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MIdiot Drums


(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
Topic starter  

So, I'm an idiot when it comes to MIDI. Which is sad since I write software for a living and am supposed to know everything about computers (at least my tech challenged friends and family believe so). I was going to post a question asking for advice choosing between EZDrummer and Addictive Drums. A lunch time trip to Guitar Center has pretty much answered my query since I purchased Addictive Drums. :) I asked about EZDrummer first, because it seemed well recommended and was cheaper ($150). Well, they had it on sale for $119 (and if you buy before April 30, Toontracks has a mail in rebate for a free expansion pack). I asked about Addictive Drums, he said they had it, but none on the shelf. I asked what his opinion was about the two and he said the absolute best was BFD. At $400, I'm sure it is. I told him that was a little more than I needed since my studio also doubled as my living room. He thought Addictive was a little better than EZD, so I asked how much it was and he had to go in the back to find out. At this point, I was sold on EZD at $119, since Addictive is $199 on GC's site. I mean, I'm just trying to get something better than my keyboard's crappy drum sounds. He comes back with Addictive and it's on sale for $129! So I bought it, like the compulsive shopper I am (this was supposed to be a reconnaissance trip).

Of course, now I need to upgrade Cubase because I have the free LE version and you can't drag and drop the pre-built drum tracks in the LE version.

To start with, I'm probably just going to use the built in grooves, but when I do want to build my own, what is the best method for creating the midi files? My keyboard does midi out, so do I just use that and somehow map certain keys to certain drum sounds? Does anyone use a drum pad? If so, what's a good one and how much? I understand that the midi is simply which sounds to hit adn you can control the tempo w/ the BPM in Cubase. What are some methods for building the midi file so that it stays in a consistent rhythm? I would even be content with a piece of software that allowed me to map out the drum track without "playing" it.

Sorry for the avalanche of questions, mainly just looking for some pointers for how to progress. Thanks!

Bass player for Undercover


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(@misanthrope)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2268
 

Quantising is what you're after. You can play (almost) as sloppily as you like, and quantising moves all the notes to the closest beat to even it out. Any recording software that handles MIDI will let you move those notes about manually too, if you can just find the right place to do it :)

For the tabbing option, I use GuitarPro to tab out all my drums (along with most of the rest of the song), and then export it to a MIDI file from that. Works a treat.

Before you fork out for Cubase, have you tried Reaper? 'Tis incredibly cheap ($50, and an uncrippled trial), incredibly easy to use, and IMHO every bit as good as the big name programmes. Drag and drop MIDI straight into it, link the track up to your drum program and off you go.

ChordsAndScales.co.uk - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

I had been using CubaseLE and the midi keyboard general midi drums. I wanted something better. I bought ezdrummer and then had to upgrade to Cubase Essential 4 to utilize drag and drop. sound familiar?? now I am learning how to make more effective tracks. soooo much to learn.
the upgrade from LE only cost 99$ through Steinberg.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@jwmartin)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
Topic starter  

Misanthrope, I will check out Reaper before buying the Cubase upgrade. Thanks for the heads' up.

dogbite, sounds like we need to form a midi drum on Cubase support group :)

Bass player for Undercover


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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
Topic starter  

Misanthrope,

Next time you are on this side of the pond, I owe you a couple of rounds. I think you saved me $50. I love Reaper and am going to buy it instead of upgrading Cubase. There are a few things I'm not crazy about (the main one is when I select a part of a track and hit Delete, it deletes the entire track. I have to remember to hit Ctrl-Delete. This is the complete opposite of 99.99% of software). Being a software developer, I love the extensibility and openness of it. Even though I know I'll never actually write any code for it, just knowing I could makes it seem better. The EQ is much better than Cubase, the interface is cleaner, etc. One thing I've fallen in love with (and Cubase probably has this, I just never stumbled across it) is the markers. It seems like a pretty simple feature to love so much, but just being able to label the sections of a song make it so much easier to move stuff around and keep up with where you are when recording the initial guitar track. I saw that you can define regions that would make it even more clear, but it's too many keystrokes to name it. Markers are just quicker.

I'm going to use it another week or two to make sure. I briefly got enamored with Audacity and started moving projects over to it, to find out there were things with it I just couldn't overcome. But so far, I haven't found anything that I need that Reaper won't do, and most of what I do, it does better than Cubase.

Forgot to even mention the original subject of this thread: Addictive Drums. This product is freakin' awesome! I've been able to put awesome sounding drum tracks to 3 different songs in just a few hours. Last night, I started working on a new song and I recorded the 3 different guitar parts and pasted together the basic framework, then brought up AD. I spent more time listening to the built in beats trying to decide which one I wanted than I did laying down the entire drum track for the song. I picked 2 different beats and then 2 or 3 variations of each one. Drag and drop a little, 2 real quick, simple edits in Reaper's MIDI editor (just to get cymbal intro and the last measure "big finish") and about 45 minutes later the drums are complete for the entire song.

Here is a demo I did in about 15 minutes this weekend. All drag and drop.

Bass player for Undercover


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(@misanthrope)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2268
 

Just passing it along - KingPatzer converted me not too long ago :)

I have to say I'm equally impressed with Addictive Drums from that demo, I'll have to give it a go. Currently I'm tabbing all mine and running them through a soundfont player. It's done me good so far, but your demo just reminds me that I really don't think like a drummer :)

ChordsAndScales.co.uk - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer


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(@dagwood)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1029
 

Just heard the demo...

OKAYYYYY my interest is ......piqued!! :)

Awesome, good job.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


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