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Quite simply THE coolest drum synth ever to hit your DAW...

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Well? Are you excited?

I'm so excited my trousers split
3
7%
I'm pretty excited; fluff me some more
9
21%
I'm underwhelmed. This isn't my thing at all
21
50%
You have enraged me. I am furious, for some reason.
9
21%
 
Total votes : 42
User avatar
Frantz
KVRAF
 
2655 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:05 pm

the professor wrote:
thecontrolcentre wrote:
chokehold wrote:If it's Kontakt it's sample-based, so is it really a synthesizer?
Not a synth and of no use to me.


It's a synth! :D


No, it's not. Synthesizing drums is quite different than playing back drum samples through a filter.
the professor
KVRist
 
233 posts since 15 Jan, 2012, from UK

Postby the professor; Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:39 pm

FrantzM wrote:
the professor wrote:
thecontrolcentre wrote:
chokehold wrote:If it's Kontakt it's sample-based, so is it really a synthesizer?
Not a synth and of no use to me.


It's a synth! :D


No, it's not. Synthesizing drums is quite different than playing back drum samples through a filter.


They're not "drum samples". There are no "drum samples" in Grit Kit. You won't find a single snare, kick, hat or cymbal in there! Just the building blocks you need to create - or, dare I say it, synthesise - these. Did you watch the vid? :D

If you want to make a cymbal in Grit Kit, or a hi-hat, you do it by combining two different flavours of analogue noise from a choice of seven noise waveforms. All of these waves came from analogue hardware synths (just like the sines, triangles etc you might start with to create a snare or a kick). Then you add on a sampled transient, again analogue in origin, and balance the results. Adjust pitch. Slam the whole lot through the filter, and an Attack / Decay envelope, plus distortion for waveshaping, plus an amp modulator routed to velocity and / or source sample selection for the waveforms.

If that kind of thing isn't synthesis, then neither is what the Roland D50 or any of the Yamaha SY series (or thousands of other synths) do!

It's almost exactly the same process as on, say, a Vermona or a Syncussion, the only difference being that the initial waves waves are coming from disk instead of from a chip. Okay, we have a sampled attack transient instead of a chip-generated "click", but you know what? It sounds better :)

Kontakt isn't the world's most obvious dedicated platform for synthesis (compared to being a sample-playback instrument, which of course is its primary focus), but it's more capable than you might think. It has the modulation options to do a basic subtractive synth standing on its head. What it really lacks is sophisticated routing for that modulation, so it inevitably falls down when you try to do something more modular or complex. But with thoughtful scripting working away behind the scenes it can turn in a serious performance as a synth. We do it all the time: the majority of our stuff is sample-playback only (eg, all the drum machines we sample); but a growing minority are fully-fledged synths. Just because they're hosted by Kontakt doesn't change that. 8)
www.rhythmicrobot.com
...pumping fresh voltage into old technology!
User avatar
Frantz
KVRAF
 
2655 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:32 pm

the professor wrote:They're not "drum samples". There are no "drum samples" in Grit Kit. You won't find a single snare, kick, hat or cymbal in there! Just the building blocks you need to create - or, dare I say it, synthesise - these.


Synthesizing a convincing crash cymbal is the biggest challenge for any drum synth. For example, look at this complex Nord Modular cymbal patch Gordon Reid created for his article SYNTH SECRETS: Practical Cymbal Synthesis:

Image

However, it was a piece of cake for you. You just combined a "Cym 2" sample with a "Crash" sample:

Image

Why is your cymbal patch so simple and Gordon's patch so complex? Because Gordon's patch actually synthesizes the cymbal sound. You are just playing samples.
Doug1978
KVRian
 
1438 posts since 19 Jun, 2011, from Sendai, Japan

Postby Doug1978; Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:56 pm

So much fisticuffs already for something that isn't even out.

The only things that matter to me are:
a) is it an original effort?
b) does it sound good?
c) will it fit in with my projects?
d) is it fairly priced for what it offers?

