Drum Sound Design with Flux
So let's get into some some sound design some drum stuff where some some places that you kind of start you just if you just totally I need to make a new drum sound we're just scratching drum sound okay so I like to do a lot of different things I will love sampling and machine is excellent sampling so I like to bring in a lot of external gear I also like to use the samples that are already there combining the two is extremely powerful inside of machine so what I'm going to do right now is I will start actually and the other great thing about this is that we can work not only from just the controller but you can use the mouse you can use both so what is his work flow might not be mine might not be knocks there's no wrong way to work in it we all have our different ways of working on dh machine is really great about allowing that flexibility so where is often times j k will get to drum sense through the controller I'm going to get through it right through the software so I just go highlig...
ht drum since it kick okay I'm gonna pull open engine I like the dusty engine uh so I have this really basic kick what I'm going to do right now is I'm just going to sculpt it out a little bit and you'll be able to see how I can sculpt it both from the hardware and the software, same time. Uh, so so when you say sculpt, what does that mean? Sculpting the sound from scratch is essentially, whether you are already making a track and your deep into the track, or whether you're starting from scratch, you might have a sound in mind like if you want to make a really dark sound, a dark track, you're probably not going to be using really bright sounds that sound like they would be in a disney film. We're going to use something that's, you know, kind of gritty, so I prefer darker things, so I'm gonna pitch it down a bit. I'm going tio import some noise into it, just make it sound a little bit more grimy, so bring this down, which is the tune, so I'm bringing the tune down, and as I do it, I just kind of generally like to keep tapping it so that I keep hearing it sugar over and over again, so I usually use one hand to just constantly trigger and the other hand is is sculpting way, way. So now I've got this really ugly, ugly sounding kick that I personally will like, and I'm going to affect it in different ways, so you can load up lots of different effects on here and the effects are going to affect the different ways transient master is a great way to make a sound cut through a mix if you have a kick or snare or even a high hat, whatever and you're sculpting out your b and it feels like it's not cutting through, you can use transit master and just kind of make it cut on initial impact a little bit nicer. You can also use the sustain to make it draw out so transient master is a built in effect in machine this is something that everyone who has machine is already going tohave and as I play with these knobs, just listen to the changes you hear how it now it's, it's, it's like punching the speaker and now I'm going to increase the sustain and you'll hear how it's an artificial sustain that will be kind of grimy. So now before so now I have this this sustained out, angry sounding kick and I'm going to layer it with another sample so the way that I like to work with this is going to go to my samples here. This is all stuff that anybody had a machine khun do, this is exactly just dealing with if you got machine in the factory library, you khun quickly boot up your own sounds and it's it's crosses here it's really important when you're layering sounds to think about a few things it's really important to think about fees on dh tuning and each you so you don't want a layer like to really so be kicks together and expecting the sound right because what's going to happen is the frequencies they're going to clash and sometimes if you're phases off it'll actually cancel each other out so you're you're phases is where your way former starting to go up the peak right and you have your valleys if one sample is going up the peak and the other sample is going down at that same point you essentially cancel it out it brings her your speaker cone is going to go to zero at that point and you're not going to hear it so you want to keep in mind the phase and a great way to do that is just starting adjusting your start points and moving the samples back and forth until you hear it really punched through the speaker a little bit better so I'm gonna have pre here on and I'm just going to listen to a couple of samples and I'm actually going to go for something a little bit brighter because I already have it kind of door so that's that's kind of nice so now I have this year this year and I'm going to lose one more and what I'll do is that's actually load up another drum synth do you ever have a limit for how many layers you had to yourself? This is just the way it matters, whatever until I told her it was the way I need I try not to get too too deep with it. I do want it tio essentially you don't want to go so thick that you can't put anything else in the mix it's like if you're starting your track out with your drums, if you make your drums too big, you don't leave room for other frequencies and then you have to start sculpting and carving. You're making more work for doesn't work, you know? So you try not to go to to think, but I do like my like my kicks and my snares to be pretty full, like I come from the era of boom bap hip hop, so a lot of my stuff is very kicks near heavy, whereas if you're doing like electro or you're doing like a house, you might you might want to have, like a really round kick and then your snare be a little bit lighter just to kind of keep things you know, flowing a little bit nicer, so it the genre is very dependent on how you're going to sculpt your sounds with any specific