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questions on getting the most out of a drum machine..

Discussion in 'Drums' started by gonzo-x, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. gonzo-x

    gonzo-x Guest

    i'm a home recordist........ so my questions pertain to that level of gear and experience....

    my sign-off below has a link to my music webpage, if you want to hear the stuff i'm doing, to get an idea of what style i'm going afer....

    anyway, i'm stuck using my drum machine for drum tracks.....

    and since it's all i've got right now, i'm trying to figure out how to use the proper amounts of compression and eq on it to bring out the most punch, and the best clarity, that i can get from it.....

    i've always assumed that, when they sampled the sounds for the kits in the drum machine, that it was basically compressed and/or limited at that time, to get the best sample, and maybe that's as good as it will get with a given kit.....

    so, i've been experimenting with using the mastering toolkit parameters in my roland vs880ex, on my drum tracks.......

    for anyone unfamiliar with this mastering toolkit thingy, it basically allows 4 bands of parametric eq, bass cut, enhancer, 2 bands of crossover settings for a 3-multiband compressor, a limiter, and some dithering.......

    my questions are:

    assuming 4 bands of parametric eq, and 3 multiband compression:

    how should i set my eq settings? how much cut/boost, where and why?
    how should i set my compression ratios, low mid and high, how fast on the attacks, how fast on the releases, using the roland 0-100 scenarios (what the hell do those numbers correspond to anyway?)

    where should i set my 2 setpoints for the crossover (specifically for drums)?

    should i use the enhancer, and at what settings?

    thanks for any and all replies.......
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Gonzo-X,
    You are correct in assuming that drum machine samples are pre processed.

    Q: how should i set my eq settings? how much cut/boost, where and why?

    This is subjective, a matter of personal taste. Especially in this case as the sounds have already been eqed. Just adjust them to your own taste, In time you will learn by trial and error what works. Don't be afraid to experiment. You can always change it later.

    Q: how should i set my compression ratios, low mid and high, how fast on the attacks, how fast on the releases, using the Roland 0-100 scenarios (what the hell do those numbers correspond to anyway?)

    I don't know the Roland box, maybe someone else can shed some light on this. However I don't usually compress drums. IMO it takes all the life out of them. Anyone who does should be strung up. Just how I feel, not a commandment.

    Q: where should i set my 2 setpoints for the crossover (specifically for drums)?
    I wouldn't use that either. same thing

    Q: should i use the enhancer, and at what settings?
    No....same thing.
    Remember that in DAWs (stand alone or computer based) any processing added robs CPU power and degrades the sound. Less is more and sometimes simple sounds better. Concentrate more on what your recording, song quality, performance ability and stop thinking so much about the technical stuff. .................. Fats
    _____________________________________________
    It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to ……
     
  3. gonzo-x

    gonzo-x Guest

    thanks for the reply, fats.......

    and to what you said, in general......

    i kind of felt that this was a basic truth....

    i always want to get more out of my drum machine, than i could ever hope to get out of it....

    so, in my mind, by using the mastering toolkit algorhythm that comes with the operating software of my roland vs880ex, i though i could pull more punch, and more detail, out of the machine....

    but it seems, when you think about it, that all this has been done as good as it could be, at the time of the samples.....

    and, like it or not, i believe now, that the most i can get out of the drum machine, is to not eq it at all, save for a touch of low (100hz) and high (12-14khz) and just get it sitting right in the mix.... and accept that it is what it is......

    i did experiment with some more radical eq and compression on the stereo drum tracks......
    i have no way to break out the individual pieces on this particular machine.......
    and i was able to make the kick have more punch, same for the snare....

    but at the expense of losing some of the overall dynamics that were there on the vanilla tracks.....

    yeah, i like the idea of plug and play.
    i'm just trying to learn as much as i can about the real voodoo involved in mixing.

    and the truth is, i realize that, for me, the best it gets is pure untouched tracking, and then mixes appropriately.

    i just need to upgrade as many things as i can, to be able to track things as accurately as they are actually happening.

    money.
    :roll:
     
  4. gonzo-x

    gonzo-x Guest

    if you are at all interested, here's a song that is an example of some more extreme mastering on the drum tracks, at the stereo pair level......

    the song is "Take it All - ver 3"
    http://artists2.iuma.com/IUMA/Bands/Trouble/
     

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