The Drum Sounds Of Khruangbin
Introducing our latest 'Creating The Sounds of' series. In week 1 we'll be checking out how to create those iconic vintage drum sounds.
Featuring the psychedelic 70's tones of the Texan 3-piece Khruangbin, we'll feature saturated drum samples, mixing live bass guitars, adding dub FX using plug-ins and how we created the iconic guitar sounds that they're know for.
Check the video below and read on for more..
Often overlooked but getting your sounds right from the beginning are crucial in getting those perfect vintage drum sounds. From the way the drums were recorded to the mics used, the way they were processed and the type of performance. Each element shouldn't be overlooked. That's why I chose to use the vintage drum loops pack.
If you're looking to record your own drum sounds then keep these things in mind. Research the techniques of the 70's, explore Glyn Johns 3 mic technique, embrace mono and dive deep into that 1970's aesthetic.
Each loop in our Vintage Drums pack was created with a task like this in mind. utilising tape machine recording, beautifully tuned drums, incredible performance and an all analog mixing chain - the same as what someone like Khruangbin would be looking out for.
Tape Machines For Vibe
Getting into the mindset of Khruangbin was crucial in getting all the elements to gel and work. That's why we reached for a Tape Machine plug-in like he Slate VTM. Tape machines bring so many great effects to your drums tracks including:
Controlling Transients - Enjoy the natural compression elements of tape, softening harsh tops and controlling dynamic range.
Low Frequency Bump - Who doesn't love a little extra weight. Fatten up your drums and kicks especially
Saturation - Add a little extra grit by driving the input past 0-VU.
Take these skills one step further and learn how to build the perfect kick and master mixing drums.
A huge part of Khruangbin's sound is the use of spring reverbs. In this video we used a plug-in called 'Spring' by AudioThing. Having a variety of options for controlling your reverbs is crucial in creating those authentic vintage drum sounds. I found the best way to get that classic tone is to use something like a spring reverb sparingly. The drum sound of Khruangbin is quite dry but little choice moments of delay and spring reverb can do wonders when adding that extra Dub FX.
Tip: Try going big on the FX with supporting percussion hits, like a HUGE snare or crash. There is also a great Spring reverb sound in Ableton's Echo.
If you're more of a one-shot guru check our latest article that helps with programming realistic drum parts
Utilising Ableton's Flange FX
By combing drum machine loops with live drums, we were able to create amazing, otherworldly textures. Chaining together Ableton's FX can be an amazing way to emphasis the abstract feeling and crate something beautifully unique.
In the chain below I created width and movement by utilising Ableton's auto-pan which was then re-enforced with the 'Phaser-Flanger'.
I was finding I the low-frequencies were clashing a little so aggressive EQ combined with a side-chain soon solved this.
Space Echo For Dub FX
One of the most important and iconic pieces of gear from thew 1970's was the Roland Space Echo. Renowned for it's unmistakable delay and spring reverb tones, this piece is synonymous with psychedelic sounds hence is perfect for creating massive vintage drum sounds. In the video we turned to AudioThing again by using their Outer Space plug-in. This faithful recreation did a great job in adding those iconic drum tones that truly set the scene.
Tip: Try automating the 'intensity' dial for maximum dub madness. Be warned though.. self oscillation may occur!
Our Percussive Splash pack was a great asset in creating authentic vintage drum sounds. The pack includes numerous percussion, live drum top loops and ride patterns that work perfectly against programmed beats or can be used to add pace and movement in your tracks.