It's been quite a while since I've posted on Northern Sounds.
I'm considering the possibility of producing very high quality Jazz Drums in Kontakt, EXS24, and Structure sampler formats.
Before making a final decision as to whether or not to undertake this project, I need to determine the feasibility of producing sampled jazz drums.
In this day and age many musicians are using drum programs such as BFD and EZdrummer, which have drum midi files and grooves built into those programs for musicians who are not familiar with what real drummers do on a drum set.
I need to know if there is a good percentage of musicians who are familiar with various drum beats and would be interested in having high quality jazz drum samples in Kontakt, EXS24, and Structure sampler formats.
For example, do many of you know basic drum beat patterns such as the kick drum playing on 1 & 3, hi hat playing on 2 & 4, snare drum playing on 2 & 4, and ride cymbal playing 1, 2-&, 3, 4-&, 1, etc., with a triplet swing eight note feel for a basic jazz swing drum beat, or are most musicians relying on programs such as EZdrummer and BFD to generate these drum set rhythms for them with their built in midi files and grooves?
If I undertake this project, these jazz drums will be produced using a very traditional great sounding jazz drum set and a large assortment of great sounding Zildjian Constantinople cymbals. Also, each drum set component will be a separate instrument.. kick drum, hi hats, snare drums, ride cymbals, crash cymbals, brushes, etc. There will be no general midi mapped drum set instruments in this jazz drum set collection considering extreme limitations with GM drums.
It is my plan to spread different drum and cymbal note samples of the same velocities over several different keys on the keyboard controller for each drum set instrument, which works and sounds considerably better for drum samples than using round robin programming on a single note key in the various software samplers.
I don't have the time to comment in details but as a drummer (as weel as a pianist and a percussionnist, a composer, an arranger, and an orchestrator... hehe) I can tell you most of the jazz drums samples on the market don't have good rimshots in my taste, a "real" jazz rimshot.
By the way, I never used EZDrummer or whatever. I make my own track on a V-Drums or on a keyboard.
(It's cool seeing you in the forums. I just sent an email to you, thru your site, a few days ago). Welcome back.
I love the idea of a Jazz Drum library.
To add to the discussion, the GM (and GM extended) mapping allows users to access the growing number of Jazz midi files out there. That's huge for non drummers, as well as writers who want to get their ideas down, quickly.
Would you have any room/mic control over the samples?
BTW, I have used most of the drum software on the market... been waiting for another great Jazz Library. Most of my programming is done with a keyboard, but I am a drummer.
I have been waiting for a decent bop kit (which is -different- from a 'jazz' kit) since samplers came out.
A jazz drummer plays more of an 'instrument' than rock/pop. The kit is typically small and they use a MUCH greater combination of strokes on those drums AND they hit a lot more -parts- of each piece than a rock/pop guy.
1. Cymbal rakes... There needs to be a complete set of samples for dragging across each cymbal
2. There need to be samples where the ride is crashed... the hat is crashed... the crash is used as a ride
3. There need to be hits on the various -stands-
4. There need to be a -complete- set of rim hits for -each- drum so that they can be used as temple blocks
5. Ditto #4 for the shells...
6. There need to be an EASY way to switch back and forth between mallets and sticks WHILE playing one kit
7. There should be a way to adjust the pitch of toms while playing... similar to the various techniques where a thumb.elbow is placed on the head while playing to create 'talking drum' effects.
I thank each and every one of you for your thoughts and opinions on jazz drum samples!
Rather than replying to each individual posting, I will address most of the topics discussed with the following information.
The jazz drum set that I am sampling is a very traditional maple jazz drum set with a 14 X 6 snare drum, 12 X 8 mounted tom, 14 X 14 floor tom, and a 20 X 16 kick drum. All these drums are set up with real goat skin heads on both top and bottom, which provide a very warm and traditional jazz sound. I am also using an additional 14 X 4 ½ snare drum with frosted heads for brushes, which provides a very clear and distinct presence of sound for brushes, and of course I always use wire brushes.
