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Basics of Superior Drummer

Lesson 12 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

Basics of Superior Drummer

Lesson 12 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

12. Basics of Superior Drummer


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Tone Pie and Process Overview


Getting the Lay of the Land and Q&A


Assemble Your Gear


Drum Tuning Part 1


Drum Tuning Part 2


Fine Tuning Tones Part 1


Fine Tuning Tones Part 2


General Guidelines of Tracking Drums


Tracking with Sean Reinert


Pop Quiz


Basics of Superior Drummer


EZDrummer vs Superior Drummer


Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 1


Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 2


Constructing a Rock Drum Kit


Grooves and Programming


General Q&A


Prepping Virtual Drums for the Mix


Superior Review with Q&A


Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up


Interview with John Douglass


Intro to Drum Editing


Manual Editing Approach


Editing with Beat Detective


Editing with Elastic Audio


Sample Layering




Gain Staging and Bussing


Mixing Essentials


Compression and Parallel Compression


Reverb and Automation


Mixing Tips and Tricks


Day 2

Day 3


Bonus: EZDrummer - Introduction


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to EZDrummer


Bonus: EZDrummer - EZDrummer Foundations


Bonus: EZDrummer - How a Drummer Plays


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 1


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 2


Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Q&A


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Grooves


Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing from Scratch


Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Fills


Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing Fills


Bonus: EZDrummer - Mixing in Your DAW


Bonus: EZDrummer - Bussing and EQ


Bonus: EZDrummer - Compression and Reverb


Bonus: EZDrummer - Conclusion with Q&A


Bonus Video: Editing


Bonus Video: Toms and Cymbals


Bonus Video: Snare Midi


Bonus Video: Kick Midi


Lesson Info

Basics of Superior Drummer

I get asked all the time about the difference between superior and easy drummer, and I think that it's really, really simple. It's really, really easy. If you think about it like this, you just want to write some songs and you want something that sounds really cool out the gate that you're not going to mess with much later. Just get easy. Drummer for song Writing We, uh, we spent six hours talking about it, and all those examples were I didn't do very much to them mixed wise, and they already sounded good because they have already e cute and compressed everything for you. Um, like, for instance, on the rock solid kit, you have a producer like Randy Stop who is, you know, one of the most elite level of all time ik Ewing and compressing samples for you. The that's pretty amazing. So that's that. That's that with superior drummer, though, everything's wrong. It's right. It's exactly what was recorded into the board without any post processing that's all up to you so you can take it from t...

