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Real Kit v.s. Samples

Discussion in 'Recording' started by music293, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. music293

    music293 Active Member

    Hello all!

    I am hoping you can settle a bit of a debate between a friend and I. Essentially, his stance is that no matter who you are, or where you go, if you're going to be recording a commercially accessible piece of music, the drum kit is more or less ultimately going to be sampled out. Perhaps not the entire kit, but at least the kick and the snare and possibly some cymbals. Now, while I might agree that a lot of the Top 40 these days may be using samples in place of real kits, I still couldn't disagree more! I think the drum kit is not dead, regardless of whatever current technologies exist. Obviously, the industry has used live drums for a long time, and over the years it has created some great sounds...So tell me, do you think that just about every drum kit you're hearing on the radio these days is sampled out, or is it the real deal? Thank you!
  2. BluepryntEnt

    BluepryntEnt Guest

    in rap/ r&b/ pop/ hip-hop, yes
    not in rock/ jazz
    i make some rock music with samples, but you just cant replace the original
  3. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    layering is common across all genres in this decade. Even rock. I wouldn't be suprized to learn that even the lo-fi pop rock like White Stripes used sample replacment or layering.
  4. music293

    music293 Active Member

    Oh I recognize the commonality and usefulness of samples, but my friend is trying to tell me the kit is dead and I simply do not agree. As BluepryntEnt had said, there is no replacement for the original when it comes to rock.
  5. RMB

    RMB Active Member

    I would disagree with your friend as well.
  6. depending on the songs instrument detail, you'll never know what is and isn't real. Nothing is like live "live", however, depending on the rock song on the radio/video, you won't know the difference if the work is being done by someone who knows what they are doing.

    someone that isn't a detailed programmer, will always sound like they are using samples and sequencing.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    People like playing instruments and they like hearing them played. I like recording drums so that they sound like the best samples you'll ever hear. Anybody can play computer games. Real engineers make recordings. There are however a lot of people out there "manufacturing music". Sorry, I only work with professionals. That usually means real musicians with actual talent & technique. Kind of like me. Real engineer with actual talent & technique. That doesn't mean we don't use computers. But most of us don't record fake music.

    Not a fake producer/engineer
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  8. peterko10ko

    peterko10ko Active Member

    im sorry but i dont think that if you cant play drums you dont have a talent and technique. i myself finished piano school and taught myself how to play guitar bass and drums, but before i learned drums i made amazing beats that were just not played by me. now i know how to play drums and those same beats i play on real drums instead of using samples. i did have a technique when i used samples though. i respect people that can accept technology and not try to be "old school" just because they know how to play drums and want to put themselves above people using samples as if they've got more "talent & technique". and songs dont get on the radio for no reason
  9. music293

    music293 Active Member

    I wasn't asking about talent and technique. This is more of a discussion about whether or not the drum track has that "breath of life". You can get some amazing results with samples, I will not dispute this, and I myself have used them for certain tracks if it fits the bill. And I know that samples have come a long way, and people have taken great care to sample each drum in many environments to get the best sounds possible, but you cannot tell me that they have that life and dynamic that a live drummer provides.
  10. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    A great drummer being recorded by a great recording engineer will not require the use of samples. Now, there are some sounds that you might hear in genres like techno or electronica that are obviously not acoustic sounds, or at least not merely acoustic sounds. The bottom line is that samples are an easy way to get good drum sounds from a crappy drummer and crappy recording engineer. Samples are also a cheap way to get good drum sounds in a home studio. I would love to record my acoustic drums, but I don't have the money for mics and aoustic treatment, and then there's the loudness issue, haha. Maybe someday when I'm rich. 8) Then again, I still play a lot of punk and I like hear things that sound more "raw" and "real," so take my opinion for what it's worth. :D
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Well, I agree with the others that your friend's assertion is not literally true. But if I was stuck listening to a Clear Channel radio station for a few hours and then had a chance to medicate myself with a few martinis I might be arguing right there with him. Too much commercial music is sliced and diced, pitch corrected, sampled, and processed.
  12. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Recently I got the game Audiosurf.
    One of the funnest tracks I've played was a recording of our church band from last Tuesday. The song is "Father God, I Wonder" and despite the lousy quality, mildly sloppy drumming/singing, it is epic.

