about it is like, I mean, I rock and roll is not perfect. It's defined by its imperfections. Right. And you know, a lot of I'm sort of like this pocket protector nerd, like I can tell you exactly how far away from the snare drum. You should put a microphone. If it's tuned to see sharp. Like, I, I have a spreadsheet where I, I look at the, at the, at the length, like the physical length of the fundamental at every note value. So if it's like, oh man, well, I gotta C sharp. I know exactly how far away from the snare drum that microphone has to be for it to be pretty much perfectly in phase. Right. But then, but the problem is, you know, well, what about the Toms? What about the kick drum and the overheads? Like, you kind of have to like, choose what you're, what you're gonna optimize, you know? And for me, it's usually the snare drum followed by the kick drum. You know, you could actually absolutely like slide it around in drum sample world, but that, it just like, it misses something, it, it just, you know, most people don't understand why it doesn't sound. Right. They just know that it doesn't because as humans we're just really attuned to that sort of thing. Even people that aren't involved in music, they're just like, ah, there's just like something doesn't feel right about this.

Malcom: Yeah.

Dave: You know? And, and I think that's part of it, you know, like all the unnatural stuff you can do in a do. And I, I like, I mean, I do drum editing when I make records, I do all the modern stuff, but it's like, there's a point at which you should stop you're crossing over the, the like, uh, like the uncanny valley kind of situation. Like I like to stop just short of that uncanny 

Benedikt: yeah. like, except for when you're trying to make, uh, Supernatural larger than life sort of record that ha doesn't have to sound like a real kid because there, I gotta say this because the, some of our listeners might be like, yeah, but I like like modern metal where every hit is obviously the same. And you know, some people even like the machine gun aesthetic on PHS, that's part of a certain aesthetic of certain genres. So, uh I'm yeah. We're not saying you can't ever do that. And I've made records where I just use one shots because that was exactly what this record needed. but if, if you want it to sound like a real drum kit, then what you just explained are all the things you gotta do if you want to be like a real kit. Right. So, but it's totally fine if you just wanna use one shots of course. But it's just a 

Dave: I. 

Benedikt: and aesthetic.

Dave: Yeah. I mean, I, I think it's, we're, we're sort of, we're in a place right now, just generally with technology where like, it's great to be a home recordist right now. right and if you want that kind of like, you know, that hyper process larger than life, you know, there are no shortage of companies that do that in a, in a, fantastic way, you know? Um, and and I, to be honest, I like I'm friends with a lot of the people that, that run those companies. I mean, I'm not gonna, I gotta say who, but like, you know who they are, you know, and I love their work, you know, they're trying to do a thing and they're nailing it. I mean, for room sound like, you know, we partner with people that sort of share our aesthetic and share our vision. And there's plenty of room in the marketplace for everybody to eat. You know, there's so many people recording themselves, recording at home. It's great. You know, and I'm, I, you know, me personally, I just want room sound to be like a small part of that big pie, you know, 

Malcom: You're you're filling a, a specific spot in that pie though, which is really great. Cause like, I, I, like I've mentioned, I've made my own one shot one shots. I use them all the time actually. Um, I love what I've made, but I have not made like realistic multis samples. So for that to exist and be available, it's perfect. Cause that's the hard work I don't want to do. right. So like it's much harder to do that. So we, we need that, that needs to be filled by people like yourself and, and your company, um, was so Yeah. it really is great that that you're doing this we need it. 

Benedikt: Have you ever had people like ask about, or like be confused because it's the name of the company? I just have to ask that because I had a couple of situations where somebody asked me what I used or what I've done here, or when I'm coaching our students, like at the self recording band, we have a coaching program and, and courses and stuff. And when I mentioned, when I mentioned room sound samples, I always have to say room sound brackets, the company like samples, because when I just say room sound, people are like, wait, you're just using room samples. Like there's no close mics. And I'm like, no, I mean, room sound, you know, the company stuff. Did you ever have that or yeah. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Did you ever have that or like, were people confused about thinking that it's only room samples that you have or something like that? Was it ever, ever a problem?

Dave: uh, at the beginning it kind of was I think now, like, I mean, at least in most of the dealings that I have with people, like they, they recognize. 

Malcom: The brand. 

Dave: what it is. you know, we, we arrived at that name. Uh, so my, uh, my Jamie, my original business partner, he was running a recording studio that he called room sound. And we were, when we were putting this thing together, it was like, really kind of just like, well, what do we wanna call this thing? And he is like, well, I've already got the domain room sound.com. So we don't have to like, get another domain. I'm 

Malcom: Right. 

