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What to invest in to solve DRUM/BEAT problem?

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EnGee
KVRian
 
866 posts since 7 Oct, 2005, from Auckland

Postby EnGee; Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:00 am

Listen to your favourite music and try first to imitate the drums (the structure) by drag and drop the patterns from EZ Drummer into your host (in EZ Drummer track), so let's say the structure would be like this:

intro [4 bars] - Verse (fill in the last beat)[8 or 16 bars] - Chorus (fill in the end)[8 or 16 bars] - Verse (fill) - Chorus (fill) - Ending [2 bars](slowing tempo or sudden or whatever).

This is of course very basic, but I heard many songs using such structure. Even the electronic genres are using such structure or variation of it (there is also pre-chorus comes before the chorus to ease the transition between verse and chorus if it needed, and there is also 'break', you will get into all that when you are learning more and more in the future :-)

Now if you tell me "how can I make a drums track with EZ Drummer?", I will kill you with my virtual BFD kit! (just kidding :hihi: )
rpm
KVRist
 
250 posts since 17 Dec, 2004

Postby rpm; Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:56 am

Thanks! I've been writing songs for a long time and can pull that off. But part of what I had in mind was about the human feel of a real drummer. In EZDrummer, I don't see an option to humanize the drums. I guess I can edit the MIDI by hand to make them less than perfect sometimes.
Tracktion 5, Geist, AD Axon, Reaktor 5, Guitar Rig 5, EZDrummer 2, EZKeys, iZotope Nectar Elements (donated by a random kvr user: THANKS!!!) and bunch of free/demo stuff on a Windows 7 PC.
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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
 
4289 posts since 24 May, 2009, from A galaxy, far far away

Postby el-bo (formerly ebow); Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:18 am

drumity wrote:
EnGee wrote:To sound like a real drummer, you need to be a drummer!

You really know what you're talking about ! :tu:


while this is true in a manner of speaking, it is a line of thinking that shouldn't be encouraged. no offence drumity as i think that what you offer is a valid service, but i think it behooves people in the know to sometimes help make things more accessible to people, rather than move the goalposts further away

the original quoted statement holds true perhaps when thinking of 'sound' only as far as drum libraries might not have reached such authenticity yet (though they are close enough that it really doesn't matter)

you are a drummer as soon as you start hitting drums. you might not be a good drummer, but you ARE a drummer

drumming, as with all instruments, involves practising to improve movements and skills within a certain limited paradigm, and it's these limitations that don't exist within our daw environments (though, of course, they have limitations of their own)

to better emulate the performance of musician on a given instrument you need to understand and impose the same limitations i.e you aint gonna create the illusion of a real pianist if you write a part in a piano roll that would need five hands to play, and is quantised up to the tits

so, start to learn the limitations of a drummer by practising isolating the four limbs. start by sitting down and walking your feet (right, left, right, left, 1, 2, 3, 4) your right foot is the bass drum, your left foot is the hight hat pedal…then add in your right hand tapping on your right knee in a pattern that doubles the beats of your walking feet. so while your feet are going 1, 2, 3, 4 your right hand is tapping on your imaginary high hat 1, and, 2, and, 3, and, 4, and

start slow till you get better..

then add your left hand for your snare hits (to coincide with beats 2 and for of your right hand)

this simple beat is a great way of getting the idea of the limitations imposed by having those 4 limbs

could you, for instance play a two-handed fill across the toms while also hitting sixteens on the hi-hat ??

