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Topic: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    To be honest with you, I find (hate it) programming drum set and or percussion very tiresome using a keyboard controller. I prefer playing in the parts myself acoustically when I can as much as I can. I find midi software to be tedious having to correct for tracking and setting note rhythmic values or quantizing to get a near or the best steady meter I am looking for. Normally, and I use the word normally sparingly, my preferred midi method is to play the rhythms in using either an SPD8 or 20 percussion pad. I find I do not have to "fix" duration's and subdivisions as often as when I use a keyboard controller. Let me put it this way, I haven't found a keyboard controller that can track what my fingers can play at the tempo and subdivisions I am used to.
    Do you catch my meaning man. So, heres my question! How the heck do you awesome talented people accomplish this hideous task using a keyboard controller? Or, do you just use step time placement of the notes. You would think I would have it all together being a percussionist. Yeah well, I never did like playing a keyboard as a drumset. Besides, the keys get all banged up by the sticks.
    Styxx

  2. #2

    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    Good question. I have always dont it by sort of air drumming to kind of work out the basic feel. Then I lay down just the kick/snare patterns. After that, I add tom fills where they need to be. Then, cymbal crashes and accents. Finally I do hats/ride cymbals in the holes. Then I go back and tweak all that
    mess until it seems to work...

    Here's an excerpt of a thing I've been working on on and off for a while. I let the fake drummer take a solo- always scary! Then it settles into a groove that just builds obnoxiously for 5 minutes. There are still some problems to be fixed. In fact, I plan to redo the drums with DFH anyway so this will probably all change. The mix is a rough put-up-the-faders-take-it-home thing so bear with it. And the stupid guitar solo- it's just a one off thing that will be replaced by someone better than me

    members.aol.com/fredproggh/DNSMREdit.mp3

  3. #3

    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    And here's another one-- sorry, I just love drum programming! I've been on a quest to create the perfect fake drummer for years *lol*

    This is from 1997- it's an Alesis D4, except for a real hi-hat. The project was a progressive metal band who's drummer frankly didn't cut it. I was playing keys for the project so I programmed this song (the whole thing is 18 minutes long- sheeze! Don't worry, the edit is only about 2:30). I was going for total neal Peart/mike Portnoy. The main thing that gives it away as a fake hearing it now are the splashy cymbals- especially the horrible attempt at a choked cymbal. (Why a real one wasn't dubbed over I have no idea!!) And also, the guitar player mixed it so the balance is pretty weird- go figure

    members.aol.com/fredproggh/AOTWEdit.mp3

  4. #4

    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    I program drums, or anything i do, exclusively in the matrix editor.
    I guess its known as the piano roll editor.

    In Logic, i can write midi sequences out, from scratch, very quickly.
    I dont think any other program sets up their editor the way Logic
    does.
    Logic seems designed for this task. I cant work nearly as fast
    in other programs.
    Here's a demo i did of the DKFH Superior Ludwig kit, unprocessed.

    All step written. No controllers or pads used. Though i am
    a pro guitar player, i also do play drums for real.. Wich obviously
    is important for programming drums.

    http://michaelk101.com/todd/toddmp3/ludwiggin.mp3

    TK

  5. #5
    Moderator/Developer Brian2112's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    Being a drummer and all, if I need to add the real stuff, I just use triggers . Otherwise, I just play the keys like I would the drums. Your parts will be more realistic if you use your right index for hats and cymbals, and you left index and flip-off fingers for bass drum and snare (since you want to mostly not have them playing at the same time anyway,unless it is for marching band or orchestra). This simulates the way a real drummer would play (assuming you drums are mapped GM or close to it).

    …2112
    "So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap." -- Neil Peart
    Hint:1.6180339887498948482 Φ

  6. #6

    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    Hey guys,

    Actually, I've been wondering the exact same thing.

    I am really thinking about buying myself a set of electronic drums. Now, my hope is that when the new GPO Big Band Add-On pack comes out, that I will be able to somehow hook up a set of electronic drums to my computer a trigger the GPO Jazz Drum Kit. Is that even possible? How would I go about setting that up?


