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Commisaur
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:16 am
Posts: 117
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:58 pm 
 

I am already using SSD5 drum plugin and its working out great for me and it sounds great. But I really want to take things a step further and see if there is anything else I can do to make the drums sound as realistic as possible. Basically, I want them to sound convincing enough to fool even actual drummers.

Is there a plugin/program out there that is specifically for making the drum plugin sound more realistic? And if so, what are some of the good ones?

Someone told me there might be programs out there that will automatically adjust the timbre of each individual drum note and offset the drum notes slightly so everything is not so perfectly and robotically in time. These adjustments are done in order to simulate a performance from an actual drummer.
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Element_man
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:37 am
Posts: 968
Location: Vancouver, Canada
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:03 pm 
 

You gotta get down and dirty with the midi roll.

Consider that a drummer will have a dominant foot that hits a little hard than the other. Consider that fast double kicks will naturally hit more softly than slower or single-kicks and that a drummer will probably hit the first couple strokes harder than the rest in a long run. Same goes for fast, lengthy fills on toms/snare.

Depending on your DAW, you may be able to randomize your velocities/timing down to a certain percentage but ultimately it's not a bad idea to try doing these by hand so you can really sculpt the feel.
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Commisaur
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:16 am
Posts: 117
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:40 pm 
 

Element_man wrote:
You gotta get down and dirty with the midi roll.

Consider that a drummer will have a dominant foot that hits a little hard than the other. Consider that fast double kicks will naturally hit more softly than slower or single-kicks and that a drummer will probably hit the first couple strokes harder than the rest in a long run. Same goes for fast, lengthy fills on toms/snare.

Depending on your DAW, you may be able to randomize your velocities/timing down to a certain percentage but ultimately it's not a bad idea to try doing these by hand so you can really sculpt the feel.


Oh ok, that makes sense. I gotta think like a real drummer while I am humanizing the drums.

But what do you mean by "midi roll"?
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Lord_Of_Diamonds
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:23 pm
Posts: 237
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:57 pm 
 

Commisaur wrote:
Oh ok, that makes sense. I gotta think like a real drummer while I am humanizing the drums.

But what do you mean by "midi roll"?

Probably that means the MIDI track that you're feeding the drum software with (the MIDI editor in FL Studio is actually called the "piano roll").
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Gameofmetal
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:58 pm 
 

Pretty much what was said already. I just write out the first few times through of a beat with varying velocities to simulate the rhythm and natural patterns of a real drummer and then copy and paste for the rest of the section until it changes. Add some fills and changeups in longer passages, then apply a touch of randomization to timings when the song is done so everything isn't slotted in perfectly.

I originally used SSD5 but I'm not a huge fan of the interface (kinda complicated for me) and was looking for something suited to raw black or death metal so I got Kvlt Drums 2. I like them a lot better, simpler interface to work with and the kits don't have all the effects already glued on so you can add reverb and such to your own taste. I mean, I think you can load up unprocessed kits or piecese in SSD5, but most of the preset kits are already mixed and fx'd I think.

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Sitruk666
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:36 am
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:15 am 
 

thinking like a drummer is probably the most important thing, along with (as mentioned by gameofmetal) randomization imo.

for example if you have a long blast beat section and you have the velocity at full, its def gonna sound like a drum machine.

also randomizing velocity a bit in every section is a good idea (and i mean a little don't go crazy with it)

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koloxid
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:03 am
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:18 pm 
 

Lol @ anyone going through this much trouble. it will only be a simulation, if you want to sound like real drums just get real drums

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narsilianshard
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 2375
Location: Portland, OR
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:53 pm 
 

koloxid wrote:
Lol @ anyone going through this much trouble. it will only be a simulation, if you want to sound like real drums just get real drums

Do you have any idea how loud drums are? Or how much space they take up? Owning an acoustic kit is completely unrealistic for the vast majority of people.

I've been using the MT Power Kit lately. It sounds pretty fucking amazing considering that it's free, but it's customizable so you can replace any sounds with even better ones. I use the stock with just a few tweaks and a ton of reverb added on and it's pretty much perfect for my needs.

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Gameofmetal
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:35 pm 
 

koloxid wrote:
Lol @ anyone going through this much trouble. it will only be a simulation, if you want to sound like real drums just get real drums

what a 5headass thing to say lmao. Learning the drums takes a shitload of time for most people and it's damn hard to find a real drummer irl depending on where you are. Doing it online isn't easy either, tons of flaky people in online musician spaces. Even going through the work to make fake drums sound real (not really that hard or time consuming once you've done it the first time or two) will pretty much always beat real drums in terms of time consumed.

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koloxid
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:03 am
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:58 am 
 

Gameofmetal wrote:
Even going through the work to make fake drums sound real (not really that hard or time consuming once you've done it the first time or two) will pretty much always beat real drums in terms of time consumed.


My first comment to op maybe was rude

A lot of music does sound good with programmed drums, in many cases even better than acoustic drums. So the technology (digital vs acoustic drums) will lend its sound better to some music vs others. Clever editing of midi is just a good editing job and it is not equivalent to a proper, musical performance.

