Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

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rparker
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Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by rparker » October 17th, 2012, 4:50 am

Hi Everyone, another one of these "what do y'all like to do?" questions. Today's is about drum tracks. There's only a jillion ways to do them. It often depends on what I'm doing and what's available.

For covers with existing drum tracks in the Guitar Pro application, I export the MIDI and apply it towards drum software inside my DAW. Mostly using Strike right now, which is a Pro Tools' drum kit Virtual Instrument.

I sometimes build a song in Band-in-a-Box/RealBand and export the drums that were built with their "Real Drums" functionality. Sometimes I just export the MIDI and use it like GP usage above.

For originals, which totals one completion and a few other ideas laid out, I either do some MIDI inside of PT to drive Strike as if it was lifted from a GP file.

I used to use pre-made backing tracks. I found that creating them somewhat to be fun. (At least "creation" on this level)

So, what do you guys like to do?
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by notes_norton » October 17th, 2012, 6:38 am

rparker wrote:<...>
I used to use pre-made backing tracks. I found that creating them somewhat to be fun. (At least "creation" on this level)

So, what do you guys like to do?
In the pre-historic days (1980s) I bought a couple of MIDI sequences from a vendor advertising in a magazine (Either Keyboard or Electronic Musician). They were hysterical, Leilani and I were laughing with tears rolling down our cheeks. We'd never heard anything so awful in our lives.

So I learned to write my own. I had the Atari computer and I bought Master Tracks Pro for a sequencer.

Since then I've grown with it. I bought Band-in-a-Box and in 1992 started writing aftermarket styles for BiaB. I often use BiaB as a "scratch pad" for writing backing tracks when there is an appropriate style. I use BiaB to perform some of the "mule work", harmonizing parts I wrote the top line of, and handling comp parts like rhythm guitar that are not essential to the song but are filling.

I prefer the MIDI Styles to the so called Real Tracks. True, the Real Tracks sound good, but they are for all practical purposes non-editable. Auto-accompaniment tracks like those from BiaB are by necessity generic. But many songs need song-specific licks mixed in, and with the "Real" tracks it's impossible to do so in all but the simplest of cases. Besides, if I'm going to do un-editable audio tracks, I may as well just buy a karaoke track. But that won't do for me, as I want my creativity go show - I play music because I like to play with music and I like to express myself.

I have an entire web page devoted to how I write my own backing tracks and also how I use them on-stage in my duo.
http://www.nortonmusic.com/backing_tracks.html

And another as to why I prefer MIDI to audio tracks
http://www.nortonmusic.com/midi_vs_loops.html
explaining some of the things I can do with MIDI that are impossible to do with audio loops.

Of course there is no one correct way to make music. My way is best for me, but may not be best for the next person. In other words, YMMV.

But feel free to check out the web pages, take what you want, and leave the rest.

Insights and incites by Notes
Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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Re: Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by rparker » October 17th, 2012, 8:05 am

Nice articles or pages, Notes. Very descriptive.

I think you hit the Biab/RB and Real Tracks limitations dead on. I really thought it would be a bigger part of the tool-box than it is. The thought of getting 80% there by typing ins some chords, setting tempo and selecting the style of music is pretty cool.

Recording, though, you're right. You have to like what you hear to use the Real Tracks functionality. If I am looking for backing track material and come across this, I have to ask myself that one big question. "Will I be absoltely satisfied with each and everything I get?" If the answer is "no", I export the MIDI and go about it via sequencer.

I did recently use a Real Track/Real Drums drum kit for the Folsom Prison Blues cover I did. Hard to be wrong when the original didn't have the instrument to begin with. :lol: :lol:

One little tip for anyone watching. The mixer in Real Band does a pretty good job of letting you blend your current guitar tone into the mix. I send in my Boss GT-100 signal via USB and get it all on the same output. It's as if you are in the band. In my case, the lowest common denominator, but that's a different topic. :mrgreen:

I remain astonished that anybody would use either BiAB or the RB apps in a live situation. I see it again and again whenever I look through their forums for a solution to an issue. Even nowadays with the current quicker load times. That part matters, yes, but even worse is reliability. Look at the steps you've taken just to play MP3s.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by TRGuitar » October 17th, 2012, 8:18 am

I used to use a Boss drum machine called a Dr Rhythm Section. I still got it but it's a PIA to program. It does sound awsome though and can be used as a guitar sythesizer. Now I find a well done MIDI of the cover song I want to do and I ummmmm ..... borrow the drum track. I should get better software and program my own drums. Another option is to play them but I'm not that good of a drummer.
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grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
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Re: Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by jwmartin » October 17th, 2012, 6:40 pm

For covers, I try to find Guitar Pro files and run the midi through Addictive Drums. For demos of originals, I use the built in beats from AD or a few sample packs I got from Groove Monkey. If the original is getting promoted to a full version, I'll usually go in and tweak the built in beats to fit more what I want.

