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Going solo and EZDrummer

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by socialleper, Jul 20, 2018.


  1. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    My band hasn't spoken to each other or done anything in weeks, so I can safely assume it isn't a band anymore, or that I'm not in it. 6 months of trying to find an original band doing the music like has ended up in nothing but frustration.
    So F it, I was thinking about something on my own. I am an adequate user of Cubase, but that is just what came with my previous recording interface on an older computer, so I will probably have to adapt to a new DAW. I'm not worried about that.
    One concern is that I really am just a bass player. I'm not one of these guys that seem common to TB who played other instruments before taking up the bass. I can strum a few chords on a guitar. I lack any of the physical coordination to actually play a drum kit. Vocally, I can't carry a tune a bucket and hate the sound of my own voice. So that's a little to overcome.
    Then there is learning to use some king of drum machine\software. It seems like a digital drum machine device is a waste of time given how comprehensive something like EZ Drummer is. A software program seems like a better option. However, given that, as I stated, I don't know squat about drums, my question to people that use it is "will I be able to figure it out?"
    If I can't work out beats that I would need, is there an online library somewhere of beats made on these programs that people just put out there for general consumption? I tried using something called Beta Monkey years ago, but always had issues with the prerecorded tracks stretching in my DAW.

    Suggestions? Tips? Words of encouragement\discouragement?
     
  2. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I'ved used Ezdrummer for a few years now (and it's on my band's record). It is easy to use and does have tons of (optional - $$$) libraries of various styles and genres. They're in midi format and can easily be mixed and matched, or altered according to taste. Lots of odd time signature stuff too.

    A big plus is the variety of kits you can have, and that you can mix and match your kit - kick drum from this set, snare from that one... It's glorious.
     
    DirtDog and socialleper like this.
  3. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Groove Monkee has some free (and some paid) midi loops. Just google "midi drum loops". Or if you like a beat from a particular song, search for "songname midi". Download, import into your DAW and then you can throw out everything but the drum track. Then you can start edit that midi file to better suit your needs. One thing to be aware of is that some midi tracks are very well done, with variable velocity and appropriate ghost notes, and some are terribly free from dynamics and detail.
     
  4. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Do you want to compose your own beats - or play along with beats that are built into the software? EZDrummer is more of the latter, but you can endlessly tweak the sounds that EZDrummer makes. The expansion packs allow you to create drum tracks in a variety of genres. I use EZDrummer exclusively right now in everything from jingles to Americana to hard rock. Easy to use.
     
  5. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I think I want to be able to write or edit beats, but have a library of existing beats to help inspire me.
    I know you need a DAW to do anything with what you create, but can the program be used to create beats without it? For example, if I wanted a friend to write beats but he did have any other software or hardware, could he just export it to a wav and Dropbox it to me?
     
  6. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    @Nashrakh @DirtDog
    Do the expansions come with libraries of beats or is it just kit sounds that you are buying?
     
  7. Mcgiver69

    Mcgiver69

    Sep 28, 2005
    England
    Yeah the expansions can be drum kits only, beats only or both.

    Like someone said Groove Monkee sells a lot of beat bundles for almost every genre in existence at almost unbeatable prices. If you combine that with the tonnes of beat that EZdrummer comes with your possibilities are almost endless.

    Groove Monkee sells other instruments bundles that could help you record your music.

    Hell there are lots of people making music with Band in a Box which is based in the same concept.
     
    socialleper likes this.
  8. equill

    equill

    Nov 25, 2010
    Madrid
    Easiest solution: get a Beatbuddy from Singular Sound | Creators of Groundbreaking Music Gear & Equipment
    I got one for a similar reason - I suck at programming drum patterns, and I'm not willing to carve out the time to learn, if I can avoid it. There are plenty of aftermarket bundles of beats and drum-kits to load onto it, and you _can_ build your own if you wind up wanting to.
    Of course, you need one or two recording inputs for it, depending on whether you want it in mono or stereo, so there's that to consider.
     
  9. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Definitely the focus is on kits, but I do believe that beats come with the packs. I’ll confirm with you when I have a chance. I have the Americana expansion pack at the moment.
     
