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Cubase 5 (Recording and Editing Live Drums?)

One of the big things that I haven't been able to figure out on Cubase 5 is how to easily edit live drums that aren't quite in time. For my drum tracks I usually have 8 different tracks that I am working with, and in order to fix timing issues, I have to edit each individual track. I am starting to figure out the hitpoints and quantizing, but I can only make that work on one track at a time, and then when I end up putting it all together, it sounds like a garbled mess.

The only way that I can see to do any of this would be to mixdown my drum tracks to one track, and then edit, but then it doesn't give me a way to work with individual sounds any more.

Any suggestions?


jg49 Tue, 03/02/2010 - 07:16
This won't really answer your question directly and I am not trying to be a smarta$$ but get the friggin' drummer to play in time or get a different drummer. Fixing out of time drums in the mix is ludicrous, one or two misplaced hits sure but anything else just stifles the learning curve of the drummer.

anonymous Tue, 03/02/2010 - 13:12
I was having a similar problem yesterday. My solution was to group drum takes in different folder tracks, (one folder with 8 tracks for each separate drum take) with one folder as a master take, and then just edit using the folder audio line, which edits all tracks in a folder at once.
This won't work of course for using hit point functions or quantizing, but with the right autofade settings, I'm finding it very effective as far as cutting and splicing goes.
Hope that makes sense!

ocdstudios Fri, 03/12/2010 - 13:21
jg49, post: 301057 wrote: This won't really answer your question directly and I am not trying to be a smarta$$ but get the friggin' drummer to play in time or get a different drummer. Fixing out of time drums in the mix is ludicrous, one or two misplaced hits sure but anything else just stifles the learning curve of the drummer.

AMEN!!! Unless they are paying you extra to correct drum tracks, they need to play it correctly the first time. Too many people think the studio/mix engineer is responsible for making them sound "correct" or fixing their errors. A little tweaking is fine but to fix an entire song (I once had to remove all the squeaks from a guitar part - after wastin 45min trying to get him to play w/o squeaking) is retarded. and as far as quanitizing drum tracks, if you can't play to a click, I really can't help you, I have nothing for refrence! An engineer is not a miracle worker! It's only going to sound as good as they play it! My $.02.

soapfloats Sat, 03/13/2010 - 23:16
I couldn't agree more with jg and ocd.

Due to me still learning the trade, the bad economy (aren't musician's already broke?), and competition, I charge a per song rate that is quite reasonable.
As a result, I spend a lot of time doing exactly what they've described.
If I weren't learning (and doing myself a favor by not releasing crap), I wouldn't bother.

I've actually recently done drums for two bands that fired a drummer b/c their engineer/manager/etc finally made clear that he couldn't keep a beat.
In these cases, these are serious sessions, and all we're concerned about is getting great drum tracks. When I work on full bands, the motivation/$ isn't always there.
And that's where the above-mentioned "fix it in the mix" nightmare occurs.

When I find myself in that situation... I usually make them retake it until they can get something that keeps time, even if it doesn't fit a click exactly.
Sometimes organic is better - don't bother trying to make it in time.
The band is what it is, and you've made a record of that.
Make it sound the damn best you can and move on - just make sure the next drummer can actually play to a click. Or make them take it over. And over. And over. And over. And over....

djmukilteo Sat, 03/13/2010 - 23:42
IMHO...this is one of the things that has come about now with all of the new digital recording software and the musicians awareness that somehow they're performance will be magically enhanced and improved by the technology.....and yet it still comes down to the players's the same thing with these vocals and autotune.....people who can't sing and want to sound like Madonna with a couple mouse!
This idea and concept that somehow you can make a few magical mouse clicks and they will sound better is truly ridiculous...and the easiest way to avoid it is to charge them for it....if they can't record the tracks in time then the time it takes to get it right is on them....they pay for the re-takes in terms of time or they pay for the fixes in the mix....
To answer your question techmed Cubase can quantize an audio track to a tempo, it's in the manual....

Audio Warp realtime processing
Tempo matching audio to the project tempo
Working with hitpoints and slices
Free Warp

This will get you close and it's non-destructive so tweak away and you might be able to fix it up a bit!
Good luck!
been there done that ain't doing it anymore! LOL

planet10 Fri, 04/23/2010 - 08:46
OUCH a ****ing sore subject for mee......
you as an engineer/producer that cant take the time to get a killer performance out of a drummer or make the decision to fire the drummer is doing a dis-service to the band. all this for the sake of getting paid???!!!(such as the case nowadays by the youngins of our business)
i ask you this, what good does it do the band when they get a flawless performance in the studio and then take it to the stage??? NEED I SAY MORE.....GOODBYE SHIT BAND!!!
i lose alot of business because i dont fix drums completely, i make them and the entire band play their asses off. it they cant cut it in the studio, i really dont want them there anyway because in their mind i have a magic wand in my computer and I DONT!!!
my magic wand is my ability to take an artist and make them believe in themselves as a performer and make them go the extra mile that they have never seen and make them PLAY IT.. in the long run they will become better at what they do.
dont waste your time fixing drums either in timing or samples. get better bands to work with you'll thank me later