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Superior Drummer Master Class

Lesson 10 of 26

Envelope and Pitch Settings

Rikk Currence

Superior Drummer Master Class

Rikk Currence

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Lesson Info

10. Envelope and Pitch Settings

Lesson Info

Envelope and Pitch Settings

we've talked about all of your presets. We've talked about your kitchen library selection load. We've talked about your tools. We're going to skip extra ums until we get to mapping. We're gonna move down toe envelope because this is an often I don't say misunderstood, but I think not widely used enough. So this particular component really draws its inspiration and its lineage from synthesis. So not to be a keyboard nerd and not to be, ah, programming nerd. But ultimately within the confines of synthesis truce in synth synthesis, I'm going to say it like that with my mouth all distorted from now on, to make sure synthesis, you have a lot of options, limitless options to shape, away form or sound. So number one what's gonna be happening with this window is going to be affecting the audio, and that's important for people. Understand? It doesn't affect of samples at all, so there's a difference, right? The sample is the sound as it's preserved and played back. The audio is what happens as ...

a result of the sample being moved through the system. Does everyone follow me? Okay, this seems fairly simple, but it's really deep, so What we want to do is we want to make. It is easy and his musical is possible, right? I think most of what we've discussed so far is pretty self explanatory as to why it's cool. But let's talk about this now. So I'm going Teoh want to see? Um, no, we'll do the default kit. Okay. All right. This is a cool snare drum. We're going to select the snare drum. So it's important to understand a couple of things in this quick menu over here and down here. Most of these functions and features really require you to select an instrument. I've gotten a lot of email and trained in my day. I'm going on my seventh year with to track, which is awesome. It's been a pleasure. I looked at seven more, so Ah, lot of times people forget this one simple step. If you do not select an instrument, these air, not universal controls in the sense that they'll just intelligently figure out where you're at the level of specificity and customization that each one of these controls will give you requires that you have an instrument selected, and I'm gonna choose the snare drum for the envelope Because the snare drum, I think, is where you hear it the most. It's the most radical. And basically, if you're a synthesis or a keyboard guy, you're probably familiar with a couple of terms that I'm going to share with you right now because this is what we're gonna manipulate here in the envelope. So the attack, the delay, the sustain. And what else does anyone know with the last one b release? And that's S de R, right? Okay. Everyone's familiar. Know his stun sheep? Strom's we're talking about? It's cool. It's very cool. Thank you. Release. Okay, so, attack. What does everybody think? Attack is. And I try to visualize this in the way that a player would play through an instrument so drawn. Let's pretend a snare drum. So the attack will be simply right. The stick hitting the head. That's the attack. That's the sound you're going to get. So what's the delay? If we were using that kind of visual of the drummer hitting the snare drum? What would be that delay? All right, we're gonna come back to an Internet. You need to weigh in on this. Drew doesn't have an answer for me. I'm not gonna tell you release when we think the releases. So attack release right, makes sense. Boom, boom. And then sustain. That's a pretty important 12 for a drum. Percussive instruments. Just like pianos, drums, anything that's percussive. When you hated it sustains, right? It goes on and on and on and on. So what you're affecting ultimately the physical characteristics is Anyone told me what the delay effects yet. Does Anyone chimed in, Drew? Oh, ignore web. Come on. What do you people doing here? Seriously, if you're not gonna get involved, all right, we'll go over the delay in a minute. I'll tell you, the delay will show it to you and then see if anyone can kind of come in. But we've got a graph here in this envelope. We've got our snare drum selected. That's what our snare drum sounds like. Okay, I think we we have our many controller, right? So we want to affect the actual physical characteristics and and again, this has very many musical connotations. The first thing we have to do is we have to look at what we're we're doing with this envelope and how it actually is affecting the instrument. Rule number one is what select the instrument. Right? Rule number two would be turned the function on again. That's another one where I watch people make all these awesome changes and it's not on and they think they're hearing it, and they're not hearing it. So the blue and the blue right now you can see as we click through these dots on this graph that things were happening down here. So it's telling us that's the hold, right? That's the decay sustain. This one is the attack. This one is the releases. Everyone follow me. Now you can toggle this, and this toggle is not really anything crucial. It's about how you prefer to see the changes you're going to make whether you like to see them. For instance, if I move this, you'll see that it's 1.54 milliseconds, which I know. Everybody in their