Saturday, November 10, 2018

Review: Audio Assault Emperor (with video sample)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are reviewing a brand new guitar amp simulator: Emperor, by Audio Assault!

Audio Assault is a Mexico based software house focused on music production, and they offer a wide array of plugins, ranging from equalizers and drum samples to virtual amplifiers.

Today we are going to check out the latest virtual amp of the company: Emperor.
Emperor is a suite focused on metal and rock tones, which includes a dual channel hi-gain head, a pedalboard with 5 slots (in which you can choose between 10 stompboxes, ranging from boosters to modulation effects, from a compressor to an auto-wah - the only pity is there's no tuner!) and a cab section with 4 cabs and 4 microphones (which can be moved freely on the grill, you can select also the distance).
Plus, there's also an IR loader included with 14 custom IRs.

As I have already said for other recent guitar amp simulators, technology today has gotten to a point in which it is possible to achieve a very credible guitar sound with plugins, also with the not expensive ones (and this Emperor has an extremely good quality to price ratio), after years in which we had to buy very expensive gear and suites in which it was very hard to achieve a decent tone, before dropping everything and switching back to a real amp.

I have followed guitar amp modeling since the beginning, since the '90s, and I must say only in the latest years technology has really gotten this close to reality to really let anyone plug a guitar into the audio interface and dial in a good tone.

Even more recently, I have noticed a beautiful trend in which guitar amp simulators have become really user friendly: now it's as easy to craft a good tone as using a real amp, which was unthinkable up to few years ago; back then the producers were focused in offering as many options as possible (as many amps, as many variables, as many tube types and bias settings possible), with the result of being dispersive, and this is the real revolution: today producers are focusing in offering an easy interface which sounds good since the beginning.

I had to tweak the amp literally for 5 minutes before coming up with the tone that can be heard in the video: I just added a Tube Screamer in front, played a bit with the eq, and chose the right microphone.

All I can say is that Emperor is a simple, very quick and effective guitar suite which will offer you a wide range of crunch tones, from a mild overdrive to the most extreme and modern Djent (no clean tones basically), and most important, all the tones are very realistic and usable, making it a smart and complete choice.

Thumbs up!

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Expander / upward compression (a guide for dummies)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are bringing a new topic on our infinite list of article about compression: upward compression!

What is upward compression?
It's a type of compression that works exactly in the opposite way than the regular one: you set a ceiling, and decide a whole wave signal or part of it (with a multiband compressor / expander) in which the volume will be increased until it reaches the ceiling.
To make it easier: we choose a part of the sound, or the entire sound, and make it louder until it reach a certain level.
The signal is increased within a ceiling or within a range (some expander has the control named "range" in which the upper limit is the ceiling), and it just increases the volume below the threshold (rather than lower it as a regulal compressor would), putting it into "the range".

If we are expanding the entire sound until it reaches the ceiling, the result will be the same of a regular compressor: the loudest parts of the sound will be attenuated, the quietest will be raised in volume, that's why this procedure is more suited when it affects only a certain frequency range.

Why do we do this way instead of just raising the volume?
To have more control over our transient;
in facts, if we have a sound that is too much oriented on the high end and we want to bring out the body whilst at the same time mantain controlled the dynamic range, we can expand the low end of that sound (like in the picture, in which only the low mids, the part coloured in blue, is expanded, while the part in purple is normally compressed).

Why don't we just use an equalizer to boost the part we would like to expand?
Same answer: because we want to control the transient and avoid it to have too much dynamic range, with volume spikes that can end up out of control.

The uses of an expander are several: to reshape the sound of a microphoned guitar or bass that sounds too thick or too thin, to give life to certain frequency areas of the room microphone of a drumkit, or to apply corrections in a band recorded with few or one single microphone.

This leads us to the same dilemma we arrived when talking in general about multiband compression:
is it a compressor? Is it an equalizer? Many producers consider it the magic wand to solve every mix and mastering problem, while others prefer using the basic tools (broadband compression, equalizer, volume) following the rule that it's better to use few simple tools and master them rather than experiment too much with more complex tools with the risk of ruining a mix.

What is your opinion? Do you use multiband compressor and expanders?
Let us know!

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Review: It Might Get Loud - Assault Drums (with video sample)

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
This time we are reviewing the latest drum sampler from It Might Get Loud: Assault Drums!

The company once again offers a product that is in line with its trademark: instead of offering the usual, generic drum sample library, IMGL focuses on something that wasn't there.
Assault drums is a serie of 3 drum kits (divided in 11 presets) that aims to recreate the typical sound of the '80s and the '90s, with presets dedicated from the early Iron Maiden to the '80s arena rock, from the '90s thrash of Metallica and Megadeth to Pantera and much more (black, death metal etc). 

The project is really ambitious, probably the most ambitious the company has ever done, and the uniqueness of this plugin is really its selling point.

The samples are all pre-processed, a necessary step to create presets that sounded as close as possible to the reference albums, and I must say the kits are pretty much similar to the sound they are named after: with some fiddling is possible to obtain very good sounds even just by using the mixer integrated in the plugin.

On a side note, I prefer the mixer "all in one screen" like in other samplers of the same producer, this modular one is less intuitive, even if I understand that there are too many channels to show in one single panel (maybe the ui could be increased in size).
Another thing I would suggest is to start as default with all the channels of the vst routed to channel one, and to let the engineer route (or group) individually those he wants to send to a bus instead of starting by assigning to each drum part a separate channel, it would be more practical.

Technical details aside, Assault drums really sounds like those acoustic drumkits of the old times, the vibe is very similar (especially for some kits like the Iron Maiden style one), and this is a rare quality today, since often modern drum samplers tends to be processed to the point of resulting a bit "plastic sounding", or a bit too electronic. With the right amount of humanizer it's possible to create some very realistic drum parts.

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

- 11 Kit Presets which will cover a wide range of classic 80's Metal & Rock sounds.

- Classic Early 80's NWOBHM/West Coast Speed Metal Sound

- 3 Full Drum Kits, Multiple Snares, Lots of Toms (Set of Rototoms and up to 5 Toms, that's 8 toms in a single kit!!)

