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Old 02-23-2009, 11:54 PM   #1
Bezmotivnik
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Default Building Drum Tracks -- How?

This has been the stumblingblock for me in recording for years.

Tomorrow, I'm building a new DAW specifically for Reaper and want to get rolling. I don't want to hit another brick wall with my drum tracks.

I can play drums and have a drumpad kit with a box that nominally will gate MIDI drum programs. If that doesn't work, I have a new MIDI keyboard controller that should do the trick.

All I want to do is generate drumtracks for my songs from loops I record using some velocity-layered drum samples on the computer.

Assume I'm totally ignorant beyond this point (because I certainly feel it!).

Where do I start?

What do I need to do this in Reaper?

Where are some tutorials?

Many thanks for any useful information! I want this to work this time!
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:43 AM   #2
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Try this link


http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=31282
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
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Try this link
Thanks, but this is a bit over my head right now.

I need an easier, more mainstream solution that can get me going quicker with less learning curve, otherwise I'm going to get bogged down and discouraged yet again.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
Thanks, but this is a bit over my head right now.

I need an easier, more mainstream solution that can get me going quicker with less learning curve, otherwise I'm going to get bogged down and discouraged yet again.
Go get an Alesis SR18 Drum Machine.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:32 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
Go get an Alesis SR18 Drum Machine.
Do you know how BIG its manual is!
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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Default Jamstix

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
Thanks, but this is a bit over my head right now.

I need an easier, more mainstream solution that can get me going quicker with less learning curve, otherwise I'm going to get bogged down and discouraged yet again.
Jamstix !

http://www.rayzoon.com/jamstix2_upd.html

Can't be quicker. Demo will let you try out very fast. Rayzoon is in the same league as Cockos: Great software, Ethical and Unbelievable support !

Dali
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:06 PM   #7
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Do you know how BIG its manual is!
I managed to configure midi and program loops without ever looking at he manual of my SR16 manual. Its just not that difficult to master
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheArchitect View Post
I managed to configure midi and program loops without ever looking at he manual of my SR16 manual. Its just not that difficult to master
Well, looks like you once took the learning curve to understand MIDI
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
I can play drums and have a drumpad kit with a box that nominally will gate MIDI drum programs. If that doesn't work, I have a new MIDI keyboard controller that should do the trick.

All I want to do is generate drumtracks for my songs from loops I record using some velocity-layered drum samples on the computer.

Reading the original post I would have thought Jamstix is not what Bezmotivnik is looking for. It is also only a demo, (which for some reason I couldn't get working).

If you have an input device such as a drum pad or keyboard and you play drums you are already way out in front of me. If you want to use these to input your beats, you don't need anything more than a VST instrument and some samples, that's what Bez was asking for isn't it?

You could use a soundfont player, or a sampler, or a dedicated drum machine (VSTi), depending on what you want to spend you could get something like addictive drums or EZ drummer - the question is which?

I would go for Shortcircuit myself, because it will do just everything any those things will do and it's free. There is no learning curve to speak of if you only want to play a soundfont in it, you just put shortcircuit on a track and load a soundfont into it, connect you input device, record arm the track and away you go. If you want something simpler than that I am afraid there isn't anything. Perhaps a soundfont player looks simpler because you can't do anything else with it, but that's just a visual thing.

If you don't want to trawl through two pages of tutorial I can understand that, but don't let it put you off.

Shortcircuit is very flexible, but it is also as simple as it gets.

Perhaps I should put up a tutorial on how to set up Shortcircuit with a soundfont, which you should be able to use within about two minutes of downloading a zip file - providing you can connect your input device. Would that be of any help?
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:58 PM   #10
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Well, looks like you once took the learning curve to understand MIDI
true enough
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tedwood View Post
If you have an input device such as a drum pad or keyboard and you play drums you are already way out in front of me. If you want to use these to input your beats, you don't need anything more than a VST instrument and some samples, that's what Bez was asking for isn't it?
Assuming you are right, then there is only one solution: MDrummer small. Free. Multilayered samples included. And a whole drumtrack (with intro, chorus, verse, outro) in a minute!
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by stupeT View Post
Assuming you are right, then there is only one solution: MDrummer small. Free. Multilayered samples included. And a whole drumtrack (with intro, chorus, verse, outro) in a minute!
Why do you say there is only one solution, soundfonts are a solution, probably the most common simple solution there is, and there is practically no learning curve or outlay.

