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Constructing a Rock Drum Kit

Lesson 16 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

Constructing a Rock Drum Kit

Lesson 16 from: Advanced Drum Production

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

16. Constructing a Rock Drum Kit


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

Constructing a Rock Drum Kit

Hopefully you guys watched us make a slam drum set before that was fun, but this time I'm gonna be a little more serious about it and make a rocket with superior to kind of show you guys what would do if I was actually in a session so let's see, I've got rock warehouse loaded, but I think that I want to make this a hybrid kit and I really like the avatar rooms and symbols and ah, I really like the rock solid drums so what I'm going for is a hybrid of avatar and rock solid symbols were going to be avatar and kick snare and tom's really rock solid so rock solid is the randy stop drum set but it's an easy acts of the randy stop drums that meaning that whatever I use from it is pre mixed and the the s t x that I'm using his avatar, which actually comes with superior, which means that since it's an stx all the samples are raw and the rooms iran you're going to see a hybrid of the two so right now got rock warehouse up it's awesome, but I don't want to use it going teo load avatar so a recap...

, my steps this is the drop down menu new york avatar letting it load and uh I want to see what my voice and layers air at layer limits I bet you it's on default I'm going to set it to unlimited because I want this to sound as real as possible those really do sound good but for the uh for the sake of this we're going to get rid of them and replace it with rock solid but here are symbols that we are going to use all right so I'm going to get a groove from the grooves menu some rock playing and uh reason that I'm selecting a groove rather than something that I wrote is because we're going to be talking about grooves later and this is your enter to it so let's see here here the rock solid gru's since the kid's going to be manly rock solid let's uh see what we got how about truly happy let's see what there is there all right that seems like a good uh a good mix of different types of beets and drum performance elements that we can use so let's see here as you can see what I just did was I pulled the midi out of the grooves menu in teo pro tools many track and this monitors being improperly sized and not let him get to it all right there we go all right all I did was pull that in to pro tools from superior okay first thing I don't like about this is the tempo one twenty I don't know how about one thirty all right, that's better all right just for the sake of having fun and you do one thing to this group thing a little bit of double bass halfway through and I'm gonna be explaining in detail how tio how to make kool gru's or program from scratch so and pro tools make sure that this many see where the midi guy is there's a little speaker next to it I want to make sure that's on so that you get drums so when you put them on see that's not on no sound helps to know where you're at so thanks and double bass have her rock fans whose double bass about this speed so I think we're still stylistically okay? All right, all right, now that I got that there we can get started so key features that we're going to talk about mike bleed control extra owns layering pitch and envelope um we'll start by uh by ex drumming why's that because these aren't the drums were actually gonna use going to use rock solid drums so first thing going to do is put none see what happens goes orange nothing's there none none you guessed it none none and done no and uh if you notice right here is saying not loaded I don't really know why I didn't disappear because the cowbells on it open, I don't know why I didn't disappear that's uh magic to me but you see that any time that it hits it says not loaded that's how you would know if you're not hearing something and it wasn't love all right eckstrom knew all right start with the kick and uh keep in mind that once again tone pie is going to be a huge part of what I'm about to do uh going to deaf I just worked on the part writing just a little bit because I wanted there to be a little bit of double bass right now about to work on drum choice then I'm gonna work on tooting a pitch envelope maybe a little bit of the loss caesar and now if not that'll come up later just depending how everything sounds and then mixer settings so drum choice let's see nothing yet or are you had to choose the microphone assignment? You can't hear anything without a microphone ellison are recording. All right. Remember these green guys dark green that's too in track suggestion for which mic to use we could use ah hi hat mike these were available mike's we could use a high hat mike on a bass drum that's really not a good idea so there you go. There is a kick drum in mike in a kick drum out mike let's uh yes, sir. So if you were to select the hi hat mike there is it going to you like use ah hi hat mike on the kick drum or is it going to give you the bleed through that the high hat mike would receive from the kick drum it will give you the bleed through because it's going to be from that position it's not it's not like they're going to put a k g for fifty one on a kick or something you know you'll be hearing the kick drum from that vantage point tio my understanding so one thing I didn't do that I'm about to do is in the extra um I'm going to pull up rock solid easy acs see I've got kick selected pick a cool one full fuddy you like thirty kicks so which one of these would you pick got ludvig the yacht I don't know how teo pronounce it right they ought alright similar my name is kind of weird I can't pronounce it I can't pronounce it right all right, so which one let's go through these real quick the thirty or once and you pick a better former I'm saying we go for the big love big ok and I think that was some work probably get pretty cool yeah and then we could layer it up a swell there's that too like what about it uh forget um thank you for now but what about it do you think could be different um honestly, if we're going for a thirty kick drum if you could get like, a gigantic john bonham twenty four inch kick that there's something like that I