- 11 Kit Presets

- Multiple Routing and MIDI Mapping Options

- Add your own one shot samples

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

10 best rock/metal riffs of all times

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are talking about one of the most subjective topics ever: the 10 best riffs of all times.
The criteria are not only obviously my tastes, but their impact in the world of rock and heavy metal, how much they contributed to make electric guitar popular in the history of music, and we will also try to break down a bit what makes them so memorable

10) Ozzy Osbourne: Crazy Train. This riff embodies the soul of '80s hard rock: it's fast, very melodic and happy, but at the same time heavy and catchy. It represents perfectly a time of guitar heroes (like Rhandy Rhoads, who wrote it), excesses and incredible live performances, and makes a very solid base in which Ozzy created his iconic vocal line. Still today it's extremely fun to play and countless bands copied its style.

9) Nirvana: Smells like Teen Spirit. This riff instead brought the grunge movement to mainstream.
It's very simple and has a certain hard rock vibe, but it's an incredible shopping window for the Nirvana music proposal, which is very personal with all its imperfections and the dark vibe. This is one of the songs that contributed the most in changing the tastes of the young audience from the '80s rock.

8) Rammstein: Mein Teil. This German band is another of those bands (like many on this list) with such a strong personality that it's hard to define in a specific genre, it literally brought to light a certain type of metal mixed with EDM (choice extremely courageous), and this riff is so groovy and well structured that is really hard not to nod your head while listening to it.

7) Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast. Few bands contributed in making popular guitar music like Iron Maiden. The band offers a beautiful hard rock/classic metal by almost 40 years with incredible success, awesome choruses and solos, and they are one of the few bands with 3 guitar players. This song has one of the most memorable riffs ever written in metal.

6) Guns n'Roses: Welcome to the Jungle. Guns n'Roses took  the'70s hard rock lesson of Aerosmith and modernized it in the '80s, with a short first stint made only of 3 albums (if we don't consider the cover one) that had such a strong impact to make it one of the biggest rock bands of all times. This is the opener of their first album, Appetite for Destruction, and the riff is so catchy and the chorus is so effective, that it still sound fresh and actual today. A timeless classic.

5) Rage Against the Machine: Killing in the name. A band that took the sound of the '70 (especially the low gain, single-string riffs of Led Zeppelin) and mixed it with rap, an incredibly groovy rhythm section and lyrics infused with social protest.
This band became a cult in the '90s and still today their influence can be heard in contemporary music.

4) Korn: Freak on a Leash. Korn (together with very few other contemporary bands) redefined the heavy music from the end of the '90s to the beginning of the 2000: the minor, decadent atmospheres of grunge were slowly fading away, leaving place to the same type of young rage, but seen from a different point of view. The guitar tone is huge and with extremely low tunings, the vocals flirt with rap music, and the drum beat is funky and groovy. Their style brought new life to heavy music.

3) Metallica: Enter Sandman. Metallica is the biggest metal bands of all times, and is a band that not only invented thrash metal, but kept on changing skin through its long career exploring several genres, from doom (Devil's Dance) to country (Low man's Lyric). Enter Sandman is the opener of their self titled album, an album which had incredible commercial success but that had let down the most hardcore fans due to their opening to a more radio-friendly type of metal. Nevertheless Enter Sandman is still today one of the most iconic metal riffs ever written, and helped the band breaking the boundaries of the metal community.

2) Deep Purple: Smoke on the water. Smoke on the water starts with a riff that still today is studied by guitarists all over the world in their first lessons, because it's so known (even from those who doesn't know the band) that it's basically a standard. Its chord progression on the beat of the drum defined a whole generation, and helped Deep Purple becoming one of the most successful rock bands of all times.

1) Ac Dc: Highway to Hell. This song takes the first spot because Ac Dc is not only a band. It's an archetype. It's the archetype of '70s hard rock in its purest form, simple, straightforward, melodic, groovy, bluesy and timeless. The band in its 50 years of career never really evolved from its roots and also this contributed in creating their trademark, nevertheless it's undeniable that today Ac Dc songs aged much better than most of the other rock songs, because somehow this formula and this sound still sounds actual.

Do you agree with our list?
Let us know what do you think!

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Review: Mercuriall Audio SS-11X with video sample

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are reviewing a new guitar (pre)amp simulator from Mercuriall Audio: the SS-11x!

As we know (check out our interview) Mercuriall Audio is a Russian audio company that produces guitar amp simulators, some free and some paid, and that is developing a very interesting roster of software, ranging from the emulations of Engl and Marshall to the Mesa Boogie amps, but this time the SS-11X replicates a very peculiar preamp: the AMT SS-1B, a 3 channel tube guitar preamp stompbox created by another Russian company, Amt electronics, which is a producer specialized in preamp pedals, and that is receiving international acclaim for the quality and the innovation of its products.

Compared to its hardware counterpart, the SS-11X offers several extra features: a built in Noise Gate, a serie of boosters (from the classic Ts9 to a full blown distortion), a reverb and an array of good impulses, including some made by Ownhammer, one of the best impulse studio around.
Some of these impulses include also power amp emulation, since the vst doesn't have a power amp section.

The preamp section features 3 channels, 2 separate eq sections, separate gain and level, bright and tone shift switches.
I have been able to achieve surprisingly good tones, very realistic, proof of the fact that technology has taken giant leaps forward in guitar amp modeling: the plugins I am reviewing lately are all very good, to a level that was unthinkable just 3 or 4 years ago, and in this specific one you can really hear the tube sound, the harmonic richness, that makes the crunch fat and meaty.

I suggest this Vst to anyone who wants to achieve good, warm, saturated crunch tones, but the plugin is good also, using the included booster and impulses, for obtaining screaming metal rhythm parts and solos.
The quality to price ratio is impressive, and there is also a free demo version downloadable from the website.

