Superior Drummer Tips?

I’m finally getting around to diving deeper into Superior Drummer and would be curious to know how those of you who use it go about mixing with it. I’m particularly interested in how you utilize (or don’t) the ‘Bleed’ functionality. Ditto, for overheads (which ones). Like, I just realized that Mono Overheads is a thing and SD has Mono Close and Mono Far overheads, in addition to the Stereo Overheads and Stereo Ambient mics.

@Numerical and @xSANTAxDURSTx, you guys both use SD, right?

I use SSD which has (more or less) the same functionality. Most of the time overheads and bleed can be left where they are unless you want more of the mic emulations to show up in the mix. It’s just to give you the control you’d technically have in a studio, but it’s really easy to accidentally overdo it. I personally get the most benefits by ‘frequency’ splitting and racking most drum VST’s, so I unintentionally get rid of the bleed altogether because it’s 2019 and metal hasn’t sounded ‘pure’ since the early 90’s anyway.

If you’re going for arena rock though, turn all of the above up :D. Different recipes call for different mixing styles of course


Right. I guess I should’ve specified what I’m going for, but I didn’t because I’m still curious what you guys are doing. What I’m trying to get is a more natural post-rock/post-metal kind of sound. Not as interested in super-clicky modern metal kicks and just that whole djenty overprocessed sound. Though I might need to do that for the heavy parts to help things cut through…maybe.

In Superior, all bleed is turned off for all close mics by default. They do it to go easy on the resources. I enabled bleed everywhere and the whole kit is over 3 gigs of samples that need to be loaded into RAM.

I’m using SD2 with Metal Foundry pack and analyzing the presets by some of the big names (Townsend, Thordendal, Bergstrand) is pretty fascinating. Some have all the bleeds everywhere full on. Others don’t have any bleed at all. Absolutely crazy EQ curves with 10 db boosts. I guess most of them are kind of the same thing as presets on synths - just trying to make the kits sound larger than life on their own and they would probably suck real bad if you actually try to use them in a mix as-is. I mean, some of them are fucking clipping the master on their own.

Here’s what I’ve been doing with ez drummer and kontakt drummer (whatever those are called)
I don’t use any processing inside them. I split them up into kick (sometimes 2 mic’s), snare (also sometimes 2), hi hats, toms, oh, room whatever.
Then I always double the kick and snare with something more synthetic sounding, depending on what I am doing to give it a different vibe.
Then I basically just mix in my daw, that way I don’t have to open the plugin once I’m done writing.
Typically I bounce all the tracks separately to audio prior to mixing anyway.

Edit: sounds like we are doing similar stuff tbh, I’d like to hear what you’re writing. I’ve been doing post rock/ post metal too. Think mogwai meets stoner rock sounds.

Edit edit: thoughts on SD? I’m hesitant to upgrade cuz I like the simplicity of ez drummer and the kontakt drum plugins.

Yeah, I’m pretty much doing the same. The built-in mixer in Superior is fine and those Sonalksis FX are totally usable, but I prefer to just mix in Cubase. So I have mult-out enabled and routing 24 mono tracks out. Superior doesn’t allow you to mix mono and stereo, so I just converted everything to mono and for the stereo tracks I just hard-pan them in Superior’s mixer and then create stereo buses/groups for each pair so I can deal with them as a single channel. I’m going to be doing most of the processing to them in this ‘Drums’ sub-project and then I’ll bounce sub-groups to audio to be imported into the Main project for mixing.

One thing I forgot, i always use a vca fader to control the overall levels, but I use a buss for processing the whole drum sub mix together. And I use the bus effect in studio one to create some channel bleed and a bit of drive and noise.

Cool. I love Mogwai. I guess my stuff leans more towards mathy electronic kind of post-rock (something like 65daysofstatic, maybeshewill, etc). I gave myself until December to finish this 4 track EP, so I can put it out in early 2020. But I’m sure I’ll start posting stuff here for feedback before then, once I get to mixing.

If you value simplicity and like what you are getting out of EZ, then maybe stick with it. Superior gives you a ton of options, so you have a lot more control, but that comes at the cost of added complexity. I’m no expert, though. I’ve had it for a while and used its basic functionality just to demo stuff quickly and it’s only now that I’m really starting to dive deep, hence this topic.

You know, I bought SD 2.0 a few years back as an upgrade to EZ Drummer but i really haven’t used it that much. I just prefer routing EZDrummer out into 16 or so tracks and doing all the processing there, in addition to augmenting them with my own multi-samples. Usually only augment the snare and kick.

My main problem with Sd 2.0 was the interface, it looked a bit tiny and dated, and lacks the “newness” of SD 3.0 along with all the advances that brought to the table. One of these days I’ll probably pop on that too but since our band just recruited a real drummer, I’m hoping I dont have to fuck with that stuff much on our next album, other than just basic shitbeats for him to do his own thing over.

Stick a good clipper on your drum bus and you might actually be able to mix everything to suit those drums! Sometimes building a track from the reverse (drums first) angle can be a fun experiment

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Thanks for reminding me about clippers. Just threw the free GClip on one of those crazy redlining presets and was able to reduce the output by 6-7 dbs without any apparent lose of loudness. Amazing. I doubt I’ll actually end up using them in such extreme way, but it’s definitely worth it to mess around with this technique more. Now I see why Joey Sturgis is always talking about using clippers everywhere and I think he developed one of his own too.

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