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Drum VSTs - how do you program your MIdI??

aervin

New Member
You are right about keyboard mappings. SD3 is guilty in this regard, too.

I have a little Akai MPX16 around for when I want that choppy MPC sound (for the hip sampled vocal thing in today's pop, etc). I never had much luck using it for drums but I'll try again soon.
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Experienced
You are right about keyboard mappings. SD3 is guilty in this regard, too.

I have a little Akai MPX16 around for when I want that choppy MPC sound (for the hip sampled vocal thing in today's pop, etc). I never had much luck using it for drums but I'll try again soon.
If you can just use it for a midi controller to trigger SD3 and forget about its internal library, that would be my move. You SHOULD be able to just go midi over USB I imagine. dont even connect any audio cable to it.
 

RevDrucifer

Power User
You can get great results with drag and drop stuff, BUT:

You almost always have to write TO the drag and drop song/loops, not try and fit loops to your existing ideas. For me, that has never really worked perfectly. If you write to the drum part, the parts will naturally fit. I've also found trying to modify drag and drop to fit my click recorded ideas was more work than building the parts from scratch.

This, 100%. The only pre-written stuff I use are fills and that's generally when I'm hitting that point of looking at a piano roll for a solid week and I want/need to move on from the drums. Using MIDI's was great to get me started with working within a DAW, but I was writing guitar parts to the drum MIDI's, instead of writing everything from scratch, which was far from my goal.
 

aervin

New Member
This, 100%. The only pre-written stuff I use are fills and that's generally when I'm hitting that point of looking at a piano roll for a solid week and I want/need to move on from the drums. Using MIDI's was great to get me started with working within a DAW, but I was writing guitar parts to the drum MIDI's, instead of writing everything from scratch, which was far from my goal.
Yes I find programming myself via the MIDI grid is the fastest way to enhance the creativity of whatever else is going on in the demo. For "rockers" not sure how to get started with the grid: kick (usually C1, C2 or C3) on 1 and 3, snare on 2 and 4, 8ths on the hi hat with some velocity tweaking. Welcome to AC/DC. It's all exploration from there. MIDI editors are 1000% better than... they've ever been lol. Dive in, i say!
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Experienced
Also, cant write drum parts without thinking like a drummer. Really goes without saying but its SO easy to forget and overlook. Really spend some time watching drummers and seeing how they approach stuff to really develop this skill well. Get to know your DAWs humanize function and all of your articulations, too. Drummers really mix things up from song part to part in order to build the song, lots of times by varying the hi hats and velocities on them and the snares and whatnot.
 

RevDrucifer

Power User
Also, cant write drum parts without thinking like a drummer. Really goes without saying but its SO easy to forget and overlook. Really spend some time watching drummers and seeing how they approach stuff to really develop this skill well. Get to know your DAWs humanize function and all of your articulations, too. Drummers really mix things up from song part to part in order to build the song, lots of times by varying the hi hats and velocities on them and the snares and whatnot.

A good rule of thumb is that it’s very rare a drummer will hit something with all 4 limbs at once. If there’s a snare, tom and cymbal being hit at the same time, you’re programming drums for an octopus, not a human. :D

I‘ve also heard quite a bit of metal stuff well over 205 BPMs that no human drummer could physically play.

Really, learning some basic rudiments can go a long way, especially when it comes to writing grooves on the hi-hat and fills. When I first started playing drums, I was surprised to find that often I was playing rudiments and didn’t even realize it because I wasn’t playing everything on the same drum and once I did it was like opening a door to a new world. I’d grab rudiment books and just try playing them on different drums or mixing it up between the snare and hi-hat and it was a constant “Oh!!! I get it now!”

If I could recommend one drum instructional video to anyone, it’d be Mike Portnoy’s Liquid Drum Theater. I’m on a hotspot and can’t tell if the whole vid is this terrible quality or what, but this is from the first half of it. While he gets into some advanced stuff, he breaks everything down to a slow tempo and speeds up, giving you enough time to see/hear what he’s doing so you can copy those ideas over, even if it’s a crazy fill or something.

