#8: How To Make Programmed Drums Sound Big AND Natural

"Ok, so I know that MIDI drums are an option. But...how do I actually program drums the "right" way?"

Programmed drums sound fake to you? You love the control, the instant punch and the freedom you have with programmed drums, but it just doesn't sound realistic? We got you!


Things you'll learn in this episode:

  • Different ways you can create MIDI notes
  • What „thinking like a drummer“ means and why it is so important
  • How to choose the right drum samples
  • The benefits of using multi-output samplers
  • How to get the MIDI velocities right
  • Quantizing & humanizing
  • How to avoid the machine gun effect
  • When and why to use MIDI loops 
  • Why you should use and export room tracks

People & bands mentioned in this episode:

Virtual drum kits mentioned in this episode:

Related Podcast Episode:

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

Benedikt: [00:00:00] If you want to have a lot of ghost notes and like subtle things in there, but it's a library that just basically has only like rim shots and pretty loud hits in there. The cam still program quiet ones, but they won't sound natural because they are, they're just loud hits that are played back quiet.

[00:00:16] This is the self recording band podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own wherever you are, DIY stuff. Let's go.

[00:00:29] Hello and welcome. To another episode of the SEF recording band podcast. I am your host Benedick tine and I'm here with my amazing friend and cohost from Canada, Malcolm. Oh and flood. How are you doing today? 

[00:00:42] Malcom: [00:00:42] I'm good. I'm surviving. What a wild time to be alive right now. It's just madness out there. I hope everyone listening is doing okay and staying safe.

[00:00:52] Benedikt: [00:00:52] Yeah, I hope so too. If you are listening to this, like in a year from now or something, uh, we are recording this during. Like the Corona virus outbreak and like countries being shut down and stuff, so we don't really know. Where this is going yet. 

[00:01:08] Malcom: [00:01:08] Yeah. Yeah. It's wild. I meant to go to Peru on Saturday. That trips obviously totally canceled.

[00:01:14] There's no way I'm going anywhere. Oh, 

[00:01:16] Benedikt: [00:01:16] right. Like your trips are not going to happen right now, right? 

[00:01:18] Malcom: [00:01:18] No, not, not for, for now. Anyways. Um, so that one's postponed and it was meant to be Thailand in, uh, in may and obviously like Southeast Asia is not doing so well with all of this, so I don't think that's going to be happening either, unfortunately.

[00:01:33] Benedikt: [00:01:33] Um. 

[00:01:34] Malcom: [00:01:34] Oh, sure. Yeah. I know that everybody's taking a lot of measures to try and stop this thing though, so I hope that it kind of calms down and everyone's okay. 

[00:01:44] Benedikt: [00:01:44] Yeah, I hope so too. Like, um, people that I know are stuck in the Philippines right now and they don't really, yeah. They don't know when they are allowed to come back.

[00:01:52] So it's pretty, pretty wild. Yeah, yeah. And 

[00:01:56] Malcom: [00:01:56] like if you're a musician and you're listening to this, which you're almost definitely a musician, if you're listening to this podcast, it's, it's, I'm sure it's affecting you too. Uh, I've got a friend's band called spirit box that was just touring Europe and they've had to call it and come on home.

[00:02:11] Um, like the, the music industry is just shut down across the world pretty much. It's unfortunate, but. There's never been a better time to start workshopping in a, an album from your home studio, I guess. 

[00:02:22] Benedikt: [00:02:22] Absolutely. Absolutely. Uh, I hope, yeah. I hope that positive things will come from this. And who knows, maybe like when you're listening to this episode, this will be in, I dunno.

[00:02:32] Four weeks, five weeks or something, because we are all always recording these in advance, so maybe it's all better by the time this airs. Yeah. 

[00:02:41] Malcom: [00:02:41] That didn't even cross my mind. 

[00:02:42] Benedikt: [00:02:42] Yeah. Let's hope so. Let's hope it is that way. Uh, I already said that, um, a couple of times, but. I would rather like overreact, then I'm failing to act and causing, I don't know.

[00:02:56] That's and whatever. So, 

[00:02:58] Malcom: [00:02:58] yeah. Yeah. No situation like this. That's the best response I think. 

[00:03:01] Benedikt: [00:03:01] Yeah. Yeah. So, um, back to the home recording home studio thing. Today's episode will be about drums and especially a mini drums about how to program. Mini drums that sound realistic and, um, about the basics of drum programming because I guess that's the reality for many of you, for many of our listeners.

[00:03:23] And, um, yeah, we've already talked about in the previous episode. If you haven't listened to that, go listen to that one because we've already talked about the pros and cons of programming and real drums and when, um, which approach is better in, in, depending on your situation. And if you decide to go with the programming middy drum route, then um, this episode is for you because we actually get into the details of how to do that and how to make it sound more natural.

[00:03:53] And. We already said that it's a total, totally viable option to do it. So if you are still thinking that this is maybe unrealistic or fake sounding, or it's real, is always better, think about it again, and I, uh, we've already talked about that. But first of all, I'd like to say that this is, for many home recording people is the better way to go if done right.

[00:04:17] Malcom: [00:04:17] It might even be the only option. 

[00:04:18] Benedikt: [00:04:18] Yeah. Um, 

[00:04:19] Malcom: [00:04:19] and if that's the case, then don't, obviously you got to do it. You can't just wait until you have a recording studio to do live drums and, and have all this knowledge. You've got to get started on your album, especially if you're on house arrest with this virus.

[00:04:32] Yeah, exactly. 

[00:04:35] Benedikt: [00:04:35] Yeah. Um, so, uh, let's start and, um. It's kind of hard to folk, hard to focus for me right now, because you guys can see that button. That gum is sitting there with it in a bad 

[00:04:46] Malcom: [00:04:46] bathroom. I was thinking we need to give them something like after that bummer intro of taco viruses and stuff, we need to give him something to laugh about it.

[00:04:55] I'm in a bathrobe. It's, I mean, it's not even that, that late or early, he's 7:40 AM here. I should totally be out of a bathrobe, but I'm not. So 

[00:05:04] Benedikt: [00:05:04] yeah. Uh, actually like, yeah, totally. Make me laugh. So, uh. Try to imagine what mountain looks like in a bathroom. 

[00:05:12] Malcom: [00:05:12] I'm a professional. 

[00:05:13] Benedikt: [00:05:13] Yeah, exactly. Okay. So, um, let's start with what are mini files actually, any thoughts on how to explain that in an easy way?

[00:05:25] Malcom: [00:05:25] Yeah. Uh, essentially, uh, you, you take, uh, we're starting with drums, so let's, let's imagine drums. Um, you take a drum kit and you isolate all the different parts of it. Uh, so kick drum, a snare, some Toms left, crash a ride in a right crash. Say, and then you take the sound of that, say, kick drum, and it gets assigned to one, uh, number essentially.

[00:05:51] And that number corresponds with like what we call a middy rule. Um, and most of you will probably have seen a mini keyboard or electronic keyboard, and they, they run off of this same protocol. Um. Where, uh, one key on the piano keyboard. Is attached to one sound, um, from what the sample library you've got programmed into there.

