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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 3:08 pm 
 

I remember back when typewriter-sounding drum tones were mocked, now it's par for the course ... perhaps even desired?

I don't have a problem with triggers or drum replacements, but why choose such a crappy tone? And this is from many otherwise great drummers.

Is it just easier to trigger everything and not mike it all, and so this is what you get?

I know in death metal when guitars are tuned very low perhaps it is necessary, but I don't see why any band who tunes to D or higher needs or wants to use those sounds.

Bass drums should sound like bass IMHO. "Hostage to Heaven" by Grip Inc. has a great tone, for example.

And it's really not even just the bass drum. Oftentimes the whole kit sounds like crap. I guess it's a new brand of heads that has gotten more popular in the last 15 years? I'm not a drummer so I don't know.

(inspired by the new Toxik CD I received in the mail with a great drumming performance but annoyingly clicky drum tone)

OK, so am I all alone in feeling this way? And get off my lawn!!!!!!! :)
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rexxz
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 3:08 pm 
 

They don't.
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SuspirianSuspicion
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 4:24 pm 
 

Unfortunately, I think a lot of bands feel like they need to have 240+bpm bass drum rolls to achieve industry standards. To get that kind of playing to work in a metal mix, you need to use insanely clicky bass drum samples. As a drummer, and someone who produces metal, I've thought my bass drum sounded pretty clicky, and it still gets washed out on the really fast parts. I try to get the least clicky sound possible that will still come through the mix. Believe me, it's still plenty clicky, but I prefer to think of it as "punchy". I think more producers should try that approach, as it's a good middle ground, and still sounds like a bass drum.

Another thing for producers to try is EQ'ing the bass drum rolls differently than the rest of the track, so that way when the bass drum isn't pummeling, it can still sound BIG. Also, if you're gonna trigger, layer it on top of the actual playing so you can actually hear the real acoustics, and use variable samples (especially on the damn snare) so you don't get that artificial machine gunning sound. Also, quantizing everything exactly to the grid sucks the life out of a drum track. My rule is, if I have to edit, do everything manually. Takes ten times longer, but sounds far more natural. Producers should have some integrity and put forth the extra work.

Metal, especially the more technical stuff, is very difficult to engineer. The demands of the genre often push the instruments past the limits of their sonic capabilities. People have figured out some standardized ways to make everything work, but at the expense of some of the character that albums of yore had. This is most apparent in the drums.

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alexo666
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 4:42 pm 
 

SuspirianSuspicion wrote:
Unfortunately, I think a lot of bands feel like they need to have 240+bpm bass drum rolls to achieve industry standards.
.


This is why the "not enough double bass" vocal crowd piss me off about an album such as Nightmare Logic.
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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:47 pm 
 

It almost makes one wonder why bands even mess with having real drummers in the studio. I have a Boss DR-880 drum machine and the tones on it are fantastic. I'm sure stuff like Superior Drummer has add-ons that are better too.

I wonder if metal fans could take the Pepsi challenge and tell a real drummer from a machine. Classic albums like King Diamond "The Eye" and 3 of Crimson Glory's albums had drum machines and no one seemed to care.
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conquer__all
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:59 pm 
 

I agree, I always liked the sound of drum machines they just cut through a mix like butter. Course, a lot of bands need real drums to play their style of writing.
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TheMysticWombat
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:09 pm 
 

only caverncore drums are real

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Thexhumed
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:16 pm 
 

It's funny you say that considering that your band's drum bass has a typewriterish kind of sound.

I do agree with you though, most modern drums don't sound like drums anymore, I mean, check this Stratovarius song at 5:13, you don't hear that pounding, thundering sound that often nowadays.

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MawBTS
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:22 pm 
 

It's just an artistic choice. There's not really a reason for it, any more than there was a reason for the "popping" cardboard snare of the grunge years or the ridiculous gated snares of the glam years.

In my opinion, modern drum tones are better now than they were when melodic metalcore was popular. So many awful sounding records came out between 2005-2010.

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John_Sunlight
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 9:52 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
They don't.

You always respond to people who criticize any musician or trend with "Nuh-uh!" :lol:
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 2:27 am 
 

MawBTS wrote:
In my opinion, modern drum tones are better now than they were when melodic metalcore was popular. So many awful sounding records came out between 2005-2010.