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

- SS-11X modeling is officially certified and approved by AMT Electronics

- SS-11X is modeled using our next-gen Neural Hybrid Engine. This in-house technology has been in development for 5 years
- All tubes are modeled independently
- Pedals and preamp are working within the same oversampling cycle. Thus, there is no latency build-up and no additional losses when using several anti-aliasing filters
- Stereo-mode: right and left channels are modeled independently. This mode is useful for processing stereo signals. For example, a panned double tracked guitar
- Plugin supports CPU multi-threading

- Cab IRs from (in alphabetical order):
1. George Constantine Kratsas - Mercuriall Audio artist
2. Morton Studio
4. NRQ’s Studio
5. OwnHammer
6. Sound Way Records
7. TA Production
- Option to load your own cabinet IRs (mono/stereo)
- Option to load your own reverb IRs (mono/stereo)
Maximum IR length is 262144 samples (~5.9 sec @44.1 kHz)

- Reverb IR blend

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Top 10 Free Vst Plugins 2018

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are talking about 10 FREE Vst plugin that we suggest you to try, they can be a good start for a small low budget home recording project, and they can provide you a wide array of tools to get in the recording world at zero cost.

It's important to point out that not all of them came out in 2018, but this is a basic package we suggest to download if you are new with recordings and want to try some nice free plugin.

1) Ignite Amps ProF.E.T.: I have put this plugin in the first position because it's today's new (04/10/2018) that this plugin has won the KVR Developer Challenge 2018 (congratulations!). It is a great guitar preamp simulator, good for a wide array of sounds but focused on rock/metal, and obviously it needs a speaker simulator to run.

2) Izotope Neutrino: this is a sort of swiss army knife; it's a multiband compressor hidden in a super minimalist interface, in which you are allowed basically only to choose the instrument (between vocals, drums, bass and guitar/generic instrument) and the amount of the effect. You just slam these plugins in the respective bus of each instrument group and it will analize the spectrum and apply a subtle multiband compression in the areas that are peaking too much or resonating weirdly, and at the end (hopefully) the final track will sound cleaner and more polished.

3) Klanghelm MJUC-jr: anyone that follows this blog from long enough knows how much I love peak limiters; they are the earliest version of compressors, easy to use and good to fatten up any signal, from single instruments to bus compression. This type of plugins are particularly good for parallel compression, or to fatten up acoustic cymbals tracks, bringing out some of the body of the drumset while limiting the peak of the cymbals.

4) Ample Bass P Lite 2: since not always we have a bass or a bass player at hand, this free vst bass sampler can turn out to be a life saver; it recreates the sound of a clean bass that can be controlled via Midi and processed like a normal bass, and it is ideal to streamline the songwriting process, to write down quick rough mixes to share with the bandmates.

5) Mt PowerDrum Kit 2: this is a surprisingly good drum sampler, free to download, which includes several pre processed kits usable for different genres and midi grooves, and it's an amazing starting point for anyone who needs a good drum sampler to record a rock demo.

6) VSCO2 Rompler: this is a good free orchestra vst instrument which can recreate various sections
of an orchestra with a good degree of realism, although obviously the midi track needs to be tweaked accordingly to make it even more realistic and dynamic. The samples are not bad, and it is definitely a good starting point for anyone who wants to try and write an orchestral part.

7) Ignite PTEq-X: in a world of graphic equalizers, PTE eq takes a different route, by recreating a classic hardware parametric eq with a particular workflow (sections can be boosted or cut in a combined way as explained in the review), and it allows us to achieve very natural and realistic results, manipulating the sound in a very musical way.

8) Sean Pandy Drums: this little free drum sampler has a very particular story: it is a simple drum sampler composed of kick, snare, 4 toms and a sub blower (so it should be used in combination with another sampler that includes cymbals) with various velocities etc, but the cool thing is that it consists in samples created by a famous metal producer who released them for free in the past. Now these samples are not available anymore for downloading, but the home producers community kept on sharing and using them, until this guy took them, created 6 velocity layers for each one (not only changing the volume but also the their attack/decay/sustain and envelope) and put them together in this free plugin, so now anyone can use these good samples for free.

9) Softamp GT: this is a vst recreation of the famous Sansamp Gt2 Stompbox, probably the most famous guitar amp simulator that could be used directly into the mixing board before the advent of digital emulation. It features all the original controls (eq, 3 channels, 3 mic placements) and many more new controls, and it just sounds surprisingly good, both for rock and for metal tones, even for the most extreme and scooped ones, thanks to tons of gain and a very fast and definite attack.

10) Audio Damage Rough Rider 2: this is a different type of compressor compared to the aforementioned Klanghelm one, and it is aimed mainly to rhythmic tracks such as drums, bass and electronic beats, because besides adding fatness and punch, it also adds a subtle saturation that makes them even more warm and present.

What about you? Did you know these plugins? Which are your favourite free vst plugins that you use in your projects? Let us know!

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Review: Ignite Amps ProF.E.T. with video sample

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are going to review a new Ignite Amps free Vst plugin: ProF.E.T. guitar preamp!

As we know, Ignite Amps (click here to read the intervies) is an Italian guitar amp and stompbox producer which releases also the vst version of its products for free, and it has created some of the finest guitar related plugins ever made, check out our reviews on this website to know more.

The ProF.E.T. is an overdrive/preamp/distortion in stompbox form, and it is based on an Ignite pedal designed in 2018.
The pedal features 4 eq knobs (the mids are divided in low and high mids, allowing a more precise control), a tone shift switch called "shape", gain and volume.

This unit can be used in front of an amp in the clean channel as a distortion, as an overdrive or as a preamp, and in our sample I have used it as a preamp, putting a booster in front of it to give it even more bite.

The signal chain is all composed by Ignite Plugins: Ltd Mh-417->Tyrant Screamer->ProF.E.T.->TPA-1->NadIR.

I must say that this is probably the best preamp Ignite has ever done: I hardly had to do any adjustment and it sounded killer.
With a booster in front of it it's easy to get a very usable metal tone: in the case of our video it's not too distant from the classic Killswitch Engage vibe.

Without a booster it reacts very similar to an amp, and it's nice to witness how the Ignite technology develops plugin after plugin, delivering with the ProF.E.T. a very realistic, tube-like distortion rich of harmonics.
I suggest anyone interesting in a good distiortion preamp to check out the ProF.E.T: it's extremely good and FREE, and if you like it, you can buy the hardware version too!

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

- Ignite Amps proprietary JFET non-linear modeling engine.

- 4 controls tonestack with additional Shape switch.

- Mono / Stereo processing support.

- Selectable oversampling rate (up to 8x).

- Global input / output level controls.

- Double precision (64-bit) floating point mathematical model.

