Stacked sounds and MIDI mapping hurdles in SSD5 (or SSD5.5) when creating an own drum kit

Let’s face two facts:

  1. Steven Slate Drums, especially the new SDD5.5, simply sound fucking great, out of the box.
  2. The MIDI mapping, especially the “stacking issue”, is a pain in the ass.

When it comes to point 2 I had a conversation with the support. Remarkable: I never got a quicker support reply. What leaves me in mixed emotions is the content of it. Here’s my message:

I can’t seem to find the “Input Converter” in SSD5.5. I’d love to keep the mapping for every kit loaded, so that I can switch between drum sets, but keep the samples where they were.

Then I can’t figure out how to “unstack” samples… well, in all honesty: why do they get stacked by default in the first place? Would be great if they’d get somewhat logically mapped to their own MIDI notes (like a second kick drum close to the 1st one etc.). It’s very inconvenient to have a second hi-hat placed 3 octaves above the first one. That makes drum programming a nightmare.

I want to build a huge drum set with 2 different kick drums, 2 different hi-hats etc., and not run 2 instances of SSD5.5 in one project, just to be able to have this.

I know, I can assign every single sample to another note (MIDI Learn), but to do all of this by hand is, as mentioned, a nightmare.

Also, what’s the difference between “User (not loaded)” and “Reserved (not loaded)”, and what happens when I put, say, a kick drum on a “Bell left (not loaded)”? Will the left bell WHEN LOADED then stack up with the kick drum?

As said, I want to build a huge drum kit with all the samples I have in mind, but right now mapping issues stand in the way.

Attachments:

Here’s the reply:

Hi,

please note SSD5.5 offers MIDI learn in two different locations, the mapping section, which can be accessed by first clicking on the “Map” Tab, on the left side of SSD 5, and the articulation switching which can be accessed in the edit and mix tabs. The MIDI learn in the “MAP” tab is global, meaning that notes are mapped before they hit SSD5. Thus, these changes do not save per kit, for saved presets, you will have to reload them each time you load a new kit. This is good for making maps for MIDI controllers/ E-Kit’s as mapping isn’t tied to a kit, and users can set a default mapping preset, to make for ease of use when switching kits and using a MIDI device.

On the other hand, MIDI learn in the edit/mix tab is not global, and the changes you make save per kit. In the sense of you were to make a new assignment in the edit/mix page, then save your kit. When re-loading your kit, this change will be recalled. The MIDI learn in the edit/mix tab is used for stacking the OG-One shots on existing snares, and un-mapping stacked articulation. It can also be used to use multiple snares and cymbals, and assign them to different MIDI notes, so you can play different snares and cymbals and different times, and on different pads if you have an e-kit.

Refer to these articles: stevenslatedrums.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360046580853-How-to-Create-a-Custom-Drum-Kit-in-SSD-5-5

stevenslatedrums.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360033680013-MIDI-Learn-and-Mapping-in-SSD5-5

Regards,

Cameron Kuwada
Steven Slate Drums | Slate Media Technology
Technical Support Specialist

I’m gonna leave it at that. Make up your own mind. Rest assured, I’m not super happy.

Update on the album production

The album

I’ve done around 30 different mixes, tried like 10 different guitars, mixing the drum kit and making it sounding right has taken an incredible amount of time, I’ve tweaked the tiniest bits of sound to total exhaustion.

Should the grand piano have more mechanical noises… should the timpani have slightly more reverb… should the guitar have a delay or not, should I add the cello on top of the full orchestra, or an oboe? Should I widen the acoustic guitar or leave it as is? Is this chord harmonic enough for the one before? Is the Oberheim too loud? Should I use the Gibson EB0 or the Les Paul bass, finger or pick? Stratocaster or Telecaster? This or that cabinet, or none at all, what amp? Distortion or slight fuzz, tremolo?

The pains of creating an album…

Questions like that are bothering me all the time. And the production is so huge that my DAW crashes at least 3 times a day. Plus, anxiety, doubts… because “is it all worth it? Will they understand it?”. Sleepless nights. Then again: “fuck yeah!”. It all sounds absolutely heavenly, I get goosebumps all the time. And nothing is even mastered at all.

