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Author Topic: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...  (Read 5514 times)

Bivouac

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...I'm not even sure if I could do it.  

Granted, I'm not a professional recordist by any means (or even much of an amateur), but I just have no clue.  How do you get that super tight, seperated, and compressed drum sound like Lou Giordano, Jerry Finn, and Mark Trombino (well, their recent work anyway...)?

I'm not saying that's a sound I strive for or anything, I just think I should be able to get that sound if I wanted it...

Is it an equipment thing?  Are certain pieces allowing for this sound?  Are the drums themselves higher quality and/or tuned differently than for normal playing applications?

I'm thinking most of my trouble lies in my inability to compress drum sounds (indie or pop really).  I've tried digging up the old "compression" thread, but I can't for the life of me work the search function on this site...

Every time I try and "squash" a drum sounds like they do, it sounds like ass.  So what's the deal here...?

So, is it possible to turn J. Hall's drums from our little competition into the latest Alkaline Trio or Green Day record?  Do you other indie guys have the capability to get those sounds if you wanted to?

Again, I'm sorry if this has already been discussed, but I thought it would be interesting anyway...
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Rivers

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2005, 05:34:56 pm »

I think alot of those modern sounds you are describing involve at least some sound replacing/samples.
A lot of that sounds has to do with the setup,mics and knowing that's the sound you are going for in the end.
I don't it's real feasible to turn something like J. tracks into that sound not matter what gear you have...unless it involved soundreplacing and beat detective type stuff.
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Fibes

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2005, 08:40:26 pm »

Eliminate the concept of reality from your lexicon.

That's a start.
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Fibes
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brandondrury

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2005, 10:34:41 pm »

I don't get any sounds.  I just stick mics in the air.  If the sound is money, it's because the musician sounded that way.  If the sound is crap, it's because the musician and their respective gear sounded that way.
If the sound is bad, it's time for the musician to do something different.


Brandon

Bivouac

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2005, 12:43:41 am »

I had to reread my post to make sure it said what I wanted it to say and I'm pretty sure it did...

I'm sorry, but if a drummer plays something, it can sound a million different ways when it finally reaches CD...

Let me just ask this:

If I wanted drums to sound like...the new Jimmy Eat World record, what's involved (I'm mainly asking about compression I think...)?  I know I could probably get a legitimate answer in "Recording 101" or Kenny Gioia's forum, but I think I'd be more interested in opinions from individuals who aren't typically after this sort of sound.

It's pretty much: what seperates a pop-rock sound from an indie-rock sound?
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Fibes

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2005, 07:51:43 am »

Bivouac wrote on Sat, 04 June 2005 12:43

 Do you other indie guys have the capability to get those sounds if you wanted to?



Yes, the moment I abandon reality for hyper-reality. Once you decide to make that leap, nothing is sacred.

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Fibes
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j.hall

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2005, 08:13:58 am »

there is no hard rule of how to get those sounds.

the first thing you need to consider is that the guys you listed have been doing this for years.....obviously you reference their more recent work, almost implying their older work isn't what you want.......their older work is representative of their skill set and mind set at that time.

experience can not be replaced or simply absorbed.....you have to live through and learn from it as you go, in real time.....

aside from that.  i'd agree with soundreplacer and beat detective.

i think a lot of them are porbably using the sounds they got from that given kit to replace that kit
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TheViking

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2005, 08:44:16 am »

j.hall wrote on Mon, 06 June 2005 08:13



aside from that.  i'd agree with soundreplacer and beat detective.

i think a lot of them are porbably using the sounds they got from that given kit to replace that kit


Exactly...   the problem with sound replacer is that it sounds the worst when you use incredibly amazing sounding samples with it to cover up a not-so-good-to-begin-with original sound.   I've heard guys say 'oh yeah, i replaced all my drums with samples from the bob clearmountain drum sample collection - don't they sound bad-ass?'   That approach always sounds apparently replaced to me and not very good.   It's unrealistic.   You need to take into consideration the sound of the ambiant mics around the set.

If you sample the actual drum you are using for the take and then use that to replace the original, it jives a lot better with what else is going on in your overhead and room mics and overall just makes it easier for people to buy it that it's not really replaced.   It's an illusion of sorts.   The advantage this give the engineer is that the replaced drum tracks (usually kick, snare and tom tracks) are completely isolated from other sources - no hi hat or cymbal bleed.   You can add reverb galore and crush the snot out of them with compression - next thing you know you have that super slick, overproduced and polished drum track I think you're looking for.