Dave: Let's just call it that

Benedikt: Yeah, and it kind of, and it also fits the thing is,

Dave: yeah, if it's aesthetic too. So we were like, oh yeah, this is perfect. Uh .But, you know, it's like one of those things, like you, like my favorite band is Jimmy world. And like what a dumb name, but like, You you know, like after a while, like after a while the name is, it's not really what it is anymore. It's just, it it's like. I mean, like, I don't think like, oh, what a strange name for a band Jimmy E world. It's just, that's the band name. And I think that's the, the way it is with our company too. You know, it's like room sound like, man, that's gonna be hard to optimize for in a Google search. Wish we would've thought that one through, but like 

Benedikt: yeah. 

Dave: know, it is what it is now. And so,

Benedikt: Thank you. I have now for the first time thought about the band named Jamie world, like I will probably have to spend some more time on that.

Dave: oh man, I hope those guys. I hope those guys don't think I'm making fun of them. Uh, it it's actually, so it's actually really funny. So the first drum library that we did, that's no longer available. uh, Jimmy world is also from Phoenix and, uh, those guys know my, my original business partner and we actually went out to their studio and borrowed a bunch of mics and a bunch of drums. So like we, we actually sampled like the drums from, you know, some of the drums from bleed American, which is like one of my favorite records of all time. That was pretty cool. Uh, 

Malcom: They were great. 

Dave: but I, but I hope they don't think I'm making fun of them cuz I really, 

Benedikt: no. no. 

Dave: love their band.

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, me too. No, no, not at all. I don't think so. Um, so I got two more questions here that I absolutely wanna ask. The first one is something you kind of touched on in the beginning of this, of this episode, where you said you need someone to not only be able to tune the drums, but like keep them in tune throughout the whole process. That is like something that, that I think is also relevant for our audience, because I cannot, like, I don't even know how many sessions I've received at this point that I had to mix where the setup and the sound and all was great. But like throughout the first song, you already hear the snare drifting slightly. And then further on, further down the record, it's just completely changed. And I'm like, is that intentional? And they don't even notice or it, sometimes they notice, but they don't know what to do about it. So how do you make sure that things stay in tune throughout these long sessions? And like, do you change drum heads in between? If so, when? And like, do you try to keep the same heads on or like, how do you do it? How do you keep that consistency?

Dave: Well, so originally one of like the big things that, uh, Jamie Wolford brought to the table was he is just the most amazing drum tech ever. And so when I worked with him and he teched, the, the, he teched the blasting room library and he, he teched the, um, the Bo library, as well as all of our older libraries. I, I actually learned a lot from watching him work. It, it, you know, you can learn something from everybody. I don't care how, how long you've been in the game, you know? For, for a lot of our libraries, I was just like, Hey Jamie, you got this. And he's like, I got this. And his method was, he has a little like tone generator and he has the drummer play. The, the drum like around, he calls it like going around the world, you take the snare off, or if you're on a snare or whatever, you tap it all the LUS while he plays this tone in his ear and he can hear it. amazing. watching him work. and we tuned the drums to exact musical pitches, with a musical interval between the batter head and the resident head. you know, that's just kind of, you sort of have to do it that way so that you have a number that you can get back to. I, I think getting to what you were saying, like a lot of times drummers will tune their drums. They sound good, but then they have no idea how to get back there 

Benedikt: Yeah. 

Malcom: right. 

Dave: that's, and, and they're like afraid, 

Benedikt: Yeah, but you're talking about the fundamental here, right? Because like it's physically it's, this is what this thing where people are arguing about this a lot online where some people swear by tuning things to the pitch, or like the key of the song or to a certain note. And then there are other texts who say, like it's physically impossible to tune a drum to a certain note because it consists of so many overtones and harmonics and they are not like, correlated and they're not part of the same key and all that sort of stuff. So you're talking about the fundamental note, the loudest thing that you see on the analyzer, basically that one, that frequency and 

