About Sampledaddy



Tokyo Seoul--Zomeki Minus One Plus    MP3 320kbps 4.3mb

About this Demo...

Zomeki is a fast, simple Japanese dance rhythm, essentially "swung eighths."  You hear this rhythm underpinning a lot of Japanese traditional music.  I used this piece to fine-tune the velocity response of the drums.  There is no processing outside the player's output, other than raising the overall level of the original 64-bit mix for the MP3 conversion.  The dynamics are all generated by velocity, no MIDI volume changes were used in the sequence.

The first section was programmed on a weighted keyboard controller (SL880), a tempo, using the "Keyjam--Detail Stack."  It's a virtual ensemble representing a total of six players, drums and rims only, no blocks  I programmed it with five MIDI tracks.

After the piccolo woodblock roll, I switched to the "ZEN--All Instruments Stack."  The rhythm changes to a less traditional, more pounding groove.  I also added the piccolo woodblocks to this section, which cut very well through even thick textures.  I performed this section in a single pass with the Zendrum ZAP controller (

The primary design consideration for Tokyo Seoul, from the sessions to final product, was a desire to use these instruments as more than "Big Bangy Boomies."  That part is pretty easy when you're talking about a drum that weighs more than a person, and was the low-hanging fruit of the overall effort.

The more challenging, and frankly rewarding, aspect of the design is being able to sustain energy and musical intention at all dynamic levels, and to move from one level to another without what I'd call "credibility problems," those gaps in either dynamic coverage or hit counts that shatter the listener's suspension of disbelief.

I did not want to use round robins and other sampler techniques to arbitrarily vary separate hits.  I wanted to always know exactly which sample would play in a sequence.  So, this required even more depth, but all to the good.  The additional sampling depth gave us even more dynamic resolution and range.

Finally, I really wanted the collection to sound equally credible whether used in a thick mix, or all by itself.

To hear our conceptual approach in context, pay particular attention to the soft "groove" sections in the initial Zomeki portion of the demo.  The goal was to provide enough definition that we could successfully replicate the performance of live players in a studio, even on very long, dynamically static ostinato sections that tend to reveal samples in a poor light.  I think we succeeded, and that sequences produced with Tokyo Seoul get you very close to the sound and feel of tracking real drums in real space, played in real time...even when unaccompanied by other instruments.

Finally, despite the fact that the library sounds "slick" right out of the box, it is actually quite raw in terms of sample content.  This gives you significant latitude when programming.  You could build a very credible part using only half of the samples for any given element, and pitch-shift or even double-track at pitch.  Unless you're extraordinarily (as in freakishly) able to hit the same velocity over and over, you'll likely never trigger the same sample twice, even "abusing" Tokyo Seoul creatively.



Sampledaddy's Tokyo Seoul...Korean Buk, Japanese O-Daiko, and Piccolo Woodblocks