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Unread 09-22-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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A guide for Superior Drummer 2.0

Introduction
This is an overall guide to use Superior Drummer 2.0. In this guide I and hopefully many others will give their knowledge and experience to all less and more experienced SD2.0 users.

Getting started
I'll be working on this guide as objective as I can so that peoples drums don't start to sound like mine do. First of all I'll be using The Metal Foundry default kit. Toms and kick are Tomas Haake Custom SQ2 toms, snare is Sonor Artist Series 6''x14''. Cymbals are Sabian HHX Stage set and as ride I use Morgan Ågren Custom Ride and AAXtreme China.

Don't copy!
All the drums behave differently when you apply plugins on them, but the thing to remember is that all the samples in SD2.0 are good enough to get the job done and you will surely find the best drumsound to your taste. It's really just a matter of patience and testing.

Here's a song we did with our band a while ago. It should give you a picture of what will it sound like in the mix. Anyway, It's an old one so there are some details that doesn't sound good, but still gives you a picture: Kurkkuviipale - TMB6 - SoundCloud

The first steps - Setting velocities
I made a little clip with the default setting so you have something to compare at: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11989434/Sup...Clip%201.0.mp3

Now before you start thinking, "why doesn't my Metal Foundry sounding the same", the first thing you should check out is the MIDI velocities. That's a key thing on mixing drums. They are most of the times kept on 127 when dealing with Superior Drummer, though for example I keep my snare on 120-125 to remove that *clunch* from it.

Inside the SD2.0 UI
I'll be giving you some tips to get the sounding like you want it. The tips are all inside the user interface of SD2.0 so the chances are limited. I'll get later to "multiout" and more complex ways to edit the drums, but IMO it's better to start off with the basics.
Overheads
So back to business. The clip sounds really dry as you can hear. What to do when the drums are dry? You work on the overheads! Overheads are the mics that mic the overall sound of the set. They are placed on top of the drum set and capture mostly the snare and the cymbals. Open up the "Mixer" tab on your Superior Drummer VST window. Add a transient and a compressor to the "OH" track. I'm not going to give you any more hints on that. Work on the "OH" track now, mess with the parameters, you WILL get used to it. Practice is the key.

Overheads could use some EQ too, but I'll get back to that later!

So now that you've got the overall image they way you like it you can get more deeper to the details.

Snare
Snare. There's a million ways you could set it up. I can't really go in details, but a good way to start of is almost always to EQ. After EQ you can either go to transient or compressor or anything. I go for transient. I suggest to use a compressor on the last link to give it a less body and get it sounding on the about same volume.

Kick
This is a matter of EQ and compressing. Maybe a little trans, but EQ and compressing should do the trick. Again: Play with the parameters. Practice IS the key!

Multiout
Now this is the point where your drums start sound like you want them to sound. Ok, the SD2.0 has inbuilt plugins and you can get it sounding OK, but to get the most out of this wonderful plugin, you've got to master this.

Here's a clip I made quickly using the 'multiout' feature: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11989434/Sup...Clip%202.0.mp3 . The toms may suck and such, but you can hear the difference

The point in 'multiout' feature is to send all the tracks in the Superior Drummer 2 to separate tracks in you DAW. After that... you have all the power to make ANYTHING, I mean ANYTHING to them. Activating the 'multiout' feature differs from what DAW you're using, but there are many guides to that, so I'm not typing it out.

Using the compressor... With care!
So now that you have all the separate tracks on separate tracks, you want to go to the insert spot in your DAW. This will be the place you'll be spending your next five hours of editing drum sound. Just kidding, add a little compressor to about everything, especially on kick and snare and overheads Now that you have them compressed... It's time to play with the parameters! Compressor can be a cruel factor in your drums and on the other hand it might open the drums up just so that they sound exactly you like them to sound.

