Intro to Fills


Digital Drums with EZDrummer


Lesson Info

Intro to Fills

Uh I know what I'm going to say about phil's bar there any specific questions anybody has right off the bat before you get going with that okay cool well let me move this over to phil's and ah you know people out there feel free tio correct me if I'm wrong um and let me just say actually one more thing on the on the writing from scratch thing once again I don't think that there's any magic bullet with it and it's a very tedious thing it takes forever and it kind of sucks I hate doing it uh I'll do it I know how but I won't do it if I don't have to and most people I know won't do they don't have to usually the only people who do it either our wishes or dues with pride problems who feel like they're cheating because they're using grooves or whatever there's one third scenario which seems to make sense say it's a drummer the drummers in the band and he has to come up with demos quickly but he can't record himself but his band's going to go in the studio there song writing okay so drummer ...

programs some stuff out to the demos to the preproduction demos to give you the rest of the band this is what I'm going to record all right that makes perfect sense why would a drummer who's going to go record everything need to bother tio get amazing or while programming drums and also why would a drummer want to use somebody else's groups that seems seems not like the drummers I know probably wouldn't want to do that so that's another scenario we're going from scratch makes sense, but I really do recommend using gru's um I think the whole if you're a drummer and you're learning virtual drums at the same time it's I think what they don't realize most time is they get fresh really quick programming the drums for the first time because the caucuses play that's really easy, but they don't really it's not obvious that you're learning of whole new instrument even though it's very similar to you know it gives you similar musical results, but the instrument itself is yet you still gotta learn it from baby steps yeah, sure the it's an electronic instrument with similar with a similar output as an analog drum set and it's not the same thing at all um yeah, even though the musical results air very similar. Okay, so phil's um I'm trying to figure out what the best way to say this to you guys because it almost seems to me like phil's air such an obvious thing, but maybe they're not to me they obviously are the marker of an event an event that's happening or about toe happen and basically they glue sections of music together uh, like in one of the previous examples where I put no fills in the music, the rift just went from one to the next without any sort of transitional material. It was the drum fill that made it sound fluid because if you just listen to the guitars by themselves that just sound cut together drum fill gets you from point a to point b that's the main thing lots of drummers have now adapted them to be some sort of spectacular extravaganza, but the real point of the phil is a transition peace or to market event like the intro or something is building into something. But then again all that is is leading you from point a to point b it's the intros leading you from zero into the song if it's just a buildup into bridgette's leading you from zero into where the drums play, if it's in the middle of the verse like versus going and you have a short little fill in the middle is leading you to the second half of the verse where saying another element would come in there's always a transition involved. Otherwise you just got a drummer wink and which I think is bad is a question for you that I've heard a lot of people asked before us, how do you know when the phil should start and how long it should be you know, because you sort of know that at some point in this part the drama goes bring who like how do you know when he should start doing that and when it should how long it should be that's kind of like like saying how do I know these lyrics air right? Um you don't he just kind of take a stab at it and hope for the best you really don't know with any of this stuff there's no hard and fast rule, but that exercise I recommended earlier not only will teach you how to program drums realistically, but also you cover so many fills and transitional pieces that really drummers do that your instincts will kick in and what a lot of great drummers uses their instincts when they're playing fills a lot of them while they could tell you exactly what they did, they're not thinking about it, there's just we'll do something fast here to get to the next part or it would be cool to do something along here where that thinking comes from beats me and I don't know any drummers who actually have verbalized it to me either. So there's a couple things where say you're switching, you're going to slow things down so you're in sixteenth notes and then the field's going to goto halftime uh and you want to have a phil that transitions you into halftime you might want to put an eighth no triplet phil because it no triplets are slower than sixteenth knows so it's going to lead you in but again that just goes to that goes to what I said earlier it's a transitional piece so with the phils you you have to ask yourself is it helping transition right s o if you want to go to a halftime part you're in sixteenth knows and you put some sort of really fast fill that doesn't fit at all you're kind of defeating the purpose so it can get super as speaking is a producer musician it can get super annoying dealing with drummers who put phil's everywhere for no reason too much because it's go defeats the purpose of what therefore they're totally just musical devices so how do you know where to put them in? Well, first of all, start with listening to a song from the beginning where is your attention? Start to wander when you meaning a song that you're working on at what point is your attention to start to wonder when you notice yourself checking your texts or ah not really paying attention or like suddenly facebook is on while you're listening, something needs to happen there that could be a fill it could be that the party needs to change but a good way to judge that is tio pay attention to when your mind starts to wander I personally come from the less is more school so I I don't believe that you need to clutter music with too much stuff I just think in to keep it interesting so I always just do the keep it interesting test now I realize that's not a definitive answer but there is no definitive answer toa where phil should start people need tio people need to learn music and have a huge I'd say vocabulary of musical information stored in their brands that their tastes are refined enough to pull that out of their subconscious. So I thought your example about using the sort of using the eighth note triplets I think you said you transition from something faster to something slower was really helpful you know? Are there any that's helpful but it's on it yeah, but that's not I mean, I was saying do that every time but like that kind of idea of like where you're going from this to this so you know here's one way of doing that that's but that's one of like eight million ways to do it that's the thing um the more important thing the more important point is that you're trying to transition and you're setting up the next part so when you have a part coming in what if it's not popping hard enough if the parts not transitioning right if it's not establishing itself well enough that's where the phil comes in in the reason that I don't think that it makes sense to really like, say, ok, you want to use this phil here, this phil there's, because you can go to guitar center and buy a book of phil's, and it doesn't tell you you can learn them all, but there's, no