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Awake77

How do YOU program drums?

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Just curious as to your favorite methods/tools to lay down your beats. For the longest time, id do everything linearly in Sonar with step-recording. I came up with nice results this way, and learned a ton about rhythm programming by trying to cop recorded tracks - but it takes forever. When I got into Reason 3.0 I discovered the joy of xox style step-sequencing. Now that Im back into Sonar for my composing Ive been looking for a VST that not only is a drum sampler/synth, but can double as a step sequencer with MIDI-Export.

 

NI Battery doesnt cut it, I was looking into DR008 which seems to be the business. Does anyone know if its sequencer allows for MIDI export?

 

This program, DK+ Virtual Drums, seems pretty wicked for $38 -

 

DK+ Virtual Drums

 

Has everything I need , but only 3 stereo outs. Not a big deal.

 

Ive been getting some pretty nice results using my PadKontrol and the 'Quantizer' MIDI plugin in Sonar...I just lay down a beat and then adjust the quantize parametes on the fly, all while preserving the original MIDI track! Its definitely very slick for live playing.

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You have a Pad Kontrol? cool. Are they any good.

 

Im always looking for some kind of controller for inputing drum tracks. Was going to get one of those Roland SPD/Octopad type dooberries, but they always seem to be in really bad condition used.

 

I always found the old Tracker programs on the Commadore Amiga superb for puting down basic drum tracks quickly. I wish their was something similar for the pc, that also had full midi capabilities.

 

Does the latest Fruity Loops version have this covered?

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Set the sequencer to MIDI loop record, hit the "quantize on input" button, and do a few takes until I have something cool.

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rather well, thanks!

 

 

actually, i've been guilty of overdoing it on the machinedrum, and have buried any rhythmic funk and snap under too many sounds. i need to be a little more deliberate with it.

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While we're on the subject, can someone name some good VST drum machines that are mac compatible? I'm not really ready to go spend money but I would like to get a idea what's out there (since i can't afford an MPC!)

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Set the sequencer to MIDI loop record, hit the "quantize on input" button, and do a few takes until I have something cool.

 

Lava what sequencer are you using? Sonar, for all its features, doesnt have auto quantize on input!! The quantize MIDI plug in works just as well though, I guess.

 

You have a Pad Kontrol? cool. Are they any good.

 

Yeah, I totally love it! My only complaint is that the whole thing is made of plastic (I was expecting a metal chassis) - but its still a nice quality piece. The pads feel great (and light up!), the X/Y pad for flam and roll is really cool, and its super easy to program what notes/CC#'s the pads/knobs/xypad are sending right from the front panel. After editing drums with the piano roll and mouse for ages, it really kicks ass to use a dedicated control pad.

 

The only other controller that I would possibly replace it with would be a Novation SL, but of course they're quite a bit more expensive.

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I use Battery 2, Drumatic, and the good old piano-roll editor. (one click at a time) :)

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I use my MPC for "basic" snare-rush style sequencing, as well as my "percussion sampler".

 

I also use my Nord G2 for both sequencing and synthesis, and actually lately have done a lot more using the G2 sequencing the MPC than anything else...

 

The G2 is probably the best sequencer I've got! that's not exactly true, but it's definitely the most flexible, and I'm really trying to push this style as of late...

 

You can check out my G2 patches at Electro-Music.com

 

I plan on using a more complex system using the G1 as a drum synthesizer, MPC as drum sampler and the G2 as the sequencer.

 

I also plan on making some sort of interesting input system for the G2 sequencers, dunno how yet, if anyone has done anything like that, care to share?

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originally posted by WhinyLittleRunt

While we're on the subject, can someone name some good VST drum machines that are mac compatible? I'm not really ready to go spend money but I would like to get a idea what's out there (since i can't afford an MPC!)

--- Guru

--- LinPlug RMIV

--- Microtonic

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I bang something out on the PX-7. Record the MIDI either onboard it or in CUBASE.

 

I just got Reaktor, so my whole world is kinda changing right now.

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I use Live 5. I made a performance with a bunch of effects I almost always use (distortion, filter, delay, bit crusher, but also Minion and Dblue Glitch) mapped on a midi controller.

 

Usually I write the parts down, modifying them on the fly as they are being recorded with effects and some beats added now and then, but sometimes I use a pc keyboard to play them (that's enough for me).

Then I overprocess them 'cause I like walls to shake :D

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I had been pushing squares (piano-roll note entry) for years in various programs but always wished I could apply my hand-drumming skills to MIDI entry.

 

I finally got the drumpad of my dreams last month; a Zendrum.

 

Now I set up a sample-player VSTi in Ableton Live, and map various of the 24 pads on the Zendrum to the hits in my kit. I then attempt to lay down a beat unquantized, in the hope of retaining the original "groove." Then I fail miserably because my timing drifts and I have a lot to learn about live percussion, so I quantize the end result anyway.

 

I have been putting in a lot of practice, and definitely improving... but I think I'll lay off those drummer jokes for a while.

 

(Q: what did the drummer get on his IQ test?

A: Drool! )

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Originally posted by Sinner6

I bang something out on the PX-7. Record the MIDI either onboard it or in CUBASE.


 

I'm kinda the same, except its an XL-7 :D

 

I'll generally start with a grid based loop and then add some played parts, like hi-hats and 'extra' bits...

