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AuthorTopic: Drum sample VSTi`s and machine gunning
e-drummer
Posted: 26th February 2002 14:10
Hi All.
Ive been a lurker for some time so thanks for the wealth of info so far.
I`m in market for a Drum samplle VSTi purely for the purpose of playing in real time from a Midi Drum Kit.
I can live with my 12ms latency until the RME Multiface and cardbus is available in the UK.

Ive actually orded the LM4 (yes the 1st one)
as its so cheap that the cost plus upgrade to mkII is REAL cheap. This will allow me to do some of my own experiments.
I just wanted to tap into the wealth of knowledge that users here have regarding VSTi`s.

My first question is regarding the "Machine Gunning" effect that was so obvious in the early electronic drum kits.
From reviews ,adverts and other sources the opinion seems to be that,by making each "Pad" of a VSTi polyphonic the problem no longer exists.

Would users here agree with that or does the actual coding of the VSTi play a part in the "authenticity" of the sound?

Obviously having velocity switched samples plays a part in the authenticity of the dynamics but a sustained roll by a drummer would more than likely be consistent enough in velocity to mean that one sample of the layer is likely to be used.

I am ,at the moment ,of the opinion that I dont really need all the sample editing facilities offered by some of the VSTi`s as I am only interested in recreating Acoustic sounding drums (nothing against electro sounds ,but its not what i`m into).
I plan to use the supplied velocity layered kits which should have all the velocity related timbre changes of real acoustic drums and also eventually record my own multisampled kits.

Would you guys agree that as the acoustic timbres are already in the samples ,editability (ala Battery`s Velocity controlled envelopes etc) ,would not really advance the authenticity of the sound played in realtime?

Another big drawback of electronic kits has always been the Hihat and the lack of more than one open hihat sound.
While my V-Drum kit goes some way improving this its still a bit limited.
Is their any way , using any of the available drum VSTi`s that the layers of a pad can be altered by not only velocity but also by a midi controller (in my case CC4 ala V-drum hihat pedal).
Or if not using just one pad then multiple pads or even another instance of the VSTi used only for hihat?
To clarify this a bit further ,8 pads all with velocity layered sounds of the different amounts of "Open" hi hat ,with the deciding factor as to which pad is used being CC4 (Hihat pedal).

Just one more quickie regarding the LM4 MKII.
I know the user interface has been upgraded and its easier to create your own kits (I have no problem with using the editors I found in the KVR news pages),but are there any audible differences disreagarding the MKII supplied kits?
It also seems that there are only 20 possible velocity layers ,which is probably more than enough for acoustic drum use but I was under the impression the MKI has 128.
You may have guessed I am leaning towards the LM VSTi`s and any advice relevant to realtime drum use and any of the others available would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any help in advance.

[ 26 February 2002, 17:21: Message edited by: e-drummer ]
manytone
Posted: 26th February 2002 16:07
Hi e-drummer
No Offence here either but i would take a good look at LinPlugs RMIII or FXpansions DR-008.
Both of them are a league ahead of LM4, and they are both priced nicely.
Take Care
Paul
(You can Never have enough Drums) [Razz]
FXpansionAudio
Posted: 26th February 2002 22:21
Hi there,

Yes, pad polyphony is the key to avoiding machine gunning; the way it's implemented will have some bearing on sound quality and CPU performance.

As far as hi-hat selection goes, the next DR-008 update (v1.1) features something that's so-far unique amongst VSTi drum samplers, which is sound selection via MIDI CC (it's already used in Gigasampler mind you, so it's not entirely unique in software). The way it works in DR-008 is that you can assign up to eight different pads, and select between them with any MIDI CC message, to simulate the hi-hat pedal.

Editability - as far as absolute authenticity goes, no, there's nothing to gain from any kind of enveloping. However, from the point of view of fitting it in to the mix, you -may- find that compromising the original acoustic envelopes or spectral responses is not so terrible a thing:- all the mix engineers' tools - eq, compressor, gate - do the same sorts of things in a slightly different way. May not apply to everyone, but definately something to bear in mind.

