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WWJD
12-10-2014, 03:40 PM
Our drummer is awesome, but you know the drill these days. Anyone found a reliable service that will take drum stems and align them for filthy lucre?

feliponk
12-10-2014, 04:29 PM
Beat Detective maybe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE4zlj2_RrU

I will offer my services, but I also believe you can do it.

albee1952
12-10-2014, 07:54 PM
I'm not clear on whether you want to learn HOW to do this, or you want to pay someone ELSE to do this for you?:o Keep in mind that sometimes, "perfectly" has different meanings to different people, and lining a drummer's performance perfectly to a grid, might just suck the life out of it. Now don't get me wrong here; I love a good drummer that is also rock solid, but even my favorite session players "breath" a bit. The only time I will "hard grid" the drums is if they need to lock to loops(yes, I know loops can be "Beat-Detectived" to the drummer's groove, I have yet to be able to make that work for me:o). Pro-Tools-Expert.com posted a great tutorial on "Ninja Drum Editing" a while back that was excellent(it gave me the tricks to put an album's worth of live drums smack on the grid for a project that needed to be that way).

dr_daw
12-10-2014, 08:04 PM
I'm with Dave on this one. You don't want to suck the life out of drums by locking them unless it's needed or desired. I'm also with Felipe, if you're interested in someone to do some drum editing...I offer my services. Not to cut your grass Felipe, you get first dibs :P

On a different note, are you looking to lock drums into an already tracked song? I notice you're talking stems, I prefer to do my drum edits before ANY other tracking is done. Or, Are you just looking to have some different ears on it and a different taste? Always good to step outside the box if the funds are there.

Bill Denton
12-10-2014, 09:15 PM
Just for background/reference...

I've been playing drums off-and-on for 50 years (lately more off than on), so I have seen a lot of changes over the years.

I've learned to play with a click, but it's not my favorite thing to do.

But then again, back when I first started playing I practiced to a metronome, learning to play dead-on to the metronome click, which was not a lot different from playing to today's click tracks.

If I go in and work hard for a couple of hours a day for a week or so I can still play dead-on a tempo without a metronome or click.

Mostly, I have played Top 40 stuff from the 60's and 70's, but I have played a little bit of everything over the years.

Having played a lot in the 60's and 70's and having played a lot of music from that period, I played a lot of Motown stuff...Benny Benjamin was an influence.

I also played a lot of the Memphis soul stuff that came out of Stax studios...Al Jackson, Jr. was the staff drummer at Stax, and did a lot of stuff at the other Memphis studios, and he was one of my biggest influences.

The stuff Al Jackson, Jr. did at Stax had one very unique characteristic...

Keep in mind that headphones were rarely used in studios back in those days. Stax was located in an old movie theater that had some unique acoustics, and since the band played live in the studio, they had gobos all over the place for instrument separation.

This led to a unique phenomenon where there was a substantial delay between the time the rest of the band played a note and when Al heard it, which resulted in him playing the snare behind the beat, sometimes with the bass drum on the beat. Not an easy trick to pull off!

From listening to Al Jackson, Jr., I developed an ability to move between on the beat, ahead of the beat, and behind the beat. So, I might do something like play "on" during the verse, then around the end of the verse move to "ahead" going into the chorus, "on" during the chorus, and toward the end of the chorus go to "behind" into the verse, and "on" through the verse.

This would give a feeling of speeding up going into the chorus, and slowing down going into the verse, even though the tempo actually stayed the same. And I would sometimes use the same effects in different places in the song. And I might go from a "tiny" bit "ahead" to "more ahead" and vice-versa, or do the same thing with a "behind".

Needless to say, trying to lay a part like this over a grid would be almost impossible despite the fact the tempo never changed. But it definitely added a lot of "musicality" to the performance.

And I will leave you with one of my practice tricks...unless I was doing rudiments or stuff like that, I would often practice along to a record/tape/MP3 player feeding a pair of headphones. I would then have somebody mute the recording for 15 seconds or so, then bringing the volume back up to see how far off I had gotten from the record. It definitely helps you build consistent time!

locust_tree
12-10-2014, 11:37 PM
Bill, I agree with you about playing with the time feel... My favorite guys are Gadd, Porcaro, JR Robinson, Simon Philips... they could all put the snare pretty much wherever they wanted. But they were also A-list session guys who were in studios day in, day out, phone ringing off the hook with work, $300/hr pay. IMHO what you're talking about is a level of nuance beyond the abilities of 90% of regular band drummers (many of whom are still stupendously good in the context of their bands).

