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6 Libraries - 6 settings?

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  • 6 Libraries - 6 settings?

    I'm finally gaining a bit of control on my kits now, but trying to figure this out.

    I have about 6 different companies libraries (most in Kontakt) with my Vdrum pad settings set up great on my favorite kit. Problem is, as soon as I switch to another library (like Superior Drummer, etc) my pad settings are not even close to being loud enough. Except my kick drum and maybe my hi hat.

    What do you guys do? Should I just set the mixer for each kit and raise those levels that are too quiet on the other kits? And save? Since there is no way to save multiple pad settings.

    Also the NI kits I can barely hear unless I turn up the Master Volume.

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    Check the trigger meter on the Roland module to see if you are sending max velocity.


    • #3
      On NI Studio Drummer, choose the exponential MIDI curve in the settings page


      • #4
        Ok, I did some testing and level adjustments. Also the exponential velocity curve brought the Abbey Roads drums a bit louder. Thanks!

        Before my Bass drum and Hat were set to 25-30 sensitivity. and the others too low. Also the Trigger level was usually hitting 5 or the empty square next to it (full).

        I have now adjusted to the Sensitivity levels below.

        Bass - 15
        HiHat - 12
        Snare - 12
        Tom 1 - 10
        Tom 2 - 10
        F Tom - 12
        Ride - 10
        Crash 1 - 8
        Crash 2 - 8

        This brings my Trigger levels to about 3-4 levels on average hits, and 5 levels to the empty square on hard hits.

        However my Velocities in Logic are more even but, where before I was hitting 127 velocity on my bass hat and snare, I’m now hitting between a 75-105 velocity area.

        I had read to try to keep the velocities as far up to 127 as possible.. And I’ve also read to keep them down to 115 max for Bass, Snare, etc. And Cymbals down to about 100.

        The other theory is to look at my Logic meters and try to get as hot a signal right to the yellow as I can.

        So I’m a bit confused where to go from here?


        • #5
          You should focus on playability and dynamics on raw sounds i.e without any processing that alter dynamics such as compression or transient shaping. For example, for NI SD, load a kit with the default mixer setting and from there focus on adjusting trigger settings to what feels natural with a wide dynamic range - you can also increase the instrument master volume if overall loudness is a problem. For me , using NI SD, i typically have to set the plugin on exponential curve, raise a couple of dBs the master volume but i keep trigger settings (sensitivity) quite low because i like to have wide dynamics and focus on technique (hitting consistently) rather than having the software level out my hits.

          Each plugin behaves differently because the velocity layers are set at different threshold and some plugins have less than others so you have two main options: fine tune your trigger settings to the max for a given plugin or get a middle ground setting that is quite versatile and gives good results with several plugins. Then you can get more juice out of the plugins by applying processing in a DAW or in the plug itself - this in itself is a full new post/debate :-)

          As an example, for NI, I use sensitivity at 7-8 for all pads appart from kick pad (KD9 or triggera krigg) which is around 15-17..this seems ok also for S2 but i typically raise the master level a few dB ( I am not a heavy hitter)..I can get fantastic dynamics and great playability from the plugs with minimal adjustements..but its really down to a lot of experimenting and trial/error to adjust to your playing style.


          • #6
            Originally posted by OpposingMotion
            I can get fantastic dynamics and great playability from the plugs with minimal adjustements..but its really down to a lot of experimenting and trial/error to adjust to your playing style.
            Thanks OpposingMotion. Your advice really helped. I've recorded track after track of each library, and getting closer to more of an average. I will be processing them in my DAW instead of the built in effects for most of them. And since I lowered the sensitivity it seems more quiet hits are coming through.

            The one area I'm still a bit confused by, is what should I aim for (in general) on the velocity levels? Since I lowered the sensitivity more, I'm now getting averages in the 70"s. Some quite a bit lower. I went into Logic and changed them to the low 100's and also to test more, I went up to 127. But the higher I went over 115/120 - it really started to make the drums sound bad. As I mentioned I read good ranges to aim for were 115 for louder drums and 100-110 for cymbals, etc. Is there a general consensus that you know of that I should aim for on initial velocities?