Seconding that. For a number of years, metal drum tones were at their absolute worst in the mid-2000s. That was a period where everyone's kit sounded like it was pulled from the same sample bank with no regard for what the actual drums themselves sounded like, and the tones themselves were complete garbage. It was, as the quoted post said, worst on metalcore records from this time, but it found its way into other styles as well; My personal least favorite drum sound ever on a metal record is on Cradle of Filth's Thornography, released in 2006. The kick drums in particular sound like a watermelon is being stabbed.

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Thankfully, current drum tones are considerably better than this, no doubt due to it being much easier for lower-budget bands to make good samples of their own kits and use them as they wish. The only two things about modern drum sounds that bug me are how everybody both has that "popping balloon" snare sound that eventually doesn't even sound like a real drum, and having the overall drum mix be way higher than everything else in the mix, often drowning the guitars and bass out totally. Drums and vocals being louder than the rest of the instruments started becoming a real problem in metal during the metalcore rise of 15 years ago, and it's only gotten worse with time. Hopefully this reverses in the (preferably near) future, but I doubt it.
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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 2:59 am 
 

While clicky bass drums are indeed annoying, I think the worst thing about modern drum production is the loss of the massive-gated-reverb-snare. Seriously, why does no one have a huge, glorious snare sound anymore?

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Twisted_Psychology
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 10:19 am 
 

Temple Of Blood wrote:
I wonder if metal fans could take the Pepsi challenge and tell a real drummer from a machine. Classic albums like King Diamond "The Eye" and 3 of Crimson Glory's albums had drum machines and no one seemed to care.


Does The Eye really have a drum machine? I thought Snowy just used an electronic kit. I know Type O Negative did use drum programming from October Rust to Life is Killing Me.
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Ace_Rimmer
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 12:05 pm 
 

Modern drum production is often so lacking, but part of it is the compressed final product that doesn't allow anything to stand out of the slop of sound. there are exceptions but I rarely find a modern drum production that stands up to classic recordings from the 70's.

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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 1:22 pm 
 

Quote:
Does The Eye really have a drum machine? I thought Snowy just used an electronic kit.


http://www.kingdiamondcoven.com/CWWforu ... pic=119.25

Quote:
Just to put the issue to rest. That is a drum MACHINE used on that recording. It was PROGRAMMED by Snowy Shaw in the studio. The only e-drum used during the recording was when they sampled sounds into the drum MACHINE.

After the fiasco of the "Conspiracy" recordings, when ex-drummer Mikkey Dee was hired back on to play the drum parts in the eleventh hour as a session musician, because Chris Whitemier couldn't lay down the complex patterns, King was freaking about the drum parts for "The Eye". Mikkey Dee was busy with Dokken and King waited too long to find a new drummer. Ultimately there was no time in the studio for "Conspiracy" tour drummer Snowy to set up his kit, mike it and get the tracks down right. The solution was that Snowy programmed a drum machine to at least make it somewhat believable, from a "real" drummer's point of view.

This info is straight from Tomten (Snowy) himself. I talked to him about it both back then, and much later (10 years later actually), when we were hanging out in Gothenburg (many mutual musician friends). If he would have played on that album, actual drums, it would have sounded much different. Believe me. He's a fantastic hard hitting metal drummer with beautiful rhythms, miles away from the crap that ended up on "The Eye".

"The Eye" was the weakest King Diamond album released up to that point in time, but still far surpasses most of what was to come. When Mikkey left it was as if the wind left King's sails and he ran out of ideas. Few people realize what a massive influence Mikkey held in King Diamond, as far as musical arrangement and presentation went. He and Andy was a true musical force together, and King drew from that, and wrote better songs because of it. They actually (gasp) rehearsed back then, as a BAND. Not just sent each other tapes with ideas across the ocean, only to record it in a few days in King's basement. Compare "A Mansion in Darkness" from "Abigail" to its sadly lacking musical counterpart "Mansion in Sorrow" from "Abigail 2". Play the songs back to back and you'll see what I mean. The songwriters are the same (King and Andy), but the oomph and the arrangements are just not there anymore.
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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 1:24 pm 
 

And more to chew on regarding fake drums from the same forum:

Quote:
Let me preface this by stating that MOST extreme diehard fans will NOT have enough of an open mind to even give credence to what I'm going to state. I understand that. I also understand that quite a lot of people don't have the ability to discern the difference between real and programmed drums, or just don't care. And, I totally expect a plethora of responses saying inane things from those whom refuse to even TRY to listen for what I'm going to describe. Suffice it to say...


