Flattening breaks?

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#1
In my quest to get Break / Blu Mar Ten style drums happening have been scouring the interweb for tips on cleaning & processing funk breaks and come across a number of references to flattening the break, assuming this refers to levelling the overall frequency response though can anyone confirm?

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RUSSLA

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#4
^Been doing this a lot but just use anything simple like Logics Bitcrush - Softclip to reduce peaks then bounce.
 

logikz

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#5
think so? i reckon its frequency talk, i dont think bmt has a particularly squashed drumsound.

what you do is you get an eq, crank up the Q on the band so its reeeal narrow, max it out, then sweep that band until you find the most resonant (screaming) point, and then you pull that all the way down. you can bounce and do it multiple times. you can cut up the break and do this with the individual pieces too. or both actually. should yield a nice kit with a bit of love and trickery.

or you can put it in a frequency analyzer and look at where it peaks, and then just eq to counter that, until you get the flattest response possible.

russ could be right though, it could be dynamics. lol i dont even make music
 

Know One

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#6
That's a cool article on Tumblr. It makes sense to use that on what he described, but I wonder what soft clipping would do to the transients on a drum break. Maybe soft clip it as he described, then use a transient shaper to bring attack/punch back if it losses any? Maybe I'm over thinking it and soft clipping won't alter the overall force of the hits.
 

tv_g

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#7
Keep in mind that "flattening" the dynamic range can not be reversed by your mastering engineer. Less is more and all that especially if you don't have a good listening set up.
 
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#8
Thanks all for the input, all good tips though not sure any of this is what they’re referencing, e.g. there was a TC Amen thread on DOA years ago where everyone was submitting their attempts at processing an Amen comparable to his version and TC pointed out the entries weren’t flat enough, also watched/read a number of masterclass/Q&A’s where flattening the break is mentioned off hand as though it were so obvious it shouldn’t require further explanation. Seems to me this is about EQ’ing using wide Q’s to flatten the spectrum (excluding Kick n Snare fundamentals) in addition to removing resonant/transient spikes though not 100% sure what this achieves (ease of layering or pitching perhaps?) as it seems to lessen the character of the break..

Basically trying to understand how Break/BMT are able to get such clean, stripped sounding breaks without hi-passing the shit out of them. Few examples…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZnBPybv6qs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFn9tQFisRM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEdeKST-qfA
 

Know One

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#9
That TC break thread on DOA was epic back in the day. I remember that one going down, proper fun seeing people post theirs up in an attempt to have one good enough for him to use in a track.
 

lug00ber

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#10
That's a cool article on Tumblr. It makes sense to use that on what he described, but I wonder what soft clipping would do to the transients on a drum break. Maybe soft clip it as he described, then use a transient shaper to bring attack/punch back if it losses any? Maybe I'm over thinking it and soft clipping won't alter the overall force of the hits.
I think the point is to clip away the spikes that aren't part of the actual sound, but just noise.
Let's say you sampled a break from vinyl, and your sample has a couple of those spikes you sometimes get from sampling vinyl. Those can be brutally clipped without any difference to the drumhit they occur on.
I would say that if you significantly alter the sound of the drums in the break you are clipping away too much.
 
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