Honors Scholars Collaborative Projects

Publication Date

Spring 4-26-2022


Drums are the foundation of any piece of music; because of this, it is impossible to create even a decent mix of a song without first taking the time to really mold and sculpt drum sounds. This is a painstaking process that includes extreme attention to detail in every aspect—selecting and placing microphones, tuning the drum kit, guiding the drummer to play in the pocket, adding effects processing, editing the drum tracks into single-hit takes after recording. Oftentimes (especially in the more commonplace lower-budget sessions that often don’t have the finances to spend an adequate amount of time perfecting drum recording), the original drum sounds that are captured during a session aren’t ideal for mixing: this is where the power of utilizing samples comes into play. These sampled sounds—which are pre-recorded, isolated elements of each element of a drum kit, such as the kick drum, snare, et al—can be placed underneath a less-than-ideal “real” drum kit recorded during the song’s tracking session to enhance whatever element is missing. For instance, if a kick drum was recorded without any low-end umph to it, a sampled kick can be blended under the original track to emphasize what’s missing while sounding natural and also not requiring the entire kit to be overdubbed.

Having spent the time to create well-made drum kit sample sounds has made me a better engineer, especially when it comes to recording drums during sessions, which is a vital skill; these sounds have also allowed me to create a palette for my own use (and, ideally, the use of others) in future mixing projects, helping me assemble my personal engineering toolkit for beyond college graduation. Additionally, planning and then producing a series of videos documenting the recording process utilized during this project has allowed me to become a better videographer, which is something I’m passionate about and is a vital skill in the music industry. This video series also serves as a strong marketing tool for my drum sample packs.

Faculty Advisor

Nathan Adam

Document Type

Honors Thesis

360Sounds_InterviewVideo_OceanWayGenaJohnson.mp4 (340044 kB)
360 Sounds, The Making Of_Ocean Way With Gena Johnson

360Sounds_InterviewVideo_EastIrisMillsLogan.mp4 (487348 kB)
360 Sounds, The Making Of_East Iris With Mills

360Sounds_InterviewVideo_DrumDojoJimRiley.mp4 (197183 kB)
360 Sounds, The Making Of_Drum Dojo With Jim

360Sounds_AdVideo_OceanWay.mp4 (20915 kB)
360 Sounds_Ocean Way Sample Pack (Ad)

360Sounds_AdVideo_EastIris.mp4 (21598 kB)
360 Sounds_East Iris Sample Pack (Ad)

360Sounds_AdVideo_DrumDojo.mp4 (24450 kB)
360 Sounds_Drum Dojo Sample Pack (Ad)

360 Sounds_Website Documentation.pdf (2286 kB)
360 Sounds_Website Documentation

360 Sounds Drum Sample Packs With Supporting Video Series and Website_Maddie Harmon.pdf (707 kB)
Maddie Harmon Honors Thesis Project Approval Sheet_COMPLETED.pdf (81 kB)
Cover Sheet