this is just one mistake that shows up a beat as inauthentic if programmed by someone who doesn't visualise these issues

there are other tips that add authenticity to programmed beats. an example would be a pulsing left foot operating the pedal-hat underneath a ride cymbal pattern…also, drummers will often use their left foot to keep the pulse. even when the hi-hat is played closed, this pulsing will resonate through the hats. this will show itself in various changes to the sounds of the hits of the closed hats. this is not necessarily something that will be immediately obvious. it also depends on how good your sample library is as to whether these dynamics are possible to recreate

keep in mind that a drummer will not hit the exact same spot every time. again, this will be dictated to a large extent by how much dynamic variation your sample library offers, and how many different alternate hits, articulations and round-robins

these different alternate dynamics are a huge part of what makes a beat more 'human'

other things to watch for are what happens in between the spaces. often the structure of a pattern can be vary simple. but within this structure the drummer will use various techniques and hits to pad out a beat, and keep things ticking along or driving. adding ghost notes is a very common way of doing this. the opposite is also true i.e sometimes a pattern can be made by what is left out

other factors are timing and velocity (although i tend to feel that even if timing is quantised perfectly, a variance in velocity and articulation can make things very human still)

i won't trawl back through the whole thread, but i'm sure rpm has a padkontrol. if so, then this is the perfect way of getting authentic beats

play all your beats in by hand. this will take practise of course. but this is the easiest way of bringing the human factor into the equation. velocity variance is a given in this situation, and you can really work to hone in your playing for good variety, especially with something as dynamic as the padkontrol

if you practise enough then there is nothing to stop you playing whole drum parts in live. you can always edit real stray hits afterwards

that just leaves your library. ezdrummer is a good start but it really doesn't have too much in the way of dynamic variance. this is the last thing i'd think about at the moment, as you can still get a very convincing performance out of it if you 'play' it right. somewhere down the line, you might consider looking for a library that offers this extra possibility for dynamic, expression and articulation

start looking for videos within your genre where you can get a good view of what the drummer is doing..keep listening to examples. slow down, and deconstruct beats and fills etc. also good to look at drummers outside your genre. watch drummers with very intricate technique for inspiration

have a look into drum rudiments also, as this will give you a good start

last thing…there's nothing wrong with using your daw to help you achieve things that you would not be able to hand play, as long as it is kept within the realm of what a 4-limbed drummer could achieve e.g slow down your host tempo to allow you to play in something more intricate…or…use your piano roll (or hyper editor if you have logic), change up the note resolution, and pencil in rolls etc

i'm not saying that any of the above will replace a real drummer, but just to suggest ways to start improving the authenticity of your programming/finger-drumming, although there's no reason why you couldn't elevate yourself to great heights

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQuzYO4hp3A
Rajah
KVRian
 
575 posts since 10 Apr, 2004

Postby Rajah; Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:33 am

rpm wrote:Hi,

Things got a bit serious for me: I just produced a track for a production company. But I know next to nothing about beat-making and just put together whatever I can using MIDI keyboard and free drum loops.

I'm determined to learn how to make decent beats. I have all the free plugins for drums. I don't have a big budget but I'm willing to pay for stuff if necessary. I'm going to sit down and take whatever lessons and read manuals/books I have to.

I do not wish to mimic any rock drums and do not want to make dance music. Think of it more like downtempo beats that I write some guitar parts on top of. I use Reaper/Tracktion (if T4 can recognize my plugins). I know Ableton Live is great but it's too expensive for me (but I have the Lite version).

So what should I invest my time/money in? Buying loops/MIDI patterns and learning to slice/modify them? Full-blown drumming software (Addictive Drums, BFD, SD, SSD, etc.)? Learning to program patterns with mouse clicks?

If you can offer some guidance, I would be grateful. Many thanks in advance.



Don't know if anyone suggested Jamstix...

http://www.rayzoon.com/jamstix3_vid.html
rpm
KVRist
 
250 posts since 17 Dec, 2004

Postby rpm; Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:55 am

Thanks Rajah, I know about Jamstix. It crashes on my computer everytime I use it, so I'm waiting for Rayzoon to first fix that issue (they are aware of it) and release a new demo with the fix.

