Writing from Scratch


Digital Drums with EZDrummer


Lesson Info

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 teo crazy metal stuff later but I want to 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 middie over to another track so I have it as a reference and I am deleting what's there says you can hear nothing is going to easy driver now so opening up the middie window actually I'm gonna open and 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 dog but right here in pro tools it's selecting what I'm seeing so this tracker here but I just added as you can see suddenly more midi guys come on more many notes it's showing what's selected 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 or am I going with all this? Well you're going to do is take this beat and re create it now that doesn't mean copy paste it it means go from scratch so let's ah break it up into bite size chunks so we've got this ah begins right so open up a middie editor and let's take a look at what we have in that little segment well uh make the grid smaller so that's easier toe she was going on okay not too much going on basically looks like a crash kick another crash double crash you know it's a double crash high hats snare ghost note kick and then ah another another kick all right so start with start with the kick pattern go to this track and basically right in some kicks and if you forget where they are like I do sometimes just a quick question for you sure why do you pencil the notes in like this rather than hit him with a keyboard or other many 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 I know some people do to it that way because all yeah that's all I use is a mini controller so this is kind of new to me like penciling things in what are your thoughts like seeing it this way on pencil and rather unusually 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 take me a lot longer like I'm it I use a keyboard keys on the piano player so for me to you know, write my drums is pretty quick again just do and then end it from there the cool thing about what I'm doing right now is that it's one measure long so going in bite size chunks but the thing that I've never liked about this is that, uh yes, you could do this and put a pattern down or whatever, but 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 was that keyboard and mouse well, it just say 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 mini controller it just seems to me like it's an extra step unless if you just got rather than finger rhythm, magic fingers or something you know, I have actually seen a few people I worked with the guy once who did it with a mini controller who could actually play drums on a keyboard like a drummer and it 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 ever that awesome you probably don't need to be uh 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 thea does that answer your question well ok cool so got three kicks now what's important here is so this third one actually goes right here and then right here was important is here is not just that we placed them in the exact same spot but that the velocities are the same this is the really really glamorous park 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 first one really high second one really high middle one significantly lower ninety match the velocities of the kicks the on ly do this mind you on beats that you actually like from drummers that you actually like 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 and I mean that's how you learn any instrument uh learn guitar you learn other people's songs and learning the program drums you almost have to treat it like you're learning an instrument so you're not learning a drum set learning a virtual drum set so next we've got the snare well, the snare only happens once and uh we just 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 thirteen says while randomize ing velocities is doing it manually manually the only way or is there another easier way to do that? Can 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 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, I wanna blast beat between one hundred and one fifteen just say and I wanted to be one hundred percent randomized in that range uh so I say a minimum of one hundred a maximum of one fifteen and random is that two hundred percent and apply there you go from what I understand some of the random ization engines or better and some programs and others. So the purchase one I've heard is the little jaenke compared with logic one I don't know how the able turn one is, but uh, this is how you would do it in pro tools and it's, 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, uh, the original beat on you guys would all hate me if I had chosen a blast beat for this. So I think a key detail that there's that the variation and human drummers is not random, no there's, very specific patterns or reasons for that duration like when you play the first note of a fill, some people play the first of a role the first note will be a little bit harder, something like that so it's not random it's just varied. Yeah, that well, there's there's both, I think, because there's accents uh, like, you know, you're doing something one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two and then you put the accent on the debt and contentment, intent, intent it you know what I'm sandaled so my point is that variation it's not like that germans playing 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 there's still always a random factor when involves humans because not machines but yeah very variation in in musical parts that's that's just this just music um so all right let me continue on this so looking back at the original mini we've got a high hat pattern of eighth notes right here varying velocities as I've said a million times by now so put that in I believe it was that guy come on upsy daisy ok so now going to 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 me a softer well over louder so I'm going to kind of match that pattern and it's the double check once again guys is a totally an exercise but if you do this enough you'll just 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 if you're doing this exercise at home how many measures would you do of this? I would meet personally yeah entire songs like I would pick your ten favorite songs so your ten 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 candidate and you know