Sonar468 - there -is- such a thing as a drum sampler, but it's more an issue of interface and workflow than the underlying engine. I really can't understand people who use HALion, EXS or VSampler for drums:- they'd save -so- much time with a dedicated (good) drum sampler if they do any kit layout whatsoever; for simply using prepacked drum soundfonts, a cheap bs1, XS-1 or LiveSynth Pro will do the trick just as well.
e-drummer
Posted: 27th February 2002 17:20
Thanks for all the replies.

Sonar468: To be honest its simplicity was one of the reasons I was steering to the LM`s.
Maybe thats because I`m a drummer Smile
Seriously though I wonder how much time weve all wasted tweeking things that didn`t really need tweaking just because we could.
I have no problem with the text editing or the editor programs but I can see your point.

Manytone: Ive got all the demos and now ive got the LM4 wizoo kits I can test them all.

Andy Rossol: I was under the impression they all had polyphonic pads.

FX Angus: The update sounds like just the solution for the hi hat ,would those eight pads also have Velocity layers.
Hihats have probably less Dynamic timbre changes than any other part of the kit but for totaly athenticity... :-)

Alvakorn: I tend to agree with you but i`m trying to keep an open mind.

I`ll be playing them all in real time over the weekend. Good exuse to play drums all day.
FXpansionAudio
Posted: 27th February 2002 20:01
e-drummer - those eight pads can be any of the available modules, so, yes, you could use VeloSamplers or QuadSamplers for velocity switching or crossfading respectively.
mojogigolo
Posted: 28th February 2002 02:24
if you use battery you can have as many as 128 samples loaded on each pad (as velocity layers).
FXpansionAudio
Posted: 28th February 2002 07:31
robman - thanks!!

mojogigolo - so you can with DR-008 (and RMIII, LM4, LM4 mk2 for that matter). What e-drummer is looking for, i think, is a second dimension of control to simulate the hi-hat pedal (via MIDI CC) as well as the sticks (via velocity).
e-drummer
Posted: 4th March 2002 18:58
Didn`t get much chance this weekend to try them all as much as I wanted to. (aint work a bitch when music aint your work)

I did manage a bit though.
My initial thoughts were that I prefered the simplicity of the LM-4.
I have no wish to edit envelopes and such so it sort of suits me although I did find being able to alter the velocity midi settings of a layered pad and then play it immediately without having to reload the kit in the LM-4 a real time saver.
So I will probably upgrade to one of the more recent ones.
They are all pretty powerfull but my own preferences as far as the user interface goes was for the RMIII.
I like the look of the LM4 mk2 ,in particular the Layer editing.
I presume you can drag the edges of the Layer boxes vertically ,which would change the Velo setting for adjacent pad as well?

I`m going to speak to Arbiter tomorrow to see if they have a LM-4 mk2 demo available.

Ive got a quick question regarding the creation of your own Velocity layered samples.
If I record an acoustic drum/cymbal ,say 8 different velocities.
should I normalize them so they are all the same volume and does the inputed midi note on velocity then handle the audio output level?

Thanks for all your help and comments.
manytone
Posted: 4th March 2002 20:02
quote:
Ive got a quick question regarding the creation of your own Velocity layered samples.
If I record an acoustic drum/cymbal ,say 8 different velocities.
should I normalize them so they are all the same volume and does the inputed midi note on velocity then handle the audio output level?

Thanks for all your help and comments.

Hi E
I have seen it done both ways but the Wizoo Acoustics do not normalize all wavs the same, Neither do the Manytone Drums. I myself think it best to not Normalize them so as to capture the Natural Feel and Sound. Even most of the Lower velocity Wizoo stuff is fairly quiet samples. I would say experiment with both and you will see what you like pretty quick.
Cheers
Paul
e-drummer
Posted: 4th March 2002 20:47
Hi Paul.
Thanks for the reply.
Youve got me a little bit confused though.
If I have 8 velo`s on one pad and in the LM4 I have the global velocity dial at full ,giving the full variation of dynamics.
If the lowest sample in volume has its midi layer values set from 1 to 20 then surely if no normalizion is used this sample would be impossible to hear as its already quiet to start with.
I`d imagined that the volume of the audio should all be relative to the 127 midi velocity values which would mean they all have to start at the same level.
I purchased a couple of the wizoosounds samples (Zildjian Hats and Ludwig Snare) and these seem to be set up with no normalization ,but are set to different pads. So using a constant midi velocity across the different pads would give the dynamic range as the samples were recorded.
My aim is to have a single LM4 kit with lots of Velos for each pad with the midi note on velocity controlling which sound plays ,but the volume of the sound should also be reletive to the midi velocity.
Cheers.