- Fully automatable controls.

- Ignite Amps proprietary preset management system with bank file import/export functions.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

5 tips on how to make vocals sit better in the mix

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
This article is intended to be an expansion on our general "how to mix vocals" article, and the purpose is to help, besides the in depth steps of the aforementioned page, the vocals to sit even better in the mix, because vocals, snare and the management of the low end are the tree core components of a mix in which home studios and amateur mix engineers struggles the most.

1) nail the recording: the vocals, as already mentioned in our "how to record vocals" article, needs to be recorded in a room without resonances, otherwise we will find ourselves with a boomy take that will be extremely hard to clean up. If the room is not ideal, consider using a vocal shield behind the microphone: it's better to have an extremely dry take than an oddly resonant one.

2) recording through a hardware compressor: this one is obviously doable only if you do actually have a hardware compressor (it doesn't matter if it's a 1000$ one or a cheap one), or if you are recording through a mixing board with an integrated comp. As we know vocals are one of the most dynamic instruments that can be recorded, and a touch of compression (for example with 2 or 3 db of gain reduction) can help to get "tame" the peaks and the quietest parts in the take at the source. This will simplify a lot our work when mixing.

3) high pass filter: assuming that the take is clean and that we don't have particular eq adjustments to do, the basic step to take is to clean up the low end rumble, which can be caused for example by the breathing, or by an accidental touch of the mic stand, especially when using a condenser microphone. A high pass filter set anywhere from 100 to 300hz down should clean up the vocal track of all the unwanted subsonics that could mess with the compressor.

4) parallel compression: once we have compressed our track normally, we may find ourselves in the common situation in which the vocals are still weak, thin, too dynamic, but that if we compress more, the take becomes dirty and we lose some transient: in this case we can use the New York trick: double the track, crank the compressor in the second track to squeeze it like crazy and put its volume fader to zero, then, while listening to the full mix, slowly and carefully raise the fader of this second track until the vocals are full and round, yet mantaining the transient of the original track unaltered.

5) fx track: instead of loading the effects directly on the vocals track, we can create an effect track, load a delay and a reverb on it, tune them in order to make them with a short and not too invasive tail, and then eq this track in order to make sure the effects will only work from around 1000hz up. This way, when we will send this fx track to the vocal ones, the reverb and the delay will add their magic only to the high end of our vocals, instead of affecting it all, because otherwise they can make the low end of certain types of voice resonate too much and become unpleasant and "dirty".

I hope this was helpful!

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Review: It Might Get Loud - RIOT Drums (with video sample)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are reviewing another drum sampler by It Might Get Loud prod.: RIOT Drums!

Riot Drums is a library of processed drum samples that is inspired by the classic '90s punk and hardcore albums, and it tries to recreate the raw power of that sound, which was very natural and similar to the rehearsal room one, even in the high end albums.

With this sampler you can achieve very realistic sounds, but unlike for KVLT drums, this one doesn't need any particular extra mixing, the sounds are already very usable (in facts in the video sample I haven't touched them), although with some fine tuning you can really obtain some fantastic drum tones.

This sampler is different from the others of the same software house also because it offers more: more drum samples, several adjustable microphones, a super cool old school mixer interface, which lets you basically mix the drumkit as with a live mixing board, one of these cheap ones that you find in the rehearsal rooms (even with missing knobs!), and several other goodies very useful, but I like how everything is kept simple and essential.

Riot drums is another product of It Might Get Loud Prod., software house that is slowly building itself a name for its products with a very good quality to price ratio, and because it offers something different from the competitors, libraries for specific genres which were simply not available before, and I can't wait to see what will come next (personally I would love some Fear Factory/industrial metal type of library).

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

- Over 2700 drum samples.

- Drums: 1 kick, 1 snare, 3 toms and a whole set of cymbals (hihat, ride, 2 crashes, china, 2 splashes).
- Each drum has many adjustable mics: Close, room close, room far, overheads and bassdrum & snare 

- includes also close rear mic.
- Each drum has it's own pan and gain knobs.
- Each mic has it's own gain knob.
- Each mic can also be routed to any of the 16 stereo outputs.
- A simple 1 stereo output mode by default.

- Each drumhit's midinote is freely adjustable.
- A soundcheck-mode for adjusting drums without the need of external midiclips during the pre-mix.

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Saturday, September 8, 2018

5 Songwriting Tips to make your chorus more effective

Hello and welcome to this week's article!

Today I have gathered together some interesting tips on how to create a chorus that would work for our song, regardless for the genre (obviously these ideas needs to be worked and adapted according to the style).

It's important to say that this is not some sort of marketing technique, I don't believe in creating music or any form of art as one would create an industrial product; these are just ideas that have proven to be successful from where to start if we are crafting a song, but the most important requirements, the idea, the inspiration, are up to you.

1) A strong message: a chorus is called like that because, ideally, it would be the part of the song that recurs more often and that encourage people to sing it as a choir, therefore the message works better when it's simple, straightforward and capable of grabbing the attention of the listener.
There are several ways to obtain the attention of a listener: to use a very easy phrase, to use a question, to use terms that calls for a vocalization (for example the "woooh" in Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer"), or using an interesting word or a short phrase that makes the audience think.

2) Buildup and dynamics: As I have already mentioned in my other songwriting articles (use the meta tag to visualize them all), dynamics are crucial. To make a chorus really stand out it's important to put it at the right place in the song, so that the song is dynamic.
To make a song dynamic there must be alternation between quieter parts and louder parts, parts in which the drum beat is less strong and parts in which it's more in the spotlight, and more importantly for the chorus placement, there must be a buildup. In order to make a chorus effective there must be a pre-chorus that prepares the listener to the best part of the song like a wave: first there is the backwash, then the wave comes with full force.

3) Frequencies and tempo of the chorus: ideally, unless we are experimenting in the opposite direction (loud chorus and pre-chorus and super quiet chorus), the chorus is the part in which all the frequencies of the song explodes, so for example it is where, if a singer was singing the verse on a lower octave, he passes to the higher one.
Similarly as per the voice, we can set up the arrangement of the song to make sure the "hook" (the part of the song that grabs the attention of the listener) is in the chorus by using the frequencies that the human ear is programmed to prioritize, the ones of the human voice (around 2/2.5khz), by adding instruments (piano, strings, synths and so on) with octaves that gravitate also around that area.
On the other hand, in the other parts of the song, we can make the opposite: leave room for lower octaves, or, alternatively, we can use only thin sounds during verse and pre-chorus and let the mid-low end part of the song drop only during the chorus.
Finally, some famous producer likes to add 1 or 2 bpm to the chorus tempo: they say it's practically unnoticeable, but it gives the chorus an additional sense of upbeat that makes it even more energetic.