Dave: Yeah. Yeah. I mean it, so I mean, there's a, there are a lot of like sort of high profile people that swear either way. I mean, like, i, I don't know how else to say it other than like, it is absolutely 100% possible to tune to musical pitches and it makes a difference. I, I mean, I don't know. And what they're saying is not wrong, that there's like all these extra harmonics and stuff like that, like, it's not gonna sound like a S wave, you know, but at that moment where the drum head is deflecting the most and vibrating, like there is a fundamental that's there. And if you can optimize the batter and resonant head around that, it absolutely 100% is a note, especially when you get on stuff like floor Tom, if you're like do do da and you're playing along with a bass and that floor, Tom is tuned to the, to the key of the song, you can hear it. Like it, it is a musical thing. I hate to talk in absolutes and I like to think that everybody's opinion is valid, but I mean, I just can't go along with people that say that there is no way to tune to musical pitches. It's I like, I can hear it. Like, it's there not to say that they're wrong about the, you know, the, the, um, the extra harmonics and whatever that they're absolutely right. But like, there is a fundamental, uh, and, and just to, just to finish answering the question that you asked, uh, when, when Jamie there have been libraries where Jamie's not around, like this Kurt library was like that. And, uh, the tune bot, uh, by overtone, I think it's overtone labs makes it, uh, yeah, I mean, I feel like. I'm not endorsed by them or anything, but like I have made that company so much money talking about how awesome the tune bot is. They should really be sending me free tune bots. I mean, it is .Yeah. If, if you guys are listening, like hit me up, like

Benedikt: yeah,

Dave: uh, but yeah, the tune bot is just it's indispensable for what we do. And even Jamie now, you know, like he'll check it with the tune bot because he's great by ear, but it's like when you got a number that you can reference and it like within a, you know, within a 10th of a hurts, it'll give you a value. Oh 

Malcom: That's pretty cool. And, and Like you said, it's, because you've put a value on it. You've put a note or a number that makes it possible to get back to it. So like answering Benny's question is like, as the, you know, the recording goes on and it drifts off and off, you can now go back to it. You're not just guessing being like, I think it. sounded like this. the, the only other way just to speak to this, myself that I've seen it done was with, again, a drum tech who was among the best I've I've seen, it was a guy named, uh, FIO in, in Vancouver and he, we just recorded it at the beginning and then we'd play it to him and be like, this is what we started at. And he'd be like, all right. And then he'd just tweak it, like by ear kind of thing, but having a tool like the drum bot just seems so much quicker and more accurate probably as well. 

Dave: Yeah. And I mean, I've tried, 'em all, you know, I'm, I'm constantly like questing for better ways to do things. You know? I I've tried the, uh, what's the one, the the, tension. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like the, the one that measures the drum head tension using that little like spring and needle design, it's like unusable,

Benedikt: Yeah, yeah. Had the same experience because the tension drift changes for various reasons and not like, you know, and like, it's not that the, it just doesn't give you the what it sounds like. It just measures the 

Dave: Right. 

Benedikt: the problem in and of itself. 

Malcom: Yeah. Same with the, the Lu tension one that just like is only, only twists at a certain tension. It's like, well, if you got, an old drum where the LUS are all bent and stuff 

Dave: Yeah. Or, or like, if you, if one of your, uh, when you, when you oiled the Lu receptacles, if one of them got some grime or dirt in there, well, now It's way harder to turn, you know, like, and, oh, and also, uh, you asked about the drum head part of it. that's part of the pre-production thing. Like we don't, we try not to ever replace drum heads in the process of sampling because you know, that just introduces a variable that we don't wanna deal with. So the way that we do it is we arrange it so that the softest hits tend to be the first ones. And as you, as you get to the end, and it's actually the drum head stretching is actually once you get it kind of seated and. On there. The drum head stretching is not as big of a problem as, the, like when you hit rim shots and stuff. Like if you were to watch that with a slow motion camera, like what's actually happening is the rim deforms. Right? Like it, it, it presses down which actually allows the LUS to rotate because of the vibration and Lu locks help with that a lot. But even still, like, that's the real thing that causes the pitch drift.

Benedikt: If you've ever looked at like, especially triple FLA things, like not die cast, but triple FLA hoops, if you looked at them, like after drummers have played them for a while, like even after a tour or so they can't, they are not a perfect circle anymore. Oftentimes like they are all like weird because they are deformed. Yeah, totally.