The key is still to get killer sounds from a killer source.   If the drum sounds bad to begin with and you sample it and then replace the original with that sound, it's still going to sound bad.

There are probably a bunch of other ways you could go about this concept so I'm not saying this is the best way.   I just know I've approached it this way a lot in some of my past work.   Good luck, Bivouac!

The Viking
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weihfool

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2005, 10:18:26 am »

TheViking wrote on Mon, 06 June 2005 08:44


The key is still to get killer sounds from a killer source.   If the drum sounds bad to begin with and you sample it and then replace the original with that sound, it's still going to sound bad.



I had this demonstrated without a shadow of a doubt over the weekend (not the sampling part, but the source quality part).  

A drummer I've never worked with before brought in a set of Yamaha Recording Customs.  It seemed that no matter where I placed the mic they still sounded GREAT, just different.  A pure joy to work with.  If the drums sound great in the room to begin with, you're already 50% of the way there.
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takeout

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2005, 10:33:18 am »

Close mic everything.  Cymbals too (3:1 rule applies).

Gate everything.  Whether on the way in or during mixdown is a matter of taste.

Compress everything.

"Exploding reverb".
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Bivouac

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2005, 11:45:29 am »

j.hall wrote on Mon, 06 June 2005 06:13

their older work is representative of their skill set and mind set at that time.


First of all, I'm completely aware that these guys are probably in some of the highest demand in the business and their experience gets them work.  I just think that there had to be a philosophy change of sorts along the way...

It sounds like a lot of you guys think sound replacement is the reason...

Consider:

Trombino: Jimmy Eat World's "Static Prevails" to "Clarity" to "Bleed American".  Obviously he learned A Lot between "Static" and "Clarity", but "Bleed American" sounds COMPLETELY different.  All just sound replacement?

Giordano: Samiam's "Clumsy" to the Ataris' "So Long Astoria"

Finn: I guess I really can't think of a good example here.  He's always had that compressed, super powerful sound.  Smoking Popes, Jawbreaker, and Green Day to Alkaline Trio, Blink666, whatever...

Again, I'm not saying this is something I strive for when recording.  I just think I should be able to pull off some something close if necessary.  What would you guys do if you were asked to make the drums sound like that?  Is sound replacer the only answer?
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j.hall

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2005, 12:16:09 pm »

i don't think sound replacer existed when trombino did clarity.

i think that's recording a good solid hitting drummer in a great sounding room using a lot of compression
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Fibes

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2005, 12:38:47 pm »

j.hall wrote on Mon, 06 June 2005 12:16

i don't think sound replacer existed when trombino did clarity.

i think that's recording a good solid hitting drummer in a great sounding room using a lot of compression



J. Not the brand name but it was done plenty in the the eighties and maybe even before then.

Can you say Forat?

Can you say triggers?

One of my first rock gigs was printing kik and snr samples by triggering off the 2" tracking the samples to a locked adat and flying them back to the 2" onto other tracks after offsetting the adat. Yep a royal PITA.

The Forat was a cool piece too, for the time. I think Forats are still getting used on hit records, especially in the UK.


Getting good clean samples (of the kit) that are time aligned can allow you to kick the shit out of them without worrying about bleed, noise or inconsistent velocity; ya' know the stuff reality is made up of.


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Fibes
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j.hall

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2005, 02:51:55 pm »

yeah, i spaced on the trigger thing.....

i just don't think trombino used triggers on clarity, maybe he successfully fooled me, but it just sounds super organic, and with a ton of room in the drum sounds.....but hey, it won't be the first time i've been fooled, and it won't be the last.
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lord

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Re: Let's say I wanted a generic sounding, modern pop drum sound...
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2005, 04:17:25 pm »

Fibes wrote on Mon, 06 June 2005 12:38

Can you say Forat?
Can you say triggers?

One of my first rock gigs was printing kik and snr samples by triggering off the 2" tracking the samples to a locked adat and flying them back to the 2" onto other tracks after offsetting the adat. Yep a royal PITA.

The Forat was a cool piece too, for the time. I think Forats are still getting used on hit records, especially in the UK.



Yea. Forat is some cool old school shit.

That sounds like a nasty job, Fibes. You could also take the drum hits off the sync head, and use a delay before going into the trigger unit. You could then tweak the delay time to line the hits up right. If you didn't have a million DDLs lying around, then you had to bounce the samples back to tape anyway...

At least the stuff getting replaced kind of sounds like drums these days, and not an embarrassing Alesis sample.

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