I know finn is getting awesome it but how long have you been working in it as an example like uh the last sign did which is only a minute a half long and probably spent thirty 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 cakes we didn't we're just screwing around we'd make like wait just do this for fun every day click and click and click on piano roll their damn drums there you go how do you tell when you go though just curiosity wait just do full song so like I'm pretty quick with piano roll now because of programming drums and and what not and that's how we kept doing it um but we weren't like macon advanced big room rock hi hat patterns back to him, you're just don't know screwed around, but it's just we got good at it though. It's basically what I'm saying by doing and by during 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 s o u I really want to get good of programming drums, you have to approach it like of, like a nin statement like you're going to dedicate yourself to get good at it, so, yeah, I would do entire songs and like, he said, and that that wasn't staged either that is completely I'm completely surprised that the organic yeah has a totally organic moment we would do like we put like metal drums over fraud, frau songs this traffic just we're doing suggested we weren't doing it to like get good at piano roll, but that's what? That was the that was what the product wass we're doing for fun, but yeah, it was not I'm seeing this definitely was exercises back and totally yeah, well, you just view piano roll is your instrument on dh 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 ten 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 our 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 muse and dave groll there's others but just three examples I forget the guy's from usa's name sorry, but so yeah pick three slayer songs, three muse songs and three songs that did grow played on and just bring in the mp three. The only probably 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 today just for that reason alone but being that this is just an exercise, any ways you can still do it I mean, I've done this two 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 snare she'll look like, where crashes come in? Uh oh, yeah congratulatory just based off of 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, but people who get really good at sight reading she 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 a 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 jar that's mapped across the entire span icky ward, 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 high hats are, yeah, you can almost start to visualize it when I almost definitely just visualize that didn't know what's going to happen and also programming the velocities will just become a natural thing to do uh you're not it. How long did you say we take you to do now? He says something like you said some sort of long time if you if you were to sit down and 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 like, realistically take me a few hours at least, but I've I'm pretty first in like the piano roll and like seeing the same midi okay way it would be this would be a lot longer for me than to actually just play it like and put it and then tweak well, I mean you got to do what works for you the point of the the point of the exercise though is to match is to get your midi to match the what it is you're trying to emulate. So however however you go about doing that whatever works for you works for you, so let me just finish this up real quick it was like two crashes that have to add so one right here and ah, I'll go ahead and I'll say this too if people out there and inner 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 trump's entails a lot of dealing with dragging stuff around and 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 yep so I'm not going to tweak that all right? So that's what I just programmed and uh what I'm going to do now just for the sake of seeing what's up so I'm gonna put these back to back and take the original midi and my mini and let's see how different there that might be totally different I think 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 if I don't you know how it is looks like this doesn't exist okay pretty much identical um pretty much identical enough so apply that concept to lots of drums but different drummers put the time in and you won't need to ever ask anybody ever again how tio program realistic sounding drums is basically the only way I know of how to do it uh it takes a lot of work and it's not that much fun 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 the best way to go about tedious things, like getting good at programming drones. I think I agree, because a lot of people who I spoke to about this course were hesitant because they thought that it was going to 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 the 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 sure shot out to michael and his co workers, I andrew glover from sound temple studios and winds up playing are you guys doing so? Michael asks as an alternative to either using grooves or inputting 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 kids for catching a good accurate performance we at audio hammer have done the e kid 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 ok cool so if you have a good drummer unique it sure go for it why not? That seems like a great idea most people don't have 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 an e kid but you know, eke it is definitely a viable option if you've got the skills to play I think having a good eket makes a difference to there's some pretty yeah ee kids out there oh yeah the and the good ones are pricey one uh video earlier than one matt was jamming on that's a pretty saudi kid yes. And that is a very awesome you get for that will reflect that you're playing la pen and those really dense pads. Yeah exactly yeah I mean that if you want the velocities to be captured accurately in the middie and not have to go back and just basically redo everything you're going out to have a good eket there's, no way around it, because even if you have a good drummer on a baddie kit, the middie will be all over the place. So to michael, what cam 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 air in 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.

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.