questions on on the drum design process so far so far you guys were doing pretty good I mean I think you know a ce faras getting the layers in there and maybe adding to some of the effects seen at that point I mean yeah we can probably get in like the breadth of the ground yes so what I'm doing right now is I'm going to use this sub engine of the sub engine is a lot like an eight a week till you analog kick and all on adding with this one is the low end okay so right now I have I have a kind of medium sounding kick here alright it's low but it's it's got a lot of punch to it this is going to be sculpted in a second to be my higher and the kick and that's the sub piece of the cake okay, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna pad link them together and then I'm going to sculpt them together so that they layer properly so now what we're going to do is I've got this kind of lows it is sometimes if you just want to be a little extra safe with it you can grab a filter through a filter after the kick ok and you're cut off essentially a low pass filter for those that don't know is a filter that's only allowing the low frequencies to pass so when you hear things like blew past high pass band pass it's whatever it's allowing to pass is going to be with is going to force a low pass. I'm going as I bring the knob down, I'm taking away high frequencies, okay, so this is subtracted synthesis so now I'm taking it down to about two hundred hertz and I'm going to boost the residence now the resident peak is going to allow that frequency that I've sculpted down to spike up a little bit and cut through the mix just a little bit now would you use a filter on each layer to kind of kind of filter filter? E q u I use e cues and filters the same way because they're extremely similar in nature, so and different filters for different aspects like for instance, this is the low, so I'm low passing I only want low frequencies when I do the maid I would use like a band pass filter when I want to do the high, I would use a high pass filter or antique you right? How often do you use, like additive? Cute or do you use out of it one on drums? Not that often I try toe I try to be very careful about that, because then when you go into things like compressors and whatnot, you khun you have to be a lot more careful was forest clipping um so I tend to not really need it quite as much like I feel like there is there is a there's a truth in the fact of you know the quality going in is going to be the quality coming out so if you're using or really crappy sample you've got to be aware of that and so if you're having to throw all this week you to get to where you want to be maybe you're not starting from the right place maybe you should start looking into other sources instead of the an additive q to bring things out sometimes you khun do like the transient master instead exactly exactly and transient master you do need to be careful about because it will clip and it will digitally clip inside so you want to be careful about that they have a built in limiter on it but transient master inside of machine is not multi band and what that means is that when it boosted transit it's boosting the transient off the whole frequency range so you want to watch your levels and just make sure that you're not going over uh the way machine is set up the gain structure inside of it you can actually be in the red on a group or on a sound and which would you know in in the analog to maine or outside you would see that that's clipping but because it's floating point math you actually have a lot of had even though it's showing red you still have head room until you get to the master if your masters in the red that's when you really have an issue okay so I I try to stay under that you know before you ever get there so let me let me just show how I have this set up so the the transient master is boosting the initial attack and the sustained as well so without the sustained you can take away sustain with this as well if I if I said it to zero you'll hear the normal sustain I could take away sustain was just going to just make it very short and then I can add sustain and it's it's it's artificial sustained so it's boosting the back end of the sample and it because I have noise in the sample it's making it boost that grittiness ok? So after the sub kick, which is on pad nine right now I have ah additional low pass filter just to be sure that I'm only getting those lou frequencies because I don't want any higher frequencies from it I'm going to pad link this altogether now so I'm gonna put it all to pad link one and I'm going to set uh nine and five are going to be set to sleeve so that they do not trigger the first kick all right so now what I want to dio at this point is I want to eat you out the middle so let's let's go ahead and go right back to that we're going to actually first let me just do this so in machine you have these this section right here for the sampler this gives us all the different pages that we can get to inside of the same for each pad can be a sampler okay so we have the voice settings here which is going to tell us you know if you hit the pad multiple times and it's a long sample those samples will stack on top of each other if you set your prolife nieto one every time you hit it it will stop the previous one and hit it again okay it will re trigger you have your engines here these are for vintage sampler moves I'll get more into that later and we have or pitch and veloute now this lets us do individual tuning on the sound level there is a difference between sound level and sampler level ok the sound level is the actual pad itself all right the sampler level if I get into where the sample lies and in the edit screen here you can see the actual sample itself you can go to your zone and you have a similar