[Production Bible 2] Drums

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Disco Nutter
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[Production Bible 2] Drums

Post by Disco Nutter » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:15 pm

Read before reading on: I am in no way entitled to any of those opinions. It is up to you to decide whether you would like to incorporate them in your workflow. I have just collected them from all the threads in this forum and will try to keep everything updated.

I will update as regularly as I find updates.

Misc tips and tricks
  • Good drums are usually layered - example 3 snares sounding as one.
  • The hats are often panned or widened.
  • Pick great sounding samples, different ones for different parts of the sounds you want. 1 for snap and bite, 1 for body, 1 for thump. distort and MAYBE EQ each to make them sound the best that they can separately. combine in a bus, MAYBE compress them together, maybe accent the front and shorten the sound with a transient modifier. 10 minutes, tops.
  • Do as little as possible with great-sounding bits and your basic sounds will be slamming. leaves you time to focus on the arrangement. people don't go around thinking 'wow, that tune has an amazing snare." as long as it's thumping and not masked by a bunch of other stuff, it'll keep the dance moving.
  • Listen to other producers work. As its playing, imagine the "1, 2, 3, 4" on the step sequencer, running in time to what you're listening to. Try to visualize where the producer put their hits. Not to say you should copy peoples drum patterns, but learn from them.
  • I've noticed a lot of tunes (more minimal stuff where you can distinctly hear what's seperately going on) seem to use two differently pitched hi-hats that alternate to sound shuffley, if you know what I mean, and a less dramatic snare used sparsely in between the main lazy kick and snare. An easy trick if you haven't worked it out (which to be honest you should have if you're at all serious about producing dubstep) is to stick a smaller snare or hat the 1/16th before the kick or snare so it 'steps', if you get me. For example Benga's Night does this for all four beats in the bar which is part of what makes it so danceable.
    But don't get stuck in always having kick on 1 and snare on 3, some tracks work with a kick on every beat, others with a couple big snares, etc. The trick (unless you want proper lazy, spaced out tunes) is to make sure you're nodding your head on all four beats of the bar. Play around with a hat on every quaver (i.e. 8 per bar on the beat) compared to just four but on the off beat, as well as adding in the steppy ones every now and then.
    There's often no need to over-complicate things though, one of the my favourite drum tracks is the incredibly simplistic 'V' by Distance. It's a rhythm that could easilly be played by one guy on a real kit, yet it's so banging - check the use of hats and lower velocity kicks in this to make it nice and bouncy.
    Also, I once had a four bar drum loop and accidentally moved the sequence one bar to the right for one section, and it ended up nicely varying the drums in a way you wouldn't expect!
  • Really tight delays can help claps and snaps sound natural. 5-20ms, etc.
  • Recycle or phatmatik is your break-chopping friend.
  • Basically, Hatrixx's method involved chopping everything from the main hits into a sample. Say you had a 2-step funk beat, like the Amen. You'd start your selection from the start of the first kick, and select everything up to the start of the first snare. Cut, paste, there's your first slice. Then take everything from the start of the first snare up to the start of the second kick - including all the little hats and ghost hits - cut, paste, second sample, and so on. Then just map the samples onto some keys and bash away.
    Both of them are quick, compared to chopping Recycled slices, where you have to copy and drag loads of little notes (one every little fucking tiny hit in the break, arranged chromatically up the keyboard) around the piano roll. These methods let you just concentrate on the main hits, which can be both good or bad. You can get a solid beat down with just a handful of hits, but you're limited to the patterns already in the original break. For a beginner to breakbeat science like yourself, I'd say try these methods first, but don't rule out the really anal methods like Recycle/Phatmatik/Fruity Slicer. Sometimes they are a necessary evil. Of course, some of the drumfunk guys, especially those who post on Subvert Central, swear by these methods, or the next one.
    There are those who prefer to chop up the raw audio, rather than bothering with MIDI and samplers. They literally just drop the break file into Cubase or Logic and start chopping with the scissors tool and copying and pasting. I can see the benefits of this. You can see the waveform as you're chopping, and you're not as restriced to the quantize grid as you are with MIDI. But it takes aaaaages to build a drum track this way, and there's the risk of RSI from all that Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V you'll be doing.
    Then of course there's trackers. They really are tailor-made for chopping up loops, amongst other things. They give you Sample Offset, meaning that when you trigger a sample, you can set it to start from 256 evenly spaced points throughout the sample. So by starting a sample a quarter of the way through, you're triggering the first snare (obviously you can fine-tune it when the snare isn't perfectly on the beat). You can edit breaks in a tracker without ever having to cut up a waveform, and you can do all sorts of other nifty things like reverse the sample, retrigger it to make drum rolls, and so on.

