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RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
Laying out drums

Thought I'd just put forward how I do drums, I play drums for real, with sticks and hands and feet and stuff, so I (like to think I) have a pretty good feel for grooves. I'll start by talking about how I lay out the patterns, this allows me to have an easy set up for making complex beats without having to remember where I put that particular pattern.

So starting in Bank A, pattern 1. Create a hat groove that you're happy with. Accenting on beats 1, 5, 9 and 13 is pretty obvious, but sets it up nicely, try accenting on 1, 4, 7, 9, 12 and 15 for a more syncopated feel. Whack some open hats in there nice and quiet on the accents to make it sound like you've hit the hat so hard that it crashes the hat a bit.

Nice... Happy with that... Then copy and paste to A2, and add bass drum, maybe snare...

Onto A3... Add a bit more...

A4... Bit more, change the groove a bit maybe

And so on...

So at any point in your song if you want to bring the drums up, you simply pick a higher drum number, if you want to bring it down, you go down the numbers.

But what about fills... Yes yes yes... We'll get to that...

Make Bank B, C and D is a complete copy of Bank A. I wish there was a button for this, but it's a copy and paste marathon.

OK, Bank B is our Fills bank... So going through each of the patterns in B, at the end of the pattern do a nice little fluish... So on hats you might want to have some nice open hat work going on there, some snares, some crazy bassdrum rolling... hey have some fun kids!

Bank C is our Crash bank... Essentially... Go through every pattern and whack a crash on the first beat. Might want to open up the hats a bit to make it feel like you've just hit a cymbal hard.

Bank D... Well... This is I use for alternate fill, so you might want a bigger fill (or smaller).

So this means at any point in your song on the sequencer you know that C5, A5, A5, B5 will make for a good beat. And to make it more impressive you just turn it up to C6, A6, A6, A6, C6, A6, A6, D6... Yeah, you can hear that now can't you!

Anyway, that's about it, hopefully this is marginally useful insight... Might talk about cross fading between open and closed hats and different flavours of snare at some point to give different feel... Until then...

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
That is a unique perspective

That is a unique perspective on how you create your drum patterns. For some reason I'm a bit more sloppy putting patterns in some orginazational format. I usually start out with a few basic runs, and work on other parts of a song, then I will come back later, and create a bunch of patterns for beats, fills, break, etc.....

For me it doesnt matter what genre I create here, it's kind of the same. Now lately I have been using my soon-to-release PocketKitPro presets to make recent demo tracks, and with all kits being hot-swappable, and having some minimal dynamic hits available all crammed into a 2-octave MIDI keyboard for those that do that (especially if you have a GNex = lowest latency) makes for a very good drumtrack creating experience, at least for now what we have available to us with the current design in C3.

That said, your methods certainly give me thought to better organize my patterns, because in some cases I will end up making dozens....

zaclaurent
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Joined: 11/18/2013 - 18:43
Nice! Like J, I fall into the

Nice! Like J, I fall into the unorganised category 

Im sure these tips wil help a lot of people tthough 

for me it's faster to use a few beatboxes rather than do a1 a2 etc, but I might well adopt your method!!

James
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Joined: 01/21/2013 - 07:09
Really interesting Rob - I

Really interesting Rob - I will definitely go back to your post a lot over the next few weeks smiley

James
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Joined: 01/21/2013 - 07:09
I use multiple BB's for the

I use multiple BB's for the variety in sounds - I never get past 16 patterns in a machine, I'm happy with a lot of repetition.

Pan65
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Joined: 12/02/2012 - 12:04
That's a really nice way to

That's a really nice way to organize drum patterns. Personally I always start with a simple beat to play along with and keep it that way until the song is almost finished. 9 times of 10 the drums are the last thing I polish before I start mixing. I think the drums are so important that they deserve a little extra treatment.

James
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Joined: 01/21/2013 - 07:09
Increasingly, the music in my

Increasingly, the music in my tracks is just something sprinkled over the top to hold the drums in place laugh

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
I should probably point out I

I should probably point out I don't often start out with these drum patterns they build over time. But the important bit I find is to have the base beat on bank A., the fill on B, the crash on C and alt fill on D. This way you always know where you are!

Pleased this is being helpful or sparking a debate!

James
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Joined: 01/21/2013 - 07:09
I won't pretend that I'm

I won't pretend that I'm likely to adopt the Bank A, B, C etc - I work in a generally disorganised way BUT the general tips around constructing beats are great and appreciatedlaugh

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
Rob makes good points, and I

Rob makes good points, and I will try to take his advice on my next track and see how it goes. I use mostly PocketKits on PCMSynth... But i also have big kits which are not publicly distributed..... I'm talking multiple dum hits accross the entire keyboard range.... Well up to 64 samples.... Which is ok for me, but waaaaay too cumbersome for most users to program in Pattern or Sequencer.

One day well have velocity layers for PCMSynth, but that has been debated recently and mutually agreex that it is not practical for this app at this time for a variety of reasons, thus my PKPro project, yielding a bit of both sides.... Dynamics but simplicity at the same time.

But I will try Rob's method and see how it works for me, and report back later...

celebzooz
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Joined: 09/19/2013 - 10:34
I make about 6 progressive

I make about 6 progressive patterns of the verse,then about 2-4 of the build up,then about 3 for the bassline,and then some more for everything else.The most patterns I've used is about 24 in a song.

