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My DrumDrops review

 
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Neil C



Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Moonbase Alpha

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject: My DrumDrops review Reply with quote

I've just got a Drumdrops multi-track DVD (volume 1), and as promised here's my review of it (I'm not in any way connected to DrumDrops):

What you get is 2 DVD's that between them contain 24 sets of drum & percussion tracks. These are complete songs that last about 4.30 minutes. Each drum & percussion element is on it's own track - they are 24 bit 44.1K aiff files. There are mp3 previews of each full mix, so you can quickly audition them. There are also 74 FX sounds and 36 percussion hits (vibraslaps etc).
Spring reverb of various elements is also included as seperate tracks within the sets, which is very handy. Just bringing that in and out gives you instant dubbing.

The songs range from about 70 to 140 bpm. A few too many (I think about a third) have snare rather than side stick for my liking, but you can always cut out the snare and put a side stick in yourself (although I did notice that one of the sets had snare overspill in the bass drum track which would make this not possible, although you could re-do the bass drum track as well).

The playing is flawless.
The sound is spot on - it's warm and vintage but sufficiently hi-fi enough as well. The hits are exactly the sounds I've been looking for (at last a side stick/rim shot I'm really happy with!). If you don't want to use the complete performances the multi-track format means it's very easy to sample individual hits and phrases. The spring reverbs don't have the classic 'plop', but are very welcome nonetheless.

I suppose a problem here is that there are just two volumes of the Dub DVD's and if everyone starts using them they'll be a bit too much uniformity, but there is loads of scope to sample and re-arrange.

Anyhow, I've done a very quick and rough track so you can judge the drums for youselves (within the constraints of mp3 quality). This was done from nothing to what you'll hear in under 6 hours. It uses all the tracks of a DrumDrops set with no extra processing from me (except compression on the whole mix). This is also the first outing for my newly acquired Mutron Bi-Phase - super gorgeous! (forgive the mistimings on the guitar)- the guitar sound is totally homegrown, no samples. It's the last track on the list - title 'OneTwo' (if you reading this in a few months time, I may have worked on it some more).

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/4/vitalfeedmusic.htm
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interruptor



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1138
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:51 pm    Post subject: My DrumDrops review Reply with quote

Hi Neil,

I got my copy today but I'will not have time until the weekend to try it out :-/

cheers,
D aka I
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interruptor



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1138
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject: My DrumDrops review Reply with quote

your demo sounds cool.. can't hear the bass line though - this pc has a tiny little speaker - very unlike the soundsystem you put as icon to the track on your homepage..
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Neil C



Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Moonbase Alpha

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: My DrumDrops review Reply with quote

Thanks for the info - I'm going through a DOD FX 25 (green pedal) as an envelope filter, which cuts out all the higher frequencies, adding eq and compression and I'm getting the best sound I've had on my system. I boost what remains of the higher regions in order to make the bass audible on small speakers, but it seems this isn't totally successful.
I'll have to re-think - maybe I'll record the bass clean, then send it through the dod so I have a dodded and an un-dodded track, and mix some of the un-dodded in so I keep some of the higher harmonics. Not sure if that will sound right (phase issues and so on), but I'll give it a go.
I've got relatively new strings on at the moment which will continue to give too much 'clang' for a while though.
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interruptor



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1138
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:29 am    Post subject: My DrumDrops review Reply with quote

i didn't want to say you should change the bass sound.. i never hear any bassline on this small speaker. the only option i have here is opening the graphic eq of the soundcard and cranking up the bass bands until there is enough distortion so that it seems the bass was played an octave higher.

When it comes to bass one really has to decide whether the tune is to be listened to mainly on sound systems or also on small consumer equipment.

If you optimize it for the radio you need to get rid of the low bass in order to be able to push the overall volume so that it appears as loud as possible compared to other tunes on the radio. For the sound system it would be a pitty to loose that bass rumble.
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Neil C



Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Moonbase Alpha

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:08 pm    Post subject: My DrumDrops review Reply with quote

Yes, you are right. Thing is, there is a local college station that has a dub show on it, and the DJ plays my stuff. I listen on Medium Wave, and if I don't pay attention to the higher frequencies the bass gets lost, but the bass on the commercial releases doesn't. Even though I guess most people listen on the internet stream, I don't like to think the bass is lacking for anyone, the groove is as important as the low ooomph. So I have to do a bit of a compromise, but I guess a lot of the eq in a mix is a compromise between making the individual instrument sound its best, and making it sit and function in the mix.
But dub being sparser than most music does mean you don't have to shave off un-needed frequencies as much as in some styles.
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Neil C



Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Moonbase Alpha

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:17 pm    Post subject: My DrumDrops review Reply with quote

Anyhow, to get back to the topic - I've had a lot of downloads for OneTwo - much more than usual - I've had 17 downloads of OneTwo whereas last month I only had 4 downloads for all my tracks put together.

I presume most of this is Dub Discussion readers who want to check out DrumDrops, if it is - what do people think? Interruptor's (thanks for the 'sounds cool' comment) taken the plunge - anybody else?
I'm really excited, because my little 6 hour experiment has shown me that I will be able to put together an album's worth of quality sounding stuff in very quick time with DrumDrops (and I love my Bi-Phase).
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
Posts: 766
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:11 am    Post subject: My DrumDrops review Reply with quote

Neil. t's sounds very good. Phase is absolutely great :)
btw, bass is nice. I have full speakers here. Need no change to my ear.
Drums/percs are fine. Overall the mix is 'clean'. It's good. I guess here the taste may kik in. I mean some people may like it a bit messier/lo-fi-ier :) heh heh.
I'd say, if you feel inspiration..., then just do it...make an album. Just challenge the mixes and your own 'logic' to the max ...what ever your imgination can go for.... Try to do something 'unthinkable'

/respects,
/Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE

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ZEE DUB LAB
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