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Exploring Steinberg's Backbone Drum Re-Synthesizer

Tutorial | Jun 22, 2022

I recently got the chance to try out the new update of Steinberg's Backbone, a drum re-synthesizer. It has a lot of cool features, like a drum generator powered by an AI neural network which generates kick drums, snares, cymbals and more. It also allows you to drag in your own samples and then analyze them, re-synthesize them with sine partials and modify them to create new drum sounds. Additionally, you can also access multiple variations of the same sample and generate new variations with the click of a button. I'm really enjoying this new update and think it's a great way to come up with new and interesting drum sounds.

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Questions & Answers

Maybe you dont watch the video, here are some important takeaways:

What is Backbone by Steinberg?

Backbone by Steinberg is a drum re-synthesizer. It allows users to put in drum samples, re-synthesize them with sine partials, and modify the samples to create different drum sounds. It also has a drum generator powered by a neural network which can generate kick drums, snare sounds, and cymbal sounds.

How does the drum generator work?

The drum generator works by generating a bunch of pre-rendered kick drum sounds which can be selected with the slider. If a user does not like the sound, they can move the slider around to generate a different sound. For added variation, users can click on the “Generate New Variation” button to generate new samples for the same position.

How can users further modify the generated sounds?

Users can further modify the generated sounds by using the re-synthesizer engine. This allows users to decompose the drum sound into its tonal and noise parts, and tweak the different layers.

Can users use their own samples with the drum


This is what im talking about in this video. The text is transcribed by AI, so it might not be perfect. If you find any mistakes, please let me know.
You can also click on the timestamps to jump to the right part of the video, which should be helpful.

