Imported kick drums in Drumcomputer still sound thin

Official support for: sugar-bytes.de
KVRer
2 posts since 27 Sep, 2020

Post Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:15 am

Was excited to see that a sampler had been added, but when I imported a fat kick drum it sounds completely different than the original sample. I have all the other generators off and all effects off, yet it sounds like all the sub bass gets removed.
I have set the start and loop correctly and the pitch and aded some decay, but this sounds terrible.
Anyone else have this problem?

KVRist
53 posts since 22 Jan, 2010 from Oregon, U.S.

Post Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:05 pm

The only things that come to mind are trying the "hold" setting for the envelope alongside having the decay turned all the way up as a starting point, making sure "color" is in the center, and checking the eq. I've gotten samples from the Bitwig, Breaktweaker and BigKick libraries to play back w/ no issues that I could hear.

KVRer

Topic Starter

2 posts since 27 Sep, 2020

Post Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:05 am

Yeah that worked! I had the color button turned all the way down or all the way up and I did not know about the Hold setting on the envelope. Thanks for your help.

KVRist
53 posts since 22 Jan, 2010 from Oregon, U.S.

Post Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:02 pm

You're welcome, and glad to hear it worked!

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KVRist
43 posts since 20 Nov, 2013

Post Tue Dec 08, 2020 2:12 am

I'm experiencing similar issues like the OP and it's starting to drive me nuts.
The tips by @bboxdw didn't really help me. For some reason every imported kick loses all its' punch and level. I admit this might be a user error, but I got no idea what it could be. I'm always having the feeling that there's some hidden envelope or something going on which kills the sound.

I just did a comparison with four devices, DrumComputer, BreakTweaker, Bitwig's DrumMachine and Bitwig's Sampler. Using the same kick sample in those devices with no processing going on. The decreased level output from DrumComputer is significant.

To make this illustrative I made a bunch of screenshots.

Comparison of the output level on the respective track channels:
Image

VU meters telling the same story:
Image


Like I said before, I simply might be doing something wrong.
So here are screenshots of how DrumComputer is set up in this case. Maybe someone is able to spot what's wrong.
DrumComputer setup 1:
Image

DrumComputer setup 2:
Image

So, could anyone please enlighten me?
Here's a link for the kick sample I was using, in case someone wants to try/reproduce this thing
>> https://gofile.io/d/VI75ii

thx

KVRist
53 posts since 22 Jan, 2010 from Oregon, U.S.

Post Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:17 pm

As kicks are so foundational, it is frustrating when they're not sounding they way you like.

I've also observed that DrumComputer plays samples at a lower volume than some other plugins. I often have to adjust plugin volume levels and/or DAW faders to compensate for differences b/t plugins. What I'm not hearing are differences in the kick's volume envelope. After adjusting for volume differences (comparing DrumComputer to Bitwig sampler), I'm not able to hear any differences.

It looks like you've already tried turning off the finalizer to rule out the possibility that certain compression settings are flattening transients. I don't see anything else in your screenshots that looks any different than my settings. But I could be missing something.

I'm stretching for possibilities here, but it's worth asking: Are you triggering the sample at the same pitch with each device? I've had a few cases where I initially couldn't hear a kick very well, and then realized I was triggering it several notes or even an octave or two lower, because I had different keyboard pitch mappings on each device.

That's about all I can think of. Maybe someone else will chime in with other suggestions.

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KVRist
43 posts since 20 Nov, 2013

Post Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:30 pm

Thanks for your response.
bboxdw wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:17 pm
... Are you triggering the sample at the same pitch with each device? I've had a few cases where I initially couldn't hear a kick very well, and then realized I was triggering it several notes or even an octave or two lower, because I had different keyboard pitch mappings on each device.
I was using the default roots for triggering. In that DrumComputer preset the kick was set from C0 to G#0, so I used C0 to trigger. BreakTweaker defaults to C1 on the first slot, so I used C1. For the Bitwig devices I turned off keytracking, so it doesn't really matter what note triggers, but I've been using the defaults anyway.