control of tune right down here in the bottom ok, this tune is important because it is independent of your sound tune so if you have a sample that's really high pitched you khun pichit down there and then fine tune it from the actual sound later so they are very different in how they work and that will come more into play with the you're gonna let me show them vintage moods s o we have fx and filter we have our modulation lfo velocity ahmad well right now what we're going to play with is the effects filter these filters are very low cpu they are not the highest quality filters they're not designed to be uh they are what second order but some just basic workhorse type filters exactly workhorse filters easy to sound design and so you khun select this filter here and it's going to affect the sound that I'm one I want the band pass because I'm doing the middle now it's going toe when you select it you get this cut off this is where the band passes band passes basically getting rid of the low frequencies and the high frequencies and keeping whatever is in the middle where is that this knob it so you'll hear how how thin it sounds now and uh let me get back to you okay so as I move this cut off now you'll hear how it shapes so if you're a deejay you might be familiar with doing like there's the deejay sweeps you know that a lot of the times you can do that with this filter here for what we're doing is I just want the middle, so I'm setting it pretty much right in the middle, just a little bit low seven hundred ninety eight hurts, and I'm going to add some compression here and again, this compression model is very lucy pew it's just a workhorse one and without it with it it's going to bring up, uh, the these extra frequencies obit now, so now I had this really massive kick. I do want to be careful on how I'm mixing it so I will quickly just go to the sound level on the machine controller. So, uh, make sure I have that. So when you click the sound button, here you are, whatever sound is highlighted, you're affecting the volume of with this knob, so it makes it very fast just quickly adjust volume of each individual section it's extremely important to know if you're home producer ifyou're, you know, and you're monitoring setup isn't, you know, optimal. If you don't have a subwoofer, keep an eye on your meters because you might be clipping in yourself range and not even know you might not hear it because we're going very low. But your meters can kind of tell you so just keep an eye on and even be careful not to overcompensate because you know because if you don't have the proper low in in your monitor and set up you're going naturally you're gonna crank up that low in just so you can hear it but then you take it somewhere else has a proper setup in it's just bass heavy so a lot of the times people will buy monitors like these and not have a sub there and they'll say ok well I wanted to knock in my house so they pump it up but the's air designed to be flat if you have studio monitors near fields they're designed to be a flat response high five system's core systems were not designed to be a flat response they have some boosting in them and especially in the low end usually to make it sound more pleasing to the ear so if you overcompensate you give that cd to your buddy and he puts it in his car and his wolfers catch far you're going to know why so just be careful about that so what I'm doing now is I'm just adjusting the volume until I hear where I wanted to be so now I have a very powerful kick that's cutting through different stages in different frequencies properly onda again I just want to show this when you go into where we at here, sir so when we go into the editing screen and I'm looking at the zune I can adjust the attack and decay inside of here this is at the sample level you can also do this on the sound level but when you're doing a inside of the sample level it gives you a little bit more control as far as where you were pushing things from so if the phases off I'm zooming in now and you can see you can see those wave forms that I was talking about how they go up and down you can actually adjust your start point and it's going to shift the phase as well because now instead of starting back here you're starting over here and know your your face is different now I can actually cut that port off you see so I like it I want this tow have that initial crack I don't need I don't need this back piece here I went that very short transient on it right in the front and now it's cutting through the mix very sharply real quickly so this is a pretty it sounds like it's very drawn out it sounds like it takes a while to do this but when you get familiar with the machine control or when you get familiar with what you're doing and know what you want it becomes second nature and it really will be something that will happen very fast um you know, just selecting it up really quick. I'm just going to do a snare I'm going to run through it extremely quickly show you how it works in my own personal ah, workflow and you going to use it all the same techniques that you pretty much just went through with the kick. Exactly. Now, when you're looking for stuff to layer, you want to start with something? Not exactly. And what a lot of policy will take a layered drum and then try to learn more like one of those things. That sounds good, that right there, that's already layer so then try to add too many layers to it that's when you start taking up too much space and that makes what you draw exactly, you're not going to layer with that like that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to teo overboard glaring with because it's already, unless unless maybe you're gonna have, like, per custom, sound like a bongo are shaker, maybe. But again, you want to start with something that you want to start