Dave: Yeah. And, and it's really interesting when you think, or when you look at, uh, die cast hoops versus, uh, triple flange, cuz triple flange are actually way easier to. at their proper tuning because they they're, because they're not like a solid piece, like the dye cast, they kind of like, they kinda like move around like this. And so they're more tolerant to like, uh, you know, like if you hit a rim shot in one section, it doesn't deform the whole thing, but with the dye cast tube, it all, it kind of is more rigid, which imparts a different sound. But it also, like when you hit a rim shot, it's, it is literally affecting every single lug as opposed to a triple flange, which is like a little bit more sort of loose. I don't wanna say loose, but like, 

Benedikt: Yeah. Forgiving or give. Yeah, Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mm-hmm, ah, interesting. Haven't thought about that. Interesting, good stuff. So yeah, you start with the quiet ones and then you, you get, you get slowly get to the louder ones. And while you're doing that, you. Just check. How often, like, what is it just whenever you notice that it might be different or do you have like certain intervals where you just anyways?

Dave: Uh, guess, guess how onerous the process of checking the tuning is take a guess. no, one likes doing it. We make them do it. uh, I mean, we're, we're basically part of the sampling process is, and, and I mean, everybody does this a little bit different, like Kurt, Kurt kind of like did it a little bit different, but when like the proper way, the way that, that I do it and, and the, the result is always the same, you know, we always check it. but I'll sit there with the, with the tune bot and, you know, it'll pick up over the monitors. So I'll just be sitting there every time. There's a hit, I'm listening to the fundamental and then periodically we'll go back and check previ. Like we'll do a whole block of one velocity at the end. Play it back at, go, go to the beginning of that block, play that back. As long as they sound the same. We're good to move on. If there's a change, we just go and redo the whole block. 

Malcom: Wow. All right. 

Dave: Uh, I mean it's bit as bad as you can imagine.

Benedikt: Yeah, thank you for that. That, that, uh, answers the, the question it's 

Malcom: I've never

Dave: and I hope I hope no one, 

Malcom: a drum sample library. 

Dave: like I'm I'm I think I'm really like talking myself outta collaborators with this

Benedikt: Yeah. it might be actually, yeah. Now, but yeah, that's actually, that's exactly what I wanted for this episode, because it just uh, this explains everything. This explains why they sound like they sound, this explains why it might take you longer for, did you get a, a library, like perfect. But then when it's out, it actually just works and it does the thing. And like all these things that I was curious about. So this, this is perfect. And I think the people, the people you wanna work with and collaborate with. Appreciate that. So I don't think you're talking out yourself out of anything, so that's, that's perfect. So 

Malcom: I, I think it, also helps people find the library. They're looking for like, if, if you're looking for something like, so, detail orientated and realistic. If you listen to this conversation, you're gonna know that this is the, the company to, to look at first it's, just obvious. 

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. 

Dave: I, I mean, and that's the thing, like, I, there are so many great products out there. Like it's never been a if, if I would've had access to the things that we have access to now, not just with drums, but like with guitars and stuff like that, would've been mind blowing if I was like 16 and starting out and I could get the sounds that people, that 16 year olds can make in their bedroom now. I mean, it's just crazy. Like, I love it. Like any, anybody who like longs for the good old days, like, like, man, you, you either are, are just like, Intentionally have your head in the sand about technology or like you were never actually around in the good old days. Cuz the good old days, they weren't so good. You know, like aligning tape machines, like who wants to do that? Only people that have never done it and are like, oh man, the sound of tape are like, I used to work in a studio that had a tape machine and it was a really nice, well maintained tape machine and they'd be like, every band would come in and be like, oh, we're gonna do this on tape. I'm like, okay, cool. it's gonna cost hundreds of dollars in tape. we're gonna lose at least give or take an hour every at the beginning of every day, which you're gonna pay for while we align the machine, you know, um, also you have to be really good because unless you want to dump it into pro tools and edit. You gotta be good. You gotta be able to play it. And then they're like, so about this pro tools thing you're talking about. Like, that sounds 

Malcom: you mentioned pros in there. Yeah, 

Benedikt: Yeah. I actually listened to that, to, to a podcast interview with, uh, Steve Albini the other day he was on. Uh, do you know, the Andrew talks to awesome people podcast, the Andrew shes that Andrew shes does. 

Dave: yeah, yeah, yeah, 

Benedikt: And he, he has VEI episode there also, which is like a four hour interview, five hour, something crazy like that. And, um, they, and then Steve, uh, Beni says whenever he goes out of town, like two different studio to produce with a band somewhere else, he always books an additional day before anybody shows up, just because he knows the tape machine is not gonna be in a good working condition condition. He's he's gonna have to set it up. He's gonna have to do all sorts of things. It's just always the case. So there's this whole extra day that everyone has to pay just to make sure that it works. And then as you said, once you have a working machine, you have to do things every single day to just keep it working, working properly and all of these things. So, yep. 

