Are Transient Shapers a must on kicks?

Apr 9, 2012

  1. mr meh

    mr meh
    565 posts
    Since Jan 10, 2011
    So i keep hearing about transient shapers, seen a few tutorials with pro producers using them on kicks too. I've had a look at screenshots of some and it looks like they just control the attack and release, so whats wrong with using a sampler for those purposes?

    Anyway, should i be using one? If so, whats a good freebie?

    :tea:
  2. sustenance

    sustenance
    329 posts
    Since Mar 26, 2012
    not really, kick drums where kick drums before shapers. You can get a similar result with a compressor, ideally "new-york compression". Just route your kick to one of the sends, measure the original volume at its peak on a meter or spectrum analyzer, and put a compressor on the routed send channel (preferable one with a fast response time). Completely brick wall the compressor and slowly adjust the attack outward until you get the desired punch. This will emphasis the early transients most on the compressor. You could probably split hairs and say that this is separate in function than a shaper but it can get similar results to what you are requesting. You could also be totally lazy and just layer two kicks, one that has a long release and one that is quick that has some "punch" and get results to if you do not mind the sound you get from layering kicks. Or you could just download the Vengeance packs like everyone else you dummy. Check it out!
  3. arnaudraisin

    arnaudraisin
    258 posts
    Since Jun 12, 2009
    maybe i m gonna say stupid thing but fl studio has a sort of "transient shaper"
    in the sampler editor...
  4. Ibunshi Mpc Pilot

    Ibunshi
    8,399 posts
    Since Jun 8, 2007
    if i'm in the sampler and want more snap, i just layer and use adsr to make it short and snappy, after that i control the overall snap with volume and/or filters on that layer.. doesnt really take longer than to load up a vst in cubase and adjust that..

    i prefer that over any transient designers, they tend to make thing sound samey, things always snap in the same way etc.. but with layers you are much more versatile in sound depending on your what you use..

    i still use transient designers sometimes though, but i try to stay clear from overusing them.. and i use them more for removing snap/punch than adding it.
  5. Kizza

    Kizza
    612 posts
    Since Oct 21, 2010
    No, never a must. It depends how the transient sounds to begin with and the direction you want your track to go in.

    Spor/Feedme doesn't use any processing on his kicks. If you like his stuff and that's kind of your direction, there you go.

    Reso uses the Schaak Audio Transient Shaper on almost everything (I just heard it in his new 100bpm track on the kick) so if that's the kind of sound you want, go with it.

    That's how I'd look at it anyway.
  6. rorymc

    rorymc
    195 posts
    Since Jan 26, 2011
    those who layer, do you not get phase cancellation? whats the quickest way around it, ive been getting it a bit recently while playing with this sort of idea
  7. Kizza

    Kizza
    612 posts
    Since Oct 21, 2010
    Ah layering kicks, that's where a shaper would probably be needed.

    If you zoom into the wave forms you can try to make sure the waves aren't clashing with one another. That is make sure peaks and valleys match. If they are opposite you will get phase cancellation. There is also splitting frequencies and only having the low end in mono and spreading the higher frequencies out to stop clashing. Also try not to use similar sounding sounds in the frequency spectrum.
  8. Ibunshi Mpc Pilot

    Ibunshi
    8,399 posts
    Since Jun 8, 2007
    cant even remember the last time phase cancellation was an issue for me when layering
  9. ja-ki

    ja-ki
    570 posts
    Since Nov 30, 2008
    Also try some gates, you'll be amazed at what you can do with multiband gating, makes a totally new groove on some breaks
  10. Risc_Terilia DarkLord of the Socialism

    Risc_Terilia
    12,221 posts
    Since Jun 17, 2002
    A few of you seem to be confusing a transient shaper with a normal adsr in a sampler. With a transient shaper you can "add in" transience that wasn't there in the initial sample. It's more akin to a compressor than an adsr envelope.

