Gimme your EZ Drummer tips... - Page 2
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Thread: Gimme your EZ Drummer tips...

  1. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Drucifer View Post
    I seem to be the only one I know that does this, but I write the entire drum parts in the piano roll of my DAW. I audition parts in EZD/SD3, but then drag the MIDI's directly to my piano roll. It just seemed to work faster for me that way and it's a hell of a lot easier to adjust the velocities in the piano roll. Essentially, I use either program as a sound module for the kit sounds only and then to sort through fills. I write 90% of my drum tracks and only pull from the fills when I'm being lazy and don't want to program them.

    One thing I wish I learned early on is that for the kit to sound more realistic, you really need to pay attention to the velocities. Look at some of the supplied MIDI's to see what they look like. If you want a robotic drum sound, just peg everything at 127 and call it a day. I've found the kicks sound best at 118-122 so you're not burying the beater in the head (the drum resonates more when the beater hits it then bounces away from it, burying the beater keeps the beater on the head after you hit it). Snares I'll usually keep around 124 until a chorus, then I'll get them all at 127 (except for fills).

    I don't know if Reaper has this function, but in Logic, I can select a large amount of MIDI notes and randomize the velocities. So if I have a section where it's straight 16th's on the kick drums, I'll randomize it to 118-122, then go back and set all the downbeats to 122. The thinking behind that is actual drummers tend to lay into downbeats a little harder. Sometimes I slide shit off the grid a bit to make it a bit more human, like the end of a fill I might rush a tiny bit just to give it more excitement (without sounding like a beginner drummer).

    I used EZD2 for about 4 years before upgrading, it definitely gets the job done. Programming drums is the least amount of fun to be had when writing, but it's one of the biggest payoffs when the drums come out sounding great and they work with your song well. You can always point out when someone just dragged a bunch of fills or didn't write their own drum parts.

    Oh, you can also write a drum section in your DAW, export it from the DAW and load it into EZD's MIDI bank, so you'll be able to use it in the future. I did this for a few standard beats I use all the time and it's come in handy quite often.



    EZD can't edit the MIDI's, not too in depth anyway. You can make it busier, but I think it just randomly inserts some extra hits in time. You can change the power hand, but that's pretty much as far as it goes.
    Solid info right there! There's something oddly satisfying about spending an hour editing velocities and timing just to get ONE drum fill perfect...

    I use SD2 not EZD but I'll just add don't try running more than 6 instances of this software in a project that already has 50+ tracks. This definitely crashes Reaper. If you're using it to trigger samples, load only the piece of the kit you need and not the entire drum kit, to save processing power.

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  3. #10


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    Metal Machine > *

  4. #11


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    Quote Originally Posted by Not Mr. Test View Post
    Metal Machine > *
    I have so many damn plugins I cannot remember if I have that or not. Fuck, I need help

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  6. #12


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    Quote Originally Posted by Not Mr. Test View Post
    Metal Machine > *
    I may pick that one up in November when they have the sale. (unless they release something better.....)

    Quote Originally Posted by schreckmusic View Post
    I have so many damn plugins I cannot remember if I have that or not. Fuck, I need help
    $10,000 worth?
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  7. #13


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    Metal Machine is indeed the best EZX. The Big Crack kit is really good in Metal! but the rest left a lot to be desired. I haven't gotten to try Made of Metal but from what I've heard it sounds killer. Definitely get Metal Machine and get the rest on sale if you feel so inclined.
    C'mon son.

    Hellevate

  8. #14


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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffshreds View Post
    Solid info right there! There's something oddly satisfying about spending an hour editing velocities and timing just to get ONE drum fill perfect...

    I use SD2 not EZD but I'll just add don't try running more than 6 instances of this software in a project that already has 50+ tracks. This definitely crashes Reaper. If you're using it to trigger samples, load only the piece of the kit you need and not the entire drum kit, to save processing power.
    Satisfying indeed. All those years of watching drum instructional videos paid off well, because while I haven’t sat behind a kit in years, I still know how everything I’m writing is played, which helps me stay away from the dreaded “guitar player programming drums” sickness.