[00:06:17] So that kicked drum my correspond with the C note on your piano. Um, but it's going to be a certaincy note on the piano because obviously there's multiple octaves. So C one corresponds with a certain. Sound and C sharp corresponds with a different sound and essentially, uh, wow. This is really hard to explain.

[00:06:39] I hope I was making any sense to you guys. Um, but, uh, a mini file is essentially, I guess a number that attaches an action to a sample. Yeah, that's the macro 

[00:06:52] Benedikt: [00:06:52] team. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. I think about it that way. I think of mini files, um, as something like a mini file to me is, or a meeting note to me is an event that triggers.

[00:07:06] A virtual instrument or assembler and, um, that sampler when it receives this mini note fires off a sample. So that's the way I think about it. And a F a file with many of those media notes in them on different notes, like on the piano roll, uh, is immediate file. Um, it could be one note and just all the notes.

[00:07:26] Lined up after each other, or it could be multiple in one file, but that mini file contains all those notes and those notes trigger. They are routed to a sampler and trigger that sampler so that it fires off a sample. What people need to understand, I think is that a mini note itself, a mini file or a mini note itself that is not a sound or not something that like you can listen to.

[00:07:50] People sometimes confuse that because most doors or other programs. If you open a mini file with it, they automatically assigned some sort of sampler to it or some sort of instruments. So when you hit play, you hear what's going on. But that is just because the program assigned a sampler to it, and it's not the mini file itself.

[00:08:08] So sometimes people sent me mini files and say, you'll check that out, listen to that. And I'm like, I don't even know what that's supposed to be, because it totally depends on which Sempler I feed it to, you know? So I cannot listen to a pure mediaphile unless I know. What it should be. So it's just the input files, the trigger assembler and a sampler is basically, um, something like you record the individual kits of a drum kit, like what Malcolm described.

[00:08:36] And the sampler, place those files back and the sample does that when it receives a MIDI note. So the files are stored somewhere on your hard drive, and whenever the sampler receives a note, it fires off those samples. That's what it does. And you can tweak the sound therapy or whatever, depending on the sample you have.

[00:08:55] But basically you put a recorded file into the sampler and it plays it when it receives the note. The simplest form of that could be one shot samples, which is like one. Snare hit one kick drum hit one Tom hit. And depending on which note you feed into that sampler, it like triggers one of those samples and it's always the same sample.

[00:09:15] So 10 times 10 snare samples, um, back to back are going to be 10 times the same hit and it's going to sound very robotic and, uh, kind of unnatural. 

[00:09:26] Malcom: [00:09:26] Yeah, I was going to say like, think like old school drum machines where it's just like, I'm trying to thing that sense shots. 

[00:09:33] Benedikt: [00:09:33] Exactly. There is like on every note, there is one sample stored there and it always gets triggered and it's always the same.

[00:09:40] Multi samples are when you record a snare drum with many, many, many hits, soft hits, loud hits, everything in between left hand, right hand, like all those articulations, rim shots and so on. And the sampler. Triggers December chooses to one of those samples, depending on the velocity of the note that goes in.

[00:10:04] The velocity is a parameter that you can adjust in the muddy node, and if the velocity is low, the sampler will fire off a quiet sample, and if it's higher, it will fire a. Louder sample. And then also if it's really sophisticated for the same velocity, there might be different samples so that if you have 10 times the same Medina with the same velocity, the sampler will choose out of like, I don't know, 10 20 or a hundred samples that have been recorded and we'll do it randomly so that it's not the same sample, for example, in a film or something so that you don't get the machine gun effect as much.

[00:10:39] Yeah, that's my, that's the way I think of it. And. The last thing I want to add here is which sample gets triggered depends on the mini-map, the drum map, and that's basically a file that has all the info on, on like. A C is a kick drum and a D is a sneer room and a G is a Tom or whatever on your piano roll, and you can change that.

[00:11:08] You can edit that, you can reassign stuff, but different samplers can have different mini maps and so on. In one sampler, the C can be a kick drum on the air sampler can be an octave down or totally different note or whatever you decide to do. So basically, yeah, you have the notes, you have the sampler, and then you have the map that connects the two and make sure that the right samples are triggered.

[00:11:32] That 

[00:11:33] Malcom: [00:11:33] was explained well. 

[00:11:34] Benedikt: [00:11:34] Cool. So, um, that's the technical part of it. To really get that you should just open your door, um, create a mini track, create a separate track, route the mini track to the sampler track, draw a couple of notes in and look at the mini-map, and then you will find out what it will do.

[00:11:51] Like it's. Like it. I think it's, if you, once you see it, once you have it in front of you, it's much easier to understand. But the basic workflow would be a mini track routed into assembler track or virtual instrument, depending on your door. And then there's a map setting somewhere, and then you. Draw the right note and you will hear the sample when you played back.

[00:12:13] That's, 

[00:12:13] Malcom: [00:12:13] yeah. If, if this is totally foreign to you and you're wondering what the point of, uh, that is, uh, a really cool, powerful function of it is that once you've programmed and written in what you want to be played, you pretty much have the ability to just change the sound without having to redo the performance part of it.

[00:12:30] Um, so say it was a mini piano. Rather than a drum kit playing some chords and you didn't like the sound of that piano. You could change it to a different piano with the click of a button. You could even change it to a different instrument. So you have a, an organ now playing those chords instead kind of thing.

[00:12:44] So it's really powerful and quick, um, when it comes to songwriting and recording in the studio. 

[00:12:50] Benedikt: [00:12:50] Absolutely. Yeah. That's one of the main advantages. Absolutely. And I prepared a list of things. Um, that I think go into programming well, and in a natural, realistic sounding way. And I would like to start with the ways you can actually, um, create mini notes.

[00:13:09] You can either draw them. N manually, like in the door, you can create an event and then like put mini notes in there, which is tedious, but you can be very, um, like accurate and like go in every detail. Or you could use a middy input device or media instrument or some sort of meaning. You could use a, um.

[00:13:32] Um, and an electric drum kit or a MIDI keyboard or drum pants or whatever. And those things are connected to your computers through a MIDI cable and your interface or USB MIDI over USB and or Thunderbolt or whatever you have. And when you hit. The electric drum kit or, uh, the, a note on the piano or a drum pads, this will create a MIDI note and record a MIDI note and it will trigger the sampler and you don't have to draw it in, but you can actually play and the computer would capture the mini notes and you can alter them afterwards.

[00:14:07] And that way it's much, it can be much faster. It can be more natural. If you actually play it. Yeah. That could be a good way to actually do it, but there's, I don't know, there's, I think there's two kinds of people. If you have a real cool, um, drum kit, uh, that works that way, that's, that's probably the best thing to have.

[00:14:28] If it's programmed well and works well with a piano or drum pats, it can be fast, but it also can sound pretty weird if you try to play drums with your fingers. Some people can do that, some others can't. I don't know. Um, I have to find out for yourself, but maybe you can come up with a basic beat and then adjusted afterwards and will be, it will be quicker than using your mouse to draw the notes in.

