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A guide/FAQ for programming drums?

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by migreeni, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. migreeni

    migreeni Dismember

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    I really need some serious help with this one... Please could you help me out with drum programming? From top to bottom, samples, different programs, MIDI shit, mixing them etc.
     
  2. poidaobi

    poidaobi Held in Hollows

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    Kick and Snare I usually keep at same velocity (127)

    except for blast beats. where I lower it to about 110ish and the randomise 107,105,112,105 etc. Aswell as slightly moving to the timing of each hit.

    Crashes I generally lower them to about 120...and then raised certain hits to 127 where the drummer would smash the crash harder.

    Hi hats are rides I generally have around 80 ish and generally have the hits louder on the downbeat where a drummer naturally hits harder.

    I'm still learning though.

    I use the Sonar Kit with the Pearl 3 Snare and the DW 22" (with a Tama kick sample I got off here like 2 years ago or something).

    An excellent guide would be to download the "Sonar of Metal" Project from Toontrack is you use DFHS. I don't like that snare or kick but everything else is about right.
     
  3. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher Raising the Knife

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    I've learned a lot from looking at the MIDIs of full songs. Also, I have taken MIDIs of parts or loops and used them to start stuff, and then program variations as I go.

    Then i got a MIDI controller with pads, so, yeah.
     
  4. colonel kurtz

    colonel kurtz Member

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    i tend to do the same sort of thing that dreamcatcher mentioned - i'll usually drag/drop some EZD loops onto my projects, then manually edit the MIDI from there to fit what i'm doing

    just remember...the biggest thing when it comes to getting realism in MIDI drums is to a)switch up velocities, and b)don't program more simultaneous hits than a drummer has hands/feet

    i noticed some loops in EZD have the drummer hitting the hat, snare, and some sort of cymbal all at the same time, so 1 of them has to get deleted. i guess technically the closed hats could come from the foot...but not if there's a double-bass pattern happening simultaneously.
     
  5. migreeni

    migreeni Dismember

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    I've got the Drumkit from Hell. And a new problem with it:

    Shit still sounds like it's programmed... The sound is now "OK" but not "great".. I opened the EZDrummers own mixer and set it on "multitrack" so now I can EQ each tom, snare etc. individually. So: What can I do to make them sound real and heavy as fuck!?
     
  6. colonel kurtz

    colonel kurtz Member

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    1st of all, resist the temptation to compress the individual tracks...the samples are already compressed as it is

    a little bit of EQ'ing might help, but probably the biggest thing you can do is to use some parallel compression to "glue" it all together
     
  7. migreeni

    migreeni Dismember

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    Ok, and how do you do this? :D
     
  8. colonel kurtz

    colonel kurtz Member

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    it's when you send your a group of tracks to a subgroup, compress the crap out of the subgroup, and blend it in with the mix

    you can send all of the drums to the sub, or just kick/snare/toms...and it's also worth a shot EQ'ing the subgroup as well
     
  9. Rupturemetal

    Rupturemetal I am rape-I am hate

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    I have a question about velocites , If you set all your velocities the same and then use the humanize function in ezd wont it radomize your hits anyway?
     
  10. poidaobi

    poidaobi Held in Hollows

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    I think the Humanise feature makes the program trigger random samples recorded at the same velocity.

    As opposed to 2 samples at a lower or higher velocity.
     
  11. migreeni

    migreeni Dismember

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    WTF I tried and tried and still couldn't figure this out! I added a group channel track and sent bass drum, snare and toms into it. And that's about it... Nothing really happened. What did I do wrong? :D

    btw i use cubase sx 3

    EDIT: Nevermind, found out :)
     
  12. BattleTits

    BattleTits Member

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    Ok..for Cubase:

    Make a Group for parallel compression. Put a compressor in it and set it aggressively. Then send each drum into that group. What I do is make a group for the drums and route kick snare tom group into that. I then send about 20db or so of that into the parallel group.

    As for programming drums..the only way to do it well is to pick songs you like and program the entire song beat for beat. You will learn way more and be 1,000x better if you do this. I never use MIDI loops..I always do it myself.
     
  13. STINNETT

    STINNETT Bad / Nationwide

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    Someone mentioned not compressing because the samples are already compressed. This may be true for some sample libraries, but for some, like DFHS, they are totally dry samples. No effects of any kind. Compression and EQ are an absolute necessity.

    By the way, to the original poster, DFHS is a great program for doing programmed drums. Most people swear by it.

    When I program, I try to think like a drummer. I'm not a great drummer but I can play enough to help me do that. It helps alot to be able to visualize what you're programming as being physically played. If I can't do that I won't program it that way.

    Another thing is the velocity range you use. First of all, 127 should represtent the absolute hardest hit you can muster, and in DFHS that is what it sounds like. How often does a real drummer hit anything as hard as possible? We all like drummers that hit hard, but programming drums that sound like that perfect, hard hitting drummer are the surest way to sound fake. I've found alot more realism in DFHS by keeping the velocities at around 100 or even lower for most hits. The odd accented hit might creep up over 115 and using 127 would mean I was trying to kill the drum. At least that's the way I think of it. Doing it that way, when you process the tracks as you would a real drum kit, you get much more realistic results.
    Remember that when doing rolls and fills, most drummers don't hit the snare or toms that hard, and they don't maintain consistent power. Long fills will usually fall off in velocity with a few "spikes" to keep the feel together.

    I might add that when doing extreme metal stuff I go ahead and use the max velocity accross the board for the kick drums. The triggered sound is so much the norm these days that anything else would actually almost need a sample added to it in order to compete.

    When it comes to processing of the drum tracks, the same principles apply as when working with real drum recordings. You should search the internet for tips on EQ and compression for drums - not just programmed / sampled drums.
     
  14. asymmetry

    asymmetry Part of a chaos

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    Hello!

    I found this forum yesterday and I was totally amazed! This is incredible! I learned so much from here and I would like to thank to all of you.

    Currently, I' working on tweaking drums (I programmed) in EZ Drummer. So I just wanted to say that I found some good advices here.

    OK, that's it, I will bother you from now on :)
     

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