Those of you that can program drums...

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Thread: Those of you that can program drums...

  1. #1

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Those of you that can program drums...

    I've finally gotten back to working on a project I started back when I was still in high school... Long story short. I have some songs written. These songs require drums. I do not play drums nor really know how to do much more than taking toontrack grooves and dropping them onto a track in Reaper. I'm a complete noob at drum programming, so bear with me.

    How do you generally go about doing it?

    Got any pointers for someone who has no clue what the hell they are doing?

    Any good tutorials elsewhere on the web you could point me to?
    Моё судно на воздушной подушке полно угрей!

  2. #2

    Join Date: Nov 2008
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    Trust me, you're better off dropping toontrack grooves into Reaper. Programming drums sucks almost as much as hearing them in a project. This is coming from someone who programmed his own drums for an EP CD, and released it. I did okay, but there's no way I'd do it again from scratch.

  3. #3

    Join Date: May 2009
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    I always use Guitar Pro to program the drums. I usually tab the whole song out, all instruments, and after that is done I start experimenting until i'm happy with the structure and all, then I delete all but the drums, and export the drums as MIDI....import into Reaper and presto, drum tracks.

    I think Guitar Pro (you can also use Tux Guitar, which is a free program that will read guitar pro files) is the easiest way to do this.

    RHLC East Coast President

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    I use the cubase piano roll.
    "W yn shn y zhī, shn y xng.
    Tiān xi m nng zhī, m nng xng." - Lao Tse - my band.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    Now this is using Sonar 7XL and addictive drums....I usually open up two midi tracks to do my drums, one for formulating fills, off tempos, and the general beat or beats, the second track is for the actual drums I'm going to use. That way, as I'm coming up with something, I can quickly pull it down onto my track, go back to the other, come up with a fill or whatever, and drag that down onto the usable track as well. All this using the step sequencer in Sonar. Hope that made sense....

  6. #6

    Join Date: Jan 2011
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    I'm actually using Reaper too, but with Superior. I just insert a midi item, bring up the piano roll, set the note values, and type it in. Might seem slow or old-fashioned, but I get by fine.

    Ken, were you using EZdrummer? Maybe then it would make sense (I don't have any experience with it), but with S2.0 I really don't find it difficult at all

  7. #7

    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    How do you generally go about doing it?
    I usually try to lay down a very basic groove first and repeat it over an entire section; hi-hat, snare, and kick. Nothing fancy. Then I slowly expand it with variation, detail and fills, as needed. Usually, I construct drum parts in my head and then program them in directly, but sometimes I need to experiment for a while before I reach a satisfactory result.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Got any pointers for someone who has no clue what the hell they are doing?
    Inspiration. Try to find a song with a drum track that excites you, and try to absorb it and get an idea of what's going on as well. Try to replicate it by drumming on your lap. That's a great starting point, and it will help you get it down on the piano roll later.

    Also, you've mentioned you have a library of grooves. Those could make great reference. Take a peek at them inside the piano roll to see how they're constructed. For practice, you could also import an existing, mixed song into your sequencer and replicate its drums, but getting around tempo changes might be tricky - far from all music is recorded with the help of a metronome.

    Paying attention to velocity is key (i.e. how hard the drums are hit); this is what makes or breaks a sequenced drum track. For the kick and snare drums, you can get away with being fairly consistent. I usually use a velocity of around 105 for the kick drum and 125 - 127 for the snare. You should be able to set the velocity for individual notes (or rather, hits) in the piano roll. For the hi-hat, I like to alternate between a lower and a higher value (e.g. 95 and 65).
    Last edited by Thomas; 01-25-2011 at 05:30 PM. Reason: I can't write.

  8. #8

    Join Date: Nov 2008
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    i will drag and drop some of the premade beats, then start changing from there.

    i really like using my midi controller keyboard. for the hits off the grid and rolls, i can definatly tap it out on a keyboard better than i can sit there and painstakingly adjust the hits.
    Confront and Cry

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