    One guy sings in a low comical "I am announcing a movie on TV" voice and, once, sings a completely made up line that throws everyone else off, and halfway through, the band unanimously speeds up.

    The result is a bouncing, banging, 2:44 lolfest and I almost lost the plot because I was laughing at the sheer stupidity of it all.

    Compression used? Badly.
    Samples used? None.
    Pitch corrected? Not at all.
    Overdubbed? Never.
    Result? PROFIT!
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Just so you know, even some famous engineers like Roger Nichols, in many of his interviews, indicated the use of an early sampler which was called the "WENDEL" or something like that, to replace occasional bits and/or pieces for Steely Dan/Donald Fagan/Walter Becker, back in the 1980s.

    But if you ever get a chance to record a Hal Blaine, Buddy Rich, Keith Moon, they may not be dead? Obviously, you wouldn't want to let them know you had samples, because that could kill them. But you would have to let them know, you know how to record drums properly, in order to breathe life into your recordings. Besides, when you get a chance to work with a good drummer, everything will sound great with a single microphone. OK maybe 2.

    Organic engineer
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  14. corydeshane

    corydeshane Active Member

    though i don't disagree with this point as a whole, i have a hard time believing that jack white would allow this to happen. he's a purist through and through, and the thought of him using any "modern" techniques such as using samples is a difficult pill for me to swallow. (i may be wrong about this) but i'm pretty sure that the last raconteurs album (or maybe the white stripes) was the first time he even bothered with digital.

    i think the most prevalent use of samples would be in [metal] (and all of it's subgenres).

    it has it's use, but i have to agree: the drumkit is certainly not dead.
  15. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Hal's still with us, isn't he?
  16. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    C'mon folks...

    The correct answer is "it depends"

    The style of music, the recording environment, the available equipment all can dictate whether real kit or triggered samples is what's called for.

    I personally like the sound of a real kit for my music, but I confess to having resorted to triggered kicks to compensate for my inability to record decent kick sounds.

    And there's plenty of electronic music, hip hop and pop music that would sound silly with real drums.
  17. sweeterstudios

    sweeterstudios Active Member

    I would definately agree that Live drums are not dead. There is a lot of sound replacement going around today so it may be hard to identify the live drum set from the samples some times (Not the case when you hear to much machine like Hi-Hat with no variations at all or cymbals that are mushed into the back round because people have forgotten about hi frequency dynamics). The true feel of a lot of the sounds today still have to be played live to really get the nuances and groove feelings of quality music. These nuances still have trouble being replicated today whether it be drums, guitar, or Brass! :D
  18. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Oh yeah!

    Being an attic rockstar since I quit the band, I guess you couldn't blame me for buying EZ drummer. There is no way I am going to get that kind of quality drumming recorded in my home in the time I have available. Besides, it is so much nicer for my neighbours.

    People that aren't experienced listeners will not be able to tell the difference with a real drummer. Eventually I will form a new band and be glad to have a real drummer again.
  19. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    A great drummer who knows which heads to use, and how to tune his drums specifically for recording is irreplaceable.

    In the absence of that, I've had excellent results using SoundReplacer software, not to completely replace the less desirable drums, but to mix in a sweet toneful drum to put back some of what's missing. Using homegrown sounds taken from the previously mentioned great drummers with great sounding drums.

    The guy who owns the crappy sounding kit, will most likely scream bloody murder if you completely take away all the character (or lack of character) that he has grown to equate with "his sound". Bottom line if it's his project he makes the call. If it were my project, I'd use my favorite drummer instead.

    I'm always surprised when drummers bring in their kit with old heads they've obviously had on the drums since the 9th grade, or guitar players with grimey year old guitar strings that will never stay in tune, but that's another subject.

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