Man...If only the hi hats were more realistic. BFD3/Roland demo

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by kmetal, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    came across this while I'm watching tutorials on BFD and a bunch of others. I can totally 'live with this' level of realism and quality lol. The snare roll articulations are remarkable imo. Maybe I've just getting tricked by excitement on my part or hype of my speakers or the video.

    The hi hat abrupt close is a bit of a sore thumb, being too loud, and quickly decaying/choking too obviously. Tone that back a bit, smooth it out, and man.

    The ability to tune the enviornment and ambience is downright amazing.

  2. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    Sounds good. Keep in mind you need a great drummer with a great triggering kit to get that. I'm sure they spent alot of time getting the kit parameters right for that level of detail.. It's nice to know that it's possible..

    I bet they don't have alot of samples of the open/foot hihats. You could probably edit that though volume wise. They are getting closer..
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Is the problem with the HH choke internally in the BDF sample - or is it because the sensitivity needed adjusting in the Roland brain?
  4. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    It could. Be number of samples at different volumes or the hi hat pedal trigger sensitivity. It depends on if it's dependant on the stick Hihat velocity before the open closed
    Or if the.pedal can have different volumes.
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I was thinking the same thing. The excellent drummer, and tweaking (aside from hats), is crucial. I was hurting my head thinking of how difficult (or easy?) it would have been to program that performance either by pencil, or midi keyboard.

    Also, Roland happens to be the most expensive state of the art VDrums, as far as I know. We all know good quality usually isn't cheap.

    As a non drummer, when I've hacked around on kits, I've found both electric and acoustic kits just as fun, and electric kit wouldn't be a compromise for me, and I have had a couple drum sets over the years. Having them gave me a new respect for how good drummers are.

    How would you guys feel about playing bfd3/Roland setup vs an acoustic kit, for a say semi professional home production.???

    My plan was to just tap my hands and feet near a couple mics, and use drumagog to trigger BFD.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I use the MPC HH controller to open and close hats in real time increments.

    Example: After I've programmed HH and will use a midi controller assigned to the open close midi values to further add a real time feel and sound to the foot so they aren't all sounding tick tick robotic.
    A bit of verb and not too loud helps too.
    Works for me.
    kmetal likes this.
  7. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    For me personally I'd prefer a Yamaha Dtx kit or something with Duaz pads feel wise.

    The Roland V Drums ate cool but the feel of the mesh pads are not anything like real drums. Muscle memory wise they are very different.

    In any case for the best chance at a smooth transition to an electronic kit for a drummer that doesn't use one and knows it's nuances. You'll have to get the best brain possible.. or the most expensive you can afford.

    Sadly everything on an electronic kit is a bottleneck. If you have a great pad setup but crappy mounting system that has crosstalk it's a problem. Or if you have great pads and mounting but a cheap brain. That's a problem.

    I'd go with the best brain first and then go from there.
    kmetal likes this.
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about drum triggers? Would you prefer those two electronic drums?

    Truthfully, the whole concept of triggering is absolutely fascinating. You can trigger and a point in time, at a certain volume threshold, a certain note, movement. Using this stuff to trigger automation events different levels of sounds has potential.
    audiokid likes this.
  9. Chris Perra

    Chris Perra Active Member

    I've used triggers back in the day.. I used to have an Alesis D4, and Kat triggers.. I did a few low budget albums that way.
    58's for overheads and triggers on everything .. It actually wasn't too bad.

    For me I use Cubase, If I have to do drum augmentation I'll use the hitpoints/midi track creation feature built in and do it that way.
    I prefer not to though, as long as the drums are recorded well enough I don't find it necessary I'm not into artificial sounding drums and to me BFD etc always have something that sounds hacky.. If you are going for a natural sound and playing style.

    If you alter a drummers playing style to no grace notes and sparse even playing ala the 80's it can be great.
    kmetal likes this.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Here is an excellent time to make note of how two different (musicians who also program (y)) choose their own programming devices and why.
    Chris Perra and I bet Marco would choose pads they can use sticks to "trigger" because they are drummers.

    I am a guitarist/ keyboardist so my skills are in the fingers so I choose keyboards or MPC type pads. Neither is right or wrong. It really comes down to what works best for each of us and how the listener enjoys the end result.

    Re Triggers.

