What's the point of drum software in a pro studio?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by EncoreBlade, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. EncoreBlade

    EncoreBlade Member

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    What's the point of software like Addictive Drums or Superior Drummer in a pro setting? I thought if you've got a studio, you should have a nice room to record actual acoustic drums in, so what's the point of this kind of software?

    I'm asking because I'm thinking about buying an E Drum set and a software like this. Would that give me professional style drum/percussion recordings?
     
  2. JamonGrande

    JamonGrande Supporting Member

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    A few reasons I could think for various points of the recording process, but not necessarily always used:

    Creating scratch tracks and trying out drum track ideas without needing to bring a drummer in for the song writing and arranging process.

    Creating drum and percussion loops in addition to live recorded drums to add depth to a rhythm track. Most pop tunes feature a combo of both.

    Creating drum tracks that would be nearly impossible for a wide majority of drummers to play (e.g. electronica, EDM, drum and bass, etc). Not many can pull of an Aphex Twin drum track on a live kit.

    Replacing some or all of the recorded sounds of a live drum track due to bad drumming (including bad tone). Using triggers, a live drum track can be transformed into an electronic track. This can be a faster and cheaper fix for a bad drum take than punching in, rerecording, or bringing in another drummer.

    Joe
     
  3. OilsFan

    OilsFan Supporting Member

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    They stay up late replacing you by triggering samples from your take then the next morning they say, "See how awesome you sound with a little comp and EQ"
     
  4. whitepapagold

    whitepapagold Member

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    Budget.

    Its cheaper to drop in some drum program tracks than write charts and pay a drummer.

    Its also faster and easier when making scratch tracks or sketches.

    The last 2 hour show I did didn't have the budget for a real drummer... 2 hours of music gets freaking expensive.

    And its a real studio- we just turned down Blink 182 because we are too busy.
     
  5. billfoma

    billfoma Member

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    Gee, I don't know? Maybe because I don't play drums? Possibly because I hate dealing with drummers? Because I want to be able to work all hours of the day or night without waking anyone up? It's much easier to deal with in the mixing stage?

    Enough points for you? Oh, I see where you said a "pro setting". Yeah, I have my stuff set up in my bedroom.
     
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  6. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    Some studios will capture the drummer's performance with triggers in addition to the mic'd drums and have the MIDI performance to fall back on... Some of the latest soft drums with captured performances can sound amazing...
     
  7. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    Several reasons

    1) Creative drum layering/sample reinforcement. Sure the recorded Kick or snare drum might sound good but it might sound better with a layer or 2 of sampled drums mixed in. Or you may want an unnatural or exaggerated sound created by layering acoustic drums and electric drum samples.

    2)Reverb triggering for snares. Unlike toms it can be difficult or undesirable to fully gate the snare which tends to have alot of bleed from everything especially the hi-hat. You probably don't want that cymbal wash going to a reverb so you mult the snare and use the duplicate to trigger a snare sample then use the sample to send to your reverb.

    3) Even if YOU have access to a great drum room for recording, lots of other folks don't. So if you are mixing other peoples tracks you are invariably going to run into poorly tuned, poorly played, poorly recorded drums slathered in poor room tone. You are now in salvage mode and sample reinforcement or replacement (last resort) is now your best friend.
     
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  8. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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    'cause drum software doesn't drink your beer, or show up late.
     
  9. Veritas

    Veritas Silver Supporting Member

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    It's just like anything else, it's another tool for a studio's tool box. I might have 3 delay pedals, but I only have one on my pedalboard. There might be a specific sound I need for a song in the studio, so I pull out that extra delay pedal. It's the same concept.

    There are a lot of things you can do with a drum program in the studio environment. They might not use that program all the time, but it's good to have it whenever the need or inspiration arrises.

    Most studios have some sort of guitar software as well, such as Guitar Rig, etc. Again, same concept applies.

