Q: How Do You Make Punchy & Fat Drums In Renoise?


i’ve just played around with Renoise and the sample pack for making some drum-beats and it seems that the sample are not that fat as my NI-Maschine drums. But i guess it’s just a question of the samples, the effects and the mix.

I try it the following:

  • EQing of the single instruments,
  • Delayed panning of single instruments (not that good…)
  • Using a compressor on the complete drum track.
    But it seems that there is still potential!

What you’re are doing in renoise to make your drums fat & punchy?

  • Compressor tricks?
  • Sample-Layering?


well, i have no great tricks but i usually try some of this:

the cabinet simulator effect on snares and hats often gives good results imo. i seem to remember liking the crisp setting on most everything :P. adds some distortion and high end.

playing back kicks a bit lower than the base note and layering as you mentioned.

equing out mids from the drum mix works sometimes imo.

i wish i had a good microphone (and a room with better acoustics too), then i’d try to reamp stuff. supposedly does that add quite a bit of dirt and things sounds more organic if done right.


Sample layering

Parallel Compression

Good luck!

To explain in words that everyone understands:

Take two of the same or two similar drum samples, play both at same time in seperate tracks.
Now you add a bus compressor to one of the tracks and set up a heavy compression, try for instance “Drums Snap” or “Drums Xtreme” if it’s a snare, maybe “Drums Slow” if it’s a kick, adjust to your likings.
Then you may send both tracks to the same send-track and adjust the sound there with an EQ if you like and maybe you even want a maximizer to prevent clipping or to get even more punch.

I’m definately no sound-wiz and there might be some other ways that are much better, but try for yourself and see if it works for you.

Try this:


It’s free and it’s the business.

Also, I would suggest layering two drum sample of a similar category but with different tonal properties. For example I like to use pitched up breaks for tightness, punch and snap but often end up layering 808/909 kicks in the background to add some low-end thump and some 808/909 snare to enchance the high-mid snap of the snare and mellow out the sound.

a cool trick i use for bass lines might work on kick drums: take two instances of the kick drum sample, each panned hard left and right, with a tiny delay on one side (c~2-3 ms). could do the trick…

Hmmm, that sounds a bit strange to me, i usually would prefer the bass drum to be mono or close to mono in center of the mix.

That would not work out very well if played on a mono ‘club’ system

the easiest way to achieve that effect is to use the Delay Device. i’m not sure if that is what you use or if you do it manually, just thought i’d add that.

also, i use that trick on a lot more than basslines. actually, i use it on any sound that needs some more presence. the other option is to use a chorus but i think the delay sounds better.

Thanks for the tips.
I’ve tried some hint from here and the best results are with layering and parallel compression.
For layering there is also some work to determine which sample should give the attack.

Yes, this i mean with “Delayed panning of single instruments (not that good…)” this may work good for Snare or HiHats but it can steal the attack from the Bass-Drum.

layering, eqing and compression. that´s it :)

some more on parallell compresion, if you, like me don’t know what the term means http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_compression

thanks for the tips!

Gonna give you the best advice you can get on this topic.

First things first…you need to understand why some drums sound fat and punchy.

Take a track with fat drums, import it into Renoise. Slap a frequency analyser on the master and notice what frequencies are the most dominant. Those will be the ones you want to hit more or less.

Secondly, take a look a the waveform of a predominanantly drum only section in the sample editor and notice what they look like. You are basically gonna want them to look like that.

Thirdly, look for samples that match the above characteristics before you start layering using fx etc.

Chances are you may have a couple samples already that fit the criteria but dont know it yet. Try and make sure the samples you are comparing against the reference ones are the same volume…they may be quieter…slap a gainer on there so you can have a fair comparison.

predominantly comes from the attack portion of the hit(first few milliseconds) and Fatness comes from filling out the frequency range sufficiently.

If the the chosen samples arent suitable after testing…then start layering to fill out the frequency range.

The above link to the audio damage compressor is a sure win…I use it on all of my drums.

cutting bass with highpass filter at 50-70 hz, clearing 300hz, adding pleasant 4k-8k kicks click and then OVERCOMPRESS

Everything has been said already…

Besides making sure the source material is already good, use the ‘phat punchy drums’ preset in any decent compressor vst :wink:

Also mix-pasting a short click/impulse sound together with a kick can fabricate the sense of punch, but with most compressors or transient enhancers this isn’t necessary.

Doing some complementary eq also doesn’t hurt, complementary equalizing techniques involves the cutting and boosting of frequencies in specific tracks. Meaning you carve out spaces in a mix,so each instrument has its own place to sit in the mix.

google it for examples & better explanation.

use acoustic drums, then duplicate the track with analoge drum kit

Thanks for all the further tips and explanations, specially to Tarek-GM for the analytical view.

I’ve found one additional, not mentioned here, to give the Kick-Drum more bass.
Add a Sinus-Generator or Pure-Sinus-Sample (about 80hz) to one track and use a side-chain Gate (side-chained from the Kick) to let it sound only if the kickdrum appears. You can play with attack and release of the gate to controll the impact.
This can also be done with noise when the snare is triggered.
By this the Kick and Snare can be enhanced.

I use fat drummachine samples which I recorded from my own hardware this way you can’t really get a much warmer and puncy sounding drums.

Recordings I’ve done are from hardware such as Jomox’s (which are pure analog kick drums, pure massive and warm sounds) Korg’s MX/ESX (These have some tubes which you can create a fat and warm sound, but in general they produce a nice and massive sound) Quasimidi 309 (virtual analog) And the old drum machines such as Roland’s 808,909 & R8.

I try to keep my drums as warm and big as possible giving them a nice presence, and using high quality samples from any top of the line drumachines makes things allot easier, otherwise you have to keep processing your drums and while you can get nice and puncy drums that way they will always have a strong digital presence.

Still within renoise you can get a bit crazy as some have suggested above, a touch of native distortion on the kick or snare can give it allot more presence and punch. A good EQ is also key, I like to use the 10eq personally: http://phoenixinflightaudio.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-plugin-10eq.html

probably been said, but just tuning everything can work wonders

sometimes i put very short wide panning envelopes on percussion so theyre active in a wider field

pitch envelope on kick drum samples…

idk now that i think about it its nto something i really think about…

been said, but it helps if you have an EQ with a HP filter built into it because it sounds better.

for kicks i high pass filter it (70-80, if i want something punchy. give or take) then boost it in the lower ranges. then maybe do it again and mess with it with other eqs and compression etc

snares i boost more in the 4-6k range, compress, etc

multiband send is great for adding stereo effects and freq/compression layering to the kicks and snares, experiment with stereo plugins or just the Stereo Expander native plugin and play with panning. even flangers on the high frequencies heh