[ 04 March 2002, 23:50: Message edited by: e-drummer ]
e-drummer
Posted: 29th March 2002 17:56
I had trouble finding this thread again as I was searching for post`s by my user name.
It seems after the KVR crash if I`m not logged in the thread starter seems to be "Translator".

Oh well I found it in the end.

Ive had a chance to do a lot more testing of the LM4 and also the RMIII demo ,triggering in real time via midi from the V-Drum kit.
They both perform great except for one area ,which all the drum sample VSTi`s seem to suffer from and that is "Press Rolls" on a snare.
The V-drum module seems to handle press rolls very well with a very realistic sound.
With VSTi`s its not so much a "Machine Gunning" effect but the sound dosn`t seem to merge into a kind of "drone" effect that you get from a real snare and also to some extent from the V-Drum module.

Any of you VSTi`s guru`s have any advice or experience in getting a realistic "press roll" sound from any of the Drum Sample VSTi`s.
Thanks.
bajongo
Posted: 29th March 2002 19:55
Hi Angus,

you wrote:
"As far as hi-hat selection goes, the next DR-008 update (v1.1) features something that's so-far unique amongst VSTi drum samplers, which is sound selection via MIDI CC (it's already used in Gigasampler mind you, so it's not entirely unique in software). The way it works in DR-008 is that you can assign up to eight different pads, and select between them with any MIDI CC message, to simulate the hi-hat pedal."

Halion has this feature also. It's called MegaTrigg and let's you assign samples to Note Off and every Midi controller. You can even set ranges for the controllers so you can spread 128 samples e.g. onto your mod wheel. You can create conditions like: The sample has to play when there is a Note off and midi CC#34 is between 20 and 70. This gives me totally expressive and/or fucked up results. Cool, eh?

But as you said it's not a VSTi drum sampler.

you wrote also:
"There -is- such a thing as a drum sampler, but it's more an issue of interface and workflow than the underlying engine. I really can't understand people who use HALion, EXS or VSampler for drums:- they'd save -so- much time with a dedicated (good) drum sampler if they do any kit layout whatsoever; [/QB][/QUOTE]

This is interesting as Halion has an excellent workflow and I work very fast with it - and - mostly with drums, really. [Wink]
But I wanted to check out DR008 as a lot of people are raving about it. I have to check out what the hype is worth for me. [Cool]
mojogigolo
Posted: 31st March 2002 01:47
this is weird. I posted a reply about battery and its velocity layers in this thread, and fxpansion replied to me by name, saying their product did the same. Weird hing is that my post is now attributed to a guy called Reaktorian. Weirded still, while i was making this post i scrolled down to see the full list of posts underneath, and in that format, the post bears my name once again. Mods, whats this about?? Perhaps he is my alter-ego in a fight club sorta way.
FXpansionAudio
Posted: 31st March 2002 21:32
Hi bajongo,

Megatrigg sounds pretty neat... had no idea about it, have pretty much every VSTi of any significance here apart from Sonic Synth and some of the N.I. stuff, but little time to really get to grips with them. Might have to borrow some ideas from that in a future 008-module [Wink] - I can see how "play-on-release" samples could be useful for FSU percussion tricks. DD:FSU, anyone? [Big Grin]

As far as workflow goes - HALion is probably some way ahead of other pure sampling VSTi's, but DR-008 - with its ability to do drag-drop and copy-paste between "cells" - is IMHO the quickest bar none for laying out percussion kits. Try it for yourself though! [Big Grin]
Ben [KVR]
Posted: 31st March 2002 21:47
Some weird shit happening since the crash. I've fixed yours and e-drummers posts now though.
e-drummer
Posted: 1st April 2002 21:04
bajongo how does halion sound with "press rolls".

I can send you a midi file of a "press roll" played on a Roland Mesh head pad if you have time to give it a try.
Thanks.

Ben ,thanks for sorting out the name problem.

[ 01 April 2002, 12:07: Message edited by: e-drummer ]
mojogigolo
Posted: 2nd April 2002 02:59
thanks for fixing that Ben, no real hassle now i know there are no shadowy figures toying with me. Or at least not here. [Smile]
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