El-bo, thanks man, that is some great info. It allowed me to have more of a bird's eye picture of the terrain. It's a tad intimidating for me but I can do some of the things you mentioned to move further. I do have padKontrol but I don't use it often for instance.
User avatar
el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
 
4289 posts since 24 May, 2009, from A galaxy, far far away

Postby el-bo (formerly ebow); Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:51 am

rpm wrote:Thanks Rajah, I know about Jamstix. It crashes on my computer everytime I use it, so I'm waiting for Rayzoon to first fix that issue (they are aware of it) and release a new demo with the fix.

El-bo, thanks man, that is some great info. It allowed me to have more of a bird's eye picture of the terrain. It's a tad intimidating for me but I can do some of the things you mentioned to move further. I do have padKontrol but I don't use it often for instance.


can seem overwhelming, but it's also fun. eventually you'll just end up tapping things all the time, and you'll progress

i really believe the padkontrol is key. using this, at it's most fundamental level, will allow you to attain a human performance. it might take a while to get really good, but at least you can edit and quantise until such a time

one other thing to mention about the padkontrol is that it has inputs for 2 pedals. you can use one pedal for the high-hat stand which is crucial for realism in many ways. also, you can have a pedal for kick, though i believe it is not velocity sensitive and only gives you a full velocity hit. still, it is a great way of getting those lower limbs working in isolation while freeing up your hands
rpm
KVRist
 
250 posts since 17 Dec, 2004

Postby rpm; Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:33 pm Re: What to invest in to solve DRUM/BEAT problem?

So, just to follow up for any newbies who might get something out of this, I've invested in a couple things that have really pushed me up a level.

1) EZDrummer + bunch of MIDI packs for my singer-songwriter line. This has really inspired me to start writing songs again somehow (although recording them, I'm not sure how the MIDI patterns will hold out in the final mix... I might eventually ditch them or alter them (e.g., make the lo-fi, electronic), but it's been fun to have a drum backing this way and the ease with which you could lay down a drum track is amazing).

2) fxpansion GEIST for the more electronic/experimental line. Just got this a few days ago and watching the tutorial videos really taught me what sampling is finally.

For the electronic line, I'm not sure what my workflow should be. GEIST seems so powerful that it could just contain my entire songs in it, though it doesn't allow you to use external plugins. I'm not sure how REAPER + GEIST would be but I haven't used any other DAW (I own T4 but don't rely on it anymore).

Since I'm new to sampling, I'm just not sure what's legit or not in that world. That is, people don't just take a loop from an actual copyrighted published song and slice it into kick, snare, etc. and build a new kit from that, or do they? That's why the lack of a synth engine in GEIST might turn out to be an impediment. I'm wondering how TREMOR or TATTOO would complement it (though many people complain of the lack of integration between GEIST and TREMOR and also the CPU usage of the latter).

cheers!
Tracktion 5, Geist, AD Axon, Reaktor 5, Guitar Rig 5, EZDrummer 2, EZKeys, iZotope Nectar Elements (donated by a random kvr user: THANKS!!!) and bunch of free/demo stuff on a Windows 7 PC.
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ZenPunkHippy
KVRAF
 
10303 posts since 18 Jun, 2008, from Melbourne, Australia

Postby ZenPunkHippy; Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:54 pm Re: What to invest in to solve DRUM/BEAT problem?

Slicing / resampling / remixing loops isn't limited to loops pulled from commercial tracks. Try using loops you've created with EZDrummer (or Geist itself) ...

Peace,
Andy.
rpm
KVRist
 
250 posts since 17 Dec, 2004

Postby rpm; Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:56 am Re: What to invest in to solve DRUM/BEAT problem?

Yeah, I figured I could actually run some EZDrummer loops through the external plugins that I can't use inside Geist; and then slice those clips up in Geist.

But wait, if I'm going to slice them, then it might be easier just to record each sound (kick, snare, etc.) and then load them on the Geist pad.

