Claps

Analogue-style claps are somewhat harder to achieve on an everyday synth than hats, snares, kicks and toms. Most analogue drum machines (notably the TR-808, which could be argued to be the king of claps) use quite unusual synth architecture to achieve powerful clap sounds.

However, we can get pretty close with a standard subtractive synth. Using band-pass filtered white noise is a good starting point. Here’s a rough setting in ES2 to create a basic clap:

PIC 10A

And here’s how it sounds.

For a more authentic staggered attack, try adding a short delay:

Creating a Kit

Finally, it’s worth mentioning the best approaches to using these synth drum hits in your tracks and some of the alternatives if you don’t use Logic.

Clearly, using one instrument for each kit sound can be quite unwieldy. The most practical approach is typically to bounce each drum sound to an audio file, then load it in a dedicated drum sampler like NI Battery or your DAW’s built-in sampler plugin.

Don’t think that the techniques we’ve shown here are specific to ES2. Most virtual analogue synths can be used to create the drum sounds we’ve demonstrated. Remember that all subtractive synths are fundamentally very similar under the surface – a combination of oscillators, envelopes and filters based on classic analogue circuits. Experiment with whatever software you own to see what you can come up with.

Alternatively, there are virtual instruments designed specifically with drum synthesis in mind. If that approach sounds appealing you could do a lot worse than taking E-Phonic’s Drumatic 3 for a spin:

PIC 12A

24th January, 2013

Comments

  • Very nice, and applicable to any analog drum synthesis as well! But what about Logic’s Ultrabeat drum synth?

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  • Henry – we’re planning to go in-depth with Ultrabeat in the near future, but we might just have to wait and see whether it gets updated in Logic Pro X… 😉

    Thanks

    Attack

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  • You guys are amazing! Can’t wait 🙂

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