Any processing tips for personal custom drum kit?

Discussion in 'Working with Sound' started by EAR TO LEARN, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. EAR TO LEARN

    EAR TO LEARN Producer

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    Not sure if I've titled this correctly, hopefully I can explain in more detail here...

    Basically I'm looking to make my own custom drum folder using my favorite one shot samples that I've collected. I was thinking of recording them into FL Studios Edison (if you know of a better sampler for this, please name it) placed at the end of a signal chain of plugins that will help to give each sound more 'power' or 'presence' just very subtle things to give everything a tiny lift...I'm not looking to mangle the sounds or anything, just spark some more life into them.

    Does anyone have any tips for a signal chain to run the samples through (the processing is going to be incredibly subtle, I want to keep the samples relatively the same, just a little oomph to make them more powerful) I'm thinking along the lines of pre amp plugins and tiny touches of saturation here and there.

    For example the Waves EQP-1A gives a slight signal boost without turning any knobs and brings more life into whatever you run it through

    Thanks in advance guys!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
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  3. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    That's exatly what this EQ is doing, it adds harmonics (saturation).
    With Waves Cobalt Saphira you can define to which amount the first five harmonics are added.
    Another great tool for this is bx_2098. With every single band activated, more harmonics are added and raised in level.
    EDIT: I had almost forgotten: WavesFactory Spectre is also great for this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  4. toothpick

    toothpick Member

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    My advice: First, develop a nice collection of sounds. Throw them in Atlas or a similar plugin that organizes your samples. Game changer for me.

    In terms of processing, You def want to EQ to get your drums to fit the mix. I send all my drums to a bus and do the EQing there at the very end of my processing chain. I still EQ individual elements as needed, most of the time cutting out the lows on sounds that don't need it or taming signals above 10K. If your samples are already processed, you don't need as much compression but I always compress my drums, even if the compressor is not doing any GR. My heavy lifting is done with the Black Box from PA. Nothing beats it. Blend in the original drums with the parallel source and that's where the magic happens.

    One other suggestion, if you're looking for minimal processing but something that gives subtle character, try out Jaycen Joshua's 8 NLS Channel drums bus approach. It does not work on all sounds but gives a similar sound to driving your drums through a good console. Basically, load up 8 Waves NLS Channell plugins and alternate between the 3 modes. Jaycen it explains it in detail in his MWTM series.

    My last suggestion, check out the field reviver DSP using the third harmonics. You can use it subtly on some drums to really add some crack/ punch. Don't drive it too far tho or you will f-up your transients.

    Hope that helps. I've changed up my drum bus too many times to count over the last 5 years. It's whatever works for the song. Don't think that the same approach is the winning formula for every track. Use your ears and most importantly, understand good gain structure between individual tracks and busses!
     
  5. toothpick

    toothpick Member

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    Forgot to add, I use the UAD API 560 for my drums bus eqing. It's a very sensitive EQ.
     
  6. eXACT_Beats_

    eXACT_Beats_ Platinum Record

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    I'm not sure what kind of drums you have (I work with acoustic samples--usually raw/slightly processed acoustic sounds, or sometimes vinyl-ripped drums, only occasionally using analogue drums to layer in, so I don't really overly process my drums--but here's what I have for you.
    I've found that for subtle warmth/thickness, Black Roosters VHL-3C (which is free,) even without using any of the cut/boost features adds a touch of class to anything; as does Kazrog's True Iron, McDSP's Analog Channel, and Fuse's VPRE-376 PreAmp.
    Voxengo's Powershaper is nice for presence, but I usually use the *smallest* amount of reverb possible, using Exponential Audio's PheonixVerb/R2 or Eventides Stereo Room, both very discrete and natural sounding to add the *smallest bit of dimension without making the samples difficult to work with if you want to use a larger amount of reverb later--I try and keep my drums malleable.
    As for any sort of transient/saturation, there is a slew of options to add slight tweaks to perfect a drum sound. I often use Mathieu Demange's RX950, Nembrini's Vintage LoFi Clipper (use gently; it's kind of a powerhouse,) SPL's Attacker Plus, Sknote's Disto, Brainworx bx_saturator, Wavesfactory Spectre, Fuse's ..oh, and I find that Klevgrands Gaffel is wicked handy for selecting specific frequency to effect, kind of like using a multiband compressor, but with any effect, not just compression (though, with the Brainworx saturator, it's kind of unnecessary since that handy little beast has a frequency splitter to process selected lo/high regions separately--very cool.)
    I'm not going to write an essay on compressors since that's very specific to what you want to hear, even if it's something as basic as whether or not you want a colored sound or a transparent one. For compressors though, I most often use McDSP's Compressor Bank and DMG Audio's Compassion as standard, utilitarian compressors, and for a more unique sound, Black Rooster's line, Emperical Labs Distressor, amd Fuse's, among others.
    Anyway, there's more I could probably add to the list, but those are a handful of my go-to's. Also, it's difficult to give to much advice on chains as it really all depends on your samples and what you want to hear, besides the fact that small tweaks yield vastly different results in chains.
    Hope that helps a bit. :yes:
    Stay Up

    P.S. - Okay...one EQ I have to add to the list is DMG's Equilibrium--it's a beautiful EQ that even has the options to ditch the visuals and work solely with the knobs, a feature which I have set to my default, only using the spectrum view to check on possible issues or find relationships between tracks that might be fighting too much. The best part is you have a slew of curves to choose from, a feature that can't be overstated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  7. EAR TO LEARN

    EAR TO LEARN Producer

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    I love Spectre, one of my favourites for sure. Thanks for your input, much appreciated
     
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  8. EAR TO LEARN

    EAR TO LEARN Producer

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    That's a ton of info I can try, although I'm a bit useless with the reviver plugin. I find myself either not being able to hear what it's doing or completely over-doing it and ruining the sounds. I've heard a lot of people swear by it though so I'm sure it's more my problem than the plug itself
     
  9. EAR TO LEARN

    EAR TO LEARN Producer

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    Alot of info! thanks for all the tips and tricks, DMG are one of my favourites for sure. They really seem to know what they are doing, great collection of plugs!
     
  10. fiction

    fiction Rock Star

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    Toneboosters EQ 4 with different dynamic compression settings for each EQ band is another great util for shaping drum sounds much more selectively than classic dynamic processors.
     
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