Do you use MDrummer? Does it work?

I thought it looked good and downloaded it (twice because I forgot I tried it once before). It definitely has it's own learning curve and it's severely limited unless you buy the full thing
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedwood View Post
Why do you say there is only one solution, soundfonts are a solution, probably the most common simple solution there is, and there is practically no learning curve or outlay.

Do you use MDrummer? Does it work?

I thought it looked good and downloaded it (twice because I forgot I tried it once before). It definitely has it's own learning curve and it's severely limited unless you buy the full thing
Yep. Small-Edition is working fine. Limitations only in respect to things which need some learing curve, so our original poster wouldnt mind anyway.

Meanwhile I got the large-Edition. Just great.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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Assuming you are right, then there is only one solution: MDrummer small.
Is it really free...i suppose it's limited ?
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:04 PM   #15
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Is it really free...i suppose it's limited ?
Its unlimited free.

But: You do not get all the mutlisamples of finest drums. You cannot save the rhythm generated rhythms. And you cannot re-route your instruments (so you are left with the default of 4 channels for all drums/cymbals).

But it will give you an almost instant decent drum background for almost any style you can image... and if you create your own, then you have to stem-render it before you leave reaper (no save, as I said).

But nevertheless: please note all my smileys in the posts overhere.

I am not seriously critising other drum machines, drum VSTis here or other tips given before. I just wanted to make a bit fun out of someone posting: tell me how to get perfect drums, but I dont want to read manuals or other's people threads!

Cheers
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:06 PM   #16
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From the web site

MDrummer Small is the lightest version of MDrummer. It does not contain drumset editor nor rhythm editor nor rhythm generator. However it contains several drumsets and rhythms and it is FREE!


While the full version might be good (if you like that sort of thing) it's difficult to see what's good about the small version. No drumset editor, no rhythm editor. Yes it's free and it comes with some samples, that should be good, but the samples aren't anywhere near as good (IMO) as many others you can find links to on this forum, or I would have spent more time trying to figure it out, instead I got very bored very quick and deleted it.

NB: No Save = doesn't work, in my book
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:21 PM   #17
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The Shortcircuit route is a great way to go, and is not really that hard to grasp (took me about 2 hours).MDrummer Small would be ok also, and even tho there is not a lot of tweaking available, I think it is a cool program and have had the Small kit for a few. The effects that they give away for free are not too bad either, tho they are CPU hogs on my system.

I own EZ Drummer, Addictive Drums, DOD, Beta Monkey, & Smart Loops, among numerous software programs. For ease of use and to get going quickly I would say go with Drum Loops, and I recommend the Smart Loops Acoustic kit (close to 6000 4/4 & 3/4 loops & hits for $75)

Of course everyone is different, and this is just an IMHO, so take it with a grain of salt...
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Old 02-24-2009, 03:22 PM   #18
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Another vote here for Shortcircuit, thanks to Tedwood's tutorial. Download & print the PDF, download & install some stuff, and off you go...
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:39 AM   #19
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I use and recommend Jamstix but not to people just beginning as it's takes some getting used to but is well worth the effort further on down the line and has great personal support from Ralph at Rayzoon

http://rayzoon2.com/forum/

just like Reaper does here.

Take Tedwood's advice in this case.He's put a lot of work into his tutorial and it's worth following.

If anyone wants to give Jamstix a go then this should make it easy to test run the demo,

Once the Demo is installed add the Jamstix Folder to your VST paths on the options/Preferences/VST section and clear cache and re-scan so that Reaper can find the jamstix2.dll

Start a new project.
Right click on a blank space on the left and choose to make a new Virtual instrument track.
Choose Jamstix from the list.
If a window pops up asking to make multi out put tracks cancel it.
The next window should be,"Song List".
For test purposes choose the Rock song and click load.
you should now be in the Song sheet and midi bar editor window and the."Jam No Input" should appear in the large box top left under the other options.

