Developing your own unique drum sound is an important craft to get to grips with, especially if you’re looking to create a dancefloor banger, or even if you’re working on something a little more refined and subtle. Drum programming and processing is a crucial part of the production process, so to help you along we’ve assembled some useful hints and tips from a few of the special guest artists who have visited us here at Point Blank. NB: With each video, just hit the play button to tune in to the exact moment when our guests impart their knowledge…
This video gives a great insight into Kate’s process when building a groove and how she adds elements between the first kick and the first clap to make things interesting. She also demonstrates how she uses Ultra Beat in Logic to design nice, warm drum sounds, as featured in the track “Go On Then”. Kate uses Sub boom bass a lot to build deep drum sounds and she also shares an important piece of advice she got from John Tejada, “Don’t think the mastering is going to fix it [your music], so be really careful when you chose your drum sounds and pretend that’s just how they’re going to sound”.
Hypercolour boss, Alex Jones, has more than a trick or two up his sleeve when it comes to making banging techno tunes and more traditional house-orientated beats. He shows how it all starts with the kick and how he uses Ableton to make each kick sound tougher and punchier. The second step to his kick drum technique is to EQ it with a large peak at the bottom end of the sound spectrum. Follow this and your kick will be as punchy as it could possibly be!
Jozif show us how he makes use of the audio bus to streamline his drum creation and composition process. A neat little trick that when set up correctly, keep things nice and tidy, putting you firmly in control of your music making.
Claude Vonstroke, Dirtybird head honcho, has a little tip to make your drum production easier and more fluid: he creates a series of macros and loads the complete range of sounds he wants to use into them. If you follow this method you’ll be able to switch and alternate between drum sounds simply by turning a knob and without having to stop the music.
Riva is a big fan of the Gold Baby plugins, they emulate almost perfectly the different sounds of the TR-808. In this video he shows us that a good kick doesn’t always come from something that sounds like a kick: if you pitch a drum down, and tweak it a bit, you can achieve a unique and distinctive sound of your own.
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Editor’s Note: This is an old article and things have moved on considerably since the original publication date 🙂
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