What’s up producers? It’s Aiden, aka artsy from EDM proud here.
I decided I would make an advanced drum programming tutorial for those of you who want a few more advanced tips. I made an advanced Ableton tips video in the past and a lot of you seemed to enjoy it.
So I thought I’d continue that with a slightly different topic on drum programming.
As I said, there are a few gems here.
So if you want some more unique ways of making and writing drums for electronic music, then make sure you stick around and watch the whole thing because you never know what might stick out to you.
Let’s jump into them straight away.
So the first thing I want to talk about is more of a workflow technique, and it’s to layer your drums beforehand.
Now, a lot of producers love to layer drums like kicks and snares or even other percussions, just because it helps them get a more full sound or it helps them get a more unique sound.
The problem is, a lot of producers spend time on their actual tracks layering drums, which is fine if it’s necessary.
But to avoid getting into the technical work during the middle of a writing session, you want to kind of have your drums ready to go before and you can just drag and drop them when you’re ready to do that.
So let’s make a little snare here by layering a few samples together and we’ll process them and etc.
So I like the tail of this snare here.
And I want to replace that with something else or bring down the volume to give myself a bit of headroom.
Something like this, with a bit more of a crack.
Let’s turn this down.
I’m going to shorten this one.
I think I’m gonna also fade out the trends. There may not be as much safe pitching, but it helps as well.
It is quite like that one. It has a bit more tone to it.
Let’s see what sort of unique samples we can add to it as well. It might be something like the tail end of this clap here.
Just for some extra texture.
That very well also fade in the transient.
It’s gonna also pass anything we got here.
And I’ll make sure it’s in mono.
process these together.
It’s gonna run through a guy who just didn’t saturation.
And now I’ll turn it down afterward.
So basically, now I’ve got this cool snare. Right, that took me a bit of work to get there.
Maybe I’ll say yes, whatever.
I’ll also be boosting a bit of the high here.
Especially this one.
So I’ll resample this now.
So I said that’s a resample.
So now what I can do is turn this off.
I’ve got a sample here.
I can export this. Make sure you don’t do that or anything.
And call it a cool snare.
Now, if I am at my desktop for a second, I always have this snare ready to go.
Wait for it to load.
It’s always there. You don’t have to make this snare every single time.
And I’d really highly recommend doing that.
It’s basically the same thing as making samples from scratch in a similar way.
Like you’re just layering other ones but processing them, but you get these unique ones instead of yeah, whatever else.
Yeah, anyway, that’s just a workflow tip that I’d highly recommend.
So another thing I’d recommend as well if you’re using MIDI for something is velocity randomization.
I’ve talked about this before, I think in another video, but let’s load up on something sweet.
And then we can, like a little, change this BPM to, like, an ad.
And then I’ll draw an example pattern.
Just duplicate the note server.
And make sure to load in the sample.
And we’ll just add a little thing here.
Now it sounds pretty good, right?
It sounds pretty robotic though.
So what I’ll do is I’ll go and add in a velocity, and I can just randomize the velocity.
And you can make it really subtle, you can make it quite extreme.
I find no more than 20 is nice.
Because otherwise, it sounds too unpredictable.
And it’s not realistic.
So it just helps it sound more human.
If you’re trying to go for a more human feeling in your tracks, you can do this on multiple different elements.
So, for example, if we grouped this into a drum rack, and then we added in extra samples, like, now it’ll apply to all the velocity.
But if we just want it to happen on one, it is going to be a matter of actually driving into the sampler and just putting on the pad. One will stay at the same velocity, whereas this one won’t.
So there are a few different ways you can do that.
There are other things you can do with the velocity one to help control the dynamics of the MIDI, but I won’t go into that too much now.
So for this third tip, I’m just gon na line up the snare here and what we’re gon na do is we’re gon na add a drum loop to kind of fill out the background, something that will work, and then we’re just gon na warp it in time, which is a fairly standard thing to do with the drums right, so I’m not going to go into too much depth
Also, do this cool transient thing, which is another bonus tip for those of you out there.
One, policies repitching our high school some of the stuff out of it.
So one thing you can do, obviously, is a loop, but it’s a break.
You can use like, I guess, odd timings for the loop.
So you can, you know, this is three beats or three quarter beats, three eight beats rather.
And you can do this with multiple different Sam like lib samples.
So dragon this one you could like and you get that unique offbeat feel with your drums.
So this next tip is something I love to do and it’s a kind of a workflow hack for getting unique drums before we do anything.