    If recycle's having trouble, switch the break to mono in your sample editor and then apply tiny fades between the drum hits (especially useful if there are lots of rides that play over the other hits to keep things separate). This should help recycle pick up the start points and with any luck should leave you with a cleaner break.

  • Tune the snares so they all hit around the same pitch.
  • Change the Amp Envelopes of each to bring the strongest parts from each separate sample and build up your sound like that.
  • Compressing all together is a good idea but don't over do it.
  • EQ the master out for the snare as well so you won't have to fuck about when you use the sample in the future.
  • Don’t just use snares, fling some random sound effects in there. Claps and rim shots also work well when layered.
  • Make subtle changes to them and export a few snares from the same setup, this helps when you need a ghost hit or a reverse that sounds similar but not identical.
  • Watch that frequencies don't build up and make the layered bit sound overly... whatever... is building up. Really easy to get too much 200hz or 500hz or even 1.2k if you've got samples that are all beefy/thick/smack-y.
  • If it's peaking, run it through a Spectrum Analyzer and see where it's peaking. I guess it's peaking in the tune, rather than just the snare sample playing on it's own?
  • Sometimes snare samples have a very short peak that doesn't seem to make them sound any better and keeps you from getting them louder without cliping. Reduce that part by a few dBs and you're sorted.
  • Make sure you are using subtractive eq to pull out the frequencies that could be clashing with other sounds. If your frequencies are clashing, that can "hide" the snare and then you end up turning it up to compensate and there you are with your snare peaking.
    The key is making the frequencies sit right in the mix so that they don't clash and you can set them right and not have to turn them up.
  • You could always try clipping the snare, normalise it in a wave editor, amplify it as much as you can before it sounds distorted, then sample it out. Then replace the snare with the clipped version, it will almost always sound louder with more body at a lower volume.
    I would still point out that although this can be used as a replacement to compression, compression is a vital tool to learn how to use.
    Also a lot of peeps will say this does bad things to the waveform, and it does but unless you intend to listen to your tune to be heard at home on an amazing hifi then it doesnt really matter that much IMO.
  • Hi-pass, overdrive, limit, and cut away space from other sounds for it.
  • Layer with it's self or a different snare /Layer with sub / add effect to one layer / add effect to both layers / layer, zoom right in, drag one wave form back or forth very slightly to create new snare sound / Pitch up/down / EQ / Filter / distort / reverb / delay / reverse.
  • Record yourself beat boxing your best snare sounds then layer with snare samples.
  • A good handclap never goes a miss, or use a nice drum synth to get a very different/digital sound.
  • Try reversing the snare sample, then changing the envelope settings so it only hits on the beat. Layer that with the same sample, this time not reversed. Add a little delay to the the reversed snare. Change the settings til it sounds how you like.
  • Particularly snares I layer up a lot. I look for one that has the qualities that I want when run through verb, and then I look for something shorter with more mid "punch" to keep things physical. After someone notied snares were weak in a tune I've really made a point of ensuring that when the snares hit it's physical as well as textural. You need to feel them a bit - so I look for some snares that have that real punch when layering, but usually keep the more textural snappy one as the focus. last couple tunes I did the standard kick snare hats w/ odd percussion, and then I took an amen chopped it processed it and layered it overtop for more aggression and step. (goddess being a perfect example). By removing a layer and adding it you can create a sense of progression through the tune. Make sure the bottom layer is sounding really good and then add the top so that you're not mixing them to be reliant on one another - instead you want synergy. Make sure the EQ on the top and bottom make sense with each other.

remixmag wrote:Whether creating Miami Bass music is your life's fantasy or your greatest fear, you probably crave the know-how to manifest those car-rattling, trunk-full-of-funk kick drums. In the arenas of hip-hop, house, techno, downtempo and almost any other electronic genre, molding fat kick drums is absolutely essential. Like grandma's homemade apple pie, the recipe for kick drums is partially a matter of taste. However, there's no substitute for quality ingredients. And just like every pie has its staple ingredients, every slamming kick drum requires some common elements. Let's take a look at the shopping list for killer kick drums.

