Make your drums more realistic

Getting your drum samples to sound like they were played by a real drummer can be a difficult task this is why virtual drummer plug-ins have become so popular, they are the closest thing to having your own personal drummer because the samples are a recording of an actual drummer and not just a drum sample created by an electronic machine.

When the same drum sample is repeated over and over and over again in a track it sounds unnatural. No drummer's strokes sound exactly the same every time and our ears pick up on this and become fatigued. There are a few ways to work around this problem and they are both simple, yet effective.

The first method can be used for busier, harder tracks were the drums are very prominent in the mix. As a classic rule I always double and sometimes even triple the drums (layering 2 or 3 kicks or snares on top of each other) to add punch depth and impact for my harder sounding songs, to create a live sense I will start with my main kick and my main snare for my pattern. After that I will load another 2 or 3 similar sounding kicks and snares into my sampler and label them as drum help or drum extras or just anything so you remember that they are not to be used on every hit. Now create a sequence of hits to place on top of your original main drum hits, the ones you will use for every single hit, and sprinkle them around randomly at first and I do mean random. Now you can create a few variations and place them through out the song to create drum variation and a live feel.

The second method, which would more commonly be used for tracks with not so busy drums, is to simply use different fx on your drums such as an amplitude or velocity plug-in as long as you can change a certain aspect of a drum hit and create some kind of variation from one sequence to the next then this will also prevent fatigue on your ears.

Both of the methods above can also be used to emphasize certain sections of your song or take away from them so be creative and have fun with it.

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Anonymous said...

this post worked wonders for my drum tracks. thanks for the info