 

Romo82

Inspired
Back on the topic of this, I'm looking at dropping coin on a Drum VST but am still undecided really between SD3 and Bergstrand Drum Forge. I was looking at the Thom Pridgen pack which seems to sound awesome but am I understanding correctly that pack as well as some others need Kontakt Player to run? I've read a few complaints about the reliability of it and that a standalone is preferred.

I tried doing drums through Live using the stock stuff to try it out but I found it really unpleasant to use. Are the mapping methods in dedicated Drum plugins much more intuitive and easier to use than embedded DAW stuff?

I think I'll be switching from Live to Studio One too because there's something about Live that just doesn't sit right with me. I want something with a more analogue style of appearance and operation. I learned all music production back on reel to reel and MO Disk recorders, reluctantly adopted DAW style and went with Pro Tools back in the day but I only used for a few years before leaving music for a while so I was basically starting from scratch on learning a DAW as so much time had gone by things were so different. Ableton came with my Interface so I gave it a try and I did a few different projects with it but it always felt weird to use and not nice to look at either, it made it not seem like music anymore it was just digital information if that makes sense.
I think the biggest thing for me was there not being any actual faders, even though there is a little arrow to move that achieves the exact same thing, I ended up nudging it out of position a few times by clicking to closely to it and screwing my level . Such a weird complaint but it seems to make a disconnect from the way I'm so used to recording, with hands on a console and touchy feely equipment that you can feel a connection to the music which I dont get as much with DAW's at all. I'm not knocking DAW's as they are fantastically more productive than RtR and can just do so much more, so quickly that its a no brainer to switch over. I just need a more traditional feeling DAW and Studio One seems to do that.

I also get the vibe that Live is geared more towards electronic music and live applications (obviously) than real instrument recording and production which may explain why it feels more digital to me, because that's what the kids are used to I guess. I'm just like an old crabby man shaking my fist and shouting at clouds because I dont like change.


Anyone have the slightest idea what I'm yakking about and used Studio One?
 

mistermikev

Inspired
Back on the topic of this, I'm looking at dropping coin on a Drum VST but am still undecided really between SD3 and Bergstrand Drum Forge. I was looking at the Thom Pridgen pack which seems to sound awesome but am I understanding correctly that pack as well as some others need Kontakt Player to run? I've read a few complaints about the reliability of it and that a standalone is preferred.

I tried doing drums through Live using the stock stuff to try it out but I found it really unpleasant to use. Are the mapping methods in dedicated Drum plugins much more intuitive and easier to use than embedded DAW stuff?

I think I'll be switching from Live to Studio One too because there's something about Live that just doesn't sit right with me. I want something with a more analogue style of appearance and operation. I learned all music production back on reel to reel and MO Disk recorders, reluctantly adopted DAW style and went with Pro Tools back in the day but I only used for a few years before leaving music for a while so I was basically starting from scratch on learning a DAW as so much time had gone by things were so different. Ableton came with my Interface so I gave it a try and I did a few different projects with it but it always felt weird to use and not nice to look at either, it made it not seem like music anymore it was just digital information if that makes sense.
I think the biggest thing for me was there not being any actual faders, even though there is a little arrow to move that achieves the exact same thing, I ended up nudging it out of position a few times by clicking to closely to it and screwing my level . Such a weird complaint but it seems to make a disconnect from the way I'm so used to recording, with hands on a console and touchy feely equipment that you can feel a connection to the music which I dont get as much with DAW's at all. I'm not knocking DAW's as they are fantastically more productive than RtR and can just do so much more, so quickly that its a no brainer to switch over. I just need a more traditional feeling DAW and Studio One seems to do that.

I also get the vibe that Live is geared more towards electronic music and live applications (obviously) than real instrument recording and production which may explain why it feels more digital to me, because that's what the kids are used to I guess. I'm just like an old crabby man shaking my fist and shouting at clouds because I dont like change.


Anyone have the slightest idea what I'm yakking about and used Studio One?
I know what you are yacking about but not in your terms. I've been a fl studio user forever. I started out on cakewalk when there was only midi... moved to floops at the time because it could fire samples well. Have tried to get away from it many times... mostly because it doesn't do sysx... but just don't want to spend a bunch of time learning instead of recording. For me... inspiration is fleeting and when it strikes I just want to record it.
Any of the major daws will do everything but flstudio still has the best piano roll... and I record my hits live and then edit on the roll... so I use it.

have a lot of kontakt stuff, was deep into it writing scripts and such... never been unreliable for me... that said, I just don't think anything compares to the sound of sd3. drumforge sounds great... but it leans too far towards metal for me. The other thing about kontakt - every time you rebuild your pc you have to jump through a lot of hoops to set things back up... if you do that like I do... something to think about.
hope something there helps.
 

