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#1085463 - 06/12/15 10:02 PM Programming drum tracks  
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 373
TC Perkins Online content
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TC Perkins  Online Content
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Joined: May 2015
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Virginia
I have been programming my own drum tracks now for about 3 weeks or so (my last 4 tunes). I have come to the realization that I am not that good at it (a vast understatement). I am using EZ drummer now, and generally leaving out the kick and/or snare and playing that in myself on my Axiom61 (it has some drum fingerpads).

Any and all advice on how to improve my skills would be welcome.

Peace,
TC


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1085466 - 06/12/15 10:39 PM Re: Programming drum tracks [Re: TC Perkins]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,827
Colin Ward Online content
Colin Ward  Online Content

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Not sure why you would do this. I use EZdrummer and piece together tracks from their library (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.). Sometimes, I use MIDI files to activate EZdrummer (theirs and others). One I get a basic track assembled, I make a second track of drum fills, cymbal crashes, etc. using EZdrummer and a MIDI pad called a Korg Nano Pad. You can play the various drums and cymbals by tapping on pads with your fingers while recording. Then you can go into the MIDI keyboard window and move the hits around to get them where you really meant to play them!

It ends up sounding pretty good in the mix. A serious drummer might disagree, but the average person would be fooled.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1085471 - 06/13/15 08:23 AM Re: Programming drum tracks [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: Dec 2008
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Kolstad Offline
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Kolstad  Offline
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Denmark
One way to improve could be to learn how drummers think when they are putting a track together, and start applying that kind of thinking when you program drums. It can help you imagining what you want and how it should sound..

There's a lot of good stuff in this article https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep10/articles/drum-prog.htm

Also use YouTube to find an approach to it, that you like. Here's a basic video on programming https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0Kmp4YtOXk


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

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#1085509 - 06/13/15 05:59 PM Re: Programming drum tracks [Re: TC Perkins]  
Joined: Jul 2006
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Hi TC,

I do a lot of "drum programming" in my sequencer of choice "FL Studio" and the first thing I'm noticing is that you are still doing the kick yourself? That seems like a bad choice, since it's the kick you would want to be most accurate?

It's hard to think like a drummer when you aren't, but you are basically thinking about patterns that last 4, 8, or 16 bars, and fills that announce section changes.

Your two most important tools in your drum sequencer toolbox is "quantize" and "humanize." You want to quantize at some high percent (70-90%) when your pattern is too loose, and you want to humanize the time mapping when the drumming feels too robotic.

Also remember that drummers have two hands, and so if your patterns are too busy they tend to sound less realistic and destroy the illusion.

Mike




Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 06/13/15 06:00 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1085629 - 06/15/15 07:09 PM Re: Programming drum tracks [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 373
TC Perkins Online content
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TC Perkins  Online Content
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Virginia
Thanks for the input, guys.

I find that the kick in the preprogrammed EZ drummer libraries rarely lines up with where the accents need to be based on my bass lines. I don't have a huge problem with getting it to sound okay and I have pretty good rhythm.

The big problem is I am not sure how to approach a drum part that is both inventive and not just chasing the various accents on the instruments (guitar, bass, and keys). I realize it all does tie together but I would like to be able to DRIVE the song with the drums, not drive the drums with the song, if that makes sense.

kolstad: I will definitely check out those links, thanks man. You are right, I need to learn to think more like a drummer.

Michael: yeah, on my last song I quantize to 70% then fix a few other places to get it tight. I will be posting that soon. I do find that manually editing the position is more tedious but does pay off, too.

colin: I should try that; program in layers instead of trying to do it like I am. I am actually not bad at doing kick and snare, I just feel like I make many of the same rhythmic choices too often. I want to broaden my horizons and become as good at drum programming as I am at keys.

Thanks folks!

Peace,
TC


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1087018 - 07/02/15 01:33 AM Re: Programming drum tracks [Re: TC Perkins]  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 444
R&M Offline
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R&M  Offline
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I did rythmn tracks off of one of my synths in a song a few months back for the first time since I started recording 35 "songs" ago.

I have not used software for samples yet.

I like to improv from forms often more than I look at scles and measures.
I can not connect as well with my own beats from that obtuse scope yet have been looking at straight forms more to be more coherent, yet still don't want to stare at a grid.

I would like to know myself how user friendly some of this software is and that it will not hamper my computer, and the brands for that.

But those rigid synth beats seemed to make all the difference in bringing out the form I was asking about.
Can pre-digital means be better with that - like simpler is better?


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