    Here's the kind of set I'm looking at. I know it is very "entry" levelish, but it's only about $200 and I don't plan on doing any real gigs with it. Just something for me to lay percussion tracks in with.

    http://www.pacificdigital.com/produc...123&ItemID=120

    As far as my previous projects, I've always entered each item into the piano roll view in Sonar. Then I'd go back and edit all of the velocities to give them the "live" nuances. I think I succeeded a bit! :-)

    Here's a couple of cues I did for a film that uses the method that I just explained.

    http://www.jonnylostinc.com/Bitch-Sl...ongue-Tied.mp3
    http://www.jonnylostinc.com/Bitch-Sl...ne%20Pants.mp3

    Let me know what you guys think.


    Jonny
    For more information, check out www.jonathoncox.com/intro.html

    "The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." - Igor Stravinsky

  7. #7

    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    I have reached my patience threshold as far as programming in drums. I have bought some midi drum grooves. There are even some played by frst class players on midi drum controllers. The fills are more realistic etc.

    BUT

    recently I have found this drummer and I am now starting to use him for my tracks. The difference is...phemonenal!! Period.

    We're stuck with our heads buried in our controllers (fun as it is) and honestly I forget how great music played by real people within the sphere of gravity (not samples which is frozen moments) sounds.

    Anyway, here's the guy who's playing my parts. He's incredible!

    http://www.brianfullen.com/

    Now, I still use my midi grooves but just to show him a basic grove I want. Then he adds the sugar and stirs! No going back unless I have absolutely no time to hire because of deadlines.

  8. #8
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    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    Thanks for bringing this up. Since I'm not any kind of drummer at all, all I've been able to do is either step record, at which point I'm only hitting notes to establish a rhythm, and then go back and move individual notes up and down the staff or roll bar until it sounds "right," or else just bang notes in real time, and again make the same adjustments.

    Not only is this tedious, but the results are sloppy at best. Obviously, possession of a midi wave table does not a percussionist make. The best thing I can think to do is look at layouts of real drum kits to learn what sits where, and then practice on the board until I get used to what GM keys represent what percussive instruments.

    2112, that was useful info, thank you. I'll give it a shot, pretending I'm holding two sticks.

    And I can certainly sympathize what a drag this would be for a real drummer.

    Maybe I'll just have to give it up, and "hire" a percussionist. In other words, learn to effectively use those loop and groove features. But this goes against my grain of wanting to paint the entire musical canvas myself, and not use preset riffs.

  9. #9

    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian2112
    Being a drummer and all, if I need to add the real stuff, I just use triggers . Otherwise, I just play the keys like I would the drums. Your parts will be more realistic if you use your right index for hats and cymbals, and you left index and flip-off fingers for bass drum and snare (since you want to mostly not have them playing at the same time anyway,unless it is for marching band or orchestra). This simulates the way a real drummer would play (assuming you drums are mapped GM or close to it).

    …2112
    I find I just can't get intricate enough that way. I like to put lots of ghost notes, snare drags and such in. Plus, the way I've modified kits for the keyboard doesn't really allow it- I created faux left/right hits for each drum, in octaves. Thank goodness people like Drumkit From Hell are finally sampling this for real!! I can't wait to get my hands on DFH. Just check out Todd's demo- there are so many dynamics! That's been the bane of fake drums until now. It just all sounds like slam slam slam. DFH let's you get tasty.

    Marty's right though- a real drummer is still the best. I play live drums whenever it's practical, and like him now I've found a drummer good enough that I've fired myself

  10. #10
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk programing "drums and Percussion"

    For all intent and porpoises, I would rather play them in real time on my acoustics. As for any other percussion such as timps, if I had them I would do the same. I use my Roland SPD8 then edit if needed.
    Some interesting techniques here you gentlemen have. I would love to hear more of the results if I could thank you.
    Styxx

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