Saturday, September 18, 2010

Making a Kit - Pt. 2: Getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

     Ok, to summarize part 1, I'm making a sampled drum kit from some live drum samples I recorded a few weeks ago. Each drum was hit 3 times at different velocities (really soft 3 times, soft 3 times, harder 3 times, etc), so there are lots of files to deal with. And not only that, but I'm not just using the spot mic on each drum, I'm using ALL the mics for each drum. I want the bleed.

     Alright, I finally finished all the editing. I had to open up the Pro Tools session and cut up all this shit. I split the regions at each drum hit. I did it all manually. Strip Silence wasn't accurate enough for this in some places, so I figured I'd just do it all manually. It sucked ass, but if I had used Strip Silence, I would have had to go back and check each hit, and probably do some minor tweaks to a lot of them anyways.

     If you ever do this, just make sure the drum tracks are grouped. I probably would have just killed myself if grouping didn't exist. Shit would have taken days.

     Then I had to do some edits to some of the hits. There were minor problems, and I wanted to keep the samples, so I just edited them instead of trashing them.
     So once each the samples were edited and faded right, I needed to convert them to new files. To do this I just consolidated each region. The key command is Shift-Option-3, but you can get to it through the edit menu.


     So when you consolidate, a new file is created. But that caused a problem, because I already had a lot of files in my Audio Files folder (remember this was at the end of a song, in the same session... I don't know why I didn't make a new one), so trying to sort through all that shit would have sucked really bad. To avoid this, I went to the Disk Allocation window and changed all the drum tracks to a new location. This didn't move where the preexisting files were located, but it did direct the new files to a new folder. So I did this before I consolidated the regions.

     So after a few hours of editing, I finally had all my samples. Now I just had to organize them. I left them all in the same Audio Files folder so that they would automatically be renamed (Kick_09.01, Kick_09.02, Kick_09.03, and so on). Since I had a sample from every mic for every hit, I had files labeled as "Kick_09.27" and "Hi Tom_09.27" for a hi hat... so yeah, that could have gotten pretty confusing. As I consolidated regions, I kept track with all the file names in a text document.

     I ended up with 819 samples. I can't imagine how shitty it's gonna be trying to load in and arrange all this shit in a sampler. It's not going to be fun, and it's probably going take take almost a whole day.

EDIT: I forgot to include this. I wanted to give an example of how a tom sounds with all the other mics open. So here's a video of a tom playing with all the mics, then just the single spot mic, and then all the mics again.

     It sounds so much bigger with all the other mics. It's mainly the overheads and room mics that make it sound bigger, but the other mics help too.


  1. That seems like a lot of work, must be worth it all in the end I guess.

  2. Oh fuck that looks really complicated. I wish I could pour so much effort into something like this :v

  3. nice man.
    btw what do you think of ableton and FL Studios?

  4. thanks for the tutorial i think i get it now

  5. man that is some complex stuff lol

  6. @ihazasad: I don't really like FL Studios. It's too limited, it's ass-backwards in some aspects, and there aren't enough benefits to make up for the limitation.

    I really love Ableton. It's pretty amazing. You can get really deep with it. I don't really like any of the software instruments packaged with it, so I hardly use those, but other than that, it's fuckin golden.