You'll need a basic shell to begin creating a thick, strong kick. The classics always work; if you're fortunate enough to own a real Roland TR-808, 909 or other famous drum machine with a killer kick, use it copiously. If you're not one of those chosen few, pay close attention to your original source. For example, if you use a sampler, understand that not all “808 Kick” samples are the same; some sound great, and some just plain suck. There are a lot of reasons for that, including how many generations from the original the sample is, the sampling rate and bit depth of the sampler, how the kick was first sampled and so on. Be as choosy as possible with your individual samples — don't use a mediocre sample just because it has 808 in the name and therefore is “supposed” to sound fat. Seek out a better 808 sample, or use something else that is simply bigger sounding. Remember, the time you spend finding sweet original sources won't be in vain, especially if you reuse the resulting samples for multiple songs.

An old saying goes, “Good art borrows, great art steals.” A nice way to start out with great raw kick material is to sample directly from the source. If you don't own, but have access to a 909, then sample it directly. Or take one of your favorite producer's tracks on vinyl or CD, find a naked kick drum in there and sample it. Be cautious with that approach for a couple of reasons: Copyright issues around sampling even small bits have become a dangerously gray area, and I would never personally advise using any source straight out of the can, even from a royalty-free sample library. While it may be an excellent start, it's unoriginal. Customize whatever you bite. Treat your samples as a sculptor would treat clay; mold each one to create a trademark sound for yourself. One effective way to customize a fat kick is to take a tip from the synth manufacturers: If a sound is thin, pile another (or a few more) on top. When doing so, it's important to use different sounds; layering two identical kicks will result in a louder kick, but it won't change the basic tone. Remember the sculptor approach here: Even if you are using two good-sounding individual samples, they may not instantly sound great together. For example, I find that when layering kicks, while the thickness may be good, sustain is often overkill. The final result often benefits from a little doctoring on the tail of one (or both) of the samples and other hands-on sonic surgery.

Once a nice, basic kick is achieved, treating it with two of the mastering engineer's favorite tools is often the next step. Artfully applying a compressor (to just the kick) can go a long way toward creating a signature sound and a huge kick. Compression is one of those “secret spices,” and how to apply it is a whole topic in itself. One recommendation I will make, however, is to use a multiband compressor. With one of those, you can isolate compression on certain frequency ranges. That is perfect if, for example, you want to push the sub of your kick without emphasizing the higher frequencies (which often affect the tone of the attack), or vice-versa. EQ comes after compression in my signal chain. By now the kick should already sound pretty fat; I aim to shave unnecessary frequencies here rather than artificially boosting too much. This is also where you can actualize trademark sounds, while also fine-tuning them to work alongside other elements in specific tracks. I often scoop out mids and highs, especially frequencies above about 500 Hz. Even though I like thick, deep kicks, unless I'm going for a really dublike sound, I often truncate the lowest frequencies (usually the sub-50 Hz frequencies). Even when you can't hear the difference when trimming frequencies, doing so can really tighten up your kicks.

You may ask why, when you're trying to fatten up a kick, would you want to trim frequencies? That is one of the keys to achieving great mixes, both in the case of kick drums and in general: You want to avoid too many overlapping frequencies. The more sonic separation you have between elements, the more focused the entire mix will sound. That can be especially important for club music, which often gets played on huge, not necessarily audiophile-quality sound systems. If you haven't run into the following scenario already, I assure you at some point you will: Your bass line and kick drum are competing, and it sounds like you have a weak kick. You boost the kick, but it still sounds muddy. Take the bass out, and suddenly the kick doesn't sound so bad. In a scenario like that, solo the two sounds, listen carefully for where frequencies are overlapping and then try subtractive EQ on one element, then the other and sometimes a bit on both. By scooping out overlapping frequencies, you will often find that both elements seem to magically come forward in the mix before even touching their respective volume levels.

Hi hats
  • Realism
I've been a professional touring and recording drummer for 25 years and just thought I might share a couple of really simple ways to use fruity loops or fruity studio to create more 'realistic' drum patterns.

For what it's worth, try this out with Fruity Loops:

Take your hi hat tracks (are any tracks for that matter, including melodic synth 'bubbles').

Drop down the bar graph box that allows you to scroll between velocity (volume), pitch, panning, cutoff, resonance and a thing called 'shift' which allows you to use each of these categories to effect each individual note that you've programmed. (note: this can be accomplished in other ways in most of the good midi sequencing apps or software/hardware drum machines).

Drummers, no matter how good they are, just aren't perfect and we can use the fact that each of these drop down bar graphs can make very,very small changes in a sound to do some subtle things to a rolling drum groove like 16th notes on a hi hat.

Not all drummers, but many tend to favor their strong hand in a single stroke (hand over hand) drum roll. Consequently, if you make all odd numbered hi hats be slightly louder than their even numbered hits it will sound more realistic. Start by making velocity differences that are really clearly audible. Then lower the velocity until you can barely feel the difference. We are going to make very subtle changes like this on each of the parameters of velocity, pitch, cutoff, resonance and, importantly, shift.

