by Gary Powell
I’ve been using “Larry Seyer’s Acoustic Drums” library since its release for the GigaStudio platform in 2005! When programming drum samplesÂ is appropriate I have implemented Larry Seyer’s library with stellar successÂ creating happy clients. Larry has nowÂ reformatted these same samples as a virtual instrumentÂ called POWERkits.Â It’s difficult to explain something as complex as allÂ this in a non-technical way for my readers who are not studio geeks, so here goes anyway.
Larry and drummer Pat Mastelotto record individual drums hits on many different kinds of drums with many different kinds of sticks. Also, each drum head is struck in eight different zones spaced in concentric circles with each zone being recorded separately one hit at a time. Â Also, drum strikes or hitsÂ are recorded at many different volume levels. This massive amount of information is then digitally edited, stapled, stamped, washed, rinsed and spun-dried into a “virtual” instrument meaning at the end of the process all these drumÂ sounds can all be played on a digital piano (we call it a controller) with each drum hit having been assigned to a different key on the piano keyboard. These individual recordings are called “samples”. Still with me? Okay, then keep reading.
When you as the new drummer nowÂ play a “D” above middle “C” on your piano keyboard, you will trigger the software to play a snare drum. If youÂ strike the key harder then the software is programmed to trigger a different “sample” which is actually a different recording Larry made when Pat simply hit the drum harder. If you understand this, then you might enjoy reading it with pictures from the master himself.
If you want to hear these sounds in action, then go to LarrySeyerDigital.com and click on the little play button at the top left side of the page.
What’s new aboutÂ POWERkits is that these drum samples no longer require a separate software program or separate computer. Triggering samples recorded from eight different areas of each drum head is also innovative and new for all of us.Â TheseÂ samples nowÂ live right within your own recording software environment, even on a laptop, ready to play on a moment’s notice. In the old days, we might have called this a “ram resident” application. Nowadays, it is simply called a “virtual instrument”!Â I have greatly simplified the process, but I hope it helps you understand the basics of sampling.
Recording great drum sounds has always been one of the last things an audio engineer masters.Â Larry Seyer has spent more than five yearsÂ creating something unbelievably complexÂ in makingÂ world-class drums sounds accessible to anyone with a laptop or computer regardless of being on either on the PC or Mac platform. Even though the whole of the professional recording industry uses “Larry Seyer’s Acoustic Drums”, this newÂ virtual instrumentÂ version is priced to be available to recording enthusiasts at any level. The amazing thing is that this library is so immense and varied that even expert listeners, audiophiles and recording engineers will never identify these drum sounds as samples.
In typical fashion of a talented man who takes care of his customers, frequently asked questions aboutÂ POWERkits are answered on Larry’s site.