Romo82

Inspired
I know what you are yacking about but not in your terms. I've been a fl studio user forever. I started out on cakewalk when there was only midi... moved to floops at the time because it could fire samples well. Have tried to get away from it many times... mostly because it doesn't do sysx... but just don't want to spend a bunch of time learning instead of recording. For me... inspiration is fleeting and when it strikes I just want to record it.
Any of the major daws will do everything but flstudio still has the best piano roll... and I record my hits live and then edit on the roll... so I use it.

have a lot of kontakt stuff, was deep into it writing scripts and such... never been unreliable for me... that said, I just don't think anything compares to the sound of sd3. drumforge sounds great... but it leans too far towards metal for me. The other thing about kontakt - every time you rebuild your pc you have to jump through a lot of hoops to set things back up... if you do that like I do... something to think about.
hope something there helps.

Ahh yes I like to upgrade my PC fairly regularly so that's good to know. I'm not sure if SD3 would be overkill for my needs and I'm predominantly playing on the heavier side of life which is why I'm looking at Forge, it would be nice if there was a trial for it. I did trial SD3 but it was in the very early stages of me getting back in to things and I didn't make best use of the trial period unfortunately.
 

mistermikev

Inspired
Ahh yes I like to upgrade my PC fairly regularly so that's good to know. I'm not sure if SD3 would be overkill for my needs and I'm predominantly playing on the heavier side of life which is why I'm looking at Forge, it would be nice if there was a trial for it. I did trial SD3 but it was in the very early stages of me getting back in to things and I didn't make best use of the trial period unfortunately.
well for the record... if I'm not mistaken... drum forge is now stand alone (ie not kontakt). I haven't used it since it was kontakt only. that said... kontakt does a lot more than drums. some really fantastic libraries for that. I have never tried but I believe get good drums is also all kontakt and quite good for metal. afa trial... I thought there were a bunch of tracks/examples. I can't imagine anyone being unhappy with the sound as it is really top notch for that genre.
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Ahh yes I like to upgrade my PC fairly regularly so that's good to know. I'm not sure if SD3 would be overkill for my needs and I'm predominantly playing on the heavier side of life which is why I'm looking at Forge, it would be nice if there was a trial for it. I did trial SD3 but it was in the very early stages of me getting back in to things and I didn't make best use of the trial period unfortunately.
Track to ToonTrack about the trial period. I bet you're not the first to have that happen, and I bet they'll extend it for you.
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
If you use Cubase, you'll be better off using Cubase's drum editor because your drum parts will integrate better with the rest of the parts of your project. For folks not using Cubase though, the Toontrack grid editor can be handy if your DAW has no grid editor. If you're using something like Studio One that has a generic grid editor, it can be a toss up whether you'll find the Toontrack editor to be useful. I've always found it awkward to try to edit drum parts in the plugin when it comes time to rearrange the song parts in the DAW timeline.
 

Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
If you use Cubase, you'll be better off using Cubase's drum editor because your drum parts will integrate better with the rest of the parts of your project. For folks not using Cubase though, the Toontrack grid editor can be handy if your DAW has no grid editor. If you're using something like Studio One that has a generic grid editor, it can be a toss up whether you'll find the Toontrack editor to be useful. I've always found it awkward to try to edit drum parts in the plugin when it comes time to rearrange the song parts in the DAW timeline.
^^^ This. I'm a Studio One guy, and I greatly prefer having drum parts alongside everything else.

I'll sometimes use the grid in SD3 for quick throwaway stuff to play to, but not mostly.
 

Chewie5150

Power User
EZ 2 is more designed for quick song creation. Its workflow is simple and pretty intuitive. You can tap a beat into a search feature called "Tap 2 Find" and it will search all midi loop files you have to look for a match. Also, you can of course, drag and drop all midi loops into your DAW and manipulate the midi as much as you want there ; just not a built in feature as a stand alone.
 
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