Tuning drums

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robowist
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Tuning drums

Post by robowist » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:38 pm

I know its possible to patch and edit the drum sequencers so that you can use them as essentially another synth sequencer. I'd appreciate any pointers as to how you accomplish this. Am I right that you would only be able to tune your "drums" to hit four different notes through the whole song? And how exactly do you tune them to the appropriate notes. Do you get another instrument (or another Kord DS) to hit the note you are after and then mess with the gate and other knobs to get to the correct pitch?
Last edited by robowist on Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ugocapeto
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by ugocapeto » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:50 pm

You can hit any note you want just like for the 2 main synths (you have access to the same grids: pitch, gate, etc). the only diff between drum and the 2 main synths is that it's stored as a sample (that's why it never sounds the way you patch it). because of that, there's a limit on sound length (no release) and the sound gets higher and shorter as you go up the scale.
all this ^ unless i completely misunderstood the question/issue :)

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NeoS
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by NeoS » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:37 am

Just to be extra clear, the way you edit drum parts' notes is by selecting the corresponding number (1/2/3/4) on the left of the drum sequencing screen. This brings you to the piano roll for whichever drum part you selected, and allows you to browse through the other tabs (gate, volume, pan.)

Another key difference is that the drums have no kaoss pad nor corresponding tabs, so if you use them as synths, they will not be able to have a modulating timbre other than via any patches/effects applied (which, in case you don't know, they have their own individual effect channels.)
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robowist
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by robowist » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:50 am

Thanks. I know I've seen those screens you enter through those number buttons on the drum sequencer, but I've been so caught up in the synth parts that I had forgotten about how to access that stuff with the drums. I should be fine now.

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robowist
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by robowist » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:00 am

One more question about using the drums to create melodic patterns: Say you were orchestrating a piece for six voices--two of those voices will take up the synthesizer slots and four will take up the drum slots. Are there some general guidelines you would follow in terms of which voices you would assign to the synths and which to the drums? For example, if one of your voices needs to hit longer, more sustained notes in the score, would you tend to assign it to one the synthesizer parts, reserving the drums for voices that would be going for more staccato or short duration notes? Would you tend to assign higher pitched voices to the synthesizers and lower pitched voices to the drums? etc.

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NeoS
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by NeoS » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:31 am

I don't have a list of guidelines, but the answer to your first question is yes, generally it is better to assign the synths the parts with sustained notes and the drums the parts with staccato notes, since there is a point at which the drum samples cut off regardless of legato sequencing. However, since that cut-off point occurs later the lower the note is, a drum part may also be used to play sustained notes for a bass line.
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by ugocapeto » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:34 pm

plus, the drum channels are likely to give you clicks when you play with the gate and/or the volume. At least, that's how i remember it.

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NeoS
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by NeoS » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:46 pm

ugocapeto wrote:plus, the drum channels are likely to give you clicks when you play with the gate and/or the volume. At least, that's how i remember it.
True, although the fuller the texture, the easier it is to mask these artifacts.
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by Decktonic » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:56 am

I will say though, I have played a sustained synth sound on a drum track, specifically in "Dance Machine." The sidechained rising sound that comes in half way is on a drum track and it sounded fine. It was one consistent note with the volume changing, so that helped. Anyway you'd be surprised how effective the drum tracks can be :)
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by Syscrusher » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:10 am

Decktonic wrote:I have played a sustained synth sound on a drum track
Yes indeed. In my tune "Catacombs" you'd be surprised how many sounds (inc. sustained ones) are from the drum tracks. Some of the punchiest ones as well. The fast rapidly panned notes in background of the second section as well as the L/R/C panned and highly filtered bass tones throughout plus many more. With some care the artifacts can be eliminated or, as NeoS pointed out, masked by a sufficiently thick texture. "Geodesic Memory" also makes a great deal of use of the drum tracks.

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Re: Tuning drums

Post by LPChip » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:31 pm

Although it often is the longer sounds you'd want to put in the synth, there can be occasions where a longer sound can have an effect in the drums too.

What you'll need to know is that the lower the pitch on the drum sound, the longer it can last. So if you make a sound that you like, make sure you set the octave to the lowest possible, and then in the notes section, aim at the higher octaves. Sure, you won't be able to get a high sound if your aim was a bass sound, but it will ensure that your note lasts longer (its possible to cover one entire pattern with a note that way.