I can't stress enough that you should make these changes be so subtle that you can hardly notice them.

Just going on the fact that the right handed players start their rolls with the right hand and favor it ever so slightly (or grossly for effect as well) means that the stroke will be harder with the right hand than the left hand.

When a percussion instrument is hit harder the difference between the transient (or hi pitched attack) of the sound and the body of the instrument (or the sound that comes after the attack) becomes greater. In general, on drums, that means that a harder attack tensions the drum very imperceptably (sp?) and it also means that there will be more treble in the sound. Consequently, the pitch goes up a little teensy bit and their is more attack to the sound (increased resonance and slightly higher cutoff frequency).

Consequently, you can make the pitch of each right hand be just barely noticeably higher, the resonance should be just one or two of those little teeny bars higher. The cutoff should be just a few bars lower (allowing less high frequencies through) on the 'left' handed or even numbered strokes.

Typically, if drums have time inaccuracies they tend to drag the left hand a litte bit. I have to keep stressing that if you can hear the changes you make, you aren't being realistic. You need to make the changes subtle enough that you just barely feel that they aren't perfect. You can consequently make each left hand note shifted one or two bars late.

Tigure out how much you can tweak each parameter before it becomes obvious and then you can just randomly tweak each one up to that limit. With a little bit of variance in each stroke from parameter to parameter you will create more of a percolating texture in your programming - this is a great technique to make synth 'bubbles' (the kind used in techno and house) more interesting and less mechanical feeling.

Now, you can avoid the biggest mistake that non-drummers do when trying to write 'realistic' programs: turn the overall volume of the hihats until you CAN'T hear them and then slowly bring up the volume until you just begin to hear them.

Professional producers have spent countless hours trying to figure out how to gate and mix hihats OUT of tracks. The reason is two fold:
1) Human beings have such a radical peak in their hearing around the 1-2khz range (or the intelligibility range of human speech) that we can play the hihats at incredible low volumes and they are still audible. You can't do that with a bass drum.I tell my drum students that you cannot play a hi hat or a snare drum so quietly that a person sitting in a room with you can't hear it.
2) Hi Hats, the snare of snare drums and cymbals all seriously MASK human vocal intellibility. How many people have gone to see live shows where they can hear the singer is singing but can't for the life of them figure out what they are actually singing. That is ususally because drummers (or mixers, which is frequently the case) are not hip to this
important fact.

So, turn down your hi hat tracks (or any track with a strong mid range,short envelope attack) and you have much more room for other musical goodies in your mix. When in doubt, make your hi hats quieter than you think they should be. Trust me, they'll come through the mix even at a quiet volume.

Drum programming: Swing:
  • Don't know if you can do this in your sequencer, but in Logic you can create a groove template from your drums and then apply that to your other instruments. If you're using separate midi channels for snares, kicks and hats, take the 8 bar loop you're using, glue it together and then take the groove from that and then mute that track. When you click down the quantize list you'll see the template there and you can apply it to your other tracks.
    Also if you do want to change the groove, you can just change the hits in the muted template and it'll automatically change all other hits to the new changes.
  • Think if you're clever and organized, you can basically cut breaks up in recycle, load them into the exs24 (extract sequence) and then do the same with them. That way if there are breaks you like the feel of, you can just apply that swing to anything. If you make a folder called grooves in your logic folder, they should load up each time so that you'll have loads to choose from. Haven't done this myself yet, but always helpful to have a choice of feels available.
  • Some things sound better rigid and robotic with equal velocities. Some things sound better rigid and robotic with differing velocities. Some things sound better with swing. Some things sound better with everything ever-so-slightly off.
    It's down to what the track needs.
  • Drum Break Swing Programming
Nicolas Hall @ www.breakbeat-cafe.net wrote:I think most people who make anything funk, breakbeat drum & bass, or hip-hop would agree that 'Swing' is crucial to the effectiveness of a beat. The other key factors in a programming sense are 'dynamic' and 'accent'. So many people get wound up when their beats sound 'sterile' or mechanical' this is due to the fact that computers and sequencers lock to perfect BPM. A computer on it's own does not interpret rhythm the way a good drummer does, There are however, certain machines that have their own swing parameters like the Akai MPC range of sampling drum machines which are used extensively by hip hop producers.