If you now hit the space bar JS should start playing.It will take a couple of bars before you hear the drums as there's an intro in the Song sheet on the left hand side.You can click on the small green arrowhead and remove the Intro if you want the drums to start straight away and create a unique drum track/song
The Jam No Input mode is the most common used and you can make a song sheet on the left and edit and re-makes grooves/accents and fills in the bar editor anywhere in the song automatically.
Jamstix can also be used as a straight Drum module by changing the Jam No Input to Drum module mode.Then you just use it on your midi drum track like any other drum sample player.
I match the song parts I make in JS with Markers in Reaper so I know where I am in a song.

HTH
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:26 PM   #20
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Still listening and thanks for the advice so far. I haven't built the DAW yet as the momboard/CPU combo I was going to get was out of stock, so better luck tomorrow. [Fingers crossed]
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:39 AM   #21
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Also looking for app to create drumloops. My plan is to also use some samples I've made myself of drums (djembe and other not that common ones) and find a program to input these into and then kind of map that onto a midi track drum pattern. I'm not a drummer and need som help in form of maybe preset drumpatterns to combine to verse/chorus/fills etc. And yes most importantly, I want this 'humanize' thing to get rid of the robotic feel.

What program or combination of programs would I need to get this going?

Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:26 AM   #22
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I use and recommend Jamstix but not to people just beginning as it's takes some getting used to...
You can say that again, Jamstix is built from the ground up to confuse peoples every step of the way, it's not for beginners. Once you come to grip with it it is cool software, but to get there takes time and dedication and, IMO, the opposite of what the op is asking for(although, to be honest, I'm not quite sure what the op is asking for...).
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:04 AM   #23
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You can say that again, Jamstix is built from the ground up to confuse peoples every step of the way, it's not for beginners. Once you come to grip with it it is cool software, but to get there takes time and dedication and, IMO, the opposite of what the op is asking for(although, to be honest, I'm not quite sure what the op is asking for...).
Well, it's certainly not a steeper learning curve!

What am I unclear about in my request? What I wish to do is make velocity-layered drum loops and incorporate them in Reaper with some sort drum VSTi using either my MIDI keyboard controller or the MIDI out on my electronic drums, and do so with a minimum of frustration, learning curve and obscure, unintuitive programs.

I only have a general idea of how this task is done, know no specific processes and have not so far actually used Reaper for recording.

I know that's not a lot of information, but I'll supply more if you ask.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:16 AM   #24
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ive tried jamstix over and over again, and uninstalled it over and over again...
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:26 AM   #25
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Well, it's certainly not a steeper learning curve!

What am I unclear about in my request? What I wish to do is make velocity-layered drum loops and incorporate them in Reaper with some sort drum VSTi using either my MIDI keyboard controller or the MIDI out on my electronic drums, and do so with a minimum of frustration, learning curve and obscure, unintuitive programs.

I only have a general idea of how this task is done, know no specific processes and have not so far actually used Reaper for recording.

I know that's not a lot of information, but I'll supply more if you ask.
Well then the basic is:

Hook up your drum pad unit to the computer(probably throught MIDI in, but some are USB...).

Make the MIDI input available in Reaper, this is done in the Reaper preference.

Make a new track in Reaper, select the MIDI as input for the track then arm the track.

Load up a VSTI, could be a drum machine, could be a general use sampler with proper soundset or soundfont loaded.

Press record, play your pads, press stop when done.

A few gotcha:

Make sure your drumpad is outputing on the channel the VSTI is expecting; there can be 16 channels in MIDI, drums usually are on channel 10.

Some VSTI, like Addictive Drums to name one, have really weird notes mapping and cannot be remapped(how stupid is that?), while your pads are probably set, by default, to GM(General MIDI). You'll have to set your pad to trigger the proper notes, and to do that, you have to read the drumpad manual, no way around this.

If this is too basic, I'm sorry but given the very general nature of the question, I thought it best to start at the very beginning.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:38 AM   #26
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ive tried jamstix over and over again, and uninstalled it over and over again...
I think Jamstix should be a textbook example on why programmer shouldn't try to design their own interface... ever. But once you get over it's confusing, jumbled up look and few idiosyncrasies, you eventually get to appreciate what it can do, which is très cool.