[00:00.000] Hey folks, welcome back to another video.
[00:02.920] They want to take a quick look at the new update of Backbone by Steinberg, as we call
[00:07.760] it in Germany, and Backbone is a drum re-synthesizer.
[00:13.120] We can put in some drum samples here, re-synthesize them with sine partials and then can modify
[00:19.960] the sample and then you get different drum sounds out of it.
[00:24.240] But they added now a drum again, some kind of AI, or let's say a neural network of where
[00:34.360] you can generate kick drums and snare sounds and cymbal sounds and so on.
[00:38.320] So I installed this here without content and there's also no samples in there and you can
[00:44.760] just dial in here some numbers, for instance here we can go to this position here.
[00:52.520] Now it generated already a kick drum for me.
[00:59.520] And when you don't like the kick drum you just move this here around and you get a different
[01:06.760] kick drum.
[01:08.760] If you don't like actually what you can choose here from this slider, because for me it looks
[01:14.120] like you have basically a bunch of already pre-rendered or pre-generated kick drums in
[01:22.160] here and you can select them.
[01:24.880] So when you move to the same position here you get the same sound, that's what I want
[01:28.200] to tell.
[01:29.200] So this is the first kick drum here, this is the last kick drum.
[01:33.440] So every time you go back to the first position here you get the same kick drum.
[01:38.440] If you actually don't like what you hear or if you like what you hear then you can go
[01:44.280] to the variation slider here and you can select a different variation of this sample.
[01:48.840] So this is the first variation of this position here, then you can dial in different variations
[02:00.440] of this.
[02:01.440] If you go back to the same position you get the same sound as before.
[02:06.440] To generate something new you have to click here on this new button, so I think what happens
[02:12.440] is in the back end you generate a lot of new kick drum sounds that you can select with
[02:17.440] the slider here.
[02:18.440] So now in this position you get this sound, I set this sound and in the first position
[02:23.440] you get this sound, last position is this sound and then the variations for that.
[02:34.520] If you want to have different variations of this sound then you just click this generate
[02:39.200] new variation button here and then you get new generated samples for this position.
[02:51.080] If you don't want to generate kick drums you just open up here the snare button or the
[02:57.880] snare slider and you get different snares and if you want to have a mixture of both
[03:08.440] so you can dial in maybe a bit of snare and much more kick drums so you get a mixture
[03:15.560] of both sounds or as I see it you can dial in a bit more of high end content to the kick
[03:24.600] drum, you can even dial in your cymbal.
[03:31.080] If you have generated a sound here with the drum generator then of course you can dive
[03:39.800] in much more here with the re-synthesized engine that you had before already and you
[03:45.800] could do this only to samples but now you can just generate samples inside this plug-in
[03:51.040] and then you can decompose it here or re-synthesize the sound with these options even more so
[03:57.560] this is the original sample, this is the re-synthesized sample then you can remove
[04:05.720] here the noise part or just keep only the noisy part of the sample so it's a re-synthesizer
[04:25.400] where you have your sample re-synthesized by sine partials I think this is how it works
[04:31.000] at least in the back end and of course you can also use it then decompose where you
[04:36.600] can separate the drum sound into the tonal part and the noise part into different layers
[04:46.320] and then tweak these also differently if you want to but for me the highlight is really
[04:52.360] the drum generator here which is I think the first time I saw this in a VST plug-in where
[04:59.640] you can use AI networks to generate sounds and there's also that you can use your samples
[05:13.280] let me see if I find here some kind of nice kick drum let's search for clicking so let's
[05:23.760] take this one so you can drag some samples in here and then you or let me actually delete
[05:32.040] it there here do it this way we have this sound now here is the sample and then you
[05:43.640] can click on analyze and then this drum synthesizer or re-synthesizer will analyze the sample
[05:49.560] and will come up with some new generated sound by the by the AI using your sample so this
[05:59.560] is the AI regenerated example maybe go back but it doesn't sound the same but you can
[06:10.160] hear clearly it's the same same frequency ranges and it kind of sounds similar and then
[06:17.280] you go into the variation slider and you can get different variations from this generated
[06:23.040] thing it's actually interesting it's not really you know you don't get the same sound
[06:39.200] of the sample you just dragged in it's it's a bit different you can hear it goes in the
[06:45.880] right direction but it's not perfect right so but I think it's very interesting to have
[06:51.760] this to generate some new sounds and I really a friend of stuff like this and I think we
[06:59.720] need tools like this more in the musical environment where you can grow in some chord
[07:06.600] progressions or some samples or some sounds and you can generate thousands of different
[07:13.720] variations of the sound put it into a sampler and then you have a multi sample instrument
[07:18.800] that you can play so there's there are a lot of opportunities there you can use with neural
[07:24.400] networks I think says something else I haven't explained yeah this update game out today and
[07:32.800] I just downloaded this played around a bit with this but I think I can find some nice
[07:38.840] interesting inspirational ideas how you can use this in your daily life and come up with
[07:46.440] something something different and just kicks there and heads here oh we actually haven't
[07:52.120] generated just some hi-hats for you this so for the hi-hats it sounds like the the sounds
[08:06.120] at the end here of the slider are much more higher and shorter and first one of the first
[08:13.920] points here the first values all sound even more like a snare drum sometimes maybe mix
[08:24.080] in a slightly snare simple here you can really also create some percussion sounds with this
[08:40.280] is completely interesting for me there's also your this randomized button where you can
[08:45.800] press this and it just randomizes these sliders if you're happy with the sound you can just
[08:58.040] drag the sound out into Bitwig here into a sampler or on the on the track itself here
[09:03.320] in the clip or on the audio audio channel audio track if you want to so there are kinds
[09:11.440] of possibilities here therefore yeah getting some samples out of this making sample packages
[09:18.960] and sell them for 20 bucks something like this so yeah if you're if you're next time
[09:28.880] buy some kind of sample pack on some random website be aware it's maybe created with
[09:35.360] a backbone so yeah you can track these samples out you can also export I think the sample
[09:43.800] here with this button and there's also that you can have all these generated drum sounds
[09:51.720] automatically save into a folder here it's it's it's this folder for me can also make
[09:59.400] this checkmark here so it's saved then into the project folder of your current DAW project
[10:06.440] and let me see here how this looks like yeah this is the folder here this is how it looks
[10:12.080] like it's it's full of these samples generated by the yeah samples I just generated here
[10:22.640] by tweaking these settings so it's an interesting thing at this backbone and I also saw for
[10:30.680] me when I bought this today that it's currently on sale normally this costs 150 bucks or so
[10:37.960] and it's currently on sale for 89 or something like this so it's not a drum sampler it's
[10:43.920] more like drum re-synthesis and you don't have multiple slots here for multiple different
[10:49.280] sounds it's more like that you have one plug in for one sound and you can tweak these sound
[10:54.560] the sound in multiple layers and yeah come up with something new so it's an interesting
[11:01.080] thing here I have some problems inside Bitwig with the interface actually maybe I show you
[11:07.320] this because I can't show you on OBS and OBS it looks perfectly fine but I can record
[11:16.360] this with my smartphone we can see how it looks like so it's probably something with
[11:21.240] my GPU I think maybe this is rendered here in OpenGL or something like this I have no
[11:29.760] idea so I have some some problems here flickering of the interface and so on but it works perfectly
[11:37.000] fine besides that okay so that's that I just downloaded this so I have no real experience
[11:43.600] with this I want to show you this and maybe give it a try there's also a trial version
[11:47.680] on this Steinberg website online and have fun with it thanks for watching leave a like
[11:53.520] if you liked the video and subscribe to the channel thanks for watching until next time
[11:58.560] bye