Swing is not the easiest thing in the world to analyze but as a general rule good drummers will play slightly late and that's why in all funky records you get that slight dip at the start of the bar, take 'Superstition' by Stevie Wonder or 'Billie Jean' by Michael Jackson, these are both very simple beats, 'Superstition' is of course live drums whilst 'Billie Jean' was programmed but no less funky than 'Superstition' I emphasize this point to demonstrate that a programmed beat can be every bit at groovy as a beat played on a drum kit.

Expanding on the Billie Jean point, Hip Hop beats are really very simple. If you listen to the Neptunes they tend to create the swing in their beats by quantizing the kicks and snares and playing the hi hats in by hand, this creates a very tight beat which is off set by a loose hi hat, try it works, but don't forget your accents - As a starting point just take the first snare of your beat and turn the velocity down, then notice how your head starts nodding and your foot starts tapping a little more, you are giving the beat feel. Also remember that if you are using reverb the louder snare will push the reverb harder than the soft snare so your creating more ambience that way. Then try your kick drums, if your not sure which hits to adjust just pick apart a beat your feeling, I remember me and friend picking apart a Gangstarr beat and were able to almost replicate it by adjusting the velocities of each hit (admittedly it took a while to get it right!)

If you're a newbie then a common trick when learning to make good grooves is to create a template with an existing loop. The idea is take a loop you like that's got a good feel to it and then place your own hits over the break, then take the break out and see if your hits are sounding funky. This can take a while and it's crucial to think about the strength of each hit, or the 'dynamic'. Each kick will not be the same strength nor will the snares or the hats, pick the loop apart, dissect it and you'll soon see that there are certain consistencies in all good beats.

If you're using live loops and like to layer them with drum sequences, you should be thinking about time, space and frequencies. So if you have a fairly heavy loop then layering it with heavy kick drums is probably not gonna sound good. Think about filling holes, are their any frequencies that could be filled up? Or is there space in the loop for extra hits? Try working in layers just adding one hit at a time, also filtering works well, you could take some of the frequencies out of your loop as you drop your drum sequences in to make room for them. I think one the masters of this technique is Liam Howlett of the Prodigy. He runs breakbeats and gives them extra balls by laying a kick drum underneath to add extra intensity to certain passages in his set, but he's careful not to overlap frequencies to much. A good place to start if you using breakbeats is the Roland Tr-808 kick drum which is around the 50hz mark, which is sub bass territory so it will sit underneath most breaks very well.

If your hell bent on making killer beats and loops, then perseverance is crucial, keep at it, it will come together, listen to beats you like and pick them apart, identify the subtleties that make it happen. I know some producers get fed up when their beats sound to clean, or they are trying to create a new breakbeat and then compare it to sample they took from vinyl and get down on there own beat. Think about what a breakbeat really is, think about its history what has happened to it to make it sound the way it does. I'm sure you've noticed how some breaks have a certain something like a magic dust you can't put your finger on. Let me share what I know with you about that.

Most breaks, though not all, are taken from recordings of live drums, some of them are pretty old, so you have the ambience of live drums and the room they were recorded in, you have the fact that natural decay and reverb of each drum is likely to have bled into the other mics on the kit, and that most engineers used overhead mics which pick up the whole kit with two mics. Then consider that many of these breaks will have been recorded to analogue tape with saturation which will create extra warmth and harmonics. The next step comes from old sampling technology like the SP-1200 and the Akai s-950 / mpc -60, these samplers sampled at 12- bit (bear in mind that most computers now are at least 24-bit if not more) and that the samples themselves where taken from vinyl and on and on the process goes, with each new reverb and eq adding more and more to the break. In terms of giving your breaks that character there are a number of things you can try, for example buying an old four track cassette machine to dump your beats onto then re-sample it, if your using a sampler like the s-950 then try pushing the input meters a little harder than usual add reverbs and resample it, each time you put your loop through a new channel you will be adding something to it. Also distortion is fantastic for breaks, if you have any amp plug ins then try them, the Amplitude one is particularly good, you don't need to go mad with it just used subtly it works great.

To finish I would just like to say again, stick with it keep trying, keep listening to records, if you like to read about technique then do so, you can learn so much from other producers. Remember the strength of your hits is important as is the way it swings, good luck!

UPDATE 08.09.2008


emusician.com wrote: Layering real-world sounds with synthesized drum parts puts a new spin on your drum tracks. You probably already have usable sound effects on your hard drive, because most commercial samplers have at least a modest collection in their factory library. Beyond that, you'll find thousands of royalty-free sound effects online. Soundsnap.com is one of my favorite sources, and it's free. The recordings don't need to be pristine for layering over drums, so don't overlook cheap sampling CDs, and consider grabbing your own sounds with a portable recorder.
Collect and Save

Start by assembling a small Foley library of short percussive sounds divided into typical drum-sound categories: kicks, snares, toms, cymbals, percussion, and so on. You'll generally want to layer drum sounds with Foley sounds that have a similar volume contour and frequency range. If you layer a Foley sound that resembles a kick drum with the sound of your hi-hat, for example, you'll quickly fill up all the space in your drum track.

