Well, prop here she has no what this is is it a snare drum? Very good is a snare drum and ah, we're going to slide right here that basically shows basically like a pattern of where the stick hits as you can see, this is a different snare drum than on the slide but as you can just see from here basically drivers hitting all over the place there's there's no there's, no consistency to it at all and that's every drummer because like I didn't say earlier drummers aren't perfect their human every amazing drummer no matter how good you think he is, you still a human and still there still going to variation in every single hit. And so one of the problems with old drum machines is that there's no variation between anything is single hit just everything this sounds identical variation is what makes drama sound real so I want to talk about that variation some I think that's secure there's four factors that I found that go into making a drum sound real so location where you hit the drum again lik...
e as you can see, the head is being stripped here here, here wherever the velocity which is how hard you hit it, whether it's like that for you know the actual angle of this stick makes a difference if someone is playing like that or has more of a risk snap makes a huge difference in the tone and then you have the tuning of the drum itself the way the heads interact with each other and push the air out make the tone so those four factors are basically multipliers you get them interacting and you get the variation of a real performance that's what makes the drum sound really and again I go back to this slide and show you notice where it's worn out I mean this could I have no idea who snare this is but that's a pretty typical looking snare head after a lot of use from a good drummer with bad drummers that pattern would be way wider but the white area you'll see right there is where he's hit so every one of those hits sounds a little bit different some you can see as I move it around you know that sounds different so same applies when a drummer is actually sliming the crap out of the head. Every single one of those hits is completely different. The angle at which is stick is hitting the head is always changing even though the technique might be consistent all of these parameters just always changing and that's why you can't just have a single hit over and over and over and over and over expecting to sound real that's not what real drums do at all um there's also the dynamics of a drum which is the velocity issue it's a cool if I get a little loud in here with this all right, cool. You'll notice that the drum sounds complete yeah, that might be a good idea. You might want to cover your ears. Um, you know said the drum sounds completely different when played loudly then and saw I'll start saw so soft it's one thing but then completely different so you still might want to cover your ears so you see, every single one of those dynamic variations sounds different has a different ring to a different character to it the bottom snares are interacting differently. Um there's there's just too many factors for me to name. Basically the point is that every single drum hit on a really drum set is different for multiple reasons. And so one of the things that's really, really cool about easy drummer is that it's basically a super sophisticated drum sampling engine. What they did was they took a bunch of drummers, top drummers in top rooms with amazing drum sets, an amazing producers and it took like seven thousand samples of like a snare, some tom's, different symbols and their engine, which is really great will choose based on velocity which hit to use so it's pretty intelligent anyways, you've got that you got the, uh the four factors that go into making a drum sound different and there's something else that we got to talk about, which is pretty important. Let me ask you a question real short from the audience uh not sure who this is, but to simulate to simulate live performance, we want some variation with every single hit. However, in many styles like metal, we then supplement those hits with samples to even the mt impression also leads us there at the end of the day. How much variation do you prefer on a stream of kicks? Or what about snares and a blast beat? So I guess the question is yes, we're on variation about how much variation I'm guessing that because they said blast beats that they play medal and fast mail sounds right? Ok, so how much variation e, I guess that's a matter of taste, however I would and also the lawsuit yet, which you put your particular, uh, samples is sample dependent? There are some samples of sound great at one twenty seven and some that sound like total crap. So first of all, I would say you need to find a sweet spot for the samples you're using that first and foremost, don't just I can't just throw out random number ranges and say that it's going to work for their situation so first of all with samples of using find the ideal sweet spot to where it sounds really good and then within your software whether it be logic or pro tools whatever using then randomize the velocities within a range of about ten percent in that way that way you're near the sweet spot but it's varying some that's what I would do at least uh and you know what I think correct me if I'm wrong but it's also largely a matter of taste I mean, some people like a little bit of that fake sound especially like in metal oh yeah I mean doesn't have to be ten percent I mean ten percent is pretty low I personally for stuff that I want sounding riel uh I would give a range like, say, the sweet spot of a snare velocity wise for good just solid hit is one fifteen just throwing that out there and so and that's for like, you know, steady backbeat kind of stuff uh well, you gotta blast beat so blast beats air typically played softer than regular regular backbeat kind of stuff so you already are looking at lower velocities of blast beats more so than beats where the snares are far apart have a lot more variation in the velocity so I would set a range of say, say the good hard hits or one fifteen then I'd say somewhere between ninety and one ten for instance, randomized between ninety and one ten on the block speed and try that go from there. If that sounds too riel or too soft, then you know, then goto one hundred to one hundred ten or one hundred five to one hundred ten or whatever it's it's really going to take a little bit of trial and error there's no way that I can actually give a definitive numbers without knowing what samples they're using and all of that. But so the key things to do would be find the sweet spot for the sample randomize from there to taste think that ah, settles it. Yeah, I think that's I think that's but others say cool. All right? So we load up an example for you guys to