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Recording Drum Samples

Lesson 20 from: Studio Pass: Periphery

Adam "Nolly" Getgood, Matt Halpern

Recording Drum Samples

Lesson 20 from: Studio Pass: Periphery

Adam "Nolly" Getgood, Matt Halpern

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Lesson Info

20. Recording Drum Samples

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The topic of the lesson is recording drum samples for production.


  1. What is the purpose of the abbreviated sample session?

    The purpose is to create a few velocity layers on each drum for production use.

  2. Why is it important to not sample the drums too hard?

    Sampling drums too hard can make them sound weird.

  3. How many velocity layers will be recorded for the snare drum?

    The snare drum will have more velocity layers than the kick drum.

  4. What is the recommended way to hit the snare drum for a ghost note?

    Hold the stick and let it fall onto the head without pulling it back.

  5. How hard should the center hit on the snare drum be?

    It should be as hard as you would ever hit without it being a rim shot.

  6. Should the floor toms have more space between the hits?

    Yes, the floor toms should have more space between the hits because they will ring more.

  7. Will symbols be recorded in the sample session?

    No, symbols will not be recorded in this session.

  8. What kind of beats will be recorded to demonstrate the drum tones?

    A tight hats beat that gradually opens up, a riding crash beat, and a tribal beat with toms will be recorded.

  9. What will be done after the drum sample session?

    The instructor will check the tuning of the drums and then proceed to record a pass at the song.

Next Lesson: Tracking Drum Takes

Lesson Info

Recording Drum Samples

So in the break we just, um, we went over all the microphone positions and tuned the kit, ready to make some samples. We're going to do kind of an abbreviated sample session instead of going really deep multi-sampling, we'll just do a few velocity layers on each drum. It's still going to be really good if you want to use this for productions, it's going to be more than enough stuff. Matt, do you want to start on the kick or snare? Kick's fine. Kick? Okay, so we'll maybe aim for four of each velocity layer. Give me a couple heel, sorry, give me four with your heel down, kind of more soft. (kick sounds) Cool, now give me a heel up, kind of, medium hard kick. (kick sounds) Killer, nice and even. Now give me four, there's no need to kick any harder than you actually kick. I think that's a mistake that people often make when they're sampling actually is to sample things way too hard and it ends up sounding really weird, so, just give me like four of your best, normal kicks. (kick sounds...