THESE ARE NOT REAL DRUMS ON "GIMME YOUR SOUL" REGARDLESS OF WHAT MR. DIAMOND STATES. FACT.

I'm SO tired of people using programs like "Drumkit From Hell" and their ilk (and drum machines just a few years ago) to program drums on metal albums. They are INSTANTLY recognizable. And, they suck. Fake.

Other bands that have done this lately...Exodus, Black Label Society, and Megadeth...the list goes on an on.

Don't believe me? Then you don't have the ears to tell the difference. Or, you refuse to LET yourself hear it.

It's easiest to tell on the King albums, such as "The Puppet Master" and "Abigail II." King forgot to turn off the fake tambourine click track that goes along with EVERY song (he forgot to turn it off on several parts of the new album as well). Combine this with the by the book drum beat and cymbal hits (cymbal hits which have NO variation in amplitude, pitch, modulation, or sound variance AT ALL) and this is a no-brainer. And, it's not the fact that it may be triggered. These drums have NOT been "played" by a human. No drummer does such insane footwork combined with the most simple laid back hi-hat and snare beats. Not real. Not played.

Listen to the hi-hats on any more recent albums by King and these bands listed above...every hit sounds exactly the same. For example, it's funny on the Black Label songs...where the hi-hat is programmed to "close," they mistakenly forgot to omit the actual "open" hi-hat sound sample after the "closed" hi-hat sound is triggered. If this were a real hi-hat, the "open" sound would STOP completely when the hi-hat was "closed." This doesn't happen. This is impossible on real drums. The recent King albums exhibit this, but much to much less extent. King, or whomever programs his drums, is better at it than a lot of others.

I digress...don't try to go the "OK, they may be samples but they are actually played and triggered" LAME cop-out argument. If they WERE actually played, they would SOUND played, regardless of triggers...it's the WAY they are programmed that gives it away. They are always programmed in such a way that (for example) the cymbal hits give it away...no drummer EVER plays the way they are programmed on the albums. The drums are programmed in the most basic way possible. It's a ridiculous conundrum...the bass drums are programmed usually with super fast super heavy double bass classic metal beats and fills, but the hi-hats, snare, cymbals, and ride are programmed to do the most simple, trite, straight elementary beats that only a non-drummer would program (similar to a straight beat on a drum machine for guitar players to solo over). Listen to an album with verifiable REAL drums (old King albums for example, Slayer, Rush, Tommy Aldridge...hell, ANYTHING before programming began) and you will INSTANTLY hear what I'm talking about. There's nuance. There's a slightly different tone in EVERY cymbal, snare, ride, and hi-hat hit. And, the snare rolls DON'T DOUBLE UP (cough, cough, cough...) on fast fills.

A great example again is how the cymbals are programmed, where cymbals hit ALWAYS at the same time at the end of a measure (what drummer ONLY hits cymbals the SAME way in EVERY song at the END of EVERY measure?), snare rolls are totally mechanical with no feeling, and some fills are just SO basic that you think, "Wait, no GOOD drummer would EVER just do that." On this album, when the little super fast double bass comes in at the end of one of the songs, the handwork going on at the SAME TIME sounds like Ringo Starr with his hands taped together; it's THAT basic. What drummer have you EVER heard go absolute balls-out NUTS with his feet would do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with his hands at the same time???!?!!? It's appalling...nothing short of hip-hop could sound any more fake.

The SOUND of the digital samples is decent...but they need to be programmed by a drummer who has a clue of HOW a real drummer plays in a metal context...simply programming complicated bass drum beats whilst leaving everything else programmed to sound LIKE A DRUM MACHINE of the 80's does NOT cut it. And again, that fake tamborine click track!!!!

