Mod Archive Forums

Music Production => Tracking => Topic started by: BlueSkies on March 31, 2009, 14:49:35

Title: Tips on drum track
Post by: BlueSkies on March 31, 2009, 14:49:35
Inspired by the Tips on Melody thread. When I'm trying to compose a song, I'll have an idea of the kind of drum beat I want to go with it, not just an idea of the beat, but what type of drums too. I'll have quite a clear sound in my head of how I'd like it to come out, but I can never get close to representing it. I think my problem is I'm trying to jump in at the deep end and make advanced loops like those I've heard from commercial songs. I need to scale back and learn the basic of basics about composing a drum loop. To compose a drum loop first and then fit a song around it. Then once I've mastered this art I can be more flexible later on.

Do you have any tips or rules of thumb on creating drum loops?

Also, does anyone here use single samples containing full drum loops? I didn't think this was the done thing - using loop samples - in Tracking, but whilst dissecting some modules I found this is exactly what Andrew Sega had done. What's your position on this?
Title: Re: Tips on drum track
Post by: Saga Musix on March 31, 2009, 15:11:00
Use drumloops if you want to, noone will mind. Using only drumloops may be lame, but slicing them up and combining them with oneshots can be really awesome. The reason why you don't "reach the quality of commercial productions" is probably the lack of post-processing, like adding reverbs, gating, compression, whatever.
Title: Re: Tips on drum track
Post by: usrfriendly on April 03, 2009, 08:25:53
When making a drum beat, I generally start out by laying the kick drums and snares at the same time.  Then, I put in the hi-hat or cymbal crashes last, as kicks and snares are generally the big part of drum tracks (at least for me).  Postprocessing isn't worth a penny without a good beat (as many hours in Modplug have taught me).

I use sliced loops when needed, because I don't like flat-out copying, whether the loops are royalty-free or not.
Title: Re: Tips on drum track
Post by: m0d on April 03, 2009, 08:42:45
I love the retrigger command to make some extra "cowbell" in my drums.

example recording (
Title: Re: Tips on drum track
Post by: woolters on December 05, 2009, 02:25:24
now, I realise this is an older topic, but since I'm a drummer, and therefore pay extra attention to my drum tracks, I thought I'd share how I do it:

In regular 4/4 pop music the snare always comes on the 2nd and 4th beat, and a kick drum on the first (what you do with your kick after the first beat is entirely up to you). The hihats fill every count, or the eights. That's a basic pop drum pattern, which I'll try to show:

|: one and two and three and four and  :| (beat)
|:  H    h     H    h     H     h     H    h    :| (hihat)
|:  K                                                 :| (kick)
|:               S                         S         :| (Snare)

A standard pop/rock rhythm that has been copied millions of times (in fact I've played it about 100x tonight) is

|: one and two and three and four and  :| (beat)
|:  H    h     H    h     H     h     H    h    :| (hihat)
|:  K                        K     K                :| (kick)
|:               S         s    s        S          :| (Snare)

I always imagine how I'd be playing it in real life. A realistic drum never sounds the same twice. Tone and volume vary constantly. That's what I try to put in my drum tracks (of course I'm too lazy to tweak every note to my liking, but you can do it per pattern)

One mistake I often see/hear in tracker music is the fact that hihats and cymbals are severely underestimated. You have to see it this way: if they really were of lesser use, then why haven't drummers all over the world expelled the cymbals from their kits a long time ago? Why do orchestras still use that 'ridiculous' instrument called the Triangle? because it adds that little extra. It is the cream on your cake. The nipple on a breast  ;D.
I do not even like the sound of my own drum kit, because the cymbals sound ugly. They spoil my playing pleasure. Your choice of cymbal affects the overall sound of your song. A Crash gives extra impact, a Ride gives a smooth edge, etc. I'm not going into all the musical stuff because that list is endless...
Title: Re: Tips on drum track
Post by: BlueSkies on January 08, 2010, 17:28:34
Very helpful.Thanks for that woolters.