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Advanced Drum Production

Lesson 36 of 52

Bonus: EZDrummer - EZDrummer Foundations

 

Advanced Drum Production

Lesson 36 of 52

Bonus: EZDrummer - EZDrummer Foundations

 

Lesson Info

Bonus: EZDrummer - EZDrummer Foundations

well, prop here. So you guys know what this is? Yeah. Is it a snare job? Very good is a snare drum and, ah, gotta slide right here. That basically shows basically like a pattern of where the stick hits. As you can see, this is a different snare drum than on the slide. But as you can just see from here, basically, drummers hitting all over the place, there's there's no there's no consistency to it at all. And that's every drummer because, like, I didn't say earlier. Termers aren't perfect. They're human. Every amazing drummer. No matter how good you think he is, he's still a human. A. Still, they're still gonna be variation in every single hit. And so one of the problems with old drum machines is that there's no variation between anything. A single hit, just everything sounds identical. Variation is what makes drum sound real. Um, so I want to talk about that variation. Some. I think that's the key. There's four factors that I found that go into making a drum sound real. Its ah location...

where you hit the drum again. Like as you can see, the head is being stripped here here, here, wherever the velocity, which is how hard you hit it, whether it's like that, or, you know, the actual angle of this stick makes a difference. If someone is playing like that or has more of a risk, snap makes a huge difference in the tone. And then you have the tuning of the drum itself the way that heads interact with each other and push the air out. Make the tone. So those four factors air basically multipliers. You get them interacting and you get the variation of a real performance. That's what makes a drum sound real. And again, I'm gonna go back to this slide and show you notice where it's worn out. I mean, this could I have no idea who's snare this is, but that's a pretty typical looking snare head. After a lot of use from a good drummer with bad drummers, that pattern would be way wider. But the white area you'll see right there is, ah, where he's hit. So every one of those hits sounds a little bit different, so you can see move As I move it around. He knows it sounds different, so same applies when a drummer's actually sliming the crap out of the head. Every single one of those hits is completely different. The angle at which is, uh, stick is hitting the head is always changing, even though the technique might be consistent. All these parameters just always changing. And, ah, that's why you can't just have a single hit over and over and over and over and over expecting to sound real. That's not what real drums do at all. Um, there's also the dynamics of a drum, which is the velocity issue. Cool. If I get a little loud in here with this, all right, cool. You'll notice that the drum sounds complete. Yeah, that might be a good idea. You might want to cover your ears. Um, you notice that the drum sounds completely different when played loudly then, so I'll start soft so soft. It's one thing, but then completely different, so you still might want to cover your ears. So see every single one of those dynamic variations. Sounds different, has a different ring to it, a different character to it. The bottom snares are interacting differently. Um, there's there's just too many factors for me to name, basically The point is that every single drum hit on a riel drum set is different for multiple reasons. And so one of the things that's really, really cool about Easy Drummer is that it's basically a super sophisticated drum sampling engine. What they did was they took a bunch of drummers, top drummers in top rooms with amazing drum sets, an amazing producers, and it took like 7000 samples of like a snare. Some Tom's different symbols and their engine, which is really great, will choose based on velocity, which hit to use. So it's pretty intelligent. Anyways, you've got that you got the, uh, the four factors that go into making a drum sound different, and there's something else that we've got to talk about, which is pretty important. Let me ask you a question. We'll share it from the audience. Um uh, usher who this is, but to simulate to simulate live performance, we want some variation with every single hit. However, in many styles like metal, we then supplement those hits with samples to even them out. Compression also leads us there. At the end of the day, how much variation do you prefer on a stream of kicks or what about snares and a blast beat? So I guess the question is yes, we're on variation about how much variation I'm guessing that because they said blast beats that they play metal and fast mill sounds right. Okay, so how much Variation E? I guess that's a matter of taste. However I would. And also, the velocity at which you put your particular, uh, samples is sample dependent. There are some samples that sound great at 1 27 and some that sound like total crap. So first of all, I would say you need to find the sweet spot for the samples you're using that first and foremost. Don't just I can't just throw out random number ranges and say that it's gonna work for their situation. So first of all, with samples were using, find the ideal sweet spot toe where it sounds really good and then within your software, whether be logic or pro tools, whatever using, then randomize the velocities within a range of about 10%. In that way. That way you're near the sweet spot, but it's varying some. That's what I would do at least on, and you know, I think Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's also largely a matter of taste. I mean, some people like a little bit of that fake sound. Especially like in metal. Oh, yeah. I mean, doesn't have to be 10%. I mean, 10% is pretty low. I personally, um, for stuff that I want sounding riel, uh, I would give a range like, say, the sweet spot of a scenario. Velocity wise forbid, Just solid hit is 1 15 just throwing that out there. And so then that's for, like, you know, steady backbeat kind of stuff. Like, uh, we got a blast beat. So blast beats are typically played softer than regular regular back seat kind of stuff. So you already are looking at lower velocities of blast beats more so than beats where the snares air far apart have a lot