he ground up. Later on, I'm gonna show you guys the difference between the two, but just ah just know that easy Drummer is already it's already processed. Superior Drummer is raw. Um, some key features and I'm gonna pull up superior right now, so I could just start walking you guys through them. So while pro tools loads see, there's any questions in the Internet while the session is loading, I did like somebody was saying that the best time to you, Spirit Drummer, is when you don't have a levy to do your work for you. But I might use superior drummer than two when there you go. A real quick question, and I know this could be a whole other topics. Maybe just briefly touch on it. Death Island. Marco wants to know what about using superior with a MIDI drum kit? Can can that he's the pressure and having the talk. Or maybe, like, you know, some people will do like a drum shells with riel symbols, absolutely an option to write. Hybrid options always work. UH, one that's really popular would be to use the superior shells with riel symbols or use or the other way around. There's all kinds of hybrid ways to use it and sometimes use real drums and just use superior rooms in the mix. There's so many different ways to use it. Since it's a production sweet, you can you can. The moon is the limit. Sky's the limit with that. What's up? How many Ben's do you think come to you with pre production using virtual drums? Nine out of 10? Yeah, definitely nine out of trying. I'm actually trying to think of when a band has come to me without. Without that, I can actually can't remember. I think in some way, shape or form I end up using this on every single record I make. Whether it's just the rooms or the entire drum sound, it ends up on everything. So all right, I pulled up superior drummer. As you can see right here, if you're drum set, sounds like drums. So the New York Avatar kit this comes with it, and this is where you pick other drum sets. So I'm gonna pull up one that nobody any sneak made. That's really, really cool called Metal machine. So as you can see right here, it's loading. So what's funny out there? It's truly a metal machine. So much metal there. Oh yes, lots of them in real it if, ah if I'm correct about this. This was produced by Andy Sneaked with the drummer John Tempesta. This is actually an easy acts, which I just loaded into Superior Drummer. I'll be talking about that in a bit, but you can see this is where you choose your drum sets in the construct menu and construct menus. Basically, I think it's basically the hub of Superior. I spend most of my time in here or the mixer, but most of the time I spend in here you basically have most of the parameters that you're going to be looking at right in front of your face. So on the far left, this one's important you memory and status. This ah tells you, if the drum set that you picked is going to exceed the amount of RAM you have available for for it, and if so, you have to change it in settings will get to that in a bit or switch it to cash mode. Right here you have play. When you have grooves, you have an easy mixer. Um, the one that I wanted to point out next would be voicing layers because we talked about things sounding fake or not fake right here. This is, uh, on option that will make things sound very much more real. Let me go back to Avatar. I don't know if you guys remember for my easy drummer class. I talked about velocities and variation being the key to getting your drums sounding riel, your virtual drum Sunday riel. Uh, the key. Take away, I think from my easy drummer classes, variation is the key to everything. And in superior, you can control the amount of variation between drum hits. I would switch it to unlimited. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but voices means the number of samples and layers means the number of velocity layers. So say that you have a sample at 1 27 Well, if you have unlimited voices, I'm sure it's not a Ninfa knit number of samples, but it's the most possible number of samples that hit at 1 27 Samet 1 10 same. Whatever velocity layer you want and ah, you'll get more velocity layers that weighs well, if you go to unlimited. Obviously this depends on your computer. So get more ram and ah get faster computers and more powerful, and you'll be able to ah, take better advantage of this. Now, this is really cool right here. You can quickly audition velocities for your instruments. Okay? And back to voice and layer real quick. Uh, if anybody didn't understand what velocities are, that's what they sound like. And as you have more velocities available, you have more dynamic range meaning more variation, meaning it will sound more real. So you can quickly audition the velocity layers for individual instruments, as you can see, go to snare Next. Check out can also map the midi note to it, and I can check the articulation on it. So there are a lot of articulations and this is another difference between superior drummer and easy drummer. You get a lot more of these articulations and superior if you want swirls. Guess worlds. I've never used worlds before. Okay, more of a center edge, rim shot kind of guy. But I mean, they really went all the way with If you're if you're wondering how to make your flam and your ruff's sound riel, it's all in the articulations and again, this is stuff that people don't pay attention to They just try to program this stuff in and it sounds like garbage. And so why didn't you check your articulation? I think that this is one of the most important things you can possibly do is superior. Drummer Um, listen to those Flamme is as opposed to something you would try to program. Sounds like a dude playing them because it is a dude playing them all right. Like I said, you can pick the many key and also the volume of the individual drum in relation to the other drums. So, on a blast, the snare put it back on center and blast the snare. So obviously this controls the pitch right here. It's super super sensitive, so be really careful. But that could be very, very useful when tuning the snare to the rial Snare if you're If you're using superior for samples to reinforce rial drums, you want to tune the virtual drums to your real drum set. Obviously, just like we spent all day tuning here, you don't want to spend all day tuning real drums than