Filtered drum rolls, how it was made historically?

I was listening to a lot of early days jungle recently, and I constantly hear this faded in/out filtered drum rolls, where each hit have it’s own precise filter cut. Nor that I don’t know how to make it in ‘any’ modern DAW or Renoise, but I would like to know how it was done in the past, was there some filter command in the old trackers, which ones, like, FastTracker, etc.?

There are just countless examples of this, say, like this: at 20:09 and immediately at 20:15. Maybe not the most classic examples, but just what I found it a few seconds of search. The most classic, I guess, is when it is a long roll closing the filter and then going back again.

Interested in legacy sound tech? Sometimes what sounds like a filter, is just loudness/velocity rise/fall in the sequence of hits. With trackers/samplers you could also just layer a bright and a dull sample, and crossfade them velocity wise which can come very close to a filter sweep or even make a more complex modulation. I think hardware samplers from that era (emu/akai) had realtime filters, or impulse tracker also had simple filters usable for this effect. with trackers sample offset could be used for changing timbre of a roll during the sequence. also things were samples, and people had powerful sample editors like soundforge going, there you could apply a filter sweep to a prerecorded roll or individual hits.

Impulse Tracker had a basic lowpass filter if I recall.

I believe Octamed on the Amiga also had some hackish way to use the filter on the Paula chip somehow? Not sure.

But it’s most likely that these oldschool guys were simply using AKAI samplers and other external gear where filters were more common.

Wow, that’s impressive, thank you very much!

…another example:

I’m sure may be wrong but it sounds to me like it was some rather standard method for this all around.

It’s very standard method - there’s ‘Smooth’ button in Renoise sampler. Duplicate sample, press it few times, duplicate again, press few times and so on eight or 16 times, then play all samples in a pattern one after another and you got it.

Historically smooth function were always in all trackers and audio editors - Amiga, PC, Atari, maybe even hardware samplers. This button calculates for each sample arithmetic mean average of few previous samples. Transfer function: y(n)=a*(u(n)+u(n-1)+u(n-2)+…+u(n-k)) or y(n)=a*y(n-1)+u(n). These are simplified lowpass filters. There were also highpass filters of this type named ‘Boost’, calculating discrete differentiation between two neighbouring samples like y(n)=u(n)-u(n-1). It’s historically first digital approach to analogue tone regulation with low CPU usage realization and grandpa of parametric filters.

Or maybe just someone was toying around with mean average and all theory was built on the top of it later…

Yes the smooth function, of course. The smooth function, unlike a normal lowpass filter, will most probabyl keep phase intact, allowing you to mix/substract without phasing side effects.

This means, you can smooth the crap out of a sample, until you have it very dull. Then you can crossfade with the unsmoothened without side effects. This will allow you to have the effect in realtime, not having to go through the tedious process of filtering each single hit, you will be able to tune the rolls until they are perfect for you just by adjusting the volumes of each sample.

The renoise smoothing function seems to work just like this. Set a vel tracker to control gain of each sample in xfade manner, and you just need to sequence a row of notes with interpolated volume/velocity to get such rolls.

Note you should not eq/filter the samples individually before they are mixed together, or you get weird phasing issues. You can do of course eq them once both are mixed together. (edit) you can also eq the base sample before you split it into the dull/bright versions, the eqing will keep intact aside from the top freqs dampened by the process.

To brighten a sample (boost) with the smooth function have 3 copies. The first, spam click smooth to taste, then invert phase (the +/- button), copy, and mix paste (add) onto the second. You will only have highs then, you can copy and mix paste onto the third, making it brighter, and you can repeat the mix paste to make the effect stronger each time.

Cannot remember - did fast tracker 2 have a smoothing/average effect in sample editor? I remember doing the crossfade with smoothened samples in the 90s, but not on snare rolls, I did it with basses etc to “fake” modulations.

Cool, thank you! It really needs A LOT of clicks to ‘smooth’ it significantly in Renoise, btw.

yes this is normal, it is a very simple and very weak filter, also the result will depend on the sample rate of the sample. just spam click until the sound is dull enough for the lowest position of the roll, but still retaining the mid range punch.