Gimme your EZ Drummer tips...
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Thread: Gimme your EZ Drummer tips...

  1. #1


    Join Date: Dec 2008
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    Gimme your EZ Drummer tips...

    ..and just the tip and only for a moment

    Picked up EZ Drummer and the Dark Matter EZX on sale. This is a whole new world for me so any advice/tips would be great.

    Trying to get a painless reaper workflow. I need to download the file to add the drum names to the virtual keyboard in reaper.

    I have an akai MPK mini II and tried setting it up to use that but there seems to be velocity issues and the pads hit way too soft so I need to look around for a fix for that.

    I like the Dark Matter EZX and am thinking i may go ahead and get the Death Metal one as well. Any others a must have? (is there a good doom metal one?)
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    I've liked the sound of Metal Machine - they're sort of ready to go out of the box and don't need much editing or effects to sound good.

    For midi packs, I found the Metal Beats pack pretty useful. It has some really useful beats that aren't as insanely busy as some others (e.g. the midi that comes with Metal Machine is pretty much unusable for the stuff I write, but the drums sound good).
    "How can less be more? It's impossible. More is more."
    -Yngwie J. Malmsteen

  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Get acquainted with Tap-2-Find. You have the full kit available to you, but I typically just throw on the kick and snare pattern I'm after, then browse through the midi packs I've got for something close, and then make adjustments in the midi-scroll editor.

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Dec 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    I've liked the sound of Metal Machine - they're sort of ready to go out of the box and don't need much editing or effects to sound good.

    For midi packs, I found the Metal Beats pack pretty useful. It has some really useful beats that aren't as insanely busy as some others (e.g. the midi that comes with Metal Machine is pretty much unusable for the stuff I write, but the drums sound good).
    Yeah some of them seemed a bit overkill for me as well. I will pick up that Midi Pack .


    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    Get acquainted with Tap-2-Find. You have the full kit available to you, but I typically just throw on the kick and snare pattern I'm after, then browse through the midi packs I've got for something close, and then make adjustments in the midi-scroll editor.
    I didn't think you can edit the piano roll in EZ Drummer?? (Isnt that a Superior selling point??) Or did you mean where you click on the midi then go to the screen to change drum samples, strong hand, add more beats and stuff?

  7. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Well, it's been a while since I've had EZD, and I do run SD3, but I'm pretty sure the midi scroll was there in EZD. That's the most basic function of a drum programmer. I think you have to double-click the pattern a few times to get to it, it's not terribly intuitive

  8. #6


    Join Date: Jan 2009
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    Well, it's been a while since I've had EZD, and I do run SD3, but I'm pretty sure the midi scroll was there in EZD. That's the most basic function of a drum programmer. I think you have to double-click the pattern a few times to get to it, it's not terribly intuitive
    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.
    Perfection is the enemy of progress.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Damn. Well, once you import the midi into Reaper, I think you can at least edit the scroll there, though it won't be as effortless.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Dec 2008
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    Thanks man That was a HUGE help. If i can get my Akai squared away I may make a bunch of stuff to export the midi files. Tho I think I could get on with the piano roll as well but I need the file that adds the drum names to the virtual keyboard keys to help keep things sorted

    In reaper there are sliders for velocity under the piano roll but its kind of klunky...

    I did a google search to see if there was a cleaner way and it linked back to a Quigs post to select edit > Humanize to randomize the velocities everything old is new again!

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