A guide for Superior Drummer 2.0

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Kurkkuviipale, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Kurkkuviipale

    Kurkkuviipale Another Sinking ....

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    959
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    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 Ă…gren 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/Superior Clip 1.0.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/Superior Clip 2.0.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 fuck 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_oFcf8I&feature=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, :lol:)

    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!
     
    GATA4, dbrozz, Larcher and 36 others like this.
  2. paintkilz

    paintkilz Banned

    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    67
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Location:
    IOWA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    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.
     
  3. Kurkkuviipale

    Kurkkuviipale Another Sinking ....

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    959
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    Bumping this up due to big time changes and adds.
     
  4. Tritono

    Tritono SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    Multidimentional Multiverse
    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.

    :agreed:

    PD: I realize that you put more information. I can see that you are a good teacher, you are very welcome!
     
  5. Kurkkuviipale

    Kurkkuviipale Another Sinking ....

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    959
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    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.
     
  6. paintkilz

    paintkilz Banned

    Messages:
    900
    Likes Received:
    67
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Location:
    IOWA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    you write the midi tracks in gp5 then import them? or did i misunderstand?
     
  7. warped

    warped SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    83
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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!
     
  8. Leec

    Leec Woopah! Contributor

    Messages:
    2,023
    Likes Received:
    616
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    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.

    Sure, and that's how I'd do it. I sold my Mbox and PT because of the no drum maps thing. :noway:

    And to the OP, cool thread, and cool of you to spend time doing it. :)
     
  9. Kurkkuviipale

    Kurkkuviipale Another Sinking ....

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    959
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    Yes, I write the drum grooves on GP5, delete all the other tracks -> Import to midi -> export in DAW.
     
  10. K-Roll

    K-Roll SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    64
    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Location:
    Bratislava
    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
     
  11. Kurkkuviipale

    Kurkkuviipale Another Sinking ....

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    959
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    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!
     
  12. ristoCoC

    ristoCoC SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    18
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Location:
    Char
    Which one do you use, acoustic or electric snare?
     
  13. Tree

    Tree Bald Bear

    Messages:
    1,924
    Likes Received:
    208
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    For some reason 36 (acoustic I think) only goes to the right kick in SD, and 35 to the left
    :nuts:
    I suggest using 36 though.IIRC the 35 kick comes out really weak sounding in comparison to the other
     
  14. Kurkkuviipale

    Kurkkuviipale Another Sinking ....

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    959
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    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)
     
  15. Deadnightshade

    Deadnightshade U gonna eat that?

    Messages:
    1,727
    Likes Received:
    138
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Athens
    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!!!!:hbang::wavey:
     
  16. Kurkkuviipale

    Kurkkuviipale Another Sinking ....

    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    959
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    No problem dude, and I think you're right about the keys... Did the list just to clarify!
     
  17. Deadnightshade

    Deadnightshade U gonna eat that?

    Messages:
    1,727
    Likes Received:
    138
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Athens
    Do you happen to have a GM map with extra hit articulations?You know like hitting on the tip of the hi hat etc..:bowdown:
     
  18. manana

    manana SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    48
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    .
    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.
     
  19. Tritono

    Tritono SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    Multidimentional Multiverse
    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 :yesway:
     
  20. loktide

    loktide dotlike Contributor

    Messages:
    5,103
    Likes Received:
    986
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    interesting guide man :yesway:

    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
     

Share This Page