Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Until I had actually used it, Native Instrument's Battery drum sampler was one of those things I thought wouldn't be all that useful to me (I had received it as part of the Native Instruments Komplete package). After all, I had been using regular old samplers for my drums for years. After giving it a try, however, I found it really did help my workflow and efficiency when working with drums. Because it is aimed at drum and percussion oriented sounds, it pares down the features to include just those that are useful to working with those types of sounds. Thus, screen clutter is cut down, and you spend less time sorting through stuff you don't need to get to the stuff you do.
One of the cool features of Battery is the pitch envelope. It's useful for turning raw synth waveforms into percussive sounds, but if you work with it enough, it can actually be useful for transforming existing drum samples into something quite different from the original material.
To try it out, do the the following (please note I am using Battery 2, so the layout in Battery 3, may be a bit different:
1.) Load a drum sound into one of the cells and make sure that cell is selected for editing.
2.) Find the pitch envelope in the lower right hand corner and hit the 'on/off' switch so it glows yellow.
3. ) Now use the D1, B, and D2 parameters to adjust the shape of the envelope as you trigger the cell to hear the changes you are making. Short, sharp envelope shapes will often 'punch up' the drum sound, while longer ones can stretch out sounds in strange, unnatural ways.
4.) If you have a basic envelope shape you like, but it seems too extreme, simply dial back the 'Amount' parameter.
Below is a quick and dirty example where I have taken a heavy, distorted 909 kick and used the pitch envelope to transform it into a tighter, more synthetic kick. The original sound is first, with the pitch envelope version afterwards...