[00:14:49] Yeah. 

[00:14:50] Malcom: [00:14:50] My like personally I ended up using a mouse for most, like if it's drums anyways, if it's a piano or, or kind of melodic instrument, magnesium, like a piano roll keyboard. Um, but, uh, when it's drums, I, I'm tending to use my mouse. Not that I do very much of it, but that's where I land. But my, uh, I was just thinking that when we did pre production for our last album.

[00:15:09] Uh, the drummer in my band had an electronic kit set up, so he just went and played the song once through and, you know, took him three minutes to record the three minute song pretty much. Right? And then we just had to edit it and tweak it a little bit, but, uh, it was as quick as that, where it would take me an hour to punch it and all them by hand, by hand.

[00:15:26] Right. So it can really save a lot of time. And if you're already a drummers, it's a no brainer. 

[00:15:31] Benedikt: [00:15:31] Absolutely. And it avoids the. Kind of, and that ties in with the next bullet point here on my list. It avoids the octopus thing. That sometimes happens when people program with their fingers and do one layer after the other, like multiple layers and program stuff.

[00:15:46] Sometimes, especially if they're not drummers, it happens that there are like. Four drums and three symbols hit at the same time, which is not possible. And with a real drum kit, and unless you want that unrealistic effect, um, you should always try to think like a drummer when you do that. That is the next, literally rip literally the next, uh, point in here on my list.

[00:16:07] Think like a drummer. And it sounds obvious, but I get so many, many files, but this is not the case where it's just. Not only the octopus thing, but also feels that are just not playable on a real kid or something like that. Some weird. Um, yeah, just some weird transitions like that would require you to be super fast, like across the kit, which like, I don't know how to explain it.

[00:16:31] You got to hear and then, you know what I mean? But sometimes people just send stuff that had rubber would never play that way. . Um, so it's always a good idea to think like a drummer. Watch dramas play. And especially if you're a guitarist or not a drummer or vocalist or whatever, just not a drummer. It doesn't hurt to sit down and just watch a couple of videos of drummers play and see what they do, how that all works, like just the basic stuff, and you get a feel for what's possible and what's not.

[00:17:01] Um, and I think that's, that's absolutely crucial. 

[00:17:04] Malcom: [00:17:04] Yeah. And you have a lot of power with a program kit, like an often in these, uh, virtual instruments. You can even move where the symbols are. Um, so you could end up with, I mean if you really wanted to, you could end up with your ride on the same side as your high hat, um, or something weird like that.

[00:17:20] And that's probably not very recommended. Um, cause you want, you want to most cases, you want your electronic program drum performance to sound as real as possible. So pay attention to those kinds of details and how a drummer actually sets up and kind of stay consistent 

[00:17:37] Benedikt: [00:17:37] with that. Yeah. One example would be if you have a super fast drum fill going over all the Toms, and then after the floor, Tom, there's a crash and most likely a drummer would hit the crash.

[00:17:50] That's like next to that, Tom, just because it's so fast and he has to hit that. And if you have the super fast fill that ends on the floor, Tom, and then you have a crash that's on the left opposite side of the drum kit. From  perspective, that probably would not happen in real life. So. Yeah, choose the right symbols and they make sure it's a natural movement that you can drummer.

[00:18:12] Imagine doing that actually, like, yeah, absolutely. The next one would be to choose the right samples also. Sounds obvious, but as we said, there are multiple drum libraries and samplers out there. And the, they all are different. Like they, some have more samples, others have less, some are one shot, some are very sophisticated.

[00:18:38] And the way they react to the Midianites that you put in, it's just different. Some sound like, like full on, full of energy and hard-hitting with pretty low velocities and others, uh, you have to really, um, use high velocities if you want that sound. And so. Be careful with the samples. Make sure they fit the song first of all.

[00:19:02] And the style that you're going for the genre, but also how they react to your programming. And if it's like, if you want to have a lot of ghost notes and like subtle things in there, but it's a library that just basically has only like rim shots and pretty loud hits in there. You can still program quiet ones, but they won't sound natural because they are, they are just loud hits that are played back quiet.

[00:19:23] And it will sound weird. Um, and it might not be important if you have, um, like a metal song with no subtle things. It's just. Full on the whole time, then you might get away with a library like that, right? 

[00:19:36] Malcom: [00:19:36] Yeah. A good, uh, example for me is if I grabbed like an acoustic guitar, I don't end up writing metal rifts.

[00:19:45] I end up writing beautiful. Songs. Got it. Like these, you know, very soft kind of stuff where if I have like a Marshall stack and some EMGs or you know, a metal guitar, it starts, it's all just like big rifts, rock risk kind of thing. And your samples are going to start to dictate what you start to program in and the ideas you have.

[00:20:03] So if you, not that you can't change some later and that they might not, they might get changed to mixing, but, uh, you will kind of play into the sounds you have. In front of you. I think so. Choose something that is a good starting point and you'll, uh, you'll make decisions based on that. 

[00:20:20] Benedikt: [00:20:20] True. Absolutely.

[00:20:21] Shoot, beautiful example here with you. Cause Tiki, Tara. It's totally right. Yeah. Um, there's going to be some 

[00:20:26] Malcom: [00:20:26] metal head messaging, us being like, I 

[00:20:28] Benedikt: [00:20:28] write all my metal rifts on acoustic guitar

[00:20:33] reality though. So I'm just saying I, I would also write different, um, yeah. Okay. So. Then the next thing here on my list would be to use the multi output of the sampler. What I mean by that is there are samplers that have a built in, or most of them actually have a built in mixer. So if you have a drum sampler, a drum, a virtual instrument, virtual drums, um, they have a built in mixer usually.

[00:21:04] So. The kick snare Toms, the individual channels, um, that are triggered the individual samples. You can mix them within the instrument and then it puts out a stereo, um, file a stereo track and you have that as one stereo track in your door, which is cool for writing and like, it's totally fine. But once you plan to send it off to mixing, you want your individual parts of the kit.

[00:21:32] On individual audio tracks, you want to be able to render them to individual audio tracks. So if you have a drum set with a multi output option, like the contact ones or like basically most of the good ones have that option. You can route the individual pieces of the kit to individual tracks in your door, and then when you render it, when you export it, it will export it a Kicktraq and a snare track and the Tom track and stuff like that.

[00:21:59] And you want to do that also, it doesn't hurt to do that from the beginning when you program because the reasoning behind it is. If you do that, you think of it more like a real drum kit and not just some notes that trigger some instrument, but if you have it in front of you, like the kick, the snare, the Toms, everything like that, um, you can treat it just as a few at recorded a real drum kit.

[00:22:22] And, uh, I would highly recommend to. To do this. Yeah, 

[00:22:27] Malcom: [00:22:27] me too. And just the mixing capabilities, um, there you're going to have from individual tracks on your doll rather than using the builtin mixer stuff in the program or is way like hugely improved and going to be the workflow you're already used to. So it doesn't really make sense to learn the inner workings of this virtual instruments mixer.