The answer to a) is yes (because it's not been stolen).

b), c) and d) remain unknown at this stage; I'll happily wait and see.
the professor
KVRist
 
233 posts since 15 Jan, 2012, from UK

Postby the professor; Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:06 am

FrantzM wrote:
the professor wrote:They're not "drum samples". There are no "drum samples" in Grit Kit. You won't find a single snare, kick, hat or cymbal in there! Just the building blocks you need to create - or, dare I say it, synthesise - these.


Synthesizing a convincing crash cymbal is the biggest challenge for any drum synth. For example, look at this complex Nord Modular cymbal patch Gordon Reid created for his article SYNTH SECRETS: Practical Cymbal Synthesis:

Image

However, it was a piece of cake for you. You just combined a "Cym 2" sample with a "Crash" sample:

Image

Why is your cymbal patch so simple and Gordon's patch so complex? Because Gordon's patch actually synthesizes the cymbal sound. You are just playing samples.


I do understand what you're saying. And you're very largely right: I get that. We're not synthesising everything from scratch here; more of a S&S solution. BUT  - the example you've chosen to quote is very complex! Have a look at the hat controls on a Vermona DRM1, for example. There, you have Decay, Filter, Bend, Attack, Resonance and Pitch pots. And that's it. Complexity of controls isn't really an index of what a machine is doing. Grit Kit also has Decay, Filter (only with FAR more control), Bend, Attack, Resonance and Pitch pots - plus a whole lot more besides. So is the DRM1 not a synth?

And in the example you quote, the "Crash" is a sampled transient, whereas the Cym2 is a sampled waveform which could have been replaced with white, pink, or brown noise, for example; which is the starting point for any self-respecting analogue cymbal sound! We just added some more types of noise and gave them descriptive names. "Cym2" isn't a cymbal sample, it's a noise sample.

I don't suppose anyone ever convinced anyone else of anything on an internet forum, but at least I thought I'd explain what we're trying to do here! :D
www.rhythmicrobot.com
...pumping fresh voltage into old technology!
the professor
KVRist
 
233 posts since 15 Jan, 2012, from UK

Postby the professor; Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:11 am

It's perhaps also worth pointing out that modular synths like the one in Gordon's example always look pretty complex. Actually examine the signal path in that screenshot, compare it to the Grit Kit, and you'll find the same envelope, mixer, and filter controls in both.

The only significant difference is that he's using more oscillators to create the complex waveforms he needs, because his synth is working from a starting point of saw and square waves and can't - it seems - generate noise. If it were a dedicated drum synth (like, erm, ours) he'd have a dedicated noise channel - we have two, for our hat and cymbal kit pieces - and his patching would be a lot simpler as a result.

Not looking for a fight here. Just trying to be clear as to what Grit Kit is and what it can do.
www.rhythmicrobot.com
...pumping fresh voltage into old technology!
the professor
KVRist
 
233 posts since 15 Jan, 2012, from UK

Postby the professor; Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:14 am

Doug1978 wrote:So much fisticuffs already for something that isn't even out.

The only things that matter to me are:
a) is it an original effort?
b) does it sound good?
c) will it fit in with my projects?
d) is it fairly priced for what it offers?

The answer to a) is yes (because it's not been stolen).

b), c) and d) remain unknown at this stage; I'll happily wait and see.


Thank you for being kind and moderate! We'll try very hard to make sure that (d) is in the right ballpark. You may be able to get an idea of (b) and (c) by taking a look at the YouTube vid (see above), though really that only outlines one sound-creating process. Obviously there are an indefinte amount more, and when we've got some preset kits rolled - which is the last thing left to do - we'll get some proper audio demos posted to show the variety on offer. :)
www.rhythmicrobot.com
...pumping fresh voltage into old technology!
User avatar
Frantz
KVRAF
 
2655 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:44 am

the professor wrote:The only significant difference is that he's using more oscillators to create the complex waveforms he needs, because his synth is working from a starting point of saw and square waves and can't - it seems - generate noise. If it were a dedicated drum synth (like, erm, ours) he'd have a dedicated noise channel - we have two, for our hat and cymbal kit pieces - and his patching would be a lot simpler as a result.


Of course, the Nord Modular has a noise oscillator (see below). Gordon used FM modulation to create a metallic sound in his patch.

