Music & Audio > Sound Mixing > Intro To Home Recording > Creating A Rhythm Track With Virtual Instructor

Creating a Rhythm Track with Virtual Instructor


Intro to Home Recording


Lesson Info

Creating a Rhythm Track with Virtual Instructor

We're using a program today called easy drummer, which is an awesome program that's made programming drums really, really simple, so we're gonna go ahead and pull up easy drummer and as you can see, it looks just kind of like a drum kit. We're going to walk through a whole bunch of how this use there's actually awesome creative life course all about easy drummer on how to build a full on, you know, complicated drum patterns lots of different groups were not going to spend a ton of time on that today since it's sort of an intro of course, I'm just going over the overview of the basics of how to using the drummer how to build a drum tracks with with different groups and loops that are built into easy drummer and talk about how you go ahead and build that if you want more information on how to build drum tracks, you should check out the course uneasy drummer on creative life because it's a really, really informative program um cool, so this basically drum kit is you can see I can play dif...

ferent instruments um they sound just like actually real drums because they are some of the virtual instruments that air out now use samples instead of programs sounds so they've actually had drummers and engineers going to a real studio record a real drum kit on record thousands and thousands of any possible way of hitting the drum and then program that into a app allows you to be able to recreate those and use those samples in an actual mini track so we're gonna go through and basically talked about how you go go about building some of those but before we get into that really quick, I just want to show you what a middie track is and how that goes about working so if easy drummer has a way of doing it, you know actually have to build the whole rhythm track yourself, which is really nice and that's what we're gonna do today but just to show you kind of how some of that stuff works and what a middie track basically is, we're just going to show you what you would do if you wanted to build the entire thing from scratch so we're going to add a new mini track and now this pulls up and then what it's gonna have is an input and output just like the audio tracks are except we want to set the output to easy drummer so that now any input on um on the actual mini track is being sent to the drummer so now if you see if I put any different key on the keyboard it's actually controlling different sounds within easy drummer if you look down at the actual many track in pro tools, it looks a little bit different. It's got sort of a keyboard over here with hours to take a pencil tool. I could actually draw different notes on the actual piano roll, and then if I wanted to sort of pull that out, I can double click on this and add in different sounds on. But if I want to pull that out and see the entire thing, I could go upto window and say, midi editor and the many editors, why actually go through and right out, sort of a grid of all the different sounds, there's, lots of people to do this, and they program drums with a middie editor. I could go in and create, like find where the kick and snare is, for example, and I could program a kick on this being in a snare on this beat, and then it would actually play those, and you could create the entire track yourself. That's really useful for a lot of people. The cool thing about easy drummer is that it creates what are called grooves or or loops that you can use without having to program the whole thing yourself. And then it gives you a lot of really cool tools to be able to customize those loops and build a whole song without having to like create the entire map yourself within the within the piano roll, so we're going to delete the mini trackers we're not going to use that, um, I'm going to go back to easy drummer we're just basically going to show you kind of how easy drummer works. So if you look down here at the bottom of easy drummer, it has something similar to the mini track. It has the entire grid of the song and the cool thing about easy drummers that it's actually built in to follow in sync exactly with the tempo map that we've already created in in pro tools, so as I play to it, automatically jumps to the correct measure that I'm working on, so whatever I program and easy drummer is already sink to the song itself, so that's, really helpful that those two are in sync. Um, before we do anything else, we want to kind of talk about different sounds easy drummer has a lot of different expansion packs that you could buy that have different types of drum sounds that have been recorded at a number of different studios by different drummers. We're going to look at a couple of them here, the one we're gonna use today is the americana set, which is really cool, and it has a number of different types of sounds, we're going to use the slam kit and you see, that starts to load. It looks a little bit different, and the drums have a little bit of a different sound to it has a little more natural decay of the room sound, along with different types of percussion instruments that we can use like shakers and collapse, tambourines, all that kind of stuff. You can actually edit each of these individual drums if you want, if you wanted to mix and match a snare drum from one kit with the tom from another kid with a symbol from another kid, you can actually pull each of those up individually and change not on ly each of the drums themselves, but you could