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  1. #1
    brandondrury's Avatar
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    Default Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    While I've got an okay handle on the mega basics of programming drums in midi, I'm having total hell with getting fills right. Another tough one is snare rolls.

    Because of this and the time it takes to program something fairly realistic, I'm saving up for a kick ass electronic kit. I'll just pay a kick ass drummer to come down and take care of th drumming. However, in the mean time, I need to learn how to do fills, fast!

    Any ideas?

    Brandon

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    Default Re: Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    do you know the rythym of the fill you want? like: dum dum dam blaugh?

    just tap it out on a single key in time with the music and then in your piano or drum view, just move/slide the notes to the desired drum/articulation, then adjust velocities if your tapping didn't have the desired dynamic impact...

    for snare.... get ready, you will need two hands... each on a different key... perform your snare fill with alternating fingers on different notes, then slide the notes to the proper drum/articulation...


    have fun!

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    brandondrury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    do you know the rythym of the fill you want? like: dum dum dam blaugh?
    Oh yeah, I usually don't have a problem with hearing the fill in my head.

    I guess the lesson here is I shouldn't rely on the mouse so much.

    Brandon

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    Default Re: Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    Originally Posted by brandondrury
    While I've got an okay handle on the mega basics of programming drums in midi, I'm having total hell with getting fills right.? Another tough one is snare rolls.?
    Do you have your Komplete yet? What you could really use is some kind of "round robin" programming to stop your snare rolls sounding like a machine gun. Alternatively, try changing the velocity of each note or even the timbre if you have that flexibility. Many kits have left and right hand snare sounds for you to alternate. All these things can help to avoid a very artificial sounding snare roll without major programming.

    I would try and keep your drum fills simple. Drums are presumably not the focus of the song - if they were, you'd use a real drummer! So, stay out of the way - keep your fills relatively simple, within the genre that you're doing. AS I see it, there are two ways to fill - follow the riffs of another instrument, or just play in the gaps. Either way, it has to keep the groove (unless its a stop fill!).

    Because of this and the time it takes to program something fairly realistic, I'm saving up for a kick ass electronic kit.? I'll just pay a kick ass drummer to come down and take care of th drumming.
    There's more to it than that. It still needs to be programmed! I had a rehearsal for a show I'm doing where the drummer was using an electronic kit (he'd just finished rehearsing for a Madonna tribute show in the same room!). The sound really and truly sucked! It sounded like a midi drummer. To make it sound good, you need to get in depth with the drums. Or use something like BFD or DFH/EasyDrummer. If you're going to pay a drummer to come in, why not use real drums?


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    Default Re: Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    real drums are great when you've got a great room. I still record some once in a while. I think B. has DFHS so like on his snr fills, he can assign alternating hits to L/R and then select how he deals with repeats... but load in/out & setup takes time. When I use DFHS & C&V with a kit, the drummer is usually in and out in an hour. That includes selecting a kit & tuning, recording a rough pass or two, me giving performance notes, etc... it's an incredible time saver plus I can cut/paste/edit and change anything I want to make it different/better. He's happy because he only has to bring sticks and some bring their own cans (usually in-ears because they are all deaf anyway...)

    I can play most of what I want as far as "groove" and fills are concerned, but I lack the finesse and dynamic control of a really good drummer... plus my hat work SUCKS.

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    brandondrury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    Richiebee, let me give you update on where I'm at.

    I've been working on month in DFH Superior. I've been doing it almost all with a mouse. While I'm still in the "beginner" mode when it comes to learning this whole groove thing, I think I'm doing fairly well with DFH. I use it in Superior mode and have quick access to left hand and right hand fills. Those work very well most of the time, but I'm having a few problems. I may need to look closer into why. Now that I think about it, one or two of the songs are still using GM layout and I may not have used the left / right thing for snare and toms.

    The problem lies exclusively in my tom fills. I admittedly don't think like a drummer, but I'm working on it. The problem lies when I get a simple fill in my head, but no matter how I manipulate the midi data, I just can't seam to make it happen. This is a fairly subtle thing. Some of it gets semi machine gun like, but I think some of it is timing. I'll be spending some in depth time just before I begin mixing the 6 tracks I've been producing this month.

    I do know that some people has synced up DHF with edrums very well. Dach seams to have great luck most of the time with it and I think it would save me a ton of time in the end.

    I'm totally capable of getting great drum sounds. The problem is the room. My room can get one drum sound and it's a sound that I find useful 1% of the time. If I had a great drummer, a great room, and a great console I wouldn't think twice about recording in this fashion. This is just not practical where I am in my recording journey. Technology is just too good right now not to use it on most projects. If lightning strikes and I hit the jackpot, I would track real drummer. Until then, I must get through using the midi technology.

    The same applies to recording orchestral type stuff. If I decide I need a small orchestra on a tune, I wouldnt' even consider the notion of paying for musicians, the room, the engineer, the hotels, the food, etc when I can just tinker around on a keyboard with a sampler. Assuming that none of these factors were much of an issue, I'd obviously prefer to have a real orchestra playing when necessary, but it just isn't practical in this stage of the game.

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    Default Re: Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    what I do when I'm programming is to load DFHS in "superior" mode.
    Create 2 midi tracks
    One midi track uses the "superior" drum map (nothing or the map if I need visual in drum view)
    Track 2 uses a drum map that converts GM to superior... I made it to allow me to do fills on the ekit
    ... best of both worlds

    when tracking a drummer on my Roland, I open superior in GM mode and track that way... when done, I reload superior (the kit has been saved) in "superior" mode and use a special map that converts GM to "superior"... then I can add goodies as needed. I don't like to track through a drum map except when I play... drummers need the least amount of latency posible... everything in the chain adds something and drummers will notice something I don't as far as latency on the kit.

    When tracking, I also either make a bounce of the audio or stems of if they may need some cues that might be low level in a 2mix. That way with nothing else in the session but an audio track or 2, I can run the lowest latency possible... and there's still some there, but it's workable.... then import the tracks back into the old session.

    Sometimes I also remap the samples in superior... It all just depends on what I'm doing... or what's easiest... once you get some time under your belt you'll figure out what will work best for you...

    although I do this quite often, there are still some growing pains every once in a while.

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    Default Re: Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    everything in the chain adds something and drummers will notice something I don't as far as latency on the kit.
    Good point. I never really thought about this, but it makes total sense. I'm still fairly new to the latency world (I monitored everything through my Mackie back when I was using Vegas). I've noticed that I can only use certain compressors when tracking live vocals because the default SX3 compressor has way too much latency.

    I could see where a brand new SX3 session with practically nothing running, except a simple DFH setup would be pushing the latency threshold of a drummer. I'll have to seriously look into this when I begin tracking in this fashion.

    Thanks, Dach.
    Brandon

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    Default Re: Midi Programming of Drum Fills

    I don't really know that a drum map adds perceptible latency but err on the side of caution. All it takes is one choked note to throw someone's concentration off...

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