with, something that is gonna be more vanilla, right? Exactly. Yeah. So this is this is more a technique for when you want to define your sound like you listen to a lot of these great producers out there, and they're known for their sound, you know, when you hear about dr dre, you know, he's known for his drums, there's a reason for that and it's, because as you get to know the type of music that you create, you get to know what you want to make. So, is there a way to tell it in that list if something is already layer, you've just gotta hear it like what it is actually, there is a layered category. Ok, so if you if you're going through category by category, then you could look for analog digital layered, you know, because everything not in a little thing, but if you're looking through the whole list, then you might just come across them. You want to use your ears more than anything. Just also also looking at looking at getting familiar with the wave forms is important from from how I started with a lot of sampling from vinyl. It it came to be a lot of looking at the records, and you could see the way form in the record, and so we could pick outbreaks. It's the same with looking at kicks, snares percussion when you pull up a sample, I can see that the sample has a really big loud front end I can see that you know the taper of it I can see the decay on it by looking at seconds wise how long it is I can see you know roughly where you can you can also use this for setting your compressor settings a lot of the times when you're setting released settings on a compressor if you look at the samples that you're hitting uh it can help you kind of find to exactly where you want to be a if if if you're decay is point one two seconds on this you know a point one three you might want to set your release just a little bit after that and, you know, it's going to scope things together a little bit better make your tracks down a little bit tighter so there's aa lot of value that comes into understanding what you're wave forms look like, which is part of the reason why they put these big screens on here and you can see the sample so well now you mentioned that compressor and the release kind of people don't understand what the benefit of that is what is that compressor doing? And what does that release doing? What is it actually doing to my sound? Why would I need that? So compressors are essentially what you're doing with the sound is you're keeping it you're keeping the dynamic range focused ok and when you add a compressor to a track you can enhance the volume and their perceptual volume but keep the dynamics a little bit closer together. So if I just crank the volume on this the snare sound for instance it's already at zero you can see on this way for almost we're already where you can tell that when it was when it was initially sampled, it either had some some digital clipping or some there looks like there's a little bit saturation in here and some microphone clipping by these flatlines flatlines in general generally speaking or not what you want to see in your reforms this's it's called brick walling and when you when you start to see this you're taking away the character of the sound if I was to raise the volume of this, it would just be clipped and the way form as it goes up we'll just be cut off okay? And you don't get a pleasant sound when you do that in the digital world. So with a compressor, what you could do is you could take the compressor and raised these peaks up without necessarily making it clip and you'll take the quieter sex shins back here you can raise these up and squish these louder sections down so there's less of a difference between the hole piece together I feel like I could show what it looks like for a man so I don't want to make sure they understand you know, because we get a lot of questions on compressors and you know we have sometimes the way you use it when you design it sounds could be different than how you're using it when you're mixing attract so so what I'm going to do I'm actually take the need down here the amount unstable right about where it is I'm going to take the attack low on the release high on this just for for an example of spring with the attack of compressors going was that setting the attack is how soon so a compressor is essentially gain reduction and lifting back up ok so the attack is going to decide when it first hears the sound how soon do I push the volume down imagine if compressor was like riding a fader it's going to say are the sound hits here I'm going to drop my fate or here or I'm going to drop my fate of right when it hits are going to drop my fate are way back here okay and then I'm gonna bring it back up and that would be released so a lower attack means it's going to start sooner yes we're attacking attacking yes and and on drums oftentimes if you have it on the entire drum bus you wanna have like your attack would be off a little bit so that you let the initial transiting the transient is the initial spike okay, so you want to let that punch through the mix first, okay? And then bring up the beef penis of the tone of the drum ok and that's where compression becomes really handy so I'm going to actually re sample this with a compressor on it I'm kind of monitoring setup isn't optimal but you know this should work for what we're doing so so now let's go ahead and and I'll get into truncating and knock willows well, but what I want to show you is uh and let's also just normalize this so what I'm doing with each successive peace you're going to see these dynamics are just they're closer together than they were before, so if I go back to here now you'll see there's there's a wider difference between zero d b and the peaks so here let me actually kind of do it like this you can kind of get a little bit better idea so it's