Trouble with hi hats on drum software?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by jonnystevens, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. jonnystevens

    jonnystevens Guest

    I just bought superior drummer 2.0 and love it! The only problem that I see is the high hats. They don't sounds realistic. Anyone have any ideas on how to make them sounds more realistic? I have waves renaissance for plug ins. Should I just buy a high hat and record it?
  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "Should I just buy a high hat and record it?"

    Too easy.
    Fake hats are for Techno.
  3. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    what is it exactly that doesn't sound like you would like it to?
  4. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    it depends on if you want a repetitive sound like a robot on your recordings.

    Live drums are best for live music. There is no replacing the feel of the accents from a live kit with good technique, but of course I have wandered off the subject here.

    You can also get hi hat samples that can be responsive, although I have hardly come across any that are good. You may want to try it with midi?

    I don't know what your music is and what you want to aquire, but Greener has a good point. Too easy. Get the hi hat!
  5. jonnystevens

    jonnystevens Guest

    They just sound fake. I think the rest of the kit sounds incredible. Especially toms and ride cymbals. I think I will just pick up a high hat and record it. Thanks
  6. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    how do you program the drums/hi-hat?
    i program/play the drums on a normal midi keyboard, which gives me the best dynamic response for the samples. you will have to play it dynamically, which could be hard if you're not a drummer.
    haven't used superior drummer yet, but i have heard some demos and i'm sure you can get decent hi-hat tracks out of it when played right.

    recording a real hi-hat will give you the most realistic sound, of course.
    BUT it won't be easy to get a cohesive performance with the rest of the programmed kit, especially if you're not a drummer.
    AND you will have to somehow recreate the ambience of the rest of the kit (which is a huge part of the sound of superior drummer or bfd or most other drum samplers) to get it together sonically.
    AND a good pair of hi-hats ain't cheap.
    so maybe you should first try again to get the best out of the software you already own. if you're still not satisfied with the results, then get a decent pair of hats, a good stand and a good mic.

    just some things you should consider.

    good luck
  7. jonnystevens

    jonnystevens Guest

    Wow didn't think about that. Good point. I am just playing it through a midi keyboard. I use the quantization feature in logic and go in and make sure the timing is perfect but for some reason it still sounds a little off to me. The timing is slightly weird and the high hat sounds too loud as well but I could just create another track for it. What do you mean by play it dynamically?
  8. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    how do you quantise the drumtracks? usually i quantise to "16 shuffle a" (or something like that), then go to the piano roll and de-quantise it a bit with the humanize function, so it shifts every hit slightly off the grid and changes the velocity of every hit. a value of about 5 for both is enough. that gives it a more natural feel but leaves it still tight.

    if the hi-hat is too loud you can bring it down in superior's internal mixer.

    by dynamically i mean that usually when a drummer plays a hi-hat (or ride) in 1/8, 1 3 5 and 7 are louder than 2 4 6 and 8. except if you want it to sound static, which can give a shuffled groove some drive.

    don't forget that it's the small imperfections that make a groove natural.

    hope it makes any sense...
  9. jonnystevens

    jonnystevens Guest

    Ok, I tweaked some stuff through sd2 and changed it to 16 shuffle a instead of "16". What is the difference between 16 shuffle a and normal 16 quantize? Also, how do I "go to the piano roll and de-quantise"?

    thanks for your help
  10. jonnystevens

    jonnystevens Guest

    Actually I figured out the second question but not sure if it did anything. I quantized it then went into piano roll and clicked function - de-quantize but nothing happened in the piano roll. Did it change anything?
  11. Greener

    Greener Guest

    That humanizing thing just randomly moves the hits around... Trust me, I do _not_ randomly fall around the beat when I'm playing. That is not human... It is BS.

    If you want a sway or a pull or push in the beat then you can add one in. But random off time hits sound like a retard is playing.
  12. natural

    natural Active Member

    The first step should be to totally and I mean totally understand how quantizing works in Logic. There's a lot of text in the manual that explains it quite well.
    If you're looking for a live drum effect you do not want to use a hard quantize (or even shuffle or humanize) You do not want the 'timing to be perfect' Drummers are not perfect. Drummers will push or layback the beat to fit the attitude of the song.
    You might want the quantizing to only kick in when you occasionally go a little too far off the click, but otherwise there should be no quantizing when you are within several ticks of the grid. Logic allows you to do all this, but it takes time and understanding.
    It's not the hi hat's, it's how you're either playing or manipulating them.
  13. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    in the piano roll go to function - transformer - humanize. there you can set random position and velocity. a good starting point is about 5 cause you don't want it to sound like a total beginner. the amount also depends on how fast your song is. on a fast song i would suggest around 5-8, on a slow one 3-6 because the more bpm you set in your project the more you have to shift your hit to achieve the desired effect.
    i use 16a swing because it doesn't sound as static as the normal 1/16-note quantisation.

    i have yet to find a drummer that plays exactly on the "grid". i play the drums for over 20 years with 70 - 80 gigs a year for the last 10 years. i play with a click most of the time and know what good timing is. your (and mine and anybody elses) hits definitely fall randomly around the beat. it's not about if they fall around the beat, it's about how much! and that IS very human and no BS at all!

    i was talking about a few ticks of randomisation, something that's not really audible but will make your programmed drums more believable.

    the trick with pushing or pulling the hits is good, but only the ones between. that means, you leave the ONE (usually the first kick, and hihat/cymbal of a bar) where it is and only move the other hits slightly before or after the grid. this way you can achieve a more forward or a laid back groove.

    but remember, no drummer in the world plays exactly on the grid all the time. the good ones just come closer than the bad ones...

    if you're doing modern rock/pop or metal music you will have to quantise your programmed drum tracks, because the listeners are used to "perfect" timing (which really isn't that perfect, like i said before). you can't play a drum beat on a keyboard with the same tightness and groove as a good drummer. that's why i quantise and then use the tricks above to make it a believable performance.

    it takes some time, but when you practice a bit you can achieve a believable drum track where most people will hear no difference to a real drummer.

    sad but true... ;-)
  14. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I wasn't saying I play perfectly to the grid. I was saying that it's not random how my hits fall. I'm no where near a perfect metronome type player, but the feel I get in my drumming does not come from being random.

    The Humanising functions sound nasty to me. They make things sound sloppy and robotic drumming sounding sloppy is just extra annoying.

    However, your posts are a good resource for how to program good electronic drums. I'm not knocking what you have to say.
  15. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    I know that good drummers don't hit the drums randomly, and what i wrote isn't about the groove. it's about the small imperfections that every groove played by a human being has. those imperfections are so small that they won't sound sloppy at all. just a bit more human...

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