Front Line Assembly Drum Programming

Discussion in 'Industrial' started by Titan, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. Titan

    Titan Newbie

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    I always wandering the way front line assemply FLA composing their tracks, but also how do they make these HUGE drums. Even the production is not good on their previous releases the patterns look so full. Any idea what kind of vst or hardware or how they are programing these drums?
     
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  3. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    I think they just compress the shit out of their drums and use a lot of outboard gear. Like on a Celldweller Production video I put up we were a little surprised to find that he doesn't even use parallel compression, simply squashes the drums. I know Front Line Assembly are BIG into layering and can use a minimum of 4 samples for one drum hit. Then they add further harsh processing and when they've got it perfect they pay big bucks for it to be mastered multiple times if necessary by experienced engineers. This SOS article from 95 is really interesting and will give you a peek into their production process back then.
     
  4. Titan

    Titan Newbie

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    Thank you Catalyst very interesting article from those layer gurus !! In your opinion is it necessary nowadays so much layering? I think the new vstis have already punchy drums.
     
  5. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    Well it all depends on where you are in your journey. The way I look at it is you should only add something to a track if there is a reason for it to be there. Remember these guys have been making music for more than 30 years at this point so they're working on another level and are notorious perfectionists. Even with layering it's likely most of us would not attain the kind of sound they have for quite a while if at all. Also if you remember they didn't start that way, their initial compositions didn't have the kind of drum signature that they would develop later on so I'm sure their drum techniques developed in that time. If you can attain punchy Industrial drums without layering so much then by all means your ears matter more than number of samples. I don't know if it's necessary to get into overkill territory but I think some level of layering would likely be necessary unless you're using Heavyocity Damage which is already good to go out of the box. The initial problem is that most drum samples are incredibly poor so you have to combine them to get a decent kick. We actually have another article from Dead When I Found Her up where he goes into how he processes his drums as well but he opts for punchy samples from 80s sample packs which are then processed and seem to pop more than what's available today. Also don't forget about the use of gated reverb which can give the impression that the drums are bigger without the reverb tail muddying up the track, that technique is also big in Industrial production.
     
  6. Titan

    Titan Newbie

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    Hmm Gated reverb on kick, snare or on all drum set? How it works, know any tutorial to check ?
     
  7. Rob Humanoid

    Rob Humanoid Newbie

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    One thing to try and avoid is putting too much reverb on the Kick. Because, it’s low in the frequency spectrum and if there’s too much reverb in the low end, your bass and kick will be fighting for space. You can add the 'click' (or the hi-end of the kick) though, which is around 1.5 aprox.

    That said, you can side chain you bass and kick so they don’t interfere with each other, but if there’s reverb on the kick it won’t be as punchy. As a general rule (and I use that term very brbroadly because a lot of people break the rules) or guideline you should be taking out around 200hz from you reverb maybe even up to 300hz. It depends on the tune, etc.

    If you have a very sparse mid tempo tune, then you will have more space for reverb, especially on the snare.

    But if it’s fast like 200bpm, then you’ll really have to dial things well back.

    Cymbals, etc. should be sent to the reverb too. Just make sure you cut the low end out of your samples. Bad samples always have tons of crap in the lower end (always look at them with spectrum analyser). Just use an EQ to take out at least 200hz. Some people take out up to 700hz. It depends on what you want to do... I like my cymbals to have a little body so I take out to 300hz.
     
  8. Catalyst

    Catalyst Audiosexual

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    Generally it's just the snare that you would use this technique on. We have a section of the forums devoted to good tutorials so check out the gated reverb tutorial in AudioSex Academy
     
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