Bonus: EZDrummer - Writing from Scratch
So how would you do that if you're gonna just go from scratch like you want to do a big Led Zeppelin style drumbeat? Um, I'll get Teoh crazy metal stuff later, but I'm gonna start with something that that is seemingly simple. So here's an exercise. And Ah, you guys actually do this. You will get better if you don't do this than whatever. Um, I've done this a lot the and I mean a lot. So I'm just copying this midi over to another track. So I have is a reference, and I am deleting. What's there? Says you can hear nothing is going to easy drummer now, So opening up the MIDI window. Actually, I'm gonna open this one up. This is our original beat. It's not routed to anything, and that's fine. Um, I don't know how you guys to do it in your Daw, but right here in pro tools. It's selecting what I'm seeing. So this track right here, But I just added, As you can see suddenly more midi guys come on more many notes Um, it's showing what selective? So many one and easy drummer. If I get rid of many...
one That's what I copied down. It's now gone. Okay, So where am I going with all this? Where you're gonna do is take this beat and recreate it. Now, that doesn't mean copy paste. It means go from scratch. So let's ah, break it up into bite size chunks. So we've got this, uh, beginning. All right, so open up a MIDI editor and let's take a look at what we have in that little segment. I will, uh, make the grid smaller, so that's easier, toe. See what's going on. Okay. Not too much going on. Basically Looks like a crash kick. Another crash, double crash. You know, double crash high hats snare ghost note kick. And then ah, another another kick. All right, So start with start with a kick pattern. Go to this track and basically right in some kicks if you forget where they are. Like I do sometimes just, uh, quick question for you. Sure. Why do you pencil the notes in like this rather than hit him with a keyboard or other MIDI controller? I don't know. I've never used one. Never. Never in my life have I used one for drums. Any of you guys ever know? Some people do do it that way. Or do you guys all? Yeah, that's all I use is a MIDI controller. So this is kind of new to me. Like when selling things in. What are your thoughts like seeing it this way on pencil and rather than usual controller. I mean, it's all based off of, like, I'm sure Ailes really quick at this just because he's used to doing this for me, it would take me a lot longer. Like I'm I use a keyboard. Is I'm a piano player. So for me to you know, right, my drums is pretty quick and just do it and then and it from there. The cool thing about what I'm doing right now is that one measure long so going in bite size chunks. But the thing that I have never liked about this is that yes, you can do this and put a pattern down or whatever, but, uh, my fingers aren't trained drummers, so I would do this and then still have to go in and correct everything. So I feel like it's just cut that step out. Go straight to this. That's what works for me and always has where you had to say something. This is the way I've always thought as well as a keyboard and mouse. Well, it just see, it seems to me keyboard meaning like, yeah, like the typing. Yeah, it seems to me and I understand lots of people do it. The method with some sort of a MIDI controller. Um, it just seems to me like it's an extra step. Unless if you just got rhythm, finger rhythm, magic fingers or something. You know, I have actually seen a few people. I work with a guy, ones who did it with the MIDI controller who could actually play drums on a keyboard like a drummer and sounded amazing. But, I mean, that's I've only met one dude in my entire life who could do that. And he's Ah, he's pretty successful in music, but my point being that to be that awesome if you're that awesome probably don't need to be doing this stuff. But this is for people that want to go from absolute scratch. This is just an exercise I would recommend, so all right, we've got the, uh does that answer your question? will. Okay, cool. So got three kicks. Now, what's important here is so this 3rd 1 actually goes right here and then right here was important. Is here is not just that we place them in the exact same spot, but that the velocities air the same. This is the really, really glamorous part. So what's the velocity on this first kick up there? Close enough. And then this one significantly lower. And then this one pretty high. Okay, so you go to your practice track and put the 1st 1 really high. 2nd 1 really high, middle one, Significantly lower. Now you've matched the velocities of the kicks. Onley do this, mind you on beats that you actually like from drummers that you actually like. Um, the reason that I recommend doing this is because since Caesar beasts are actually played by drummers who know what the hell they're doing, who you actually like the style of and want to learn how to program in the style of, uh, there's no better way to do it then by emulating them. I mean, that's how you learn any instrument, learn guitar. You learn other people's songs learning the program drums you almost have to treat it like your learning an instrument. So you're not learning a drum set learning a virtual drum set. So, uh, next we've got the snare. Well, the snare only happens once, and ah, what has check what? Its velocity is approximately. It's pretty high. Cool. So we'll put a snare right there. Can I ask a quick question? Yes, GM 13 says, while randomize ing velocities is doing it manually, manually, The only way, Or is there another easier way to do that? You ask the question again while randomize ing velocities is doing it manually. The only way Or is there an easier way? No, within pro tools. If you go to the event, go to the event menu and event operations and then change velocity. It gives you this menu right here and you select. Basically, you select the group of hits that you want to change the velocity on, and then it randomize. And then there's a percentage, and then you can limit it to a certain range like, say, for instance, wanna blast beat between 101 15 just say, and I wanted to be 100% randomized in that range. Uh, so I say a minimum of 100 a maximum of 1 15 and random