Kick and snare can have a bigger ratio. I usually keep them above 3:1 and less than 10:1. Basically, more ratio = less body, less ratio = more body. Many metal bands want to compress the shit out of the kick, so if you are one of them go ahead! My personal target is to get all of them sounding tight, yet fat. It's hard to achieve, and I don't even think that it is the usual way to tweak them. Create your own sound!

After compressing the kick, think of the optimal snare sound you want. Is it fat? Yes: Put a little less ratio, (add reverb, but i'll get to that later) and EQ to your taste at mid-frequencies. No: Compress the .... out of it. Ratio up, no reverb, EQ on high-freq.

Overheads. Adding compressor to these bring up the cymbals. In a good way. Use about 2:1 ratio, maybe less and set the volume to liking. Remember to keep brakes especially when dealing with high frequencies as cymbals. Your cymbals might sound kewl when they're really high, but you might as well find out the next day that they actually suck really bad. So keep 5 minute brakes so that your ears get neutralized. A good way also is to listen to some commercial music. That's probably the way you want them to hear.

Reverbing and FX-Channel
This had a huge impact on my drum sound when I first discovered it. It's a editing/mixing technique that gives you the possibility to maintain the original sound (for ex. snare) and add an FX (for ex. a reverb) to it. I'm not going to the details of creating this track, but your DAW should have a track type of "FX-Channel" or something. After creating it, apply your reverb or anything to it and go to your drums (again, for ex. snare) track -> send -> choose your fx channel.

Snare reverbing
This will at the same time blend and pop your snare up. It'll make it fatter. The point is to add reverb to your FX Channel and send your snare to that channel. I usually use a room reverb, but many use for example plate and such. The reverb can be really high on volume, as it really will blend to mix really nice. My example about this is Lamb Of God's 'Walk With Me In Hell'. First listen to the original track, and after that check out how the drums are done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGUb_...eature=related

Pretty roomy, huh? Now again, don't copy. Make your own sound.

Parallel compression

This is a way to maintain the original drum track and at the same time get the compressed fatter one on top of it. It works exactly like reverbing on fx channel. Just change the reverb to a compressor. Now you have the compressed and the uncompressed sound in the mix. Again, play with the parameters, keep brakes and it'll be freaking cool!

A word about toms: I'm not a master myself either. I give you what I know. Now I ask you to do the same! Many people have asked for that *thuggy* metal tom sound and if you know how to get that sound, be my guest to tell it to others. (And please in this thread, )

What i've done to the toms on the mix I poster here, is EQ, compression, gate, and some reverbing so if you like it, follow my lead. I don't like them too much.

Afterwords
Now here's something to start with this thread! I'll be adding anything that comes to my mind. Next that I could be adding would be about various tone changing effects, (check Porcupine Tree for those) filters, distortion, anything.

Don't forget to contribute your own stuff!

Tips & Tricks:
budule: Adding a 'rimshot' (40 on drum midi mapping, usually named "electric snare") on top of your usual snare gives a nice woody feel and gives you more opportunities on accenting your snare on the mix!
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Unread 09-22-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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im looking forward to this thread, as ive mainly used EZD, but have been dabbling with SD2. i think so far SD2 sounds better, but EZD is just loads easier to use so far.
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Unread 09-22-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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Bumping this up due to big time changes and adds.
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Unread 09-22-2010, 02:21 PM   #4
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Kurkkuvilpale Thank you!

Yeah, this thread is very interesting. Excellent iniciative. Keep'em coming!

Talking about velocities, what velocities do you use for the other pieces of the kit? just for having an external refference.

I have many questions but I will ask as the thread develops to keep the order.



PD: I realize that you put more information. I can see that you are a good teacher, you are very welcome!
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Unread 09-22-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
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I usually write up my grooves in the drum editor or guitar pro 5 and after the writing process I just brutally get them to 127. Ghost notes and snare as exception.