even change the pitch or the loudness of each of those individual drums. So you could even build your whole custom kit based off of the different drums that she liked in which sounds that's sort of the drum window that basically talks about how the drum specifically sound. We're going to the browser window. This is where we start to look at all the different types of loops that are built into easy drummer so I can start to look through even just the americana catalog. I can see all different types of loops that are built in for different parts of the songs I could go through and find a swing beat or straight time. In halftime or mid tempo beat on, it pulls up different options to say how what part of the song you're looking to fill. How do you want this to sound and aiken previous utilities and listen to each different part tryto find hopefully a song or track or a loop that'll fit the song that I'm trying to produce. Um, the next section eyes the search function and this is really cool it actually goes through all the libraries that you've loaded in all the sample packs and you can search and filter based on what you think you're looking for, so I'm thinking, well, I wanted kind of a blues feel I want it to be normal time or swing time and I wanted to be sort of a train beat it's going to pull up all the different types of loops that are built into my library based off of that filter on dyken, even at her remove certain filters if I want to look for certain things. So this is one here a pre chorus pete on def, you notice that they have it's really cool the loops or not just really simple loops. They have alterations and fills that sometimes are eight bars long or different intros or paltrow's for each part and the cool thing is we start to edit those you can actually change each of those and manipulate them right within the whole plug in so you can start to build your whole track that way so you can search for different types and filter by different types of beats that you're looking for. The last thing is called the mixer, and this pulls up all the individual drums, just like you would have if you had recorded this in a studio with a bunch of different types of drums. Um and you can go through and mix the different sounds where the mikes replaced and bring up different effects. They have a lot of different settings to templates that are built right into the mixer that you can load on dh. You can adjust those globally too. If you notice the effects on here. There's a compressor and some reverb, and if you click on it, it actually shows you which tracks are being affected by the compressor. So it's, like click it shows the compressor is working on kick drum, the snare drum and the toms in the overhead in the ambient likes on guy can change the amount of compression with that same with the river, which is working right there. So, yeah, you can sort of like, mix and change the sound well, we won't spend a ton of time with that right now. In the second half, when we get into mixing, we'll talk more about that right now, we're still kind of in the mode of trying to program and build a beat, so we want to try to figure that out. So I'm gonna go back to the search window because there's another part of of of the search function that's actually really cool and it's called the tap to find what this allows you to do is play along the beat that you think you're thinking of, and it goes through its entire library and finds beats that are similar, so we're going to sort of play along with the track. Here we'll go back to the beginning of the song and it's really helpful here to pull up now the memory locations so I can say I want to work on a verse part, we're going to continue the click track two since we've already recorded that, so we're not confusing that with any of the, um, other parts somebody going to tap to find and if you can see what it was doing is as I was going through in programming, all of that it's actually going through, and, um, I'm gonna go and remove all the filters here it's going through and actually lining up. What? I was trying to play with the closest beat s o I don't even have to play it perfectly it's actually going through in the tap to find and sort of thinking oh, I think you meant to put that beat on the third beaten out the third and a half feet so you even have to play it perfectly you can go through and sort of like tap in what you think you're trying to here with the drums and searches and tries to find different parts so we're gonna listen to this a little bit again just this verse so let's go and try to find it's pretty simple beat we're going to see what results pop up eh? So it's I put in something really simple and it goes through now and says these are all the parts that we think kind of match which you were trying to play so here's the first one that's an intro toe halftime feel let's go and listen to this one that's really similar right that's really close to what I was trying to play it's one hundred percent match with this one I think that's a little closer what I was trying to use so now I want to try to see if that fits along with the songs were going to play way I think it works pretty well it's a pretty cool track so now we have a basic idea well that's really cool for the verse let's go ahead and drop that into the song and see if we can figure out where we're going to get that started we're going ahead and drag this down to the actual track here starts on beat thirteen here wait so we've got eight bars of that laid out and we can go to the next section and now we'll try to find parts from next section but before we do that there's even a really cool