basically bringing it so that it will punch through without, you know, having these loose pieces all over the place so let me get back into what I was initially trying to dio so we're going tio fluto building a snare drum there right? Exactly and it's the same process that you did with the kick just exactly the frequencies and stuff are going to be a little different this's going and I'm actually gonna be using this one is more high now the reason why I'm taking the impact on this is because I already have so much impact on the first night so I don't need that much impact on this one so now I'm going tio I'm actually layer these two together first just to see where we're at so pad mood all right, I'm just holding pad down mowed down I usually do this with one hand you can pin you can pin things down as well, but me personally, I like to move quick and I just kind of hold my film on the controller go over the group won actually, I'm sorry to two so now I can sculpt these individual sounds let's go ahead and I'm going to drop this down just a bit. These buttons up top here you'll see there's a it says sampler went on sampler on one the actual sampler when I pressed to the right, I'm one the plug in that's on that sampler. Okay, you change exactly navigating through the chain. So I'm gonna have some compression from sampler a little bit of dr and then I'm going to give it just a little bit of filtering as well oh, basically that's where I like to be like, I like that kind of kind of snare sound so and then, you know, to just do this real quick. I'm going to make this very, very quick, actually. So we're gonna d'oh a lot of the times when you're doing your high hats, you don't have to use close and open high hats. It's sometimes it's easier to use, just open high hats, and the reason is you can shut that high hat yourself. So what I'm gonna do? Okay, so this is a fairly long, open high hat, and I have it where I like my closed a hat whenever I build kits, I prefer to put my samples and sounds in the same places so that no matter what I'm doing, if I'm doing different patterns, I can quickly change out the drums and it's always going to be it's always going to be in place, and all my different patterns will sound fairly good with each other, so I'm going to duplicate by holding down the duplicate button, all right? And I have opened a high hat on this pad, duplicate over, so now I have the scene sound on two pads, all right? I'm going to make one of them the closed high hat that will be pad three, all right, so what we're gonna do is instead of being on one shot for our pitch gate I'm going to turn that to you can use a jdey which is attack hold decay or you can use a dsr, which is a little bit more control over it and if you want, you can duplicate that again. This is this is how I like to build my my high hat groups I like a lot of variation in my high hats, so I'm actually going to duplicate it, so I had the same high hat for pads, they're all going to sound different, so I have my closed this one is going to be like my kind of quarter closed pedal went when the drummer is playing and he's getting his ghost notes, so I'm going to do a quarter close now, so now I'm increasing the attack and I'm increasing the decay and what that's doing is the volume of when the high hat hits is instead of being full on when you hit the pad it's gradually coming on, okay and it's gradually leaving now if it's for so I increased that just a little bit, so you get a little bit of that kind of like my my foot doesn't have the pedal completely closed on the high hat it's just kind of like loose on it, so when he hits it, it just kind of vibrates a little bit and now thiss one is going to be a bit longer so when you're designing sounds do you normally try to do it like as a kid? Yes so if you build it you try to build kits at least snare pat you know I would very much prefer to do at least three kicks three snares on dh four high hats that's like my normal operation and then up top I'll do mohr percussive elements so I'll dio like a crash or you know, depending what the track is like, I don't always use the same elements for every track so for may it's it's the route is always going to be kicks in their high and then I always need variations in my kicks I hate hearing tracks where it's just the same cake it's names in there over and over and over again that is the part of electronic music that I really don't like I like variation I like it to still have that soul so uh no, I had these high hats they're all the same height but they sound different this this one up here I'm actually gonna pitch just slightly you confined tune on your controller by holding down shift when you turn a knob ok, so if I just did it without holding downshift it's more of a major team or of course, but if I do it with shift and I can kind of just get a little bit of the variations, so I make it just a little bit dark her it's just when when the drummers hitting a high hat with different when he's in a groove it's not always hitting on the ball of the of the drumsticks, sometimes it's hitting one on the shaft in different spots. And that calls his different tonal variations so it's important to do certain things like that in your drum kits. When you're when you're designing your sounds, it makes your sounds get just sound a lot more realistic. Ah, you don't fall into the same traps have been any other questions so far in terms of what we're covering right now with the same habit civilly online fug fred baht bahu robots here would you say that was close? Says I've seen a lot of pain doyle's on line, they just cover the basic navigation hardware of the hardware and software these guys are getting into the techniques that you can't buy. I'm not kidding, it's like looking over the shoulder of you can't because it's way early dot com