Industrial, household, military, transportation, and vocal sounds make excellent fodder, but you will often want to extract a small slice, such as the last shot in a volley of machine-gun fire (snare) or the first bounce of a plastic bottle on concrete (tom). A browsing tool like Audio Finder (icedaudio.com) is invaluable if you have a large sample library. That lets you quickly audition clips, make basic edits, and drag-and-drop slices to your library.

Sticks Up
If your synthesized drum part is step sequenced, you'll need to export its step sequences as MIDI files. Many drum synths do that, including Sonic Charge Tonic (soniccharge.com), Apple Logic UltraBeat (apple.com), and Submersible DrumCore (submersiblemusic.com). All of those come with a large collection of patterns exportable as MIDI sequences. You'll also need a sampler to play the Foley sounds; drum-oriented samplers are handier for that but are by no means necessary.

Start by loading a kit in the drum synth. Export one of its sequenced patterns, or create your own and place it on the sampler track. For some of the drum synth sounds, select compatible Foley sounds and map them to the same notes in the sampler that they're mapped to in the drum synth. Next, solo the doubled voices one by one in both the drum synth and the sampler, start the sequence playing, and tweak the sampler's voice parameters (filter, level, pan, envelope, and so on) to make the sounds work together (see Fig. 1 and Web Clip 1). Don't tweak global parameters such as effects, because that will affect all sounds played by the sampler.

High Hoops
Once you've configured your Foley track, you can do several things to add interest. I frequently use a second sampler for short vocal sounds. I'll have some notes trigger sounds in both samplers, and others in only one. Many samplers let you group sounds and assign notes and controllers to choose among them. You can then sequence these notes and controllers, or you can play them live to alter your Foley tracks.

Try applying DSP effects to individual Foley sounds. Multitap delays, distortion, phasing, and granular effects all work well when used sparingly (see Web Clip 2). You can apply DSP effects inside your sampler or route the voices to a separate output for DSP processing in your DAW. If your sampler doesn't offer either possibility, spread the Foley parts over several sampler instances on different tracks.

Sidechain compression or gating of the drum track with one or more of the Foley parts will highlight the Foley part as well as add variety to the drums. With compression, peaks in the sidechain signal will reduce the level of the drum track. Use a high compression level, say, 20:1, and balance the sidechain-gain and the compression-threshold, -attack, and -release controls to get the ducking contour you want (see Web Clip 3). Gating has the opposite effect; the drum track will be heard during peaks in the sidechain signal (see Web Clip 4). Here too, the sidechain-gain and gate-threshold controls work in tandem to determine when the gate is opened. Use envelope parameters (attack, release, and hold) to shape the gate's contour.

Keep in mind that once you've created a sampler instrument to complement your drum kit, you can reuse it with other sequences. You can also change one or more sounds in the sampler instrument without repeating the whole process.
Last edited by Disco Nutter on Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by .klimaxx » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:42 pm

there's loads of good quality information here mate, i just think you need to condense it a little so it's more easily accessible..

ez, look forward to the newer version :)


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Post by theedman » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:47 pm

ry nice indeed, i almost forgot about panning and widening my hats, thank you very much, lernt a few new things aswell
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Post by junglist » Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:26 pm

Great thread.

An idea here. Mabey you could post up an example of a drum loop, showing each individual drum hit in its place. Then repeat the process a few times showing variations of the pattern, with an wav or mp3 of each variation under the image.

Although to do this you would need somewhere to host the image and music file where it would not have an expiration date.

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Post by hugh » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:33 pm

this post is good but the section on hats and sequencing the drums needs to be a lot more relative to dubstep.
Try to think about how you can automate velocity and reverb to give the effect of the track being held and released, which to me is very important to step!
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Post by fuagofire » Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:53 pm

nice one, sticki!?

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Post by alan_ » Thu Aug 07, 2008 6:57 pm

lots of good points there.

I do have to say this tho: "Billie Jean" is not a programmed beat. It was played by Leon N'dugu Chancler. He's a mack daddy studio drummer, as you might imagine by Quincy Jones using him on sessions. He played on quite a bit of Thriller, and Jeff Porcaro played the rest.

