Any simpler way to program drums?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Guerilla, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Guerilla

    Guerilla Guest

    Hi guys,

    I'm getting lazy to program my drums in cubase by adding individual note one after another. I am hoping someone can recommend me some easier methods or programs that I can use?

    If there's any? I am looking into more of a realtime editing even if it meant taping my keyboard per intruments (know what I mean?)
  2. GetTarEast

    GetTarEast Guest

    I think using a keyboard is better than what you are talking about. I just recently bought a keyboard to do this very thing. (well... midi controller.) I used to input all of the notes one-by-one, and just about a week ago tried using the board for this, and it's much easier, and much faster.

    I'm not sure how you like to do your drums, nor do I really know the accepted correct way to do them, but here is what I have been doing, and it's worked for me:

    Open up a MIDI track, wire it up to your drum sampler (I use LinPlug RM2, but that really doesn't make a difference I don't think.)

    Run the song with a click, and record just the bass drum on the track. Once you're done, quantize the track, and look over it. Make any kind of adjustments that need to be made after you quantized. (Meaning, if after quantizing, certain hits are on the wrong beat, move them over, or adjust the velocity of certain hits that you feel need to be adjusted. The MIDI data you entered with the keyboard is a great starting point though.)

    Next open up an other track and do your snare and any sort of simple tom work. The toms are just there to keep things straight in your head, whatever toms rolls you will want in the end will replace what you put on the snare track, but it's a good reference point while doing the snare. Same idea, quantize the track, make any needed adjustments. If you put in dummy tom rolls or hits, delete them, or move them onto another track.

    Open up another MIDI track and add your hats and ride... Any crashes or things like that if you can get them in there. On another track, do some toms if you need them still.

    Basically, you have about 3-6 or so tracks worth of MIDI. Now, yes, you could do this all in one track. But it's easier to make velocity adjustments when all the different kinds of hits are on different tracks.

    This is for accoustic-sounding drums. If you are looking for more electronic sounding drums where the velocity does not varry much if any, then by all means, dump them all onto one track. But this way, you can have the different velocities trigger the different samples in your drum sampler, and then run the sampler outputs through a compressor in the Mixer just like you would with real drums.

    Hope that helps.
  3. boheme6

    boheme6 Guest

    use a drum controller...
    drum pads, drumkat, etc...
    hit it with sticks... you'll be amazed how much more 'life like' it gets.
  4. Guerilla

    Guerilla Guest

    Yeaah..those are the things that I have in mind..But are there any programs that only requires your normal keyboard?

    I dont think I'd wanna spend more in this area like buying triggers :?
  5. GetTarEast

    GetTarEast Guest

    You can use just a keyboard in Cubase. Just enter the MIDI notes like you would for any other instrument. Though, boheme6 does make a very valid point. You can't get more realistic when sequencing drums than hitting something with a stick. (I am in the same boat. Can't afford drum controller type stuff.)
  6. Guerilla

    Guerilla Guest

    How do I setup that? I bet there are also others who wishes to know.. :D

    Please help..
  7. GetTarEast

    GetTarEast Guest

    Ok, not a problem, I can give it a go. Perhaps someone with more Cubase knowledge than I can give me a hand here as well. (I run Nuendo, but I have used Cubase, and they are rather similar in many respects.)

    First, perhaps you can answer a few questions for me... what are you using to get your drum sounds? LM4? HALion? RM4?

    I'm assuming that you already have MIDI controller, and it's installed. Is this the case? What kind is it?

    In a nutshell, after you installed your midi controller, it should be available in the list of MIDI input devices in Cubase and all of your other applications. I use the M-Audio Radium61 controller.

    In Cubase, in the same menu as your VST Instruments option, there should be an option for Device Setup or some such. This will open a window with a list of stuff on the left hand side, and a panel for each of the items in the list.

    In the list, there should be an option for primary MIDI device or something like that. It lest you select your primary MIDI input and output. Select your controller for the input. If you are feeding any other MIDI gear and your controller has a MIDI Out on it, then select it for the output as well. (These will be drop-down lists).

    Next, in your project screen, create a new MIDI track. This track should have been created with your controller set as the input for it, and your controller set as the output as well if you selected that option. If you are using some sort of VSTi for your drum sounds, set your output for the track to your VSTi. (You should have already loaded the VSTi into the project if you are using one.)

    <coughs> You'll have to excuse me, I am kinda going from memory here.

    So you have your input for the track mapped to your keyboard, your output mapped to whatever is generating your sounds, whether it's your keyboard or a VSTi of some sort. Select the MIDI channel (and bank and program if necessary).

    Arm the track, and hit record.

    If I am not mistaken I think C2 is the general midi standard for a kick drum on most kits... jam away.

    If I am a little off on my setup instructions, I do appologize. Like I said, it's been quite a while since I've used Cubase, and it was an older version than you are probably running, so things may have changed a bit, but I am pretty sure the idea has stayed the same.

    Once the track is rolling, you play your keyboard like it was any other kind of track. (You might also want to turn the Click on when you are recording.)

    Hope that helps.
  8. BobYordan

    BobYordan Guest


    One way is to get eg Groove Agent, Music labs slicydrums/fillindrums or some other midi generating tool (VSTi/midifx). And then modify the midi information to your liking, with the midi editor. :)

    Using the midi tracks with drum maps in Cubase will enable you to trigger drum VSTi's like eg DFH & BDF, with supreme drum sounds.

  9. Guerilla

    Guerilla Guest

    Hmmm..I've tried mapping the keyboard to act as a controler..but its not working?? I'm using cubase sx, maybe I'm not doing it right..

    I'll read the manual right after I finish this little project I have in hand...It sure is frustrating.. :?
  10. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Check out SpectraSonic's Stylus RMX - you can find the groove you want and drag and drop a midi file of that groove into SX and edit to your hearts content. 'Til now I've been doing the same as you, and for me it takes hours to get the full monte. I've been happy with the results, but my productivity is too low, and Stylus RMX seems to be a godsend for me. Might be worth checking out.
  11. DCD

    DCD Guest

    I use BFD and I'm a big fan writing in the notes one by one. I've learned copy and paste can be you're friend. A drum pad or keyboard can definally help be creative. Depending on you music style you might want to set up a rough midi template you can import to start with (kick on 1 & 3, snare 2 & 4 and some hats) that way you're work is half way done.

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