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I'm programming some drum samples in Logic's exs24. Are there specific drums that are typically "one shot" and others that usually aren't. For example, I'm guessing the kick drum should be one shot but that symbols should not be since they have a lot of sustain which might result in them taking up a lot of room in certain types of music.

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Drum samples default is one shot. This is unlike, say, 8 seconds of a violins sample, which will use a release-bound envelope.

There are a few situations where drums aren't one shot:

  • Practical - Some drum samples are long and have long sustain (say a tom sample of 8 seconds). When you program your drums, your notes will be of a certain length and you may just find that without one shot you either can't hear a difference or it actually sound better.
  • Punch - short sustain and quick release tend to add to the impression of punch. For the very same reason we gate real drums, you may want such punchy envelope.
  • Creative
    • Not all drums are meant to sound realistic. Sometimes the fast sustain and release add some extra spice that is amiss with one-shot (which normally produce more natural sound and dynamic envelope).
    • Automation. If you are making electronic music (say with Ableton Live), one effect is to automate the length of drum hits. One shot won't allow you to do this.
    • Expression - If you are to play your drums on keyboards, the ability to vary the length of each hit adds a means of expression. Not natural but creative alright.
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  • I could see a reason to make a roll sample not a one-shot, although all the rolls samples I've seen so far have all been one-shots, and if you want a longer roll you just trigger it back-to-back. – Todd Wilcox Oct 2 '15 at 14:22

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