Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Mr D
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Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by Mr D » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:40 am

I'm trying to get my head around the best way to approach programming midi drums in Ableton.

I could have all my drums in one clip on one midi track. This would be great for editing and applying global FX to all drums, but the problem with that is i wouldn't be able to apply different grooves from the groove library to each drum sound. I'd be limited to one groove for the whole clip - this won't work for me.

The other option is to have each midi drum part on it's own track. But there's two problems with this: firstly, i don't have any visual editing overview. So, for instance, if i'm hearing an unwanted flam between two drum hits, i can't zoom in and see which two sounds are flamming. The other problem is i can't freeze the tracks unless each drum is playing from it's own instrument, which i guess will increase my CPU usage (i imagine 16 instances of simpler will give me more CPU hit then one instance of a drum rack, right?

Sooooo, anyone wanna share some strategies for approaching drums? Any way to have my cake and eat it too?!

Is there a way, for example, to open two midi clip editors simultaneously for editing?

Thanks! ......... Mr D.

oddstep
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by oddstep » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:07 am

a drum rack is 16 instances of simpler. or at least it can be. drum racks aren't instruments.. they are racks. you could have a drum rack made of collision instruments. it'd rinse your cpu though. I generally sketch out percussion ideas using a padkontrol and a single drum rack - then split it up into separate tracks. mainly so I can get busy with syncopation. I never intend to do this... but it always happens. I tend to keep paired instruments together tho... like 2 tuned cowbells or closed hat/open hat pairs... although I don't use those precise instruments myself... most of my drum sounds are made with operator or messed with field recordings.

edit: one thing to consider is will the composition be played live in front of an audience, and how will you store the drum patterns in such a may that you can use them in that environment. this might mean you have a liveset for performing and another set up for composing. that seems to be how I work

Mr D
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by Mr D » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:19 am

Thanks!

No live performance, only studio production!

3dot...
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by 3dot... » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:24 am

you seem to be confused a bit with terms..

a "drum-rack" is a container for instruments/fx...
each pad in a drum-rack can contain/trigger a different instrument (or rack)..
(therefore.. as each pad can host more than 1 instrument device(racked)...
a fully populated rack can contain a HUGE number of 'simpler' devices.. dependent only on your cpu power and imagination)

some stuff that might be helpful off the top o my head :

*you can route the midi into the drum-rack from other midi-tracks.. and each can have it's own 'groove'...

*group different drum-tracks for similar stuff functionality...

*you can snatch out pads(chains) from drum-racks :
use 'extract chain' from the context menu..
Live will move the chain out of the rack.. and even extract it's midi to new midi clips
so in essence you can program a rack contained...
and then extract the different elements into tracks ...complete with midi and fx..
very easily..

*Drum-racks have their own Auxiliary sends which can be either hard-wired to Lives' mixer send/returns ..or have different parallel fx chains altogether ..

*OVR button essential if recording midi by playing..

what else?! ...

for midi programming... read up on drum-grooves... big topic..
I find that drummer tutorials are much more inspiring than midi-programming tutorials..
you get to the essence of things..
programming it to midi later is a piece of cake..

once again.. read up into drum-racks in the manual about racks
Chapter 17 "Instrument, Drum and Effect Racks" P.230

that's it for now..
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Mr D
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by Mr D » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:56 am

3dot... wrote: *you can route the midi into the drum-rack from other midi-tracks.. and each can have it's own 'groove'...
Thanks for the tips!

The problem with your above suggestion is that you can't freeze anything! And you can't visually compare midi parts!

oddstep
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by oddstep » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:04 pm

and you're freezing stuff to conserve resources? you could just record the audio. I appreciate it is not perfect. visually comparing midi data is the road to madness.

3dot...
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by 3dot... » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:08 pm

Mr D wrote:
3dot... wrote: *you can route the midi into the drum-rack from other midi-tracks.. and each can have it's own 'groove'...
Thanks for the tips!

The problem with your above suggestion is that you can't freeze anything! And you can't visually compare midi parts!
then you can 'extract chain' and then freeze/flatten...
(then you will also have it visually..)
it's easily doable..
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Mr D
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by Mr D » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:09 pm

oddstep wrote:and you're freezing stuff to conserve resources?
Yes!
oddstep wrote:you could just record the audio. I appreciate it is not perfect.
Not perfect!
oddstep wrote:visually comparing midi data is the road to madness.
I agree, making music with your eyes is a one-way ticket to a sh*t sandwich! However it could be useful to visually compare midi parts now and again!

oddstep
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by oddstep » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:10 pm

:lol:

with freezing and cpu resources in general, you can use cpu resources as a creative restriction - working within the limitations of what your set up can achieve might be a useful creative focus. rather than trying to cheat destiny all the time. people used to create amazing tracks with a monophonic synth, 16 bit sampler with hardly any memory and a drum machine. jus' sayin' :)

edit. on the other hand is it rubbish when you've got an idea and can't make it happen. nuff sed

Mr D
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by Mr D » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:19 pm

Hey Oddstep!

I can't really agree with you! I think that dance music (and electronica in general) nowadays sounds waaaaaaaay better now then it did 20 years ago. I'm not talking musically, just in terms of pure sound quality, mix and sound design-wise.

JMHO!

oddstep
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by oddstep » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:35 pm

:evil: :o :lol:

yeah, you're semi right

3dot...
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by 3dot... » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:47 pm

not really... louder yes.. better sounding.. .a definite NO
(depends how far back of course..I mean...as much as anything "newer" sounds "better")
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Mr D
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by Mr D » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:50 pm

Can't agree - most dance music from way back when can't compete, regardless of how you might master it.

Just MHO of course! :mrgreen:

Evengy
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Re: Drum progamming - strategies!!??

Post by Evengy » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:04 pm

im using one drum rack for kick, snare/clap, hihat and all other percussion first. after i created a good drum loop i extract kick, snare/clap and 1 hihat to each own channel. so i have the big three seperated from other percussions and can apply different grooves to it. normally i use the same groove to everything so it will fit. kick is exactly 4/4, snare/clap a bit before or after the 2nd and 4th, hihat aswell.

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