[00:22:48] To me anyways. 

[00:22:50] Benedikt: [00:22:50] Yeah, me too. And most of them, some of them have great effects and compression and ACU even in them and stuff like that, but others not so much. And as you said, if you're used to what your dog can do when you've used the tools there, you can also like use the cues you've always used in the compressors you've always used.

[00:23:06] You can just treat it like audio tracks and, yeah, absolutely. I agree. Um, the next point is I said. Uh, you should watch a drummer, you should maybe watch videos of what your drummer play. And that goes along with the next thing here because it's use a reference track. And, um. There's multiple ways you can do that.

[00:23:30] I often recommend that people just, when they're in the CIM space, they just record their drummer with the phone or one microphone or whatever. You have just basic recording where you just get a feel for how he or she actually plays. So that you can have that as a reference and compare it to your program drums, just to make sure you have the dynamics right.

[00:23:52] You get, if there is a crescendo that is actually in there, if there are ghost notes, what's the feeling in general? Um, it really helps to keep it as realistic and close to your real performance as possible. So I like to do that when I program drums and now I always tell people that they should try doing that.

[00:24:12] Because it's just much easier with a reference. Just try that. Did, did you ever do that, Malcolm? 

[00:24:18] Malcom: [00:24:18] No. You, you kind of blew my mind with that one. I was always ask him a drummer. Does that feel right? The bud? Like if we just had a reference, that's such a good idea. Um, that makes a ton of sense. I love that idea.

[00:24:30] Benedikt: [00:24:30] And it's even cooler if you have it on video. Like I, I sometimes call it that because most doors have a, not most, I don't know, some doors. The Cubase has it. I don't know if any many doors have it, but Huber's has a video track options, so you can import a video to Cubase if you want to like mix for a video or whatever.

[00:24:48] So you can actually record a video of your drummer on your phone, import that into your door, and then watch him or her play, which makes it even easier because then you also see which side of the kit or the symbols and stuff like that. So that's even cooler if you have that option. 

[00:25:03] Malcom: [00:25:03] Yeah, it's genius.

[00:25:05] This is kind of unrelated, but it is a cool trick. Um, but I heard from, uh, what's his name? Yens. He's a. You know, this producer did like . 

[00:25:16] Benedikt: [00:25:16] Jens Bogren? 

[00:25:18] Malcom: [00:25:18] Yeah. Yeah. I went to a summit and he was speaking and uh, he was, uh, saying that he gets the band or the drummer when he's recording this is like live kit stuff, but he gets them to play the song once through without a click.

[00:25:31] After they've done their like normal tracking thing and he ends up with this like really human feel on all the fills. And even if he doesn't use it, he knows he now has a guide to like how they usually play that and he can kind of like massage things towards that if he needs to. Just to advice buffet though.

[00:25:46] Benedikt: [00:25:46] Whoa. But that's, that's actually super cool. Yeah, it's the same. The same thought behind it actually is. I never did that, but that's, that's pretty cool because very cool. And then you get an idea of, yeah, if the drummer is usually a little like laid back or. Like whatever playing style they have, and you can recreate that or make sure you don't, you don't do something completely opposite of that.

[00:26:08] Absolutely. That's, uh, absolutely. Very cool. Thanks. Um, yeah, that's basically it. Try the, the reference thing. That's it with this bullet point. Then, um, next one is adjust the velocity. After you've programmed it or played it. That especially is the case when you don't do it manually, but you do it with an electronic kit or drum pads or something like that, because if you do it manually, you might do that as you go.

[00:26:37] But if you record with an electronic kit or drum pads, there's many people just do that and then they leave it like that and they render it in there. That's it. But those things probably don't trigger. All too accurate. Like sometimes many, many drum kits maybe do, I don't know. If you have an expensive, like Roland electronic drum kit and it's set up properly, it will trigger pretty accurately, I think.

[00:27:03] But if you use drum pads, if you play with your fingers and not on a real kit, it won't be the exact feeling that you want. And the velocities will kind of be all over the place. So you might, after you've, you've programmed apart, you might want to assume in and adjust the velocities by hand so that. When you have a fill that the right hand is slightly louder than the left hand because that's most often the case, or that Phil goes from quiet to loud or um, that they sit down beat, or the one in three are a little maybe pronounced where it says the two and four or whatever of your bar.

[00:27:38] So stuff like that, you want to dig in there and adjust that to match the feel of the real drummers as much as possible. 

[00:27:46] Malcom: [00:27:46] Yeah. You'll find that, uh, certain things tracked better than others, like often, often kicks will track pretty good. You know, there's not a lot of nuance to be found there, but things like high hats on the electronic kits really struggle.

[00:28:00] Um, you know, getting them to be Oprah closed the the right amount. Um, they, I haven't had a lot of success with that, so it takes, that's where I kind of focus on, on the. And like tweaking and humanizing, um, until it sounds like a real person played the groove on the hat. 

[00:28:17] Benedikt: [00:28:17] Oh, yeah. I think hats and symbols in general are probably the hardest thing to get to sound natural.

[00:28:24] Um, you can get away with pretty static shell programming sometimes, but with the symbols and Hyatts especially, they like, you can almost always spot that if it's not done properly. So yeah, you have to play around with it a bit. It totally depends on the sampler, I guess on the virtual instruments. Some do it better than others.

[00:28:43] And, and yeah, you have to get the programming right. One, I think one common mistake here is that people use, um, they set their velocities too high for symbols. So a good drummer in reality, a good rum or. Controls the symbols and the high hats and maybe there's a hard crash on the one or something. Yeah, that's, that's the case that those have to be explosive often, but the, the consistent high hat.

[00:29:10] Patterns and stuff like that are usually pretty controlled when a good primer is playing. So you don't want to have your velocity at 120 and above all the time, but you want to use low velocities as low as you can get away with, um, basically. And that's what a real good drummer would do. And that's what sounds natural most of the time.

[00:29:28] And also with your crashes, some hits might be, um. For some, it's, it might be the right decision to make it allowed and explosive, but especially if you play like a chorus and you, you basically play the crash throughout the chorus and stuff like that, you don't want every hit to be full on because that just sounds weird and right.

[00:29:49] Same thing. Um, yeah, the, I, I, I think that you have to be most careful with that and try to use the velocities with like as low as you can. I think. Yeah, 

[00:30:01] that's a, when you think about it, it's a lot like recording real drums. It's like off so many times. It's like, okay, soft enough on the symbols. A little bit, smashed the kick and snare, you know?

[00:30:10] But like be easy on those symbols. They're going to be loud enough. Don't worry. 

[00:30:14] So 

[00:30:14] Malcom: [00:30:14] it's the same thing, isn't it? 

[00:30:16] Benedikt: [00:30:16] Totally, totally. And yeah, and you have to get a feel for how your virtual drums react because as I said, they are totally different. And what might you, you can, you might program a drum groove that sounds excellent in one kit and then you swap it out and try a different one and it sounds totally weird and unnatural.