don't know I'm looking for even more bless beater slap and more of the actual kick drum resonating let's just add something from rock warehouse sayin ad a new ekstrom and one thing that I said you should do is, uh is the generic picture because charlie import also, um have you ever tried a distant room mike on the kick drum to get like the big john bonham when the levee breaks sort of deal because I know that's how it was actually recorded with, like, two far distant mike's. Absolutely. Yeah. That's ah that's all right, room mike's um, I mean it's really hard to actually mike up kick drone from distance once it's that far away but in easy to carry yeah, exactly. Well know in superior drummer, but yeah, in easy drummer you can't do that and stuff, but you know, once you have a bass drum like that far away you're picking up everything that's why you build the you know, the tunnel, the kick drum tunnel in real life, but I guess how you accu it and who's playing and how you actually tuned to kick in the room well and what mike you choose, of course will determine how much bass drum is actually coming through if you have someone slam it on a huge kick like a twenty four, we'll probably have a good amount of kick as opposed to its super muffled small kick so all right, let's, check out these rock warehouse kicks real fast just to make it a little thought here. Yeah there's a twenty four twenty six check that out, it's a lot of attack. We put this together and see what happens. I think it's going to require samy queuing for sure. Ok, so what I'm gonna do right now is it on a map these bass drums to the midi note that's supposed to be triggering the bass drum. So go to mapping select this guy right and left and I believe that my bass drum is on c one so there it is and I'm gonna hit replace now I still need to map that as you can see it's hitting on c one when I do that but I do that we're not this isn't mapped yet, so I select it. You know, the two articulations I want the one that says hit, grab it to see one and then this time I'm joining it cause I'm blending these too, all right, all right that's broken now one thing that we didn't do before that I'm going to show you guys right now is right here in this instrument menu window ah you can select what you want teo effect individually so going down to x kick one and I say we want less of the attack e one right so I'm going to actually just physically turn it down so that when uh when we hit the kick drum the blend is such that the thud here one is louder I was also wondering if you took the envelope and pulled some of the attack off off of it absolutely that extended the uh sustain maybe totally more of that ringing out sort of sound let's see this is the more attack e one so envelope ah right now I have it set to affect the drum that selected and that's I think a quick note from yes sir. Nine million people in the chat rooms why don't you use the preview function instead of clicking on them? I don't know what the preview function is so I can help you there just because this is how I'm used to doing it uh this is what I'm faster at so this is what I do let's remove a little bit of attack better I think now mind you the velocities are all exactly the same right now and that's something we're gonna talk about later but in real life velocities are not the same on every kick hit so that's something we would fix layer that would make it sound one hundred percent more real but I think it's already more in line with what you were wanting and if we sat here for a couple hours and did this I think it would really get to where you want it now also, wei don't have a snare. We need a snare so let's, get these uh, yeah. Yes, just one of those things. Um, so about extra new it's already on rock solid, the instrument of selecting a snare microphone assignment. This is what they recommend, so there we go. Is now on the mixer at least I hope it is. There is. So I must map it though, grabbing the snare and moving it down to d to I mean, I'm grabbing the articulations, moving them down to d too, and replace right, obviously we have a drum set that's not completely constructed yet, but let's uh, let's work on this snare son put some gated reverb on the snare and it would basically be a motley crew song. Absolutely, absolutely. And we can add that river later for sure way took that super low snare and blended it with something that sounded more like a shotgun I think we'd be right in right in line with the style so I think that was a ludwig get the low end and the low note from that and will add one that cracks on top of it. All right, so new eckstrom make it it were in rock solid still so let's, grab it from one other place. Grab it from metal machine has some has some pretty attack e snares so let's, grab a snare from there nicely enough. Use the generic picture was already selected. Cool in a map this real fast to d to sew again. Selected the drum hitting control click grabbing the articulations. I want maybe a room shot. No, thanks. So what? So you turn your head. It kind of sounds like we're going for the ridiculous, low tuned eighty snare sound so I don't know about the rim shot. I think that you are the one who should make the decision. I am not into the room shot and all right, putting it on see too. And now I'm hitting joined because I want those two to play together. It's getting closer. No, see what? Our options are with the higher snare theo think the bell brass was the closest valent funny enough. Those are really great in real life. Um, I don't know if any of you guys have experienced with belle brass snares put they are they will drill a hole in your head theme with the best sounding story I've ever heard in my life was half maple and half breasts I bet that that was really really rich and powerful it's like cracked morning I'm sure uh how deep was it it was actually pretty shallow is probably only five inches or six inches was it a fourteen was fourteen okay d w uh cole's maple whatever they're called our ah best snare at the studio is ah is a metal dw snare that's just insane oh on dh they make some really, really good metal snares I think um we rented a bell brass when that was the most insane snare we've ever rented so yeah, all right and back to this now the thing that I feel is missing is rooms like that length that the rooms gave us last time we could