Oh and this too! This is a thing that adds the groove to the machine:
When the drums hit cymbals in tempo remember to add notes in "between the metronome clicks". Many non-drummer writers type grooves out so that the cymbals (for ex. hi hat) in the same tempo as metronome does, but every drummer knows that you actually hit the cymbals double the speed. It's just that the hits that are between the "metronome" hits are a lot lower on volume.

Ghost notes on snare gives a bit to that feeling also! Remember, you are trying to simulate a human, not a machine.
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Unread 09-22-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
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you write the midi tracks in gp5 then import them? or did i misunderstand?
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Unread 09-22-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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I have a couple of very noobish questions:

I used to use Cubase 4.0 with EZ Drummer and found it quite easy to use a Drum Map, arrange each piece of the drum kit in a logical way and program drum beats this way (I never used any of the pre-arranged patterns - I always programmed the entire drum track by clicking each individual drum hit exactly where I wanted it, then copying and pasting sections that repeated).

My laptop got stolen so I am setting up from scratch again and want to use Pro Tools & SD2.0. Apparently Pro Tools has no Drum Map capabilities - and I don' t like the idea of working from the 'piano roll' view. Does SD2.0 have a drum editor which would let me program drums, save a midi track which I could use as the drum beat (and still edit on the fly in pro-tools using piano roll editor?

Could I program a drum beat using Cubase with the Drum Map, save the midi file and import it into pro-tools?

I'm interested to find how people create drum beats from scratch..

Thanks!
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Unread 09-22-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warped View Post
Does SD2.0 have a drum editor which would let me program drums, save a midi track which I could use as the drum beat (and still edit on the fly in pro-tools using piano roll editor?
Nope. But you could import MIDI from the Groove library and edit them in the piano roll. Still sucks, but it's better than doing it all in that shitty piano roll view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warped View Post
Could I program a drum beat using Cubase with the Drum Map, save the midi file and import it into pro-tools?
Sure, and that's how I'd do it. I sold my Mbox and PT because of the no drum maps thing.

And to the OP, cool thread, and cool of you to spend time doing it.

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Unread 09-23-2010, 09:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by paintkilz View Post
you write the midi tracks in gp5 then import them? or did i misunderstand?
Yes, I write the drum grooves on GP5, delete all the other tracks -> Import to midi -> export in DAW.
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Unread 09-23-2010, 09:18 AM   #10
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but you'll probably get the whole midi mapping mixed up writing it in GP5 and exporting to the DAW right? cause when i tried it then e.g: it did not play the cowbell as it was meant to be but lets say a crash cymbal
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Unread 09-23-2010, 09:42 AM   #11
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SD2.0 has some ethnic percussions changed to different cymbals and stuff, but for example the kick, snare, toms and cymbals used in GP should be good!
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Unread 09-23-2010, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurkkuviipale View Post
SD2.0 has some ethnic percussions changed to different cymbals and stuff, but for example the kick, snare, toms and cymbals used in GP should be good!
Which one do you use, acoustic or electric snare?
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Unread 09-23-2010, 11:20 AM   #13
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For some reason 36 (acoustic I think) only goes to the right kick in SD, and 35 to the left

I suggest using 36 though.IIRC the 35 kick comes out really weak sounding in comparison to the other

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Unread 09-23-2010, 12:35 PM   #14
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Well i don't know about midi mapping really much, but my snare is acoustic and i type it as 38. Bass for me is 36. Cymbals are on 49 and 57.

I think that these are the keys for superior drummer. You all have GP 5 or not?

Have it or not.
Kick = 35 (left) 36 (right)
Snare: 38 (acoustic) 40 (something related to rimshot)
Toms: 50, 48, 47, 45, 43, 41
Crashes: 57, 49
China: 52
Ride: 51 and 59 IIRC
Hi-Hat: 44 (Pedal), 46 (Open) 42 (Closed)
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Unread 09-23-2010, 01:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurkkuviipale View Post
Well i don't know about midi mapping really much, but my snare is acoustic and i type it as 38. Bass for me is 36. Cymbals are on 49 and 57.