    Triggers are no different than using transient detection to trigger sound replacements. Believe it or not (gawd... I'm ready for the pasture lol :coffee:) I've been using various forms of triggers to make music for almost 40 years. Started using CV gates, envelopes to trigger and sync mono Arp 2600 arpeggiators in the 70's. This was the beginning of electronic love for me. Being able to use a pulse to sync and play a bass line was cutting edge. Then came MIDI . wow.

    This was one of the first songs I used a trigger with my guitar synth arsenal. In the late 70's I got a gig in a famous summer resort after I showed the band how to trigger the stuff in Blondie's Heart of Glass. Great memories . :love: The hard part was convincing the band to stay in time with the pulse lol.

    Another example: In the early 80's I used the early drum machines pulse to sync and trigger the the Roland TR 303 bass line for Joe Jackson's hit (Stepping Out).

    I'd much rather use the DAW to trigger transients today over a mic or electronic drum kit. Example, the next studio I build will have a drum trigger room but I won't be triggering the drum on the performance. I will do all that ITB later. We don't always want to replace things. Being able to tune and augment organic sounds to replacements has great advantages.
    The more you have ITB to start with, the better.

    Triggering can also take advantage of gates, compression, spectral editing and lights shows. The depth triggers offer us is amazing. I mean, how cool is the metronome. ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Some more stuff on triggering.
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Lovely information. I am using a kit to trigger Slate but only because I use real drummers.....I am not one......My keyboard playing friend does it much like Chris and has been at it for a very long time. Maybe you have heard of him Chris? His name is Howard Helm. He's from Toronto originally and came up as a prog guy in a band called Zon.........for all you Canuks. Cat can seriously play.

    Myself I find I'm much more comfortable with a kit played well in tracking and then editing it to the grid and enhancing parts. I don't do much to the overheads as I want to keep the organic feel....but the kick and snare with the bass really tight and still grooving is a recipe for an good mix every time.
    kmetal likes this.
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    But you are hearing the wizzly sounding HH choke in the video, right? I find it hard to believe that it would be in the sample itself, because everything else sounds so good ... it sounds to me like more of a midi-trigger based thing; like the sensitivity on the HH pad needed adjusted...or maybe the duration?
    kmetal likes this.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Seems like your thinking similar to me regarding studio. I see the tracking side as much as a foley stage as traditional recording room. I'm taking my cues from film, and the CR is more of a post/mix/master room, with a nice area for being the large screen, or doing there overdubs blasting through the speakers. I'll be doing some of my own multi-samples in the 'workshop' as soon as I acquire the black beauties, and a couple neve type pres. I want the advantages of physical space and instruments, particularly for guitar amps feel, and re-amp speakers, for natural ambiences, or for instance playing a sample back and either tracking it close to the speaker, far away, or re amping the snare w the speaker in top technique. I want these advantages without leaving the sweet spot, to move a mic or otherwise....

    With my online mixing business model, I'd like to be prepared for nastiness. So me trying to have a few 'sure fire' options for killer drums and bass, sonically and performance, which are somewhat pre set, or templated / drag and drop.

    For instance- rapper sends stereo MP3, and vocal tracks.

    I have a session template set so the band pass filters, gates, and auxes, and samples, Ect, are all basically laid out and rough set, so that stereo mix 'keys/side chains' the set of tracks which all have great sameples and effects set, i.e. Big bass drum and cracking snare.

    With something like melodyne (multi timberal pitch detection) there's even potetential to extract melodic information, and trigger 'way better' sounds. Lol. All with one drag and drop!

    Now that's obviously theoretical and ideal, but if ClA can have an assistant to sub mix, I should at least be spared the menu sifting, and employ beat detective Ect. That way I can stick to the creative enhancement the songs need instead of trying 'get the bass louder' on some wimpy MP3.
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    We should all use the tools we have available to us... whatever those tools may be... and while sometimes those tools might not sound or work as well on some things, on other things and at other times, they sparkle and shine.

    I've never been dodgy about using new technology, using new tools, new methods. It's not like I sit around pining for "the good old days". Sure, there are a few things I miss occasionally, but having - or not having - those things isn't a deal breaker for me; and I'm certainly not going to not record and mix simply because I don't have certain pieces; nor am I going to stop trying new tools and new workflows, either. Advancements have opened up doors to us that we'd never thought possible, even just a decade ago.

