One problem I’ve been struggling with recently is how to generate decent fusion-style rock drumming using drum plug-ins. I’ve tried playing on my keyboard and using various MIDI drum loops, but something was missing about the spontaneous way of fusion drumming with influences from jazz.
Well, I found one way to program this in a nice way, not close,but close enough for my needs. I was working on a quick trio-like track tonight, project name “Zoo”, basically having a drummer and bass play in the background while a guitar track is doing Zappa like improvisations over it all.
What I did with the drums was to actually use Ultrabeat’s drum programming view to set a default pattern, then improvise within this pattern back and forth using cymbals and snare rolls, and so forth. I set the swing factor quite high. Next I just copied the patterns over to Logic’s track view where this Ultrabeat drum plug-in was enabled.
The next thing I started doing was to now and then copy existing small loops I’ve done later in the track. After doing about 30 smaller sections it was OK to drag over older ones here and there, as there was enough variations.
The other nice thing with Ultrabeat is that it’s easy to configure the drums, the layout in the stereo spectrum, the volumes and so forth.
What I will do next is to make sure the swing factor in the Logic track is big enough, as well as add ambient reverb so the sound is more muddled — limiting the robot-like drumming that happens when working with drum pattern systems.
All together, Ultrabeat is a very flexible drum system. If you don’t like Ultrabeat’s sounds, you could still use the pattern system generating drum patterns and use any other drum plug-in for the final sounds.