Knowing Your Effects in Addictive Drums Part 2 (SONAR X3 Producer)

Quick Review

In the first part of this article we went through some of the primary effects every user should be aware of inside of Addictive Drums. To review, these effects were the Sampler, Pitch, Volume, and Snare sections of the EDIT section. Read Knowing Your Effects in Addictive Drums Part 1.

As I’ve stated in Part 1, Addictive Drums is a power-house when it comes to the amount of mixing options that are available within it’s mixing engine. Don’t let the small interface deceive you.

What is Compression?

Compression is a tool that has two main uses – controlling levels, and dynamically shaping the volume of a signal over time. Within Addictive Drums there is a compression section that outlines four basic parameters for compression: Threshold, Attack, Release, and Ratio.

Threshold

This parameter is the first part of the compressor that the signal hits Continue reading Knowing Your Effects in Addictive Drums Part 2 (SONAR X3 Producer)

Knowing Your Effects in Addictive Drums Part 1 (SONAR X3 Producer)

Intro

XLN Audio has mastered the art of sampling with their flagship program Addictive Drums. Not only have they been able to capture three incredible kits (standard in full version), but they allow the user complete control over the samples with an in depth effects engine. At first listen the provided presets speak for themselves, but as a power user you should not rely on the presets to define your sound. Let’s take a look at how much control you, as the user, have over the Snare drum and how that can benefit you.

First off, where does a great Snare sound come from?

The answer is easy, it comes from a great snare drum. A drum that is in tune, has a good balance of midrange and high-end, and is properly in phase with the rest of the drum set will always produce good results. A “great” snare sound can be subjective in the music world because many people have their own ideals and opinions about styles. The tactics and techniques used for capturing that snare drum is where the “magic happens” so to speak. XLN Audio provides three solid drum sets with three different kinds of Snare Drums.

Control, Control, Control!

Open up Addictive Drums, solo the Snare, and drop in a simple set of 4 hits and set them to loop mode. Like so:

Let’s take a look at the different options you have within Addictive Drums for creating a great Continue reading Knowing Your Effects in Addictive Drums Part 1 (SONAR X3 Producer)

The Case For Getting Your Drum Sounds With Overheads First

What’s the reasoning?

Why should you get sounds with the Overhead microphones first? Well, think about the perspective of a drum set at shows, in practice spaces, at clinics, and in store demos. A drum set is perceived at a distance, so why shouldn’t that be the first thing you check when you are finding the sound of your drum set? You don’t place a microphone on every single individual person in a choir, but rather you find the right balance with suspended microphones at great distances. Afterwards you place spot microphones to enhance one section or another, but it’s the overall sound that you are attempting to capture. The same logic should apply to a drum set when finding the right tone of your drum set. Continue reading The Case For Getting Your Drum Sounds With Overheads First

7 Pre-Production Tips for Drum Recording

To kick off Drum Month at Cakewalk we’ve decided to include some tips about the types of pre-production topics that can come up before you enter the studio with a drummer. These tips can apply to drummers, guitarists, producers, and engineers alike.

1. Can the drummer play to a click?

This is something to consider when a band or group approaches you for a recording. Depending on the budget, you will either spend a lot of time in the studio, or a lot of time editing drums. Spending time in the studio is much easier than spending hours and hours behind an editor. Don’t be afraid to sit in on rehearsals and even record them to get an understanding of timing and how proficient the drummer is. Here are some solutions for drummers who have a hard time playing to just a click:

  • Have someone else in the group play along with the drummer
  • Use song demos as guide tracks
  • Record in shorter sections, instead of longer sections
  • Try different percussion as click tones. (Cowbell, woodblock)

The reality is that if a group wants to record themselves, then they need to have their songs ready for the studio. This brings us to number two.

Continue reading 7 Pre-Production Tips for Drum Recording

21 Reasons to Check Out Addictive Drums ADPaks

Listen to some of these incredibly recorded ADPacks that are now available on the Cakewalk Store.

Vintage Dry

1. Late 70’s

2. Clean Shave

Session Percussion

3. Gentle Crush Continue reading 21 Reasons to Check Out Addictive Drums ADPaks

Feature Spotlight: XLN Audio Addictive Drums in SONAR X3 Producer

Addictive Drums

SONAR X3 Producer now includes XLN Audio’s critically-acclaimed Addictive Drums. Some customers have have asked whether this is a cut down version of Addictive Drums and are shocked to hear that this is in fact the full version (retail price $149). We often hear from customers that one of the most difficult aspects of recording is getting great drums sounds. These problems are now a thing of the past thanks to Addictive Drums – now included in the SONAR X3 Producer upgrade.

Addictive Drums is one of the most powerful and popular drum programs in the world and can be heard on countless hit songs and albums. The unique architecture, fast loading times and flexibility makes it the first choice for many musicians and music producers. Three pristine drum kits, 100+ producer presets and thousands of MIDI rhythms are included. Load a complete drum kit with mixer settings and insert effects – with one click!

Learn more about Addictive Drums in SONAR X3 Producer

Tip: Setting up your Addictive Drums
Addictive Drums is the brand new drum synth available in SONAR X3 Producer. The sounds, fast load times, internal mixing, and abundant groove clips makes this possibly the only drum synth you’ll need to use from now on. There are a couple ways to insert this new synth into SONAR X3 Producer. The first way is to insert Addictive Drums as a simple instrument track.

