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Thread: secuencing drums...

  1. #1
    La vie carnivalesque salsainglesa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    secuencing drums...

    Is there a way to make it easy?
    I use fruity loops, but i am trying to write some rhythms from electronic songs, like everything but the girl, before today, or from supreme beings of leisure: aint got nothing.
    I dont know how to explian it, but it takes a looooooooot of damn effort to get 'em in a very precarious way.
    I been feelin like improvising over these.

    Thanks dudes.

  2. #2
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    I usually write drum patterns in the MIDI edit mode of LogicAudio or Cubase, or import them from my hardware sequencer.
    Once I wrote a pattern, I can simply copy and paste it and create a 4-5 minute drumpart... I can also edit it to keep some variety.

  3. #3
    Senior Citizen Cuno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Helsingborg, Sweden
    Most music creation software (cubase, reason, cakewalk, etc) has some type of tools for creating rhythms, they look similar to fruity loops. You basically split up a bar by some division, like 16th notes, and insert different percussion stuff into the 'holes' in that chart. I usually do drums in cakewalk's normal tools. If it's a fast sequence i do it in the step sequencer, and if i can play it in the keyboard, i record it realtime. Then i cut, copy, paste, quantisize, grind'n'mold until it sounds good, using both normal view, event view, and the piano roll view. It is a lot of work, and i don't think there is any easy way out if you want it to sound good. Experience and a good knowledge of the software helps.

    I used to use a hardware sequencer, and back then i edited the drums event by event to make them sound good. It usually took a whole day to do a decent 'backing track' with just drums and bass. Then another day for the other instrument, and one more for fiddeling until i got tired and just decided i was satisfied, or had to leave it be before i got crazy over details.

    Try to vary the velocity on hihat and the other drums, accentuate the ones, half-accentuate the 3rd. Then try 2's and 4th's. Experiment. Work.

  4. #4
    Registered User Rented's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I cheat . I use a combination of downloaded midi drum tracks (usually recorded live) and Jammer generated drum tracks. Each track is usually only a couple of bars or so, and fills are obviously separate and even smaller. You have a bit of control of how Jammer generates the drum notes, so I fiddle with those setting and hit "compose" until I'm satisfied. Then I copy-and-paste into Cubase and tweak until it feels right.

    Editing note for note from scratch is just time consuming and the end results are usually not that good when I do it! I'm just not a drummer!
    I do the same for my B3 parts. Jammer is just a better organ player than I am, as embarrasing as it is to say
    Last edited by Rented; 09-12-2011 at 07:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Firebard RandyEllefson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Gaithersburg Maryland
    The only easy way is to get a drummer, but that has its own problems

    I've been using a drum machine. At least I can play along on something. Then I import the midi into ProTools and play with it there.
    Last edited by RandyEllefson; 07-20-2004 at 12:05 AM.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Novato, CA
    Yeah, sequencing drums is a bugger. I do my work in Logic, mostly with the Matrix editor, which lets me see each part graphically represented. Then I can stretch each part's length (sometimes important if the drum samples have longer decay times), bump them over a click, etc. I also experimented with a bunch of random velocity changes on the kick, toms and snare. Seems to help with the human vibe, though getting a human to play is really where it's at.
    Hidden Content . All things guitar: Jam tracks, lessons, blog and more!

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Hey guys!

    Here's an excerpt from an interview I did with seaoftranquility.org, a progressive music site, about my process of writing my C.D., which included sequencing drums (as well as every other instrument):

    First, here's a full tune from that C.D., to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.....

    Give It Time Scott Jones © 2003 Freedom PAM-1022

    O.k. his question, then my answer (to put it all in context) - (original review, hyperlinked):

    G.C. (Greg Cummins) You will have noticed in my review, I was really
    impressed with the crispness of the drumming in all of
    your songs, even to the point of disbelief that no-one
    else was there in attendance. How do you manage to include
    so many brilliant fills, triplets and other intricate
    gymnastics without tying your body into knots? Do you use
    any special effects at all with your percussion?