[00:30:33] That can absolutely be the case. With the same mini file because those libraries just react differently. And yeah, especially listen to the, to the Hasson and, and symbols and play. Maybe play it to your friends or other people if you, because if just sit there and drop program drums for hours, you might lose perspective and think it's okay.

[00:30:52] And somebody who's here who's hearing it with a fresh perspective, immediately spots the robotic feel of it. Um, yeah, that's it. But with the, with the velocity and. Do you have anything to add here, Malcolm? 

[00:31:05] Malcom: [00:31:05] No. No. I think that's kind of like paying attention to the velocities and the dynamics of the hits is kind of half of the battle of humanizing your tracks, but it, it, you also have to look really closely at, uh, the timing and, and, and how gridded things are.

[00:31:23] So if they're quantized or not. Um, so maybe we should talk about when they, when do you decide to quantize something on a, on one of your productions? 

[00:31:33] Benedikt: [00:31:33] Excellent. That's the next point on the list to quantize or not to quantize and the humanizing part, which go hand in hand. What do you, what do you think, what are some applications where like hard quantizing might be the best option and what are situations where it's not good to do that?

[00:31:53] Malcom: [00:31:53] Uh, you know, I, I feel like I kind of like pretty graded things more than some people. Um, so I might kind of veer towards that a little more than some people would because I find that like the dynamics, I mean, it's tricky though, as long as there's like a dynamics and feel in the hands. If, if it's a tight kind of close to greater performance, it doesn't really seem to bother me.

[00:32:20] Um, I think it still sounds pretty good. Um, so I can often get away with my kicks and snares being pretty on the grid, but I tend to leave like high hats and stuff between it alone. And that's kind of been the middle ground I'm working with usually. But, uh, but it does depend like, uh, the like more ballady ATrack is the less I try to do to it.

[00:32:42] Um. The more I know that I'm going to be stacking giant layers of guitars and guitars and guitars and guitars on top of each other, the more I'm going to kind of decide ahead of time to be a little tighter. Um, just to make that tracking possible and have it as tightest. I know I'm going to want it in the end.

[00:33:02] Benedikt: [00:33:02] Yeah, I agree with you. Um, it kinda changed over the years for me. I, I started like, but I guess this was just because I was lazy, just as many people are. I thought, uh, I talked myself into. Not overdoing it with the quantizing and stuff, because I thought that's more natural and that's like if you quantize too much, it will ruin the feeling and the vibe.

[00:33:24] But actually once I got around to like to do it and and learned how, how that actually works and listen to more and more professional stuff, then I realized that that's actually not the case. And that is for many people, just an excuse. Um, so that they feel better about their not so great performances, and that's just the reality.

[00:33:45] Malcom: [00:33:45] That's just the reality. So true. 

[00:33:48] Benedikt: [00:33:48] Many people also, like with real drums, many people send me their stuff and say, uh, Oh, by the way, we wanted to keep that as natural as possible. We want to be organic and stuff. And I listen to the tracks and I immediately know that's just an acute excuse because they either didn't want to invest the time or money to get it right.

[00:34:06] Because part of it is true. I mean, of course it's, I'm not telling you to, to make everything 100% accurate and robotic and stuff. Nobody wants to robotic music, but there's a difference between keeping an organic, natural feel and having actual like mistakes in there or stuff that just distracts the listener because there's a very fine line, I think if you have it.

[00:34:33] A little bit off the grid, just a tiny little bit. It's okay. Um, but like, just what a really good drummer would do, but as soon as it's too much, it's just distracting. It's not doing anything for the music, but there's no benefit in having an quote unquote organic performance if it's just distracting. And it kinda, um, when you listen to it, you, you, yeah, you lose focus and it's, I dunno.

[00:34:56] Yeah. It just keeps them this language in the song. If it's right, if it's done right. 

[00:35:00] Malcom: [00:35:00] I agree. And the only times that I find, cause I was just thinking like, okay, well actually there was a song I did a little while ago that I didn't edit the drums I like at all. And then I was like, wait, that's like the drummer B actually has gotten him, Alex Campbell and he's, he's like one of two drummers in my area that can pull it off.

[00:35:16] He's like, you have to be the best drummer. Available to pull off a drum performance that doesn't need it. And so people don't really get that. It's like, yeah, it's organic, but when you zoom in on his performance, it's still on. Like it looks like it was edited. 

[00:35:31] Benedikt: [00:35:31] Exactly. And also, if a really good drummer is not on the grid, then they are not.

[00:35:40] Like it's not random. It's not one who is early in. The other one is late and stuff, but they do it like intentionally or just because they have a great feel for it and they are usually constantly a little late or they rush on purpose when there is a fill or whatever and like it makes musical sense.

[00:35:55] It's not, it's intentional. It's not like randomly. And that's the big difference to what many amateur bands do or people who think they want to have a, an organic. Um, performance because there is often random. It's not, not on the grid, but it's not really that, like, I don't get it. It's, it's just, it doesn't have the song.

[00:36:14] And a real good drummer does not necessarily to be, uh, beyond the, I need to be on the, on the grid, but they have. Some sort of field to them that just makes sense. That's the difference to random stuff. 

[00:36:28] Malcom: [00:36:28] Yeah. There's, there's a deliberate field. They're applying to the song. They're trying to put this narrow little behind the beat or on the beat or ahead of the beat.

[00:36:35] Like it's all a conscious decision and most, it takes a lot of practice to hear a metronome and be able to have that decision even be an option. You know, most people are just trying to stay with it. Um, and these guys are like playing with it. Like there, it's like a, just a guide for them 

[00:36:52] Benedikt: [00:36:52] and that, that's what I would do when I humanize mini tracks.

[00:36:55] I would, um, use something like the reference track or a demo or whatever and watch what the real drummer does and then use that. And I would, I would start by quantizing it to the grid 100% in most cases. And then I would go to the reference track and see if there's a. Some characteristic to that drummer, maybe he or she is a little late all the time, or on purpose or like rushes in this part or whatever.

[00:37:23] And then I would try to implement that into and get that back into the, the mini track on purpose and, but if not, if it's just, if it's supposed to be on the grid and they just can't pull it off, then I will just put it to the grid. And what you can do is with the humanize thing. Many doors have a humanized function or in in Cubase it's called the logical editor, I think, where you can, um, add in, like make these notes between like, I don't know, put some of them 10 milliseconds back and the other 10 minutes, seconds in the other direction or whatever.

[00:37:57] You can, you can like put a range in there and then it will randomly move notes a little bit and you can use that very slightly. I think. You can try. If you like that maybe it sounds a little less robotic. Maybe you should try it and fills or something to avoid the machine gun thing. There can help sometimes.

[00:38:14] Um, you can play with that, but don't overdo it. As I said, because random timing changes is not what a great drummer does. So those algorithms do it, but it's not what a real great run it is. And with the velocity, it's the same. You can't try humanizing. And you can put a range there as well. You can say, I want all my snare hits to be between, I don't know, 115 and 125 or.

