Creating drum tracks for songs

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Hello, Fretboard!

It is a ridiculously long time since I've been around here, so hi, and help!!  

My age old problem when songwriting is how to create quick and easy drum tracks.  Ideally, I'd like something physical so that I'm not having to twit around with tiny little squares and mouse clicks (it takes an age, my hands get sore and I do not have the patience/time).  I'm wondering if a cheap drum machine would help me - I have no real clue about drums beyond the basic kick-snare-hi-hat rhythm - so this may be more of a hindrance than a speedy alternative.

Previously I have used EZ drummer with some success, but it still takes an age and there's lots of mouse work, so just wondering if there's a more suitable alternative.....in this modern world.

Any guidance greatly appreciated. Max budget £150 ish.

Cheers,
Clare
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Comments

  • poopotpoopot Frets: 7609
    Are you on Mac?
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  • mrkbmrkb Frets: 2644
    If you still have an ezdrummer licence, then adding a cheap midi input like a akai lpd8 would get around the mouse click issue to create beats. I doubt you’d get something that sounds as good for £150.
    Karma......
    Ebay mark7777_1
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  • poopot said:
    Are you on Mac?
    No Windows PC
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  • mrkb said:
    If you still have an ezdrummer licence, then adding a cheap midi input like a akai lpd8 would get around the mouse click issue to create beats. I doubt you’d get something that sounds as good for £150.
    Thank you, that sounds like a good work around.
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 16069
    I use easy drummer 2, but I build everything with the included loops.

    I never used the original EZD so I don’t know how different 2 is, but I can find something I like for almost everything.

    I did buy a funk and jazz expansion for more old school drum sounds, but the loops are the same, just different tunes.
    Humans will swim in the sea even though there are many corpses in it.  They will not swim in a pool with a corpse in it. 
    Therefore all humans have a water / corpse ratio that is acceptable to them.
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  • I use easy drummer 2, but I build everything with the included loops.

    I never used the original EZD so I don’t know how different 2 is, but I can find something I like for almost everything.

    I did buy a funk and jazz expansion for more old school drum sounds, but the loops are the same, just different tunes.
    It is actually EZD2, I think, and it is great, it's just the fiddling around. And I was struggling to get it to work properly on the laptop, although I think I've sorted it. I just hoped for a more arthritic hands friendly input method
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  • mrkbmrkb Frets: 2644
    edited September 11
    In that case something like that Akai would be ideal - just set a pad up for kick, snare,etc and tap when needed. There are lots of similar devices with various extra features - just find one that suits your workflow. Also check out teh additional midi packs (they often sell specific ones at £9, but currently all are 20% off). Use the "tap to find" capability to find beats that are similar to what you want - if you enable the "show webshop midi" option it will show you (and allow you to briefly listen to) what midi packs have similar beats for ones you havent purchased..

    Best MIDI Pad Controllers - 2021 [Top Picks]| Audio Assemble

    LPD8 MIDI Drum Pads | Akai Pro
    Karma......
    Ebay mark7777_1
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  • mrkb said:
    In that case something like that Akai would be ideal - just set a pad up for kick, snare,etc and tap when needed. There are lots of similar devices with various extra features - just find one that suits your workflow. Also check out teh additional midi packs (they often sell specific ones at £9, but currently all are 20% off). Use the "tap to find" capability to find beats that are similar to what you want - if you enable the "show webshop midi" option it will show you (and allow you to briefly listen to) what midi packs have similar beats for ones you havent purchased..

    Best MIDI Pad Controllers - 2021 [Top Picks]| Audio Assemble

    LPD8 MIDI Drum Pads | Akai Pro
    Thank you very much, mrkb, that's a great help.  Happy Sunday.
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 5029
    eyup stranger!

    Have a look at the Novation Launchkey Mini mkIII - its about 90 quid. very good value, has a 25key board plus 16 pads to control midi. I use it for drums and it's dead easy. Plus, it has a load of other neat controls that are useful. Gets universal good reviews. Well built too. Bargain!
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  • FezFez Frets: 368
    I have a small midi keyboard that has some pads but generally I use midi packs you have to look out for the offers. The midi loops are easy to hack about to get what you want.
    Don't touch that dial.
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  • personalnadirpersonalnadir Frets: 173
    edited September 15
    I use an Electron: Cycles. Takes a bit of learning, but super easy to use after that. It does all sound like a drum machine as opposed to drum samples, but I prefer that at the moment 
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  • I'm not a big fan of playing in drums on finger pads tbh. For me it's slower than mousing it in by the time you clean it up. Admittedly I'm pretty fast at mousing in though but I suppose my main point is that it doesn't actually eliminate the need to use the mouse so I wonder if it might be better to grab a decent quality midi pack for the genre you're interested in and just drag in loops? Especially if your music isn't really heavily focused on drum / guitar interplay. 
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 5593
    Didn't Toontracks (or someone else) have a program that "listened" to guitar playing and created drum tracks for you ?
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 16069
    I wish I could do this!




    Humans will swim in the sea even though there are many corpses in it.  They will not swim in a pool with a corpse in it. 
    Therefore all humans have a water / corpse ratio that is acceptable to them.
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  • If you are trying to simulate the playing of a human drummer, remember that this lifeform only has four limbs. 

    Unless you expect a drummer to headbutt the cymbals, drum parts should be four note polyphonic. Cymbals and gongs can sustain a fair while. The rest of the kit can not.

    I have no real clue about drums beyond the basic kick-snare-hi-hat rhythm
    Check out the DVD Neil Peart: Taking Center Stage. A master class in what is physically possible on a drum kit (or three!).
    Be seeing you.
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 7609
    If you are trying to simulate the playing of a human drummer, remember that this lifeform only has four limbs. 

    Rick Allen!
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 22932
    Second hand Beat Buddy? I've never used one, but a couple of technophobic singer songwriter friends of mine love theirs. 
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  • I bought a large bag of loops and use them as a starting point:
    https://groovemonkee.com/products/mega-pack
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  • If you are trying to simulate the playing of a human drummer, remember that this lifeform only has four limbs. 

    Unless you expect a drummer to headbutt the cymbals, drum parts should be four note polyphonic. Cymbals and gongs can sustain a fair while. The rest of the kit can not.


    This is getting a bit off topic but while this is true I don't think its the most important thing to stick slavishly to. If you forget to remove a hi-hat hit when you program a crash and snare hit no one is really going to notice. I'd say instead the absolutely key thing to making programmed drums sound better is to set the velocity on the hi-hat / ride / whatever is doing the pulse. Drummers play in note grouping and setting those accents makes sooo much difference. 
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  • Youtube has some drum tracks (sometimes up to 10 minutes long), with varying styles and categorised by bpm.  if it is a case of getting a song going, and I don't want to be faffing, I will go to a youtubetoWAV site, download the WAV and stick it in a track on reaper.  (sometimes you may have to trim the start to get the wav to line up with the bars).
    Then at leisure (and when in the mood) you can go back and program or play a new drum track.
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