Some thoughts on percussions

edited April 22 in Tips and Tricks

Why do synthetic drums or samples sound so unnatural?

Because they don’t behave like real world objects. 

So let’s look what actually happens if I hit some drum:🧐

A) the sound gets longer if we hit the object harder 

B) the sound gets louder if we hit the object harder

C) the sound has more overtones if we hit the object harder 

So let’s translate that to our modular synth or sampler 😏

a) velocity to envelope decay of amplifier 

b) velocity to amplifier level

c) velocity to open filter or velocity to saturation amount 

(of course you can modulate less conservative parameters like that too)

Enjoy 😎

congratulations you just found out why almost every sampler and drumcomputer on this planet is shit, because they can’t do that.

Drambo to the rescue 😃


  • edited April 22

    Load an open HH sample

    low velocity plays the sound of closed HH (short decay and a little muffled)

    higher velocities play open HH sounds

    and everything behaves dynamic like it should

    that’s a funky robot


    Makes any percussions alive. 😏

    you see it’s nothing complicated I am using, but the „how“ makes a hell of a difference.

    of course u can use the same principles to spice up your synthetic drums too.

  • edited April 22

    Most things can do b & c

    but they can’t do a

    that is the most important part to the sound ;)

    u will notice that if you play around with these 3 things

    hihi, I will never find the nerve to use hardware again,

    they can keep their crap. They don’t understand how sound works. 😈

  • This looks interesting. Will it work in Drambo v1? I can't seem to find the purple Decay module...

  • No but you can use the Amp AD mod module and let velocity control decay.

  • edited April 28

    How are you making the word ‘velocity’ appear on the modulation knobs? I can only get them to say ‘V’ by connecting them to the main velocity of the channel. Are you assigning them somewhere else?

    EDIT: I can make it work regardless, but I wonder if the vertical velocity sensitivity of the pads in Drambo could do with a bit more tuning. It’s hard to effectively get the full range of the assigned morph modulation when using velocity as the modifier with the 8x2 pads or even the long vertical pads. Even when I tap the very bottom of a pad when I have decay set to its lowest slider value and have the Morph value set to about 50% up the slider with full velocity modulation, I’m regularly getting around a third of the way up the velocity range, when this should be close to zero. What this means is that the modifier values have to be dialled in more precisely than maybe they should need to be.

  • He's using a beta version of Drambo. The modulation tags are purely determined by the app.

  • In actual fact they're not.

    The modulation tags take on the name of what it's connected to,

    so if you for instance rename an AMP module then it will appear

    with that name when connected to a modulatable input.

  • edited April 28

    I see. So how do the Velocity modulations in your example get named "Velocity"? Aren't they just coming from the MIDI to CV (Instrument)?

    Edit: I see, the velocity from MIDI to CV is named "V", but the velocity from an Instrument Rack is named "Velocity". So the different appearance is simply the result of the implementation. @Michael_R_Grant, the velocity V you're seeing is the same as the Velocity in the example, nothing special.

  • @Michael_R_Grant

    It’s hard to effectively get the full range of the assigned morph modulation when using velocity as the modifier with the 8x2 pads or even the long vertical pads.

    Yes it's a bug and the next big release will include a fix to provide the full velocity range. You can verify the behavior with the MIDI monitor and help yourself with the Graphic Shaper in the meantime.

  • edited April 29

    Didn’t even notice.

    was able to dial in the results I want :)

    usually I just want to cover a certain range because that’s where it sounds sweet … so didn’t notice

    I would never dial it up all the way I guess

    I just follow my ears and run away with it :)

  • thanks for posting coming from an MPC I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking drums to emulate realistic kits but this definitely takes it one step further. Good ideas. Will be interesting to load up some kits from XO into drambo and have a go. How have you found the sound results?

  • edited April 29

    I consider myself as funky now🕺😁

  • you were always funky @lala 🫵😎

  • if you are using samples just pick sounds that are a little longer than u usually would,

    as you cant make the sample longer.

    (making the sample longer, we can trick with that a little, more on that later)

  • edited May 1

    If you are lazy set the midihumanizer in front of it

    and randomize the notes velocity from sequencer a little 😁

  • I've been wondering how to get velocity to affect volume when triggering Flexi slices with midi. Is this how? I can't seem to duplicate this with my current version of Drambo. Would be interested to see a similar screenshot from someone who achieved this result using the current release.

  • Look for 'Velocity' on the 'Flexi Sampler' module and turn that fully to the right.


  • That hasn't had any effect - even when manually editing the step in Drambo's own sequencer, and I'm hoping to do with it external MIDI (probably my hardware controller fed into Atom 2).

  • It does work. Is Flexi's Velocity input connected to the Velocity output of the MIDI2CV module?

  • You're right. I just had another go at it and I think what I have been doing wrong is selecting 'gate' for 'launch'. Trigger seems to give me the result I wanted.

  • Glad it worked out for you @doot 😊

  • edited May 14

    you see there is plenty of room to play with …

    project is in the zip

    have you tried the fabulous velocity editor? 😁

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