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Thread: How Do You Make Electronic Drums Sound Better In Your Songs?

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    How Do You Make Electronic Drums Sound Better In Your Songs?

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    I'm currently recording original material with GarageBand. I'm importing mp3 files of Roland V drums done by my drummer. How can I make them sound more real? I figure EQ, tape saturation and possibly compression are the plugins I need. I also have the Scheps Omni Channel plugin by Waves Audio installed in GarageBand, which may be of great use to me for these electronic drum parts.

    I've done some initial playing around with EQ but still feel the V drums are too thin and brittle/bright sounding. Any help here is most appreciated!

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    Don't suppose he could give you MIDI files so you could try the different kits that come with the GB "drummers", huh?

    Are the MP3s for different drums, or the entire kit? There are ways to trigger off the transients to drive other drum samples, typically for kick and snare, but you'd have to duplicate the track and do some filtering if it's an entire kit, probably with mixed results.

    Real drum recording folks here should have lots of suggestions.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    The mp3 files are for the entire kit. No effects or reverb, just dry. I don't want to get into MIDI either.

    His performances are great. I just want to know any EQ/compression/saturation/stereo imaging tips to make the drums sound fuller and more realistic.

    Ideally, we would go to a proper studio and record his acoustic kit. But right now time and money are issue. Him emailing me mp3 files is the best method for us at the moment.

    Here's a link to a demo with the Roland v drums:

    soundcloud.com/josh-gordon-74/minor-adjustment-demo

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    Reverb will be your friend. I would start with two reverbs.

    First a room reverb, so simulate the room the drummer is playing in.

    Then a reverb for effect.

    Then compression.

    You have two main problems.
    1. you are using mp3 instead of wav. This means that the more you process the sound with EQ, the more the quality will suffer and possibly fall apart.

    2. You have the entire kit on one track, so if you try to brighten the snare with EQ, you also brighten the cymbals and everything else...
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Replace or enhance. Steven Slate Trigger...
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    +1 for reverb. If you can convert to wav first that would be better but still tough especially with a single(I assume stereo)file instead of multiple tracks. A good reverb and some parallel processing is about all you can do with what you have.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2018 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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    The only things I tend to do to the kit after it's already down to a single stereo track or file is a transient controller on the drum bus and supplementing it with other stuff: drop some extra crash samples where it really needs emphasis; shakers/claps/hand percussion; that kind of thing.

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