reinforce them with virtual drums and haven't be totally out of tune with each other. So and also you might want that just might be too high for you. Artistically, that might be too low. As you can see, it's sensitive, so and mess around with that. Perfect. All right, you've got an envelope window, which is probably, in my opinion, the single most important factor to shaping tone. You got to turn it on. Uh, I'm laughing about it, but I tried working with their without turning it on for a long time. I didn't understand why I didn't do anything. And then I remember talking to Finn, and he didn't turn it on either. So I'm guessing if the two of us have not actually hit the power, But in the virtual power button on this envelope option. Ah, a bunch of you guys haven't either. So make sure you turn on that blue light and just check out what you can do to these tones. You want to be shorter. That sounds like we put a lot of moon gel on it. You might want that sound. Um, that might not be the main snare sound, but that on top of a really ringy riel snare might be awesome. Or if you layer a bunch more snares that could be just one punchy layer in there. We're gonna get toe layering and, uh, you can save your you can save your envelope presets right there. So if you get something really cool, you're not gonna have to do it all over again later. And then we have Ekstrom, which is also really, really cool. Um, this is where you can either layer or replace the drums that are already in the drum set, so se that snares cool. But I want to add another snare to it. And this also is going to involve another menu that will get to in a second. Now I went to Ekstrom, hit new This bass drum popped up random bass drum so hit use generic picture. It's gonna be a lot more organized and efficient because of not you're going to end up with this and I'll be really confusing. So don't confuse yourself. Go with those hey ways. One small note on the interface that people should know is that to select these drums spirit, right, click or control click, Whatever. Uh, so that's a little bit different than usual. Took me a while to get the hang of that that whatever If you might left click on something and think you're editing it and you're not. So make sure that whatever whichever one you're highlighting which are really working with us on highlighted in blue need to right click Yeah, for me it's control. Click, as you can see, very important. And you can see when I select it that the graphical representation of ah symbols right here and it tells you here which symbol you're on. That's how you know that All these windows that just showed you are applying to that particular drum or Cymbal anyways, back to Ekstrom. So we've got this bass drum, but I really wanted it to be a snare. So I got Ekstrom one and all right, that's cool. But I want it to be something else. This is where I would do that, and we're gonna get more into that later. So next window over would be your mixer window. As you can see, it's ah, full service mixer. Oh, just for second comparison. I'm going to show you the pro tools mixer. They only got one track, but so you can see not too far off in terms of just channel stir features. Right here you can load plug ins. It comes with some plug. And so if, uh, you want to be Q or compressor, whatever filter it gave it compress it can't even get a transient designer. This is where you would do that. These are your inserts, just like in the pro tools mixer. I just have those two side by side. As you can see right here you have your inserts and pro tools. You got your inserts in the superior mixer. It's probably the same in your dog. You have another dog right here. You have your bus sends, just like in pro tools. I've got my bus sends right here. Same thing. Now say it's a bus three and four If you scroll over here on the mixer on out. Mind you, this is not bust three and four inside of pro tools. His bus three and four within Superior. See, here's bust three and four. So you've got those options like a normal D a W mixer, and you have another few cool features like bleed control. Now, those of you who paid attention yesterday noticed that when We're working with microphones, uh, that pick up one drum, their also picking up all the other drums. And that's part of what makes them sound like microphones. Not just a bunch of drums in space, their drums in a space, not drums in space. Uh, and that's because you're getting the picture of a full drum set from the perspective of that microphone. What's cool here that you can't do in real life is that you can control the level of those individual bleeds into each individual microphone. And if say, you don't want something in there, get rid of it. So too much high hat in the kick drum. See you later. That's really cool. You can't do that in real life. This is real life, and you got this cool fade feature in camp. We'll get into that more later, but it's important grooves. These guys were nice enough to have had some really awesome drummers provide you submit E. These are real performances by real guys. Let me, uh, full of one of my favorite ones. You might not be the right drum set for this guy, but so you have. This is the Michigan drummer As you can see, we have tons of options, all kinds of fills. And ah, let me just note that these grooves by these drummers work with any drum set that you choose here. So I go back to metal machine, let it load. Maybe listening. Teoh double bass threw a rock styled drum set isn't the vest. So let's go back to that. Check it out on this. And there's all kinds of other stuff, too, that this guy did. So anyways, as you can see here, I've got a lot of different Gru's these air most of these air by different drummers. If I understand this correctly, these guys record this on Elektronik Drum set the MIDI. Is there actual performance? It's not edited or doctored in any way, shape or form. And if you actually look at these performances, which we will later, they're not on the grid. The velocities are all preserved, and that's why it sounds like a drummer. Um, the variations are all there, and ah, I will just point out that one key difference between superior and easy drummer is that in the grooves menu you have this one extra window called Kit pieces and let me show you what that does. Real quick going