4) Choose the emotions to transmit: this suggestion is interesting because it applies to many forms of art, from writing a book or making a film, to composing a song;
it's important to have clear in mind the emotions we want to provoke in the listener.
You wouldn't like to see a comedy film that halfway, out of the blue, becomes a scary horror, and the same concept applies to a song: you need to have clear in mind whether you want to talk about something happy, melancholic, angry, and let the song soak into this mood, so that you will carry your feelings through the song (and the song will be more authentic), and at the same time the listener will connects more to it and it will resonate with his soul.

5) Chord progressions and alternation: many memorable songs have a theme that repeats during the various parts in different forms, but to make the song not repetitive it's important to spice things up: if the verse is fast and full of chord changes, a chorus with few slow open chords can bring balance to the song, or on the other hand a song with a slow verse can double its speed during the chorus to add energy and an uptempo feel to it. Don't be afraid to mix and match, to take the chords of one part and change their position to give the song continuity and variety, and, final suggestion: never stop creating.

I hope this was helpful!

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Review: It Might Get Loud - Djenthuggah Drums (with video sample)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are reviewing a very specific product, created by the software house It Might Get Loud Prod.: Djenthuggah Drums!

Djenthuggah Drums is a drum sampler with sounds created explicitly to replicate the very particular sound of Meshuggah: the band that literally created the Djent genre, a type of metal that unites extremely low tuned instruments, a fast thrash metal riffing that sounds like an evolution of the Fear Factory tone, growling vocals (although other bands of the same genre offers also clean singing) and a very, very complex, prog-like drumming.

The drum tone is very specific, because the band relies heavily on samples for their albums (to the point that some member created the famous software house Toontrack, which is one of the leaders in drum sampling today): it has a powerful mid range designed to cut through the most dense mix, and a lot of attack and "clickiness".

Djenthuggah Drums is a sampler that features only the drum shells (kick, snare and toms) and no cymbals (in the video sample I have used the ones of Dieswitch Drums), and they come either with their standalone interface, or in Gog and Tci format, to be used with a Drum Replacer.

The sound is as expected powerful, and it's designed to poke easily through a mix, although I find it somewhere in between KVLT drums and Dieswitch Drums: in KVLT drums the samples are not processed at all, so it needs to be treated like an acoustic drumset, in Dieswitch Drums the samples are already processed, so they can be used right away, while in Djenthuggah the samples are yes processed, and they also offer 3 parameters each to fine tune them, but I still had to mix them when working on the video sample, adding some reverb on the snare and toms and some highs on the kick in order to make it sit better in the mix.

The bottom line is that this small sample pack will be very useful for all the Djent lovers out there, but be ready to work on it and blend it with other kits in order to obtain a polished result.

Thumbs up!

- Snare: Kumu Birch Custom 14″ x 5,5″, SuperWoodHoop

- Toms: Kumu Birch Custom 10″ x 7″, 12" x 8, 14″ x 12″, PowerHoop

- Kick: Kumu Birch Custom 20″ x 16″, SideHoleOver 50 samples.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Seymour Duncan Blackout vs Emg 707 bridge pickup comparison (with video sample)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
The title speaks for itself: I wanted to compare my 2 favourite active pickups, the ones that I am mounting in the bridge position of my 2 guitars, to see how they perform with exactly the same settings (Jst Ben Bruce amp sim).

To be honest the comparison is not 100% fair, since I have used the same settings and as you can see the Emg 707 has a much lower output compared to the Blackout, nevertheless I wanted to show you how big can be the difference from one pickup to another, even among actives.

The Emg 707 (that I use in a LTD MH-417) features an alnico magnet, which gives it a more classic tone, thus retaining power, tightness, and sits extremely well in the mix.
By tweaking the amp you can achieve many different tones and due to the not so extreme output it retains also some dynamics, which are not so common in active pickups.

The Seymour Duncan Blackout (mounted on my Ibanez ARZ 800), on the other hand, is raw power. It has a much higher output, a ceramic magnet, and even if it has a bit too much lower mids, it has this slightly scooped high-mids that makes it clear in a very pleasant, not ice-picky way. This is the first version, the AHB-1 designed by Dino Cazares of Fear Factory, which is more manageable than the others.

From this comparison probably the Blackout comes out as a winner for metal, it is punchy, full of low end, and it has the right clarity to bite in the right frequencies, but I strongly recommend anyone also to try the Emg 707 and set the amp accordingly, you will discover why it is still today considered a 7 strings standard, especially in the studio, where a more controlled tone and the right mid range can make the difference in the mix.

Which one do you prefer?

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Review: It Might Get Loud - KVLT Drums (with video sample)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are going to review a very particular drum sampler, produced by It Might Get Loud Prod., that tries to recreate a sound that made the history of heavy metal: the classic early '90s Norwegian black metal one.

In the early '90 Norway took by storm the metal scene with the most extreme, satanic, fast and malevolent fringe of heavy metal ever conceived up to that moment, with some young metalheads that took the sound of Venom, Celtic Frost and Bathory and brought it to a new level by adding to the speed of the fastest part of thrash metal (like Slayer) screaming vocals, a pinch of raw punk attitude and lyrics that depicted black and cold atmospheres, often referring to Satan and occultism. 

Bands like Darkthrone, Mayhem and Emperor were formed by extremely young guys, angry with the establishment and the modernity, and their sound is characterized by very raw and lo-fi recordings: the early albums of Darkthrone were literally recorded with a four tracks tape recorder, and those limitations contributed in making the records even more menacing and unpolished.

Kvlt drums is a very peculiar drum sampler, because it tries to recreate this raw and unprocessed sound, that feels like being in a rehearsal's room, and that lends itself to the fastest and most in your face blast beats and grooves.

