Show 197 – Adding Real Percussion To Programmed Drums

This week Ryan talks about adding real percussion to programmed drums, Jon gets confused and talks about the opposite, then they find some common ground and get the clap. In the comments section we discuss effects routing, plugin recommendations, hip hop vocals, spdif i/o connections, wearing multiple hats in the studio, connecting a voicelive pedal through usb (or not), DIY Ferrite DI vs Radial, and more favorite music.

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15 thoughts on “Show 197 – Adding Real Percussion To Programmed Drums

  1. So I had recently learned how to properly execute kick and snare drum replacement in reaper. The last project I did, the drummer had a drum kit that I jokingly said was manufactured by DOO DOO Drums and that I just ate a big meal, and in 36 hours I will give him their newest model… HAHA!! After we finished recording I introduced him to this technique and he was not having it! ITS FAKE, he insisted.. Its not me on there! I tried many times explaining to him that yes it is him, I just replaced the sound.. Not the performance.. Still no dice. Replacing the snare and kick worked out so well that when I showed the rest of the band a few days later, they pretty much told him to shut up because first, he was not giving me the tools needed to give him any sound worth working with, and second, IT SOUNDSD AMAZING!! I will seriously never understand why the “fuck” any decent drummer would go into a recording session with shit drum heads. I totally get not being able to afford a decent drum kit, but surely we can at least afford heads eh? I’ve yet to do a project with a drummer who came to the session prepared. Even when I tell them in advanced, most don’t listen for the simple fact they don’t want new heads because of the time it takes putting them on and breaking them in. but when it comes down to listening to the takes they are so god damn quick to start with the comments and questions on why their drums sound like POO POO. (Everyone remember the south park episode when Kyle heard nothing but actual shit noises in modern music?) Ryan… I KNOW you have, Right? So Why the hell can they not hear this when behind their kit? is there a magical Shit sound to Unicorn vagina glitter bliss converter I’m missing?
    I just dont get it? I RARELY ever see this with guitar players!!
    Next time they walk into the room with their drum turds in hand I will confusingly say, oh man, I’ve never had to Mike a Pile of shit before?.. but, you’re in luck!! because I just threw up recently and I think if we put a mic on that “off-axis” it will probably give you a better sound.
    So my question to you both is, what are your personal thoughts on sound replacement? Have you ever had to do this because the drummer was sponsored by POO POO DRUMS?
    My opinion is, I think this is a seriously awesome technique if you do not have the proper recording space. I only do it on kick and snare, but i also understand how this can hinder any chances of improving technique if used to much. Thanks guys and look forward to hearing a reply soon. In the mean time, I’m going to call a sweetwater Rep and see about getting this Shit sound to Unicorn vagina glitter bliss converter…

      • Sorry for the late reply…
        The method I used is a method I learned on the Groove 3 tutorial site and the instructor named Kenny Gioa (Excellent instructor!!) And what he teaches is the use of “Dynamic split” and inside the dynamic split screen is a button labeled “split threshold.. what this does is it lets you determine how much of the transients are to be read. Then, after the transients are split you select it all and then there is a menu button that will say “Replace transients with media and you choose a one shot kick of your licking from the media tab. (to bring up the media selection window press Ctrl+Alt+X) I will say though, its not that great on material such as speed metal drumming. Correction, I am not that good at making blast beat drumming tight yet using this method. There is honestly to much to list on the exact way he does it but here is a link to groove 3 website

  2. Hey fellas, GSAA! I too, have just got caught up on all my listening duties and would love the diploma! That said, when due we get to hear Ryan do an autopsy of one of his mixes? I have learned a lot from the esteemed Mr. Tidey and think that one of Ryan’s mixes would be an enriching counterpoint. Btw here’s a fiDDy for the jar.

  3. Wow. A couple of hundred episodes later and I’m still not even as good as a pimple on Jon Tidey’s ass when it comes to mixing. No fault to you guys, I’m simply a slow learner. And Ryan, you’ve inspired me to open up that soldering gun that the in-laws bought me for christmas 2 years ago.
    Amazing show. I can’t thank you enough. If you could send a diploma my way I’ll frame it and put it next to my GED on the wall. 🙂

    I’m no expert on drums, but in my experience it’s best to track all of the instruments and then send the band away. This has been said on the show multiple times before, but mixing without the band hanging over your shoulder is where it’s at. This gives you the opportunity to replace all of their shitty drums with good samples, reamp their guitar track into something that doesn’t say Crate on it, and pitch correct their cookie monster vocals. Remember to print these sounds and save the original tracks in a hidden folder, so when they do come back in and are looking over your shoulder they don’t start asking questions like, “What does Drumagog do?”. I don’t have to do this with all of the bands… in fact, some are sober enough to appreciate good tone. Usually those are the ones that I don’t have to fix anyways… There are two schools of thought here. 1. It’s their music, and they are paying me to record it. Shut up an get paid. 2. It’s my studio, and anyone they tell about the recording is going to judge me on what they sound like. There’s a happy medium somewhere in the middle, and all I can say is, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…”

    On a different note, I have been using Altiverb for several years now. It sounds great to my ears, they have a couple gear IR’s of EMT plates that I love, and it’s just impressive. I mean, have you seen the cool ass pictures that Altiverb shows you of the room that you are using? And with quicktime the camera angle spins! C’mon, man, it spins! Clients love that thing!

    Then I heard Valhalla room. Guys, this thing sounds so good I had to clean myself up with a sock and smoke a menthol cigarette afterwards. Thanks for the recommendation on that one. I guess I’m still gonna’ have to run at least one instance of Altiverb when clients are here, just to make it look like I’m still working hard and all…

    Put that chicken away, you’re scaring the kids!