Further ado, I’m just gon na find a kick to add in just any cake will do for now.
Yeah, that will do.
Yeah, no one is clipping whatever. I’m just gon na check on a glue compressor.
So we’ve officially got a one-bar loop here, right?
Now, I like to use something called the duplicate rule, which is a rule I basically made up myself, which is, you start with like a one-bar loop or even a beat or something.
And I think a bar is an ideal place to start and you basically duplicate it.
And then every time you duplicate it, you have to do something different with that extra duplicate.
So you know, there could be, you could set a rule for yourself, like every time I have to change three things, it doesn’t have to be that specific.
But if you if that helps you.
For example, I think it would be cool to duplicate this little kick here and maybe have it down, so it kind of leads.
And I want to reverse this little section here.
And then disable these suppressed zeros.
Let me keep them going.
Maybe have a bit more of a
I’m here with that.
And then, for example, if we duplicate it again, now we’re getting a bit bigger, we can bring it out here.
So, for example, I might want this one to start and then I could do that there.
Take everything out here.
Maybe I want extra snacks like that.
Maybe you want to add an element that becomes part of this, something like a ghost note or something like that.
And then, obviously, we duplicate this and then now you’re getting to the eight bar loop stage.
Maybe I didn’t like another Yeah.
Anyway, you get the point.
And then you can keep doing that.
And then you can go and change certain sections, and you can basically keep going and it’s really fun.
Another thing I’ll do as well is I’ll make a sound that’s non-percussive and I’ll make it percussive by using certain effects or whatever.
So, for example, this one is fairly the cost, but it’s not quite there.
Firstly, I’ll pitch it up and then I’m going to use the beats walk and change it to like 16th and I’ll use that plucky thing before I use it.
You get the movement in the original sound, but you can duplicate it. You can also use auto pan to do something similar to faces zero. She didn’t get any phasing and make sure you’re doing a synced one.
Then you can get these weird offset rhythms that you don’t need to turn up as a result.
Yeah, and that’s like a cool way to do it with any sound and then get that texture from the sound and then a Picasso thing.
You can also take parts out if you want, etc.
It’s up to you.
So, another really cool thing to do is to borrow techniques from other genres.
So this is kind of like a hip hop, like a future beat.
Whatever you want to call it, but for example, I might want to add in something from another genre.
So let’s find a white open hat.
See what I signed?
That’ll do. There’s no real difference.
And then I’ll wear that whole offbeat hat idea.
That’s something you typically find in a house.
But, you know, we can apply it to hip hop, and it kind of adds a nice vibe.
Or maybe it was a nine or nine hat I wanted.
Yeah, I’m thinking wrong.
And then you’re like, you could add in like an Amen break from like a new jungle or drum and bass track, like, you could do that in like the last beat or something.
So then, like, something like that, you play up, play with it and figure it out, whatever.
But you can apply those different techniques to get really unique drums.
So I’ve kind of already shown this.
But rhythmic effects are a really cool way to spice things up a bit.
So we can take this shaker here.
You can use something like a phaser, which adds a rhythm to the sound using the LFO.
And then you can do that for multiple different elements.
Yeah, it’s really fun.
One thing to do as well, which kind of keeps the jumps interesting, is, for example, you’ve got a snare, right?
You might want to just swap out a sample for a different snare, like just once off or something like that, just so that people aren’t getting what their brain tells them they want all the time.
Maybe something that kind of doesn’t sound like a typical snare.
Like maybe even a cover rim or something like that.
So that way, you know, you’re not always getting the same snare playing over and over again, it just kind of varies things.
I really, really like it. One thing I’ve started doing recently is using a return track just for drum reverb.
I used to use returns and then I veered away from them a long time ago, and then kind of started going back to them again recently, mostly because now you can export, like, stems with the return applied to the signal, which is what I wanted.
And the reason why I stopped using it.
But the reason why I and then what I was doing was I was applying reverb to like a bus button. Now you can get way more control over it.
So I’m going to load up something like the Valhalla room.
And make sure it’s 100 wet. I’ll just use the default preset to show you what I mean.
But then you can just apply it to the hat. You don’t have to apply it to the cake if you don’t want.
And that way, you’ve got a lot more control over it.
And you can also process this individually.
So if we can just high pass, it could add a side chain from like a cake or something, so that the kick doesn’t get in the way of the kick.
I’ve just chosen a snare, but that’s a really cool way to play.
And that’s why I like to use sense for reverb and stuff like that.
Speaking of sidechain, you can sidechain the drums to each other.