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Old 02-27-2009, 09:25 AM   #27
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If this is too basic, I'm sorry but given the very general nature of the question, I thought it best to start at the very beginning.
Broadly speaking, I pretty much know this stuff in theory, I just haven't actually done it yet in Reaper (I did manage to get some drum tracks experimentally done in Cubase a year or so ago, but I was just blundering around). It is good to see that I at least have the concepts fairly well oriented.

What I'm looking for at the moment is a recommendation for a reasonably accessible drum VSTi (free would be even better), unless there is a way of doing this without a drum VSTi -- I'm not clear if that's what ShortCircuit [above] is or not. I don't fully understand the difference between a drum sampler and a drum VSTi, if there is any. Redundant and ambiguous recording terminology has needlessly confounded me in the past.

I'd also like a source for a plausible-sounding, 24 bit, velocity-layered, straight acoustic drumkit sample set (again, free is even better) to load with whatever drum program I wind up with. I have everything to make my own drum samples, but that's just too big of a project at this stage and I'm sure there are much better ones available.

So...having gotten that far, I assume I set a click track matching my prospective song tempo and lay down the beats, then edit them in Reaper into usable modular loops, which I then assemble like Legos in the drum track.

I assume there are Reaper tutorials about that part.

So, how am I doing so far?
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:39 AM   #28
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A VSTi is an extension of VST or is just a fancy name for any program that can be used in DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) which is what Reaper is a.The"I"in the name means it's a program that is usually some form of musical instrument drum/synth/sample player etc.
VST(Virtual Studio Technology)is a generic name Copyrighted to Steinberg but has come to mean similar programs to the above that are not musical instruments like compression/EQ/Delays/Reverb etc all of which can be loaded as FX in Reaper.

Simple Example:
You load a drum VSTi onto a track in Reaper but then after that you also may load a reverb VST the same track to add some ambience etc.

Most Drum VSTis use,"midi" to trigger them so there usually needs to be midi notes on the track which you have recorded or have added by pre-made loops.

Groove Monkey make loads of these,

http://www.groovemonkee.com/home/rev...reebies-2.html

Many with velocity changes in them.


You can also download the free basic kit version VSTi of Addictive drums(AD)

http://www.xlnaudio.com/?page=downloads

which comes with some ready made midi drum patterns to get you started and a basic kit but definitely read Tedwood's tutorial as it will help.

Also worth a bookmark,

http://www.cockos.com/wiki/index.php..._Documentation
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:53 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Sheppola View Post
VST(Virtual Studio Technology)is a generic name Copyrighted to Steinberg but has come to mean similar programs to the above that are not musical instruments like compression/EQ/Delays/Reverb etc all of which can be loaded as FX in Reaper...
OK, that much I already know, but how is a drum VSTi different from a sequencer?
Quote:
You can also download the free basic kit version VSTi of Addictive drums(AD)

http://www.xlnaudio.com/?page=downloads
OK, this is presumably for their "Addictive Drums Demo Version"?

Quote:
which comes with some ready made midi drum patterns to get you started and a basic kit but definitely read Tedwood's tutorial as it will help.

Also worth a bookmark,

http://www.cockos.com/wiki/index.php..._Documentation
Bookmark saved.

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Old 02-27-2009, 09:54 AM   #30
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I think Jamstix should be a textbook example on why programmer shouldn't try to design their own interface... ever.
He also shouldn't write the documentation.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:05 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
He also shouldn't write the documentation.
A VSTi needs a,"Sequencer" to play it usually.In this case the software sequencer job it taken care of the midi drum track in Reaper in effect becoming a programmable sequencer.In the old days before software recording sequencers were usually a hardware unit.

Ralph at Rayzoon/Jamstix is great guy but I've told him that he doesn't make it easy for people.I only got into the Jamstix demo on the 3rd attempt and then bought it.Glad I did.I Couldn't go back to manually editing midi drum tracks now except for very slight modifications.Way too time consuming to me and JS is fun

A lot of the later songs in my sig are done with it like,"Born Under A Bad sign" etc.It's not for everyone but I like it.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:28 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Bezmotivnik View Post
OK, that much I already know, but how is a drum VSTi different from a sequencer?
Think of your MIDI track in Reaper as the sequencer (because that's what it is essentially) and the VSTi as your sound patch with the actual drum samples or whatever you want to use.