context attached to them, so the context always has to be within the song, and, uh, where you're going next? Make sense, cool, yeah, what's up. I was just going to say that it seems like you can almost use the last theory of, like, going back and listening to your ten favorite songs or genre, going back to a song that sounds similar to that, the song that you're working on and listening to those transit transitions and getting a good idea of like, what you want, years of sound like, or take ideas, bits and pieces from different songs totally so say you're in a pop punk band, and travis barker is one of your favorite drummers. He's, one of my favorite drummers, say I had to produce a pop punk record had to program the drums authentically, I would grab the five biggest blink twenty two songs that would program the drums from start to finish, so that I would know exactly what kind of feels he plays where that would be the most important thing and also you know when he goes to the hats when he goes to the ride all that stuff we're talking about phil's um if I was doing something in that style yes, I would learn exactly where he does it um you know, I was doing a death metal record uh and the band says were a cross between cannibal course morbid angela and suicide silence I don't know I would uh you know, I learned some songs but we had to program the drums even if we didn't have to program the drums I would still do this I would still learn some of their songs on the piano roll so I could suggest fills to the drummer so back to what you were asking me finn, I really do think that where phil's come in if you're not a drummer has a lot to do with your musical background and that and I don't mean education like school I mean how actively do listen to music? Are these people actually analyzing the music they're listening to and where their favorite drummers are putting fills in? If not then they should start because other or they should learn how to play drums then several come naturally but we're talking about adopting on instrument that's not your native instrument here so it does require some self education I think and er how fills work I think that would be the best way to do it and I can tell you that what you're saying about studying other drummers or studying drummers because I'm not a drunk studying their parts studying their methods doing that has made it pretty natural for me teo know what goes where uh again we're talking about music and art so this this isn't like e queuing a snare aware like you know that there's a bad frequency so you cut it out like this this is a whole other thing and you have to definitely develop your tastes and refine your tastes well q and a time unless of us want to see me program some fills if that would help you guys kill streets in cuba what susan unit so way have lots of questions from the chat rooms so thank you for all those um so first one which I think kind of touches a lot of things you've covered today is from ivan as fan when adjusting velocity levels is it better to perform the step while you're creating each part or is it better to wait until the entire track is complete and adjust them in relationship to the rest of the instruments in the song I say a little bit of both um you want to get it sounding good relative to itself obviously because it's performing a piece of music so you know if you're doing if you know that that's what the drumbeat supposed to be doing velocity wise then yes by all means go ahead and program that in but then obviously you will need to refine it further when the other instruments or they're so both ok have a question from khan bought any tips for programming symbol swells and closed high hat patterns I've always found these to be the least forgiving they're definitely the least forgiving with symbol swells that's a toughie it is definitely a toughie with if you can find a symbol swelled mittie I'd go with that I personally don't know of any um with closed high hat patterns I wonder the person means patterns that are opening and closing and opening and closing on where there's a side stick action happening basically the way to do that stuff realistically is too you know what we were saying about using multiple notes on the kick drums well it's basically it's basically that times eight so excuse me for a second while I find some hats here so one thing that would be helpful would be within easy drummer get the map up get your maybe map up so the chat rooms they're telling us that they definitely want to see you makesem phil's got it I'll finish answering this first um you see right here at the upper end this spectrum you've got a bunch of different types of hat hits tight tip meaning tip with stick tight edge edge of the hat closed tip these are all things that happened during closed high hat patterns these air the different variations that you're playing with um I'm just looking for other high had stuff on here okay? The open ones are at the bottom so we're focusing on closed so you see that basically we've got c sharp for is where it starts so you go to your piano roll so there are closed hats I would treat it much like treating the ah the bass drums the multiple bass drum scenario but also I would do what we've been saying this whole time which is emulate because that's how you really get good at this but the elements involved when you go to any late I'm just getting rid of some of this other many information so it'll play see now one thing that I would do is go on youtube and look up some some videos of how a drummer actually hits these these types of parts will part of the stick is he hitting with well part of the hat is getting hit. How closed is it really? Is he striking the top of the symbol beside of the symbol? Is it varying what speed is using his pedals as well? All these are factors that you got to keep in mind when you're studying how to do this and then so once you know that via watching it because you're not going to be able to go on a recording and know exactly what's going on with a high hat it's too quiet, so go and watch some videos and try to analyze exactly what the drummers doing, then apply that to everything else we've done uh random velocities not random but varying velocities as well as emulating the parts that were written and you have something for you'll have something far more real. Um, I believe in this song I had a part of here, which which was a closed high hat situation it opens, but as you can see right here we've got these this sounds like the side of the stick and then it's more open there but check it out how it goes from side stick to tip and check out the velocities once again I feel like a broken record talking about velocities, but look how very they are all over the place I don't mean all over the place in terms of what's this guy do, and it doesn't know what he's doing it's all over the place in terms of loud to soft allowed to soft loud to soft, even these soft hits right here the first three before the loud one this this and this that's a big variation so that's what I would do

Class Description

Whether you use EZDrummer as a writing tool for demos or as a replacement for a human drummer, Toontrack’s plug in is your ticket to self-sufficiency. In his CreativeLive workshop, Eyal Levi of Audiohammer Studios will show you how to get the most out of the industry-leading digital solution for creating real-sounding drums.

Eyal, a seasoned producer, engineer, and musician, will teach you everything you need to know to get the most out of EZDrummer. From writing and arranging realistic drum parts to how to mix the output in your DAW, Eyal will show you how to be the sole arbiter of your sound — no drummer required.

This workshop is taught with ProTools — but includes a QuickStart guide so Logic, Cubase, and Ableton users can follow along.