What are you guys using for drum tracks?

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What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by asiabackpacker » Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:41 pm

I did endless hours of 4-tracking in high school and college, but I'm relatively new to desktop producing, so forgive my ignorance.I've gotten pretty competent in navigating my way around Pro Tools, and editing audio. I still have a long way to go, and I'm trying to improve all areas of being my own producer.But my main concern right now is that I spend way to much time trying to program drums and getting them right, and am still never happy with the end result.I've been using BFD, but it's so fiddly trying to program each drum beat individually, and I can never get the beat to sound quite right partly because I'm not a drummer. Also the program is so CPU intensive that it always craps out on me no matter what I do, and what troubleshooting steps I follow.Was thinking of some pre-recorded drum loops, or some other groove package. I don't really know much about the options. Am curious what you guys are using to add drums to your home demos, or any other advice you may have for me....relating to drums or just being a better desktop-producer in general (trying to go from a notch above beginner to somewhere below intermediate...)Thanks!Elliott

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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by davewalton » Tue Oct 23, 2007 2:07 pm

Quote:I did endless hours of 4-tracking in high school and college, but I'm relatively new to desktop producing, so forgive my ignorance.I've gotten pretty competent in navigating my way around Pro Tools, and editing audio. I still have a long way to go, and I'm trying to improve all areas of being my own producer.But my main concern right now is that I spend way to much time trying to program drums and getting them right, and am still never happy with the end result.I've been using BFD, but it's so fiddly trying to program each drum beat individually, and I can never get the beat to sound quite right partly because I'm not a drummer. Also the program is so CPU intensive that it always craps out on me no matter what I do, and what troubleshooting steps I follow.Was thinking of some pre-recorded drum loops, or some other groove package. I don't really know much about the options. Am curious what you guys are using to add drums to your home demos, or any other advice you may have for me....relating to drums or just being a better desktop-producer in general (trying to go from a notch above beginner to somewhere below intermediate...)Thanks!ElliottHey Elliott,This comes up a lot and I believe it's because that drumming is really an art in and of itself. I'm a keyboard player, not a drummer so I know my limitations.Virtual Instruments are really the way to go. They are live drummers playing real drums, just that they recorded their parts BEFORE you recorded your parts. Used with a little creativity they can really breath life into otherwise stiff-sounding tracks.The king in my book is Stylus RMX. Out of the box it's mostly processed drums and percussion with a little bit of unprocessed drums and percussion. BUT... it has expansion packs for real drums in a variety of styles. Plus, it can import REX files. It has this amazing ability to play grooves that are WAY outside the recorded BPM and still sound perfectly natural. I'm not sure how they do it but you can use beats that are 40 or 60 beats away from the original, faster OR slower, and everything still sounds great. You can combine practically any elements from any grooves... the possibilities are exponential almost beyond calculation.Other packages like Stormdrum for mostly cinematic percussion are very good. Several people on the forum use and highly recommend EZ Drummer... lots of expansion packs on that one too. HTH,Dave

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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by lboogie77 » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:35 pm

If you are looking for something user friendly and not a processor hog, try EZ drummer. If you have a compatible daw app (check their website, think its toontrack.com??) you just click and drag the grooves you want right into your sequencer window. It has all types of stuff out the box, and it has expansions. You can plug any any tempo you want without audio degradation. That is if you want "live" sounding drums. If you want more electric sounding drums, you may want to check out Stylus as Dave recommends.As for rex files.. I believe they were birthed out a program called Recycle. You can use it to chop up almost any loop into what I call "hit points" IE 1/4 notes or 1/8th notes. To play back the loop it plays back "the hit points" at what ever tempo you want. There is no audio degradation b/c the audio is not time stretched. Some thing like Acid Pro does a good job of this, Melodyne does an ever better job (IMHO) but they all have their weak points. If you have to take something "really" out of the original BPM, rex is the way to go. I digress, Check out EZ drummer, Some others recommend some other programs. See this threadhttp://taxi.proboards27.com/index.cgi?bo....read=1192647107btwI use EZ drummer, battery, and tons of samples I've accumulated over the years toooo many to name.Happy Drumming! 77