) Excellent, give me one more for luck. Wicked, alright. That's it for the kick drum, other, is the strainer off on the snare. No, it's on. For the snare, we'll do a few more velocity layers than that, so I guess the first thing is going to be like a ghost note, where, just hold the stick and let it fall on to the head without really pulling it back at all. Give me four of those. (snare sounds) Killer and you're leaving a really good space there. Give me four where you're lifting the stick but you're not putting any force into the downward motion. (snare sounds) Great, now let's do four where you're raising your arm and you're beginning to use a bit of the wrist. (snare sounds) Can you give me one more? The first one you hit was a little bit harder than those other three. (snare sound) Sweet, alright. Um, now let's take a harder center hit, like as hard as you would ever hit without it being a rim shot basically. Cool. (snare sounds) Lovely, now give me some rim shots, don't put like everything into it. Just like standard kind of backbeat rim shot. (snare sounds) Great, snare sounds awesome. Now give me four, full on rim shots, again it doesn't need to be like killing the snare but. Sure, okay. (snare sounds) Nice, I want these samples. Alright, let's move on to the rack tom, we'll do the same thing through the toms. We won't go crazy on the layers. So the first one just lift the stick and let it fall. Middle one, put some weight behind it. Third one, be as hard as you would ever hit. (tom sounds) Cool, that's a good amount of gap you're leaving there. Cool, same thing on that next one. (tom sounds) Cool, probably leave a bit more space on the floor toms, they're going to ring a bit more. (floor tom sounds) Some good notes for myself if no one else. You don't want that sample. Come in and steal them later. Dude, that would be perfect for like the floor tom and spock bit you know? Yeah, perfect, the door single hit. One more and I can break three symbols with one stick. Oh, really? Fighting words. Yeah, right, alright here we go. (floor tom sounds) Cool, so that's all the drums. Do you want symbols at all or? That's good? Yeah, um, you know, typically when we sample we would do more than that but for the sake of this, this is great. Do you want a couple simple beats? Yeah, let's just get a couple of beats which the guys at home can mess with and they can see how these tones actually work in context. Hear the amount of bleed that's coming through the microphones and everything, so, I'd suggest maybe start with like something on tight hats that gradually opens up so they can see the variation of that. Just give us like four, eight bar or something. Sure. (drum beat) Yeah, that's awesome, maybe now do something which is kind of going to be riding on a crash, because that's going to do something completely different in the room mics, it would be a good kind of variation. Cool. Maybe do like four bars on the crash and then move to four bars on the china. Okay. (drum beat) Killer and I'd say maybe just to round it out, let's get them some stuff with toms, so maybe some kind of tribal beat. Maybe like, like the bit in Psychosphere but you know, anything you want to play. Cool. (drum beat) Killer. Cool, I think between that, that's some really fun stuff for people to mess around with and try mixing. Drums sound awesome. Cool. Really into the toms. Really into all of it, I think we kind of just refining those positions we've really got like a really great drum sound together so, um, I guess what I'll do is I will come out and just check the tuning since you've hit the drums a bit. And then we will actually have a go doing a pass at the song, if you're ready. I'm ready, I'm ready to go. Cool. Whenever you are. Come through with my pitch app. Change the drum sticks. It's dangerous having a phone in here. You have to keep remembering to put it onto airplane mode. Okay. You okay? Yep. (laughter) Just checking, Usually that happens to me there's like a overhead above my head and I stand up and I-- I think, I think we've had a few knocks to the overhead so what I'm actually going to do, while I'm in here as well is just check that we're still good. Can you do me the honors and hold that in the middle? Yes. Well that's, Pretty good. Yeah, yeah, okay that's great. I know this one got a little bit of a knock. Let me see, maybe if we just oh I wonder if that maybe pulled it. There we go, it's all good now, right? Right. Good? Yep. Now we check these? Yeah, I'll just do a once over. Move out of your way. So. We need, I'm just going to do the, the batter heads. (drums being tunes) Cool. These are holding tune really well. Something that's actually a huge benefit to what we're doing here is you've played in the heads now, so they've all kind of bedded in and they're not going to move too much. Sure, yeah. It can be a real pain during a recording process when you've got brand new heads they always slip a ton in the beginning of their life, a bit like guitar strings do. (tuning sounds) And finally. And snare. Can I grab a stick? Let's do it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Halpern Drum Samples
Micing Guitar Cab
Nolly's Mic List

Ratings and Reviews

Connor Smith

I haven't even finished the course and already my mixes have improved dramatically. Night and day difference. I haven't watched the portions with Matt as I'm using drum samples (GGD specifically), but I have no doubt it's great. Matt is always incredibly helpful and is a brilliant drummer. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Nolly, he's very articulate and his approach to audio engineering is flat out brilliant. I'm so happy I purchased this course. Before my mixes were good (balance and things of that nature) but lacked life and energy. I just wasn't getting the professional level sound I was searching for. Now, I am proud of my mixes and actually think they're getting to the point where they sound professional and don't sound like they were produced by a dude in his bedroom with about half of year of recording and audio engineering experience. The metal genre is difficult to mix as there's a lot going on and the "current metal sound" is very crisp and clear while still being very heavy and punchy. It isn't 80s dad metal where guitars are hissy and flubby. lol I am a huge Periphery fan and it's a privilege to watch Nolly share his knowledge. I really enjoy his approach as its very simple but very effective. He doesn't have insane mixing strategies, he just does what works and it's applicable to any DAW and is helpful for almost any genre of music. Brilliant course!

a Creativelive Student

This was an amazing course! I loved hearing from both Matt and Nolly on their thought process behind drums in general. I love the point they drove home about getting a great source tone. That seems to be forgotten in a lot of recordings and they try to fix it in the mix. Jolly did a fantastic job of making it look "easy" to take already great sounding source tones and making them really shine! Cant wait to put these concepts into practice in my own projects. What a great source of knowledge here. Thanks for this great class!

Adrian Gougov

Best course and overall learning experience I've had in a long long while. Nolly and Matt are superb. Nolly is an astonishing mixing and recording engineer and a great teacher. Not only does he explains his methods carefully and in detail, but also lays down key concepts in an understandable language. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna learn how to mix modern heavy music. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna learn how to track drums properly. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna see one of modern metal's best drummers track a whole song from start to finish. Props to Creative Live for bringing this material to us.

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