Entries in drums (28)
Native Instruments has today turned back the clock again with ABBEY ROAD 50s DRUMMER.
A KONTAKT instrument Abbey Road 50s Drummer features the sound of two classic drum kits from the 1950s. The kits provide the distinctive drum sound of the era, which was necessary to compete with the electrified instruments gaining popularity at the time. Recorded with both state-of-the-art and period equipment at Abbey Road Studios in London, 50s DRUMMER also includes a groove library, mixer presets, and a new set of brush articulations, delivering the authentic feel of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, country, and jazz from the 1950s.
ABBEY ROAD 50s DRUMMER features rare instruments from the very earliest years of popular music. The first kit is an early 1950s Gretsch Cadillac Green Nitron with a 20” bass drum, 12” rack tom and 14” floor tom. Its toms are tuned low, providing a smooth, open sound that still allows excellent placement in a mix full of amplified instruments. The second drum kit is a late-1950s WFL kit. The WFL provides 20” kick drum, 12” and 13” rack toms, and a 16” floor tom. The WFL kit’s toms are tuned high, offering a brighter tone that perfectly complements the Gretsch. Each kit features three different snare drums from the same period, offering a wide tonal variety and added degree of customization. The kits are outfitted with a selection of 1950s Zildjian A and K cymbals to round out their authentic vintage tone.
Russ takes a look at some of the drum sample libraries from Drums on Demand. The libraries work with Structure, Kontakt, EXS, Reason and Garageband.
News from WaveMachine Labs on AAX porting. I reached out to our friends and they responded with the following;
Things are good here; we’re cranking on Drumagog updates as I speak, including an AAX Native version which we hope to have ready around the time of the PT11 release (we’re also doing 64-bit updates for VST/AU at the same time); these updates will be free to Drumagog 5 owners.
Great news and a great attitude.
Steven Slate has tweeted via his @Slateproaudio Twitter account that AAX updates to Slate Digital and Steven Slate Drums plug-ins are going to be free. He hopes we don’t mind; do we mind?
If you want to get tight timing in your tracks there are a few things you can do to make sure your performance is on the money. Here are my top 5;
- Get The Metronome Beat Right
One trick drummers use, especially on slow tempos is to make sure you metronome is running at 8 clicks per bar rather than 4 clicks per bar. This helps to keep your playing super tight.
- Get the Metronome Sounding Right
The sound of a click can make a lot of difference, thankfully Pro Tools 11 features Click II that will offer many more click sounds to chose from. Even if you don’t intend to upgrade then you can modify the click to trigger any MIDI sound, you can also simply create you own click drag by dragging clips onto the timeline and lining them up on the grid and then looping them.
- Get Your Monitor Mix Right
Spend time making sure you have both the mix and the metronome right in your ears. Too quiet and you won’t play in time, too loud and it will bleed into your recording. If you are working with clicks then make sure you have good quality enclosed headphones, especially around drums as there are multiple mics the click can bleed into.
- Practice Makes Perfect
I’ve worked with human metronomes who seem to be tight as a drum machine, but ask them and they will tell you they spent hours learning to play to a click. The good news is that you can improve your timing with practice, the bad news is you have to put in the work.
Sometimes you get performances that were played live, without a click or you just have a someone who has sloppy timing. If you can’t get the performance you need then you may have to resort to using the excellent tools for getting stuff in to time such as Beat Detective, Elastic Time or good old fashion cut and nudge - but if you can use these as a last resort, a great performance is always more musical.
So there we are, 5 ways to get tight timing in Pro Tools. If you have any of your own, please comment.
Russ takes a look at the NI Battery drum sampler and asks in a world of samplers and drum VIs is there a need for a dedicated drum sampler and have Native Instruments done enough with this new version?
It wasn’t that long ago that MIDI was a dream waiting to happen for hard core Pro Tools users. Even though the MIDI features in Pro Tools are often maligned, but make sure you have dug deep before wrtiing them off. Here are 5 Pro Tools MIDI features worth knowing.
Make sure you know how the button in blue works, it’s the difference between MIDI overwriting or over dubbing a part. It’s ideal for building up complex rhythm parts, simply set a loop on the timeline and then it will keep cyckling around as you build up the part.
Mirrored MIDI Editing
Mirrored MIDI Editing is a godsend if you need to change a looped part of a performance but don’t fancy going through the whole song to change. With it turned on whenever you make a change to the original it does the same to any copies in the loop.
One of the most powerful MIDI features in Pro Tools in Real-Time properties, a feature that is often misunderstood. What MIDI real-time properties do is, as the name suggests, modify MIDI data on the fly and in a none destructive way. This means you can make live changes to the MIDI data, such as timing, duration or pitch, but still have the orginal performance intact. Turn any of them off and the original is still there.It also means you can make a copy of the MIDI from the track and copy it to another and have two versions of the same performance.
The Pencil Tool
The pencil tool is a really cool and powerful tool you can use in the MIDI edit window, it is great for entering notes. Did you know that if you select a note input value and choose the Line tool and then drag across the MIDI editor it inputs notes at that value? In a second you can have 4 on the floor kicks across an entire song, or 16 note hi hats. The other line types are great for drawing automation such as filter settings.