I think that these are the keys for superior drummer. You all have GP 5 or not?

Have it or not.
Kick = 35 (left) 36 (right)
Snare: 38 (acoustic) 40 (something related to rimshot)
Toms: 50, 48, 47, 45, 43, 41
Crashes: 57, 49
China: 52
Ride: 51 and 59 IIRC
Hi-Hat: 44 (Pedal), 46 (Open) 42 (Closed)
The snares 38 and 40 when imported to SD are just a different note..I'm used to 40 at GP5 but i just changed the note to what it is if you use 38.Also for the kick,correct me if i'm wrong,but you don't have to use 35 and 36 alternatively i just tick "alternate" and it works during playback.


Nice guide man thanks a lot!!!!

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Unread 09-23-2010, 01:47 PM   #16
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No problem dude, and I think you're right about the keys... Did the list just to clarify!
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Unread 09-23-2010, 05:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurkkuviipale View Post
No problem dude, and I think you're right about the keys... Did the list just to clarify!
Do you happen to have a GM map with extra hit articulations?You know like hitting on the tip of the hi hat etc..

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Unread 09-23-2010, 07:29 PM   #18
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in avatar kick, i belive the 35 is the map to another mic and not the regular kick outs. If you need help writing a guide for MF, you can always pm me. Ill be happy to help anyone out. Look in my sig and tell me if my skills are worthy haha.

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Unread 09-24-2010, 02:04 AM   #19
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Hey everybody,

This goes very interesting. I have a couple of questions and I need to get answers before this thread grow infinitely. Here we go.

1) Im using Pro Tools recently. I like the Daw but write and edit drums patterns in the piano roll is some difficult but I thought it was for my inexperience. What you mean when you say "Apparently Pro Tools has no Drum Map capabilities"? I used Cubase but never programmed a drum in it because I was using Ezdrummer/DKFH with Guitar Pro. What is the diference about the midi editing in Cubase vs Pro Tools?

2) How and where (in GP?, in the Daw?, in the Superior plugin?) you can tick Alternate to get an alternatively sound between the 35 and 36 during playback as Deadnightshade mentioned?

3) The snare selection note depends of the guitar afination/song key in any way?. I noted that in Superior you can get various snare notes. Is a matter of taste or you need to have your snare tuned considering the pitch of the instruments tuning, the pitch of the song or something?

Thank you in advance
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Unread 09-24-2010, 03:14 AM   #20
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interesting guide man

unfortunately, you stop right before the step where i'm currently stuck: how to treat the different mic's coming from the snare, BD, toms and room, and how to use mic bleeding properly

that shit is straight overwhelming and confusing for me being used to addictive drums
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Unread 09-24-2010, 03:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manana View Post
in avatar kick, i belive the 35 is the map to another mic and not the regular kick outs. If you need help writing a guide for MF, you can always pm me. Ill be happy to help anyone out. Look in my sig and tell me if my skills are worthy haha.
Don't know about the kick thing, but if you want to offer help, post your tip/anything in this thread and I'll add it to the guide and will add you to credits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tritono View Post
Hey everybody,

This goes very interesting. I have a couple of questions and I need to get answers before this thread grow infinitely. Here we go.

1) Im using Pro Tools recently. I like the Daw but write and edit drums patterns in the piano roll is some difficult but I thought it was for my inexperience. What you mean when you say "Apparently Pro Tools has no Drum Map capabilities"? I used Cubase but never programmed a drum in it because I was using Ezdrummer/DKFH with Guitar Pro. What is the diference about the midi editing in Cubase vs Pro Tools?

2) How and where (in GP?, in the Daw?, in the Superior plugin?) you can tick Alternate to get an alternatively sound between the 35 and 36 during playback as Deadnightshade mentioned?