If you’re like me and you’re using a lot of loops or elements that are kind of going on at the same time as the kick, you can just sidechain them and just copy the same one. It might be a bit too intense for what’s going on now.
But hey, let’s face a less intense one.
And it just kind of allows you to create more space for the kick.
And you can also do the same thing with the snare.
It just helps your drums and if you’re kicking your snare to really punch through at all times, it helps them to really stick out in the mix and always be there.
Now, it goes without saying, but bus processing is really important for drums. You know, using samples, you’re not recording them. It’s kind of important to help glue things together.
There are a couple of devices in Ableton but you can use these aren’t third party always necessary. These aren’t always, um, you can find these in third party solutions, so like glue compressor is like the glue by side of Tomic in the Ableton version.
So you can get this as a third party plugin, but it’s really good for just gluing together drums, so if you change the ratio to four and you just pull it back, it brings out that side chain a bit too much, so I would go back and change the side chain, but it really really brings out all the life in the drums, which is cool, but it does kind of take out the high end a bit too much for my liking.
Sometimes you have to tell it’s damp and then sometimes dry it as well.
You can get some really cool transient tapes.
You can dry wet that signal with the original and then you get a cool texture.
There are other things you can do, like Ott multiband compression, but it is important not to nickel like the power of just gluing your drums together with compression and processing them together.
Whether that’s also just like EQ, like, if you want to boost the lows of your drums, you can do that as well.
So one cool thing to add, like, I guess, a unique take on your drums is to resample them, and use that process and then use that resampled version in a new, I guess, case.
So let’s just go ahead and resample this here. I’ll set this to resampling.
That’s all I need to use it for.
So I’m gon na duplicate this whole loop again.
This time, the thing I’m going to change at the beginning is to take out all of these. What is used in this resampled version?
But the cool thing is, it sounds exactly the same sort of seamless.
But we can do really unique processing on this one to get it to sound a certain way.
So we could do some cool filtering.
Like a lo fi.
And you can do cool stuff like that.
Obviously, I will play around with it a little bit more.
But yeah, it’s really cool.
When you do it,
Another thing I forgot to mention as well is that if you’re using a loop, for example, like this one, you can say, let’s consolidate this all together, you can slice this into a new MIDI track using the built-in preset.
Or you can use one of these other ones. You go one slice per transient, and then you get this new.
And obviously, you can copy the effects.
And then you can chop and change between different samples here.
If you go back and you use the slice, like the 16th note.
Let’s do that one, for example.
And I’ll copy that.
And then in that way, you get notes that are right on the grid.
So it’s like a cool glitchy thing.
And you can go nuts essentially with, like, you can basically just make your own beat with the chops of the sample that way.
So it does help to have it warped on time, but yeah, one last second.
The last thing I like to do is reverse sweeps with certain samples.
So, for example, say this.
Let’s do this one.
For some reason, it’s decided to walk them.
So you can drag this in and like command, so you can drag it gradually turn down the volume of this sample.
Also, leave a little gap to get like a nice fade in, kind of like it gives it more impact on the train.
You’ll actually get a fade, though, otherwise, you’ll get the click, then it just kind of creates more tension with the drums. I really like to do that.
So for my last one, I thought I’d end with a workflow tip, because I also started with one.
So I’m going to use my tracking spire, which I made to demonstrate this now. This is the track if you guys listen to the podcast that we used to ensure that. That’s why it sounds like it’s coming from me. That’s why.
But for this track, I started off by actually beatboxing the rhythm, which is this track here.
And if I turn off all the effects, I’ll just beatbox into my microphone, and I ended up processing it and using it in the background of the drums.
And I use this main rhythm to kind of inspire the actual drum pattern, then obviously the drums sell this and then kicks.
Yeah, so basically, just use your mouth to be a box. You don’t have to do it.
I didn’t use your actual voice in the final one. You can delete it.
But the point is to get rhythms out of your head and down on, I guess, paper or on your door.
Just beatbox and get it out of your head. It gives you a good starting point and gives you something to recreate with samples.
As you can see, I’ve just used a few different layers here, different samples, different loops to repeat, replicate that So yeah, that’s one really cool way to work in your da W.
You guys are awesome.
Well, I hope you enjoyed these 15 tips for drum programming.
If there’s anything that you didn’t quite understand, please leave a comment and we’ll get back to you and answer your questions.
Apart from that, have fun with these tips going on to expand upon them.
Let me know what your favorite drum techniques are as well.
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Sweet guys will have a great week.
I’ll see you all in the next video.