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drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby elduderino » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:32 pm

Hi,

I want to add some drums to my recordings. I have Cubase and Reason. I've made beats in Reason using reDrum and then export I've also had a little play with re-groove.

I'm wondering if using Reason is the best thing? I'm after some minimal but natural sounding drums. What do you use? Can anyone point me in the right direction?
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby Steve Hill » Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:34 pm

Well I use drummers recorded in a good room.

But I suspect that's not the answer you want. BFD is pretty good if you know how to programme properly.

And if you don't, whether with BFD or any other package, you're going to be disappointed.
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby elduderino » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:20 pm

Steve Hill wrote:Well I use drummers recorded in a good room.

But I suspect that's not the answer you want. BFD is pretty good if you know how to programme properly.

And if you don't, whether with BFD or any other package, you're going to be disappointed.

Hi Steve, Thanks for the reply.

I'm specifically interested in advice concerning programmed drums using software. I'm a computer programmer by trade (Web Development) but i suspect that programming drums is very different. I don't fully understand what is meant by 'programming' drums...I understand that it does not involve writing code...so what does it involve? I would imagine that it involve creating a loop and changing the sound using velocities etc to get the desired effect?
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby TurboD » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:34 pm

Programming drums doesn't necessarily mean creating loops - generally programming means inputting MIDI data manually into either a score or matrix editor. There are hundreds of ways to skin that cat, whether you wish to create loops and then insert fills manually, or download grooves, or play it in with pads, etc etc.

I use XLN Audio's Addictive Drums for more natural drum sounds, mostly for sample replacement in badly recorded drums. As always, the presets are mostly overdone, but it's very tweakable and sounds great. They have a demo available on the website which has unlimited use of one kick, one snare, hats and cymbals.
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby Steve Hill » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:59 am

If you're a complete novice, there are some loops in e.g. Apple's Garage Band (shipped with every new Mac) to get you started.

If you have a midi keyboard, the next easiest way is map it to a drum kit sound and just play the individual drum hits on the keyboard. You can edit these in a suitable midi editors, and tighten up timing with a quantise function.

Top class programming involves understanding how real drummers play. So you might when entering a tom fill deliberately miss out one or two hi-hat hits because the drummer's right arm at that point would have to be playing a tom. And so on.
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby Mixedup » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:59 am

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by BFD and similar software drum instruments. Certainly in BFD, the supplied MIDI grooves (i.e. pre-programmed parts) are very useful for building a natural-sounding drum part very quickly. Adjust the faders to suit and automate the playing dynamics and you're coming pretty close.

But you should be able to get such MIDI loops to use with Reason — and there are some excellent drum libraries or Reason (just a shame they're Reason-only).
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby elduderino » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:03 am

Hi, Thanks for the relpies.

I downloaded the trial version of addictive drums last night. I think I may use this as it's a VST instrument and i'm using Cubase.

I have a MIDI keyboard so I think i will go down this track.

Thanks
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby jayzed » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:22 am

I rate Addictive Drums and EZ-Drummer as pretty natural sounding but not too complex or resource sapping virtual drums. BFD and DFH etc sound absolutely fantastic (on the couple of occasions I've come across tracks made with them) but they do hit your computer hard (although there are ways around this) and have an awful lot of options.

I'm a big fan of Jamstix. Its sounds are reasonable but the main thing I like is the drum brain, which can be used with the sounds from any other VI. I tell jamstix what sort of style and the sort of drummer I want (e.g. rock 8ths played by 'phil' or 'stewart') then basically set it free. Using the intensity knob allows me to modify the dynamics of the performance in real time and I 'play' this along with my track for some pretty realistic stuff. It's also possible to use MIDI or even audio to trigger this intensity parameter which means the drums follow the complexity (MIDI only, not audio) and velocity (MIDI and audio) of your playing. Ralph who wrote the application is also amazing when it comes to support.
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby Richard Graham » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:31 pm

As I'm a drummer who programs computers for a living, I can confirm that programming drums bears as much resemblance to programming a computer, as a gnu does to the entire population of Berkshire :)

For me, the best way of programming drums as to use something like a Korg Nanopad (avoid the black ones though!).

(A sprung keyboard isn't ideal, as there is too much travel and it doesn't feel right, but it can be done)

On pads, use the fingers on your left hand for the kick and snare patterns, and a finger on the right hand should play the constant hi-hat or cymbal patterns.

Learn a little about how real drummers play by listening to music or watching stuff on You Tube.

You could even buy a book like 'The Art of the Drummer' and try playing the patterns in there, on your finger-pads.

A realistic feel and sound results from learning to play properly, whether this is on a kit, an e-kit, or finger pads.

If you don't have the time or patience to learn finger-drumming, loops will have to do, but they are more painstaking to edit to the exact rhythm you are after, than just playing it in via pads.
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby tomafd » Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:49 pm

elduderino wrote:
Steve Hill wrote:Well I use drummers recorded in a good room.

But I suspect that's not the answer you want. BFD is pretty good if you know how to programme properly.

And if you don't, whether with BFD or any other package, you're going to be disappointed.

Hi Steve, Thanks for the reply.

I'm specifically interested in advice concerning programmed drums using software. I'm a computer programmer by trade (Web Development) but i suspect that programming drums is very different. I don't fully understand what is meant by 'programming' drums...I understand that it does not involve writing code...so what does it involve? I would imagine that it involve creating a loop and changing the sound using velocities etc to get the desired effect?

The idea of 'programming' drums dates from the days of drum machines; it has nothing to do with messing about with computer code.

Yup, a lot of drum pattern creation involves using pre-recorded loops but a bit of time and effort on making your own pays dividends. BFD, EZ Drummer, and especially DFHS (EZ's bigger brother) are the best sources of natural sounding drums, and a midi drum pad thingy and a pair of drum sticks are the best way of using them. Even if you're a [ ****** ] drummer, like me. No, you won't sound like a good drummer, but keep at it and eventually you do sound like some kind of drummer, (even if still a [ ****** ] one) Using existing midi loops can be a good starting point, but remember that everyone else with that package is also using those loops. Sometimes a less 'perfect' but home-grown drum pattern is a lot more interesting than the one everyone else is using...
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Re: drums- whats best for natual sounding drums.

Postby rfitz » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:39 pm

Mixedup wrote:But you should be able to get such MIDI loops to use with Reason — and there are some excellent drum libraries or Reason (just a shame they're Reason-only).

Agreed - have you checked out Reason Drum Kits? - excellent sound quality and some great midi files too to get you started.
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