Need Advice on Recording Drum Sounds

Discussion in 'Drums' started by RevRosco, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. RevRosco

    RevRosco Guest

    Hello all,

    I have received a response to my previous question and I sincerely appreciate the help. However, that leads me to a new question and I will restate the relevant facts in this message so you don't have to look for them in my previous message.

    I am an experienced guitar/bass player but am new at digital recording. I am looking for advice on the best way to add drum sounds to my songs, if anyone can help me out, it would be greatly appreciated.

    I am using the Boss BR-864 8-track digital recorder. I want to record drum sounds into a song I have written.

    My difficulty:

    The intro tempo to the song gradually changes from a tempo of 75 (according to the reading on the display screen of the recorder as I play along with a preset drum pattern) into the verse which ultimately becomes a tempo of 120. Then the fill/solo at a tempo of 95 gradually goes to the verse at a tempo of 120. What I mean by gradually is that there is a transitional fill that gradually speeds up in tempo with so many beats as you go from the intro and/or solo into the verse. To me, the easiest way to accomplish this is with real drums and a real drummer. But, what if that option is not available? Can this be accomplished with an external drum machine? Or, would it be easier or better to create this in some sort of software and then transfer it into the song? Finally, either way, does anyone have a suggestion as to which drum machine and/or software would be the best for accomplishing my goal?

    Thank you in advance for any advice that anyone may provide. Feel free to e-mail me at

  2. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    I use the midi feature in Cubase SX. Just hook up a keyboard or midi pad and get it playing in your midi editor (DAW)= first step

    Then get used to setting the tempo in your editor and be able to hear the click=second step

    Then set the editor to autoquantize (keeps things in time) and input your beats. I do kick and snare first then I ad accompniment cymbals=third step

    Then record your scrathc tracks on top of the midi drums. This method works well for me and I usually do not use drum machines.

    More later gotta go to work ......suxxxxxxx
  3. RevRosco

    RevRosco Guest

    Thanks for your reply, tedcrop. However, as I mentioned, I am very new to digital recording. So, I am going to ask some more questions that you are probably going to consider stupid, but please bear (or bare) with me. What is Cubase SX? Is this software or an external item that I hook up to my recorder?

  4. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    I'm sorry I see now that you are using the BR8.

    Well first of all I would not add the drums to the recording, I would map out the drum track on the drum machine, record the drum track and then I would track my other instruments on top.

    As for preset patterns on the drum machine, I would abandon them. Since your guitar and bass patterns need specific beats. You should become proficcient with writing the drum tracks on your device. And that would require pulling out the manual.

    For me I abandoned the standalone multitrack and the drum machine and began using a computer based recording system. Cubase SX is what I use. It lets me write the drum tracks rather quickly with a cheap keyboard/midi controller.

    This allows me to record the drum beats I am after and then cut and paste and move them around.

    I can't help you with programming the drum machine but that is where you should start if you intend on keeping your current setup. JUst pull out the manual and master the drum machine.
  5. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    Look into Cubase SX
  6. RevRosco

    RevRosco Guest

    By Joe, I think I got it.

    Since I figured it out, I thought I would post this for those that may need help themselves, because the manual for the BR-864 does not explain it sufficiently.

    First, read the instructions in the manual regarding creating arrangements and patterns in using the rhythm guide which starts on page 89. This is how I structured my arrangement:

    Step 1: starts at measure 1 set drum pattern set tempo
    Step 2: starts at measure 2 set drum pattern set tempo
    Step 3: starts at measure 26 set drum pattern set tempo
    Step 4: starts at measure 30 set drum pattern set tempo
    Step 5: starts at measure 71 set drum pattern set tempo
    Step 6: starts at measure 79 set drum pattern set tempo
    Step 7: starts at measure 87 set drum pattern set tempo
    Step 8: starts at measure 91 set drum pattern set tempo
    Step 9: starts at measure 136 set drum pattern set tempo

    All you do after you enter the info for one step in creating an arrangement, is move the cursor to the step number, move the dial to change the step number and enter the appropriate data for the new step. In addition, if you want a pattern other than what is available on the box, you will have to create it to add it to the arrangement.

    Now, the drum pattern that starts at measure 2 (Step 2) plays until Step 3 starts at measure 26. Then the Step 3 drum pattern plays until Step 4, and so on. This will get you through the whole song in perfect time. Then you can later create the patterns/arrangement that you want to record into the song, and enter that arrangement at mix down/bounce (pages 60-61).

    When creating arrangements, you will need to know how many steps there are. When anything changes (e.g. tempo or drum pattern), you will have a new step. Steps are not created for each measure. You will want to know before you start to create and arrangement, what drum pattern you are going to want to use, at what tempo, and for how many measures. What I did was played along with the pattern to get the right tempo. Then I played the entire step along with the pattern and used the display screen to tell me how many measures.

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