Why it’s super duper Important to use high quality drum samples in your music productions

Have you ever stopped to think why your drums just don’t quite as good as the other people you admire?

Well I have, and I know what you are going through – checking everywhere on the internet to find a reason your drums just don’t sound quite as professional. You’ve probably got all the knowledge in the world when it comes to mixing and recording but still can’t quite get your drums to pop.

You might even be doing everything you can to get your kick drums to have beef and snap, but they still sound dull, lifeless, and not very powerful. You just don’t seem to understand how to get the best drum samples possible. It’s frustrating isn’t it?

So today I’m going to try and relieve some of those frustrations for you. I’m going to tell you exactly the reason your efforts are coming up short. There’s just one thing that’s stopping you from getting great sounding drums, and that one thing will ensure poor quality drum sounds every single time.

You’re trying to polish a turd!

Yep, you heard right. A dirty, smelly turd. If I had to take a wild guess, I would say that is the number one reason no matter how much compression, EQ or other mixing techniques you are using, you just can’t get your samples to sound good.

You need to work with high-quality Samples!

Getting a great sound is something that you need to focus on if you want your music to stand out.

This is true for every step of the music creation process and not just when you are mixing. You need to focus on it when you are producing, composing, recording, literally every step of the way.

If you aren’t using good quality drum sample kits, then that means that you haven’t fully understood the mantra of getting a good sound from the entire process.

The problem with trying to make a bad sample sound good is that there’s nothing there for you to make it sounds good. It’s like trying to squeeze and orange that has no juice.

So what happens when you apply your EQ’s and compressor to your drums?

You were trying to carve something out that wasn’t present to begin with. You can’t expect to take a weak and flabby kick drum, and then make it instantly sound like thunder kick from the gods.

So then the question becomes, can you use saturation plugins or layering techniques to get the desired sound you are looking for? For sure you can do that but it takes a some skill, and you would probably have to be really good at sound design.

Plugins only work sometimes

If you are just trying to use a saturation plugin, that’s only going to get you half way there. You could try synthesizing your sounds from scratch, but that’s a second option to getting great drum sounds without actually buying a drum sample pack.

That’s all that it comes down to – quality! You might even be the world’s greatest mix engineer, but if you aren’t working with great sounds, then you just won’t be able to make it work.

Stop trying to figure out how to make your drums sounds good.

Just go out they and buy some great drum samples to start with. Personally I recommend this trap sounds kits from Modern Samples (http://modernsamples.com) but honestly there are plenty of great sample packs you can get from a variety of companies.

Just stick with quality and you will be fine.

Good luck and stay inspired!

Getting things fired up with EQ and Compression over at Thanks Album

Just getting the site up and running but I thought I would share my thoughts on EQ before or After Compression…

My personal philosophy regarding EQ and compression is to eradicate all the junk first, and then focus on compression. Follow this basic principle, and you will be rewarded with tracks that have far more clarity and far more punch. Of course, there’s no need to stop there. If you decide a frequency needs a boost, simply return to your original EQ that you used for cutting, and use it to create a slight boost. Alternatively, insert a second EQ below your compressor, and then boost from there, and the great thing about all this is the fact that it won’t affect your compression at all.

I often use EQ after compression, and I think it’s great if I’m doing parallel processing involving drums or even bass guitars. In my experience, I have found that on occasions a particular frequency can start irritating me, especially if I have been thrashing it out of a parallel track. When that happens, I notch out the guilty frequency after the compressor, and then I typically call it a day.

There’s lots more to come, so stay tuned.