Author Topic: Strike variance in sound from playing live and playing back a sample live.  (Read 2596 times)

Offline Purpledc

So I have been really delving deep into what the strike can do but there is one thing that is driving me pretty bonkers and im hoping someone with real knowledge of how modules and processing sound works can explain the following.

So lets say I want to record a loop of me playing a certain beat.   While playing live the sound is very natural.  The kick doesn't sound processed or like a "recording".     But when I record my playing with the internal sampler and play it back through the same PA or Drum amp the sound is vastly different.

The best way I can describe it is when recording a sample of the kit and playing it back it sounds like a processed sound almost like what a roland kits sounds like in the room.  Very tight and pristine with a lot of definition and clarity.   But live its almost like the drums are muffled like there is a blanket on the attack making it sound smooth and natural live.   Why is this?   

Is there some kind of internal processing going on that changes the overall dynamic of the sounds?   Because I actually really love the way the sampled sound is and wish there was a way to choose to have it sound like that when actually playing.   

Offline Iggford

So I have been really delving deep into what the strike can do but there is one thing that is driving me pretty bonkers and im hoping someone with real knowledge of how modules and processing sound works can explain the following.

So lets say I want to record a loop of me playing a certain beat.   While playing live the sound is very natural.  The kick doesn't sound processed or like a "recording".     But when I record my playing with the internal sampler and play it back through the same PA or Drum amp the sound is vastly different.

The best way I can describe it is when recording a sample of the kit and playing it back it sounds like a processed sound almost like what a roland kits sounds like in the room.  Very tight and pristine with a lot of definition and clarity.   But live its almost like the drums are muffled like there is a blanket on the attack making it sound smooth and natural live.   Why is this?   

Is there some kind of internal processing going on that changes the overall dynamic of the sounds?   Because I actually really love the way the sampled sound is and wish there was a way to choose to have it sound like that when actually playing.   


This is EXACTLY the issue I'm trying to figure out at the moment.  I love the way my kit sounds live.  I noticed on the gig recordings we did last month, it sounded stripped down.  Especially the toms.  They tend to sound very processed, and a lot quieter.  I tend to like them to ring out a bit more than they are.  Live, they have a real presence, especially the two floor toms.  They have shaken a room before.  :)

I went through the compression tutorial video and amplified everything a bit, but it didn't change the sound, just made it louder.

I changed some layering that I had, again mostly on the toms.  We have a show tonight, and I'll go back and take a listen to the recording in a day or so to see if it helped any. 

If I can pinpoint anything that seems to help or provide any good insight into what's going on, I'll share it here. 


--
Shawn

Offline Purpledc

So I have been really delving deep into what the strike can do but there is one thing that is driving me pretty bonkers and im hoping someone with real knowledge of how modules and processing sound works can explain the following.

So lets say I want to record a loop of me playing a certain beat.   While playing live the sound is very natural.  The kick doesn't sound processed or like a "recording".     But when I record my playing with the internal sampler and play it back through the same PA or Drum amp the sound is vastly different.

The best way I can describe it is when recording a sample of the kit and playing it back it sounds like a processed sound almost like what a roland kits sounds like in the room.  Very tight and pristine with a lot of definition and clarity.   But live its almost like the drums are muffled like there is a blanket on the attack making it sound smooth and natural live.   Why is this?   

Is there some kind of internal processing going on that changes the overall dynamic of the sounds?   Because I actually really love the way the sampled sound is and wish there was a way to choose to have it sound like that when actually playing.   


This is EXACTLY the issue I'm trying to figure out at the moment.  I love the way my kit sounds live.  I noticed on the gig recordings we did last month, it sounded stripped down.  Especially the toms.  They tend to sound very processed, and a lot quieter.  I tend to like them to ring out a bit more than they are.  Live, they have a real presence, especially the two floor toms.  They have shaken a room before.  :)

I went through the compression tutorial video and amplified everything a bit, but it didn't change the sound, just made it louder.

I changed some layering that I had, again mostly on the toms.  We have a show tonight, and I'll go back and take a listen to the recording in a day or so to see if it helped any. 

If I can pinpoint anything that seems to help or provide any good insight into what's going on, I'll share it here. 


--
Shawn

if you want your toms to ring out a more and have more rumble go into your voice menu and hit F3 for Velocity.   Then for each tom increase the decay.   This decay is separate and different in effect from your overall decay.  The velocity decay relates more to the initial strike of the drum.  But by increasing the decay of the strike it seems to have a very large impact on the overall sound as well.  Give it a try.   Also increasing the velocity pitch is also independent from the overall tuning.   And then velocity filter has a different effect depending on the intstrument.  I find it adds punch and definition to toms and kicks but can make snares either sound fat or thin almost like it has no shell at all.   Play around with that.  All of those things play off each other and can have a dramatic effect on your overall sound.

As for the compression.  That does have an effect but I find you really need to crank it up.  Like im using a modified 033 rocker man kit with imported kick drums from drumwerks and to really notice it and get some pop I have to use about -25db of compression and then I boost it 10-11db.  This allows me to keep my faders in the center position and have freedom to micro adjust each instrument on the fly.  I prefer the master1 setting.  Rok 1 isn't bad either but even the dance and country ones have a neat effect.   Its subtle though.  And I think you will be much more happy fiddling with velocity.