As I mentioned, this drum sampler is completely unprocessed, unlike the Dieswitch Drums produced by the same company, and it lends very well to a deep mixing session, thanks to its many layers of velocity, but I have decided to use the raw sound, completely untouched, for my video sample, in order to give you an idea of the starting sound.

This is another very pleasant drum VSTi to work with, a good bang for the buck, and I suggest any fan of the cold, northern sound to check it out, also because, being unprocessed, gives us a lot of room for shaping the sound exactly the way we want.

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

- 1 Kick

- 2 Snares (Piccolo & Wooden Tama Snare, Sidestick + Left & Right Articulations)

- 3 Toms

- 1 Hihat

- 1 Ride

- 2 Crash

- 1 China

- 2 Splash

- 2 Unique FX Cymbals (Lid of a stove = minichina & an aluminum pan = zilbell)

Drums played by: Peter Zana
Engineered & mixed by: Ron D. Rock

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

5 ideas to get your music creativity running

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
It's been a while since our latest songwriting article, maybe I had some songwriter's block myself, so I started thinking: what could be some effective way to win back some inspiration?
Here's some tip I think may be useful:

- Mix things up: try to look at your music from a different point of view; if you are a singer that writes starting from a vocal line try to start from a guitar riff, or from a drum beat. If you are only a guitarist try using a different guitar, with different sound features, or a different amp, stompbox etc. If you are a mix engineer try to ditch your daw, your favourite plugins and get out of your comfort zone: change daw, change plugins, start from zero just following the rules and your knowledge, all these small changes will help you seeing things from a different perspective.

- Take a pause: creativity is not (luckily) a "use it or lose it" skill, either you have it or you don't.
Sometimes we expect the creative flow to be constant, like water from a tap, through all our life and we get scared when it is not flowing ALL THE TIME.
Sometimes it stops because we have other things in our mind, or because we want to put these ideas into practice at a faster pace than they come. Let the ideas arrive slowly, don't push them, even if it takes months: every attempt in forcing them will result in uninspired, procedural music.

- Try to draw inspiration from other media: music is only one of the many forms the human creativity can be expressed: go to an art exposition, read a book (believe it or not the world is freaking full of AMAZING ones), go to cinema, explore the best videogames and you will notice that all these inputs will pour new mojo in your half empty musical ideas glass.

- Listen to a completely different genre of music: I know, all you want is to listen and play true norwegian satanic black metal, but, guess what, music doesn't end there, and you shouldn't take every other genere with diffidence.
Choose one or two genres at the complete opposite of what you are currently listening to and deep dive into them: try to understand them, to find out why people listens to them, what are the feelings those musicians wants to express with their music, you will find out the reasons WHY that music is being played, and you will find out that usually they are good reasons, and this experience will give you a fresh perspective also towards what you are currently loving.

- Change your environment: what we have around us influences our creativity and our perception of reality. Sometimes if everything around us is always the same we can end up with the same ideas, the same colours in our palette. I am not saying to move to another house, but maybe taking walks to different parts of the city, hanging out (or jamming) with someone different or having a vacation to some place different can literally make new ideas bloom into our mind.

I hope this was helpful!

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Review: It Might Get Loud - Dieswitch Drums (with video sample)

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are going to review a VSTi instrument, the Dieswitch Drums virtual drumset from It Might Get Loud Productions!

IMGL is a recent Finland-based brand that offers several samplers and Midi grooves, focused on punk, rock and heavy metal; the prices are very competitive and the quality is pretty good.

The drumset we are going to review today is a sampler with pre-processed sounds that tries to recreate the classic "early 2000" metalcore vibe that can be listened on the Killswitch Engage records for example, and it's surprising that a dedicated library is coming out just now since how beloved and searched for is this type of sound.

The layout is quite simple: besides the 3d model there is an integrated mixer to control individually each drum part in the box, and the content of the library includes 4 velocity and 4 variations for each drum part, so it's pretty essential, it can be considered a sort of Ezdrummer, and it includes also a dedicated metalcore Midi pack.

The sound is surprisingly similar to the original KSE one, although being pre-processed it won't let us intervene too much on the samples, but as a songwriting tool or to put together a quick mix it's the ideal, and the tone that can be heard on my sample is the sampler without any further processing from my side.

I really recommend this product, since it's easy, affordable and provides a very good tone for all the metalcore lovers out there.

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

- 1x Kick

- 1x Snare

- 3 x Toms

- Hihat, Ride, 2x Crash, China, Stack, 2x Splash

- Includes Metalcore Essentials MIDI Pack

Each Drum contains 4 velocity layers and 4 Round Robins.
Total Library Size ~60Mb.

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Refocusing your mix and master using bypass

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are going to check out a very easy tip, so easy that may sound obvious but obvious is not, since I have found myself several times in the situation in which I have overloaded my signal chains with plugins, and then I realized that removing some of them was actually making the mix sound better (the same concept applies to mastering). 

This is the reason why I ended up, after analyzing on this blog every single effect type usable I ended up writing two articles such as the minimal mixing approach and the minimal mastering chain.

A mix engineer, both professional or amateur, is most of the times a geek at heart: we love to try new solutions, new plugins, new hardware to see how they change our sound, if we can get that 0.1% improvement that we dream of, and this, paired with today's infinite choice of tools, can bring us to an extensive library of plugins that is always there tempting us.

What if I add a second compressor? What if I add a saturation plugin? And a harmonic exciter after that?
Eventually we may find ourselves with 10 plugins chains for each track, both slowing down our computer and making incredibly hard to find out what to tweak in case we want to change anything.

What I'm trying to say today is not "let's go back to the '30s in which the whole band was recorded with a single microphone and then bounced into a vynil with no processing": experiment all you want, but then, at the end, try this procedure:

Start running the whole song, open up your console, go track by track and hit the bypass button on each plugin, one by one, and listen in real time the effect on the mix: if the overall sound gets worse, even by a 0.1%, leave it on the chain. If you cannot notice any particular difference, or if the overall sound is even better, or cleaner, remove the plugin.  

You will be amazed by the amount of plugins you will remove, and the project will suddenly sound cleaner and punchier, you'll probably recover transients that went lost in all the processing, and eventually also your project will go smoother.
Moreover, the final product (unless you screw up the mastering) will sound more natural and dynamic.

