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real drummer - drum machine sound

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Solar, Apr 8, 2001.

  1. Solar

    Solar Guest

    Hey guys. Anyone have any techniques for recording a real drummer to get a hip-hop/rap drum machine type sound?

    I'm looking for over-compressed drum sounds, and I especially want to get some big resonating low end pulse/boom from the kick drum. Aside from just twisting the low end eq knob off, anyone have any micing techniques? Got use of 414s, 57s, sm81, re20 and pzms. Closed head kick, although I might be able to bring in one with a hole as well if needed. I've done the thing where you use a sampler & trigger for a low synth tone before, but I'm not sure if I'm going to have sort of equipment available for this project. Any ideas?
  2. Aaron-Carey

    Aaron-Carey Active Member

    Dec 25, 2000
    In the hardware world, Alesis DM-5 will do nicely :)
    On the PC side, Drumagog DX is even better
    If you use pro tools, you can't use dx, but you can use " replace " which works kinda ok
  3. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Those mics are plenty good to get the low end you're looking for. I'd probably try the re20 first, but don't let that stop you. You could be pleasantly surprised by any of the others in that selection.

    (Dead Link Removed)

    Keep it simple, the way it was done 30-40 years ago. After all, that's when most of the classic hip hop drum samples were originally recorded, right? (If you ask nicely, maybe Fletcher will explain his patented 3-mic technique.)

    (Dead Link Removed)

    Once you've got the track down, try out whatever comp's or limiters you have and f' em up mercilessly. Chain em all together. Whatever. F' it! Lots of guys are using Sans-amp lately (both hardware and plugin versions), or even stuff em thru an actual guitar/bass amp and re-mic it. There are so many fun ways to f' it up, it's not fair for me to spoil the surprise for you.

    Enjoy! :)
  4. KBP

    KBP Guest

    Logic Audio has a audio to score process integrated which does a great job of making a sequence out of a drum track. I do exactly the type of live drum recording you do and usually find that the original kick track is never enough. The stuff I am working on now has usually 4 samples layered to get that kick sound, and my kick was recorded with a tunnel. Not to say it was not a great kick sound, but I usually find that alot of the hip hop sound comes from not only the sound but the machine like quality of the hits. Drumagog is a great plug in but the audio to score thing is awesome cause you are able to then go in and fix or manipulate the dynamics and move the kicks where I want them, even add new ones or take a way some. (I know this is probobly considered unethical, but we are not talking about purist music, which I would never apply this technic to). My insert chain usually consists of 1/ eq running a 100hz or lower low pass filter (to only let the very low end of the kick through) 2/ Logics noise gate, which is not the cleanest sounding gate out there, but for complete isolation it rules. Then I usually bounce this track down and apply the audio to score process to this bounced track. For kick it works like a charm, snare is another story all together, I usually end up actually cutting that track up to the individual hits, considering most snare tracks have alot of ghost notes going on and being an ex drummer I don't believe in taking those out. Alot of other guys I know just retrigger and by pass all the little $*^t. Sometimes I'll spend 3 to 4 hours just cutting up and retriggering a snare. (usually on my own time) The kick usually takes about a 1/2 hour to do, not including tweaking.

    Don't know if this helps you, but it just sounded as though you were in a similar boat as me.

  5. dgooder

    dgooder Guest

    I've found that traditional methods work well for traditional sounds, but why not go for something new? I used to think you needed to mic a kit a certain way to get a desired result. I think that's a trap many engineers fall into. If you really focus on what you want the end result to sound like, you can come up with many non-traditional methods to get it. Use your own experiences and techniques, and the final product can be totally unique. That is what you should shoot for. Using someone else's techniques can give you a direction, but it sure gets boring.

    Think outside the box.

    Dave g http://www.groovestainproductions.com
  6. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    dbx subharmonic synth? Possibly a bass pedal for an octave-down tone or maybe futz with an Electro-Harmonix Micro Synth (probably the bass version) in one of your aux sends? The usual Sansamp and trick compressor (Distressor or Trakker) stuff is obvious enough, I suppose. Maybe you should see if retuning the kick heads can get you closer.

    There was mention in the review section of a recent Tape-Op of an intriguing sounding box called the Transient Designer from Sound Performance Lab. It looks like it might be what you're looking for, but I've only seen that one review, so who knows. (http://)

    da Bear
  7. waitgoiter

    waitgoiter Guest

    You could try one of those analog drum brains that were all the rage in the eighties, like the simmons and tama techstar units. You usually trigger them with contact mics on the drum heads. There's some pretty scary territory to be explored here, but I can't think of much that beats these boxes for extra sub-bass boom.

    If you're looking for even :mad: more bass :mad: , the sherman filterbank might be the ticket.
  8. << Anyone have any techniques for recording a real drummer to get a hip-hop/rap drum machine type sound? >>

    Er ... this might seem a bit obvious, but what about using a real drummer on a DrumKat or other trigger device? You've then got it all in MIDI and can assign it to any drum machine/samples you want.

    You could even qualtize it and make it not sound like a real drummer anymore! :D

  9. Solar

    Solar Guest

    Hmmmm, I wonder how hard I could drive a pre before the wiring fused into a pile of molten metallic goo. Maybe I'll conduct that experiment when we cut this.

    Good stuff, I should mention something I forgot to mention when I first mentioned stuff. I'm a pretty diehard despiser of computers. Plus I won't have the power of 1's and 0's available on this project (darn :D ). I'm a fan of naturalism... an instrument/player, a room and a mic. Which probably seems odd to most that I'd be going for these sorts of sounds on a project. Hey, where's Tonebarge? I know I saw him post something once about placing a mic on a really odd spot on the kick to get a super absurd woof sound... and getting a pzm inside a closed kick or something-or-other.

    I got my own custom weirdnesses I've accumulated which I'm going to whip out, but I'm always fishing for more ideas to mutate. Watch me as I open the vault of sickness, but brace yourself. Gating over-compressed room mics for pulsing stuff. Using a boom box as a mic/pre/compressor (sounds like sh*t, screw em if they can't take a joke), then out to tape. A gated kick mic *outside* the room the drums are in to filter out highs and mids. My trusty mxr dynacomp pedal (don't try that at home) for ridiculous squish and noise. Sansamp (sheesh I thought I was the only sicko until Ang mentioned this was a "thing" everyone was doing, now I don't know if I want do it anymore, and great tip on spacing the kick tunnel mic the same dist from the kick as the OHs... never thought of that!!). Good tip also about that EH micro synth or cheesy octave pedal, that would sound like hell, I think the band has one, I'm gonna do it! 3 comps in series, check. "Bangy" plywood kick tunnels, roger. Etc.

    The drummer can already play like a friggin trip-hop non-stop dance machine, that's why he got the gig. I'm gonna stick the poor guy is some bizarre acoustic spaces... like a tiny, square, concrete bomb shelter... an absolute acoustic no-no... that I'm gonna make a do-do... just cause I can. I just wish I could have him a custom 26" kick built or something. Got any micing type gems for the naturally occurring, yet odd sounds... and micin up some way-too-much LOWWWWW end?
  10. There used to be an Australian band that played in the late 80's "Boom Crash Opera" and the drummer had a 28" kick. It was an old marching band drum that he modified. Cool.

    Another tip, loosen the heads.
  11. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    I remember an ad for some Earthworks mic boasting flat response "from DC to RF". Would that be enuf low end for ya? :)

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