Image
User avatar
Frantz
KVRAF
 
2655 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:17 am

the professor wrote:I do understand what you're saying. And you're very largely right: I get that. We're not synthesising everything from scratch here; more of a S&S solution.


Yes, I agree S&S is a good description of your product. In my opinion, this is no longer the cutting edge of synthesis.

Listening to clips of the DRM1, the hi-hats are much simpler than Gordon's patch. The charm of the DRM1 is that it is a pure analog synth and won't ever produce precisely the same sound. This is not true for the S&S approach.

the professor wrote:And in the example you quote, the "Crash" is a sampled transient, whereas the Cym2 is a sampled waveform which could have been replaced with white, pink, or brown noise, for example; which is the starting point for any self-respecting analogue cymbal sound!


Yes, you can make a cymbal with white noise but that just gives you a hissing sound. To get something more metallic, you have to do something more complex like FM modulation.
User avatar
Frantz
KVRAF
 
2655 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York

Postby Frantz; Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:31 am

To be clear, I am reacting negatively because you claimed to have created "the coolest drum synthesiser ever." This got my attention since I am very interested in drum synthesis. I think a more modest marketing approach for your S&S product would have generated less controversy.
User avatar
Woody Aki
KVRist
 
192 posts since 3 Dec, 2007, from Cambridge, UK

Postby Woody Aki; Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:59 am

Hmmm...must make mental note - humour and forums never are the best of buddies! :roll:

Anyhoo, I'm interested...price please.
the professor
KVRist
 
233 posts since 15 Jan, 2012, from UK

Postby the professor; Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:18 am

Woody Aki wrote:Hmmm...must make mental note - humour and forums never are the best of buddies! :roll:

Anyhoo, I'm interested...price please.


I am going to carve this on Mongo's forehead so I don't forget :hihi: (I would carve it on my forehead, but that just sounds painful.)

Price tbc. But it won't break the bank, promise.
www.rhythmicrobot.com
...pumping fresh voltage into old technology!
the professor
KVRist
 
233 posts since 15 Jan, 2012, from UK

Postby the professor; Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:37 am

FrantzM wrote:Yes, you can make a cymbal with white noise but that just gives you a hissing sound. To get something more metallic, you have to do something more complex like FM modulation.


FM is one of the things Kontakt really can't do. It's a shame, because that (and ring mod) would turn it into much more capable a machine that would come much closer to supplying the kind of synthesis options you'd clearly like to see. We've compensated by supplying pre-synthesised analogue waves that include both of FM and ring-mod built in, which is obviously more limited than a fully-functional modular synth (like the one in Gordon's example) but also less limited than the Vermona approach (which lacks FM or ring mod entirely).

So what I hope we're offering is the best of both worlds - a lot of customisability, but without the endless depth involved in a modular solution (or indeed the necessity to code / build / charge you guys the going rate for a Nord Modular equivalent!). You sound like someone who's fascinated by the real depths of synthesis (which I completely get, by the way - just taking delivery of my first modular setup from the nice guys at postmodular.com), so I understand that probably this isn't the product for you. Fair enough - sorry we got your hopes up :)

What I think, though, is that a lot of people who want drums with a particular "flavour" of vintage sound to them - which comes from the hardware samplers - will find this to be a great way to create those sounds themselves from scratch, rather than rely on existing loops. That's what we were aiming for. And although the price is still tbc, it's going to be below £50; so the fact that it's not a Nord Modular (rrp £1299) shouldn't come entirely as a shock :D
www.rhythmicrobot.com
...pumping fresh voltage into old technology!
the professor
KVRist
 
233 posts since 15 Jan, 2012, from UK

Postby the professor; Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:02 am

We've got a brief audio taster up on the website now. Four sets of sounds, one after the other. Spot the gratuitous use of the Output Hiss control on the final kit :D

Let's see if I can manage to embed it here...

Meh. Apparently not. I'll try again...

http://www.rhythmicrobot.com/downloads/files/gritkitdemo.mp3
www.rhythmicrobot.com
...pumping fresh voltage into old technology!
the professor
KVRist
 
233 posts since 15 Jan, 2012, from UK

Postby the professor; Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:09 am

Yay, there we go :)
www.rhythmicrobot.com
...pumping fresh voltage into old technology!
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