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Think that the giant 28” Ludwig in the Superior Drummer core library kick can’t be used in anything but a ballad tempo? Think again. With the Envelope and Offset Property box, you can easily tame the long resonance of big kick drums and toms to fit in a variety of different tempos.

The attached project file includes a groove played back at 155 BPM with the Ludwig Concert kit selected including the 14×28” Ludwig kick. Normally, a kick drum this large and resonant would only be used for slower tempos, because at faster tempos its resonance builds up and takes over the mix. However, with the Envelope property box, it’s possible to tailor the kick drum’s resonance (and all instruments for that matter) in a way that a gate never could.

I’ve set up a somewhat extreme example for the purposes of this article (and downloadable project file), but these techniques can be used more sparingly for any kit and any tempo in which you may be working.

The first step to dialing in the Release Anchor point for the kick is to select the drum and then turn on the Envelope and Offset property box.

Next, I like to solo the kick with the level Property box so that I can hear the instrument through every single channel in which its present.

Then play the groove on the Song Track and start adjusting the Release Anchor point in the Envelope and Offset property box to your liking. In this case, I’m listening for the kick drum to have almost completely faded out before the start of the next hit.

In this example, the groove on the Song Track is playing 1/4 notes on the kick drum. At a tempo of 155, a quarter note is 387ms long. Therefore this is a good starting point, but adjusting to the exact value often sounds too artificial… So, I’ll push the release to 460 ms.

If needed, you can make further adjustments to the slope of the fade out by clicking on the Curve Slope Anchor Point. In this example I’ve reduced the slope of the kick drum only.

For all other shells in the kit, I have shortened them to the length of a half note at 155 BPM (774 ms) as they do not have quick repeating hits, and therefore do not need to be as dampened. To do this, I shift clicked the snare and all of the toms for a multi selection, then selected the Release anchor point, and finally entered the value of 774 ms.

To hear this effect in action, simply open the attached project file, shift-click the kick, snare, and toms and then play the groove. With all of the shells selected, turn off the Envelope and Offset property box. You will then hear the undesired buildup of resonance take over the drum sound.

Using the Envelope release control specifically for the tempo of your track is an extremely valuable skill that can really clean up your drum mix!

Happy mixing!


Mike Sanfillipp


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