head can visualize 1.54 milliseconds and exactly what that will do to sound, or you can turn into a ratio 15.4%. So that's just preference. There's really nothing crucial there. OK, but what I'm doing ultimately, by changing this. So this this axis is really important. So this is time, everyone with me time. And this is the level up and down is the level so moving in across the axis from left to right is time moving it up to down is the level makes sense simple enough. Now I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna solo this snare drum down here so that it's the only thing that we're playing so that we can hear the change. Okay, so it's playing. Everyone would agree that it's playing Yes. So there's subtle changes. Let's bring the release in. Not so subtle but subtle unless and when I say subtle, I mean, you wouldn't know You could basically alter the physical properties of this drum to that extent in superior if you weren't familiar with how envelopes work, so we could move that out a little bit because that's gonna get really dumping. But as we move that out, we can bring this down right so we could move. Let's move this one. Actually, the sustain Let's bring a sustained down. That's a realistic sounding drum, right? We went from blip. Move this guy over. We're from Paul. That's like the sound that it makes when it goes back and forth a poem. And by just bringing the sustained back out, we've changed in effect, the way this drum sounds in the studio, the whole is fine. We can bring this further. Bring this down. We could delay the the actual attack. This gets weird, mildly annoying for long periods of time. But ultimately what we're doing is taking the way the drum is being hit. And there's a lot of factors here. So right now this is happening for us via MIDI, right? We have a MIDI file playing in the background. That's a pre recorded drummer actually playing. So the way that this is responding to his velocities in the playing is all dependent on the way he played. That makes sense, right? It would be the exact same thing if you were programming this with a keyboard and actually playing in, or someone is playing an e kit. All of these variables play into the way that the drum is going to respond, and that's why it's done. Instrument by instrument. The scenarios aren't going to be the same. So, for instance, even with across all of the realms of our many packs. They're all performances at different times, in many cases by different drummers, different dynamic levels. So it's very important to know that you have this sort of control because ultimately what you've done, So I'm gonna go ahead and play this again, and I'm gonna I'm gonna cheat. So I'm going to go in here, and I actually have a preset that I use because you can save These is a preset, and I've got a snare drum tight short, right. So this is a thing that I do. It's on its own because what it sounds like is I've just dried the snare drum up, right? I've sort of suck the room likes out, but what I want to turn it back on big difference in the context of the group. You hear it? Big difference. Whatever essentially done is taken a drum the way that I liked and recorded and change the physical characteristics to shoot the music. Now you can do this for every single drum, every single symbol, all of them together. And by the way, if you didn't know ladies and gentlemen out interweb land, you can use, um, command control. So, for instance, here, let's just reset this. That's simple enough. It's off. But if you hit shift and then you can select multiple drums just like you would anything else and you could apply this, you could have a set of just your Tom's right. And what's really cool is when I explained to you that you can also ultimately come in. And as you look at different drums, you'll see that there are some instances where this has already been sort of modified for you, right? Not bad. And again, it all goes to creating the best sounding instruments based on what you have loaded. So, for instance, this preset is going to sound different on every single snare drum in this list, let alone all the other snare drums available in any of the other expansion packs. Your prime with the microphone. I want to answer your question, sir, that affecting the envelope on the snare like that was kind of like pulling the rooms out. I was wondering why you might use the envelope to do that rather than literally going to the mixer and, like pulling down those room makes great, great question, and I don't think it's about either, or I think it's about some people from a working standpoint or a little more comfortable and ultimately to one of the things that we're gonna talk about right now is the fact that a lot of this you can choose the three variable input positions that you'd like to apply this to. So, for instance, pulling the room out is going to affect everything in the room and all the other Mike's around it. Just applying an envelope to the snare is just going to play an envelope to the snare. Won't affect anything else in the room likes it won't affect anything else. And it could be that happy marriage where you've got the room, Mike, where you want it and you're still like, OK, I need to go in and just tweak individual wanted. Just affect this there, because then what will happen is as you affect the instrument. All of the different recordings of that instrument will be affected, conversely, as well as opposed to everything. So when you pull the room because of the bleeds, everything that's