Dave: Yeah, one thing that I will say, uh, I actually did like a, like an hour long interview with Steve at electrical as part of the, the process originally, it was just, I was just planning on getting like, you know, like a couple sound bites, him talking about building the studio. he is absolutely like an incredibly sweet guy. Like his reputation is kind of like, you know, that he's kind of like a curmudgeon or whatever, but in, in my experience with him, he is just absolutely the sweetest guy. Uh, and the interview was so awesome that I was like, well, I'm not gonna use this for like sound bites, like so much. We talked about so much cool stuff with the, with the studio and all that stuff. I'm like, I gotta, I gotta like spend some time with this. And like, I'm gonna turn it into something for our YouTube channel, the room sound, YouTube channel, He's just an incredible guy. And he built an incredible studio. Like I've, I've, never been in a studio that felt more. You could tell it was built to make records not to like, look good in mixed magazine. That's not to say that it doesn't look good, but it's like everywhere you turn there's pens. There's like a, a cup holder with pens in it. You know, there are Stu there are tape based studios. So there's razor blades like everywhere that you could possibly need a razor blade, you just turn around and it's there. It, it's just an incredibly like artist and producer friendly studio to work in. So shout out to those guys and the staff is amazing. It's not just Steve, you know, it's Taylor, the studio manager and John who helped us track. Like everybody is good. Everybody's good at tape. Everybody's good at digital. They're just, I, I can't say enough. Good things about, about that, that crew.

Benedikt: And to me, he actually doesn't even come across as that, because everything I've heard of him and I I've, I've listened to so many interviews with him because he's just an incredible engineer and person to me. And, uh, every time I hear him talk, I think he's one of the most respectful, thoughtful, like super smart people. Uh, and like everything, like the way he, he thinks before he says something and the way how he, like how he says it. I don't think it's, I, I think actually it's really cool and respectful and he really, you know, and even if he makes a mistake or says something stupid, he is not afraid to, to admit that and apologize, you know, and all these things. So, yeah, I've done know him personally, but everything I've heard so far was like fascinating in every aspect.

Dave: Yeah, we could, we could all, we could all be a little more like Steve Albini in the world 

Benedikt: Yeah. yeah. Yeah, totally. Okay. So final thing from me here that I wanted to ask. one is a question and one is something that I, that you'd started, but haven't said about, uh, anything about, uh, after that, the, so the question was about the cutting samples. we, we kind of touched on that too, but like when people make their own samples at home, even if it's just one shots that we wanna layer with something else, how do you actually do that properly? Like, do we leave a little gap before the way form starts? Do we zoom in and like cut exactly the, when the first like sample goes up, like on the way form, like where, where do we do that? Because you say you do it always the same for every sample, of course. So that the face relationship stays consistent. But where exactly is that, like, what's a proper way of doing that.

Dave: Well, man, what a question? It seems it's like deceptively simple. Like, well, you start when the drum sample hits, but that's not actually what you do. 

Malcom: Mm. 

Dave: uh, so if you zoom in super, super fine, like to the, to the maximum zoom level in pro tools, there is always a spot where you will see the wave form, like shoot. It is almost always preceded by what I call stick wind, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's like when yeah, yeah. It's just like this little low frequency bump that happens. And a lot of times, if you use like tab to transient or like some sort of automatic thing, it doesn't know that that's not part of what you want, you know? So the only way to make sure that you're actually getting that exact moment where the amplitude like shoots like crazy is to go in like down to the sample and make sure that you're cutting at that exact sample where that happens manually 

Malcom: yeah, 

Dave: for 36,000 hits, which is what, which which is 

Malcom: 30 success. 

Dave: happened in this last 

Malcom: Oh man. 

Dave: Um,

Benedikt: Yeah. 

Malcom: this, this library's gonna be out in 2030 and no, no, I'm joking. It's already out, but 

Benedikt: yeah, 

Dave: I mean, I mean,

Benedikt: And, and you're not choking, like it's literally 36,000 samples that you cut that way, right? Yeah. Yes. Yeah. 