on. Is that 200% and apply there? You from what? I understand some of the random ization engines, air better and some programs and others. So the purples one I've heard is the little Jaenke compared with logic one, I don't know how the able 10 1 is, but, uh, this is how you would do it in pro tools and for its I'm sure it's not that different. So the reason I'm doing this manually, though, is because I'm tryingto create something that's exactly like the original beat. And you guys would all hate me if I had chosen a blast beat for this. So I think a key detail that there is that the variation in human drummers is not random. No, there's very specific patterns or reasons for that duration. Like when you play the first notable fill. Some people play the first of a roll. The first note will be a little bit harder. Some like that. So it's not random. It's just varied. Yeah, well, there's There's both, I think, cause there's accents. Uh, like, you know you're doing something. 12312312 And then you put the accent on the Denton. Denton. Don't Don't you know what I'm saying? My point is that variation. It's not like that. It's just random that No, no, that's not that part's not random. However, what is random, uh, is where the stick is hitting and the precise distance between the stick and the drum. And you know those factors the are random. So the I think the musical intent isn't random, but they're still always a random factor when involves humans because they're not machines, but yeah, very variation in, um, in musical parts. That's that's just this is music. Um, so All right, let me continue on this. So, looking back at the original Mittie, we've got a high hat pattern of eight notes right here, varying velocities. As I said a 1,000,000 times by now. So put that in. I believe it was that guy. Oops. Come on. Whoopsy daisy. Okay, so now I'm gonna match these velocities. So here's the original track. So we got the loud, soft, loud, soft thing happen again. So, however, is kind of like medium loud. Pretty soft, A little bit louder. A little bit softer, medium softer, A little bit louder. So we're gonna kind of match that pattern, and it's the double check. Okay, Once again, guys is a totally and exercise. But if you do this enough, used to be able to fly through your drum programming. Um, we've also got some crash events taking place. This guy, this is a crash on the one velocity kind of around there. So And if you're doing this exercise at home, how many measures would you do of this? I would me personally. Yeah, entire songs. Like I would pick your 10 favorite songs where your 10 favorite drummers and go for it and spend a week or two doing it like I mean this. Like I said at the beginning of the course. Like, I didn't learn how to do this in six hours and nobody else will. I'm sure. Cam, didn't you know? Ah, no. Fin is getting awesome. It it. But how long have you been working in it? As an example, like, uh, the last sign did, which is only a minute half long. I probably spent 30 hours programming and mixing the drums on it, if not more. We would do this for fun. In high school, we would take like, odd songs and then program drums over them. But like this, but not this inter kicks we did. We're just screwed around. We'd make like we would just do this for fun every day. Click and click and click on piano. Roll their program drugs. There you go. How detailed would you go, though, just out of curiosity, Um, we would just do full songs. So, like I'm pretty quick with piano roll now because of programming drums and what not? And that's how we kept doing it, Um, but we weren't like making advanced big room rock hi hat patterns back then. We were just don't know screwing around. But it says we got good at it, though It's basically what I'm saying by doing, and by doing over, it's like practicing an instrument. Yeah, basically like it's just like when I had to learn guitar for the first time or now them still learning on guitar when I taken a new concept. I mean, I might be able to play it after the first day, but to really get it internalized. I mean, it takes weeks Still eso If you really want to get good at programming drums, you have to approach it like a like a nen stream in, like you're going to dedicate yourself to get good. So, yeah, I would do entire songs. And, like he said in that, that wasn't staged either. That's completely I'm completely surprised. Me has a totally organic moment. We would do like we put like metal drums over Frau Frau songs. He's affect just weird things. Just way we weren't doing it to, like, get a piano roll. But that's was that was that was what? The product waas We do it for fun, but yeah, it was not. I'm seeing this definitely was exercises. Yeah, totally. Yeah, well, you just view piano roll Is your instrument on And you you do the appropriate exercises. Yeah. I mean, if you view it as an exercise when you're a kid, you might not do it. So that's why I'm saying pick your 10 favorite drummers like it has to be fun. And also, this is part of the reason that I dropped out of college is I believe that you end up becoming a product of what you know. Whatever comes in is what goes out. So I don't want to sound like the guitar players that went to the school I went to. So I decided to just cut that out completely. Um, and it seems to have been a good choice. So don't just pick what other people say are good drums yet to pick what you like. So, for instance, me personally, um, some of my favorite drummers would be, uh, Dave Lombardo, the guy from use, and Dave Groll. There's others, but just three examples. I forget the guy's from uses Name. Sorry, but, uh so, yeah, pick three Slayer songs, three Muse songs and three songs that Dave Girl played on and just bring in the MP three. The only problem you'll find sometimes is with older material. If it wasn't recorded to a click. Finding the tempo is sometimes a very, very daunting task, so I would attempt to keep him up to date just for that reason alone. But being that this is just an exercise anyways, you can still do it. I mean, I've done this to tracks that were obviously not recorded to a click. I can imagine this exercise. Then product about you can speak on that, too, is that you can almost look at a