listen to. It is something that I put together for this, but I want you guys to listen to the variation in the in the velocities and the tone of the drums. This example is a little bit more metal. I've got a few I've got one that's, a little bit more rock and one that's more just spacey this one's the metal one and so the drums air a lot faster and the reason that it's important to pay attention to the velocities is because in meddle with drums going like machine guns, it can sound like that first example I played for you guys very very easily if you're not careful with your velocities er is going to sound like a basketball basically or a typewriter or shoes in the dryer well she was in the dryer is more we would say about really bad drummers but so here's the first shoes in the dryer yeah it's uh bad drummer double bass okay so music's all about context I want you guys they're the context of how those beats work with those riffs now going to play it for you guys without the music and uh I know this nice little graphic of easy drummer up um not to be cute but so that you can actually see what pieces of the drum set are being played this is actually very important so pay attention to what is happening uh when double bass is going pay attention to how there aren't nine things being hit at once for instance just check it out no music just drums okay so first off and ask you guys a few questions if he knows anything about the tone and the variation start with you can um you might want to mike did you notice or what did you notice about how especially the phils were sounding that helped it to not sound like a machine gun drum machine um well all the drum parents super groovy so you're not slamming down stars you can all time we kind of just a lot of variation with the velocity and whatnot um is out. But the answer kind of I'm just wondering what you heard when you actually that's exactly right the if I open up the velocities on this are we add it was it was, like, very relaxed sounding even though it was heavy and fast and what not, it was very relaxed sound, you know? I mean totally well, here are the velocities I'm showing you guys that velocity window in pro tools now I'm sure you for anybody who's not a pro tools user may be new to this. Can you just kind of talk through the velocities and like howto howto understand that window? Yes. Okay, right here in this area where go on these air the actual drum hits so I lay them on this grid and then say, I am picking this kick drum right here, all right? You see that says velocity right here and this lights off when I click this this lights up, it was that clicked, this one that would light up if I was to select the whole group of them these would all light off now, it's probably good to do this over a range of a group of kicks notice that these air not all these are not all on the same velocity level at all and there's quite some variation and uh we take it a little further here's a snare role uh noticed that the velocities lit off you see that amount of variation in there that's exactly what you were saying that I was just wondering what you were hearing you heard a lot of variation in velocity will here it is um that is that's part of a drum fill see the velocities lit up right there see completely different you know is tampa again now that you guys know that I'll see how big I can get this and try to follow along on the velocities to the drums switch up one thing for you guys wait there this will make it easier for you guys now I added that thing at the end night because it really has anything to do with the rest of the music with more for example of a snare role and some fast double bass to show you guys again that even on this naral buildup it's not just a steady ramp up on the velocities of you notice right here there's still random ization happening like you hear that again that sounds pretty real I mean it sounds like a drummer did that drummer did do that I have a question yes this from kira coast is there a specific velocity pattern in a blast beat for kicks and snares I'ii first hit ladder than second third ladder et cetera I think that depends I think that if you want to have a specific velocity pattern for a blast be it should depend on the riff and what you're trying to accent so if it's like up up up up papa papa papa papa papa, papa, papa or whatever it is papa papa whatever the case may be uh that's going to be a musical decision the person makes so another would be no set one uh and it doesn't necessarily have to be a static pattern that just like pop up a wrap up of papa it khun b whatever like for example you know, since we're talking about blast beings you know um mike smith from suffocation now he hits everything like really evenly like you know where is the other guy david cole rascals like you know it's kind of a matter of a little friend stream there playing styles I'm sure I'm doing I'm going I'm having extreme variation in what I'm showing right now just to illustrate the point but yes, some drummers and really good drummers play pretty consistently um mike smith being one of them another one would be zack simmons from goat or is one of the most consistent snare hitters I know of kevin tally is another one when they hit blast speeds I mean they hit just about as hard as when they're playing slower beats but still their velocities are changing it's not just one static thing and there still is an emphasis to what they're doing so really you just had teo you have to listen to the riff and see what needs to be accented that's purely a musical choice so wish I could give him the the answer but that's a song writing issue um any other questions for now from them we have quite a few more but we'll save those uh quite a few more kind of general ones but save those for later, okay, so back to this double bass there's a double bass and a scenario going at the same time now just, uh for the sake of for the sake of fun was but these all at the same velocity way better I'm gonna take that even a step further and I'm gonna put all the kicks on the same kick drum and then there's a button right here on easy drummer that you guys should always leave on is called the humanized button and what it does is it enables the velocity engine to pick which samples is going to pick that's basically what's so awesome about easy drummer uh you turn this off and everything changes so I just turned it off they were into machine gun territory um so always leave that on, but again you know this this right here this snare role with double bass combo this is a typical thing that I see when people give me their demos and things don't sound very good sound like machine guns and they wonder why why they took all the town of program these super intricate parts why does it sound like crap? Well because the velocities are