3) The snare selection note depends of the guitar afination/song key in any way?. I noted that in Superior you can get various snare notes. Is a matter of taste or you need to have your snare tuned considering the pitch of the instruments tuning, the pitch of the song or something?

Thank you in advance
1) Pro Tools lacks (AFAIK) the "Drum Editor" -feature that for example Cubase has, so that you have to edit everything by the piano roll, which for me would be a pain in the ass.

2) The 'alternate' button was actually new to me also! http://kuvaton.com/k/rSl.png here's a picture where it is located.

3) The snare pitch can be changed (like any other drums' pitch can) via the SD interface. This doesn't mean that you should and yes, it's only to your taste. Of course you can try to experiment with it and it's a perfect tool to get it a little more out from the guitar frequencies the snare sometimes competes with.

Anyway if you mean the "Key" -spot in the "Instrument" section (found on the lower right corner of the plugin screen) you're in a wrong track. With the "Key" -parameter you can change the key your instrument (for ex. snare) obeys in your midi mapping. If you don't know where you should use it, leave it be. It doesn't have anything to do with the pitch.

And thanks for the belief to my guide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by loktide View Post
interesting guide man

unfortunately, you stop right before the step where i'm currently stuck: how to treat the different mic's coming from the snare, BD, toms and room, and how to use mic bleeding properly

that shit is straight overwhelming and confusing for me being used to addictive drums
Mic treatment is all made from the mixer screen. Bleeding is done from that screen too. I use factory settings on bleed and levels, I just compress the shit out of the drums I need to. Anyway, I could do a good section on bleed usage to the guide!

But anyway, if you want your drums to sound realistic, then bleeding shouldn't be eliminated, just tweaked to liking.
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Unread 09-25-2010, 08:17 PM   #22
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Bump for this great thread.

Im cosidering to start editing my drums in Guitar Pro again. Guitar Pro seems the most easy and effective way to get the most of the work done. What do you think about?

Please keep posting information. Kurkkuviipale dont forget to keep this thread alive! is a very good idea, plus I know that in this forum there are a huge number of Superior users that know alot. If you all share some tips with us, this thread will be epic and a gift for the new generations come on!

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Unread 09-25-2010, 09:01 PM   #23
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Kurkkuviipale is pretty damn metal.Kurkkuviipale is pretty damn metal.Kurkkuviipale is pretty damn metal.Kurkkuviipale is pretty damn metal.Kurkkuviipale is pretty damn metal.Kurkkuviipale is pretty damn metal.Kurkkuviipale is pretty damn metal.Kurkkuviipale is pretty damn metal.
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Hey, dude thanks for the belief! I'm not bumping this just because... well bumping your own thread too much is not cool. :P

Anyway, personally I like dealing with Guitar Pro. Mostly because I'm damn fast due to a years of practicing. However, I only do the body for the track in guitar pro and continue my job in Cubase. It's the most time saving deal for me!

Tritono or anyone: Give me some specific information about what you'd like to know. I know a lot of stuff about these things (goddamn, I'm a drummer why wouldn't i?) and would really like to share my info for you ss.org! It's just that if you don't need the information, why would I share it?

BTW, anyone here has tried dealing with SD2.0 drums using this guide? I'd love to hear results and give some criticism about them!

I uploaded a new mix from an old track a minute ago to soundcloud. It has really tweaked up drums, so I'll share it with you too (not self-promoting or anything, ehmmm...): Kurkkuviipale - TMB NEW - SoundCloud
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Unread 09-26-2010, 06:06 AM   #24
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quick tip :in the midi editor, copy the snare and paste on the other value

F.E : if your snare is on 38, copy and paste on 40 ; you'll have more "plah"

so>>> 40+38 for rythm and slow fills and 38 only for fast fills
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Unread 09-26-2010, 07:18 AM   #25
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I rephrased it and added it to the guide. Thanks!
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