Some really excellent tips for those getting started with production.

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Post by blizzardmusic » Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:12 pm

this needs a sticky.
If you like jungle / drum and bass you'll like the above! ;)
diss04 wrote:
Pistonsbeneath wrote:no mention of blizzard?
Facebook: facebook.com/blizzarddubs
Twitter: twitter.com/iamblizzard

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Post by Disco Nutter » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:39 pm

Production Bible v2 bump.

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Post by bitter » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:23 am

Great comprehensive info 8)

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Post by syhr » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:28 pm

[noob question]

where do people generally get their drum samples from? sample CDs / chopped from breaks / VSTs?

i've just been using the drums that come pre-loaded in FL but most of them sound really wishy-washy to me...

[/noob question]

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Post by futures_untold » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:32 pm

syhr wrote:sample CDs / chopped from breaks / VSTs... ...drums that come pre-loaded in FL
^^^This :roll:

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Post by ahernia » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:31 am

Very nice, a good novel indeed :P

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Post by james fox » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:09 am

Junglist wrote:Great thread.

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Post by Disco Nutter » Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:32 pm

I'm back from the seaside and I'll try to add up a bit.

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Post by Disco Nutter » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:02 pm


Disco Nutter & Roka - Only Things (Bonkerz Audio)
Free download from here!


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Post by blip » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:58 am

Thanks for the compiling, there is a lot of interesting techniques.

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Post by black lotus » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:13 pm

some kind of website archive compilation of all this stuff should be made. forum posts are great, but they are still more difficult to find. singular links and posts and such.

something like this, but better:

the fuckin dub scrolls!

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Post by puppykicker » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:09 pm

syhr wrote:[noob question]

where do people generally get their drum samples from? sample CDs / chopped from breaks / VSTs?

i've just been using the drums that come pre-loaded in FL but most of them sound really wishy-washy to me...

[/noob question]
Here's a list that could come in handy for noobies and pros alike.
hope it helps some of ya.
oh yeah... GOD BLESS THE PRODUCTION BIBLE!! very helpful indeed!


www.sampleswap.org/filebrowser-new.php da2bb520dfa4
SampleSwap – both music and FX samples


BBC collection –quite good ! Watch the categories date …

Loopasonic – well organised site. Login (free) required.

Tout Pour La Musique ! - Beats labelled with BPM but not style.

www.djsamples.com/djsamples/freesamples/ 6022132&samplepack=
Djsamples.com – big collection, SEARCHABLE.

Doru Malaia World – free sounds and useful links lists

Superloops : check those crazy categories

Mean Beat – click “Samples”

Breakbeats only.com – prof site with some freebies.

ZeroMedia – Short hits & some loops

NS Kit - acoustic drum kit and other instruments, high quality and mega MB

Uni Of Iowa- ‘Classical’ instruments

SonicHound - drums and synths samples

Electronisounds – prof. Sample CD site with demo packs.

Hollow Sun – vintage keyboard and synth sounds

The Mod Archive – synthesiser focus.


Doru Malaia World - samples, soundfonts and more

Manytone Music - some drums and percussion

Proloops - professional site with some free loops


Cymbal samples

www.angelalanis.com/freedown.../wavaiffs ounds.php
Classic drum machine samples

Classic beatboxes (AKAI)


Guitar samples

R.A.W. - unusual instruments

DMS free sound samples

Studio 13 – ecelectic collection

Pattern Based drums




AudioFill - search for soundfonts, WAVs etc.

directory.google.com/Top/Art..._and_Loo ps/
Google Directory link page – BIG !

Dmoz - really really big list

Biggerer and biggerer list on a Computer Music forum

Loops.net - good link site, also for software

MIDIWORLD Links list



FindSounds.com – good search engine. Try 16 bit 44100 kHz if possible/

Music Robot : “Let music robot find your sounds” POPUPS

WAV Central : ‘FX’ section and ‘search’ section are useful.



Stonewashed : Link site for various SFX sites. POPUPS

Sound Hunter : Click “Sound Effects Links” for the link page.

The FreeSite : Links to free WAV sites

“Echovibes Top 50 Sound Sites” Let the popups begin


Absolute Sound Effects archive

Hollywood Edge : Some free effects - good quality MP3s

Partners In Rhyme : Has sound effects section.

