I’m a drummer and recently acquired a BeatBuddy to use as a drum module. I’m not using it with any of the included song or beat material, just as a drum brain triggered live by my Zendrum ZX2. I LOVE it! The extreme sensitivity of the Zendrum pads and the subtle nuances provided by the excellent BB drum sets make for a very realistic interpretation of playing a live drum set. IMO, It sounds and plays better than many of the high end drum modules I’ve used—and in pedal format! And I also love that I can easily create velocity-layered drum kits from my own samples and recordings (with round robin groups!). To that end…
I’ve mostly been using the Modern Classic kit I purchased. I really like how it sounds. But one thing I find missing for live playing is a drag articulation for the snare. So I made my own! I took the 4 middle velocity layer samples from the Modern Classic snare and set them up in my daw as a round robin group in a sampler. Then I created a “drag” midi clip with four quickly triggered notes with decreasing velocity (and a bit of velocity randomness). I recorded several clips using this process and picked three that sounded similar enough but also varied enough to work well. Now I had my drag samples!
I added an instrument to the drum set in the BB Manager, added the three samples to it, and set them all up for the full velocity range (albeit with a volume setting of -17db because I normalized the clips when I exported them). It worked great! I can even sort of simulate a roll if I set the instrument to have a polyphony of 2 and trigger it with 1/16 notes, though sometimes I can hear a little bit of phasing during a roll. I plan to try it again and add a little more velocity and/or timing randomness to see if I can eliminate the phasing issue (if anyone has tips on eliminating the phasing, please share!).
If anyone wants to try them out, here are the samples. Let me know how it goes! Once I figure out how to eliminate the phasing issue, I plan to create this articulation for the jazz kit next. And with more velocity layer groups. Happy drumming!
snare_drag_samples.zip (120.0 KB)
First, welcome, and it’s great to see another user jumping into the rewarding process of creating samples and editing drum kits.
I’m not hearing any phasing on playback of your samples. This makes me wonder about your setup of the samples within the kit. Have you put them into a choke group, so that only 1 snare sample can play at a time? That might be one place to start. Beyond that, The fact that you recorded them as stereo rather than mono sample could lead to more phasing. After all, what it phasing? Phasing occurs when two identical audio waves interact with one another, such that wave #1 cancels wave #2. As a former sousaphone player, we use to have fun with this, by have two players line their sousaphone bells up with each other, and then play the same note. At first there would be near silence, then as they turn from each other slightly, you would begin to hear the note.
So what could we do about phasing? One approach is to split the stereo sample into two mono samples, L & R. Then offset one of those samples by the length of one sample unit. You could do this by zooming all the way in on the drum sample in your DAW and then moving it by the smallest amount available. I use Logic Pro, and I can get down to the level of 1/960th of a beat. This offset while not be audible, but it will keep the two halves of the sample from being in phase. Once you have the two halves of the original drum sample offset, merge them back into a single stereo file, and you should eliminate the phasing.
Thanks so much for the words of welcome and for your detailed response! Yes, I’m pretty sure I exported these as stereo samples and I do have polyphony set to two. I’m only hearing the phasing when I play fast notes with the drag only to simulate a roll. Thinking about the mechanics of an actual drum roll, I guess there wouldn’t be any overlapping strokes between the two sticks, so I’ll try setting the polyphony to one and perhaps that will fix the issue. If not, I will try your suggestion! I’ll report back with my findings…
Oh, and regardless of the issue I’m encountering, I think there is a huge market segment out there that would find the BB to be a great drum module(with perhaps a few minor firmware tweaks to optimize it this purpose). I’ve been searching for something like this for a couple of years now and only recently discovered that the BB had this capability from a someone on the Zendrum Facebook group. I searched for video examples and only found one with someone was triggering it with a small little USB pad controller as more of a proof of concept illustration. I definitely intend to make and share some videos showcasing what a great drum module this makes with the Zendrum after I dial in a few more sounds…