Before I learned that I could run standard midi through Addictive Drums (by default, it has its own mapping), I once sat and programmed the entire drum track to Sunshine of Your Love note by note in the midi grid in Reaper. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done :D . If you are familiar with the drums on that song, Ginger Baker plays the verses "backwards". Most drummers hit the snare on the 2 and 4, he hits on the 1 and 3. If anyone wants the backing track, let me know. I did it 3 or 4 years ago and only used it a couple times while jamming with a guitarist.

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Re: Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by Moonrider » October 18th, 2012, 4:39 pm

rparker wrote:Hi Everyone, another one of these "what do y'all like to do?" questions. Today's is about drum tracks. There's only a jillion ways to do them. It often depends on what I'm doing and what's available.

So, what do you guys like to do?
Take advantage of all my drummer friends ;) I'll use a loop for a rough draft, but If you know a drummer, and you have 2 or three mics, it's fairly easy to get a good drum track.
Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

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Re: Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by Vutzdish » March 27th, 2013, 4:38 am

jwmartin wrote:For covers, I try to find Guitar Pro files and run the midi through Addictive Drums. For demos of originals, I use the built in beats from AD or a few sample packs I got from Groove Monkey. If the original is getting promoted to a full version, I'll usually go in and tweak the built in beats to fit more what I want.

Before I learned that I could run standard midi through Addictive Drums (by default, it has its own mapping), I once sat and programmed the entire drum track to Sunshine of Your Love note by note in the midi grid in Reaper. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done :D . If you are familiar with the drums on that song, Ginger Baker plays the verses "backwards". Most drummers hit the snare on the 2 and 4, he hits on the 1 and 3. If anyone wants the backing track, let me know. I did it 3 or 4 years ago and only used it a couple times while jamming with a guitarist.

I stumbled across this post and hope your offer still stands.

My buddy here in Baltimore is teaching an after school "Rock Band" class for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students where he teaches. He asked me to help him record a version of Sunshine of Your Love in the key of "E" with him for his students to use for practice. Our problem (because of him needing this ASAP) is we can't find a drummer for the session this weekend.

So, I'm on the Web searching for a MIDI drum track that I can plug into my DAW (Reaper by the way...absolutely love it) to use with EZ Drummer to substitute as our drummer.

If you're still on this forum and your offer still stands, would you be so kind as to reply back to me to let me know if you'd be able to send me your SOYL drum MIDI track? It would be a lifesaver...

Thank you so much in advance.

VutzDish

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Re: Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by jwmartin » April 2nd, 2013, 8:06 pm

Vutzdish,

My offer does still stand. I can send you MIDI and a .wav or .mp3 of the file if you want. I don't proclaim it to be perfect, but it's definitely pretty close. You can't really listen to it and the original together because their meter kind of drifts throughout the song. Send me a PM with your email address and I'll email it to you. I also have White Room if you want it.

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Re: Your Preferred Percussion Strategy - Part 1

Post by Vutzdish » April 3rd, 2013, 12:47 pm

jwmartin wrote:Vutzdish,

My offer does still stand. I can send you MIDI and a .wav or .mp3 of the file if you want. I don't proclaim it to be perfect, but it's definitely pretty close. You can't really listen to it and the original together because their meter kind of drifts throughout the song. Send me a PM with your email address and I'll email it to you. I also have White Room if you want it.
Hey man...

Thanks for getting back to me... For whatever reason, I can't use PM's (it says something about me being "too new" or "not having enough posts" to use that feature). Anyway, I ended up finding a GtrPro MIDI file for our session. It worked OK and we were able to get something put down so the kids would have something to listen to for practicing.

I'd still like to have your version (if you don't mind) as a backup for the future and would also love having White Room too.

Maybe you can PM me and I can respond back with my email address. I think that should work just as well...right?

Thanks again for getting back to me. I'll be looking forward to seeing a PM pop up next time I log on.

-=-Vutzdish

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