Originally Posted by soundmodel
Another option might be try create more sophisticated bus processing.
That sounds good, targeted bus processing, maybe in combination with frequency-specific and general parallel processing, is always a good idea. Some general options:
- grouping different layers of samples or instruments (kick drums vs snares and claps vs hihats or something like that): this makes a lot of sense for a lot of material. many drum samplers allow to send drum samples or layers to different tracks for separate processing, if the drum sampler doesn't allow for it, you can always duplicate it and mute respective channels
- slicing is an option, but you still would have some stuff layered in most loops... I mostly use this for beat restructuring and glitching but not for changing the sounds of individual sample or instrument layers
- splitting frequency bands (low/mid/high is the most common way): often used for bass processing and mastering, but also great for beats. In some DAWs you can build your own frequency splitter (for example, with audio effect racks and multiband comp in Live), or you can use frequency-specific effects such as Shaperbox or Saturn. This way, you can also edit finished drumloops from old projects or sample packs.
- another option to modify beats heavily after bus processing is splitting between transient and tonal parts. The VST effect Fission lets you process transients and tonal parts separately - this might not help in every case, but I found it very useful for editing stuff I already bus processed without having to go back to earlier project versions - also very flexible when combined in a frequency splitter rack... There are some other plugins like this, but I think most others are mostly for EQing, Fission offers some other effects you can put on transients and/or tonal parts.
- some programs or plugins allow for separation of different samples or instruments in an audio file or track (something like Regroover, or Spectrallayers and RX might do the job if you already have something like that) - this does not necessarily make a lot of sense if you still have the MIDI tracks for your drumloops, since it's a more complicated procedure compared to just changing the bus processing ^^