in there from a bleed is going to be affected makes sense. I mean, it is a macro level of articulation, and the other thing, too, is right Now we have this assigned to the note on input stream because again, as I told you drum, many sends note on and note off information at the same time. But you could apply this. Check this out of you do that the note off and select the snare. But solar snare different sound already. So now it's It's on the note off, right? It's on the release of the sneers opposed to them different. You get sort of that little almost Tony Thompson gate effect from the power station. Anyone that was born before 1984 would know that reference. If not, I get it. But it's one of the greatest recorded drum sounds in history. So if you don't know about the power station by the record right now, but yeah, so some of that component to which is a great question is how you want to use the envelope. So, to that point, some people could cheat the system right and just say OK in their mind, that was enough of a change for the snare drum to not have to mess with the room like some people could say, like I'm going to spend five days on the snare drum sound and get everything So minute the detail that it's flawless, Save it is a preset and then apply it to everything in in the future so that they have it. So a lot of this again isn't necessarily born from necessity as it is when you call something superior drummer, you need to be able to really customize things that we want to. And this has an adverse and different effect on every instrument. Obviously, now think about shorting the decay on a floor. Tom, um or not. Don't do any of that stuff. Do we have something so load? I don't think so. It happens is bound to happen sooner or later. Do you hear that? That's called the Ghost preset, where you think something's there and then no sound comes out. We do that. Everyone snouts like when someone's talking in the they do that to, like, freak you out way playing audio. So generally when that happens, the first thing I do is go and I load a different kit to see if it's you know me. But sometimes it's not me. It's the audio interface. So watch what I'm going to dio. I'm gonna quit tune track solo and I'm not gonna save anything. I saved zero things that we did. Now I'm gonna open tune tracks although like you watched me do in the first segment. Oh, good Lord. So here we are back again. Does anyone have any concern, comments or questions before I move on with the envelope a little bit further about the envelope? Anyone drew anything? Now everyone gets this fantastic. So let's again just try one more here. So we got this one's actually much deeper. I want toe illustrate sort of. There's one more feature here, which is which is the offset, and this is something that is definitely very. It's very specific, and it's not necessarily usable in every single musical situation. But again, it's an option for you. So let me grab a groove again. Um, so we have it. We're going to go Teoh somewheres. Phil packed there. Do that do that Fantastic. And what I'm going to do is actually I'll use the kick drum because there's no times in that group, and I'm gonna solo the kick drum. Awesome. Okay, awesome. So right now I'm gonna turn on the envelope and I'm gonna do is play with the offset. I'm not gonna play with any of the envelope. Anything else? Just the offset. So I'm gonna move the fader writing fader than on over here to my left. Doesn't sound like anything happened. Right? Commute it. Now it sounds like you're really drummer at home. So that's basically what you use that for when you're like No, Travis, this is what you sound like. Yeah, but no, seriously. What? So what the offset is doing is it's shifting the audio. It's shifting the time from when the mini note is recognized to when the audio is played. Obviously, that is too far of a shift. But check this out. So of course, you can command click to get back to zero. Let's watch a subtle difference. If I move back a little bit, right? You can hear kind of drummer slowing down, but if he gets ahead of the beat it all to too much, right, it doesn't want to do anything right in the middle is where you kind of want him. But now watch this. Let's go to the snare. It's really sort of again. It's it's It's more about having the option than not having the option. People are always like, Why would you do that? I don't know why a lot of people do why they do most of the things they do. But the fact that they can is generally the reason that they do so. You can play with that offset to correct samples, and it really to the offset plays a lot into the way you trigger things. So there are some components of this where it's like one mini performance. It doesn't make much sense, but in actual live performance, where maybe you want there to be your accommodating for the way someone plays or they're dragging when they pull off the snare and it's accidentally triggering something else you can office. There's a number of different things you could do again with all the stuff you have going on from a hardware component to that the offset would affect. Does that make sense to everybody? Yes. Questions, anyone concerns, comments, nothing. Bueller. Got a question? Yes. How do I best utilize str filtering on symbols to creates superior swells. Oh, here's a challenge you're gonna have with a superior swell. Um, is that the articulation for the swell can be mimicked in that component, meaning you could create. Let's take a ride Cymbal. And let's