OP wanted the outcome of "drums that sound realistic and natural" so my input is to use acoustic drum recording. Didn't know anyone would babyrage over it

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Gameofmetal
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:19 pm 
 

Say stupid things win stupid prizes. Can't keep being surprised when people laugh at you for being needlessly abrasive and inarticulately making your points.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 8287
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:38 am 
 

Great albums have been made without acoustic drums, even without doing it the Summoning way where the synthetic drums are an inseparable part of the band's style and sound.

Nasheim - Solens vemod
Skogen - Vittra

Both Nasheim and Skogen made excellent debut albums with programmed drums, and employed acoustic drums later down the line.
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Gameofmetal
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:09 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
Great albums have been made without acoustic drums, even without doing it the Summoning way where the synthetic drums are an inseparable part of the band's style and sound.


sure there's definitely albums that use programmed drums or drum machines to their advantage, but broadly they're vastly fewer than the albums that benefited from either real drums or programmed drums made to sound relatively realistic. Generally they also fall into particular niche sub-sub-genres, like Summoning in the sort of dungeon synth meets epic black metal niche. Programmed tribal drums are actually the norm for that style. Some bedroom black metal bands, mainly really raw or lofi ones, are suited by obviously programmed drums. There's a war metal band called baneblade that obtains a sort of industrial feel through programmed drums. But for most bands it's gonna be a detriment.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 8287
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:23 pm 
 

I'm not sure it's that straightforward.

I believe rexxz said once that he could give you an A-B test of mixes with programmed drums, and drums recorded from an acoustic set, in such a way that you wouldn't be able to tell which one is which. Drum programming has advanced a lot since Minas Morgul, and similarly the standard for drum production in contemporary metal has shifted towards a mechanical, quantised and sampled sound.

By the way, another brilliant album with programmed drums: Brood of Hatred - Identity Disorder
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rexxz
Where's your band?

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
Posts: 9125
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:16 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
I'm not sure it's that straightforward.

I believe rexxz said once that he could give you an A-B test of mixes with programmed drums, and drums recorded from an acoustic set, in such a way that you wouldn't be able to tell which one is which. Drum programming has advanced a lot since Minas Morgul, and similarly the standard for drum production in contemporary metal has shifted towards a mechanical, quantised and sampled sound.

By the way, another brilliant album with programmed drums: Brood of Hatred - Identity Disorder


It's just too easy to play *most* of the given articulations that are possible on a drum set. Apart from crazy things like wild cymbal washes, you can pretty much capture the heart and soul of any given drum kit and make it easily reproducible.

I am still 100% confident in that claim, by the way. An exclusively sampled kit can be played by an individual drummer on an electronic MIDI kit and have an entirely human performance. With the right libraries, you can have enough samples to match the minutiae of your average drum performance with things like side sticks, rim shots, flams and ghost notes, uneven loudness and velocities in your strikes and so forth. Even if you don't have a real drummer, you can still get a human performance by using tools such as a MIDI keyboard or percussive sample pad like the Akai samplers. The key thing here is the performance. Simply programming and drawing in notes on the piano roll will not yield satisfying results if your aim is realism.
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Headless420
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 412
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:36 am 
 

You can easily break the samples into separate tracks to mix however you want.

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somefella
Veteran

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:57 pm
Posts: 3132
Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:01 am 
 

1. Sounding good is more important than sounding real. St Anger has real drums on it. 'Real' is an unnecessary marketing tactic - it doesn't necessarily mean the music is good. So many absolutely dogshit bands have a human being behind the kit, but to what end?

2. What's already been said about adding in human elements. Besides writing drum parts that would be intuitive for a drummer, adjusting velocities and all that, you can also shift shit a little bit out of time. No drummer would be able to hit a snare with both sticks at the exact same time, for example, nor make a snare roll crescendo increase in volume perfectly smoothly.

3. With the amount of post production done on acoustic drums nowadays, if you program your drums well, even very seasoned musicians would not be able to A/B a difference between that and the real thing. And that's beside the point anyway - your target audience is not seasoned musicians. As long as they don't sound robotic in a stupid way (long blast sections with the exact same timing and velocity on every single hit on every track), then it's perfectly fine.

I know some bands who have been so ashamed of their programmed drums that they actually hired some dude to pose with them in a photoshoot and give him credit for the drums. This is unnecessary and silly; if an album is good, it's good.
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Korpgud
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:09 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:55 am 
 

To add to what's already been said about "thinking like a drummer", here's how I've done that specifically: programming beats sometimes detaches me from my actual playing style. I have to take a few steps back, play the song in my head and maybe even do air drums. Only then do I start approaching something more natural sounding. Once the ideas have become clear enough I start adding them to the midi roll (fills, cymbal strokes, stops, dynamics etc). It IS time consuming. Sometimes I have to go over even relatively simple beats several times. But in the end it's worth it.
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