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Which Drum module ?

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Which Drum module ?

Postby Scouser » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:18 pm

So I have used many drum solutions over the years, starting with the software EZ drummer, superior drummer, various drum apps for ipad inc various korg apps. Hardware Alesis SR16 & controlpad. All of the above have been helpful in various ways.

I am looking for a unit ( If one exists ) that is super quick for getting down basic quality beats. I play guitar and bass etc and often I just want a decent selection, of mainly acoustic sounds that I can quickly program to fit in with my arrangements. So if you know of anything that is really intuitive and works well for a non drummer, would really be interested.

I find the magic happens when I am working quickly, anything that requires lots of fine tuning tends to stop the flow of creativity and that is what I am trying to avoid.
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby MOF » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:36 pm

If by ‘unit’ you mean a plugin, not hardware, then I like Drummer within Garage Band/Logic.
You can record a basic rhythm you want and fade that out but tell Drummer to follow that rhythm part.
You can change drum kits, swing, complexity of fills etc.
You can then add one more Drummer to add a percussion part.
Later you can move those parts to a midi track for fine tweaking.
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby Scouser » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:40 pm

Yep hardware or software whatever does the job, will give drummer a look..
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:46 pm

have you tried mic'ing yourself playing a table top and using that later to trigger samples?
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby Music Wolf » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:36 pm

I’ve been very happy with Superior Drummer 3. Great acoustic sounds but also a huge library (sometimes I think too huge) of grooves, fills and variations which I can drag into Cubase either to use as they come or as a basis for my own patterns. When it comes to programming I like Cubase’s drum editor window.
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby Zukan » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:03 am

I have been using Battery and Recycle effectively for years.

I hear the various incarnations of the MPC are also useful.
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby The Elf » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:02 am

Kontakt and a handful of basic drum samples and I have all I need to get ideas on their way.
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby Moroccomoose » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:20 am

It seems you already have tried the various sound modules, so you already have the samples.

For actually laying down the drum Midi, I would recommend Rayzoon's Jamstix virtual drummer. It comes with its own sounds, but you can midi map it to anything.

It has a basic song builder to get the basic song down, and then it is deeply tweakable bar by bar. It works by combining music/rhythm styles with different drummer styles each with tweakable characteristics.

You can have a full unique song arrangement with intro, verse, chorus bridge etc within 5 minutes. It has a free version to try out. I think it is great. TBH I'm really surprised SOS have not reviewed it since version 1, it is now on version 4.

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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby Mixedup » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:21 am

What is it you didn't like about the software/hardware you've already tried? It's hard to think of anything quicker/easier than EZ Drummer. It can take a while trawling through the MIDI grooves, I guess, but it's hard to make recommendations without konwing why these didnt do it for you...

Also, what DAW do you use? I find Cubase's Groove Agent pretty good when using its Acoustic Agent player... you pick the basic set of grooves that appear on the pads, and then have an XY pad to govern the intensity and complexity of the playing, and a switch to determine if/how it performs any autofills.

Pedals-wise, there are the Digitech Trio+ and their SDrum, which may or may not do what you want... Ditto the Singular Sound Beat Buddy.
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby OneWorld » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:36 am

If I understand you correctly in that you want a basic drum plugin just to get a basic track down I use the freeware MT Power Drums. It hardly tickles the CPU and sounds more than just acceptable as it has an 8 output mixer so each part of the drum kit can be eq'd, comp'd etc in the DAW mixer. It even includes a reasonable set of MIDI grooves and fills. Only one drum kit included but it is so simple to use, I have it included in almost every template I use so it just loads up each time I start a new project

Once I have finished a track and want to embellish the drums then I find the GrooveAgentSE that comes with Cubase does a great job, though does use more resources, but that being said will hardly stress a modern CPU

I have also tried the following....

NI Studio Drummer - needs Kontakt and loads with all efx running and in my experience needs them turning off to de-stress the CPU, ok I guess a more modern and more powerful CPU would easily cope but I am factoring in the possibility you might have a more basic spec machine. It was when I used the built-in grooves that my CPU (i7 3.9 CPU) creaked a bit unless I dropped the latency on my interface to 256 samples, with MT drums I can happily work at 32 samples!

NI DrumLab - OK but for me too much choice

BFD - again in my experience too complex if I just want a cheap and cheerful solution

XLN - I used to use the excellent Addictive Drums free demo but bought into BFD instead

GrooveAgent Full Version - again a bit too complex for my needs. However Steinberg were doing a special deal on it and I think I only paid about £40 for it so worth a punt
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby Chet Leeway » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:05 am

Tracktion's Waveform 10 now has a new super easy built-in drum sampler. Combined with step clips (and general super fast editing) that makes an very fast and easy way to make beats with your own personal twist. Free trial available.
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby Watchmaker » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:29 am

I've used BFD 2 and 3, Submersible's DrumCore, Superior Drummer 3 and the native StudioOne instruments. I've interfaced using mouse and keyboard, a Roland td25k and various keypad triggers and am now using an Akai MPC16.

Frankly, good rhythm programming interfaces are still hard to come by though not for lack of trying. If you find a good solution you can probably make a fortune! :-)
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:18 pm

I too don’t want to lose it when inspiration strikes. As a Logic user their drummer tracks are fast enough for me knowing I will go back and tweak. I assume the GarageBand version is as simple. Or sometimes I’ll just pull up an Apple loop that is close enough and loop it forever.

Then I’ll go back and replace and tweak. I’m having an absolute blast using XLN’s XO drum plug. No need to deal with the deeper levels. (At first glance XO looks complicated but it’s not if you don’t need it to be) There is a fantastic YouTube about an hour long that showed me everything. Sorry to sound like an ad but I’ve been having fun with it.

I’ve also used the Digitech Trio. That is very fast and easy too but a few more hoops to jump through if you want the end result to be synced in a DAW for more editing.

On the iPad I’m digging Cubasis for fast and easy. I haven’t been exploring acoustic drum AUv3’s to plug in to Cubasis but have seen some YouTube’s for acoustic drums and they look very easy to get a good beat going. Check out the app review blogs like Dischord or maybe Synthtopia for more.
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Re: Which Drum module ?

Postby The Bunk » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:03 pm

Mixedup wrote:What is it you didn't like about the software/hardware you've already tried? It's hard to think of anything quicker/easier than EZ Drummer.

I was kind of thinking the same and sort-of asking myself the same question as I'm an EZDrummer user and am still on version 1 which I am happy with for my generally routine rock stuff. I'm not worried about any increasing / new "complexity" that may be available with the numerous updates since v1...it's the general quality of the sound that I'd be worried about missing out on if the updates are a noticeable improvement in that regard. Are they?

Slight aside but one thing I've noticed with watching Max Weinberg of E Street fame is that his kit is incredibly basic. Really nothing more than the essentials. He's not there to be flash or anything, just keep a damn good tight beat. That'll do for the sort of stuff I do. If I do want to veer off into more EDM type stuff I invariably go for samples.
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