I was wondering, you guys choose to make your own drum samples or you use the whole ready package thing?
I'm asking because no matter how I search for good samples, I'm always having trouble fitting them in my productions. I don't know if I'm going with the wrong ones, if I need to edit them more or if they are really no suitable for my music.
My background is in rock, where sample crafting isn't what you would call a class skill, but I've been learning. Finding samples that layer well is difficult. Envelopes are one reason: some kicks peak and decay very quickly, while others can take a few ms to peak, or sustain for longer. Use envelope generators in your sampler to shape the envelopes of your samples so they gel better.
Filter heavily. I have a kick sample I made on my Blofeld that benefits a lot from an attack/click sample, but it sounds terrible unless I completely eliminate everything except the click from the click sample.
Distortion can be cool to thicken the kick without losing the boom. Distort/waveshape/bitcrush your middle sample, then filter out any remaining low end and place a fat low sample under it. You get the crunch without losing the weight.
If you're into stereo drums (you terrible person you), apply stereo effects on the upper samples only. Sounds great on snares.
I am currently designing 1000 electronic drum samples which I plan on using on upcoming projects. But as I am also a guitar player and I am producing my own band and project, I rely heavily on sample kits such as Addictive Drummer, which I like a lot.
Props to those who take the time to layer stuff. I only do that on kicks and snares.
I like assembling my own kicks from transients, thuds and sub tails but it really isnt necessary. Obviously layering sounds can be important, particularly in regard to snares, but honestly...Absolutely no one will care and no one will know if you use samples of hats straight out the pack or not, so it's fine to get a good sample pack and use them. Not an issue worth getting hung up on. Try Vengeance sound sample packs, they're industry standard in dance music and have quite a few genre-oriented packs
Doctor FACT is knocking at the door - Someone, please! Let the man in.
Recording your own stuff is awesome! Too bad I can't do it as I dont have propper equipment... at least not for now.
@henrebotha: you mean not use stereo for all the samples? I was aware that mono kicks is very important. I started messing around with distortion and I was able to create a few good things. I'll keet that in mind, thanks!
@h-2: I know that no one cares, I can't even imagine someone saying "OMG he's using a kick from vengeance sound". I don't mind using sample packs at all! I'm all about getting it right... I've tried Vengence Essential Club Sounds and there is a HUGE lot of samples there. But sometimes I still have problems finding one that's good for that particular tune I'm working on. Even tough now I know I'm not the only one, as mimicry said.
Thanks to all of you, now I already have many things to try!
I layer like 95% of my percussion...sometimes with other drum hits, sometimes with white noise, sometimes with other random samples
Even using just two hits together can get you a good sound to start off with it...my rule of thumb for kicks and snares is that I find one hit that has the feel (presence) I want and the other to be the sound I want
Try experimenting with different ways to layer, it's good to have your own drum sound when everything is just 808s xD
I will use whatever I can find that is copyright free. Then I edit most of them by hand to sound better. This adds a personal touch too. Then I layer and tweak pitches and envelopes of them in Poise VSTi. Poise was a really good investment. It speeds up the workflow.
Effects can be whatever you want. Since Poise has 16 outputs, each drum sound can be processed it's own way. Automating the effects to not be on each hit makes the production more interesting. Also, a few samples have stereo chorus or reverb built into them.
I usually take single samples and create my own drum patterns. I find it can be very effective to bring a good ready-made drum pattern in thought and sometimes it can really brighten up a track. Make sure that if you already have a kick and you are bringing hihats or other non-kick drums in, cut out the bass and mid if necessary so it fits and doesnt make the track muddy.
Thank you all for the tips! I'll work on those this weekend and I'll post my results.
Just one last question, just out of curiosity, many of these sample packs come also with loops. Do you guys use those loops? I know it's cool to take a lot of percussive loops and play them in a random order getting something new and entirely different. It can easily be done with ableton live. But you know, just using the original loop, anyone here does that?
I'm disappointingly slack when it comes to samples and tend to use the same drum sounds over and over. I find it the dullest part of the music making process - sifting through samples till you find something that clicks, so I tend to make the things I do have fit somewhat.
I've never really used bog-standard pack loops either, unless I do something completely wacky with them so they're unrecognisable
I think I'm going to stop using loops forever. I never used them much but I had the misfortune of hearing somebody else's tune who used the exact same loop as me and it was recognizeable. That was frustrating because it made me feel less original. Sometimes you can cut up and rearrange a loop, but with all that work it's better just to make your own drums sometimes. It takes practice, but things can get better with practice.
I find it more easy to create percussion sounds than to wade through thousands of premade stuff that might come near the particular sound you're looking for. The chance is pretty slim.
So yeah invest some time in learning about (foley) recording, audio editing, sampling, effects, little bit of synthesis, and find out what kind of sounds you need to create kicks, snares, hihats and other things.
I'll give you some hints
kicks: not just any bang on a surface, things that give a nice dynamic spike and have a high pitched tick but a full thumph body to it.
snares: wood for body, slapping things flat hard for clappyness, any kind of hissing for classic durmkit snares.
hihats: (small) metal objects, high pitched plastic clicks.
Mix and match them like you would ingredients in cooking a recipe. That's the layering.
How you pitch, eq, and FX them is kindo how you cook, fry, boil, grill it
(e.g. cooking vegetables too long destroys the texture and flavours a bit, it's like EQ-ing too much off and not adjusting the attack and decay to make sure the sound sits well in the mix)