Programming snare rolls?

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DavidStars
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:36 am

Programming snare rolls?

Post by DavidStars » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:25 pm

Hey guys.

So I've been working on a new beat and wanted to incorporate a snare roll in it. Somewhat similar to this song (starts at 0:16): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3rWfWDgxn4

Now I know the snare he uses is live (or at least has live snare layers), but is there a way to get something close and similar to this sound by programming? I don't have live drums to record, but I do have some live drum samples and was looking to layer them with some other samples but wanted to see if anyone had any insight on this. Thanks.

BobSubgenius
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Re: Programming snare rolls?

Post by BobSubgenius » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:00 am

Hi DavidStars, you can program the roll easily if you use the velocity in the midi editor. If you just program every note on the same velocity it will sound like a machine gun. E.g. start the roll with low velocity and gradually get louder until the end of the roll. Or have everything low except for the accents.
If you want to humanize the drums a bit, move some of the drum hits a bit before and after the beat instead of having them perfectly quantized. There is a midi effect in Ableton called "velocity", it has a random parameter. If you set this to somewhere below 10 it will give you slight variations on the velocity of every note.
You can also use the random function in one of Abletons grooves (just set the other parameters to 0, so they don't affect the timing of your midi clip).

Finally, most sample libraries for drums have samples of drum rolls in there that you can edit and use.

Magik_10
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:45 pm

Re: Programming snare rolls?

Post by Magik_10 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:15 am

Besides velocity, a quick way to get creative with snare rolls is to use an arpeggiator and automate the rate(experiment with sync and free running) drop a snare sample in to a simpler and create an 8 bar midi clip(legato) just adjust the envelope to taste.

liverick
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:13 am

Re: Programming snare rolls?

Post by liverick » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:07 am

Here's my notes on a snare roll:

- Multiple velocity to simulate the bounce of drum sticks - mentioned above.
- Add a Groove to randomize the timing quite a lot (~32%). Audition it as you adjust the groove values until it sounds "right".
- Randomize the velocity some (~16%)
- Global 100%

-Rick

DavidStars
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:36 am

Re: Programming snare rolls?

Post by DavidStars » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:02 am

BobSubgenius wrote:Hi DavidStars, you can program the roll easily if you use the velocity in the midi editor. If you just program every note on the same velocity it will sound like a machine gun. E.g. start the roll with low velocity and gradually get louder until the end of the roll. Or have everything low except for the accents.
If you want to humanize the drums a bit, move some of the drum hits a bit before and after the beat instead of having them perfectly quantized. There is a midi effect in Ableton called "velocity", it has a random parameter. If you set this to somewhere below 10 it will give you slight variations on the velocity of every note.
You can also use the random function in one of Abletons grooves (just set the other parameters to 0, so they don't affect the timing of your midi clip).

Finally, most sample libraries for drums have samples of drum rolls in there that you can edit and use.
Thanks for the advice BobSubgenius. I had thought about using grooves today so I will definitely give that a try. I'll also look into the velocity midi effect and other suggestions you gave!
Magik_10 wrote:Besides velocity, a quick way to get creative with snare rolls is to use an arpeggiator and automate the rate(experiment with sync and free running) drop a snare sample in to a simpler and create an 8 bar midi clip(legato) just adjust the envelope to taste.
I thought about using an arpeggiator but felt like it would make it sound more mechanical. I'd definitely give it a try thought. Thanks Magik_10. This is a little off topic, but could you explain what you mean by "envelope" when you suggested adjusting it? I have actually been searching to find what exactly "envelopes" are but haven't been able to find a description that I could understand. Is it basically any parameter that you can edit?
liverick wrote:Here's my notes on a snare roll:

- Multiple velocity to simulate the bounce of drum sticks - mentioned above.
- Add a Groove to randomize the timing quite a lot (~32%). Audition it as you adjust the groove values until it sounds "right".
- Randomize the velocity some (~16%)
- Global 100%

-Rick
I'll definitely give these a try. Thanks liverick!

Magik_10
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:45 pm

Re: Programming snare rolls?

Post by Magik_10 » Thu May 01, 2014 5:27 pm

DavidStars wrote:
BobSubgenius wrote:
Magik_10 wrote:Besides velocity, a quick way to get creative with snare rolls is to use an arpeggiator and automate the rate(experiment with sync and free running) drop a snare sample in to a simpler and create an 8 bar midi clip(legato) just adjust the envelope to taste.
I thought about using an arpeggiator but felt like it would make it sound more mechanical. I'd definitely give it a try thought. Thanks Magik_10. This is a little off topic, but could you explain what you mean by "envelope" when you suggested adjusting it? I have actually been searching to find what exactly "envelopes" are but haven't been able to find a description that I could understand. Is it basically any parameter that you can edit?
Yes, the arp will sound mechanical straight up but, if you adjust the velocity and set the rate to free(sync off) you can resample the output of the midi channel and capture your automation of sweeping though the free running rate. That allows you to edit the audio and then apply swing to taste for a more organic feel.

In relation to 'envelopes' I meant the ADSR in simpler for example - that allows you to adjust the length of the snare sample while the arp is running - you can open and close the decay time of the chosen sample that also adds to the rhythm. The same process with different snare samples triggered - one on the first note and third and another on the second and fourth.

Just experiment :)

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