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Thread: Layering Your Drums for a fat large sound!

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    cotec's Avatar
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    Layering Your Drums for a fat large sound!

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    I got a lot of responses from my article on drum processing. A lot of people here asking about Layering drums, so I have written this article on with more details.

    To add a big sound to your drums or a larger then life sound a great technique to know is layering. By adding 2 or more layers to create your kick you can add more thump and so on.




    Kicks
    To get a solid kick I like to have 2 or more samples. I find a good sub bass, can be an 808 or other, and have that eq'ed for just the lo end. Then I find a good kick with an attack and have that on top. I like adding more than 2 so that I can obtain a sound that doesn't come off as digitally created. By dialing in these samples you will then have a uique and powerful kick.



    Snares/Claps
    Most the time I do roughly the same thing with my snares. Start with a sound you like, like a clap, and layer it with a snare hit or rim shot. That will give it more punch. You can also layer it with natural sounds for more of an Eskmo sound. I generly have 2-3 layers of sounds and then adjust there velocity, volume, over the course of the song to make it modulate and sound like it is changing. Also adding a good convolution reverb will go a long way.

    Hats
    You should use at least 2 per each sequence of hats, otherwise you get this empty/mono/solo kinda sound. Layer your hats! A slight bit of reverb and/or delay will go a long way as well. With hats you can layer fun sounds as well like glass breaking, a glitch sound, or other fun abnormal sounds for electronic music. Keep in mind the hats are in the high end and don't go to much in the mids.

    Some Basic Techniques for Layering
    Here are some quick tips and tricks to keep in mind with layering:

    • Pitch up and down the same sample. For example take sample one and pitch it down, then take the same sample in another channel and pitch it up. Try this with already layered samples, by exporting your multi layered samples then reimporting.
    • Create Stereo Width - Simply pan the different samples across the sound stage. This gives a real feeling of width with minimal effort. Another route is to duplicate a sound and pan the two new versions hard left and right. Any difference in treatment to these sounds will now create a widened stereo image. A really simply way to create this widening effect without colouring the sound is to introduce a small amount of delay to one side. Even a few milliseconds can make a difference here.
    • EQing is a big key.Know where each sample is mainly taking up in frequencies and layer sounds that use up different frequency ranges and eq them together.


    Once you do this to your drums it is important you do a final drum processing to make them all glued together. Check out the article on Drum Processing for more information.

    Hope this helps and gives you some ideas to play with. I have more articles and jazz at my website.

    Thanks,
    and like this.

  2. #2
    capslap is offline Registered User
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    umm i didnt even know u can layer drums

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    ObiK's Avatar
    ObiK is online now IK Multimedia
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    Good article on layering! Its great for getting your own sounds too!

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    JMFLYproductions's Avatar
    JMFLYproductions is offline Registered User
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    de cent post brah good look

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    mrpickle is offline I got tigers blood!
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    Nice post, I'll be sure to try this in my next trance song. I do layer my pads and leads, but it never occurred to me to do this to my drums. Nice man
    New Song Progress: ||||||||||

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    astroidmist is offline Registered User
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    If you use a VSTi like Poise you can layer and tweak envelopes and pitches right in the VSTi and assign them to pads or keys. It's really easy and the VSTi has multiple outputs so you can mix the results professionally in your DAW.

    YouTube - ‪Poise is the BEST mpc style drum sampling software available‬‏
    One Small Clue :: Poise
    Last edited by astroidmist; 06-24-2011 at 03:29 PM.

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    raincity206 is offline Registered User
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    Layering is the road to rawness and bassyness..it really is the only way in my production experience..processing one sample can only get you so much

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    insidecentre is offline Registered User
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    good lookin out

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    thawedoutproductions is offline Registered User
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    Great post... Lots of great tips. Especially liked this one - "I generly have 2-3 layers of sounds and then adjust there velocity, volume, over the course of the song to make it modulate and sound like it is changing.."

    Great advice for using automation..

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    lp026713389 is offline Registered User
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    Thank you!

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