I have a large assortment of Zildjian Constantinople cymbals and hi hats that I’m sampling as well, which all have killer sounds for jazz. Additionally, I am also sampling 14 inch Zildjian K hi hats as well. For most jazz music I prefer the lush sound of the 14 inch Zildjian Constantinople hi hats, but for Latin music, bossa nova, rumba, tango, beguine, etc., etc., I prefer the 14 inch K Zildjian hi hats for their tighter sound without as many overtones, which simply sounds better for most Latin music in my opinion.
I have five Zildjian Constantinople ride cymbals.. 20 inch medium ride, 22 inch medium ride, 20 inch medium thin ride high, 20 inch medium thin ride low, and a 21 inch Big Band ride. I also have a 20 inch Zildjian K Custom dry light ride, which I may also sample. Additionally, I have two Zildjian Constantinople crash cymbals.. 16 inch crash and an 18 inch crash.
In a jazz drum set, most generally you never want to use more than two ride cymbals on an individual song, so with the ride cymbal selection I’m providing you can audition different ride cymbal sounds in order to determine which ones sound the best for a particular song. It’s always best use two ride cymbals that match up together well with regards to their character of sound. The Constantinople 20 inch medium and Constantinople 22 inch medium go together very well with regards to sound character, and the Constantinople 20 inch medium thin ride high and 20 inch medium thin ride low go together well, but there again this is my opinion so no doubt other people may like different ride cymbal combinations from this collection. The Constantinople 16 and 18 inch crash cymbals sound great with all of these other ride cymbals, and of course the crashes on all the Constantinople ride cymbals sound great as well, which will also be included in this jazz drum collection. And of course, all of these Constantinople ride cymbals have great bell sounds for ride as well, which will also be included.
I also have a couple of Zildjian K Custom Flat Top ride cymbals.. 18 inch flat top and a 20 inch flat top. Personally, flat top ride cymbals don’t do a thing for me for jazz. Nevertheless, I may consider doing these flat top ride cymbals if a significant number of people would like to have them. So by all means, give me your opinions on flat top ride cymbals.
One person was requesting great sounding sizzle cymbals. Personally, as a drummer, I don’t get turned on with the sound of sizzles for jazz, though I realize some jazz drummers do make good use of them. I’m not going to drill holes in $800 Zildjian Constantinople cymbals and mount sizzles, but I will mount some non-destructive dangling sizzles on a couple of cymbals in order to satisfy those who want sizzles.
Another person was suggesting that I sample the ride cymbals by striking them all over the entire surface, and also doing ride cymbal samples on crash cymbals in order to have harsh and trashy sounding ride cymbal samples. As a drummer and instrument sound developer, I’m not going to do this. Even $800 Zildjian Constantinople cymbals can sound very ugly and nasty if you strike them on areas other than their “sweet spots,” and crash cymbals don’t sound good using them as ride cymbals.
As I previously mentioned, I am not going to do round robin programming of several notes of the same velocity on a single key. A good variety of quite a few notes at the same velocity is very important for sampled drums and cymbals, so I will be spreading them over several keys on the keyboard map. For drum, cymbal, and hi hat samples it feels much more natural to play different notes of the same instrument of the same velocity in real time over several white keys on a keyboard controller, which is a much better solution than round robin programming on a single key and will provide much better sounding and playing results.
In the past there have been drum samples produced with as many as a hundred different velocities, which is extremely useless and unnecessary, so therefore there will be far fewer velocities in this jazz drum collection. There will be quite a few different multiple notes of each instrument at the same velocity spread over multiple keys on the keyboard, which is very important and will provide great sounding drums, cymbals, and hi hats.
Most articulations will be covered in this collection, but certainly not every possible articulation because it would be much too complicated and time consuming for most people to use. Most definitely 95% of all possible articulations will be covered in this jazz drum collection. With this sampled drum collection you will be able to produce extremely convincing drums and drum solos for your music.