Malcom: Um, so, so just to clarify here, you were cutting after the stick wind at the actual 

Dave: after the stick, wind at the point where that, where you can see it on the way for, I wish man, I wish I would've known this question. I would, I would like give you a, a graphic to put up on the, on the YouTube video or whatever, but like, I mean, you can see it, you know, it's, it's, like this little thing is like, woo boom. And then it goes through the roof and that, and that's, that's where you cut that exact, that exact like down, when I say down to the sample, I don't mean down to the drum sample. I mean, down to like, you know, 44,100 samples per second, although we sample at 88 2. So

Benedikt: yeah, 

Dave: to the one 

Benedikt: yeah. 

Dave: of that 88 2, 

Malcom: yeah, 

Dave: there's always a clear.

Benedikt: yeah. So it's but it's where it starts. It's not the peak of that thing shooting up. it's where it 

Dave: No, it's where it starts. Yeah.

Benedikt: Yeah. 

Dave: that, that's how you like, for depending on how hard you hit it, there's like different, you know, as you get down to the softer spots, like there's not as crazy of a, of a stick, wind or of a transient, but if you always started at, started at the beginning, like it'll always be blendable and like 

Malcom: Yeah. 

Dave: and that kind of.

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. So, because people might not be aware of that and might not know what I meant when I said that. Um, it's just that when this is inconsistent or if there's just a, a too, too big of a gap, then when you wanna layer it, like the sample is something like trigger doesn't really know, like they just fire the sample and then this, this gap is part of the sample and then it can be in the worst case, it can be just late and sounds like a flam, or it can be just slightly late. And then you, you, you are either lucky or unlucky with the phase relationship and it's just not exact, it's not predictable basically. so yeah, and, and, but that also, that also is, is. Even though you, even if you get it right, it's not actually, I, in my experience, at least it's not really predictable sometimes because then that also requires that what you detect is accurate and you use mid notes or something that you then align with the samples. And then who knows, maybe there's a slight delay in the plugin or any sort of variable. So I, I rarely got to the point where it was like exactly where I wanted it to be. 

Dave: Yeah. I mean, I will say this, you know, a lot of times people, because people always ask, how do I use trigger to do this properly? And, you know, we have a support document that lays it out, but basically like trigger can generate mid through its detection algorithm, and people are always like, oh yeah, but the mini always sounds off. It's like, well, it's not the mini, the mid is accurate. The problem is like automatic, automatic, anything. Always has problems, right? Like, and, and it, I mean, you guys are recording engineers, you know, probably Malcolm, especially if you use pro tools, like a lot of times when you're doing like beat detective to fix drums, you spend more time correcting, beat detectives, dumb, automatic mistakes than you do actually correcting the performance. Right. Which is why I do all my drum editing manually. I'm actually faster than beat detective, because I don't have to worry about whatever goofball detection of the hits that beat detective is doing, you know? And so it it's like, it's the same thing with mid, you know, like, like you ha there, everybody wants the easy answer. And the, the, the correct answer is that there is no automatic process that will work a hundred percent of the time. And if you're doing any sort of like fast music or nuanced music with ghost notes, forget about it. You just have to dig in and do the manual work if you want it to be perfect. You know, if You want that triggering to be perfect, there is no magic bullet. Like, I don't care what the marketing material of, you know, like the tracker from superior or, or Slate's marketing team. I mean, like I'm not trying to talk smack on those companies. Like, I mean, they both make incredible products, you know, but it's like sometimes you just gotta be a musician and dig in there and do it yourself, 

Malcom: Yep. 

Benedikt: And they admit that it's not perfect. Like nothing automatic is ever perfect. So, yeah. Yeah, for sure. Cool. Thank you. And so, and the final thing that you were said, it's not a question, but you started to talk about, it was like, there is two options tape and digital on the oo um, library where I wanted to ask you like about that. So just so people know what you meant there, there's like these samples have been recorded twice, so we're talking even more than those 36,000 samples

Dave: the 36,000 is taking into account the tape

Benedikt: oh, Okay. Okay. Okay. 

Dave: the digital 

Benedikt: Yeah. Did, did you, did you print the digital ones to tape after the fact, or did you record it twice? Once to tape and once to digital.

Dave: No, we were we, so what we did was, we did everything digitally because one of the things about this is like, you know, when you're making a record, noise is less of a problem, but when you're doing samples, those samples oftentimes will stack on top of one another. So any sort of noise that you pick up along the way gets compounded. And like, there will be points if you're playing like a wild death metal song or something in this electrical library, you might have a thousand voices playing. I'm not kidding simultaneously a thousand voices. So when I talk about how efficient contact is the fact that you can do that on a mid-tier computer, rock on native instruments, you 

Malcom: Yeah.