Sound America : ‘Sound effects’ section is low quality, but where else are you going to find a vomiting cat ? MAJOR POPUP WARNING

Acoustica - smaller collection

A1 free sound effects


Some gaming FX
Classic speeches from the History Channel
English tube underground voices – “Mind the gap”
Daily WAV - TV dialogue etc
George Bush samples
Archive.org – open-source movies, speeches etc.
Prelinger Archives – educational films etc
The Open Video Project
Sounds of space

from a November 2003 kVr post, I haven't checked these

www.stormtronic.co.uk/loopfish/ *
Loops for Acid -
Anologue Samples - www.analoguesamples.com/
Findsounds - www.findsounds.com/ISAPI/search.dll
Synthzone - www.synthzone.com/
Wavcentral - www.wavcentral.com./
Wavsamples - www.wavesamples.cjb.net/
Samples to download -www.flashkit.com/soundfx/index.shtml
Analog Bank - users.chariot.net.au/~lucas/...ash.html
Analoguesamples - www.analoguesamples.com/
Apocalypse Sound - www.apocalypse-sound.com/
Audiowerkstatt - members.liwest.at/web/audiowerk/apw.htm
Bass and Trouble -
Bass Culture - www.bassculture.org/
Cybergroove - www.cybergroove.de/e_index.htm
Breakbeats.co.uk - www.break-beats.co.uk/
Deltaz Samplez - www.deltaz-palaze.de/
Digital Improvization - www.digimpro.com/samples.html
DJ Acid Underground -
Dogbeats - www.dogbeats.co.uk/
Dooley Drums - www.dooleydrums.com/
Looza - www.hgb-leipzig.de/~ajoscht...oops.html
Drum Loop Central -
Phat Drum Loops - www.phatdrumloops.com/old_site/
Echo Vibes - www.echovibes.com/
E-Drummer - www.e-drummer.net/
E-Lab - www.e-lab.se/
Electronisounds - www.electronisounds.com/
Factory 42 - www.cpaterson.clara.net/
Findsounds - www.findsounds.com/
Soundwaves - tilt.largo.fl.us/samples/free.html
Funk Station - x-stream.fortunecity.com/kingsrd/58/
Future Wave Shaper - www.futurewaveshaper.com/
Ground Loops - www.groundloops.com/archive.htm
Hello Synthesizers - hello.to/synthesizers
Ignite - www.geocities.com/ignite_music/
Kalava Drum Archive - hem.passagen.se/lej97/kalava/
Loopasonic - www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~spufus/
Mean Beat - meanbeat.cjb.net
Moonman's Synth Place - synthplace.freeservers.com/
Musical Drugstore -
Music Machines at Hyperreal -
Musiksamples.de - www.musiksamples.de/
Nexus - digilander.iol.it/Geecko1/Index.html
Orchestra Samples -
Pinknoise - www.soundbank.hu/
Raw 42 - www.raw42.com/samples/
Rob Papen Sound Design - www.robpapen.com
SampleNet - www.samplenet.co.uk/
Dysmusax' Samples - www.dysmusax.cz/eng/
Skevens Music - titan.spaceports.com/~upbeat/
Sound Central - www.soundcentral.com/
Soundsproz - www.soundproz.com/
Speakerboy - www.thespeakerboy.com/
The Sample Shack - www.wyze.com/sampleshack...leshack.html
Tribe - mp3-tribe.com/
US r*ves - http://us-r*ves.com/
Waveform.dk - www.waveform.dk/
WaveSamples - www.wavesamples.cjb.net/
Wave World - www.modarchive.com/waveworld/
Joor - www.joor.com/
Drummachine.com - www.drummachine.com/newpages/sounds.html
Bizarre Ambient FX - sonikmatter.com/sounds/
Korg Wavestation Sounds -
Hakachukai's Samples -
Innards - perso.respublica.fr/innards/...ples.html
Jaspertronic Synthesizer Sounds -
Mellotron Samples -
Maldoror - vulcan.spaceports.com/~maldoror/
Oberheim Matrix-12 Samples - matrix-12.tripod.com/home.htm
Oneshot Samples - www.oneshotsamples.com/
Reelsounds.com - www.reelsounds.com/sounds.htm
Samples4U - go.to/samples4u.net
Zoolab - www.zoolabmusic.com/
Xelenio - www.xelenio.com/
www.littlemusicclub.com - Nice "real" soundeffects
Mr Nigel's vocal samples:
8/25- Dub Dorado
(all set times for BM are aproximate)
Thursday 1:30pm @ Centercamp w/ UBUV
Thursday sunrise @ Basscamp
Friday 12-1am BrokenBeat @ Bat Country
Saturday Sunrise on the Nautilus X
9/10- DUBWISE in SLC, Utah
9/18- SD UNION

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Post by baydestrian » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:54 am

Killer Link. . . Big up!


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