Learn how to setup Addictive Drums

Tip: Drum replacement with ARA and Addictive Drums
Within SONAR X3 converting Audio to MIDI has never been easier thanks to our deep ARA integration. This opens up many doorways for users to convert their mono audio tracks to MIDI. One great use case for this is replacing drums or adding samples to your drum tracks to enhance their sound.

Learn how to replace drums with ARA integration and Addictive Drums

XLN Audio

Now available on the Cakewalk Store, choose from nine unique Addictive Drums ADpaks from XLN Audio starting at $49. Each ADpak includes a variety of real kit pieces meticulously recorded from real drum sets with iconic sound. Plus dozens of mix ready Producer presets and MIDI patterns to add to Addictive Drums (included with SONAR X3 Producer).

Shop now

SONAR X3 Quicktip: Drum Replacement with ARA Integration and Addictive Drums (Producer)

Within SONAR X3 converting Audio to MIDI has never been easier thanks to our deep ARA integration. This opens up many doorways for users to convert their mono audio tracks to MIDI. One great use case for this is replacing drums or adding samples to your drum tracks to enhance their sound.

Within SONAR open up your Kick and Snare tracks.

Add a MIDI track below each audio track that you wish to replace.

Add our new Logical Gate/Expander to both the Kick and Snare and adjust the effect so that instruments are heavily gated and sound like the following:

After this, Freeze both tracks.  This is going to render the Kick and Snare tracks with the gates embedded in the audio tracks.

Next, latency.  Let’s drop the latency to the lowest settings. Go to Edit > Preferences > Driver Settings and set your latency low. This will help with timing.

  • If you are using MME (32bit) set your latency closer to [Safe].
  • If you are using ASIO then select [ASIO Panel] and set your buffer size very low.

Drag and drop your kick and snare tracks to their associated MIDI track. Conversion will occur.

Next up, open the PRV and move your MIDI Clips to the drum you wish to use. You can highlight the entire row of MIDI clips by selecting their associated piano key and transpose them easily by going to Process > Transpose.

Once this is done insert Addictive Drums. Make sure to have the following ticked after selecting Insert > Soft Synth > Addictive Drums:

  • First Synth Audio Output
  • Synth Property Page
  • Recall Assignable Controls
  • Ask This Everytime

Mute the Room and OH microphones within Addictive Drums.  This reduces any additional ambiance.

Workflow Tip: It’s good practice to do this type of replacement section by section at first so that you can get an idea of how it works.

Mix these drums in behind your current mix.

Learn more about ARA Integration, Addictive Drums, and SONAR X3 Producer here.

SONAR X3 Quicktip: Focus the Low end of your Kick and Snare with a Program EQ

Program Equalizers have been around since the 1950’s and in SONAR X3 Studio and Producer users will receive two of these incredibly emulated modules.

Let’s take a look at what the new Program Equalizer EQP-2B can do for our kick drum. You’ll notice that we have the ability to both boost and cut the same frequencies on this EQ. Choose a low frequency from the variable adjustment and then begin increasing the Boost parameter.  Increase it all the way and your kick drum signal will become quite overpowering. Adjust the Attenuate knob and the signal will begin to smooth out and focus your signal a bit better.

For this country kick drum I picked 80Hz for the low end and boosted the signal to it’s ceiling.  Next, I adjusted the Attenuate knob to it’s lowest setting. This effectively sharpens out the boosted signals and gives the signal a unique focus in the lower spectrum. After that, I adjusted for clarity and the end result is very useable.

Moving to the snare, user’s can get the same effect using the PEQ5B.  This has some of the same algorithms as the EQP-2B but with an added EQ section in the bottom of the plugin. At first listen the Snare sounds a bit boxy and grainy in the low and mid-range.

I applied a sharp reduction around 50HZ with the Low Shelving EQ and then another sharp cut around 800Hz.  This seemed to make all the difference. Afterwards, I moved to the upper half of this EQ and applied the same thinking that I did to the Kick but instead I focused the EQ to around 122HZ.  This will allow the snare to get out of the way of the Kick.  Next, boosting and then attenuating the signal seemed to focus the shape of the Snare right where I needed it.

Learn more about these plugins and SONAR X3 here.

SONAR X3 Quicktip: Setting Up Your Addictive Drums

Addictive Drums is the brand new drum synth available in SONAR X3 Producer. The sounds, fast load times, internal mixing, and abundant groove clips makes this possibly the only drum synth you’ll need to use from now on.
There are a couple ways to insert this new synth into SONAR X3 Producer. The first way is to insert Addictive Drums as a simple instrument track.

  • Within SONAR X3 Producer go to the Media Browser and select the “Synth Tab”
  • Click the + button and go to VST 2 and/or Addictive Drums


How to make your Kick and Snare sound more aggressive using compression

Compression can be used in many different formats but one of the most useful methods is for adding an aggressive sound to your Kick and Snare. A typical compressor’s settings involve Threshold, Attack, Ratio, and Release.

  • Threshold is a setting in decibels. Once it senses that audio surpasses the set decibel level it activates the compressor.

  • Attack is a measurement in milliseconds for how fast the compressor should begin compressing audio that exceeds the set threshold.

  • Ratio is the amount of gain reduction applied to the compressed signal.

  • Release tells the compressor how fast to stop compressing the signal once the threshold is no longer exceeded.

 

By setting the Attack and Release times relatively fast it allows for each drum’s initial hit to sound and then afterwards reduce the audio transient in gain. From our ears’ perspective, each hit sounds more aggressive.

Pictured above: The ProChannel in SONAR X2 Producer.  Try it free!