Back in the day (whenever that was) but for the purpose of this article I’ll say the early 80s, all MIDI input was step based, you couldn’t just play live and record it. We dreamt of a day when we could just record MIDI like audio, but what step input gave us (and still does) is the tightest performances around. It works as the name suggests, you select a note value and then step through one note at a time, plus any rests you want to add. It takes time, but if you want very tight drums or bass parts, or arps, then step input is your best friend.
More MIDI tips to come soon! Enjoy.
Russ takes a look at the Spark EDM and gives a full show and tell and his thoughts about the brand new beat box from Arturia.
The BBC have just run a radio documentary about the Roland 808, 303 and 909 drum machines.
In this one hour show BBC Radio 1’s Kutski discovers how three small electronic boxes from the 1980’s sculpted the sound of both Hip-Hop and Dance music. He makes it his mission to track down the team that worked on the Roland 808, 303 and 909 machines to see if they had any idea their inventions would have such a massive influence on contemporary music.
He plots their integral role in the development of hip-hop, house and techno; and the myriad of sub-genres that have spawned from these. Kutski chats to DJ Premier, Richie Hawtin, Seth Troxler, The 2Bears, Flostradamus and Pete Tong amongst others as he founds out why producers around the globe continue to be obsessed with these sounds, more than three decades after they were first created. More here
In this tutorial James shows you a way to edit and process a snare drum track to get the very best from two different playing styles without the use of mix or plugin automation.
Drums are at the core of many tracks, be that dance, rock or jazz, but often bands struggle to get a great drum sound. Here are 5 tips for getting a better drum sound that won’t cost you a penny.
- Find the right space
Some of the most iconic drum sounds were reflections of the space they sat in, be that the drums on Whole Lotta Love, Smells Like Teen Spirit or the Funky Drummer drum break. So get out there and find spaces you can record the drums in - even if it’s a simple stereo recording, it may sound better than a sterile multi tracked drum kit. Use a school hall, church, factory, shed, in fact whatever works.
- Use the space
Take time to move the drums around the space you sit them in, you’ll be amazed how taking a drum kit and sitting it in a different part of the room can change the sound entirely.
- Try different mics
We spend a lot of time talking about different types of mics, we regard some as vocal mics, guitar mics and drum mics. However, there are no rules, so take some risks and try using the mics in different ways, after all the best mic for the job is the one you have, so stop wishing about owning mics and use the ones you have in new and creative ways.
- Move your mics and listen
Take time to move the mics around the kit and around the room (remember if you’ve taken the time to find a cool room then capture it). Get the drummer to play in the room and then get outside and either use some monitors or headphones to hear what the mics are sounding like.
- Performance is everything
Spend time working with the drummer on trying different tempos, feel, and intensity - capture every version of those performances. Some drummers like working with a click and other drummers don’t - clicks can help later, but sometimes kill the performance, don’t just use a click because you can. It might also help to track the drums with the band, you might get some spillage through the mics, but if you get the performance then it’s worth it.
As you can see, all of these tips cost nothing, they just require some imagination and some risks - but try them and you’ll be smiling when you listen back to your drum tracks. Stuff sterile, in my book performance and sound win every time.
Akai have released iMPC for iPad, with impressive features and knock-out price.
Akai iMPC features
- More than 1,200 samples, 50 editable programs, and 80 editable sequences
- Exclusive iMPC sound set and classic Akai Professional sound library
- Sample from iPad mic, line-in, or music library using multi-touch turntable interface
- Export tracks to MPC Software for use with MPC Renaissance and MPC Studio
- In-app SoundCloud community, powered by CloudSeeder
- Share on SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or export to your computer
- 16 Levels mode: 16 levels of attack, velocity, length, and tuning
- Note Variation slider: adjust attack, velocity, length, and tuning as you play
- Trim and categorize samples, undo takes and erase samples
- Create new sequences, record and overdub beats
- Live Sequence queuing for real-time performance and playback
- Simple drag and drop program creation
- Built-in effects: delay, bit crusher, master compressor/limiter
- Time correct: 1/8 note – 1/32T with variable swing
- Note Repeat: 1/8 note – 1/32T timing, with latch
- Supports WIST, wireless Sync Start protocol from Korg
- AudioCopy beats and sequences to compatible apps
- AudioPaste samples from compatible apps
- Tabletop Ready iMPC is free for iMPC owners
- Route to and use with your favourite Tabletop Effects and devices
- Line-in allows you to resample Tabletop devices
- Use with Tabletop’s Timeline Editor
Community member Hacksaw has created this cool set of Hip Hip drums, which includes both separate hits and loops to use in you sessions. Perfect for using as you try out the tricks shown in the Dr Dre video. Over 100meg of goodness. Thanks Hack!
Russ takes a live drum session and shows how to get a great sound using the plug-ins that are part of Pro Tools 8, even better you can download the session for your own use here.
Are you trying to get that rock solid timing in your programming? Or perhaps you don't feel confident playing your drum parts in real time. Russ shows how easy it is to get rock solid, tight programming in your sessions.