• Richard "RJ" Johnson

Do your live drums go Boom or Puff?

#drums #production #recording

Do you write or produce songs with live drums or programmed drums from a live drum kit? If you do this might be for you because I’ve noticed that a lot of Indie artists have

songs with live drums that don’t Boom, they just go Puff. They don’t punch you in the chest, hit you in the face or kick you in the gut. They just go puff, puff, puff. I’ve mixed songs that use live drums and live drum kits. Some of them sound good on their own but when you add bass, guitar, piano, strings, synths and vocals, well there go your drums. They get buried underneath all the other elements. You might think all you need to do is turn your drums up but most of the time that’s not the answer to your problems.


In walks drum samples, there are samples of live drum kits. If you add samples to your live drums, all you have to do is tuck them underneath your live drums so they are felt not heard, boom your drums will have that thickness and punch we all want to hear. Now, I can hear some drum purist saying “I don’t want to add samples to my drums”. One thing for sure is all of your favorite artists are using samples in their songs, that’s how they compete. That’s one of those secrets not shared by everyone, some will admit they do it but some won’t. Experiment and have fun.


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