Kit descriptions

This is an early attempt at creating good sounding sampled drum kit. It's somewhat raw sounding, in good and bad way, with mild analog "before-the-tape" processing. The preamps used were just plain generic. The recording environment was also less than ideal. It could've been improved in many ways, but was left ďas isĒ to get a different sound compared to other more pristine kits. And boy does this kit have balls. Forget about bossa nova with this and bash 'em to high heavens.

This is a very realistic sounding drum kit. The samples were recorded and kept in 24bit 48 kHz format to maintain as high quality as possible. Some ambience was deliberately left on all the samples, because the live room sounded good. There are two different snares and kick drums on this: combine them to suit your taste.

Ruffrider by Michael Kingston

This is an early attempt at simulating a good sounding drum kit. It's somewhat raw sounding with mild pre-processing. The preamps used in recording were just plain generic. But boy does this kit have balls. Forget about bossa nova with this and bash 'em to high heavens. During the recording session, the less than ideal recording environment slightly added to the roughness, in a good and bad way.


1.0, Introduction

“If there's one detail about these kits that sets them apart from others, it's the ride. It sounds alive and real.”

Ruffrider was recorded around year 1999 when drum sample libraries still sounded quite bad. Back then kits were rather small, catering to the limits of aging hardware samplers. There was sometimes good velocity switching and even simple adjustable bleeding on some libraries. But the norm on the rides, for example, was two samples: loud and quiet. That's not exactly realistic. Still today, even on the biggest libraries, there are mostly only two types of ride hits because of General MIDI requirements.

There is another serious plaque eating away realism on most drum libraries to date and it's only recently begun to change. The samples usually have 'large diaphragm condenser valve mikes everywhere', instead of the usual and crude 57's and D12's we are used to hearing. The large diaphragm sound, while impressive on its own, does not work awfully well in busy mix downs. As such most kits are still only usable as scratch pads. They certainly aren't rock, and they lack balls and realism.

Mission goal manifested itself: there clearly was a lack of real sounding drum kits "with attitude" and things could certainly be done a lot better than before. At the sessions the kits were set up as "dry studio live". The microphones at the session were the stock standard drum mikes used in studios everywhere. Things were generally kept as natural as possible with all the bleeding, noise and human error. The final samples are very slightly pre-processed to gently nudge you to the intended direction.

Of course there are nowadays drum libraries getting closer to the 100 GB mark and other free quality kits. Ruffrider seems to hold up well against them, although competition isn't the intention. Obviously, there are no multiple microphone choices for each drum, or freely adjustable bleeding. But Ruffrider is pretty much in the top class when it comes to realism, unless you're into really gentle playing styles. And the included rides are unlike any other libraries, probably better, too.

1.1, Key-map Formats

If problems arise with earlier versions of Halion and Kontakt, they can both import the original EXS24 files quite perfectly. Just remember to import all the drums individually to gain better control of the outputs and velocities. If you simply import the full kits, you will most likely lose all the drum group data.

1.2, The Instruments

1.3, General Notes

1.4, Playing and Recording Tips

This kit sounds pretty good on its own, if maybe a bit boring, like real unprocessed drums do. Treat this as you would treat a real drumkit. As a general guide line you should first process each drum in their own mixing channel with EQ, gate and/or compression and the likes. Then maybe add some ambience and glue them all together in a sub-mix bus.

1.5, Copyright

©2004-2006 Michael Kingston

All Rights Reserved. All samples contained within Ruffrider and all text within this document are the property of Michael Kingston. The samples in Ruffrider are licensed to the original downloader of the instrument for use in music production only. Copying, duplicating, selling, electronically transmitting, renting or other uses of these sounds not specifically for the purpose of personal, non-profit music production is prohibited by law. Please do not distribute these samples from any other website unless given express permission. It should be noted that these samples ARE royalty free, but if you wish to use them in such a way as you'll be making money from it (be that in any form) you must ask permission.

1.6, Contact

Have Fun,

Michael Kingston (