Meanwhile I had a look with Voxengo SPAN (free) at yesterday's examples. Looks like DrumComputer is not only lower in level but also cuts frequencies.
Image

I just did another test and got an even worse result. I loaded SugarBytes' "SB Init" preset and set DrumComputer up like with the tests before, using the same kick sample again.
Result:
Image


I'm starting to believe that this is a bug.
The reason why I'm thinking this is the "gain reduction" indicator from the Master Effects section.
Take a look at this screenshot from today's test:
Image

And if you're looking at yesterday's screenshot you can see that the gain reduction meter is not as high, but still on to a certain amount. The fact that I got an even worse output level today corresponds to that.
My understanding is that this gain reduction meter shouldn't show any value when everyhing in the master effects section is turned off.
Putting all those things together makes me believe that there's unwanted gain reduction active, and that would be a bug.

I'm hoping that somebody from SugarBytes jumps in here. If not I'm gonna open a ticket via their website support.

KVRist
53 posts since 22 Jan, 2010 from Oregon, U.S.

Post Tue Dec 08, 2020 11:11 pm

Looks like you're onto something. I just tried the same comparison with Span, and observed something similar. For me, the DrumComputer version also had a notch around 860 Hz that wasn't present in the BW sampler version. Another sample from that same set (mhak kick 05 G.wav) also had high end missing in the DrumComputer version where it was present in the BW sampler version. After listening again more closely, I can hear the difference, apparently from the upper end of the initial transient pitch sweep missing. Thanks for your detective work--hopefully you'll hear back from someone soon!

Edit: For some reason the 860 Hz notch didn't reappear when I tried the above comparison again, but the other observations still held. If you don't hear back soon and need someone else to email support as well let me know.

KVRist
53 posts since 22 Jan, 2010 from Oregon, U.S.

Post Wed Dec 09, 2020 3:13 pm

mesamask wrote:
Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:30 pm
Meanwhile I had a look with Voxengo SPAN (free) at yesterday's examples. Looks like DrumComputer is not only lower in level but also cuts frequencies.
Your observations re: frequencies led me to wonder whether DrumComputer is truncating the very beginning of the sample slightly. In this case, that would remove part of the initial high-frequency "click," explaining some or all of that difference. So I did two experiments with the same kick sample you reference above.

I first moved the play start time ahead very slightly within Bitwig sampler--just to the point where the yellow flag snaps in place at the first zero crossing, about 1.72 ms. When I did this, the playback (after adjusting volume) sounded closer to DrumComputer's output.

I then created a copy of the original sample, adding a bit of silence at the beginning. I loaded that into the DrumComputer sample module. I then adjusted playback start time within DrumComputer to minimize the silence without truncating the beginning of the kick waveform. After adjusting volume, it sounded quite close to Bitwig sampler's playback of the same waveform with play start set to 0. The Span frequency responses looked similar for DrumComputer and Bitwig sampler. (My current monitoring software knowledge is limited, so I'm trusting my ears more.)

The above experiments suggest that DrumComputer's sample module may be truncating the very beginning of some or all samples.

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KVRist
43 posts since 20 Nov, 2013

Post Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:35 pm

bboxdw wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 3:13 pm
Your observations re: ...
... The above experiments suggest that DrumComputer's sample module may be truncating the very beginning of some or all samples.
Wow, thanks a lot for this additional research :tu:
I guess I was able to replicate what you did pretty much 100%. After adjusting volume/gain with Bitwig`s Tool the outputs of DrumComputer and the Sampler sounded much closer.

