Recording in the studio

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
My band will be making a demo recoding next week in the studio. The last time I recorded in a studio was in 1969.

goodcat1337 made this statement in another thread:

"These days, it honestly probably doesn't matter what your kit sounds like when you record, cause they are replacing your sounds with samples once they edit anyways. If they like the sound of your kit, they'll probably use your samples. If they don't like it, they probably have some samples on hand they can replace yours with."


One of the reasons I don't like digital drums is I can't get all of the many sounds that I can get out of my acoustic set.

My question is:
Can a studio replace any sound I make on my drums and cymbals with an identical sample?
And, using digital samples, can the studio replace the exact sounds, timing, style and phrasing that I play with?

.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Sound Replacement will mimic the placement and dynamics of the original sound, as long as it's on its own track. Still, overheads will pick up the snare and toms, and replacing them on their tracks with a sample still leaves the original sound in the overheads.

But it doesn't occur as often as you might imagine. Drum sounds are still crucial, the goal is typically to not replace them, although sometimes a sample layered with the original kick or snare may be helpful in acheiving a sound that the drum can't make on its own.

I've never seen a cymbal be replaced with a sample, and based on how a cymbal builds on itself when played - and a sample doesn't in the same way - I think the results would be poor.

Bermuda
 

MCM

Senior Member
Just got done recording. In my scenario, the kit and room matters. I like simple. We recorded 6 songs in one day. No clicks or computers. Analog into protools so the bass and guitar quirks can be tweaked. Vocals after that.
 

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
My band will be making a demo recoding next week in the studio. The last time I recorded in a studio was in 1969.

goodcat1337 made this statement in another thread:

"These days, it honestly probably doesn't matter what your kit sounds like when you record, cause they are replacing your sounds with samples once they edit anyways. If they like the sound of your kit, they'll probably use your samples. If they don't like it, they probably have some samples on hand they can replace yours with."


One of the reasons I don't like digital drums is I can't get all of the many sounds that I can get out of my acoustic set.

My question is:
Can a studio replace any sound I make on my drums and cymbals with an identical sample?
And, using digital samples, can the studio replace the exact sounds, timing, style and phrasing that I play with?

.
The question shouldn't be "can they", in your case I think it is "should they".

Engage with the engineer and chat about what he intends to do, become part of the process and share ideas with each other.

Although if he's an awesome engineer and you picked him because you love previous stuff, he's done, maybe you can leave him to it and trust he will bring the best out of your playing.
 

David Floegel

Silver Member
goodcat1337 made this statement in another thread:

"These days, it honestly probably doesn't matter what your kit sounds like when you record, cause they are replacing your sounds with samples once they edit anyways. If they like the sound of your kit, they'll probably use your samples. If they don't like it, they probably have some samples on hand they can replace yours with."

.
Uhm, no offense but I don't think he has worked in a decent studio then.

From the studios and producers I know (mostly big studios), I can tell that the drum sound matters a LOT.
If the drummer, the drums, the room, and probably the producer is sh*t: yes, they'll probably replace everything with samples and quantize the hell out of the drumtracks.

Nevertheless, if you're doing some very "modern" music where you want real drums, but for example an electronic snare or kick sound you might replace the sounds later.

In your case, I wouldn't worry about that.
Just get your drums sound good, and let the producer take care of the rest. :)


Good luck :)
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
Uhm, no offense but I don't think he has worked in a decent studio then.

From the studios and producers I know (mostly big studios), I can tell that the drum sound matters a LOT.
If the drummer, the drums, the room, and probably the producer is sh*t: yes, they'll probably replace everything with samples and quantize the hell out of the drumtracks.

Nevertheless, if you're doing some very "modern" music where you want real drums, but for example an electronic snare or kick sound you might replace the sounds later.

In your case, I wouldn't worry about that.
Just get your drums sound good, and let the producer take care of the rest. :)


Good luck :)
I think sound replacement is way more common than you think .... more so on major recordings than anything else ... at least in the USA it is

on just about all of the major big money modern recordings you hear....mostly in pop, rock,country and metal..... there is some sort of sound replacement happening .... sometimes just a snare... sometimes just a bass drum... and sometimes the entire kit

unless the drums are tracked in a studio that is known for its drum sounds .... like Avatar for example.... chances are there is some sort of replacement happening be it minor or major.
in fact many studios use Avatar drum sound stems to replace

the way a lot of these studios and producers see it is time is money and it is the quickest easiest way to get a sound that they know will sound good and that they can easily manipulate it in post being that they are stems and they can manipulate each sound completely separately with zero bleeding if a certain sound or frequency starts to get canceled out in the mix.