turn this own and let's kind of play without the volume right to get in. And what you wanted to do is you want to do so that that reverse gate thing. But what that's going to ultimately do is not necessarily make the for lack of bedroom create the best sounding swell. Obviously, what you're gonna have to do is with a swell is adjust the release. That would be better if you were playing it and you could adjust the after touch toe, choke the symbol. Or you could choke the symbol so that at the end it would swell or we have recorded many grooves that are actually symbol swells. Believe it or not, um, let me, uh, see if I can get you one here. So I mean, I think the best thing to do and believe it or not, some of the most useful midi you're gonna find is gonna be in the drum kit from Hell Library. And for those of you that are from over the drum kit from hell, it's the very first sort of product we put out. And it's D F h from kid from hell. There's guests, there's fills. But in the regular we've got other stuff. Um, and you can kind of hear you got some fake symbol chokes right that will get old it all ride stuff, right? So ultimately, there's programs and messages already built in because they're gonna be much more realistic because they were actually performed. So I'm not saying you couldn't do it. I'm saying, depending on the kit, the performance and everything else, you may not get it sounding as realistic as possible through that component. And that's kind of an old school. I mean, if you're looking for that wishing effect, you basically could move all the attacks, staying, delay, all that stuff in when we got to turn it on, see, and then you more of a sizzle effect. You could make this much shorter. You could bring the sound more break down. You could play the offset this way. There's a lot of things you could do as to which one is going to sound best in the context of the mini that you're performing. It's just gonna be some trial and error. It could certainly be done. Certainly be done. But there's a couple of other things before you get excited about all that programming work and all that enveloping that I'm going to show you in a little in a little in a little minutes is what I was going to say. Do we have little minutes? There's no size difference in minutes. So in a little while, we're going to show you a few things that might make that process even mawr usable or easy. Sure enough, Envelopes, Questions concerns going once, going twice. We've got the offset. We know that it between the ratio in the time three Note articulations. These ultimately, again are going to be much more effective. When you're playing your hardware or working with any kid, you will notice the's the most. Yeah, and again, all of these things work with your voice layer in your memory. All of these things that happen because what you have here again is you've got I've got a bunch of presets that I've got reset everything. This is affecting audio. It's not affecting the samples again. It's not rewriting samples or moving samples around. You're not destroying anything. This is simple processing CPU, and that's where you're going to see it. The most is in your CPU now. Not that you're going to see a massive spike, but again, if you're creating lots of presets, it's it's important to know which ones are audio driven presets. Because the audio driven preset will affect the CPU. The sample driven presets will affect your ram, and ultimately, all those things are connected. Yeah, everyone's good. All right. Moving on and down. This seems simple. Pitch right seems simple. Select this. Turn this. It's red. Lower pitch. Come in, hit command. Go back to north now. Why is that cool? Well, there's a number of reasons, and it goes with the combination of your envelope filtering appear. The reality is, is altering the physical properties of existing drums gives you a host of options inside? Just this one. Library that again, as you buy more libraries, you can apply, but you are certainly when it comes the sound design. I'm speaking now to a lot of guys that do post or guys that do work for television, film, even folks that do game design. We get a lot of people that ultimately shift the pitcher. The sounds of these drums to accommodate different musical situations. Pitches very musical. There's some cool some cool features here. So obviously again, let's select. You always select a drum and then you can lower raise the pitch. Simple enough, but you could do something even core. So now if you were to take that and let's say we wanted to lower will go to this guy. He's really low. We'll get him low. Gross will come up a little bit and then we can turn this guy on and we can move this over and we could do some cool sort of right. Real subtle, but real simple. Kind of like a knocking. Now, real simple, right? Let's turn that off. Let's say you're happy with this. You've done. You've processed everything right now. This is really time pit shift. Now what does that mean? It's using what anyone? What's the magic word? What's using C p o. That's gonna be the answer by the way moving forward every time is there. What's it using CPU? Just someone say, just to make me feel better about my time here. Creative life drew. Even if you have to say, see peels, so does that always matter? No. But what's cool is this. There's a button right here called Fix and what that's going to do. Once you have your ideal tone, we want it. If you hit fix, it's gonna re sample the actual drum stop using CPU and loaded into