this is what we do weigh in, please feel free if there's any questions or anything like that, just like I say we're if we're going like the feedback and too far into it, you feel free to yell at me. Yeah, I'm okay I do ten good, I'm I'm trying to keep it on the surface of where I like to go, but yeah, this is the kind of thing that things like creative live before and the fact is is like, when we all started, it was a lot of ways the deejays we used to cover up or rip off our labels on our records and, you know, we didn't show anybody are sequences on our patterns and do, but this new age, we're trying tio get everyone to do better, and I mean anything is just giving people the tools so they can make their music. We don't really try to say this is how you make music it's more like this is what a prank brushes this is what this type of paint brushes, you know, you give the artist of tools and then they can do what they want to do. So now that I have this this custom kit that I've done, I am going to go to the group level. The group level is where you can affect the entire a group of sounds all at once, okay? So in the group level I'm going to click in here, you can you have just all sorts of different effects that are very, very helpful, so one of the things that I like to do is I'm going to just lay in a quick pattern let me just make sure that I'm where I want to be so this is like very basic stuff we were just doing like simple drum patterns and actually I'm going toe just quit the group, the group setting or the group level it's similar to if you were on a mixer and you want to send a bunch of mixture channels to the same kind of channel and put in effect over it so any time you want to affect your group as a whole, you can add it to the group level so you know, if you want to put a compressor or filter anything over everything at once than you do at that group, that will be the same as if you're in a big you know, studio and they said, you know, maybe all the kicks are all the drums to his own bus. So so again, what I'm doing is I'm just gonna lay down a pattern and then I'm going to affect the whole group together to make it all gel because it might not you know, you might be sculpting them to sound well in the track, but you need to push all the sounds together and that's what I'm going to do here so some way oh, you know, yeah, yeah see member take that green off me every year, no way but that's excellent, excellent way to use uh our quantifies anyway so we can just go ahead and we'll get into here and we can hit kwan ties and and you'll see when you do this when I hit this you're going to see all these shift so this is because of my terrible timing right now and you see how they all just shifted into place that just makes that shows a pretty good example of what I was talking about, what qualifies early, you see how it kind of put everything on the grid but if you it kind of messed up his groove also exactly, you know, because it's just one is just going to move it exactly to that grid so, you know, maybe if you wouldn't want to be on a higher grid setting, it probably would have sounded a little different. So gonna just one thing right quick sorry about that actually wanted to hear my metro name instead of not hear it. So with us, you can just quickly go to your group, all right? And I can load effects just by using the machine hardware I'm going to go teo products machine, which is your built in machine effects you can start to do things like adding in your reverb, so when you do that, I highly recommend turning your mix is way down e what I'm doing right now is I'm gonna add just a little bit of this reverb this is going to tie everything together I'm going to drop the highs way low the goal of doing this is to essentially make all your drum sounds sound like they're in the same room ok, so with that you can you can also do interesting things like adjust your stereo panning of it so that your reverb trails kind of go off to one side you can kind of play with that mix aa lot of the times for electronic music people want like the snares right in the middle if you're doing rock music, he might want to pan your snare mohr to one side just to kind of give it more of a live feel and and then when you add a compressor after the river, you want to remember that you're going to be boosting the reverb along with that. So just be aware of what your gain staging is when you're doing these sorts of things. So in this situation are you going to lead this reverb on there? You gonna re sample your drone actually going up the river one there, but I'm going to be doing something a little bit ridiculous because again I said I wanted it to be a more gritty sound I'm actually throwing a, um I'm actually throwing a a bit crusher after it so when I loved that now you're going to hear it and it's gonna all sound kind of crushed together. This's how you can kind of without spending a lot of time, you can get kind of more of the old school vintage feel on your sounds and then adjust your bit depth. I'm going to twelve bits and we're gonna go about twenty two that's right now, you know, some people might be aware of the significance of twelve it's in twenty two point one it's it's the bit rate and sample depth of a classic sampler. And this is just a very easy way to mix in some of that classic grip, and you, khun without it, mix it in and now, you know, it's kind of all jelled together a bit sometimes I'll even add, like, filters on the entire group just to kind of like a duck it a little bit, maybe sculpted down a little bit sometimes it's important if your track is really vibrant and you're trying to just kind of bring the mood down, you you wanted to be like more of, like, a dark feel, you might put it filter over across all of your drones, you know, little things like that go a long way.