The frequency range in SPAN is also looking very similar:
Image

But I'm still missing some low end "oomph" from DrumComputer's output, compared to the Sampler. It's not "visible", this is more what I'm hearing. (I'm not an audiophile or something, just to clarify).
And what I noticed when replicating bboxdw's observation is that when adjusting the playback start time (with a sample that has a slight amount of silence at the beginning) in DrumComputer it does sound closer to the original, but then there's a slight delay when the kick is triggered. When playing the kicks from DC and BW-Sampler (back at 0.00ms) together you can clearly hear that DC is off. So that's not a practicable workaround.

Bottom line is that there seems to be something wrong under the hood of DrumComputer. I don't know what it is, but somehow something`s not right.

Since nobody from SugarBytes is reading (or not answering) this here I'm gonna reach out for support now. I don't want to explain this whole thing again, so I'll probably just send them the link for this thread.

Then wait and see.

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KVRist
43 posts since 20 Nov, 2013

Post Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:39 am

Tried most of the above in Studio One 5 (latest version), because I was curious if this could be a problem with Bitwig.
So I compared DrumComputer with S1's Sampler and S1's DrumPlugin ImpactXT. I don't think the differences are as bad in Bitwig, but still very obvious.

KVRist
53 posts since 22 Jan, 2010 from Oregon, U.S.

Post Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:22 pm

mesamask wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 11:35 pm
But I'm still missing some low end "oomph" from DrumComputer's output, compared to the Sampler...
A few months back, one of the developers chimed in here with some thoughts and detailed suggestions re: deep low end. I don't remember if it was before or after introduction of the sample module, but I remember finding their suggestions very helpful at the time.

Re: the sample start, your identical results are helpful to see. I recall that some users thought the plugin sounded too "clicky, so it's possible that was by design. However, b/c the sample start is user-adjustable on the sample module, that doesn't seem like it would be necessary there. Will be interesting to see what you find out.

It's also possible that certain sample adjustments were built in to ensure that samples interact better with other features/modules, such as the resonator. If that is indeed the case, then a "raw sample playback" option on the sampler could be helpful, for cases where a user simply wants to use a sample on its own.

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KVRist
43 posts since 20 Nov, 2013

Post Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:21 am

Well, I guess I had an eye on most of the DrumComputer threads here in the meantime.
I'm also having in mind that
a) some of this may be intentional by design
b) DrumComputer in many ways is more a Drum "Synthesizer" rather than a Drum "Sampler". So it's having it's own sound engine with all it's peculiarities.

On the other hand I don't know why a simple kick sample can't run through DrumComputer "as is".
I was hoping to finally have an all-in-one solution for my drums with DC.
Here's how I like to work with Kicks: when I'm in the mood and got time for it I'm creating a bunch of Kicks in SA's Kick2. I have no specific use case in mind, I'm just creating what I like for that moment. The most important part is that I'm tuning the Kicks to a certain key. I name the Kicks with key label, bounce and export them to a folder.
Then I'd love to be able to import those Kicks into DC and work with them from there on. Taking advantage of DC's great sequencer and all its' possibilities to further shape the sound.
But that's not really possible when DC spits out a somewhat different Kick.

That "gain reduction" thing still looks suspicious to me.
Just had the worst output level from DC I can think of, and the Master FX section looks like this:
Image

No response from support yet.
I've just seen that Geist2 is on sale.
*tempted*

KVRist
53 posts since 22 Jan, 2010 from Oregon, U.S.

Post Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:16 pm

The questions you raise make sense to me. Given the workflow you describe, I wonder if Bitwig's Replacer would offer a workaround (and save a bit of cash) in the meantime. At least for the sample-related part.

KVRist
53 posts since 22 Jan, 2010 from Oregon, U.S.

Post Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:56 pm

BTW, I just did a post in the Bitwig forum that has a few illustrations showing how I did the above: viewtopic.php?f=259&t=557368

Edit: That thread updated to show use of Bitwig Note Receiver and Note Filter to pass DrumComputer's MIDI to Bitwig's Sampler (or whatever module you might want to trigger with DrumComputer's sequencer). That seems more responsive and less fiddly to set up than Replacer.

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