feature in easy drummer called the song creator that allows you to select the track that we already found and say are there other tracks or other loops inside easy drummer that would fit with that specific loop for different parts of the song so once I have this selected I just click song creator and it pops we're going to drag this into the drop zone here and it brings up all these different options for each part of the song and I can go through and select the song structure so the song structure right now is verse chorus verse chorus bridge verse so it's a b abc a we're going to find that section um as close as we can and see if we can find different parts of the songs here that might we might be able to drag into each section s o this part works great we've got and we want to try to figure out where the course starts we're gonna go and click on the course on city yeah she is on the way got nothing man now you know, go back to the mix or really quick and just bring down his vocals for that part so we can hear a little more of the drums in that section so we'll try some of these different options and kind of see which one makes the most sense I think course to hear works pretty well I'm so we're gonna go and drag this right to the spot again where it works so if you notice I'm not filling in all of the track yet you could build the entire track from beginning and just work your way throughout the whole song I've found it's easier to go through and find each of the major sections first and then go back through and fill in the different the gaps between them usually it's the transitions that are the most customizable parts so we're going go through and build each major section and find the major beats and then go back through and fill the transitions to make sure that that works ok? So we've got I'm sorry yeah go ahead, give a questions I'm just wondering if you come across a song or that you just record and you like the scratch track where the vocals or what not and you ever do that? Sure yeah that's a great question oftentimes the scratch track which is intended just to be a you know a reference point ends up being the best performance in fact that's a common thing that happens usually cause you're not thinking about it too much on dso you end up keeping it which is why it's always mess to make sure that you're you know, meeting the click track on the outro and you know, meeting the headphones so that nothing destroys that performance in case later you do want to keep it that's a great point a lot of times you do keeping the scratch track um cool so we're gonna go through and just kind of finish building the different sections here we've got the first chorus we'll go back to the verse again go back to first one in here we had really quick and see if you want to use that exact same I'm going to try to keep the versace is consistent as possible so I'm just going to right click on that first partner copy and then go to the second verse and pace that just right there and if you noticed you can paste the entire drum part that you brought or you can leave only paste one instrument of that part in that section which is really cool wait so we've got that section we're gonna go to the next course which we had used course to here four, so to keep it simple, willing to use the same thing, it will build in some of the more specifics later. Now let's, go to the bridge. Well, this is pretty cool that's a tom base fill so maybe want to switch it up a little bit, and we could add in some symbols there, too, if we want later, which we'll show you how to do e wouldn't put that in the place, and we get to the first three, which for now, I think it might be cool to have the drums actually hold out for the last verses that kind of gets down in volume. So we've got the basic section set up here we're going to do now is go back through really quick and edit some of these killings of these different sections here and figure out how we can sort of make those a little more customizable, and then what we'll do in the last part is will actually go in and be able to create some slight changes to make them a little more human element to these different loops. So let's, go ahead and go back to the control here, so it's kind of a weird transition going into this, where the drums kind of just like randomly coming when you start singing so maybe you want to add something at the beginning that leads into that so it's not so bear just starting right now, so I'm gonna go ahead it copy and I'm gonna pay strike bar nine here, but I'm only going to pace the high hat that's a little more of a transitional straight into the next section that makes it a lot easier exactly cools we're going to keep the memory locations up so we're gonna go ahead and copy and paste again except this time we're going to a slight adjustment here on this section, so we want to put some accents on those those beach right there that when he says ain't got enough and we want to put a little bit of accents on there, so I'm gonna go ahead and open this and double click and it pulls up this thing called the edit play style, which is really cool on this allows me to go into the actual individual groove and make some slight changes to the overall sense of what he's playing without having to pull it up in the middie editor and actually added each individual part. This is a really cool feature of easy drummer that allows you to do this, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna add an opening hit just right at the beginning there was a crash and see what that does here and then I'm also going to go back in and adjust it so that it does the same thing