  10. Ulf_Hansson

    Ulf_Hansson

    Apr 15, 2014
    I love to play with a real drummer, but I have to admit some of the tracks produced by EZDrummer are surprisingly good. For a project studio or solo tracking endeavor like yours it should be perfect.
     
    socialleper likes this.
  11. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Same. Sadly I have found myself in a very isolated position with no immediate access to other musicians. Or at least not ones that would be willing to put up with my noodling while I experiment with music that will probably never see the light of day.
    Now if only there was an EZVocalist program....
     
    The Owl and Ulf_Hansson like this.
  12. BigBasserino

    BigBasserino

    Apr 30, 2017
    I use a plugin in my DAW called FPC.....basically it allows me to cut EZdrummer out of the equation if I'm crafty enough. But it comes with pre- programmed patterns, some good, some bad.

    Programming beats is a combination of visualizing rhythms, picking good sounds, and knowing when things are thin or thick per pattern. It's easy to overuse crash samples when a ride will build progression . That being said, don't go nuts thinking like a drummer ... it can hurt!
     
    socialleper likes this.
  13. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    1 2 3 4
    1 2 3 4
    1 2 3 4
    1 2 3 4
    1 2 3 4

     
    fatNfunky and Ulf_Hansson like this.
  14. BigBasserino

    BigBasserino

    Apr 30, 2017
    Don't forget to put the "and" in between. And then "e" as well as "uh" when you go deep subdividing.

    Hats and rides are good for subdividing 8th and 16th notes. Crashes (especially if you have two to alternate between) are good for marking the quarters. Or half notes, depends what kind of beat you're after. The kick and snare action can get pretty lenient if your cymbals are on point, just look at my soundcloud

    EZDRUMMER can easily do what I'm doing, it's just that generally they've figured out how to measure out sample lengths and how to band each element before I did. Between that and the velocity scaling of samples that "humanizes" machine drums (which I think is overly sensitive at times) they really get rid of the hard part of learning (that I really dived into because I've done roughly a decade of production on my own).
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  15. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Do any of you use a midi controller of some kind to tap out the beats? Or just the mouse in the time graph?
     
  16. BigBasserino

    BigBasserino

    Apr 30, 2017
    I did come up with my own patterns through just mouse editing, but I saved them each to their own file.

    Sometimes I would find my own patterns would be pretty basic to the DAW's patterns (like half the speed) so to even things out I took the patterns I made, shrunk them half the length, then pasted a repeat to compensate. That way I have two modes of speed at 140 bpm.
     
  17. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I've got a couple different methods of getting beats into the DAW

    1) Use pre-programmed beats
    2) Midi drum pads with drum sticks/pedals
    3) finger pads on my Midi keyboard
    4) mouse clicks

    Often I use a combination. I'll play the beats on the pads, then add details in with the mouse.
     
  18. Mcgiver69

    Mcgiver69

    Sep 28, 2005
    England
    If you have the time and disposition you could learn using the XpressPads method. If I'm not mistaken it's $30 for the main course, if you feel like it then you could buy another genre specific extension course. All you'll need is a midi pad like the Akai MPD, something like EZDrummer and you're good to go. Search XpressPads on Youtube for more info.
     
  19. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Here is a question for the users:
    When you are going through the midi clips in the browser they have a tempo associated with them. However when you drop them into the editor to put them together into a song, the "tempo" there stays at the default of 120. If you change that to what the clip tempo says it was in the browser, it warps the clip when it plays or is exported. So what is the real tempo?
    This weirdness is giving me a real headache when I try to export and then import into Ableton, because it seems like the tempo is never right.
     
  20. BigBasserino

    BigBasserino

    Apr 30, 2017
    You mean like all the drums end up going rapid fire and sounding like a machine when you try to approximate them?

    If that's the case I'd try to leave them alone until they end up in DAW (unless of course you're programing your own beats). I use FL and stretch mine out as needed to doubles or halves, depending what I'm after.

    Generally a lot of "default" patterns at 120 are throwing in all the bells and whistles that can get lost in translation at any other speed because they're designed to showcase the features. My opinion is focus on scoring before using any discretion. It's much like waiting until you've written a paper before you decide wing dings might look funny.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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