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Producer, guitar player, composer and maker of noise.

Creating Realistic Drum Tracks with MIDI

Posted on | October 13, 2008 | No Comments

DrummingThat’s what I’ve been struggling with recently, simple rock is easy, but doing fusion based drum tracks, huh huh. Anyway, this web article has a lot of basic and good information how to think like a drummer when building such tracks.

Maybe the main rule is that a drummer has two legs and two arms, not three legs and seven arms.

I’ve been experimenting with Logic’s swing settings, but I must say hand-crafted entries is the best, I select various MIDI note parts and deliberately move these back or forward in time, to simulate an imperfect drummer — which makes it sounds like a human and not a machine.

I’ve been also using Yamaha’s DD-65 electronic drum kit to drum in sequences. It’s especially good as I could do a full take from beginning to end instead of painstakingly putting in the kicks, snares and so forth using a keyboard. Not that I do that from time to time,  as well. The DD-65 is fine but I’m suffering from the hihat on-off only messages, a hihat could have so many stages between fully opened and fully close that good drummers make use of. The only good thing is that in today’s music world even real drumming sequences are very much gated and processed so there’s a blur between a real drummer and a machine. Unless one of course is focusing on a real drummer: in fusion and similar more jazz and improvisational music.

The main thing is to make the MIDI information have lots of variations, human-kind of course.


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