Do also note, that such note will never sustain properly, because the next note will always have a small gap whether you want it or not, unless you make it continue, which means that at some point, your envelope will run out anyway.

Now aside of this, its also good to take into consideration what you're going to do with your main FX. If it plays on the drums only and not on the synths, you'll need to take this into consideration when you decide what sounds you'll put in there. I've done this in my song Baseflow for example. Also if you're not going to use the FX in the drums but only in the synths, you also need to keep in mind that there's no effect on the drum.

Why do I mention this? Although the drums do have their own FX's, those FX's will stop when the sample is reaching its end, which is pretty quick. This will sound strange if you aim for a longer delay sound. The main FX however will keep working, making it possible to create a drum or synth with echo in the drums section.

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Re: Tuning drums

Post by Syscrusher » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:39 pm

@LPChip - All excellent points. This is a good thread.

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Re: Tuning drums

Post by chunter » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:20 am

LPChip wrote:Although it often is the longer sounds you'd want to put in the synth, there can be occasions where a longer sound can have an effect in the drums too.

What you'll need to know is that the lower the pitch on the drum sound, the longer it can last. So if you make a sound that you like, make sure you set the octave to the lowest possible, and then in the notes section, aim at the higher octaves. Sure, you won't be able to get a high sound if your aim was a bass sound, but it will ensure that your note lasts longer (its possible to cover one entire pattern with a note that way.
I've done this to make lush pads or simulate the sound of Moog Taurus pedals holding- I deliberately set the drum synth for a very high octave, maybe use two oscillators in fifths, then program the drum sequencer to play my chord in very low notes.

If you can give up two drums, I have set up two of them with pads tuned in fifths to make lush chords. To make up for only having two drums left, the first drum becomes my kick, then the second one becomes a white noise versatile enough to be a hi-hat when pitched up and panned a little to the right, and a snare when at the default C and panned center.

Want to do a tom fill with that setup? Make a pattern where synth 1 or 2 becomes the tom.

Relative to what the real equivalent MS-10/20 gear would be like, DS-10 is remarkably versatile, isn't it? ;)

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AudioArtist
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Have you noticed this?

Post by AudioArtist » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:05 am

MOVED POST:
Well I've been working on some new sounds and alternate ways of achieving them but, I've run into this problem.
When I create sounds in the regular Synth 1or 2 window, save them and then try to "paste" them into the Drum pads, the sounds end up out of tune or skewed in strange ways. These "issues" can be dealt with but it's just kind of strange to me.
Obviously the absence of certain controls would be the first thing to think of, however I've made certain to not use those knobs when creating sounds that I intend to work in both the synth and drum pad settings/patches. Similar discrepancies also occur when trying to "paste" sounds created on a drum pad into one of the Synth 1 or 2 settings/patches.
I have two thoughts/questions about this:
1-has anyone else run across this problem?
and 2- Could it be that certain sounds can only be achieved if using the Drum pads-VS.-Synth settings/patch windows? I've been trying for awhile to get some new percussion sounds and I found that creating them in one of the two synth patches, I can actually get closer to the sound I'm aiming for than I can if I try to create the sound on a drum pad.

I've noticed that they both respond a bit differently, aside from the obvious lack of knobs/controls in the drum pads but, I'm a little confused. What are the "background" differences in the way that they operate?
Any thoughts?

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Re: Have you noticed this?

Post by DS-10 Dominator » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:54 am

Well I don't know if the sound will be different if you use the default pitch in drums and in synth, but the main difference is that drum sounds are samples (waveforms), and synth sounds are algorithms (formulas). Realistically pitching a sample needs complex audio analysis (like Melodyne does), but DS-10 simply plays the drum sample at half speed for a note at one octave lower. Synthesizing a sound one octave lower is much easier, it's a matter of setting the oscillator(s) at half speed. I think...
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Re: Tuning drums

Post by AudioArtist » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:37 pm

Hmm... using the default pitch. That's something to think about. Melodyne is an analysis tool? I have that, I just never loaded it onto my computer. Thanks DS-10 Dominator.

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