I have half of the album sounding as perfect as it gets, with the needed amount of imperfection to become perfect. I open parts of it again, again and again… stuff that I did a year ago that doesn’t sound right today, and may sound not right next week. You get the idea. 😉

No worries, it’s all good. It’s finished very soon. Once it’s done I have nothing to do with it anymore. Then it’s a product with a life of its own, and I will watch it learning to walk.

I will reply to all of your questions in a video that I’ll upload to Facebook and YouTube, very soon.

Free Samples & Loops Round-Up (January/February 2017) – Bedroom Producers Blog

Our free soundware round-up series is back with one of the largest lists of free audio loops and samples to date. Some of the highlights include high-quality vocal samples, a sampled grand piano in SFZ format, and a huge collection of drum machine sounds. Check out the best soundware freebies for January/February 2017 below and we’ll… Read More

Source: Free Samples & Loops Round-Up (January/February 2017) – Bedroom Producers Blog

FREEWARE: LSHS Corrective EQ

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LSHS Corrective EQ is a tool that is designed to correct frequency balance issues in the most important frequencies, the low and high end. The LSHSEQ is designed to restore the musicality that may have been lost during recording, or post effects processing. With the LSHSEQ, your mixes will sound bright, punchy and clear, according to AcmeBarGig.

Free audio plugins from KLANGHELM

I’m going to use this blog to post free stuff and tutorials for producers and engineers from time to time. And I will only talk about stuff I use myself. 😉

I used both plugins on my latest album “THE GREAT ESCAPE“. And all productions of the past 1 year, actually.

So, today I want to introduce 2 plugins from KLANGHELM to you. They’re not only free but amazing, and apart from this, all their products (also the paid ones) are excellent, but this is another topic.

IVGI – saturation & distortion

IVGI can deliver very soft and subtle saturation, that feels at home on the master buss. It is equally capable of very dense and dirty distortion effects to spice up single tracks. IVGI’s base sound is comparable to the DESK mode in the big brother SDRR.

Just as SDRR, IVGI reacts dynamically to the input signal. Even the modeled fluctuations react dynamically and also change depending on the drive setting, so that it doesn’t get in the way of the SOUND. Stereo tracks benefit from it’s modeled crosstalk behavior. Just as its big brother SDRR, IVGI features a “Controlled Randomness”, which determines the internal drift and variance inside the unit. It contributes to the liveliness and realness of IVGI’s saturation character. All internal processes are modulated to some extent to make this possible.

IVGI gives you a sensible amount of controls to manipulate the character of the saturation itself. It offers a unique ASYM MIX knob to alter the symmetry of the signal without affecting the harmonic content much. Usually, asymmetry leads to an increase of even order harmonics. But in IVGI’s case, dialing the asymmetry makes the negative part of the signal “cleaner”. This way you can preserve the dynamic structure of the source and get a more transparent result. Actually, you can think of ASYM MIX as a transparency control.

IVGI also lets you alter the frequency dependency of the saturation with the RESPONSE control.

IVGI is internally calibrated to 0VU = -18dBFS.

I use IVGI as final plugin behind everything else on my master bus to give the final touch. Since I use it, all of my stuff sounds richer, warmer, more analog, just better.

On the next one I have to say that I use very little compression on audio in general, and when I do, I compress in several stages, because I firmly believe that every frequency range needs a different amount of compression. And this one here is a very good and ultra-simple way to do this. Here’s what the creator has to say:

DC1A – effortless character comp

DC1A is the little brother of the compression monster DC8C. I’ve taken a few of my favorite settings from DC8C and tried to make it work in a two control context. Sound wise it’s comparable to the PUNCH mode in DC8C but offers a few additional features, such as negative ratio and stereo unlink. I’ve always wanted to do a compressor with just an input and output knob, a compressor that just works: gentle, faithful, from almost invisible, smooth leveling to heavy pumping with a nice crunchy saturation and punchy enough to treat drums with.

DC1A looks like a one trick pony. But don’t get fooled by the lack of additional controls. You may be surprised on how many different material this little thing works. DC1A is heavily program dependent, so is the saturation.

DC1A is free! So try it out for yourself.

What I really like about KLANGHELM plugins: they’re light, simple and high quality. All I need for a good workflow and great sounding mixes.