Benedikt: Yeah. What, what, what, what, yeah, what is a voice though? Like, so just so people understand what you mean there, when you say a thousand voices, what does that mean? Like basic explanation.

Dave: Well, every, every, sample is a voice. So, like let's say I hit the snare drum. Well, there's 20 channel, I think 20 channels total, when you factor in the mono in the stereo microphones in this library, and they're all individually addressable. So like, you know, nothing, nothing is kind of pre-mixed you get access to the full multitrack. So if you have full bleed, which means that the, the drums are bleeding through all of the adjacent microphones, like the snares bleeding into the Toms and, you know, whatever, every single snare hit 20 samples playing back simultaneously.

Malcom: Cause it was like the, the bleed wave file from the Tom mic 

Dave: Right. Right.

Malcom: Wow. I never considered that. That's amazing. 

Dave: So then that's just one hit. So you've got 20 instances of noise playing. Right. But you don't, you don't just cut the sample. Whenever the next sample hits, there's like a fade out period. And, you know, like, and because of how complex our engine is, especially with symbols, that fade out period is different depending on the context. And so, again, like you might have four or five symbols ringing simultaneously all with multiple hits in the voice cue at the same time. So again, like you can have a thousand samples playing at once. And if you, if you are not meticulous about your noise control, I mean, it just turns into a hissy mess, right. Especially on the tails and stuff. So we recorded, we recorded it to these, uh, with these, I think they were a, Apigee like super high spec digital converters that they have at electrical. And then. we Deno that even though the, the noise Florida electrical is incredibly low, we went even further and we Deno the digital samples and we recorded 88 2. We deliver it 44 1, but we record it and process everything at 88 2. So we can even be more aggressive with, you know, like how much noise we get rid of. and then once we auditioned printed, you know, all by hand, All of those samples. Then we went back through and rearranged and put 'em into a, a, a thing that we could then feed through their tape machines. And they have a pair of, uh, suitor, a eight twenties, which is a digitally controlled tape machine. They're just like, they're basically the greatest tape machine ever made. They were made to be like the spare, no expense, kind of like ultimate incarnation of tape. and we did that with Taylor HAES, the, the studio manager, uh, he's in, he's an incredible engineer. and so we basically put together a proto session that had all the samples laid out and then we just fed him through the tape machine, played 'em back off the, off the repro head. So they were all like perfectly in phase and then went through and did a whole other round of crazy denoising. To make. And, and that was why we never did tape before this again, just like the studio B thing, it was an experiment. I was like, you know, what, if we're ever gonna do tape, this is the studio to do it in because they are a tape based studio and all of their stuff works, you know? So we did it. I went through, I cut it all up. I didn't know until the end, if it was gonna work, turns out it worked. And so it made it in. But I, I will say if it, if there was any problems with that tape, we would've thrown those tape samples out. We all that work that I did, we would've just tossed it in the bin, you know, because nothing is gonna get into these libraries that, that we don't back a hundred percent, you know? And it, it worked out that the two big experiments that we, that we had on this one, 

Malcom: Awesome. Yeah, 

Benedikt: And it's also a good way of like, learning that I think I, I thought it was exciting to, to try that feature with the tape because it's a good way of learning. how, like subtle of a difference tape can actually be, because there, there is a difference. And especially if you listen to all the channels and not just one, it kind of adds up, but still people, people think of tape as this like drastic difference. Like everything sounds completely different or warmer or whatever words they use. And, um, and then they use like very hype tape plugins that sometimes have a very obvious effect if you just turn them on and stuff. But in this library, you can see if you switch, if you do the AB, there is a difference, but it's very subtle. It's just a recording medium. And it has its own maybe like vibe and sound and stuff, but it's not that it's like a crazy night and day difference. And that is, I thinks important that you did that because again, don't wanna name names, but there are plugins out there where they just make the output 1.5 DB louder or stuff, or boosted the base so that people, when you turn it on, you think it's just warmer and louder and better and better, you know, but you didn't do that. It's just slightly different.