[00:38:36] Like whatever, but if you do that randomly and not intentional, it will also not reflect the feeling of a real drummer because they usually pronounce certain hits and not just some, you know, because when you do it randomly you that it could be that the one and the two are allowed and then three and four acquired or something like that.

[00:38:55] A real drummer would not do the end. So yeah, be careful with that. You said a little bit, maybe. But definitely don't overdo it here and it's tedious. But I would, if you humanize, I would do it with, I would do it intentionally and by hand, basically, depending on where the song needs it. 

[00:39:12] Malcom: [00:39:12] I agree. It's worth knowing how to use that function as well, that humanize, um, auto function and like understanding the parameters.

[00:39:18] But, uh, it's definitely not a crutch to lean on. 

[00:39:22] Benedikt: [00:39:22] Yeah. So long story short, now I'm also leaning towards, um, quantized drums and I'm all kind of doing the same thing that you described that I, I've, at first I tried to get the kick in the snare, like on the grid and maybe leave a little bit of, I know whatever is in there, in the right hands and the high hats and rides.

[00:39:42] Um, I sometimes do it with Phil's. Yeah. I almost always velocity and the fills just for the machine gun thing, right? 

[00:39:51] Malcom: [00:39:51] Yep. Told the, um, I, as much as possible, I'll also try and use move they call chunks, you know, like, so if there's like, if I know I wanted it a little tighter on the grid, but he displayed the whole part ahead, I might just move that whole part.

[00:40:05] Back kind of thing, rather than just chopping up every hit and moving up kind of thing. And then you end up with an average kind of performance that's closer to the grid and, and sometimes that's enough. Um. Again, it depends on the music. You really got to use your ears. That's what it always comes down to.

[00:40:20] Use your ears. 

[00:40:21] Benedikt: [00:40:21] Yeah, absolutely. And the weird thing here is we're talking about making programs. Some drums sound natural and we're basically telling you to program them to the grid, but that sounds more natural than those random velocity things that people do sometimes, because that's what I said, it's not something a real drummer does.

[00:40:38] So. Sometimes people try to make it real and organic, and then it sounds even more fake in a way. 

[00:40:45] Malcom: [00:40:45] And another thing people forget, play drums to music, not to a metronome. Um, and, and not to just nothing, right? So like this loose drum beat might sound acceptable when there's no guitar riff that's meant to be there.

[00:40:59] So you're just listening to this drum forums. Yeah. Okay. It sounds pretty groovy, but then you remember that there's this dike type guitar riff that's really articulate and those drums have to play to that they have to reflect what the guitar parts spent Dubby and, uh, so just because it sounds cool and solo doesn't mean is tight enough to actually fit the ref you're trying to play.

[00:41:18] Benedikt: [00:41:18] Oh, that's a great one. Actually. I haven't thought about that, but that's totally true because there might be cord or some. Thing in the riff that might need to be pronounced in a real drummer would like hit the snare a little harder on that call or whatever, or play a crash with the snare instead of the highest or something that just helps the riff.

[00:41:38] Um, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So you might want to change that after you've, you've tracked guitars or you might want to have a reference track in there, guide, track in there from the beginning, just so you can program to the music. Absolutely. Cool. Thank you. Then, um. Now we've told you that you should do everything pretty accurate and to the grid.

[00:41:58] What would you do to avoid the machine gun thing that we've talked about when there is a film? Because what I think the most important part with shells is usually they are easier to program than, than symbols. But for example, when the drummer does a long narrow, like it builds up to right part or something like that with a lot of.

[00:42:17] Quiet ghost notes there and it gets louder and the right hand is allowed a little louder than the left hand and stuff like that. And how do you avoid that sounding weird and artificial. 

[00:42:28] Malcom: [00:42:28] You have to really watch the dynamics on that. Um, and, and sometimes it does come to not gritting it, you know, like letting some of the like hits rush a little or, or even the whole thing can kind of speed up sometimes.

[00:42:41] That's what I, you know, naturally a snare roll speeds up by the end of it. Right. Um, and that can be okay as long as it's not too much. So it's a case by case. Uh, kind of situation. Whenever there's a fill, I like have to zoom in on that fail and tweak until I'm happy. Um, sometimes it's just turning down, uh, like if you think there's a right and a left hand and, uh, on a, on a drummer doing a snare felt like that, they're probably not going to hit the same velocity with both hands.

[00:43:10] So you can kind of treat a left hand maybe to be, or the right hand, maybe to be a little quieter or the outer, depending that that can help. Um, I do that with real drums. Even I'll, like, if I'm laying samples on real trumps, I'll have to like sometimes even cut out certain hips. So it's just coming through the overheads or something and then you don't do whatever it takes to get it to natural up.

[00:43:32] Benedikt: [00:43:32] Oh yeah. Yeah, that that's a good one. With the overheads, I do that with natural drums as well, that they, sometimes the overheads, it just sounds a little more natural because there's not so much like of the heart attacks and transients because that's what makes it weird. Yeah, totally. 

[00:43:46] Malcom: [00:43:46] Did you have any other things you do to avoid robotic fills?

[00:43:50] Benedikt: [00:43:50] Um, yeah. I was just, I was just thinking about, I would, it starts with choosing the right library because. Hm. To do that. Um, I think you should go for, um. A library that has not only a lot of different like velocities in there, like the multi sample thing, but you should go with something that has the, I think it's called round Robin, um, samples.

[00:44:15] It's the, the term for that. And what that describes is, uh, it, there, there are, in the sampling process, they do not only record one sample for each velocity, but for each velocity there are multiple samples so that the sample can choose from a bunch of samples that are equally. Hard or loud, but just different ones.

[00:44:35] So you can have a snare fill with like, um, eight hits at one 20, but it won't be the same hit. It will, it will be different hits and those kinds of lamp libraries that do that, and most of the great ones nowadays do that. They are much better for that than those that have one hit for every velocity because then you can get away with.

[00:45:01] A little less dynamics in your velocity programming. So the round Robin thing, I would, I would start with doing that, uh, choosing the right library here that's as natural and realistic as possible. And some of the, the current ones are incredibly like sophisticated. They're, they use thousands off of snare hits and like, it's an incredible tedious process.

[00:45:23] Like the way they do it, they basically, they record, I don't know. A snare run for hours or days recording thousands of hits. And so that every velocity, um, value has like, I don't know, 10, 20, 50, I dunno, a hits in there. And if you do that, that that's, that makes it a lot easier if you use one of those. And then I'd go in and I will do a lot of velocity adjustments and sometimes one.

[00:45:51] Um, like one point up or down makes a lot of difference. Like, I dunno for some reason says one of the samples might work better than another one and I really go in there and make sure it works. I tend to program the right hand a little louder than the left hand. That's one thing also that I do. So when there's four hits and it starts on the one, I usually do one and three, a little louder than two and four.

