Drum variation

Discussion in 'Production' started by TeeKay, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. TeeKay

    TeeKay Ferret Master

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    Hi guys, this is my first post and as the search function is not working for me and I have gone 30 pages in and not found anything that sounds what I'm looking for, I will start this one.

    First off, I am an aspiring drum and bass producer. Currently gobbling up information via youtube and I dropped the 50 bucks for DJ Fractures ableton series.
    My question is, how do you guys go about adding variation to your drum tracks? I have a basic concept of things like step sequencers and the standard drum and bass layouts. Without 'getting a recipe' do you guys like to import midi clips from other drum samples and just add in the same kits? Just looking to keep things fresh and don't want to spend 20 hours on a drum track if there is some simpler ways to keep the overall vibe with adding in some cool variety as you go.


    Thanks for any help
     
  2. Breaknz

    Breaknz Member

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    not a ableton user but its the same same , chop , cut , layer breaks - beef up breaks with single hits , low cut splashy break for adding rides or highs , high cut breaks to manually beef up bottom ends. once you have that shit down experience the the pain of eq'ing and learning the logistics of compressors - have fun :)
     
  3. Solace

    Solace Active Member

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    Yea thats basically it ^

    Just don't mess around to much with changing snares around from place and stuff. But to get some variation, change the kick from place once in a while, add percussion bits. Like rims, ticks, hats, cymbals, rides, stuff like that.

    What I do lately I using breaks, I barely use the step sequencer anymore. Layer some breaks, add a snare if needed. And for variation, chop it up, mix it up, create some fills maybe
     
  4. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    Learn how to program drums, and use fill samples
     
  5. GhostOfMuttley

    GhostOfMuttley Member

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    ^^ lol

    'how do i drums?'
    'learn to drums'
     
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  6. Wafi

    Wafi New Member

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    guys I'd also like to add something to this... is it a good idea to focus on a single processed break? just using one break and processing it and chopping it up the way you want it to sound and than use that as the drumline...is it really necessary to add extra breaks? how do you guys go about it?
     
  7. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    it depends a lot on how you are doing your drums in the first place.. if you're chopping breaks or programming in every hit with oneshot samples. You haven't reallyebeen all that clear on how you currently have your drums.

    So, in general, for variations, you want to have little repeating variations that markethe place in the musice for instance, your main groove is probably one or two bars long. Now, at 4 bars you might want a tiny variation, a double hit or an openehihat instead of a closed. At 8 bars you want something a bit stronger, a crash on the downbeat, a minor fill at the end of the last bhr, or something. At 16bars you'll have something else again, and at 32 or 64 bars you'dl probably have a major fill which is a bar or two long, maybe even followed by a pause in the drumming. How you actually go about doing all this is, as mentioned, pretty dependant on how you work. When you've gotten to this point, its time to go back across the whole tune and start adding unexpected, one-off changes and variations here and there. This is entirely done to taste, and should cleverly work alongside your bassline, doing call-and-response ideas or 'duelling' an idea back and forth, or both syncopating tightly together or a million other ideas that make your track a track rather than a loop.
     
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  8. ApeCat

    ApeCat Human Dubplate

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    A-B-A-C
    A-B-A-D
    A-B-A-C
    A-B-A-E
     
  9. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    using different breaks



    has a different vibe to rollers that stick with the same break



    Tracks with continuous break changeups tend to go hand in hand with a 5 9 snare pattern, compared to rollers which tend to stick with a 5 11 snare pattern
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
  10. TeeKay

    TeeKay Ferret Master

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    Thanks for all the info so far. Isn't chopping a break essentially the same thing as using one shots except your break your chopping is pre-modulated? Overall the process seems the same except with the added step of taking an existing sample and turning it into one shots. Am I missing other fringe benefits to chopping a break over one shots?
     
  11. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    I think there's a difference. Writh one shots, you'll probably be taking samples from different places, sample cd's, etc, and working on tuning them and glueing them together so they sound like a coherent whole. If you chop up a break, you'll have that coherency from the start. Plus, depending on how you do your chops, you might retain some of the original timing and swing from the break, which isn't there with one shots. Some people even leave the break as-is in the background, and layer one shots over it. There's a lot of different ways to skin the cat.
     
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  12. TeeKay

    TeeKay Ferret Master

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    If any of you use Ableton and could send me a tracks worth of drums or two for some contrast I would really appreciate it. I don't want to steal it or anything, I just think to visually be able to see in the midi notes/drum roll the execution of keeping some elements consistent and the variation in other parts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  13. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    Sorry, I use an MPC (where I cut a break into individual hits, layer other samples with them, eq etc and then bash out beats on the pads or program each hit manually on a piano-roll type thing (grid edit). I like fingerdrumming because I can jam a bit while recording, then go back and listen carefolly and pick the best bits to use as my main loop.) I've been playing drums for a few years so its not too hard for me to play variations to explore aound.

    Another thought struck me. Have you tried any of the plugins which slice up your audio and rearrange it on the fly? Effectrix, Turnado, Stutter Edit and LiveCut. LiveCut is my favorite. If you have a beat, loop or groove going, just running it into those kinds of plugins will produce lots of variations. If you turn off silly fx noises and otherwise tame the plugins a bit you can get lots of useful fills and variations. Just record the output and collect the best bars, then arrange a tune with those.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
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  14. TeeKay

    TeeKay Ferret Master

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    I did just download the trial of Liquid Rhythm it seems cool, one issue is you have to use the stock sounds to get variations specific to the drum type. Trying to find if using that and exporting to midi and just adding in my own drum rack might solve my issues. Going to look at the plug ins you recommended as well. Ultimate goal is to find something to help bridge the gap between my lack of knowledge now and actually learning instead of solely relying on software/hardware (as far as the theory of how to lay out a progressive beat over a track).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Live Cut is free but only 32bit, have not got jbridge to work with my Ableton damn...
     
  15. Sulihin

    Sulihin Active Member

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    Check out BeatRepeat in Ableton as well.
     
  16. kieran t

    kieran t Member

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    the problem i have is layering the breaks over the drums
    . they never sound like i hope they will
    sometimes i start with a nice break and add the hits after. (i always edit it)
    it depends though, i always try new ways out
    the easy answer is arrange your single hits in a diffrent rhythm :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  17. ARTFX

    ARTFX www.artfx-studios.com

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    A.C.A.B.!

    Oh wait that is somethin else... :)

    For drums I mostly use one shot samples to get a basic beat going, then I layer in all kinds of other percussion samples or I process a break or loop to fit the beat I'm working on.
     
  18. kieran t

    kieran t Member

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    lol
    i thought that but didn't comment that's your tunes structure
     
  19. kieran t

    kieran t Member

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  20. TeeKay

    TeeKay Ferret Master

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    I don't feel like the main beat is hard so much as all the fluff you need to add for variety and to keep things interesting.