    Technology has always driven our craft. If it hadn't, we wouldn't have ever had multi-track recording, or consoles, or all the various tools that have now become "classic". We certainly wouldn't have had digital, or DAW's.
    Over the years, had it not been for people saying "yeah, this is good, but it could be better, so, what if we....?", then we'd all still be recording to wire.

    For that matter, on a personal note, having recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, getting that same diagnosis 20 years ago could have been akin to receiving a death sentence. Instead of hearing my doctor say "We can beat this, Donny..."
    I could have heard, "go home and put your affairs in order."
    These days, technology has made many forms of the disease not only treatable, but curable and survivable.
    In my own recent experience, I didn't even have to do chemo - that harsh, brutal treatment which was once obligatory for pretty much any cancer diagnosis. Treatments have come so far since, that in many cases, chemo isn't even necessary.
    Perhaps one day soon, those like myself who have been diagnosed with cancer, will be able to take a little pill, and be cured in a week or two. And, if that does happen, it will only be because someone in some lab somewhere said "what if we...?"

    As far as my own recording and mixing methods, I take everything within the context of what I'm working on at the time; whether it's using sample replacement, or micro-editing, or using certain plugs - I really don't have any hard and fast rules - although like any cooker, I have added certain things to my trick-bag over the years; but even then, I don't use those all the time, either.
    There's nothing I have that I "automatically" reach for every single time out of habit or ingrained process. It's always different, because each project is different.

    To me, plugs, triggers, editing, correction and sample replacement, are all really no different than the various and different paints and brushes in an artist's palette.
    We use what we feel are the best colors or brush strokes for whatever picture we are painting at the time.

    The other thing that I don't subscribe to, is the notion that plugs - like an LA2, or an 1176 ( or a 1073, or a Pultec - or insert any other classic processor piece you wish) has to sound exactly like its hardware predecessor, or "it isn't worth anything".
    So, whether or not a Waves, or Softube, or IK emulation of a particular processor isn't ( or is) an exact re-creation; if it sounds good to me, and for what I'm using it for at the time, then what does that really matter?

    IMHO of course.
    kmetal likes this.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    This is exactly how I go about this too (y). Sounds like you are in excellent company, Dave! In fact, I find overheads and room mics are the secret to most everything organic.
    But, overheads are also something that will create that phasy swirl so it becomes a give and take puzzle that I find a lot of fun. @Davedog . How do you deal with that?
    This is where the Bricasti makes room emulation go better. I got to get another one.

    I hear that "wizzly" but it sounds like bad summing, poor processing of some sort, upload errors maybe, something that messed with the top end transients which is creating a phase with all the cymbals. I don't ever hear that (this prominent) when I use BFD.
  17. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Chris. I make absolutely sure that the phase is correct in the overheads if I use two mics. My space is small so I can't have the cymbal wash coming back at any point. This is where that swooshiness comes from when things are in phase. The first reflections have to be controlled or you have time signatures of various natures all competing for the same space. So, over the kit has to be controlled as well as any surface two feet and up above the cymbals. This is hard because you risk a 'boxy' sound, so reflective and absorptive together. Also very fast decaying cymbals. I use old Zildjian crashes. Soft light and small. A dry ride that gives all the ping and wash but doesn't ever bloom or leave a long tail. I spend a lot of time tuning the studio kit. I want everything to quit after the initial hit. I love tone in the drums and the cymbals, just not a long decay.

    Its much more important in arrangements if the drums 'speak' rather than continue to yell into all the other instruments' spaces. Its amazing how much larger and effective things are when there's control of the time and the phase. I imagine the Bricasti gives you that sort of control on everything. I find myself really digging into the convolution type of room reflections more these days. especially on things that want a big voice in their space but have a tendency to stay too long in the time domain.

    I mic the kit completely every time. Although recent sessions have been a single overhead. I'll use a ribbon for this. The Cathedral Pipes Seville is really nice for this. What I find is its good to everything coming off the top of the kit and when I either replace or enhance the toms and kik and snare it doesn't have an awkward sounding blend with the samples I use. You still have the performance but without all the noise and odd timed reflections. The drums than have their own voice and space and work much much better as an arrangement voice rather than just a beat or clatter that drowns out everything in its similar frequency range. It allows for less use of EQ other than HPF and less phase problems that are going to happen with most EQ styles.

