Drum track workflow

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Drum track workflow

Post by hdr »

I'm a guitarist and I'd like to put some drums to my guitar riffs. I have several drum plugins and several drum midi packs.
What's your workflow? How do you find a good drum beat out of all the midi files?
Right now I manually put one midi file after another to my drum track to listen how it sounds to my guitar riff. But that's very inconvenient with hundreds of drum midi files.
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Re: Drum track workflow

Post by matterisvoid »

I'd be curious to see what other members on here have to say about their workflow, because I need some guidance with drum tracks as well. I've been using Hydrogen to just create simple loops to get a song started with the idea that I'll visit the drums again and flesh them out more.
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Re: Drum track workflow

Post by Philotomy »

My normal workflow with drums is to create some basic beats and flesh out the complete song structure. As I work on and record the song, I go back through the drums and add fills, variations, changes, et cetera.

I don't select from a library of MIDI beats or clips, I usually just create my own for the specific song. That can be a mix of manually entering the beats with mouse and keyboard, or it can mean playing the beats on a MIDI controller, or some combination of the two.

I typically use the "drum machine" device that came with Bitwig (my DAW), along with whatever drum samples I want for that song.
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Re: Drum track workflow

Post by caprenter »

I've tried a couple of things.

Like you, I will often start with a very basic drum pattern (that I know - usually very simple) with midi, then revisit the drums later to make them better. Simple things like move the hi hats to the ride when it hits the bridge, adding crash cymbals, putting in fills, changing velocities, humanising, etc

Another approach is to take a drum pattern from somewhere else (again with midi). I found a book of drum patterns, meant to be used by drummers to practice, and I turn that drum notation into midi. Again I might use that as a base track and change it later. This is a good way to start with a pattern that I would not have been able to come up with myself.

A third approach is to start with the drums and build a song around them. I was sceptical at first, but found it to be really inspiring when I tried it. So this is a case of looking for a full drum track (not just loops) online. There are paid services, and there are people releasing tracks under creative commons etc. The good thing is the drummer has already thought about Intro, verse, chorus, bridge, outro etc - all you have to do is create the rest of the song to fit that structure - and you can of course split that structure up and move it around if you wanted.

I hope that's of some use.
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Re: Drum track workflow

Post by English Guy »

I like to start with a simple pattern and when I at least have a guide track introduce variations and complexity.
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Re: Drum track workflow

Post by Largos »


This is a very good short guide for help with programming drums to go along with an already written bass/guitar line.
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