Drum Enhancement In Mixes Using the REAPER DAW

I had previously made a post on the subject of recorded sound replacement, which covered only one, pretty limited technique for drums using a Gate capable of MIDI output along with a VST instrument (i.e., a complete drum kit).

Although that method can be used with just about any DAW out there, the one I’m about to share with you via the video below is specific to REAPER, and works wonderfully. It provides a far more flexible approach in creating yet another “Poor Man’s Drumagog” using only built-in functions that are just one example of the powerful capabilities that plain ‘ol vanilla REAPER provides. Not a single plugin is required.

There is however one small “set up” task that you’ll need to complete before using this technique, if you don’t already have drum sample files installed. The ones I use are from a package on the musicradar web site, called “1,000 free drum samples”, delivered in a single ZIP file. Simply unpack the ZIP into a dedicated directory, and you’re all set.

Many other free drum samples are available on the web if the musicradar collection doesn’t suit your needs, but these are great sounding samples for all types of drum kit components, and obviously there’s a ton of them in this particular package.

This approach can be used for recorded drum enhancement, or complete replacement, using nothing more than the REAPER editor. It provides total control over manipulating transients and dynamics, with a minimum of effort. Best of all, you can mix the recorded drum track with the sample, to retain as much of the natural sound of the original drum as you’d like.

The following awesome video created by Kenny Gioia covers the procedure in detail. Headphones or studio monitors are highly recommended, to clearly hear the changes in sound.

Hope you REAPER users out there have enjoyed this, and found it useful. It’s amazingly easy to accomplish, yet so effective in drum sound enhancement.

As a final note, be sure to visit Kenny’s YouTube Channel for hundreds of video tips and tricks on how to to fully exploit the power of the REAPER DAW. It’s truly one amazing piece of software, yet very affordable.

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