    I do mic the hats. I have a Eureka pre that is living its life as a hihat mic pre. It does nothing else. It is VERY good at what it does. Having strip with EQ,comp,and the ability to put them in any order as well as having control of the front and back of the signal makes it easy to dial in even the crankiest of hats. I find drummers will bring their own hats and we'll track a couple with theirs and then I'll gently persuade them to try mine. These will usually end up as the hats on record. Unless the drummers are really a studio pro they tend to think like a stage drummer and its ain't the same deal. You are not cutting through a dense mix of guitars,keys,bass,etc on a stage that is better suited to being a spot for the auctioneer, and the techniques and gear you use to have an impact in those situations just isn't happening in a controlled environment.

    The absolute biggest impact on this kind of thinking has to be the monitoring system in the phones. I have a Behringer PowerPlay system with 5 personal monitor modules. Its the ONLY piece from this company that has cred. It actually sounds really good and works as advertised. I get so much better tracks when people can hear what they want to hear in their phones and hear it really well.

    Its all part of the whole process. Anytime you have quality tracks to mix. ....good performances coupled with sound you aren't fighting to fit together with everything else, your work is mostly done. It allows so much more on the creativity scale than the sonic repair business.
    Sean G likes this.
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Do you have a specific set of drummer cans Dave, like Beyer 770s?

    XY position over the kit is killer for phase coherency. Mono OH is usually just fine, I'll usually use my 414. 57 is a good mono OH too. The spot and tom mics give you spread in that case, depending on how you edit/gate/leave bleed. Otherwise I'll get some spread on the OH pair. I've never done spaced pairs a whole lot.

    The quality of the OH in particular is up to how delicate or brash the drummer is on the cymbals. Bashing cymbals is a good way to kill a great snare sound in the OH.

    I'm guessing the whirlwiszzing in the BFD example, is at least in part due to the ewwtube.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm not a recordist so from a mixing POV, most of the phasy mixes I've worked on have been spaced pairs that were obviously not measured correctly. Plus one side reflecting different from the other. Aligning those up with the bleed in all the other mics makes a fun time. When you get it all close enough, the mix opens up to me thinking... "wow, that's why I am doing this" :love:

    Oh man I miss my studio. Fun thread. (y)
  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I'm moving away from the recording aspect of it. More, me using the tracking space for foley, and my purposes. Select artists or groups will be welcomed in. I'm planning a loft over a garage. The garage will house cars, and a wood/electronics workshop area. Above is the apartment. The apartment is an 'open floor plan', and has a low resonance floor (concrete poured on subfloor for instance). The 'living room' of the apartment is appropriately sized and is opened up to the kitchen. It's has all the treatments for good acoustics. This way my expensive studio gear doesn't collect just, when I'm not working. It's there for entertainment as well. Most of the onsite recording I do will be of my own, or re amping, I have no interest in having artists and clients to my residence.

    Using the open area of the workshop down stairs I'll house a few guitar amps, And drums, and whatever, along with my handful of mics, and some moving blankets.

    The bulk of my tracking and mixing will via the Internet with source connect, and whatever. Mastering guys have been working like this for a while, as far as remote work, with clients never even met in person.

    I'm not anti social, although I've had some bad experiences with comercial studio situations aside. Financially, it's the client that keeps the studio running, and the studios job to keep them happy, so, instead of having to charge clients flor their own creature comfort is in essence wasted money. Lol they are comfy at home. This keeps a landlord out of the picture who both the studio and client would be paying money to. Therefore the studio engineer is being paid for labor and experience directly, eliminating the ongoing commercial enviornment and expense.

    The huge advantage of being Present while tracking, like thru source connect or even skype, is the intanginables your talking of Chris.

    Phase, mic placement, tricks like taping a pencil to a mic to block a wind blast, or keep proper distance. If I'm there and active for that, that makes a larger to the production as a whole, than just mixing it. Many many times at the studio it's been a fully running facility, huge ac system fired up, and me sitting at a computer punching in vocals for someone in booth.

    I think my/our experience with this type of thing is what can make a lot of recordings better. Whether or not we sit and remotely punch in and comp, that's preference, but just 'getting them going' with the ability to hear through 'their ears' remotely is it.

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