Recommended Velocity Layers?

Ok,I’ve diving in to humanizing my drums. I’ve kind of learned how to adjust velocity layers, but I don’t know where to begin. I see my high hat is at 127, which seems dumb, but where about should it be?

My snares are mostly at 127, but I am falling into another rabbit hole.

I would love to see a chart of “recommended” settings for a typical style of music like “ a Smiths style, or Nirvana style, or Metallica.

I know I could experiment for 20 years. Anyone have any suggestions?


So… The thing is that a velocity 100 for one snare may not give the same impact as the velocity 100 of another. So it’s complicated.

Also, it depends on the style you want to play. I’ll answer for a rock song.

I’d say, globally for BD3, 100-107 during verses, 110-120 choruses. Always keep some range for climax parts of if you really want to accentuate a hit.
If you dive into a really chill verse, you can go down to 90.

And I’m talking for every element (snare, kick, toms, cymbals…). Toms may be hit less harder during quick fills.

Also, think about global dynamic. Like, the drummer may hit harder during the end of the song because of the enjoyment or adrenaline. So the last chorus may be harder.

Now, humanizing is not only through velocity, it really is a pain in the ass because you need to spend a lot of time but it’s worth. Use every articulations available, like on BD3 you have the edge or the bow for crash cymbals. The drummer may be late while hitting an element because he needs to move his arms from one place to an other so need to place the midi a bit after the grid etc etc…

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127 is way too loud for most practical uses. As Autumn said, every kit is going to react a little differently to velocities.

I find most kick drums sound best around 85-100. Really pay attention what happens to the low end of the kick when playing with the velocity. Lower numbers actually give you more beef and bloom in the lows of the kick. The key is finding a good balance between bigness and attack and obviously the genre/song will dictate more what is best.

My snares are usually between 100-120 for main hits. My crashes sit just above the kick

I also like to build the velocity through sections of the song. So during a pre-chorus, I might bring up all the velocities by maybe 3 and then the chorus by 6. Then come back down 6 for verse 2, etc. You really don’t need to increase much to notice a difference.

Thanks, I played with velocities last night, and things got a lot more musical.

It really is a next level of programming, I wish I found it sooner.

Thanks again.

I do a fair amount of full 127 actually. Too loud for what? i have to do some mixing for stuff to be present enough a lot of the time. Some things vary wildly along the range, some apparently don’t do layers.
there is no formula, there is no tricks and tips, there is one answer: IT DEPENDS.

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Yeah, gotta say, it totally depends. These kits aren’t all scaled the same. I guess I tend to stay lower, because most seem to get more range in the lower velocities than the higher ones. But it all depends on the kit, the style, the mix, everything.

I made my point about velocities, partly because since the beginning, BFD has been all about realistic, detailed and dynamic drum sounds. Having everything hit at 127 is not going to be any of that. And as I mentioned, sweet spots for most kit pieces, like the kick will be much lower than that. Of course, YMMV, but for me, leaving some wiggle room yields the best results for a realistic kit that can build dynamics throughout a mix.

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