I hope it was helpful!

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Review: Washburn Idol WI65 Pro

Hello and welcome to this week's article!

Today we are going to review a classic Washburn guitar (sorry for the picture that is not very clear, it is one of the few I have) I owned for 5 years, in the mid 2000s, and which paved the way to the Washburn philosophy that still today is applied on the latest serie, the Parallaxe.

Washburn is a string instrument producer born in 1883 in Chicago (Il), and it has always distinguished itself for the implementation of particular patented technologies, such as the Buzz Feiten tuning system (a compensated nut saddle that granted a better string intonation), the Stephen's extended cutaway (a particular bolt-on neck joint that allows the guitarist to reach the higher frets with more ease), and the Voice Contour Control (also known as VCC, it's a knob that allows to switch gradually from a humbucker pickup to its coil split version, with all the shades in between).

Today the company produces both in Usa and in the far east, according to the model serie, and has among its featured artists Nuno Bettencourt, Jennifer Batten, Michael Sweet and Scott Ian (Anthrax).

The guitar we are reviewing today is a Korean made model for the year 2005/2006 and it is Idol shape, which is a single cut model a bit wider and thinner than a Les Paul (it's the model used also by Scott Ian of Anthrax), and as I said it had already the same philosophy of the recent Parallaxe serie, meaning that it offers for a medium price many of the typical upgrades that guitarists perform on a guitar after they buy it: premium pickups (two Seymour Duncan: a Custom-Custom and a '59, but there are models also with a Jb on the bridge), the aforementioned Buzz Feiten tuning system and VCC, and Grover tuners, which are some of the best in the market.

With these features the guitar is good to go: no further upgrades are needed (unless you want a different sounding pickup), no cheap parts to replace. The only thing that cannot be replaced obviously is the wood, and this is where probably the company did some economy, since it's mahogany, but it's extremely light, and maybe it's the reason why the guitar is mid priced (it started around 900$, today it can be found for less than half the price).
The Idol model today is offered both in Parallaxe version (which is more premium) and its basic version, which is more entry level.

Aesthetically speaking this model has a beautiful satin finish, inlay dots only on the side of the black painted keyboard, black hardware and a skull sticker in the headstock.

The guitar is extremely well finished and playable, the fingerboard is smooth, the back of the neck has the same satin finish that makes it very fast to play, and the VCC lets us achieve a very wide range of tones, from the most aggressive to more mellow (but noise free) single coil sounds, and it's especially good with the neck pickup, the 59 that in my opinion is one of the best neck p.u. on the market.

The only downside of this guitar is the wood: it's lightweight and doesn't add much body to the tone, so the sound is sometimes a bit too trebly, expecially with distiortion, but all in all I absolutely suggest anyone to try it, because the quality-to-price ratio is still one of the most favorable in the market.

Thumbs up!


- Mahogany body. One-piece set mahogany neck for a better sustain.

- Exotic rosewood fingerboard.

- Voice contour control (VCC) for both pickups

- Grover 18:1 machine heads

- Buzz Feiten tuning system

- Seymour Duncan US humbuckers (Custom-Custom and '59)

- Black hardware

- Matte finish

- 22 frets

- Tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece

- 3-way toggle switch

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Guitar and bass cabinets: everything you need to know (Part 2/2)


The power amp can be connected to the cabinet through a back panel which has the input jacks, and in this is very important the impedance (click here for a dedicated article): we must make sure that the power amp impedance matches the one of the head if we want to avoid damaging it.
Many cabinets have different inputs for different impedances, or a selector.

Speaking of speakers (click here for a dedicated article), we choose among a big variety: usually guitar speakers goes from 5 inches to 15 inches, and bass speakers ranges from 10 to 15, but there are also in this case exceptions.
The classic speaker for guitar has a 12 inches radius, while for bass are also very common 10 inches or 15.
The rule of thumb is that the smaller the radius, the more boxy and trebly the sound will be, the bigger, the more bass content will produce.
Sometimes bass amps have different size speakers to reproduce singularly the high end (tweeters) and the low end (woofers), and the division of the tone between the two speakers is done by a crossover circuit built in the cab.

Cabinets can also be connected between them in a method that is called "daisy chaining": the amp goes into a cabinet, and from that cabinet into another connecting them in parallel, but this option must be present in the back panel of the cab.

A final interesting note is about recording.
When recording a guitar cabinet (click here for a dedicated article) we must choose the speaker that sounds better (through some trial and error), since usually there is some difference between speaker and speaker in the same cabinet, but it's important to point out that in this case the rule "the bigger the better" does not apply: sometimes 1x12 cabs will sound more focused and clear than a 4x12, so consider spending a bit more time in the studio experimenting before making your decision.
For bass instead is a common practice to record both the d.i. sound and the microphoned one in order to blend them, since is quite hard to obtain all the tone we need just by microphoning the cabinet.
About recording is worth to mention also the isolation cab (like the one in the picture): a cabinet that can be microphoned like a regular one and that is closed by an insulation lid so that it produces no sound on the outside: the only thing audible is the sound captured by the microphones, that is sent to a mixer for recording or live mixing purposes. Sometimes touring bands use this for the signal to be sent to the p.a., to avoid microphoning one of the stage cabs, but this method is starting to fade as speaker emulations are becoming increasingly common also among touring bands.

I hope this was helpful!


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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Guitar and bass cabinets: everything you need to know (Part 1/2)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
This time we talk about guitar and bass cabinets: what is the best choice for us?

A guitar or bass cab is a box shaped enclusure in which one or more speakers are placed, and they are the output device from which we can drive the sound of our amplifier.
Guitar cabinets can come standalone or as Combo, meaning that they incorporate also a preamplifier and a power amp, making them a single, portable solution for the musican on the go.

A cabinet can come in many different shapes, and during the years producers have become very creative, proposing alternative, lighter versions, but for this basic article we are going to focus on the classic type, which can be straight (a cube or parallelepiped version) or slant, meaning that becomes thinner on the upper side to save some weight and direct the sound not only on a straight line but also towards the ears of the player.