more variation in the velocity. So I would set a range of say, if, say, the good hard hits or 1 15 then I'd say somewhere between 90 and 1 10 for instance, randomised between 90 and 1 on the blast speed and try that go from there. If that sounds to riel or too soft than you know, then Goto 100 to 110 or 105 to 110 or whatever it's, it's really going to take a little bit of trial and error. There's no way that I can actually give definitive numbers without knowing what samples they're using and all of that. But so the key things to do would be find the sweet spot for the sample randomize from there to taste. I think that, uh, settles it. Yeah, I think that's the think that's bottlers say cool. All right, so we're gonna load up on example for you guys to listen to. It is something that, ah, I put together for this, but I want you guys to listen to the variation in the in the velocities and the tone of the drums. This example is a little bit more metal. I've got a few. I've got one that's a little bit more rock and one that's more just spacey. This one's the metal one, and so the drums air a lot faster. And the reason that it's important to pay attention to the velocities because in metal with drums going like machine guns. It can sound like that. First example. I played for you guys very, very easily. If you're not careful with your velocities, uh, is going to sound like a basketball basically or a typewriter. Our shoes in the dryer. Well, shoes in the dryers more we would say about really bad drummers. But so here's the first shoes in the dryer. Yeah, that's Ah, bad drummer. Double bass. Okay, okay. So music's all about context. I want you guys there the context of how those beats work with those riffs. Now, I'm gonna play it for you guys without the music. And I have this nice little graphic of easy drummer up. Um, not to be cute, but so that you can actually see what pieces of the drum set are being played. This is actually very important. So pay attention to what is happening. Uh, when Double bass is going to pay attention to how there aren't nine things being hit at once. For instance, just check it out. No music, just drums. Okay, so first off, ask you guys a few questions. If you notice anything about the tone in the variation, start with you, Cam. Um, you might want the mike. Did you notice or what Did you notice about how especially the Phils were sounding that helped it to not sound like a machine gun drum machine? Um, well, all the drum parents of super groovy. So you're not slamming down hard as you can all time. You kind of just a lot of variation with the velocity. And what not? Um, is that what the answer? Kind of. I'm just wondering what you heard, but you actually, that's exactly right. The if I open up the velocities on this are we had It was, like, very relaxed sounding, even though it was heavy and fast and what not? It was very relaxed sounding, you know? I mean, totally Well, here are the velocities I'm showing you guys that velocity window in pro tools. Now, I'm sure you, for anybody who's not a pro tools user, may be new to this. Can you just kind of talk through the velocities and, like, how? Toe? How to understand that window? Yes. Okay. Right here in this area. Where? Going these air. The actual drum hits. See? So I lay them on this grid and then say I am picking this kick drum right here. All right, you see that says velocity right here. This lights up when I click this, this lights up. It was the click this one that would light up if I was to select the whole group of them. These would all light up. Now is probably good to do this over a range of a group of kicks. Notice that these air not all these are not all in the same velocity level at all. There's quite some variation, and ah, we take it a little further. Here's a snare role. Uh, notice that the velocities lit up. You see that amount of variation in there? That's exactly what you were saying. That I was just wondering what you were hearing. You heard a lot of variation and velocity. Here it is. Um, that is it. That's part of a drunk Phil. See the velocities lit up right there, see completely different. It was an employer again. Now that you guys know that, I'll see how big I can get this and try to follow along on the velocities to the drums. No, stretch up. One thing for you guys. Where we at there? This will make it easier for you guys. Now, I added that thing at the end. Yeah, night, Because it really has anything to do with the rest of the music. But more, for example, of a snare role and some fast herbal base to show you guys again that even on this narrow build up, it's not just a steady ramp up on the velocities of you notice right here. There's still random ization happening. I'll let you hear that again. That sounds pretty real. I mean, it sounds like a drummer. Did That drummer did do that? I have a question. Yes. This from Kira coast. Is there a specific velocity pattern in a blast? Beat for kicks and snares I e first hit ladder than 2nd 3rd ladder, etcetera. I think that depends. I think that if you want to have a specific velocity pattern for a blast, be it should depend on the riff and what you're trying to accent. So if it's like Papa Papa! Papa! Papa! Papa! Papa! Papa! Papa! Papa! Papa, Papa Or whatever it is, Papa. Papa. You know, whatever the case may be, uh, that's gotta be a musical decision the person makes. So no, there would be no set one. Uh and it doesn't necessarily have to be a static pattern that just like Papa. Papa, Papa, Papa! Papa. It can be whatever. Like, for example, you know, since we're talking about blast beings, you know Mike Smith from suffocation? No, he hits everything like really evenly. Like, you know, where is the other guy David Cole Grasses like It was kind of a matter of front screen. They're playing styles. I'm sure I'm doing. I'm going. I'm having extreme variation in what I'm showing right now just to illustrate the point. But yes, some drummers and really good drummers played pretty consistently, um, Mike Smith being one of them. Another one would be Zack Simmons from Go or is one of the most consistent snare hitters I know of. Kevin Talley is another one when they hit blast beads, I mean, they hit just about as hard as when they're playing slower beats. But still, their velocities are changing. It's not just one static thing, and there still is an emphasis to what they're doing. So, really, you just