These bands will NEVER admit to using drum programmers/machines. King still denies it (he even still tries to state the horrendous "drums" on "The Eye" were actually played on an electronic kit which is total BS...those drum sounds were programmed on a primitive digital machine). The last several King albums have had programmed drums, and while 1000% better than the "Eye" drums, they still sound 100% fake...and King wonders why everyone lusts for the days of Mikkey Dee's REAL drum fills. People CAN tell the difference...if they just think and LISTEN for themselves and not believe everything they are told and spoon-fed as fact. There's a reason people want Mikkey Dee back, and it's NOT only because of his unique playing ability...it's because he plays like a HUMAN, not a program. Most won't let themselves hear it or realize it, but all you have to do is listen closely...again, NO drummer actually plays like the programmed drums on these recent albums. But, it's more cost effective to program in these trying times for artists. However, we're on to you King...just admit these are programmed drums. These are NOT actually played. Simple to tell. Bands and artists such as King "credit" a drummer simply because they don't want to lose "metal cred" by admitting to using cost-cutting programmed drums. King would NEVER admit it...and it's at least common knowledge nowadays regarding "The Eye" (even though some idiots still refuse to believe it). Again, King has many complaining about the absence of Mikkey Dee...but, ANY drummer actually PLAYING DRUMS on ANY of his last several releases would quelch some of these complaints. The difference between Dee and King's current programmed drums is simply enhanced 1000-fold by the fact that not only are the drum "lines" not imaginative (regardless of the complexity of the bass drum programmed lines and runs), but they're not even played by a human and thusly lack that elusive intimate feel...they don't grab you. People actually PLAYING is what music should be. This is a bad trend.

It is MUCH cheaper to program the drums for an "artist." However, REAL drums can have just as much feel as a good soulful guitar solo. A good analogy would be...what if the guitar solos were replaced by midi file programmed guitar solos that emulated amplified guitar sounds? No feeling would result...and it's the same with all these bands using these cheezy programmed drums inserted via ProTools. There's no FEELING or EMOTION in these programmed drums. Drums are MORE than just a beat to play guitar and bass over. (And no, I'm not a drummer.)

I yearn for the good old days when even if a band, album or a drummer sucked (i.e., someone like Randy Castillo, RIP), at least it was a REAL human with a REAL style (albeit a bad one) that you could IDENTIFY.

The new ProTools recording style and fake programmed drums RUIN music. NO soul whatsoever. "Gimme Your Soul, Please"?? Yes, King, PLEASE give us some SOUL in the DRUMMING of your albums, NOT the PROGRAMMING.

How can hardly anyone else NOT be bothered by this? Open your ears. You'll be surprised by what you realize you are (and aren't) hearing.
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Twisted_Psychology
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 1:53 pm 
 

Huh. Well, all right then.
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GOOFAM
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 4:27 pm 
 

Temple Of Blood wrote:
I wonder if metal fans could take the Pepsi challenge and tell a real drummer from a machine. Classic albums like King Diamond "The Eye" and 3 of Crimson Glory's albums had drum machines and no one seemed to care.


I don't think that's exactly right on CG. Astronomica is fully drum machine, the drums on Transcendence are also machine, but the cymbals are live, and the self-titled and Strange and Beautiful are real drums, I think.

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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 4:36 pm 
 

GOOFAM wrote:
Temple Of Blood wrote:
I wonder if metal fans could take the Pepsi challenge and tell a real drummer from a machine. Classic albums like King Diamond "The Eye" and 3 of Crimson Glory's albums had drum machines and no one seemed to care.


I don't think that's exactly right on CG. Astronomica is fully drum machine, the drums on Transcendence are also machine, but the cymbals are live, and the self-titled and Strange and Beautiful are real drums, I think.


Strange and Beautiful definitely has real drums. The s/t is also a drum machine, and I think Drenning said as much.

I'm sure recording on a shoe-string budget can be done much easier with programmed drums. Especially back in the 80s.
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Deathdoom1992
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 5:54 pm 
 

Personally, I have no beef with drum machines themselves (hell, I love the Sisters of Mercy and they used drum machines on all their albums), but I really, really hate poorly produced drums. I've listened to maybe 5-6 albums in the last week which are otherwise good albums plagued by a terrible drum sound. I don't know who it was that mentioned kick drums earlier in the thread but they seem to be the ones which come out worst sounding. Or maybe it's just my personal taste in drums, who knows?

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Everflowingstream
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 6:29 am 
 

Be nice if drums sounded like South of Heaven or Piece of Mind but those days are long gone.

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Ace_Rimmer
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:09 am 
 

I guess in a way its good that the modern software tools that bands can get to record a record in the basement, we get more music. But its sad that so many times we are wondering why music on the whole doesn't sound better than it used to. Too loud, too clicky, no dynamic range, etc.

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rexxz
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:00 pm 
 

Ace_Rimmer wrote:
I guess in a way its good that the modern software tools that bands can get to record a record in the basement, we get more music. But its sad that so many times we are wondering why music on the whole doesn't sound better than it used to. Too loud, too clicky, no dynamic range, etc.