Usually a guitar cabinet has one, two or four speakers, according to the needs (not everyone wants to carry around a big, heavy 4x12, but sometimes on big stages it is really helpful!), and the speakers can be set in two horizontal rows, to be as space effective as possible, or in some 2x12 they are placed diagonally, in order to achieve the opposite result: to have as much room possible for each speaker.
Cabinets with two speakers can be engineered to give their best when put horizontally or vertically, but most of them can be placed in both positions with no difference.

Every kind of cabinet can have the back panel open, half open, closed or modular.
A closed back cabinet will have more sound waves bouncing inside, summed up to the one projected from the front of the speaker, and this will result in a darker, more bassy tone, while open back speakers will have more sound diffusion, and this will produce a more "open", highs oriented sound.
Half open back speakers tries to achieve a bit of the two effects.
Cabinets can be built in various types of wood too, and although many claims that it can affect somehow the final sound, I am not sure about this, as I have never noticed huge differences.
Another variable is the size: smaller , thinner cabs are lighter and easier to carry around, but will provide a slightly thinner, more highs oriented sound, compared to those with the same speakers but larger in terms of depth (which is measured in liters).


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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Review: Dr Bonkers Sound Lab Impulses (with video sample)

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we're reviewing some impulse response pack from Dr Bonkers Sound Lab!

Dr Bonkers Sound Lab produces Impulse Responses for guitar and bass, both in Wav format and in Fractal Axe Fx Format, in a variety of sample rates, up to 96khz and 32bit.

Each cabinet impulse comes in 7 versions, tracked with different microphone settings, and in 4 different folders: the HyperReal version (which is the main version these impulse should be used and consists in a mix of several microphones), the Choice Mixes version, which is an alternative version of the HyperReal ones, and the version with the single microphones, both unprocessed and created with the addition of a power amp for extra harmonic richness, both in 200ms and 500ms version.

Today I spent some time playing around with the HyperReal versions, and since I imagine these "almost mix ready" versions will be the ones that will be used by most of the users, I have made a video comparison of my favourite impulses of the 5 cabinets Dr Bonkers suggested me would be more suited for metal.

For the video I have just plugged my Ltd Mh-417 with Emg 707 pickups to my Focusrite Saffire audio interface, and from there I have used exclusively Free Ignite Amps vst plugins:  Ignite TSB-1 - Ignite The Anvil - Ignite NadIR.

Here's a short description of the 5 IRs I have chosen for the video: 

- Mesa Boogie Recto Cab 4x12: this is a classic cab for metal, and it is probably the one that will need less fiddling during mixing. The tone is balanced, with a tight low end and a very usable, aggressive midrange.

- Marshall 1960 Jcm 800 Lead 4x12: totally different flavour compared to the Mesa Boogie one, this cabinet sounds more scooped and with a more sparkling high end, I bet it would give its best in standard tuning, maybe in a hard rock song or old school thrash metal.

- Marshall 8x10 Bass Cabinet: This is a bass cabinet that is usable also for guitar, but of all the impulses I have tried in this package is the most "boxy sounding". I would see it more suited for a mid rangey bass than a guitar tone, but surely it lends itself to many creative uses.

- 1960 Sunn 2x15 Guitar and Bass Cab: This tone is extremely bassy as the wide speaker suggests, and works in my opinion particularly fine with genres like doom or stoner. The mid range is slightly scooped but the highs remain intellegible and defined.

- Oahu 1x6 Guitar Cab: from this small speaker I would have expected a radio-like sound, yet it produces a very nasty, aggressive high mid range that puts in the spotlight all the gain of the amp. Obviously it lacks in the low end area, therefore a combination with another impulse would be suggested.

Before recording I have played with both the suggested microphone combinations and with the single microphones, trying to blend them in the impulse loader, and I must say the possibilities are really infinite, also because for each microphone there are several positions, and I am also quite sure that spending more time in mixing and matching the single microphones in various positions makes possible to come up with even better results than those in the HyperReal mixes, so I incourage all of you guys to check out these impulse packs and spend some time with the various combinations, because the possibilities are really infinite.

Thumbs up! 

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Everything you need to know about drum triggers PART 2/2


Now that we know the basic concepts behind a drum trigger let's try to understand its practical applications:

- Live environment: a drumset can be triggered entirely (except for the cymbals) or partially (for example just the kick or the kick and the snare) to make the sound cut through the mix better, and send the samples from the drum module to the mixer.
This way the sound engineer can use the samples and the microphoned drum parts the same way as they were all microphoned, with all the perks of the samples: more clarity, less dynamic range (usually drum modules features also effects like compressor, reverb...), and so on.
As in all environments, it is very important that the hits acquired from the trigger are received correctly from the drum module by setting the sensitivity, and if necessary, adjusting the pressure of the trigger on the drum skin.

- Studio environment: this is the environment in which drum triggers shines the most.
A recording engineer can record a whole drumset both with microphones and triggers, and decide during the mixing phase what part to use natural, what part to use triggered and what part in which to use a blend between microphone and sample (except for cymbals, which is better to keep acoustic because they are the drum part that result more "fake" when sampled).
Here the setup is crucial: the trigger must be placed correctly, not too tight because it would interpret hard hits like double hits, not to loose from the skin because it wouldn't notice the lightest touches, and the sensitivity must be carefully tuned in the drum module.
Once everything is set, the drumset will be recorded both acoustically and in a Midi track in the computer, and the mix engineer will be able to easily edit the Midi by removing doubles, reducing or evening out the dynamic range, quantizing, snapping to grid, "reintroducing humanity", or even rewriting certain parts.
This is very useful if the drummer is not very good and if the microphoned part is so bad that can't be fixed, but also just to add a sample on top of the microphoned drum part, if needed.
Finally, if we don't have triggers, we can always put a sample on top of a microphoned drum part by using a drum replacer.

- Home practice environment: there are electonic drum kits, usually pretty small and foldable like the one depicted in this article, that features skins made to reduce the sound to the minimum to not bother anyone in the house, and these drum parts (included the rubber "cymbals") have a trigger inside of them, so that the drummer can connect them to a drum module and play with the headphones (sometimes also playing along with a song). This is a very useful home solution for those who doesn't have a rehearsals room, the drum parts offers a feeling similar to a real drum skin in terms of "bounce" of the drum sticks and it can be used also for recording drum parts.


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