Ram. Don't it basically just took the effect? Applied it to the drama in real time. And now it's part of your sample pool. You're not eating CPU, Rick. I want to change will. Then reset it. Simple enough pulls it out. Does that seem like a Really? It's not an exciting feature, but it's a very cool feature because it basically allows you to design everything and then commit it very cool. So again, pitches is really simple. All you're seeing here is a sample rate at which it terms recorded 44 1 Everything's fine. You're gonna fly, pitched anything. Cymbals, drums and again, the pitch combined with the envelope alone. Let's reset this give you a world of sound options you probably didn't even know you had? Yeah, moving on. Humanize. Now this is where things get interesting. Not that the rest hasn't been interesting. But let's recap. Shall we? Before we move forward, we're working with a software environment that is trying to maximize the believability that a drummer came in to a real studio at your house and banged out the best drum performance off his her or your life. Agreed. Or we're trying to give tools to an electronic drummer or programmer to construct that illusion in that kit so that the end result is the best sounding best feeling music possible, right? We've already discussed how obviously the software is gonna be maximized for use by setting it up the right way. We've talked about the fact that we have a number of different options to choose from as far as drums go. Different studios, different libraries, different producers. We've talked about the fact now that with inside these particular scenarios, these studios thes expansion packs, you can physically affect the drum in ways you couldn't do in real life in real time. So so far, we're doing pretty good, and we're still on the first page of the program, right? We haven't even gotten any farther were on the first page of the program. So now let's talk about one of my favorite features, which is humanize and it seems fairly self explanatory. Humanize If you had to guess about pitch pitch. So all these functions a TSR pitch offset. Are they controllable by MIDI controllers? No. Okay, you cannot automate the effects or the parameters right now. It's appeared in the 2.0, I always say right now, because believe it or not, I can't speak for any other software companies. But our software engineers are support team. They're always listening to everything that everyone is asking for always. And if there's a feature upgrade or something that we need to implement our users or the first place we go to hear about it. So again it's very, very great point. It would be kind of cool in the future if you could automate those. I'm sure that our team is listening and it's something again. In some instances, adding midi control to it is one component but making it automate herbal, which is an award, but we use it in a Dawes another. They're two different worlds, but yeah, right now, the only thing that you can actually assign a mini command control to since we're talking about it is the actual volume off the program seems a little redundant, but it's not so again not to hearken back to settings, but right now you can use continues control seven to control the master volume. So if you select that and you're using a keyboard controller, C C seven conventions control the actual volume of superior moral together so you could sort of faded. Inter faded out. Now that doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but it can be in a live situation. Especially, for instance, take this situation were music director is the one who's laptop. This is running on, and they're sort of controlling the entire show from a keyboard. And the drummer is just not good at when not to play or is not good at when he rests his or her sticks. For whatever reason they can use that continues, come into just pull superiors volume all the way down without bothering sound guy. Because that level set and then hopefully remember to pull it back up when said, Lousy drummer is back and playing. So it's a simple function and ultimately it's an effective function. But we don't in the software and standalone mode or in the Daw have the ability to sign many command controls to these knobs and stuff, yet the only control you also have. Not that it's really control. Go back to settings since we're here, is you can Where is its force? Linear knobs that do anything for you Make the knob. So you were hoping down It goes this way. You can do that. That's pretty basic control, function wise. There's so much else going on that I don't think that a lot of those after thoughts were focused, but great question. So how do you save pitch an envelope? So you would say it is a preset. Okay, so what you would do is you have it on obviously, and you can go in and you save as so that like, for instance, that's how I created these, like kick drum, tight short and then apply it to the drums. Or if you have a whole project saved and you've got everything up and running. You can save your project. And when you load your project, obviously everything will come back up because all that information But when you have a combined preset check this out, come by preset. We'll just open this one just to see. You can see that pitch could be checked here. All of all, these things can be saved with the combined preset or not saved so completely up to you. But as long as you have all this stuff intact, you're good to go when you open up your project. So it's cancel. That's over there.