had Teoh, you have to listen to the riff and see what needs to be accented that that's purely a musical choice. So wish I could give him the the answer. But that's a song writing issue. Um, any other questions for now, from them, we have quite a few more, but we'll save those quite a few more kind of general ones. But I'll say this for later. Okay, So back to this double bass, there's double bass and a scenario going at the same time. Now, just ah, for the sake of for the sake of fun was put these all at the same velocity. Yeah, way better. I'm gonna take that even a step further, and I'm gonna put all the kicks on the same kick drum. Oops. And then there is a button right here on easy drummer That you guys should always leave on is called the humanized button. And what it does is it enables the velocity engine to pick which samples is going to pick. That's basically what's so awesome about Easy drummer. Uh, you turn this off and everything changes, so I just turn it off. You are into machine gun territory. Um so always leave that on, but again, Now this this right here, this snare role with double bass combo. This is a typical thing that I see when people give me their demos and things don't sound very good. Sound like machine guns. And they wonder why they took all the time to program these super intricate parts. Why does it sound like crap? Well, because the velocities are all the same. The drums are of the same. So we put it back to where it waas and it's better. So key thing here is Check out how random these velocities aren't. See if I can make this a little bigger. Is there setting an easy drummer that will just randomize the velocity for you? Or like, how are you in putting these midi information? I'll get to that in detail later. But what I'll say is that if you use the grooves, the grooves have have midi information already there. And uh, can you Can you just tell every what? What grooves are you talking about? That right now? Yeah, Just sure. Yeah, talking about that and explain where you got this particular example from sure. Two seconds on that You just quickly. Are you using a B pad or using keyboards? Or is it just like you know this? This is Ah. These are basically grooves that have been altered to fit, uh, my music, which is what I'm going to show us how to do. Now. The grooves are arguably one of the coolest parts about this because, like, right now, you see, here I went, I went to Gru's. It gives me this menu right here, Metal machine. And I would personally like John Tempesta. Lot is an awesome drummer. We are at a tempo of 105 right now, so I'm gonna see if there's anything here in one of five. But basically, when I said that, they record top drummers in top studios on amazing drum sets, they're not just getting samples. They do that to they also recording that the guys playing stuff. So you get the MIDI for different parts. So let's check some of those out. Are you know, Well, we're on that topic real quick. Just show a fume or just so that people can get an idea of just how much variation. Okay, so the reason that that sounds riel Um is because it was played by a real drummer and a really awesome one. Uh, the MIDI information is there, so and you just basically contract and drop these into many lanes to say we want to use this. Thank you. I use that. There it is. There's the MIDI, and as you can see, all the velocity is already there. So whether or not you stick to this and I'm going to go into this in great detail later whether whether or not you stick toe these patterns or these velocities, at least you have a starting point. So, um, that's a great one. Now, if you're starting from scratch, it's a whole other ball game. I'll get to that as well, but I would recommend using the grooves. It's so easy, and they have so many different drummers who have done this. Like John Tempesta, Jean Hoagland. The basic pack comes with a guy named Near Z I believe has recorded for, like Bruce Springsteen and all kinds of huge, huge artists. I mean, the drummers who make these sets are top level guys and guys that most of the audience, I'm guessing, would never be able to afford just just throwing that out there. I know what session rates are for drummers. Their top level, and ah, it's kind of out of your range, guys. And at least Ah, your bargain shopping. $79 to get the MIDI for, ah, one of these guys playing maybe, like, 25 different sets of beats and fills $79 or something, as opposed to what it would cost to actually get them in the studio. Hire the studio itself. Higher producer and engineer who are amazing. That's you're talking five figures worth of expenditures as opposed to just getting this. And there you go. Well, with the tune track commercial out of the way. One of the, uh, Rick Bill, will you know where to send the check for kickbacks? Um, they got my address. You you mentioned moving the kicks from, you know, two drums, toe one. I know you have a couple slides on kind of what? The drummers hands and feet do. Can you talk about you know what role that place? Sure. Happily. So you feel good about the velocity thing? Okay. Cool. All right. So Hey, Tyler. Yes. I mean, arms is a drummer have, um, usually to how many legs? Usually to Cam my Do you know how many in your experience how many arms is a drummer have? 22 and two. I'm guessing I'm addressing you guys because you guys were trying to the chat room and people in Internet land of you guys know of anything. And don't bring up the example of that one rock band from the eighties. Where the Well, let that. Yeah, yeah, we'll let that one go. I know nobody's ripping on deaf lover right now, are they? No. No. Yeah. So if anyone confined an example of a drummer with more than two arms and more than two legs feel free. But everyone that I've ever met on Lee has Teoh to toe work with just just f Y. Samantha. Broken anatomy in the chat room. Says she has six arms. So everybody other than she I can't I don't know about that part, but so everybody other than this, plus everybody other than her, she should put up some videos on YouTube. I mean, I love to see a six armed drummer. Uh, yeah, basically, drummers only have two arms and two legs. I mean, this sounds like duh, but one of the big problems with drum programming that I see is that people don't take this into consideration. There's only so much that a drummer can physically do. The drummer can't be eight places at once.

