Reply To: ABIS – Q&A
hey, question on layering drums. do you layer your drums often, or not? I have a very difficult time getting my snare and kick right.
when you layer drum samples. do you make layers in the same way you would a bass sound. and then send those layers to a bus for compression and saturation?
With kicks and snares, I try and avoid layering samples, but it does depend on a number of things. Let’s take a kick for example. It’s not super difficult to make a synthetic kick with a saturated sine wave (which I cover in my videos) but this type of application doesn’t fit with every tune. Sometimes a tune will call for a something more acoustic sounding/real life. You can try and replicate this by adding a really short reverb (with post mid/side eq and maybe some saturation), to replicate a room recording, and add flaming type of noise layer over the top, to give the impression of a drum skin rattling, but it’s not always successful. A better technique would be to take a sampled kick drum which isn’t too over processed, like something from superior drummer or a sampled funk break, and then positively phase align a synthetic kick under/over it. It’s a bit tricky sometimes to get the phase aligning correctly, but it makes such a difference. Understanding phase will help any producer immensely in almost every field of producing. Spending a few hours reading up and watching some videos will save you alot of time in the long run, for example you can check this video” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYPu96ItmaM
With snares, it’s almost the same story, but with snare tails that don’t have a fundamental frequency, I layer at free will to try and create an interesting top layer. I’ll always fade in the sample to give room for my transient (like 30ms for example), but apart from that I just analyze what I think it needs and try and achive that. Snare top layers can really come from anything, like strange foley sounds or just processed white noise. Just remember tho that when trying to replicate a snare, you are doing just that, so deconstruct how a real-life snare is hit, recorded and processed, then try and replicate that.
With hats, I don’t really pay that much attention and can end up layering a few samples. Things can become quite distorted in the hi end when you go to over the top tho, so I just try and complement the tune with whatever it needs.