    I've worked with producers that reached for the TS immediately when they loaded up the kick sample without actually evaluating whether the kick drum needed it. When working on techno i've used a TS to actually make the kick less transient.
  11. Ibunshi Mpc Pilot

    Ibunshi
    8,399 posts
    Since Jun 8, 2007
    Its not exactly the same, but the effect of using adsr to shape a layer, duplicate or not of a drumhit, into a short snap, and then rasing the volume of that little snap sound is very similar to, say increasing the attack on something like the spl transient designer.. If you want snap in the same way, you can do that manually in a basic sampler with a duplicate layer, but because you can choose what to layer and use as snap, you got pretty much infinitely more choice and control when it comes to flavor and sound of the transient itself, you dont get that with an automated process like with the transient designer.. I suggested to SPL that they make a multiband transient designer and gave a few reasons, and they said they would discuss it.. Doubt it would happen, but that would be sweet :love:
  12. ja-ki

    ja-ki
    570 posts
    Since Nov 30, 2008

    izotope alloy has this
  13. Ibunshi Mpc Pilot

    Ibunshi
    8,399 posts
    Since Jun 8, 2007
    Sweet, i'd assume you can then smoothen things like hihats in a drum recording without snares losing to much snap.. And makes it easier to stay away from the samishness you can get from treating all frequences the same..

    Cheers, gonna have a read about that one
  14. Risc_Terilia DarkLord of the Socialism

    Risc_Terilia
    12,221 posts
    Since Jun 17, 2002
    Yeah sure, I was saying people seem to be confused about the actual distinction.
  15. rorymc

    rorymc
    195 posts
    Since Jan 26, 2011
    best thing about the ni maschine that i use is that every pad you have a adsr which is very quick and easy to use, really helps shaping drum sounds to something quite different.

    i never really played with the adsr's too much before and now use it on pretty much every drum sound and break quite heavily.
    those with emu samplers have got 2 of each adsr, can get some awesome shaping going on and when you put the adsr to filter freq or resonance you can get some freaky basslines going with ease.
  16. polymass

    polymass
    685 posts
    Since Jan 15, 2011
    There's loads of sample packs that had a treatment of either parallel compression (compressed signal and full transient layered) or transient shapers.

    Like mentioned before, it's often much more interesting on percussion groups etc.

    Flux has a nice free transient shaper
  17. Soulstice

    Soulstice
    745 posts
    Since Jan 18, 2010
    How is parallel compression the same as a transient designer?! I could understand how the attack of a compressor in series could make the initial transient more snappy, but NY compression is a layer of what you already have, and is only used quietly in the background, therefore your main hit would still not have the desired attack?!
  18. ja-ki

    ja-ki
    570 posts
    Since Nov 30, 2008

    that's correct! But I never use it, not a big fan of transient shaping as I always loose control over the dynamics. I prefer gating, although it's a different thing, it's more of my liking. Also it's not that static like transient shaping, as you can deactivate the gate and the whole drumsound comes through, I used that in the track in my sig (which has a horrible mixdown ;))
  19. godwin24 NixusUk

    godwin24
    630 posts
    Since Oct 14, 2008
    Also Waves TransX multi (as opposed to the wideband version) :twothumbs:


    No you are correct, it's not the same - but you can achieve the same effect. You can use the parallel chain to first EQ out some bottom end, then with a medium-slow attack, compress the piss out of the sample so you have basically just the initial thwack of the sample, then bring this in with the original sample. Basically gives you control over the initial transient's volume by bringing in more or less of your parallel chain. the main hit wouldn't have the desired attack if you muted your parallel chain, but you're adding it in separately which can give you more control than the transient shaper.