[00:46:13] Right? Almost always sounds more natural to me then. And that comes with experience. Some hits, uh, in some fills, the second hit is actually louder than the first one, or it's the third hit. That's the loudest. Like the more drummers you track, the more you get a feel for that. And sometimes like people tend to start with the first hit being the loudest in the field, but that's not often the case or not always the case.

[00:46:38] So sometimes it's more natural to start with a quieter hit. And then the second one is actually louder. Depending on what you do. Same with Flammes. Sometimes the first of a hit of a snare flambe is quieter, and then the next one is the really loud rim shot. And you have to like kind of get a little more experienced with that and just listen to what drum is actually do maybe record again, record a drummer, do a fill a like when when he or she does a fill and just look at the way form like, which of which of the spikes is the loudest and the quietest and just like, um, yeah, replicate that.

[00:47:12] So I really go in there and play with the velocities a lot. I do a little bit of timing humanization sometimes, but I think it's mostly in the velocities for me in choosing the right samples to avoid the machine gun thing. Yeah. 

[00:47:23] Malcom: [00:47:23] Yeah. If you haven't noticed, guys, we really take this serious though.

[00:47:27] Getting the drums right is like, is really important. Um, yeah. You probably didn't realize if you haven't done this before, like how deep. You might want to go. 

[00:47:37] Benedikt: [00:47:37] Yeah. And there's one thing to be said. Um, I think we touched on that. Um, briefly in the previous episode. There are some Shonduras, some certain styles of music that actually require a little bit of that machine gun stuff and the NFS stuff.

[00:47:52] So sometimes it's, um, it's part of the aesthetic part of the art. And you don't want to. Program to organic drums for certain genres. Sometimes, like the, some metal genres, some metal core or technical stuff like that, that's not supposed to sound natural. They even use one shot samples to enhance the real drums to make them sound less than emic and less natural.

[00:48:14] So sometimes that's totally okay and even the right thing to do. So don't think you always have to do that regardless of your town risk, maybe. Yeah. 

[00:48:22] Malcom: [00:48:22] Yeah. I, I find myself, like I, I'm primarily in rock and, uh, uh, I always, not always, but like often love going there and taking organic drums and making them more slamming and more like heavy and rock anything.

[00:48:37] Cause I think it's like a cool approach to rock. Yeah. Nothing like it's like taking rock into metal a little bit. Then just edging it up a little bit. So I do that all the time. It's like the opposite of what we've been talking about. 

[00:48:48] Benedikt: [00:48:48] Yeah. And I mean, look at, look at, uh, Billy Decker, the famous, um, country mixer.

[00:48:54] He has, I don't know, 14, 15 number one hits or something like that and crazy, crazy successful mixer. And, uh, he does. He uses one shot samples from like metal sample libraries too, and he puts them in his country mixes. So because he also likes larger than life drums that hit really hard and like he's super successful with that.

[00:49:17] And it doesn't sound like a metal song, but it's just larger than life drums. And they are a little more robotic and static than, and more slamming than a real drummer. But that's totally cool in his case. So yeah, depends on what you're going for. So you don't have to overdo it with the organic thing as well.

[00:49:33] But I think with the exception of some genres, at least for Phil's, you should try to avoid the machine gun thing because like people are so used to that now, or they, yeah, they are used to that, but, but they can often, they can spot that. And I think even. Even non-musicians, even music listeners are getting kind of, it's getting annoying sometimes and you should, you should try to program that stuff.

[00:49:59] Well, yeah, 

[00:50:01] Malcom: [00:50:01] yeah. I agree. I agree. And, uh. Yeah. You know how we talked about being like drummers using natural as an excuse to be lazy and tend to not play in a better, or producers being lazy and not fixing it. Uh, that goes both ways. It's easy to be like, Oh, I wanted it to be mechanical, but you know, in your heart that it's not meant to be and you've got to fix it.

[00:50:21] Benedikt: [00:50:21] Exactly. Yeah. Cool. That's it for the velocity and humanizing part. I think. Um, so that gets us to the next point on our list here, and this is you can use premade loops to help you speed up the process. Many of those libraries come with a middy loop library. So not only individual samples, but actually people have, uh, done the programming for you in a way, so that they include often a lot of, like sometimes huge libraries of.

[00:50:53] Yeah, pre-programmed. Many loops that are meticulously programmed often and sound really great, and with that library, they're crafted to match that exact library. So it's pretty spot on often times, and you can like. Dig into those libraries and just choose a group that's similar to what you want to do, and then use that as a starting point, or even use it completely like as it is, and you can maybe change a little bit.

[00:51:19] You can add a kick drum or remove kick drum. You can add a fill or remove a fill. You can change the symbols or whatever you want to do, but you basically have a very well programmed beat or groove to start with and that can save a lot of time and you can learn how to actually program well by looking at those groups.

[00:51:37] I do that a lot when I get a new drum library. I just bought a new, or, no, it's actually not just like three months ago, but I 

[00:51:45] Malcom: [00:51:45] haven't 

[00:51:45] Benedikt: [00:51:45] used it much because I was so busy with other things, but it feels like I have just bought it. I bought a new drum library by a company that I really love, but I think I can mention it.

[00:51:54] It's room sound. I recommend those because they are, they really like, we're not sponsored or anything, but they are just great and I love their libraries and I bought the chain Moss library. I already have the other ones. And the first thing I do when I get a new library is I look into the mini groups, listen to them, see how they're programmed, so that I can learn how the drum instrument reacts.

[00:52:17] Um, I can see the way they've programmed their groups and their loops, and I can see which velocities they used. I can hear what that sounds like. So. When I get to program staff or use samples to go along with real drums or whatever, I have a great starting point already and I don't have to figure out how this thing reacts.

[00:52:35] So it's always worth listening to those, and you can use it as a starting point actually, and save a lot of time. Right, right. 

[00:52:43] Malcom: [00:52:43] Of course. 

[00:52:44] Benedikt: [00:52:44] Did you ever end up using. Like a loop that's already there, like in a song? Or do you always program from scratch? Uh, 

[00:52:52] Malcom: [00:52:52] I mean like honesty, I program so little that I can't really answer that question either way, but I w I will say that premade loops, uh, have a lot of value to me in songwriting.

[00:53:03] Um, you know, if I'm just like in a, can't figure out. Where to get started. And I'm trying to write a tune, um, I've just throw in, go through the, the preset library and find some loops and just drag something in and try and jam to it. You know, it's like, if I can't actually get in the room with my drummer is the next best thing.

[00:53:19] And then sometimes those kinds of ideas stick for me. Um, and, and then they, the, the idea that this drum library just gave me ends up being pretty close to what the drum performance might be. You 

[00:53:31] Benedikt: [00:53:31] know, stuff like that. Yeah, that's cool. Totally get inspiration from those loops. And also as a fan, as a music fan, especially those signature libraries, it's kind of fun to dig into that because like with the Kripalu, a library of the room sound ones, that was the first one that I got, and I'm a huge converge fan and Kripalu fan, so I got that immediately when it came out.