  4. Hey guys,
    This is a bit off topic from the last show, but I was in the studio listening and it occurred to me.

    I frequently do hybrid mixing, specifically I take 16 outputs from an Aurora to 16 inputs on my SSL X-rack where I set rough levels, sum the audio and then send it through an SSL bus comp and stereo EQ. This setup makes it really easy to enable a bit of the bus comp and “mix into the compressor”, and that’s where my question comes in.

    Of course I know that any techniques validity is measured solely by it’s effectiveness, but I’m just wondering if you folks are mixing with a compressor (hardware or software) active on the 2-bus or if it’s something you enable only after the mixing is done or even not at all. I’ve seen it done a number of ways by folks I respect, but I’ve never heard pro’s and cons enumerated. Apologies if you’ve covered this before, but I’m curious to know what you guys think?

    Oh, one more thing, a few shows back you guys were talking about DIY and small/boutique mic manufacturers. Just so happens I just got a Beeznees Mahalia and it’s fantastic. Now I’m looking at the Advanced Audio mics ( You guys know anything about them?

    Thanks for the show…now that I’ve recovered some of my virility from my last encounter with super-loud monitors and the chicken sample on your web site, I may start clicking through your page to get to Amazon 🙂


  5. GSAA,

    I think it Needs more cowbell

    The couple times ive messed with programmed drums there has been a “humanize” option or some kind of syncopation option. In your opinion how well do these things work for y’all for achieving that real feel.

    Are McNuggets the culinary equivalent of programmed chickens?

  6. Bass question.

    I’m not a bass player. I play guitar, but I do occasionally lay down some very simple bass parts for projects. Being that I’m 5’7″ and therefore have short arms, using the standard size bass that I have can be a little awkward, especially considering it’s not my primary instrument.

    My question is this, is there any drawback to using a short scale bass? One that would feel a little more natural and comfortable in my hands. Would the shorter scale length have a negative effect on the sound, tone, sustain?

    Thanks again, guys. You guy are awesome.

  7. So after listening to show 184 and taking notice of some of the resources Mike mentioned during his segment, I went out to and took notice of the mic-mod kits. I don’t recall Mike actually mentioning the sonic quality of any of these kits. Anyone have any experience with any of these. I’m looking for a cook book style DIY project for a U87 and was a little frightened by the tech talk of the group DIY forum. I’m looking for a real color by numbers approach and group DIY still seems to require some free hand.
    The shows are RAD!


  8. Hey guys, thanks again for another GREAT show!! Sorry if this has been covered before, but I cannot seem to find any shows on the topic of sample rates. What sample rate do you find yourself recording & mixing in? I know film work is typically delivered in 48khz and CD’s are 44.1khz but do you find yourself recording in 88.1, 96k, or gulp, higher? Any benefits to recording and/or mixing at higher sample rates? Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

    Thanks and keep rock’n!
    -Jon T.
    P.S. You guys have anything special planned for NAMM? How about a meet up?

  9. After way too many years of playing guitar or bass standing next to a drummer I had to compete with on volume, I recently quit playing in a band due to tinitus mainly in my left ear but exists in both. Wear protection!

    So I thought I would just retire to my home studio and churn out silly songs, maybe record a few singer song writers and hone my recording/mixing skills.

    What I am finding is that ear fatigue continues to be an issue. Do you have recommendations for easing the strain on your ears while mixing? Also after a hearing exam confirmed what I already knew…my hearing in the higher ranges is pretty much shot, what kinds of work arounds can you think of to still get a decent mix? I recently tried to add a tape sim to a track and when my friend listened to it, he asked what that awful hiss was. I had to crank up the effect to even be able to feel/hear the effect of it and what sounded like a light effect to me was horrible to him. Do you think it’s just time to just go fishing?

  10. Dang it! I’m always a show behind.

    Guys congrats and good luck on the first “live” show tonight. I’ll be at or in between both my sons’ hockey games, so I’ll have to wait until next week to heckle. 😉

    Studio Drummer – I LOVE the grooves and sound of this package. Next to Addictive Drums, it’s definitely one of my favourites. I really want to like Steven Slate Drums, but I keep drifting back to AD and Studio Drummer. There’s something about the interface that just grates me the wrong way.

    Anyway, keep it up guys!


  11. Jon said he doesn’t hear much about NI’s Studio Drummer so i thought i’d make some comments comparing it with Steven Slate Drums 4. i use both and I cannot say that either one is better than the other when it comes to drum sounds. however, i believe the cymbals in Studio Drummer are far better. to my ears they are clearer, more pristine, ring out much better and therefore cut thru the mix with less effort

    Steven Slate Drums is more versatile just by the sheer number of pieces it has, but Studio Drummer has many presets that reveal a very wide range of possibility with its three kits. one reason is the extraordinary built-in effects found in Studio Drummer. also, while the normal practice is to break out all kit parts into separate DAW tracks, with Studio Drummer you can do it all internally and without compromise

    the convo room preset that i use in Studio Drummer rivals Steven Slate Drums’ NRG room. this along with the Solid Bus Comp, Solid G-EQ and Transient Master provide me one hell of a setup for getting great drums sounds in any genre requiring an acoustic drum kit

    in terms of usability Studio Drummer is the clear winner for me. i’m sure Slate can close that gap, but i’ve yet to hear anything about an update to their interface

    both kits are excellent first choices. i’m glad to have both

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