    If you are doing demos, it can certainly help you suss out your ideas and make those demos sound pretty good. If you learn how to really dial in those drum sounds, then it'll get better and better.
     
  10. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Senior Member

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    You don't have to pay a drummer.
     
  11. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    I also think it depends upon the kind of music you're producing/making. If you're doing House Music, then drum software rules. If you're tracking a rock band, it's probably better to use the live tracks and trigger an additional software drum and mix to taste.
     
  12. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    Yes!! Cause drummers are ***holes!!!
     
  13. T92780

    T92780 Silver Supporting Member

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    A little off topic, but when Copyrighting an original song you wrote, played all instruments on recording, etc... "Except", you used drum tracks in Logic Pro X, does that change the copyright process or form you use on .gov website?
     
  14. JamonGrande

    JamonGrande Supporting Member

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    Not necessarily, as most of these products come with a royalty-free license allowing for their use in the purchaser's composition. However, I just noticed on one product that their license doesn't include television or film soundtracks (an interesting exception), so read the fine print on your product.

    Joe
     
  15. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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    hey now!
    I didn't say that!!!
    and, actually, I'd rather have a real drummer to play on tracks;
    there's still stuff they can throw in that I can't program.
    but the robo-Drummer is just so convenient!
     
  16. Unnecessary

    Unnecessary Member

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    sample replacement, salvaging poorly-recorded tracks..... or tracking modern metal bands, lol. I don't think most metal/djent/hardcore bands' drummers even come to the studio anymore. I did a recording sessions for a friends band last year where the intention was to replace the kick/shells in Superior Drummer and keep the cymbals. Unfortunately, we were tracking 5 songs in about 2 hours in a rehearsal space, so we didn't have much time for room treatment or figuring **** out and the drummer was using one of the "clicker" pads on the beater side of his kick. Dude was a super-heavy kicker and we ended up with tracks where the "click" of the kick was louder than the cymbals in the overheads, so I ended up going through measure by measure and hand-programming everything into Superior Drummer to be able to tighten up fills and kick parts without phasing/echo issues. I spent hours and hours hand-adjusting velocity, visually lining up fills to maintain the feel dude was playing with, and very little quantization. Without SD I would have had to either A- try to re-record him and charge them for even more recording time (I told them about the possible issues of the schedule/room when we started) or B- hand edit the whole kit to the kick, because of how loud the click was in the overheads to avoid phasing/echo. Which would have taken me about twice as long as it did to "program" the parts into SD. It worked really well until the guy mixing it sent the MIDI file through his SD kit, maximized every velocity, and snapped everything to the grid.

    If you're using the software correctly, you'll be the only one who knows you didn't hire a drummer.
     
  17. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    No matter how great your studio, dealing with drummers is more often a pain in the neck than any other musician. There are so few really great ones.

    Most of the ones I've dealt with in bands over the years, even the good ones, end up having to have TONS of stuff "fixed". Easier to just not have them unless you have one with the kind of character that makes the band better just because he's there.

    I've played with one or two of them that good in my life. The rest... I wouldn't record with.
     
  18. Belmont

    Belmont Member

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    yeah but software doesn't have a girlfriend you can sleep with.
     
  19. NorCal_Val

    NorCal_Val Member

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    Bravo!!
    Well played good sir!!
    :bow
     
  20. minerman

    minerman Member

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    Great post man, in my very limited experience mixing other people's tracks, I mixed a 5 song EP a few years ago, & the drum software really made that band sound pretty good, if I do say so myself...I know the band didn't have much $$$ for mics, pre's & such, so I talked it over with them (the drummer was really, really reluctant to say the least), & finally got them to try it (great bunch of folks...never met 'em in my life, they live in Colorado, & I live in VA...we did the whole thing via Dropbox, e-mail, & cellphone)...I did keep the oh & hh track (programming the hi-hat would've been tedious to say the least), but completely replaced the shells, & it turned out pretty decent...
     

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