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Drums & Percussion The place to discuss drum kits, percussion & e-drums

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Old 10th March 2010 , 05:23 PM
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Default A few questions about Drum software

Hi Guys, i was reading the sound on sound magazine i bought earlier and it has a small article on a drum software product and it got me thinking. My idea up until now has been to buy an electronic drumkit (Yamaha Dtxplorer) and use that for recording as an acoustic kit is out of the question because of volume but now i'm thinking that software would be the best option for me because i have very very limited space. Someone on here (dave i think) did suggest drum software to me before, but i disregarded it because i was intending to do my recording without the aid of a PC but that has since changed and i am learning how to use Cubase. My Question is though, what is the process when using drum software? By that i mean, will i be able to construct a drum pattern for an entire song, load that to cubase and then record the music to go along with it? Or do i record my music to cubase, then transport it from there to the drum software and build the pattern around the music? Let's say for example that the latter is the case and i have used a metronome to keep in time when recording all the Guitars, bass etc but perhaps it's a little out of time in parts, does the drum software recognise this and sort the problem or do you have to start from scratch? Preferably i think i would like to have the drum pattern more or less finished, transport to cubase and then lay down the rest of the music and then have the option to then transport it all back to the drum software to perhaps add on a few extra fills or whatever if needed. Also, what are these things like for ease of use? And lastly, what do you guys reccommend with regards to drum software and are there any safe places i can download a free trial to see if it's definitely what i want?

My budget for this is basically what i was going to pay for the DTXplorer (460)

Thankyou!
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Old 10th March 2010 , 06:06 PM
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Just to add to that, are there any drum software that will run on a laptop with only 1GB ram? Just tried downloading addictive drums trial and my ram is too small to support it
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Old 10th March 2010 , 06:46 PM
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Others here will give you much information but I would just like to suggest a little thing that might be worth trying. For years I have been using Jammer Professional by Soundtrek. It is a band-in-box kind of thing. It can create drum tracks in various styles to go along with chord progressions.
I just noticed that they have a product called SoundTrek Drummer and they offer a fully functional 30 days trial. Jammer Professional is very light on computer resources so I am guessing SoundTrek Drummer will be similar and have no problem running on your laptop.

http://www.soundtrek.com/drummer/trial_version.html
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Old 10th March 2010 , 06:58 PM
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Any of the top Drum VSTi plugins could suit your needs (Toontrack Superior 2, Toontrack EZDrummer, fxPansion BFD2, XLN Addictive Drums et al...). The basic premise is you browse the plugin's groove library, which typically has variations on groups of themed beats, and then drag and drop your chosen patterns into a MIDI channel in Cubase to build up your drum track. When you then play it back, the assembled MIDI track plays the real drum sounds from the VST plugin's sample library... final outcome is that it sounds pretty much like a real drummer playing the patterns you chose to build up your drum track.

As an example, I created the drum parts of the "Laura Warwick" tracks in my player linked below using that very process:

http://drstudio.da-media.co.uk/peerreview/
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Old 10th March 2010 , 10:26 PM
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Thankyou guys. That's great, i'll check them out. Want to try a couple of these before i decide what one i want to buy, if any atall. Thanks.
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Old 10th March 2010 , 10:38 PM
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Soundtrek drummer wouldn't work on my laptop either

It's starting to look like i'm going to have to think about a new PC for this sort of thing. I was intending to do that in the future anyway and dedicate it only to this sort of thing but it would have been nice to be able to try out a few trials on this laptop.
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Old 10th March 2010 , 10:46 PM
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What's this VST midi stuff? I don't use midi atall. Willi have to?
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Old 10th March 2010 , 11:31 PM
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Sound-wise in my experience the best "finished product" drum sounds come from the Steven Slate Drums series...

However, they are meant to be used as a "final product" - there's not a lot you can add or subtract from them, mix-wise... but that's OK sometimes too.