    And yeah, these things eat up RAM like a mawfucka. I always have 2 instances open, one is the main and one is a spare that I’ll use when I want a reverse snare/reverse cymbal. It’s only used to trigger the hit, then I slap a shitload of reverb on it, bounce it to an audio track and reverse it there, then I delete the hit out of the spare track.

    Oh! I still do this all the time- When I’m auditioning fills in EZD/SD3, sometimes I forget to delete the MIDI file out of the creator section of EZD/SD3 after I’ve added it to my piano roll in the DAW, so when I play it back, that one fill is crazy loud and I spend 10 minutes checking the velocities while scratching my head only to realize I forgot to clear out the file from EZD/SD3. It’s a silly little thing, but it’s hung me up numerous times.

    Also, if you find yourself needing to write a drum part from scratch and it’s going to be the same beat for say 4-8 measures, write the first measure and adjust all your velocities THEN copy and paste that one measure 4-8x. It’ll save you the hassle of going back and adjusting hundreds of velocities across all the measures.
    Perfection is the enemy of progress.

  9. #15


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Drucifer View Post
    I seem to be the only one I know that does this, but I write the entire drum parts in the piano roll of my DAW. I audition parts in EZD/SD3, but then drag the MIDI's directly to my piano roll. It just seemed to work faster for me that way and it's a hell of a lot easier to adjust the velocities in the piano roll. Essentially, I use either program as a sound module for the kit sounds only and then to sort through fills. I write 90% of my drum tracks and only pull from the fills when I'm being lazy and don't want to program them.
    I'm one worse than you - I actually write drum performances in the piano roll, starting off by writing verse and chorus parts with my mouse, as loops, to flesh ut the structure, then edit from there, making cuts to make areas I want to modify seperate from the basic loop that I used to hash out the performance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Drucifer View Post
    One thing I wish I learned early on is that for the kit to sound more realistic, you really need to pay attention to the velocities.
    SO true. Even, taking it a step further, the difference between a fill that sounds robotic, and natural, can be as simple as paying attention to your velocity, thinking about what parts a drummer would struggle to hit hard, what they might accent, etc. And I'm not THAT metal and all, but I usually have un-accented kick and snare hits a bit further down that Rev's - maybe 100-110. That still leaves you plenty of room to really push the dynamics on a snare or kick hit for effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Drucifer View Post
    I don't know if Reaper has this function, but in Logic, I can select a large amount of MIDI notes and randomize the velocities.
    It does - you can specify the degree (in %) of tempo and velocity "humanization" Reaper can apply to any selected midi file. Definitely use this feature with care, though - very small amounts are good, but it's easy to destroy something this way.

    Another handy velocity "humanizing" tip - if you open the Reaper piano roll, and select just part of the kit - say, the hihat, and then go down to the velocity map below the note map, if you click and drag your mouse cursor, the velocities will automatically snap to the mouse cross point. I do this a lot while hashing out my "skeleton" beats, to add a little bit of rhyhtmic accenting to the hihat or cymbal parts, where you want them to *sound* fairly even, but with some human-sounding ebb or flow to them. Just sort of click and draw a rough contour of what you're looking for with the mouse, andf suddenly you have a much more varied, human sounding drum performance. Just think about where you think a drummer might accent a little, etc while riding the brass.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  10. #16


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev Drucifer View Post
    Satisfying indeed. All those years of watching drum instructional videos paid off well, because while I haven’t sat behind a kit in years, I still know how everything I’m writing is played, which helps me stay away from the dreaded “guitar player programming drums” sickness.
    This can't be emphasized enough. I've been using SD2 pretty much since its inception and it probably wasn't until just this year that I felt I'm writing convincing drum parts. Like many, I used to work with a lot of the velocities blasted way higher than they should be, never did I imagine I'd use a velocity under 10.....then you have a revelation one day when you're editing a busy snare fill with ghost notes and such and realize the difference between velocity 1 and velocity 5 can be critical to the feel of the groove. One of the big eye openers for me was working with real drum tracks and translating them to MIDI by hand/ear, hit per hit.

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