I have seen one video where someone was just importing the Joe Barresi SDX to Superior Drummer and was listening to it on his studio monitors and recording the camera.

(I have reeled the video to the point of interest)

I have found this sound extremely gritty and usable. As an experiment I have recorded some guitars and bass over it (after some denoising) and still felt the kick drum and snare cuts trough the mix and it's very tight.

This is how it sounds with guitars

(please note that I did not EQd or compressed any further!)

So I'd like to replicate this sound, because I find this a super starting point, I would only make some smaller adjustments.

I tried distorting it, but the bass frequencies started to feel weird and the cymbals were noticeably more distorted.

How would you replicate the saturation, the distortion and the room of that recording with adding effects only to the main drum bus?

(i.e. you open Superior Drummer with default preset and apply DSP effects on the drum bus without individual tweaking).

I have like to have this sound as a starting point, from where I can refine the individual drum tracks. (As a top-down method: starting with the whole drum kit and then playing with the individual mic tracks).

  • Is it the camera sound you want to replicate? I presume you already use superior drummer 2 as that is a good part of that "sound". Aug 12, 2016 at 6:43
  • Yes, I'd like to use SD2, and I'd like to replicate the grittiness of this "default library loaded" + studio monitor + room + camera mic compression setup. Check my question again, I have clarified it.
    – atoth
    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:53

3 Answers 3


You could try routing a drum sub-mix out to a guitar amp to get a nice funky sound and mic that up to re-record it!

An alternative would be to use a guitar-amp simulator plug-in with mic-distance/room-sound features.

  • Actually I tried that, and yielded something good, but now I have an issue with latency - it has that infamous comb-filtered fizzy sound of latency. But that's a technical issue, maybe I need to switch amp simulator.
    – atoth
    Aug 23, 2016 at 12:30

Your question isn't overly clear. I'm assuming you wish to process other samples in a similar way?

I think I hear some tape saturation, which can be difficult to keep subtle if applied to the whole drum buss... I would suggest adding it to individual drum tracks instead. I use Waves J37, which is pretty decent. Pushing the saturation on J37 can achieve a similar aesthetic.

If the transients and noise are what seems to make it cut to your ears, take a look at the spectral content of both, and the apparent level of clipping on the transients. Try hard clipping your transients, and blending them/crossfading them back into the original sample.

Resampling your drums into 8-bit files gives a nice grit. Consider using multiple noise sources to add over each sample. Vinyl noise has individual tiny crisp higher frequency transients in rapid succession, a definite requirement for grittiness. Apply an appropriate volume envelope to these additional noise tracks and consider bouncing them together with your kicks etc.

I hope this helps.

  • I have clarified my question. My goal is to have a very saturated, well-compressed, in-your-face drum sound from Superior Drummer libraries. I have found that this camera mic compressor and maybe the studio monitor and the room alone were responsible for this effect. So the question is how can I get something similar by adding effects to the main drum bus.
    – atoth
    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:50
  • Also there's NO tape saturation or any other effects, just the mic of the camera, the room and the studio monitor - and an SD library loaded with default presets.
    – atoth
    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:52

Send all of your drums to an aux-mix (pre-fade) and put a compressor insert on that aux-return then tweak the compression settings into you have an extremely over-compressed signal. Mix the original drum tracks with that that signal, and you'll get a very "punchy" effect without completely sacrificing dynamic range and frequency responce.

  • I have used this trick many times, but the end result wasn't this gritty. Or maybe I was too shy about adding more distortion - but that can f#ck up crashes and the bass of kick/toms.
    – atoth
    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:55
  • The best results I have were with a plugin by SSL audio (the LMC-1, sadly no longer availableit seems?). solid-state-logic.co.jp/music/LMC-1/index.html It was meant to replicate their "talk-back" system from their consoles. It was a really gnarly compressor with non-linear audio reproduction that's hard to reproduce unfortunately.
    – user9881
    Aug 19, 2016 at 14:37
  • 1
    Try adding some hi-pass & lo-pass to the chain before the compressor as well as very subtle distortion after that.
    – user9881
    Aug 19, 2016 at 14:38
  • So you suggest before the compression and subtle distortion I should remove the problem-frequencies... Is it what you suggest? Also I'm checking out this compressor, thanks for the tip.
    – atoth
    Aug 23, 2016 at 12:29

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