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I usually just record them manually from a keyboard. I prefer using my Roland A-80 for the weighted feel. It depends on the song though. If it's more straight pattern based, I use a program called Orion Platinum with it's XOX stlye drum module, but up to 64 steps instead of 16 per pattern and variable velocities per note (you can actually kind of 'draw' the velocity if that's makes any sense). http://www.synapse-audio.com/orionplatinum.php This is the program I use to sequence real time as well, or I use my trusty Ensoniq TS-10 (best hardware sequencer ever IMO).

 

http://www.synapse-audio.com/zoompic.php?name=drums

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I finally got the drumpad of my dreams last month; a Zendrum.

 

Woah!! Thats sick!! And I thought I was stylin' with my padKontrol:D I know what you mean though - totally different experience working with a drum pad.

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Originally posted by idiotboy

Hey Amos, have you tried playing to a click track? That usually keeps me in line (when I want to be)

 

Oh sure, and that helps a lot... actually I will often play to a "kick track" instead of clicks... but nonetheless I am talking about really small details like, are the hits on two and four rushing just ahead of the beat or swinging just behind... and in either case is it consistent? My current problem is staying in the pocket when trying to swing the timing, and not drifting from just-behind-the-beat to just-anticipating-the-beat.

 

What I miss in Ableton Live is the ability to soft-quantize, e.g. move everything 50% closer to the nearest beat, instead of 100% on the beat on every hit. It's a much better way to keep some flow going... maybe I just need to RTFM more.

 

Awake77: yah, word to the pads. It a whole new wonderful world compared to step entry... :D Rock on

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I tap the beat out on the keys of my Triton. Usually I'll make several patterns then chain them together. It's a pain to do. I used to have a DK10 midi percussion controller but I fried it. Actually playing good drum samples with sticks was way cool.

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I use the drum editor in cubase along with a drum map for whatever device I'm using sounds from to create a scratch drum track. I then blow that out into seperate midi tracks per drum sound and tweak velocities, etc as necessary.

 

Later on in the process I than re-record some of the midi drum parts via playing it on a keyboard while listening to the scratch track. If I do that it isn't on parts that are super time critical, so I wouldn't do it on the kick for example where the timing with the bass track has to be perfect but I may do it on a snare.

 

That usually leaves me with tight timing but a human feel also. Sometimes a very slow lfo based filter really helps drum parts too.

 

For drum sounds it can be anything from LM-7 to CS6x drum kit to sampled synth sounds to a loop running through the v-synth to a combination of those through a vocoder to whatever....

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With one of these

 

SPS-1-Machinedrum-small.jpg

 

and one of these

 

td6kv.jpg

 

Via Cubase SX 3 with custom maps made for both.

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Originally posted by Awake77



Lava what sequencer are you using? Sonar, for all its features, doesnt have auto quantize on input!! The quantize MIDI plug in works just as well though, I guess.

 

I'm using Tracktion.

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Originally posted by Khazul

With one of these


[Machinedrum]


and one of these


[td6kv]


Via Cubase SX 3 with custom maps made for both.

 

That's quite a little pair there. When using the drum pads, do you use the MD's sequencer's at all, say to trigger a High Hat, or to automate parameters while playing?

 

Would you be able to say, trigger certain "patterns" by hitting a certain pad?

 

With some interesting MIDI mapping, it sounds like you could do a LOR of stuff with just those two...

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Originally posted by hyperstationjr



That's quite a little pair there. When using the drum pads, do you use the MD's sequencer's at all, say to trigger a High Hat, or to automate parameters while playing?


Would you be able to say, trigger certain "patterns" by hitting a certain pad?


With some interesting MIDI mapping, it sounds like you could do a LOR of stuff with just those two...

 

 

You can set the MD to respond to certain notes as pattern triggers, also you can make the TD6V do the same, so that way I can make pads trigger patterns on either (for eg set a rim on a tom to trigger a pattern change on the MD).

 

I do regularly use the MD sequencer midi machine to drive triggers on the TD6 (actually also hand percussion on my Motif ES as well).

 

The biggest headache is that the TD6 is a pig to setup with its rather limited UI, though am working on a decent editing panel for it in Cubase SX - I do at least have all the useful parameters mapped for both the MD and the TD6.

 

My more common use of the two of them is just simply layering drums programmed on the MD with drums played on the TD6KV. Where it gets more interesting is setting a couple of triggers to flip between a couple of patterns on the MD, and another couple to make the MD trigger a record to RAM machine, and another to trigger play from a RAM machine in some wierd and different way - like sliced and filtered or whatever - the MD (UW version) makes for quite an interesting real time procesor as you can trigger its sample capture and playback within a pattern.

 

I'm not really good enough on drums yet to manage tight 16ths on HH at 130+bpm, so a cheat is to make the MD automatically capture what ever I do on certain beats and repeat that for me with a little bit of subtle mangling - or even combine with CC control or say an external midi flanger for eg.

 

Loads of fun to be had :)

 

I guess Ive barely scratched the surface of the playing potential of the pair of them. My biggest winge really is the TD6V only has a stereo out (I like to route some sounds to a guitar amp/cab/fx modeller or the v-synth for eg), so I might switch to a better V-Drum module (or maybe the whole kit, TD12KV for eg) next year.

 

Certainly its a really interesting slant on drumming that kind of brings it into the realms of the kind of things we enjoy on decent synths, yet keeps it real :)

 

I thoroughly recomended them as a pair for anyone whos even a bit of a drummer - especially the UW version of the MD ;)

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