True sound or Drum replacement ?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by pcrecord, May 26, 2017.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Hi guys,

    I found this video about audient preamps.
    It's interesting and well done but when I heard the diffence between the RAW and mixed sound I just jumped and thought the snare was replaced or enhanced with samples... What do you think ?

     
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  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Hard to say. I haven't really been able to discern real drums from samples drums for a while now. Usually the clue for me if something is sampled is in the part itself, playing vs programming. (perfectly quantized, fills that would require more than two hands to actually play, etc. )
    I can say that I have a friend who has done quite a few drum tracks for me over the years, and the kit we always use is a beat-to-death Ludwig, a '66 I think - ugly as hell, but for recording, that little ancient kit sounds amazing. It's like instant tone with that kit. Kick, Snare (supraphonic), 1 Rack, 1 Floor, two crashes and a ride (Zildians, old ones) and it sounds fantastic. RE 20 on the kick, 57 on the snare, 421's on the toms and a pair of 414's as OH's, and it sounds wonderful. Now, part of that sound is the drummer. He's incredibly consistent with his hits, and his grace note/phantom sticking playing is some of the best nuancial stuff I've ever heard, so part of the sound is with him.
    But, sample replacement has become common now, as we all know.
    I'd like to be able to tell you that I'd be able to tell real drums from samples, but it would only be a guess these days.
    Sorry.
     
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  3. Mario-C.

    Mario-C. Active Member

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    It sounds like there's a clap sample under the snare, like an electro loop playing along with the live drums ...
     
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  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Could be.
    I haven't had a chance to listen to it thru my studio mons, ( been busy trying to get my rig together cuz my solo act gig season starts this weekend and I've got gear spread out everywhere, LOL) so I've only heard it on my phone, which I don't really trust for critical listening...so I'll trust your ears on it.
    As we all know, it's certainly not uncommon for claps or other percussive samples to be layered in with a real snare as a supportive part of the back beat. We've all probably done it ourselves from time to time. I know I have.
    ;)
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    indeed

    indeed

    I can't help wonder how all those extra snares and Teepee dome room effects the room sound. I played in a dome room once I would never want to experience the nightmare it was, again!

    Never the less, this sounds as good as it gets and imho is how I would hopefully program so it could very well be samples. It definitely doesn't sound like a "mom and pop" engineering job.

    I like it. This is how drums should sound and be played to me. Right on.

    +1
    I like the effect of those as well.

    Thanks for sharing it with us, Marco.
     
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  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    I think they've got some samples blended in, and some pretty heavy processing overall. Interesting what can be done w 20k worth of tracking gear and a bunch of nice instruments.
     
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  7. Mario-C.

    Mario-C. Active Member

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    Had another listen ... sounds like the snare was used to trigger white noise :LOL:
     
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I read in the comments that there is no sample...
    Here is the texte :
    No sample replacement or anything like that. To try and get it sounding closer to the original track, we used some quite heavy compression, some EQ, and a touch of artificial reverb. The rest of the kit is reasonably unprocessed, bit of balancing, EQ and some light compression. It is naturally a very beefy snare, which Ash actually used for the original James Morrison recording of that song.

    What I feel when the video switch from RAW to mixed is that most of the smack and goodness of the snare disapeer. Like if they replaced most of it by FFffff..
    You know 'Pffff' instead of PACK !!! hard to describe.. hehehe..
    IF it's the acoustic track alone, there is some heavy processing going on.

    I like those discussions ! ;)
     
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  9. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Marco, you should check out the SPL Transient Designer 4 (hardware version). I used to own one and loved it. If I was a drummer, I would have one in my arsenal. They are excellent! Check out the plugin, see if you can download it to demo. Hardware version is better but the plugin is a good example of it.
     
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  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    I was surprised to learn that queens of the stone age didn't use samples on the album w Dave Grohl lol pandora turned on their hit from the album as I finished typing grohl. Joe baressi said no samples, but they tracked cymbals and drums separately which was tedious by all accounts.

    Marco I believe ozone has some transient shaping tools not sure exactly which version you have just figured I'd toss it out there.

    Having luckily worked with a couple true pro drummers on a couple occasions I believe sample like consistency can be had without samples. I would doubt samples weren't used on the actual records mix but you never know. I hear guys like butch vig say the used samples on Nevermind for instance but he said just for the ambience. It took a while to sink in but it really does sound like that where the ambience is the rock solid consistent part of the snare sound. With samples and synths you can essentially build the outline of a recording completely artificially but keep actual performances in. It's like as soon as you add a harmonizer to a vocal your really mixing the sound and tone of the processor itself. It's like making a stage for the audio. I'm starting to feel that way about every processor. As if your not changing/mixing the actual signal your instead adding it the processors sound and fidelity. Ever hear vocals? Ever hear vocals on Neve?

    Unless your mixing raw live tracks, a lot of what your mixing is the processors themselves. This is where the quality and number of processing comes into play and where frugality and gear quality level separate the typical from the good productions.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I feel lately that if you set up a decent enough soundstage with verbs delays comps and eqs, you can fill in with just about anything for live tracks and still have the solid outline from the tone of the processors. This is more of a theory than practice for me but an observation I've been messing w.
     