piano roll in. Just Bill that you know what the patterns look like And what your scenario should look like where crashes come in. Uh oh, yeah. Completed. Three just based off this well, I mean, it's just ah, modern version of sheet music in a way that sheet music that you can play and listen to. Um, But people who get really good at sight reading sheet music can eventually get to the point where they just look at it and hear it. It's the same sort of thing. I mean, maybe not every single little detail, and especially with when you have stuff Drum mapped. I mean, this isn't a good example, because this is all I've done. But you can get stuff in superior Drummer that's mapped across the entire span, the keywords. So sometimes it's hard to really to really take that in. But still, if you can see where the basic elements are, the kick snare where the hi hats are, Yeah, you can almost start to visualize it will not almost definitely just visualize that and know what's gonna happen. And also programming the velocities will just become a natural thing to do. Uh, you're not. How long did you say it would take you to do now? You said something like you said some sort of long time thio of you. If you were to sit down, if you were to sit down and do this, that I'm saying for a whole song like, how long do you think it would take? You realistically see me a few hours, at least. But I've I'm pretty versed in, like, the piano roll in, like seeing the dignity. OK, but we've got this way. It would be this way would be a lot longer for me than to actually just play it like input and then tweak. Well, I mean, you got to do what works for you. The point of the point of the exercise, though, is to match is to get your midi to match the, um what it is you're trying to emulate. So however, however you go about doing that, whatever works for you works for you. Um So let me just finish yourself real quick. There's, like, two crashes I have to add. So one right here? Yes, and ah, I'll go ahead. And I'll say this too. If people out there and Internet world think that this exercise is a tedious exercise, then just use the grooves, because this is what it This is what getting good at programming drums entails a lot of dealing with dragging stuff around, and, ah, velocities and all kinds of non glamorous stuff. Okay, so it looks to me like the ah, looks to me like the velocity on this guy is pretty high. Probably yet, so I'm not gonna tweak that. All right, all right. So that's what I just programmed. And, ah, what I'm gonna do now, just for the sake of seeing what's up. So I'm gonna put these back to back. I'm gonna take the original Midi and my MIDI, and let's see how different they are. They might be totally different. Just about the same. There's one extra kick, but I mean, you get the point. So let me do something about this extra kick, because I won't be able to live with myself that I don't. You know how it is. Looks like this doesn't exist, OK, pretty much identical. Um, pretty much identical enough. So apply that concept to lots of drums, different drummers. Put the time in and you won't need to ever ask anybody ever again how Teoh program Realistic sounding drums is basically the only way I know of how to do it. It takes a lot of work, and it's not them. Which fund? Unless if you do something like what can did, which is, uh, put metal beats over a different style of music or find a way to make it fun. Uh, I would recommend just doing whatever you can do to not quit, because using fun as motivation is usually best way to go about tedious things like getting good at programming drums. I think I I agree, because a lot of people who I spoke to about this course were hesitant because they thought that it was gonna be all dragging midi around, and they just don't want to do that, and I get it. It's tedious is we concede it is very tedious. I'm doing this section for the people who want to take it there, but Hopefully, everybody out there in Internet world can see that. If you don't want to take it there, you can use the grooves and get really, really close and really good results with minimal amount of tweaking. This is just if you want to go from absolute scratch, uh, and get good at it. This would be how I would recommend doing it. But yet we have another question about that from Mr Michael Montoya from Goliath. Shout out to Michael and his coworkers, Andrew Glover from Sound Temple Studios and Winds of Play. Are you guys doing? So Michael asks as an alternative to either using grooves or in putting them manually. Do you ever use an e kit? Say you have a good drummer, but not a good room. Also, do you trust e kits for catching a good, accurate performance? We at Audio Hammer have done the e kit thing where sometimes you use live symbols with any kit and yeah, it works. But the thing about that is, um you do have to have a good drummer and Okay, cool. So if you have a good drummer and unique it, sure go for it. Why not That seems like a great idea. Most people don't have a good drummer at their disposal. And if you're not a good drummer, I think that this getting good at this will be infinitely faster than dicking around on Annie Kit. But, you know, e kit is definitely a viable option if you've got the skills to play. I think having a good e kit makes a difference to there's some pretty yeah e kids out there. Oh, yeah, the and the good ones are pricey. One, uh, video earlier, the one Matt was jamming on. That's a pretty solidly kid. Yes, and that is a very awesome eket. For sure. That will reflect what you're playing la pen and was really dense pads. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I mean that if you want the velocities to be captured accurately in the MIDI and not have to go back and just basically redo everything, you're gonna have to have a good Eket. There's no way around it because even if you have a good drummer on a bad eket, the MIDI will be all over the place. So, to Michael, what can just said is a big deal. Yes, the quality of the EQ. It would be a huge factor. And then the other huge factor would be the quality of the drummer in both of those Aaron Check, then why not? That's that seems to me like an even better option, but it also seems to me like a very rare option.