In either case, yeah, that's something I could do, thanks.
Tracktion 5, Geist, AD Axon, Reaktor 5, Guitar Rig 5, EZDrummer 2, EZKeys, iZotope Nectar Elements (donated by a random kvr user: THANKS!!!) and bunch of free/demo stuff on a Windows 7 PC.
drumity
KVRian
 
937 posts since 28 May, 2007

Postby drumity; Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:17 am Re:

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:while this is true in a manner of speaking, it is a line of thinking that shouldn't be encouraged. no offence drumity as i think that what you offer is a valid service, but i think it behooves people in the know to sometimes help make things more accessible to people, rather than move the goalposts further away

That there are so many drum libraries doesn´t mean the things are more accessible to people.
I you want a groovy and organic drumpart, than hire a drummer, period.
I am a professional drummer and know what I am talking about.
As you can hear here

https://soundcloud.com/hybridrums/phonk ... eat-part-d

Any questions ?

(( D ))
rpm
KVRist
 
250 posts since 17 Dec, 2004

Postby rpm; Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:23 am Re: What to invest in to solve DRUM/BEAT problem?

That's nice, but music is a hobby for me. There are a few pieces of software that I've paid for, like EZDrummer, which I bought on sale for 29 USD. I live in the third world. I wouldn't be able to afford your services.
Tracktion 5, Geist, AD Axon, Reaktor 5, Guitar Rig 5, EZDrummer 2, EZKeys, iZotope Nectar Elements (donated by a random kvr user: THANKS!!!) and bunch of free/demo stuff on a Windows 7 PC.
caress&bludgeon
KVRer
 
2 posts since 6 Sep, 2004

Postby caress&bludgeon; Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:58 am Re: What to invest in to solve DRUM/BEAT problem?

Thank you for posting your follow-up. I would like to add that while a "real drummer" is indispensable in some settings (jazz, prog, rock), I have also heard fantastic and unorthodox beats from people who had no specific training in percussion but good innate musicality. And plenty of terrible beats from trained and untrained people...

Drummers spend years ingraining certain patterns, and then more years trying to become free of them, with varying success. I can tell you it took me a long time to dare end a fill on a beat other than the downbeat, or to not compulsively play eighth or sixteenth notes with the right hand. You may already know all you need for your purposes. I encourage you to keep your raw creativity alive. You can usually improve through study, but don't be compelled to filter your ideas through some frame of what you think "real drumming" should be. I would invest time in finding and listening to drum performances you admire, and exploring drums on your own.
rpm
KVRist
 
250 posts since 17 Dec, 2004

Postby rpm; Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:14 am Re: What to invest in to solve DRUM/BEAT problem?

Thanks in turn for this open-minded and inspiring piece of advice.
Tracktion 5, Geist, AD Axon, Reaktor 5, Guitar Rig 5, EZDrummer 2, EZKeys, iZotope Nectar Elements (donated by a random kvr user: THANKS!!!) and bunch of free/demo stuff on a Windows 7 PC.
MadAnthony81
KVRist
 
175 posts since 7 Sep, 2011, from cali

Postby MadAnthony81; Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:03 pm Re: What to invest in to solve DRUM/BEAT problem?

First off, trying radically EQing your ableton drums you have, that are acoustic.

Second, ableton operator is cool.

Thirdly rapture is a vst that is cool but difficult as a beginner i would say. But its a good rock metal hip hop type of synth. and is great for mellow drums.

Try an 8 band EQ and pop up the lows, then try other areas also in the highs to pronounce where you want. message me if you want.

Much Love.
Ableton Live 8 Suite 64 Bit, Sylenth1 64 Bit,Rapture, Synthmaster, Korg ES-1 Mkii, Mo' Phatt. and Waves plugs.
DELL i-3770 3.9ghz, 12GB RAM, INTEL SSD,
M-Audio Bx5a
Oxygen 49
TC ELECTRONIC impact twin 64 Bit
Grace and love
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