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  11. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I think many engineers from this time will admit they were using this technic where a sample was used to trigger a reverb. If they blended in only the verb or also the actual sample is something we'll never know ;)

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally against samples. If I have no other choice to achieve the sound I need, I'll use some.

    Thing is, there is so many product videos and shootouts on youtube that uses trickery to seduce the customers, this is what disturbs me.. (I'm not saying this one does)
    I think mic and preamp shoutouts are the worsts. If you present a mic and the audio has a ton of processing, EQ comp reverb etc.. What's the point ? We already have the complexity of hearing a voice and a room we don't know, any manipulation of the audio track is just plain dishonest.

    I'm preparing a mic shoutout this week and I put a priority on RAW material and I'm still debating if I will include a mixed version...
     
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  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    I'm of the mindset that I'll do whatever needs to be done to a signal or a track in order to make the song/mix sound good.
    Nothing we do is truly transparent capturing; purists will say that they want to record an instrument as naturally as possible, but the very second you use a certain mic with "character", (like a tube mic), or bus that signal through a certain preamp stage with its own sonic thumbprint, that signal is altered. Add in things like comps or limiters, reverbs, EQ/Filters, etc., and the signal has been changed from its original sound.
    I'm not saying that there aren't examples of tracks recorded using as little -to-no processing as possible... orchestral comes to mind, but even so, is it actually pure when we add certain mics or preamps to the equation? How many styles are truly "pure" in the approach to transparency and naturalism?
    Neves, SSL's, Tridents, Harrison's, REDD, UA, Focusrite ... and countless other input gain stages, all have their own way of altering the input or mix signals.
    You don't have to use plugs or sample replacement to alter a signal; plenty of mics and preamps will do that before the signal even hits the DAW.
    Most of the time, we like what those various pieces do to the signal, it's that alteration those pieces provide sonically that pleases us and makes us want to use those things.
    Personally, I see no difference between tucking in a sample to support or enhance a real drum track - and adding processing to a signal to alter its sonics in order to make the track work better in a mix. Everything we do is signal alteration to some degree or another.
    If we wanted to really get down to details, the recording mediums we've used over the years have altered signals too; digital recording relies on taking pieces of audio, not the entire signal... and tape altered signals, too... with its more limited bandwidth reproduction, not to mention saturation of the signal to tape resulting in harmonic distortion and a "smearing" of certain frequencies that most of the time we really liked.
    All of these things changed the sound of our sources to some degree or another. We just choose those particular alterations that we feel enhance sound in a pleasing way.
    Not meaning to be abstract here...but nothing we do is purely "natural".
    I see no difference between altering a track with EQ, GR, or artificial ambience ...and using samples to enhance or support a "real" sound.
    just thinking out loud. ;)

    IMHO of course. :)
    -d.
     
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  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    There's definitely a lot of marketingpolish happening out there. I don't mind hearing mixed versions of product demo stuff in addition to the raw, as long as their forthright about it. I think that these demos will be a lot more useful when higher quality streaming takes hold. Netflix is HD/7.1, and streams too, so it's a matter of time before the quality trickles down to the free streaming outlets.

    Looking forward to your next vid man!
     
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  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

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    I'm way behind. My initial take was the bottom head on that snare is very low tuned. He said he had a bottom mic and it was a 57 and I can get an approximation of that snare sound with a little birch snare I have with this same technique. Also look at the top 57's position. He's a very experienced drummer and he's conscious of where he's hitting the snare which allows him to bring the mic in a bit towards the center of the drum on top. So that capsule is getting a real good look at the center of the top head which, with the right tuning tension, would get that dry thud that I'm hearing here.

    One mistake in his run-through of the kit and mics.....the hat mic IS a Beyer, it's just not a 201 as he stated. It IS an M160 ribbon. He got the "ribbon" part in his description correct, just not the model number.

    A 201 is not a ribbon in any case.....but is certainly a mic that can be found on hihats throughout the drum micing kingdom .....I certainly will use one on hats in my room. They are soft and chunky and perfect for snare top/bottom or hat. Especially good for hat when you want less bleed from the snare.

    I have three primary hihat mics that I generally use.......The Beyer 201, A Neumann KM184, and another Beyer, the Soundstar MkII which was primarily built as a vocal mic......(shhh...secret weapon alert.....)
     
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  15. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

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    I hear something like handclaps going on with snare hits during the choruses. A pro drummer like this guy knows how to tune and play his kit - his consistency can make the mix engineer's job much easier; less EQ and compression are needed to make the drums work in the mix. But he doesn't sound 'fake' or like he's playing samples to me.
    Ah, the Beyer Soundstar MkII...the mic that looks more like an electric razor than even the Sennheiser 421! I used to have one that I used on guitar amps, wish I still did. It fell apart on me years ago, though. Another good hat mic is the Beyer M101, the omni version of the 201. Works great as a 'crotch mic' on a kit when you want minimal mic'ing and still get a good balance and detail. And it's a helluva lot tougher than an M160 around a drummer :)
     
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  16. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    The SPL is a pretty decent transient plug...
    But the best one I've used to date is the
    Amplitude AM-pulse, which comes with the Amplitude Modeling Suite, which I think is stock in all the Pro X versions and Sequoia.
    I'm sure you have it, Chris. You should give it a try. :)
     
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