digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
bouzoukijoe1
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:10 pm

digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:16 pm

question for drum machine experts -

I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on sample based drum sounds vs. analog drum sounds. has anyone noticed that it takes more EQ or processing to get sampled drum sounds to mix well vs. analog drums? some sounds feel like they are too separate maybe because of short decay or maybe too much brightness, compared to analog sounds. is it just me? have you had problems with specific drum machines in the past? (of course if you do hip hop or glitch where the clipped sounds are part of the style, that doesn't count). I'm not talking necessarily about how realistic or how good the drum sounds sound, but just the mixing challenges of sampled sounds vs. analog. any opinions?

User avatar
Sir Ruff
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:55 pm
Gear: Two persimmon modulators and a frequency adjudicator.
Band: Ruff in the jungle
Location: Philadelphia

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by Sir Ruff » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:46 pm

If a sample is made from a real drum (i.e. one that is mic'ed) how could this be any different from a drum you record yourself? It sounds like you just aren't using good "live" drum samples. Maybe you are mistaking dry drum samples with no ambience for "digital".

If you are talking about the difference between a vintage drum machine and a live drum sound, then obviously that is a whole different issue.

EDIT: and this is probably a post for either the "Sampling" or "Production" threads.
Do you even post on vse bro?

User avatar
bouzoukijoe1
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:18 pm

moderator: feel free to move to production.

it's not necessarily a how-to question about production though, more about specific drum machines. kind of a general question regarding how clean or bright or clipped packaged drum samples might be. I'm not recording my own samples. for some reason most of the analog drums I've used need less EQ/processing or maybe it's just my imagination. I just recently got my hands on a Korg EMX-1 and noticed that the sounds seem to stand out too much. and I don't really know if the 808/909 sounds they come with are samples or created internally with the sound engine. I do use reverb regardless, to make it sit better but additional EQ seems to be needed on this EMX-1. sticking out way too much.

User avatar
balma
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2851
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:52 pm
Real name: Mauricio
Gear: DSI Tempest/Prophet 08/Roland V-Synth/Ensoniq Fizmo/E-mu MP7-XL7/Electribe ESX1/Radias/Waldorf MicroQ
Location: Costa Rica

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by balma » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:37 pm

bouzoukijoe1 wrote:it's not necessarily a how-to question about production though, more about specific drum machines. kind of a general question regarding how clean or bright or clipped packaged drum samples might be.
Matter of taste.
I work a lot with sampling/resampling/experimentation processes. After several trial/error experiences, now I prefer to use bright, high resolution/cutoff samples. Why? You can decrease the bright of the samples using filters. But if I sampled a sound that is too dark or muddy, I won´t be able to develope it on higher frequencies.
His sex dungeons are rumored to hold hundreds of people in secret locations around the world.
https://soundcloud.com/balma

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5941
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Logic Pro X

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:04 pm

The EMX drums are samples.

So you're talking about mixing analog synthetic drums vs. digital ones? I don't think there is any difference at all. Just my opinion.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

User avatar
bouzoukijoe1
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:23 pm

I see. maybe I'll just look into getting a good EQ or something if there's no difference with samples from different drum machines (Alesis, Roland, etc.). or try a different drum machine. I was using MFB drums for a while, which sounded great, but switching things up and looking for a better one that can let me manipulate the pitch and decay a little bit more and get more variety but I was running into limitations with the EMX-1. the pitch control was sort of ok, but the envelope control wasn't feeling right. maybe I will just save up for a Machinedrum since those are completely programmable?

User avatar
Zamise
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2353
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:41 am
Gear: Rollhand P00
Band: Quantum-Source
Location: DenverMetroUSA, Quantum-Source.com
Contact:

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by Zamise » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:22 am

I think it is a matter of individual machines too, not really Analog vrs Digital. Sampled drum kits are usually very dry in their default state tho, which makes sense, so you can tweak them out or leave them alone. Left alone they usually do sound like poo. If you are getting short decay rates, sometimes you can increase the decay and you might find that certain things like crashes will extend out further on some machines. I know they do on my RS as I think it is set to be an attack looped sample. I find shortening the decay at least for kicks and snares seem to actually make those sound more synthetic analogish imho. For acoustic or real drums, yeah prob keep a longer decay.
Last edited by Zamise on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
<ZQS> [....<OII>.....soundcloud player v2.42.....................link]

User avatar
balma
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2851
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:52 pm
Real name: Mauricio
Gear: DSI Tempest/Prophet 08/Roland V-Synth/Ensoniq Fizmo/E-mu MP7-XL7/Electribe ESX1/Radias/Waldorf MicroQ
Location: Costa Rica

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by balma » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:36 am

The PCM sounds of the EMX are selected under a "standard" sounds criteria. They try to represent a limited spectrum of "dance sounds"... ten years ago.. ;).

What kind of analog drum sounds are we talking about? There are so many...

Or maybe still not understanding your inquiry. I have used all the Electribe models during the last 10 years.

The EMX is a fun machine, and the amount of sounds you can create with the oscillator is impressive. But I did not use the pcm sounds too much when using the EMX along with other synths. But they are pretty decent samples in my opinion, despite they could sound a little bit dated.
His sex dungeons are rumored to hold hundreds of people in secret locations around the world.
https://soundcloud.com/balma

User avatar
bouzoukijoe1
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 234
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:40 am

cool, thanks for the ideas. so far my main challenge is just getting the kicks to flow better. for some reason I'm having trouble getting it to sound settled in. it sounds like it's almost off beat and not part of the mix because it stands out so much, especially around the release which sounds almost abrupt. I only have a mixer to EQ with, so the only way I can get it to sit is by throwing some haze with reverb then darkening it a whole lot with EQ to make it recede, but then it gets kind of muddy. I wonder whether I might have to find a way to gate it or something so I can smooth out the edge a little. not really sure. I'm a engineering noob. all I know is EQ. :cry: the samples by themselves sound amazing though.

User avatar
Zamise
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2353
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:41 am
Gear: Rollhand P00
Band: Quantum-Source
Location: DenverMetroUSA, Quantum-Source.com
Contact:

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by Zamise » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:05 am

I'm not an electribe expert, the ones I have and had always sounded pretty good I thought, but yeah I'd agree their drum pallets are pretty limited which gets old sounding pretty quick, I wonder if maybe trying something else that has more expansive drum kits with a deeper synth engine on top of that would do more wonders for you. When you say the release is the problem with the kick not falling off smoothly is a bit weird to me, release don't usually do much for me with kicks, they are one hit samples so once they get to the end it is done making the sound even if the note/hit continues, it is the decay I'm thinking you may be after for drums, it acts more like a gate then sustain or release on kicks, at least it does for me on my RS, not sure if the electribe work the same way tho.
<ZQS> [....<OII>.....soundcloud player v2.42.....................link]

cryabetes
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:07 am
Real name: Sam
Gear: Electribe Army: EA-1mkII, ER-1mkII, EM-1, ESX-1
Band: Cody P & Sammy B
Contact:

Re: digital vs. analog drums regarding mixing

Post by cryabetes » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:43 pm

You could use the ramp gate for the kicks, rather than the abrupt square gate. I've had similar issues on my ESX1.

Another option you could do with the EMX1 is use the modulation control on the triggered setting assigned to the amplitude. Basically gets you a second volume envelope so you can have a bit more control.

I don't know why they didn't allow each of the drum bits on the EMX1 to have a filter like they did on the ESX1 though; There's really not much more helpful for getting things to sit right in a mix than filters all over the place.

Post Reply