My issue is rather different and it has to do with the on board sampler for recording your own playing.   You can record yourself with that and play it back over the same PA you are playing through at that moment.  And my problem is that the internal sampler colors the sound of the drumset dramatically.  Instead of it sounding like a live in the room drum set like it does while you are playing it comes out of the speakers almost sounding processed and album ready.   The kick drum sound punchy and has smack where as when playing through a PA kicks can sound washed out and muffled.  But not in a bad way.  But  more sounding like a live sound of a real drum set.   Either way the sampler is adding some type of coloring to the sound and its sounds really good.   If you get a chance record a sample of you playing by setting the sampler to internal.  Then play it back over the pa you are playing through.  You will notice how much more defined and album like the sound is coming over the speakers.   I wouldn't want it all the time but it would be really cool to have that as an option to switch to.   An overall parameter to switch the sound of a particular kit from a "processed" sound to a "live" sound.

Offline Purpledc

Issue is resolved. Turns out my module was having issues.  Replacement unit is on point.   

Offline Iggford

Issue is resolved. Turns out my module was having issues.  Replacement unit is on point.


After reading your description again, I realize they were two different issues!  :)

I was able to make my kit sound quite a bit better on our last gig recording, so thanks for the pointers this and every other time!

I need to try recording the way you described and see if mine acts funny, too, then.  I think I'm already going to have to contact Alesis about my cymbals, so I might as well test out any other possible problem points and get it all taken care of at once.


--
Shawn

Offline Purpledc

Issue is resolved. Turns out my module was having issues.  Replacement unit is on point.


After reading your description again, I realize they were two different issues!  :)

I was able to make my kit sound quite a bit better on our last gig recording, so thanks for the pointers this and every other time!

I need to try recording the way you described and see if mine acts funny, too, then.  I think I'm already going to have to contact Alesis about my cymbals, so I might as well test out any other possible problem points and get it all taken care of at once.


--
Shawn

if there is a huge difference between your headphone sound and your live sound you may have an old module like mine was.  I have no idea if age or just certain modules had the issue.  But those others also had very low volume through the headphones.  Something always seemed off about my sounds and I couldn't quite place it.  Now this new module sounds amazing no matter what.  One difference I note is that when starting up my old module used to show the alesis logo along with the firmware edition.   This new one goes straight to the kit.  And electronic kits load almost instantly.

Offline Iggford

if there is a huge difference between your headphone sound and your live sound you may have an old module like mine was.  I have no idea if age or just certain modules had the issue.  But those others also had very low volume through the headphones.  Something always seemed off about my sounds and I couldn't quite place it.  Now this new module sounds amazing no matter what.  One difference I note is that when starting up my old module used to show the alesis logo along with the firmware edition.   This new one goes straight to the kit.  And electronic kits load almost instantly.


I have a Goedrum controller scheduled to arrive tomorrow, so I'll be spending some quality time with the kit over the weekend.  I'm going to test the recording then and see what happens.

From where I sit during a gig, my live sound is really good.  The recorded sound from our soundboard is what sounds a little flat.  It could be a difference in effects going from the mixer and the FOH and from the mixer to Reaper, what we use to record a gig. 

My headphone sound hasn't seemed unusually low, but I do get a strange buzzing sound at lower volumes coming out.  Once I crank the volume a bit, it starts to go away.  I only use the headphone out port for monitoring during a show and playing with my headset at home. 

If I recall correctly, mine does show the logo and firmware edition at startup.  I usually immediately change to a user kit after the kit screen shows up.

Do you think it would be in my best interest to contact Alesis about my module on the buzzing alone?  It doesn't really get in my way, but I don't want to be sitting on a potential issue and not do anything about it.  Do they send replacements out before you send in a defective unit?


--
Shawn

Offline Purpledc

so are you sending direct outs to front of house?   If so that could be cause of your issue.  From what I understand any effects you apply to your sound wont be applied to the direct outs.  The theory being that most people want to send the cleanest most uncolored signal to the board and sometimes effects have a negative impact.

Offline Iggford

so are you sending direct outs to front of house?   If so that could be cause of your issue.  From what I understand any effects you apply to your sound wont be applied to the direct outs.  The theory being that most people want to send the cleanest most uncolored signal to the board and sometimes effects have a negative impact.


I'm sending my main outs to the mixer, which goes to the FOH and then via USB to our DAW laptop.  The FOH sounds really good, the sound I'm looking for, in fact.  It's just what the DAW picks up that sounds kinda flat.  If it's playing tricks with effects from the module, I may just have to go in when I mix down our audio and tweak some of the effects on the drum track.  I already have to bump up the low end of the EQ.  It will shake a room live, but doesn't have the same presence on the recording. 

I tried recording using the sampler yesterday finally.  How big was the difference between the live sound and the sampler recording on your module?  I played mine back, and there was a noticeable difference, but it wasn't drastic.  I picked it up right away, but I had my wife take a listen, and I had to point it out to her.  She heard it slightly after that.  I tested it through my amp and through headphones.

I'm going to perform another exercise with it at our rehearsal on Thursday.  I'm going to have the rest of the band take a listen and see what they hear.  I'm also curious to hear if there's as noticeable difference on our big PA.  I just want to make sure that, if my module is not performing as it should, I can catch it and get it resolved while I'm still under warranty. 


--
Shawn