These days, it seems that there are many ways to dynamically and tonally process your drum sounds. This is because we have numerous useful tools ranging from compressors and harmonic enhancers to special equalizing techniques. What is more, I would like to highlight one of these tools called Transient Shaper. Personally, I feel that Transient Shaper plugins are providing a way to shape the amplitude response of a signal in a better and in most cases ‘cleaner’ way than traditional compressors do. This tool possesses two main controls: attack and decay.


Dynamic Drums


The ability to sharpen or soften the sound, as well as to control the length or shorten the decay, has proven very useful for giving each sound just the right size and position in the overall mix. For instance, using it on a drum loop that is too tight and lifeless by increasing the release parameter, you can make it sound more vibrant and fatter in an instant. On the other hand, by shortening the decay (attack) of the drum loop that was processed with too much reverb, it can become much cleaner and sit way better in the mix.


Transient Shaping


Let me try to give you a closer look at one of Transient Shaper’s tools I find particularly useful. After opening a new instance of SoundBridge, I have added a new MIDI channel where I have placed Battery 4 by Native Instruments. After loading the chosen samples into cells, I have made a drum kit (Drum & Bass in this case) and some basic rhythm.






Here is how the full, unprocessed drum loop sounds.


~Drum Loop Unprocessed


In my opinion, it’s a great thing to have the possibility to treat individual samples in the drum kit as well as to use it as a master effect within Battery 4. Firstly, let us try applying it on the kick drum and snare drum.
By navigating down from the sample cells section, you will find the ‘Effects’ tab. Moreover, the Transient Shaper effect is located inside the ‘Effects’ tab all the way to the right, and it’s named ‘TM’.


Transient Shaper


Let’s now hear how the kick and snare drum sound without and with the effect.


~Kick Drum & Snare Drum Unprocessed

~Kick Drum & Snare Drum Processed


I believe that you can hear a considerable difference after increasing the attack and slightly decreasing the release.
To conclude, let’s hear how the full drum loop with all of the drum elements sounds without the Transient Shaper and after that with it. This time I will use it as a master effect.


~Full Drum Loop without TM

~Full Drum Loop with TM


Download the patch here.