    I found using something like smexoscope can really help getting these kind of things right as you can visually see the attack portion increasing/decreasing
  20. SourBattery

    SourBattery
    495 posts
    Since Aug 15, 2009
    That is not true, because a transient shaper is based on a envelope follower. So it has more incommon with the ADSR in your sampler/synth then a compressor. The main difference between the envelope in your sampler and a transient shaper is in how they are triggered.
  21. joemaki

    joemaki
    1,234 posts
    Since May 15, 2010
    all im saying on the matter is shaaked audio transient shaper for the mother fucking win i fucking love that plugin its amazing
  22. phpSelectah

    phpSelectah
    11,686 posts
    Since Jul 30, 2002
    any compressor with an envelope can do this.

    I actually still use the freeware h20 quite a bit. Be careful googling for it though!
  23. SafeandSound Mastering Engineer

    SafeandSound
    514 posts
    Since Apr 25, 2009
    I would say they are not a must as such, handy if you need a little more attack maybe. But countless ace tracks have been made without them. Remember if you are mixing into a limiter that will be working against you as the kick/snare transients are those arrested first usually. Transient modification, compression, harmonic distortion, eq are all usable if you need more drum punch.:twothumbs:twothumbs

    cheers

    SafeandSound Mastering
    mastering dance music
  24. Cee-Jay

    Cee-Jay
    2,993 posts
    Since Feb 23, 2003
    To be fair they are something I hadnt really heard about till I bought Komplete last year, I do like to use the one in Guitar rig probably more than I should, lazy way of tightening up breaks but I dont like to over do it.
    Like side chaining, amazing thing to use if done well but if over used can really kill the vibe.
  25. Risc_Terilia DarkLord of the Socialism

    Risc_Terilia
    12,221 posts
    Since Jun 17, 2002
    I don't agree, the main difference is that a transient shaper can make sounds more transient than they were in the first place. An envlope follower can also only make sound less transient.
  26. Pseudonym1471

    Pseudonym1471
    148 posts
    Since Mar 25, 2010
    Alloy can be rather sexy on kicks. You can adjust the attack time of the transient boost to add or reduce the attack perfectly. Multiband is great too if needed.

    Also loving the offline effects in Xfer Nerve - nice transient shaper and clipper/overdrive to flatten out kicks and remove overly spiky transients without it ruining the punch.

    Couldn't you technically say a compressor does transient shaping? It does affect the entire sound more as a whole, but still accentuates or reduces the attack portion of the sound if required...
  27. Risc_Terilia DarkLord of the Socialism

    Risc_Terilia
    12,221 posts
    Since Jun 17, 2002
    :script:
  28. SourBattery

    SourBattery
    495 posts
    Since Aug 15, 2009
    The only thing a normal transient shaper does is ride the volume. And you can do that with a ADSR on a sampler also, zero attack, short decay and low sustain value, add in some makeup gain for the volume loss. You now have "more transient" then in the first place.

    You have to remember that each part of an envelope (ADSR) only define a part of the sound in time. Gain can be applied up or down however you want at each stage. Not all synths and samplers let us do that tho, a few have a "invert" switch for the envelope instead, as in the filter section on the roland sh-1 for example.

    An envelope follower can only make sound less transient? not true.
    You can just use the decay to your advantage as in the example above, or you could invert the value you get from the attack stage to control volume (or whatever you like) giving you a stronger transient. Given that I cant gain each stage freely that is.
  29. Risc_Terilia DarkLord of the Socialism

    Risc_Terilia
    12,221 posts
    Since Jun 17, 2002
    What you're saying is that you can use a combination of different processes to get the same result. So really you're identified yourself the actual main differences between the two, as opposed to "the way they're triggered". Anyway this is spilling over into ego teritory now, I don't think we're really contributing useful info.
  30. SourBattery

    SourBattery
    495 posts
    Since Aug 15, 2009
    Between the two what? A normal sampler ADSR and a transient shaper? Im not saying that two different processes can give the same result, Im saying that at a module level they are the exact same process.

    your original post said
    I read the last sentence as "A ADSR in a sampler cant "add in" transients the same way a transient shaper can" and I wanted to point out that they both work with the same information and they process it the same way. So there is no difference except that the transient shaper is triggered by audio and the sampler by midi.

    Probably not.