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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by mazz » Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:52 pm

I haven't programmed a drum track from scratch in a long time. For me it's a waste of time when there's software like EZ drummer or Stylus out there. I don't know that much about BFD but if it uses a fairly standard drum mapping, like General MIDI, for example, you might look in to MIDI loops. You could use them to trigger BFD and save yourself a lot of headaches (and some bucks, MIDI loops are typically cheaper than audio loops). Check out Groove Monkee for starters.I'll put a big plug in for EZ drummer as well for more standard drum parts and Stylus for more atmospheric or esoteric stuff. Happy drumming!Mazz
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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by ddusty » Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:36 am

I bought EZDrummer a few weeks ago, just started messing with it. Since i always hated (i.e. was bad at) programming drums, I love the drag and drop built in grooves.One thing to note, if you write/record many different styles, you may need to get a handful of the expansion packs. this is not a big deal but can factor in the price. For now all I needed was the rock grooves on the standard install, and the Nashville pack.Rob

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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by rcase » Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:13 am

Yet another vote for EZDrummer here.Fantastic sound quality right outta the box, with a decent amount of tweakability available for those who wish to do that. And as others have mentioned, with the availability of several expansion packs from Toontrack themselves, and the ability to use MIDI loops from other vendors as well, the package should keep most people busy for some time. Just like you Elliot, I used to spend such a long time just getting drum parts down that I'd approach the recording/production phase of a song with a considerable amount of dread. EZ Drummer has really helped out in that regard. Further, I was pretty good at getting decent results (after HOURS of effort, and using quantizing/humanizing features within my DAW), but I can clearly hear the difference now using EZ. As Dave said, you're getting real, live, actual drummers playing on your tracks. And what's more- you can go and tweak their performances, as rarely is any loop EXACTLY what you had in mind. I won't even get into Stylus RMX, which I think you'd have to look far and wide to find a bad review of. It would seem that everybody who has purchased and used that one now can't imagine working without it. Truly one of the all-time great Virtual Instruments; in a class by itself really. I'd say go that way if you need more processed, 'modern electronic' sounding stuff (but still, I'm generalizing here), and go with EZ if you're doing primarily acoustic drum tracks. That's today at least; who knows where both of these fine programs will go tomorrow, as both Toontrack and Spectrasonics seem very committed to their development.Whatever you decide, please post again when you've had a chance to use your choice in your tracks, so we can hear what you're doing.Rob
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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by paults » Wed Oct 24, 2007 5:22 am

I've been using Acid loop CDs with great success. They come in a variety of styles, and will drop right into most programs, or you can use them within Acid itself.

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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by matto » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:58 am

Elliott,if your in the market for a drum plugin you should check into "Addictive Drums" as well. It's more comparable to EZ Drummer in that it's more geared towards creating "real drum" grooves.I do not own this personally but it's been getting really great reviews, so I wouldn't make a decision before checking it out.Since you're on Protools, Digidesign's "Strike" would be another contender you should look into.

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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by ljweber70 » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:37 pm

for you ProTools experts:Can you click and drag EZ drummer drum loops directly into a ProTools track? If so, how/when do you add breaks, intros and endings?Larry

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Re: What are you guys using for drum tracks?

Post by sgs4u » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:50 pm

I do it by dragging patterns from other folders called fills, into the desired song breaks/sections. EZdrummer allows you to edit/delete every drum hit that is part of any pattern. That also includes adding extra hits to an existing pattern. Your choices are limitless, but it's still not the same number of focusd choices that a great live drummer has available from his /her memory banks. It just saves time and money to use EZdrummer. It won't make your recordings more or less creative. Quote:for you ProTools experts:Can you click and drag EZ drummer drum loops directly into a ProTools track? If so, how/when do you add breaks, intros and endings?Larry

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