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Old 22-06-2003, 04:03 PM   #1
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Default Drums::: programiranje bubnja

Basic Tricks

Depending on the musical style there are some things to consider when programming drum tracks. For most of the dance styles it is good to program strait fours and sixteenths to the bar, but for more rock-oriented music we would like to program drums in a way that it sounds like a Live drummer played it.
The first thing to do should be obvious: listen to real drummers. There is a lot to learn from the way a real drummer does it's thing, that can be translated to drum programming. For this reason there are some very famous drummers who are doing pure drum-programming for other famous musicians.
The first thing that can be learned is the fact that a drummer has only two hands and two feet. This sounds like something we all know, but it implicates clearly how a drummer plays a rhythm and what he can do and cannot do. The first and most made error in drum programming is doing things a real drummer could never do. And I don't mean doubling up the drums with percussion because in reality there could be a percussionist. What I'm referring to is the machine-like use of Hi-Hat, Bass drum and Snare. A lot of musicians program these three instruments as the basis for their rhythm. So far so good. But when you have a Hi Hat on every sixteenth of the bar, a real drummer would mostly use both hands to play the Hi Hat and every time he hits the Snare, one hit on the Hi Hat goes missing. Strangely enough a lot of people who listen to music are not aware of this but do associate a Hi Hat that is consistently hitting on each sixteenth to machine-like programming, even on a subconscious level. So the first lesson to be learned from this is to check your rhythm for concurrent hits that a real drummer could never accomplish. This is the ONE thing to do to get rid of the machine-like association.
Second, and most of you will know this, are of course to use some sort of swing in your programming, moving some beats here and there out of exact timing. This can be a lot of work, especially because it is a very delicate matter. Moving beats out of timing to far may create sloppy rhythm. Also, not every instrument lends itself to this kind of tinkering. Bass drum and Snare drum are the drive of the rhythm and should not be messed with regarding to timing, there are other ways to make those sounding alive. Any good real drummer has rock-solid timing on his Bass and Snare beats. Swing is introduced mostly on the Hi Hats and Cymbals. They can run around the solid rhythm that is set by the Bass and Snare.
So how can we liven-up the Bass and Snare if we have to keep them to exact timing ?
The simple answer is to use velocity. A real drummer is no robot, so he can not make every hit exactly the same. So varying the velocity for a bunch of hits (you don't have to change every hit) will go a long way and it will not mess with the basic timing of your rhythm.
Advanced Tricks

This is where it gets interesting. When you listen very carefully and very closely to a real drummer you will hear certain hits that seem to run around the basic hits and it can be heard best on the Snare. What I'm referring to are called "grace notes". First of all, this is a mechanical thing. When a drummer hits the Snare his stick sometimes will touch the Snare a second time right after the real hit in a slightly uncontrolled matter. Because this after-hit (as I shall call it for now) is not really controlled or driven by the drummer it is much softer in velocity (and therefor in volume). Adding grace-notes to your rhythm should be done very subtle. Create a few copies of your main rhythm and put some different grace notes in them. After this, use the copies with the grace notes just every now and then in your normal rhythm. Try to be random as where to put a "grace-note pattern" and which copy to use. Just for information, experienced drummers put grace-notes in their rhythm in a controlled manner. For example, it is a very important technique used in Jazz to create a special kind of swing.
But wait, there is more
When a drummer hits an instrument (and again this is most obvious with the Snare) the instrument is not being hit consistently in the same place. And a Snare drum can sound very different based on the place where it is hit. We can emulate this by using two or three samples instead of just one. Use the basic sample to make one or two copies and edit them with a program like Cool Edit, Gold Wave or Sound Forge, using EQ to create some damping or attenuation to the copies. Now load the copies into extra drum tracks and use the different Snare sounds at random.
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