    S.J. (My answer) Back in 1992, I bought my first computer, a
    Macintosh Classic II. Along with it, I bought some
    mid-line software for notation, and some software for
    sequencing; along with a mid-level Roland MIDI keyboard.
    When I set out to sequence in the sequencing software, I
    became frustrated with the results of having to play, by
    hand on a keyboard with a click, the drum parts. They
    sounded fake. So, from that point I fell back on my first
    instrument, drums, and went to some drum transcriptions
    books. I worked, at first, with just inputing the
    specified parts into the notation software, with the
    intention of transferring the parts into the sequencing
    software. (NOTE: the actual parts on my C.D. are entirely original, as the transcription books only helped early on, in my
    learning process). However, I found that there was a pretty powerful sequencing tool within the notation software and after some
    experimentation, found that I could just do
    everything within that context. At the time, I just composed
    in every possible context and style, trying to make more realistic, the sequenced parts. Back then, I had a couple of things to consider.
    One, I couldn’t afford to pay world class
    musicians to play the tunes I was writing;
    and Two, there was no affordable home recording system
    that I could stand, to put guitar parts down. It was all
    tape based, four-track oriented, and I refused to
    compromise the little fidelity I had achieved within the
    first generation of MIDI instrumentation. So back then, I decided
    that this music was going to live as my “superhuman
    Macintosh” band, and I set out to make the parts as
    realistic as possible, but with no guitar. (When I
    recorded the guitar parts for the C.D., I was able to use
    ProTools and retain the highest degree of fidelity.)

    So, to be clear, every note of this disc was sequenced in
    notation software. (Except the guitar parts -which I
    played in real time; the sax parts -which were played in
    real time by Bill; and the live drums on tracks 14 and 15
    -which I played in real time, acoustically) But the rhythm
    section parts were the result of literally inputing, note
    by note, every drum fill, keyboard run, bass line, marimba
    part. It’s like have a piece of staff paper, writing out
    the music, and being able to hit “play”. Not done in real
    time, but as a composer would write. I did input the parts
    from a MIDI keyboard, so it recorded the dynamic range of
    my input. So had to consider, as I ran a solo line, or
    fill, what energy to give that moment. Nowadays, there are
    auto generating drum programs that allow anyone to create
    realistic sounding parts, but know that if there was a
    buzz roll on the snare on my disc, or ghost notes in
    between the hi-hat and snare, I had to figure out what
    that would be, literally, and write every note. The one
    thing I did with the keyboard solos, was to input them as
    quickly as I heard them in my head, without going back too
    much, so that they felt more improvised in real time.
    Things like that gave the parts a more realistic sound.

    Going back and laying the guitar parts was tricky, too, as
    I had intentionally composed ALL of the disc from the
    keyboard, to stay away from guitaristic traps and
    routines. So I really had to woodshed to get those
    guitar parts laid, especially the ones that followed the
    keyboard lines in unison, or voicings that mirrored the
    keyboard voicings, were particularly challenging. It was
    as if I was learing someone else’s music, as I had not
    ever seen it from that point of view before. Luckily, I
    had the notation pages pulled up on my old Mac, for
    reference. Some have asked if any of it was guitar-synth
    triggered, which it was not. I had to play against the
    sequences note for note.

    (Here's the link to the complete original article: Sjones Interview ) ...more about the gear used, etc, can be found there.....

    Nowadays, there so many more options, and I doubt I would have the time or patience to repeat that process, as back then loop software hadn't yet come out.....in fact, my next C.D. will have all live players (Virgil Donati hopefully, Steve Weingart for sure, etc), so this process, for me is over.....

    I hope this has been helpful...



  8. #8
    Registered User JeffN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Scott, you play some amazing stuff.

  9. #9
    Resident Musician
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    St. Cloud, MN
    For those that have Digital Performer (as I do), it does come with drum editing capabilities. I haven't had the time to check them out, but it does have those capabilities. Hope that helps some.


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