[00:53:51] And Ben caller, the drummer from a converge. Uh, played many loops for that and its actual parts on frack from songs on their records. And he's a crazy technical fast drummer and it's kinda hard to hear and figure out and remember what he plays when you listen to the record. But with that loop you can see exactly what he does.

[00:54:11] You can slow it down so you can practice and really get what he's doing. You can learn so much from the drummer and what he actually does, not only for programming, but drumming in general. You can just learn so much and you can understand how those drum groups work. As I said, you can slow them down and stuff and listen to them.

[00:54:28] So that's exciting as well as a music fan with those signature libraries. It's just cool to, to hear and see and be able to play with those, um, iconic drum groups that you've listened to on the records. 

[00:54:40] Malcom: [00:54:40] Totally. Totally. Yeah. It's pretty wild technology when you think about 

[00:54:44] Benedikt: [00:54:44] it. Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, so crazy.

[00:54:47] And that's what makes it so powerful. And I, I think people really need to stop being worried about all this stuff. We said it a couple of times, but you can really get great results. And I'm all about organic stuff. I mean, all my, if you look at my website of my mixing website, you can, um, I'm all about all I'm communicating there and it's really who I am, is about getting organic, impactful sounding stuff.

[00:55:08] And I. I really liked that. And still I'm a fan of drum libraries because they can sound organic and impactful. It's just the way you use them. It's not the tools. So, yeah. Um, alright. And then room Trex is the next one on my list. Before I start with this one, I want to ask you, Malcolm, our drum room tracks, like for real drums or yes.

[00:55:31] And a drum kit, are they generally important to you in getting a huge drum sound rock drums? 

[00:55:37] Malcom: [00:55:37] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Hugely. They're like my favorite part of recording drums these days and probably have been for a while. Actually. I love room mikes, um, that, uh. I mentioned earlier that there was like a drum performance.

[00:55:51] I recorded that we didn't end up editing and, uh, the only mix we used on that were the room mikes. Um, and then, uh, we did use the kick and snare, actually. We beefed it up, forgot, but we started with just like getting rid of the rest and just having the room Mike pair and being like, that's what we want.

[00:56:05] And so it can be like essential, I think. Um, what about you? I have a feeling you're in the same boat. 

[00:56:12] Benedikt: [00:56:12] I love room max more than anything. Um. Yeah, that period. I just love roommates. Room max is the best. And uh, Alec or all sorts of weird mix in weird places. I like real big room. My ex like everything that's not, not a direct close Mike.

[00:56:27] I like to play with that stuff. Sometimes I just end up muting it. But um, I like to have the stuff there to experiment with it. And the room mikes are always a big part of my drum sound. And if I don't have room max, if people don't send me room mikes, I will always create. Fake rooms almost always create fake rooms or trigger room samples or whatever.

[00:56:48] It's just because it just doesn't work without those. Most of the time it's like I can't think of many situations where I was like, I don't want to use room max at all on this drum kit. Like it does not happen really. It's just, if you think about it, if you listen to drum kit. Even if you're in a small room, even if it's direct and not like a huge reverb thing or whatever, you're not listening to it with your year.

[00:57:10] Like next to the drums, you don't stick your head like next to the drums. You don't hear the kit that way. So it's always more realistic and more, um, it always feels more like a drum kit if you have that distance and like that room information there. And it doesn't mean huge reverb tails necessary, but, uh, necessarily.

[00:57:28] But just. Just some room information and I really love like big explosive kind of room sounds. I just love how they sound. They make it like explosive rooms help drummers that are playing not as hard. Like it always seems like if you take an X, if you have an explosive sounding room and you compress it a lot, it always makes the drummer seem as if he would hit harder.

[00:57:51] Malcom: [00:57:51] Adds energy. Absolutely. 

[00:57:53] Benedikt: [00:57:53] Yeah. So I love them. And the reason that we're telling you this is because many of those drum libraries have a room samples in them. They have faders and tracks with room samples that are also real samples that are, have been recorded in a, in a real room. And sometimes people just Butte, those when they export rums and send them to mixing, I head that off and there are people to ask me like, should we even include those roommates?

[00:58:16] Do we even need them because they think I will add some sort of reverb or whatever I want to the drums. Um, but I would say absolutely use those room mikes. Um, play with them, export them, and sent them off to mixing because. Uh, people kind of confused room and reverb sometimes. And while I might add a plate reverb or something, some re-rupture snare or whatever, uh, that's a different thing than the actual room mikes that have all of the kit in them, like the symbols, the shells, everything.

[00:58:45] So yeah, absolutely. Um, use those room mikes, put them on individual tracks, export them with the rest of the kit. I can always mute them and trigger different room samples if I don't like them. But I prefer to have the real room mikes there because they will have the symbols and everything and you will, you will need to adjust maybe the balance in those room max.

[00:59:06] And you can do that easily with those drum libraries. You can tell the sampler, how much symbols, how much of the shells you want in there. But if just solo the rooms, it just should sound like a real kit that's just well-balanced and then you get to go basically. Maybe when in doubt, maybe I would put a little more of the shells in there and less of the symbols when in doubt.

[00:59:28] But yeah, absolutely. Play with those, see what they do to the sound and absolutely export them and sent them with the rest of the kit. Yeah. Um, anything else you have to add to that might before Mark, before we wrap up? 

[00:59:40] Malcom: [00:59:40] I think we've probably like overloaded their brains with information. I think so. 

[00:59:47] Benedikt: [00:59:47] Yeah.

[00:59:48] That's it. So, um. Thank you for listening. I hope you've enjoyed this episode 

[00:59:54] Malcom: [00:59:54] us. See you next week. 

[00:59:55] Bye.

[00:59:59] So that was it. With today's episode on programming drums and making your mini drum sound more natural, more. Realistic, more impactful sounding. And, uh, you've probably noticed that I did the majority of the talking in this episode, and that was not because like I'm a narcissistic, uh, ego, touristic person who wants to talk all the time.

[01:00:21] But I do talk a lot in that too. I love to talk, but. I'd much prefer having conversations with my com. It was just because I prepared this episode. I had a lot of the bullet points ready and it just went through them and I wanted to not banter as much and get to the point because the list was so long.

[01:00:41] So in future episode, I'm well aware of that and I, I will try to make sure that it's more of a conversation and I look forward to that. So I hope you are, uh, okay. With that. I hope you got a lot of tricks and tips and value out of this episode and yeah. Can't wait for your feedback. Can't wait to hear your thoughts.

[01:01:03] Send us your program staff if you want us to listen to them. We're always curious too, to hear how people implement the stuff that we're talking about and. If you haven't yet, go to theselfrecordingband.com/community and join our Facebook community. It's free. It's a Facebook community of likeminded people, people who are recording themselves in their practice room, in their jam space.

[01:01:30] People like you listening to this podcast right now. And, um, we have a threat there for every podcast episode where we discuss about what we've talked here, where we take questions. Uh, we go alive every now and then to answer questions. So I'd really love to see you in there. So go to the self recording band.com/community.

[01:01:50] And China's all right. That's it for today. We're out. See you next week. Bye. .

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