Drum Sampling in 2018

Slate seems to have the market cornered on drum sampling. Drumagog that used to be “king” is still Drumagog 5. With tools like Drum leveler from Soundradix and Drumatom from acusonus I have been completly out of the sampling game for a few years now. In fact even before that Logic has pretty good sampling built in and I made my own samples for about the last 5 years and haven’t used and external sampler since.

The thing that has turned me off of drum sampling has been phase issues. I find it quicker to get a raw kit into shape without samples than I do with. So many times I had to go back and render sample tracks to audio and then time align them to get certain hits in phase. Sometimes I’d have to exchange hits to get things better in phase etc. What a pain. Most people don’t go to that level of detail though.

That said I always used samples as augmentation and not outright replacement. Replacement is easier for sure. What are others doing with drum samples these days?

Are you talking about drum sample replacement? Or sample packs?

If you mean either of those I might have to disagree. Fxpansion has a far wider range of material, and XLN’s replacement trigger has a lot of features the Slate one doesn’t. I do like the way Slate assembled the samples within the trigger, but I’ve only been playing with it for a half hour lol.

This has a lot to do with the company that created the 3rd party sample packs. The recent Fxpansion ones have substantially improved room and ambience mic options. And the earlier ones that had phase problems can still be used for sample replacement on direct mics.

Ok. I see. Slate may have set himself apart a little in that he’s not letting 3rd party sample packs go up on the website unless the content creators have dealt with the phase issues to his satisfaction. I was pretty surprised at how well thought out the samples were when I finally got through his pesky licensing system and tried it out.

But to say he’s ‘cornered the market’ to me would imply that that he’s got everyone else trigger replacement/augmentation systems beat so bad that the vast majority are only gonna use his. Sort of like Avid in the high-end post production studios. I’m sure Steven would love to be that guys some day though! :slight_smile: I’m rooting for the dude. I like him lol.

Good to hear. I am a bit ignorant on this subject because it has been so long since I’ve used sample replacement. It seems like BFD, addictive and slate would be the big dogs. My understanding is that addictive and BFD are used from your own daws Midi which is a little different than him using wave forms to trigger like Drumagog does. I could be right out to lunch.

If I felt I needed to sample for augmentation think I would still do it manually by creating a new track. Tab to transient and copy in the sample I needed.

I am happy to hear there is no monopoly happening in the drum trigger world:)

…not quite.

So…for starters, XLN trigger is a different plugin than XLN addictive drums. You purchase them separately. Some of the sounds are cross compatible, some are not.

XLN Trigger is like Drumagog and the Slate Platinum trigger.
-The XLN trigger can act as a trigger itself.
-Or it can print the midi data so your DAW and export a perfectly aligned midi file directly to a midi track with the velocity sensitivity accounted for. It does this much better than a DAWs built in alogrhythms.
-Or it can send the drum hit trigger signal directly out to a drum host like XLN Addictive, BFD, or Superior.

I think the Slate trigger can do all this, but I haven’t dug into it enough yet. I mainly bought the Slate trigger so I could have a few extra options in the library. I’m pretty happy with the GUI and workflow on the XLN trigger, and the browser is way better. But the Slate one seems very easy to learn and navigate. I got the Platinum bundle with it, and I’ll pick up all 3 of the Slate expansions when they go on sale.

I think the Addictive trigger and library was $1400. It went half off at Christmas several years ago so I bought it. The XLN library is way smaller and simpler than the Fxpansion one, but Fxpansion doesn’t have a dedicated trigger.

Hand to grid? Why?

The other one comping up REAL fast are the ‘I want that sound’ libraries. They don’t even have an engine. When you buy them they pre-format the samples for Ableton, NI Maschine etc… I think it was smart of them not to get into the VI world though because what they’re really good at is recording drums better than everyone else then just sort of decided to start selling sample packs. Their sample work is really amazing in my opinion.

Wow! Thanks for the info, Jonathan. I never got into samples that heavily. I used Drumagog for a while but then after phase issues nulled the improvement I was getting( yes that was a very nerdy play on words:) and Drum leveler, as well as Drumatom, came out at the same time I just stopped looking into it. My Drumatom hasn’t worked since they moved from plugin alliance. Drum leveler is a killer plugin for anyone using real drums.

I use a fair bit of samples. My preference is to only augment what’s there, to round out or achieve the tone that I’m looking for without having to do major EQ’ing that can cause other problems. Unfortunately, in metal you’ll often just get MIDI tracks, or some shells/cymbals and MIDI kick etc etc… while I do like the creative control that gives me, I’d rather start with something that gives me a foundation to work from.

For samples, here’s what I have to draw from:
Slate Trigger and Steven Slate Drums (plus a few expansions)
Superior Drummer
Libraries from Room Sound, I Want That Sound, GetGood Drums, and other small sample sets that I’ve collected over the years (Room Sound and GetGood use NI Kontakt as their base sample engine)

For sample replacement, a lot of the time I’ll use Trigger because it’s nice n’ easy… dupe the track, throw trigger on it, load samples I like and I’m off. I’ll always print the track though and line the samples up with the original so phase is happy. No sampler or trigger program is 100% accurate, so to me it’s pretty important to print and align. That being said, I have seen folks who will put on an instance of Trigger and just let it do it’s thing during mix without printing it. Whatever works!

I’ve been using Cubase as my “main” DAW for almost 2 years… it has a Hit Points function that automatically finds transients (tweakable with threshold) and can generate a MIDI track from them. This is great because I can use my full drum samplers (SSD/SD/Kontakt) and not just rely on Trigger.

+1 on these guys! I’ve got 3 or 4 of their libraries and they’re fantastic. What I also like about them is that they have really different and interesting sample sets, not just regular ol’ drum kits. My most recent (and now one of my favorite) sets I got from them is called Hangar… they basically took a kit and recorded it in an aircraft hangar. I’ve taken the snare hits and layered them under an “organic” snare drum track and it’s aaaawesome!

I checked out the I want that sound Hanger library. That is insanely good. Not expensive either.

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Drumagog - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Even if it’s only to sample one-shots and replace the close mic’d drums with themselves, it still makes a big difference, especially to the amount of control I gain.

Drumleveler is awesome but to be honest I find it far more useful for vocals and bass guitar than drums.

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I’ll have to try this. I’ve wondered but I’ve not tried it.