all the same the drums are the same so we put it back to where it wass and is better so key thing here is check out how random these velocities are it makes a little bigger is there saying easy drummer that will just randomize the velocity for you or like how are you in putting these the middie information I'll get to that in detail later but what I'll say is that if you use the grooves the grooves have uh have many information already there and uh can you can you just tell everybody what what grooves are when you were talking about that right now? Yeah, just sure yes, so we're going to talk about that and explain where you got this particular example from shirt two second summit just quickly are you using a b pad or using keyboards or is this just like sure this's ah, these are basically grooves that have been altered to fit uh my music, which is what I'm going to show us how to do now the groups are arguably one of the coolest parts about this because like right now, as you see here I went, I went to groups and gives me this menu right here metal machine and I would personally like johnson pesto la is an awesome drummer we are at a tempo of one o five right now, so I'm going to see if there's anything here in one of five, but basically when I said that they record top drummers in top studios on amazing drum sets, they're not just getting samples, they do that too they also a recording that the guys playing stuff so you get the middie for different parts so let's, check some of those out well, we're on that topic real quick just show a few more just so that people can get an idea of just variation. The reason that that sounds really is because it was played by a really drummer and a really awesome one the midi information is there so and you just basically khun drag and drop these into many lanes to say we want to use this thank you use that there it is there's the midi and as you can see all the velocities already there so whether or not you stick to this and I'm going to go into this in great detail later whether whether or not you stick tio these patterns or these velocities at least you have a starting point, so um that's a great one now if if you're starting from scratch and so a whole other ball game, I'll get to that as well, but I would recommend using the group's it's so easy and they have so many different drummers who have done this like john tempesta jean hoagland the basic pack comes with a guy name near z that I believe has recorded for like bruce springsteen all kinds of huge huge artists I mean, the drummers who make these sets are top level guys and guys that most of the audience I'm guessing would never be able to afford just throwing that out there. I know what session rates are for drummers, their top level and, uh, it's kind of out of your range guys and at least ah, if your bargain shopping seventy nine dollars to get the middie for ah, one of these guys playing maybe like twenty five different sets of beets and fills seventy nine dollars or something as opposed to what it would cost to actually get them in the studio hire the studio itself higher producer and engineer who are amazing that's you're talking five figures worth of expenditures as opposed to just getting this and there you go well, with the contract commercial out of the way one of the uh rick bill will you know where to send the check for kickbacks yeah they got my address you you mentioned moving the kicks from you know two drums toe one I know you have a couple slides on kind of what the drummers hands and feet do you can you talk about you know what role that place sure. Happily so you feel good about the velocity thing ok cool all right so hey tyler yes I mean arms is a drummer have um usually to how many legs usually two can my do you know how many in your experience how many arms is a drummer half too two into I'm guessing I'm addressing you guys because you guys were trying to the chat room and people in internet land of you guys know of anything and don't bring up the example of that one rock band from the eighties or that it will let that way we'll let that one go I know nobody's ripping on deaf lover right now are they no no yeah so if anyone can find an example of a drummer with more than two arms and more than two legs feel free but everyone that I've ever met on lee has tio to tow work with just just f y samantha broken anatomy in the chat room says she has six arms so everybody other this but I can't I don't know about that part but so everybody other than this place everybody other than her she should put up some videos on youtube I mean, I love to see a six armed drummer. Uh, yeah, basically, drummer's only have two arms and two legs. I mean, this sounds like but one of the big problems with drum programming that I see is that people don't take this into consideration there's only so much that a drummer can physically do. The drummer can't be eight places at once.
Eyal Levi is a critically acclaimed educator, musician and producer. After attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Eyal cut his teeth as the guitarist and primary songwriter in Daath, a progressive death metal band that released albums on Roadrunner and Century Media. In the studio, he has worked with such artists including The Black Dahlia Murder, Monuments, The Contortionist, Chelsea Grin, Carnifex, Demon Hunter, August Burns Red, Reflections, Motionless In White, and Firewind. An accomplished speaker and educator, he has logged hundreds of hours teaching the next generation the craft of music production.
I could tell as soon as I watched the promo that I seriously wanted to check this course out, and when I did I wasn't disappointed. Eyal's EZdrummer tutorial is totally worth the purchase price. He is extremely knowledgeable and informative. He explains things very well, and offers many means of contact (Twitter, Tumblr, etc) by which one could ask any follow-up questions they may have that weren't covered in the initial session. I couldn't view the original session since I was working my regular gig when it was happening live, so the anytime access has been quite useful - I've been checking it out all weekend. I've already learned more for this than I did many times more hours of watching random YouTube tutorials on the subject. I would and have recommended this course already!
a Creativelive Student
This course literally changed the way I work with digital drums. Before this course I had a hard time programming drums in my DAW and now it's become totally natural. My workflow has been greatly improved and so has my work. If you are new to the game, this will give you a MAYOR head start. Thank you.
Eyal's instruction opened up a new world for my songwriting. Can't recommend this enough for working musicians that prefer to capture their song ideas in a high-fidelity way.