What is there to wonder about? Before you had professional audio engineers recording and mixing in professional environments. Now you have people who aren't really as experienced as those individuals, doing the same thing on their own. It's no mystery; things sound the way they do exactly because of that.

Notice there are *plenty* of excellent sounding modern records and drum tones. There's absolutely no reason to even state that modern tone sucks, it's way too broad of a spectrum with a huge variety of representative sounds to make that claim.
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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 1:35 pm 
 

Well, the one big exception I can think of is the drums on the new Slayer album. Granted, it's Terry Date who may be the best metal producer ever, but they sound phenomenal.

It's probably the best thrash drumming I've ever heard, although I hate those songs.
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Ace_Rimmer
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 5:40 pm 
 

rexxz wrote:
Ace_Rimmer wrote:
I guess in a way its good that the modern software tools that bands can get to record a record in the basement, we get more music. But its sad that so many times we are wondering why music on the whole doesn't sound better than it used to. Too loud, too clicky, no dynamic range, etc.



What is there to wonder about? Before you had professional audio engineers recording and mixing in professional environments. Now you have people who aren't really as experienced as those individuals, doing the same thing on their own. It's no mystery; things sound the way they do exactly because of that.

Notice there are *plenty* of excellent sounding modern records and drum tones. There's absolutely no reason to even state that modern tone sucks, it's way too broad of a spectrum with a huge variety of representative sounds to make that claim.


Sure and I was more thinking aloud, of course the reason basement recordings sound like shit is just that.

I was more referring to the name producers and bands churning out shitty sounding recordings. To my ear great sounding records is not the norm and hasn't been for a while.

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 2:01 am 
 

Check out the new Aura Noir for some great drum sounds. Plenty of bands are getting great, real sounds in 2018.

Metal drums have always been varied and, especially in terms of sonic quality, there's been a great deal of triggering, drum machine use since the middle 80s. I mean Defenders of the Faith was the first metal album to use a drum machine throughout. Ever since then the way drums are dealt with has become broader and broader. Sure, I think Sneap sound drums sound boring and lacking (you can tell he's a guitarist!) - but that's only one trend.
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 2:30 am 
 

I figured out Sneap wasn't particularly the best at drum sounds when back-to-back Cradle of Filth albums he worked on used the same exact samples on each, and then those same samples were used on the first Hell album.
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 2:51 am 
 

I don't particularly like his guitar sounds, either, but at least he puts in a lot of effort when it comes to attention-to-detail (on Hell's albums, at least). The drums are consistent, big and loud... but, as you said, lacking in character. It's like those Scott Burns jobs in the early 90s where a lot of the drums would end up sounding similar (although, I think the sonic quality is far less pleasing on Sneap's stuff).
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 3:15 am 
 

I'm more fine with how the drums on Burns produced albums sounded because Burns had an overall better sound that I found more pleasing to my ears than Sneap. The Scott Burns/Morrisound sound is what immediately pops into mind when you think of death metal production, and with good reason. Imagine an album like Slaughter in the Vatican, where the production greatly enhances the already great music to a new level of insane heaviness, with modern, Sneap-esq production. Doesn't sound as amazing, does it?
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 6:10 am 
 

Any metal band worth its weight in salt that isn't going for the one man basement sound, industrial thing, or gimmick uses real drums.

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MatsBG
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:02 am
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 4:48 pm 
 

Oblarg wrote:
While clicky bass drums are indeed annoying, I think the worst thing about modern drum production is the loss of the massive-gated-reverb-snare. Seriously, why does no one have a huge, glorious snare sound anymore?

Youtube: show


Agree! Adds so much both in atmosphere and in identity. Can't think of any recent examples that uses that snare sound :scratch:

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Acidgobblin
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 2:32 am 
 

^Pretty much every Sabaton album has fucking cavernous huge snares. I actually think it sounds totally artificial, there is no environment on earth that can really replicate a gated snare (I'd love to be proven wrong though).