Oh and Rob the advice about the hi hats is really helpful.I have never been very good with hi hats.

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
Something else to note, if

Something else to note, if you're trying to make drums sound more 'real' is that a drummer (generally speaking) only has 2 hands and 2 feet.

So if you're playing a 4 beat a hat and snare can sound at the same time, however with an 8 the hat isn't played whilst the snare is played. Equally with the crash and hat.

Just important to note that of hat, snare, tom and crash, only 2 of these can be played at any one time.

Also, if you've just hit a crash you are generally a bit excitable and you hit the subsequent hat or snare a bit harder than usual.

And accenting a crash with a bass drum or snare is good too.

Also, having been pointed at the fact that you can switch quantise off now, in my next bit of music which I'll stick up here at some point soon, I've got some nice Tom flams going on, which sound really good!

wardini
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Joined: 07/13/2012 - 17:13
I sort of do a variation of

I sort of do a variation of RobFarley's system but not as organized. Like the main beat is A1 and its variant is A 9 which is physically located under the A1 button. The bridge or release is the same deal in the B's with C and D reserved for other sections or 'experiments'.  Like James and zaclaurent confess, I am woefully disorganized. But i wasn't when I first started with Caustic, I'd write out elaborate lists of the patterns numbers with a description.  That doesn't seem necessary any more as the app is so much easier to 'wrangle'. But I think this is a really helpful and the idea could be applied to all patterns in Caustic.
 

celebzooz
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Joined: 09/19/2013 - 10:34
RobFarley,you know your your

RobFarley,you know your your drumming very well.yes

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
I think RobF was trying to

I think RobF was trying to showcase a little drum theory, for those that want to attempt to create an actual acoustic type drumtrack feel.   Seperate feet from hands.... try to imagine yourself sitting on the stool, and see where your sticks go..... etc... etc..... EDM drums get a little different, and jungle dnb bends those rules even more (although some drummers will pull it off live -- jazz drummers oh yeah -- always fun to watch)

Good discussion here -- I find it quite intriguing -- 

-- paradiddle -- lol

mekanism
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Joined: 06/16/2012 - 19:34
Thanks Rob. If you get a

Thanks Rob. If you get a chance could you post up a track to showcase what you are talking about? I spend a lot of time programming drums so any tricks to make it easier and better is great. I'm especially interested in fills, I suck at fills.

James
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Joined: 01/21/2013 - 07:09
then again Rob posted a track

then again Rob posted a track http://www.singlecellsoftware.com/node/2970 that demonstrated that 'real' drumming can work really well in an uptempo and trancey electronic track.

 

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
Yeah I liked that track, he

Yeah I liked that track, he laid out some good tom action there...... I hope to post up some drumstuff too, using PocketKit Pro in a few different ways to create acoustic style or breaks style tracks etc.....

mekanism
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Joined: 06/16/2012 - 19:34
Cool track. I love the tom

Cool track. I love the tom fills. Would like to see the programming on that track.

RadioRev
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Joined: 11/01/2013 - 02:58
Yeah, this is cool. Thanks

Yeah, this is cool. Thanks for the accent placement tip, I would have never done that on my own, but I like it. I play with velocity levels a lot, when trying to emulate real drums, as im sure many of you do, but having never been a great drummer, the process is torturously painstaking and blind...

┬┐que onda, pachuco?

TheZEROProject
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Joined: 06/16/2013 - 14:14
Admittedly, I'm yet another

Admittedly, I'm yet another of the disorganized bunch, so any tips that could provide a shred of potential improvement are treasure for me. I love how tight-knit the Caustic community is for reasons such as this.

Anyhow, I seem to also start most projects with a simple drum track and then build on top of that, and going back to replace or add new parts. Kind of a scattered workflow. However one technique I use a lot, almost to the point of abuse is loading a BeatBox machine and using 8 different, yet similar closed hats in the smallest grid resolution for somewhat articulated percussion loops. Works well for dubstep, especially with the bitcrusher. Lately I've run into some brickwalls regarding dirty basslines, but that's another topic for another forum.

VIOLENT NEUROSIS (YouTube) ...https://www.youtube.com/user/ViolentNeurosis

TheZEROProject
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Joined: 06/16/2013 - 14:14
And yes, editing drum hit

And yes, editing drum hit velocities is tiring, but one of the necessary evils. I suppose it's a fair price to pay, though, since I don't have a real kit. :-(

VIOLENT NEUROSIS (YouTube) ...https://www.youtube.com/user/ViolentNeurosis

Jason
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Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
PocketKit Pro will help solve

PocketKit Pro will help solve that problem......

RobFarley
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Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
I promise to make a caustic

I promise to make a caustic file (complete with verbose explanation) for you hi-hat woes!

TheZEROProject
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Joined: 06/16/2013 - 14:14
Using a moderate variety of

Using a moderate variety of hihats in the way i described usually doesn't pose a problem as far as velocities go. With enough attention to layering drums it seems like velocities aren't really an issue. I don't always wanna dedicate a BeatBox to one type of drum hit, though...

VIOLENT NEUROSIS (YouTube) ...https://www.youtube.com/user/ViolentNeurosis