Dave: Well, one of the things that was, that's really interesting about, about tape. And I think this, it kind of has to do with that generational gap where like, people kind of like, they have this fascination with older records, but they don't actually understand like the, the problem of recording in that way. But you know, The thing you always hear about is this like saturation and compression and all that stuff. But if you are getting like audible effects like that, if it's not subtle, like you're pushing the tape too hard, like that's not good engineering. If there is like a drastic difference in the sound . Like, what comes outta tape should basically be what goes into it. Like, yeah, it might round off the transient a little, but unless like, unless you've got a bunch of other stuff and you're listening super critically, like it's, oh, it feels different. Like, I can't quite put my finger on what it is and that that's proper use of tape, you know? Like, but if you're getting like massive distortion or compression, like you're hit, you're using it wrong, you know, like that that's outta spec, you know? 

Malcom: little difference that could add up to a big feeling across many tracks. Right? Um, Yeah. so Dave, where do people go if they want to get this where like, 

Dave: Uh, www.room sound.com. 

Malcom: they never would've figured that out without you telling them I'm sure. But 

Dave: Yeah.

Malcom: um, no, that, that, that is awesome. People check this out. It, it, I mean, it all the libraries sound amazing. Um, and, Benny actually is the one that introduced me to your stuff. Um, and Benny's just been a, I don't know if you're aware of this, but Benny is like probably your, your most vocal champion out there. 

Dave: Yeah, I was actually, I was listening to the podcast last week. uh, so I did, I got married like almost exactly a week ago and where my wife and I got married. It, it it's an upstate New York. It's like an eight hour drive. So we were listening to podcasts and stuff. And we, we listened to the, the podcast where basically like the first 10 minutes, it was just like, uh, you guys like talking about how much you enjoyed that library? And I was like, oh man, my wife's like, oh man, you're gonna have such a big head after this thing. Those guys

Benedikt: Yeah, I've been saying it before. Like really? And I, I mean it, and, and just so people know it's also something I sell them all the time. I have an affiliate link and I don't hide that. So I, I get a commission if you buy through that link, but I've bought every single one of the libraries just myself, just because I love him. And then I enjoy 'em. So it's not something I promote just because, you know, for whatever reasons I really, really love them. Um, and so I've been saying that to 

Malcom: yeah, 

Benedikt: the time, so

Malcom: it's 

Dave: So I, I appreciate it. You know, like we're, we're, a real small company, you know, and every little bit helps, you know, a lot of our sort of, you know, marketing is, is built around just like being good to people and like having people. Come come to us, kind of like naturally and organically. And, you know, so we, we really do appreciate everybody that buys a copy of the library, whatever, like we're not some like giant faceless company. There's like only a few people that work for the company. And it's all very like, you know, sort of like it's, I kind of like to think of room sounds as kind of like a, like the boutique pedal makers, you know, that aren't, you know, there's nothing wrong with boss pedals, but like there's some like really cool, like sort of independent,

Benedikt: Yeah.

Dave: uh, businesses that do that. And I, I like to think of room sound the same way. 

Malcom: Awesome. Well, yeah, thanks again, man. It's been fascinating learning more about the inner workings of such a detailed engine and that comes together. Like really, really fascinating. Thank you.

Dave: it's been great talking to you guys. I don't get to nerd out, you know, about the real minutia of this stuff very 

Malcom: Yeah.

Benedikt: Awesome. Totally, totally. Thank you. And, uh, talking about nerding out, what if, what if people wanna like reach out to you, but not about room sound, but just as an engineer, because I mean, you know, if someone wants to record drums that are really meticulously engineered with like, you know, you would be the guy probably also. So I don't know, but like, what if people wanna reach out to you just for your drum with, or your engineering skills? Is there a thing you do?

Dave: I mean, I don't, I, I teach at a college in town here, so, uh, shout out to, uh, Cuyahoga community college. You should check that out. Uh, it's an amazing facility I teach there. Uh, but if you wanna just reach out to me, whatever, uh, uh, my website is Dave paytech.com. Uh, there's a contact link there. Just, you know, send me a, send me a message. I'll answer whatever questions anybody wants.

Benedikt: Awesome. Perfect. Well, thank you again for your time. Uh, really appreciate it. And if there, if there's anything that you wanna add, do it now.

Dave: Uh, that that's all I got. 

Benedikt: Awesome. Perfect. All right.


Malcom: we did. 

Benedikt: yes, we did. We did. Thanks. Thanks for your time. 

Malcom: you. Thank you. 

Benedikt: take care. Bye bye.

Dave: one

Malcom: Bye.

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