get it from the anvil of at least try so check that out real quick select that turn on the envelope kind of a key uh key feature they made a little longer but not quite exactly the length I was looking for I'm looking more for the room sound river kind of pop that would happen now I'm just gonna turn down the low snare just a little bit in relation to the other one so theo was a little too much okay cool gonna add sometimes this is going to seem redundant just adding mohr extra me's so going to go through it quickly so we can get on to the next thing cracked on one toms now I just made a game time decision I think I want to bring in the toms from a different drum set I actually think I want them to come from ah rock warehouse so let's do that real quick I have to make it so rack time one direct at one new ekstrom track down to a microphone assignment take the dark green guy good anu shows up on the mixer and let's get to floor toms on here so for someone extra own new floor tom too and the reason I chose rock warehouse for these tomes is because they're dry and I want to do my own processing to them so we got a kit basically just matthys toms and we're good to go. We can we can sit here and mess around with tom sizes but I think you guys understand how to do that so map these guys were about to ask something. Okay? All right, so let's see here one note would rack tom one beyond okay way to go. I want to replace it. One thing that's interesting is you can hear the bleed of the bottom snare mike snare rattling in that that's something that we dealt with yesterday with the acoustic drums is snare rattling and everything else is well as tom's ringing into everything else but even with superior drummer that's gonna happen and you can affect it via bleed so wracked on too replace mapping it to where the old four tom wass place then place now I just made a four uh I made a drum set with four tom's whereas this is set up for five tomes so I'm going to go into the midi and take everything that was previously on the eight or the ten and move it down one tone so gonna find where it wass believe that that's it right there that's the only time that that occurs thes two hits and I'm moving them down to that other to the new town whether we just added way have a kit now. Okay now let's uh let's work on bleed a little I was pretty important and I feel like I feel like this is going to come together with the room likes so let's see what rooms we have available to us I'm looking for one that's got some good length to it so that we can make the snare longer because that's what that eighties rock sound was all about bay long drums so nothing coming down this I mean this is this is the one okay, so like I showed you guys before could compress the hell out of it just like I did but you know, what's gonna happen if you've been watching are paying attention they're both the minute I bumped his threshold down the symbols are gonna get crazy hurts, right? Theo is tough to take sorry to do that to you guys. I just went to the bleed menu on this ambient room mike and I'm taking out the symbols, taking out the hats see you later. I feel like I should be a little bit less kick, right? Yeah, but the room sound is definitely there now for absolute for the kick drum. I just think I don't I don't think it needs to be a whole crazy amount of kick brought down just a little bit because this compressor doesn't have ah high pass filter on it. So the low end of the kick drum I feel is true is overwhelming it, which we'll talk about more more of that stuff tomorrow, but that's, why I'm wearing the kick drum down and ah that's why I wouldn't use this compressor in a mix and I'd use I'd use one that I chose because I want to be able to control that low and going into the compressor, so right now I don't have to do with the volume of the kick I feel like the attack needs to be changed on that compression four symbols to get rid of, all right, so to recap what bleed is basically when you have a microphone miking up a drum set it's picking up not just the drum that you're my king but everything that's going on at the same time that seems really really obvious but I can tell you that I know guys who have worked with virtual drums their entire career huaren well known bands who have then tried to record acoustic drums and not known what to do because of that thing called bleed in real life they didn't know how to control it so it's a very real thing and uh the cool thing about superior is that you can actually control the bleed so right here like in the mixer says bleed control you hit edit and brings up a sub mixer and just control the levels into the sub mixer what we just did was we got rid of the symbols so that we could compress the rooms and make the drum sound a little longer that is not the be all and all of anything but I'm just illustrating a concept really all right so let's take a look at the times real quick I feel like that compressor is a little overwhelming so I'm turning it down just a little on the make all right I think you guys understand how to uh route the bleed how teo use extra arms how envelope works I'll make sense to you as in the room okay. It just like yesterday. I'm sure you can see that if we sat here and really went for it for a couple days, three days, just like getting drum tones, we could get to something pretty cool. It's not gonna happen in a couple hours at all. Ever. It never does. And you can really. I feel like you can really, really dial stuff in through layering this stuff through dealing with everything we just talked about. Sometimes it takes multiple instances of superior. Um, you know, I will sometimes have one kit on one track that is just the drums and another one that's just symbols and rooms, for instance. The reason I do that is because I don't wanna have nine million nine million of these on here gets really overwhelming. Another reason is that you've run out of microphones in one instance of superior there's, only so many microphones available. So if you want double the amount of microphones, you need to open another instance that that will happen you with some of the easy access where there's limited articulations limited microphones, limited channels. So you need to kind of open up new instances and helps with layering for sure.

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