Class Description

Superior Drummer is the industry standard for pro-level virtual drums. It is used on countless albums, at nearly every studio on the planet. Yet, most users are barely scratching the surface of the software’s capabilities.

In Superior Drummer Master Class, Rikk Currence, CEO of Toontrack North America, will give you the definitive guide to Superior Drummer. He’ll help you unlock countless new workflow efficiencies and creative possibilities. 

You’ll learn about:

  • The basics of the Superior Drummer interface
  • How to use the Construct page to assemble your kit 
  • Getting the Grooves page to work with MIDI 
  • Working the Mixer page – including effects and routing 
  • Navigating the Mapping page and using Superior with e-drums

You’ll also learn the advanced features that are the real key to getting the most out of Superior. Rikk will show how to use X-drum to assemble custom kits and layer sounds to create custom drums, and how to use the Bounce page, a highly-underutilized feature in Superior that enables you to bounce out every piece of the kit as its own audio file – the ultimate solution to bleed problems!

Superior Drummer Master Class with Rikk Currence will reveal the full potential of Superior and enable you to do things you only dreamed were possible.

Ratings and Reviews

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Shayne Sheldon

I am very pleased with this course. It was originally presented as a free live stream and is the first CreativeLive course that I have taken in. I am so impressed, that I have purchased it. If you are a current Toontrack Superior Drummer 2 user (or are thinking of buying SD 2) and are looking for a guided way to learning this software, this course is one of the best learning methods I have ever come across. I doesn't matter what your experience level is with Superior Drummer-- there is something here for beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Though I would recommend having a working knowledge of MIDI, audio and computers. Absolute beginners to using software instruments and creating music in their computer might find the information in this course a bit overwhelming. Instructor Rikk Currence takes you thoroughly through basic to advanced concepts showing the true depth of this virtual instrument program. Rikk takes you through the program settings and options; creating custom virtual drum kits; settings for MIDI controllers and E-Drum kits; using the SD 2.0 as a stand alone virtual instrument, as well runninf it as a plug-in in a Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.) like Avid's Pro Tools. So much more is covered in this course, that I can't fully begin to share it all in this review. The knowledge I gained from this CreativeLive two day course has given me extra insight, increasing my functionality with Superior Drummer 2. Two thumbs up for this Master Class-- I can't recommend it enough to all Superior Drummer 2 users Thanks to Rikk Currence and CreativeLive for a superior course on Toontrack's Superior Drummer 2.

Ian Stephenson

Great course, the tutor kept it entertaining and held our interest whilst still getting over a huge wealth of detail for all levels of user. recommended :-)


Killer class! Well worth purchasing. Each lesson is effectively thorough, as well as comfortably paced. And Rikk’s sense of humor makes the learning process all the more enjoyable.