on the next part right here. So I'm going to copy and paste this again so that that opening hit is on both of those beets, and then I had another one right here and then this one I could drag out, but it's kind of weird that he it's the same symbol each time, so what I'm gonna do is at it just the center one I'm going to move that opening, too. I'm gonna drag it over here thiss theme crash just on that one and he does the same thing here, so we're going to double that copy this whole thing and just pasted again. So it's pretty cool we're still a little bit kind of rocking this transition in here, so we're going to clean that up just a little bit if you notice right around bar twenty four he kind of like pauses for a second, so maybe we could do something similar with the drums way put justice here in about twenty six and see what else we can do. We've got if we click on the kick drum it's going to show me how many times it's going to play in that loop so I can decrease the amount of times he's kicking down to zero and maybe do the same thing with the high hat so just does the crash so it's just one hit and they will bring the snow down just a one hit a cz well ah that's a little more smooth transition in that kind of section on the last thing we'll do is going into the high hat or going into the course maybe I want to have the high hat kind of open up a little bit so it kind of builds it's real easy I can just edit this section over the high hat and change what is opening so I'm gonna open it up to open four which is a little bigger now the whole transition is a little bit smoother it's little more customized to the actual song and I go through like copy and paste each of those sections and if you noticed I never had to go to the media that actually write all those parts out. I just grabbed the loops that were already there and were able to section them up in this different parts and edit them using the edit play style feature an easy drummer pro to follow the actual track let's go back to the beginning just really quick and just kind of hear how that whole verse out wait there we want to put a little bit of an accent so I'm gonna take the course part from the copy and paste it and then add an intro opening hit right there wear the same thing here except we're going to kind of similar thing we didn't divers were gonna section this up so we could add opening hits that accent each of the individual parts wait, take this middle one and move that opening to a different here this is actually the beginning of the verse not the end of the course I'm still gonna go and remove this pull up this and do the same thing we didn't know at the end of the first we're going to decrease the amount of it's here, get rid of the high and then instead of going back into the course, we're going to start the verse there just for a little bit and then customize a little living intro now you can see you can start to create some of these sections a little bit that are a little more customizable then everything I have a question if you wanted tio so I saw you like copying sections on we do have a couple questions actually about this two from the online audience. If you're copying sections and you want to keep it fresh and kind of humanize it, you just add it looked like you're just adding little elements that are different like changing the crash, for example like zach in that because a drummer probably wouldn't hit the same crowd that area if he's playing tastefully right yeah totally so the way that I do it as I start really global and then I just started getting more and more specific so I start with sort of a major idea and then as I start to fill in some of those accents aiken section off each part and add different elements so let's say this crash is here once I start to get the idea I can sort of add different fills or manipulate different parts and get them smaller and more specific so you should be the clip to play thing could use the middie controller to actually put more complex beat see if they have something like that absolutely yes so the one thing you can do like I said the course uneasy drummer gets really much deeper and how how you actually build this is you can actually drag your own individuals many tracks that you use so you could create your own mini sample with using a keyboard in the piano roll and then save that as a mini file and drag it into easy drummer ahs your own separate file and then dragged that just like it would show up in your library. So when you went through your browser you'd have your own library the chief created of many tracks that you have that you can add and mix and match with the ones that come preloaded with each of the samples

Class Description

We’ve got the training you need to get started with home music recording. In this course audio engineer, Zach Varnell breaks home recording down into simple, easy-to-understand steps and sets you up with the skills you need to record music using minimal gear and a basic computer.

In this course Zach will walk you through the basic set-up you’ll want to create to start recording music at home. You will learn how to record vocals with a microphone, capture bass and guitar tracks and how to work with virtual drums and synths. Zach is an industry veteran and will share shortcuts he picked up from a career in music. This course will set you up to start recording immediately and give you a solid foundation for taking more advanced courses.

Music recording doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complex – join us for this foundational class and learn how you can record songs that sound great using very basic equipment.