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/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, ) 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!