Programming beats into your DAW

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?

Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby Larry Mal » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:56 am

If you send me a PM with your email I'll send you a couple of Live projects and you can see some beats that I write out.
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby druunkonego » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:52 pm

PM'd

:)
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby budda12ax7 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:23 pm

I had fits doing this...my old bass player programmed an ALESIS sr16 with amazing beats we used it on a demo or two.

I have had fun and great success using loops from Presonus Studio 3 and importing loops.
Last edited by budda12ax7 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby mynameisjonas » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:38 am

The best tip I have is to keep it simple. A real drummer might get away with playing something really busy, but when the drums are programmed it will stick out like a sore thumb. Also, make sure you're not programming something that would be impossible for a real drummer to play (like hitting two toms and a cymbal at the same time). Try to work out the beat with your hands and feet before you start programming.
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby Francer » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:51 pm

I seem to spend the majority of my time when composing/recording messing with drum programming, and so far using the step editor in whatever program works best for me to get the basic beat and then tweak the individual hit levels for a bit more realism. I used to have an SR16 which was good for indie guitar band type demos but the step editing is so slow and tedious. I now use DrumPerfect on the iPad which is really good but as always I think the nature of recording realistic drums is fiddly and time consuming to get right whatever your DAW.

When I'm stuck I tend to listen to a song or fill that i like and try to copy that., Look for isolated drum tracks that people post on Youtube as well for inspiration.

A good excuse to post a Love of Diagrams link. some good views of Monika Fikerle drumming here which i found helpful when trying to come up with some fills.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ly6hcyDSLjw
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby mcatano » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:07 am

If the idea is to just have a few simple loops around to work on song ideas, etc, then one hacky but effective method is to use something like io808.com to make loops and dial in your tempo, then grab them with a program like Audio Hijack and copy/paste to your heart's content in your DAW. It's also a little less processor intense than running a virtual instrument, which may or may not matter depending on your system.

As a step up from that, I really love Reason as a drum/synth/bassline programming tool. It runs seamlessly with just about every DAW out there and also has the benefit of working totally standalone.
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby UlricvonCatalyst » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:31 pm

druunkonego wrote:I've made one the other night utilizing some triplets. Starting to get a little bit better feel out of those hihats.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UViElyd ... e=youtu.be

Thanks for the tips!

The one tip I would offer is don't look at the drums in isolation, because you will tend to make them too busy and over-complicate things.

If you're layering up tracks, lay down a basic back-beat to record/sequence to and when the arrangement has taken shape revisit the drum track, putting the fills in where they really belong.

Actually I lied, because I have a second tip for good drum programming: think about how many arms a drummer has available to work the top half of the kit*; tom rolls will typically require the hi-hat hand, as will some snare fills, so drop the hi-hat out for those beats (unless the hi-hat pattern is all foot-closed hi-hats, which our human friend could keep going throughout any amount of two-handed action you care to dream up).
Likewise with cymbal accents on the first beat of the bar. Think about what a human drummer uses to hit the crash cymbal; it's the same hand that's been playing the 8ths or 16ths on the hi-hat, so for a human feel drop the hi-hat out for that beat. Make the next beat it plays a bit lazy and you're starting to get a feel for the human factor....



* Cue Def Leppard jokes/pedantry.
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby druunkonego » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:54 pm

Thanks again for the tips everyone! :)

I now have a small library of loops that I've put together. It's definitely been rekindling some of the passion for playing I used to have. I still miss the comradery that comes with being in a functioning band. But in lieu of that it's enough to get me rocking again. :-*
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby budda12ax7 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:08 pm

Doing the same thing, made a Dub/Reggae drum track, then a punk drum track. I realized that the fills and the beats were off, not out of time, but just off on the changes. Will need to work on this,
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby Potatone » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:35 am

In abletons piano roll use the fold feature to hide unused note tracks so you only see the useful ones for drums (kick, snare etc)

Ableton is my favourite DAW for programming drums personally, I cant do it in logic.
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Re: Programming beats into your DAW

Postby budda12ax7 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:00 pm

Spent the morning doing drum beats for my punk project EP. Using various loops, but constructing multiple parts such as intro, verse chorus. I can see people spending a ton on loop packages though....found wiki loops, and some other places that have free loops and one hits.
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