Class Description

Recording drums that sound both hyper-polished and authentic has always been something of a black art — one that isn't taught at any school, one that you could only learn from one of the few elite engineers scattered across the planet. Until now.

In this three-day class, free to watch while live, you'll learn the real-world production techniques that producer Eyal Levi uses every day at Audiohammer Studios — on albums for bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, August Burns Red, Chelsea Grin, and Whitechapel. Eyal will show how to select the right drums for the sound you want, tune and set them up, and mic the kit. Oh, and did we mention that the legendary Sean Reinert (Cynic, Death) is the in-studio drummer?!

You'll also learn how to use virtual drums, including when to use Toontrack's Superior Drummer and other software instead of a human drummer. Finally, Eyal will reveal the closely-kept secrets for polishing tracks —everything from editing and sample replacement to layering samples. At the end of this class, you'll know the trade secrets of high-end drum production and be armed with a toolkit for creating world-class drum tracks.

Lessons

  1. Class Introduction
  2. The Tone Pie and Process Overview
  3. Getting the Lay of the Land and Q&A
  4. Assemble Your Gear
  5. Drum Tuning Part 1
  6. Drum Tuning Part 2
  7. Fine Tuning Tones Part 1
  8. Fine Tuning Tones Part 2
  9. General Guidelines of Tracking Drums
  10. Tracking with Sean Reinert
  11. Pop Quiz
  12. Basics of Superior Drummer
  13. EZDrummer vs Superior Drummer
  14. Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 1
  15. Constructing a Metal Drum Kit Part 2
  16. Constructing a Rock Drum Kit
  17. Grooves and Programming
  18. General Q&A
  19. Prepping Virtual Drums for the Mix
  20. Superior Review with Q&A
  21. Intro to Mixing and Drum Clean Up
  22. Interview with John Douglass
  23. Intro to Drum Editing
  24. Manual Editing Approach
  25. Editing with Beat Detective
  26. Editing with Elastic Audio
  27. Sample Layering
  28. Replacements
  29. Gain Staging and Bussing
  30. Mixing Essentials
  31. Compression and Parallel Compression
  32. Reverb and Automation
  33. Mixing Tips and Tricks
  1. Bonus: EZDrummer - Introduction
  2. Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to EZDrummer
  3. Bonus: EZDrummer - EZDrummer Foundations
  4. Bonus: EZDrummer - How a Drummer Plays
  5. Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 1
  6. Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Part 2
  7. Bonus: EZDrummer - Part Writing Q&A
  8. Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Grooves
  9. Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing from Scratch
  10. Bonus: EZDrummer - Intro to Fills
  11. Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing Fills
  12. Bonus: EZDrummer - Mixing in Your DAW
  13. Bonus: EZDrummer - Bussing and EQ
  14. Bonus: EZDrummer - Compression and Reverb
  15. Bonus: EZDrummer - Conclusion with Q&A
  16. Bonus Video: Editing
  17. Bonus Video: Toms and Cymbals
  18. Bonus Video: Snare Midi
  19. Bonus Video: Kick Midi

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.