Worth looking at if you want something that sounds polished straightaway...

They come with a Kontakt plug-in to be used as VSTi/AU/RTAS/whatever...
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Old 10th March 2010 , 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piano View Post
Soundtrek drummer wouldn't work on my laptop either
Are you sure? in your next message you ask what is a VST so it seems you may not understand how to start up a VST application such as Soundtrek drummer.
VST is Virtual Studio Technology. When you install Soundtrek drummer and other VST applications they should install themselves in to a standard VST plugins directory. This is a place where applications such as Cubase can find the VST applications and use them. So you load Soundtrek drummer as a VST instrument/application within Cubase.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology
Quote:
VST plugins are generally run within a Digital Audio Workstation, providing the host application with additional functionality. Most VST plugins can be classified as either instruments (VSTi) or effects, although other categories exist. VST plugins generally provide a custom GUI, displaying controls similar to the physical switches and knobs on audio hardware. Some (often older) plugins rely on the host application for their UI.
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Old 11th March 2010 , 11:30 AM
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NI Battery should run easily with the spec you have. Its quite easy to use, but the acoustic kits are a bit behind the times compared to BFD, Toontrack e.t.c.

I had a 3.0Ghz P4 with 2GB RAM + IDE Hard Drive and it couldn't run BFD2. Having said that, I needed to upgrade the computer anyway and it was bloomin well worth it!
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Old 11th March 2010 , 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloke From Barnet View Post
NI Battery should run easily with the spec you have. Its quite easy to use, but the acoustic kits are a bit behind the times compared to BFD, Toontrack e.t.c.

I had a 3.0Ghz P4 with 2GB RAM + IDE Hard Drive and it couldn't run BFD2. Having said that, I needed to upgrade the computer anyway and it was bloomin well worth it!
Yeah, i think i'll have to look at upgrading eventually aswell.
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Old 11th March 2010 , 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxman View Post
Are you sure? in your next message you ask what is a VST so it seems you may not understand how to start up a VST application such as Soundtrek drummer.
VST is Virtual Studio Technology. When you install Soundtrek drummer and other VST applications they should install themselves in to a standard VST plugins directory. This is a place where applications such as Cubase can find the VST applications and use them. So you load Soundtrek drummer as a VST instrument/application within Cubase.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology
Hmm, well i was ecpecting there to be an icon that i just clicked and the programme would open. VST is in my midi menu. I don't use midi, but i guess that it's just a matter of opening the programme in there somehow? I will try and reinstall later tonight when i'm home and see how i get on. How good is this soundtrek? I will download the trial regardless to get an idea of how these things work. I really would like to get a good quality drum programme, i'm willing to spend what i have to but it would be nice to try a few really good ones before commiting.


Thanks guys, no doubt i'll have more questions soon!
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Old 11th March 2010 , 01:21 PM
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I recorded a friend on Tuesday, I actually used to play drums in this band, but we used BFD2 for this recording just to get the nice fat sound, so this is an example of that particular software in a home studio. http://soundcloud.com/6-string/judy
We used the Jim Scott 'Chad Smith' kit, but used Gretch toms.
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Old 11th March 2010 , 01:22 PM
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Cubase has plenty of decent drumkits in Halion, and also a drum grid in the sequencer.

Gotta be the easiest way to start.
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Old 11th March 2010 , 02:12 PM
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I still use the Cubase drum editor. Actually, with that budget, he could probably get a copy of a decent general synth from EW or NI which also come with a few nice kits, plus he'll probably get another product free and about 150 change.

The drum track is something I usually do first, even if it is a simple beat to start writing a song with, it can always be edited to suit the song as it develops. Just further to what Dave said, if you're not too farmilliar with plugins, you'll need to go into Devices>>VST Instruments and load the drum software into one of the banks, then it becomes available as an output on your midi tracks.
Once you program a beat or load a preset onto a midi track, simply set the output to the VST instrument you have just loaded.
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