The VSTi can be a sampler or a drum synth or whatever. Reaper is the sequencer in this case. All the drum loops and whatnot that Addictive Drums and other programs come with are basically just preset MIDI sequences that you drop into Reaper to trigger the sound patches in the VSTi?

Make sense?
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:30 AM   #33
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Read about Shortcircuit on the website to find out more

http://vemberaudio.se/shortcircuit.php

but it quite simply does everything you ask, that is it is:

A sampler - therefore a drum sampler

A VST

It can play most types of files - including soundfonts!

It's not a sequencer - Reaper does the sequencing when you record midi to tracks, playback sends midi data to your VST (in this case Shortcircuit)

The learning curve is scalable, that is from nearly zero to extremely flexible so once you get comfortable at one level you can explore some deeper options - like making your own layers and routing to separate audio tracks for mixing.

At the simplest level as already stated, all you have to do is put it on a track, connect your input device, load a soundfont, record arm the track and you should be in business. if it doesn't work first time the likely cause will be sending midi on the wrong channel - I get over this by putting "midi router" before Shortcircuit in the FX chain. You don 't need to read my tutorial to do any of this as must of it is just basic Reaper methodology. You might want to read it when you feel like building your own kits, doing some layering, and routing to multiple mixer channels though.

PS, be careful not to prejudge before you try, I would be amazed if you can tell the difference between a 24 bit drum sample and a 16 bit one with just your ears

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Old 02-27-2009, 12:40 PM   #34
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So putting the samples into SC and using sequencing of loops in Reaper, is there any way to add humanize/swing (these small randomized errors/variations on millisecs scale of when the hit happens in relation to the beat) to get it more natural?
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:44 PM   #35
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So putting the samples into SC and using sequencing of loops in Reaper, is there any way to add humanize/swing (these small randomized errors/variations on millisecs scale of when the hit happens in relation to the beat) to get it more natural?
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:33 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedwood View Post
...
It's not a sequencer - Reaper does the sequencing when you record midi to tracks, playback sends midi data to your VST (in this case Shortcircuit)

The learning curve is scalable, that is from nearly zero to extremely flexible so once you get comfortable at one level you can explore some deeper options - like making your own layers and routing to separate audio tracks for mixing.
...
Hey Tedwood - do you use Shortcircuit on any of your songs? I'm interested in possibly using Shortcircuit and would be nice to hear where it has been used.

Thanks,
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:31 PM   #37
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Hey Tedwood - do you use Shortcircuit on any of your songs? I'm interested in possibly using Shortcircuit and would be nice to hear where it has been used.

Thanks,
Actually no complete Reaper projects with Shortcircuit, I have been quite happy with Addictive Drums, but I will use SC for more specialised percussion, like congas, tambourine, brushes etc.

However there are a few sample contributions in the tutorial thread. I copied them below.

https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/110925/SC-Multi.mp3 Stratman

https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/108600/SCdrums.mp3 Tedwood

https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/376061/...rcuit-demo.mp3 The all new Rob

https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/108663/...ageDrumSet.mp3 Michajo

https://stash.reaper.fm/oldsb/109469/SC-Drums.mp3 Stratman again


The thing is Shredder most of this comes down to the skill of the programmer and the choice of samples, Shortcircuit doesn't have a "sound" and the patterns are just sequences that are nothing to do with SC so it's kinda misleading.
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:20 PM   #38
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Were do I find that pop-up?
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:38 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Tedwood View Post
PS, be careful not to prejudge before you try, I would be amazed if you can tell the difference between a 24 bit drum sample and a 16 bit one with just your ears.
But if I am recording the project at 24/44.1, don't all samples have to match that bit level?

I've been told they do. Right? Wrong?
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:44 PM   #40
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Quote:
but how is a drum VSTi different from a sequencer?
Good grief. I was 3/4 asleep when I wrote that.

I meant, "how is a VSTi different from a SAMPLER?"

Sorry for the stupidity.

OK, I gotta go see about a motherboard...
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