to make a midi track. And, uh OK, so in a route this to superior drummer and say I like this beat, so you just drag it. There you go. There it is. Say, I only like the bass drum out of that. You know, these kit pieces kick? Yeah. And now I have that based room, and who knows, make my own my own beat. You know what I'm saying? These really work out great. All right. So grooves or super useful next one is mapping, and this is this is a biggie. Let me pull open Ekstrom. We're talking about before se I like that snare, but I want to Ah, I want to add, like maybe a fatter snare along with it. So I selected X drums. Remember? Said used generic picture. There you go. Life is better And see how the blue is around it. That means it's selected once again. Control, click. All right, go to the extra menu. Select the Ekstrom you wanna mess with and then the instrument. And then what? Drum said, Do you want it to come from so just for the sake of keeping everything consistent. We've looked at Avatar and we looked at metal machine. I'm gonna grab a snare from Avatar and put it on metal machine. You got microphone assignments, which are cool. We'll get into those later, and they're all right. We just brought in the snare from Avatar. All right, Back to the mapping menu. So you got a snare new snare, but it's not assigned to any midi notes. So it's not gonna play when you play these grooves back. We played its groove back. It's gonna be everything that was there before. You're still you've got a drum in space. So this would be the window where you map this new drum to a midi note. You can do a lot more things with it, but this is just an example. One thing you can do with it. So I grabbed on articulation and I'm putting it on snare note d one and I am joining it to the other snare. Now they should play together If I did that properly and they are so you can see mapping is a pretty important thing to have a good grasp of bounce This is how you bounce everything out. We're going to do a whole section on this. This is part of prepping it for mix, and ah, Then you have your settings. This is just computer stuff. That's pretty important. Um, and talk to you guys about routing. Uh, if you're gonna use the bounce menu, you don't need to worry about routing out of superior too much If you're not going to use bounce, which I do recommend using but you don't know is have toe skin that can't the same way or listen to me. Um, I will. I will rout out the snare and the kick to separate tracks in your d a double you just to show you what you can do. So say I want to I want to put my own e que on this kick, Okay, for whatever reason, I know that there's an e que they'll sound great on it. So I need to route this out to my d a w. So by itself, So right here on your outputs, you see, you have outputs that correspond toe everything in the pro in the superior mixer, just select three and four and then pan it all the way to the left and you'll see why in a second. All right, so in my dear w, I'm making a new track setting the output. It's important. Um, you want to be able to hear it. Input, superior, drummer. And as you see here, the inputs come from Superior Drummer. Corresponded those outputs I just showed you. So here's three and four left where I pandit to I just made a mono track. So if I had made a stereo track, we'll show you as a stereo in a second. So three and four left I should have pulled up a knocks track pulled open audio track like an idiot. Why don't I do that real quick? I want to make sure that you do a knocks track. I don't know how many times have done that. You ever done that before? Yeah, I think that's my most common, uh, snafu is ah, making an audio track in seven ox track when routing out. So always make ox tracks. All right, So what's happening is we've only got the left. I mean, the right kick coming through there got two bass drums, so I could either make this a stereo track or I have to make another mono for the other bass drum. So I'm going to make another mono ox set the output. Said the input. I'm gonna make this 13 and four. Right. So right here in the superior mixer, go 23 and four. Right. I've said that. 23 and four. There we go. As you can see. Right here, I'll name these. Kick right kick left. All right, now they're coming out in pro tools. They're not coming out and superior anymore. Now, since I've got two kicks, I'm gonna just bust them down one channel so I can affect them with the same e que. So now I am making 1/3 ox Cool outputs. All right, so the outfits of this will be within pro tools. Would you say bus five and put it? This ox will be bus five. We'll call this the kick Cox. And what was the purpose? Is this? The purpose was toe adding he que of my own So waves ssl eq you? I don't know. I just wanted to add maybe some 60 or something to this. Maybe a little bit of three, and you can do that for everything for every element of the drum set. So you could just route everything out like that and then bounce your tracks within pro tools. Or you can use the bounce menu within superior to bounce out wave files. I'll be talking about why that's advantageous later, but you can always use this method as well. I have used both.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Day One Presentation.pdf
Day Three Presentation.pdf
Day Two Presentation.pdf
Johns QuicKeys Shortcuts.qkmx
Sample Input List.docx

Ratings and Reviews

El Bulbo Studio

This class will give you confidence when tracking drums. Eyal's interaction with the drummer will help you communicate better with the artist to get the best performance and tone. The added bonus on drum replacement is very valuable and will improve your mixes.

a Creativelive Student

My drum sound has improved by 150% and counting. I'm grateful that Eyal would share this information with us. Not every technique is for every situation, but they all work. It's up to you to have the vision and to use the right tools for the job. Thank you guys!!

Michael Nolasco

To the guy that said buyer beware: this is an advanced production class, it's not meant for beginners who are learning to mic up a kit. I'm a beginner, but i'm using superior drummer, so this class was perfect for me to learn how to process drums post recording. I refer to it constantly. The editing videos are also prime information.

Student Work