I would be willing to bet that just about everyone reading this .... and including myself ... on 99 out of 100 recordings would not be able to pick out the sound replaced drum because it is done that well most of the time ....

sometimes it is done horribly.... there is a Jimmy Eat World record.... I don't know which one because I don't listen to them .... but on one of their records every single snare hit is the exact same snare hit.... and it is so amazingly irritating that it is unlistenable to me .
that would be an example of poorly done sound replacement on a big budget project

I personally absolutely hate this process and always have ... and thankfully just recently the more organic sound of actual live drums in the room is starting to come back
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
I think sound replacement is way more common than you think .... more so on major recordings than anything else ... at least in the USA it is

on just about all of the major big money modern recordings you hear....mostly in pop, rock,country and metal..... there is some sort of sound replacement happening .... sometimes just a snare... sometimes just a bass drum... and sometimes the entire kit

unless the drums are tracked in a studio that is known for its drum sounds .... like Avatar for example.... chances are there is some sort of replacement happening be it minor or major.
in fact many studios use Avatar drum sound stems to replace

the way a lot of these studios and producers see it is time is money and it is the quickest easiest way to get a sound that they know will sound good and that they can easily manipulate it in post being that they are stems and they can manipulate each sound completely separately with zero bleeding if a certain sound or frequency starts to get canceled out in the mix.

I would be willing to bet that just about everyone reading this .... and including myself ... on 99 out of 100 recordings would not be able to pick out the sound replaced drum because it is done that well most of the time ....

sometimes it is done horribly.... there is a Jimmy Eat World record.... I don't know which one because I don't listen to them .... but on one of their records every single snare hit is the exact same snare hit.... and it is so amazingly irritating that it is unlistenable to me .
that would be an example of poorly done sound replacement on a big budget project

I personally absolutely hate this process and always have ... and thankfully just recently the more organic sound of actual live drums in the room is starting to come back
Sadly there is truth to this. If they want to use samples they should not waste the drummers time and just program it. Thats really all you have after sample replacement and beat detection. To be blunt sample use is just the result of laziness and the insane need to copy the latest thing and in too many cases complete lack of engineering competency. If I have a world class studio and a top shelf player, why would I use a sample replacement app that every kid in his bedroom also has and sound like everyone else? It pretty much says the nice room and the engineer has no meaning or purpose.

Drums are not the easiest things to record but they are also not rocket science. To cop out and use sample says volumes to me about the engineer and their skills.

I want the unique sound of the player and the kit in my recordings. Anything I have control over will have that.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
Sadly there is truth to this. If they want to use samples they should not waste the drummers time and just program it. Thats really all you have after sample replacement and beat detection. To be blunt sample use is just the result of laziness and the insane need to copy the latest thing and in too many cases complete lack of engineering competency. If I have a world class studio and a top shelf player, why would I use a sample replacement app that every kid in his bedroom also has and sound like everyone else? It pretty much says the nice room and the engineer has no meaning or purpose.

Drums are not the easiest things to record but they are also not rocket science. To cop out and use sample says volumes to me about the engineer and their skills.

I want the unique sound of the player and the kit in my recordings. Anything I have control over will have that.
things like this are unfortunately happening all over the place ....

hey look what we can do for you !!! yay we sound replace you with authentic sounds !!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdSQfOpPMDc
 

opentune

Platinum Member
... and thankfully just recently the more organic sound of actual live drums in the room is starting to come back
Good to hear.

I've been predicting that once everybody stops jerking around with digital sounds, or tires of it, and it becomes such a norm (like now) there will be niche market that develops for real live instruments, in real live rooms, drums and all. 'organic' as you say, just a band and some mics, maybe like older live jazz records. One microphone in a nice sounding room even - Robert Johnson style.

I'm hoping anyway.
 

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
things like this are unfortunately happening all over the place ....

hey look what we can do for you !!! yay we sound replace you with authentic sounds !!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdSQfOpPMDc
Whilst that is semi shocking from one point of view. Its also pretty cool.

At least you still require an actual drummer to play something to get that kind of feel into it.

I guess this falls into the "what the artist/studio/engineer" wants if its a paid session for the drummer. if its your own bands session then hopefully organic remains king!
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Thank you for your input guys ! Especially thank you WholsTony.

Now I'm understand this better. The drum sound can be replaced with a sample but the accents, dynamics and phrasing could remain the same.
I was thinking that somehow the whole drum sound and playing would be replaced.

I don't mind if an engineer changed the tone of my drums using an audio mixer. It has been done for many years.
For instance adding some highs to my snare sound while it is being recorded to give it more crack.

And thank you Diet Kirk. Great idea, I will get involved and work with the engineer.

.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I think sound replacement is way more common than you think .... more so on major recordings than anything else ... at least in the USA it is
I certainly agree in pop, particularly if there is a label behind it.

And in metal, I don't think anyone in any part of the world has made an album in 20 years where the bass drum sound wasn't a sample/trigger/replacement sound.

But if it's a local band going into the studio to record a demo, I doubt it would come up all that often unless it was requested by someone.
 
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