In general, I actually prefer poor modern production to poor 'old school' production. If that makes sense.
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 2:42 am 
 

Poor modern production is still at least clear to listen to, unless it's a Death Magnetic or World Painted Blood situation where the album is so loud and so clippy that it actively hurts your ears to try and listen to it. I think a perfect example of really bad old school production is the original version of Stormblast by Dimmu Borgir. It's thin as printer paper, there's absolutely zero low end, the guitars are basically just surf rock guitars with the barest amount of distortion on them possible, and the drums sound like they're being played with tree twigs all the way through. The re-recording is so much better than the original release that it's not even funny. I've had black metal purist friends of mine try to claim that the bad production on Stormblast is actually good production because it's more true to what raw black metal sounds like. To that I say, well, even Burzum's metal albums sounded like they were made with real instruments and not children's toy versions of said instruments.
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John_Sunlight
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:21 am 
 

I prefer the original Stormblast and For All Tid and always will. I heard them first and they are the versions which made the indelible mark both on my heart and so many others'. They certainly sound "different" but it's part of what gave them their charm. The newer versions do sound much more "normal", but that's not the most important thing in the world.
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joppek
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:33 am 
 

not having made any comparisons (not much of a dimmu fan), it looks to me like a common situation where the new version sounds a lot better, but people who grew up with the old crappy sounds prefer them for nostalgic reasons

not that there's anything wrong with that - i'm sure there's some albums where i feel similarly, tho' i can't think of any off the top of my head
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John_Sunlight
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:44 am 
 

"Better" and "crappy" are loaded terms here. It's like saying the original Zelda is now bad because Breath of the Wild exists. They are two different experiences that will be enjoyed differently.
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MatsBG
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:59 am 
 

Acidgobblin wrote:
^Pretty much every Sabaton album has fucking cavernous huge snares. I actually think it sounds totally artificial, there is no environment on earth that can really replicate a gated snare (I'd love to be proven wrong though).

In general, I actually prefer poor modern production to poor 'old school' production. If that makes sense.


I get what you mean, but I also think that the whole context is important as well. Sabaton is meant to be bombastic and ridiculous, and I feel the whole drum production gets buried. I tried listening to a few tracks, and while you are right, it was rather though to spot them at first. It adds a lot more to the music in such examples as the Vicious Rumours one.

Unsure on that one. While i dislike the "recorded on a broken cassette-player" production, the overly sterile and hollow production is no better.

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exsiccation
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:49 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 10:08 am 
 

What's changed since the "good old days"?

1. We have massively more music than we used to, being produced by bands or "hobbyists" rather than professional producers, on lower and lower budgets.

2. We have a proliferation of sample libraries and software available which in large part have enabled the above. These sound good, and the quality of a "home" recording is massively better than what you used to be able to do on a fraction of the budget - but they also contribute to a cookie-cutter sound.

3. As more and more bands use the same samples and sounds, those sounds become an aesthetic - to the point where that is the sound bands want and ask engineers to achieve it.

4. The rise in internet culture also can't be understated. Everyone's watching and talking to everyone else, which means that instead of small scenes where people are coming up with their own distinct sounds, everyone's going on YouTube to see what the biggest gear channels recommend. These also often get timed to product releases and sponsorships with influencers.

For me, the question is simpler - does an album sound good? Programmed and sampled drums absolutely can achieve good results, and the best examples will often be difficult if not impossible to tell. For others, that machine sound is part of the style and aesthetic, and "real" sounding drums wouldn't work. It's all about what you want to achieve. I'd say that a band that doesn't have a distinctive sound, identity, or interesting drum arrangements that fit the music is a far greater crime than just using samples or a "modern" production sound.

More broadly, it's no surprise that all the biggest albums on the biggest labels are using the same drum sounds. They're competing in the same environment, aiming for the same audience, listening on the same speakers and equipment, and in many cases those albums are being made by the same producers and engineers. It's also no surprise that many up-and-coming artists would also want to imitate the popular ones.

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John_Sunlight
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 5:11 pm 
 

To put it more succinctly, metal is succumbing to more of the production-side trends which dominate mainstream pop.
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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 3:18 pm 
 

exsiccation wrote:
What's changed since the "good old days"?

1. We have massively more music than we used to, being produced by bands or "hobbyists" rather than professional producers, on lower and lower budgets.
https://www.metal-archives.com/board/po ... &p=2792955

2. We have a proliferation of sample libraries and software available which in large part have enabled the above. These sound good, and the quality of a "home" recording is massively better than what you used to be able to do on a fraction of the budget - but they also contribute to a cookie-cutter sound.


I'm not quite sure I buy this so much - the albums that have the best-sounding drums these days, in my experience, are independently-released demos. I mean, check this out, for example:

Youtube: show


That's about as natural and wholesome a drum sound as I've heard anywhere, including on bona fide 70s rock albums. Certainly not "cookie-cutter."
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