Studio drumming is just a different animal. In my experience the large majority of drummers are in studios only a handful of days a year which is just not enough. I have not seen very many radio-ready drum takes, right out of the box, by guys who weren't specifically session players... and the performance standards for a "radio ready" track are only getting more demanding by the day.

Most of the stuff that's lost when "gridding" drums are warts anyway, plain and simple. Rushed fills, poor time playing, poor limb coordination. I've seen drummers who were unshakeable live, make all these mistakes once the red light goes on in the studio. It's not just acoustics. It is psychologically a different situation.

I wouldn't dream of cutting up tracks if the drummer had an intentionally laid back snare feel, or if the whole band got carried away in excitement and the tempo rushed slightly at the end of a tune. Those are real musical nuances. But the drummers that can pull them off are sometimes getting paid as much as the editing hours would cost to fix a crappy player. The gap is closing.

The OP has decided that editing drums is what he needs to deliver a competitive product in the market he's going for. Only he can make that call. It seems like every time drum editing comes up on a forum, without fail a simple request to farm out work or get technical help gets mired in questions of morality, which puzzles me because edited drums are the standard for most popular music these days. We can all commiserate about the current state of music, and I think to some degree we all pine a little bit for the days of killer session guys nailing first takes to the wall, straight to tape... but the assumption always seems to be that an OP looking to edit drums is working against his own best interests. The mainstream market is what it is and it sets the tone for what the public expects from smaller markets as well.

I'm not referencing your post specifically, by the way, just a general trend I've seen across all recording forums.

Bill Denton
12-11-2014, 05:58 AM
Bill, I agree with you about playing with the time feel... My favorite guys are Gadd, Porcaro, JR Robinson, Simon Philips... they could all put the snare pretty much wherever they wanted. But they were also A-list session guys who were in studios day in, day out, phone ringing off the hook with work, $300/hr pay. IMHO what you're talking about is a level of nuance beyond the abilities of 90% of regular band drummers (many of whom are still stupendously good in the context of their bands).

Studio drumming is just a different animal. In my experience the large majority of drummers are in studios only a handful of days a year which is just not enough. I have not seen very many radio-ready drum takes, right out of the box, by guys who weren't specifically session players... and the performance standards for a "radio ready" track are only getting more demanding by the day.

Most of the stuff that's lost when "gridding" drums are warts anyway, plain and simple. Rushed fills, poor time playing, poor limb coordination. I've seen drummers who were unshakeable live, make all these mistakes once the red light goes on in the studio. It's not just acoustics. It is psychologically a different situation.

I wouldn't dream of cutting up tracks if the drummer had an intentionally laid back snare feel, or if the whole band got carried away in excitement and the tempo rushed slightly at the end of a tune. Those are real musical nuances. But the drummers that can pull them off are sometimes getting paid as much as the editing hours would cost to fix a crappy player. The gap is closing.

The OP has decided that editing drums is what he needs to deliver a competitive product in the market he's going for. Only he can make that call. It seems like every time drum editing comes up on a forum, without fail a simple request to farm out work or get technical help gets mired in questions of morality, which puzzles me because edited drums are the standard for most popular music these days. We can all commiserate about the current state of music, and I think to some degree we all pine a little bit for the days of killer session guys nailing first takes to the wall, straight to tape... but the assumption always seems to be that an OP looking to edit drums is working against his own best interests. The mainstream market is what it is and it sets the tone for what the public expects from smaller markets as well.

I'm not referencing your post specifically, by the way, just a general trend I've seen across all recording forums.

Even if it were aimed at me I wouldn't have a problem with it...I totally agree with you.

What I was primarily trying to do is "educate" some of the folks who are newer to recording as to the reasons why a lot of good drummers are not playing dead-on on the beat.

And it should also be noted that some music, such as blues, is simply not amenable to using a click.

Just like most "hired guns", back in the stone age, I tried to play what the song dictated, but it always came down to what whoever was paying for it wanted.

Something I have also begun suggesting is that folks use a "loop" out of BFD or somewhere during the recording stage, then add the drums last. This can give you the best of both worlds quite easily...

I'm short on time, but I would like to add more "agreement" with you...because I do, in fact, agree with you...

JFreak
12-11-2014, 06:28 AM
If I have the time and the money, I always do demo drums first, then record everything else, and as a final step (after all the vocals are done) I record the real drums and bass last. Just because, the Bill's post is spot on.

DC-Choppah
12-11-2014, 04:04 PM
Man, great thread.

The drummer IS the click track.

Real music has a tempo that breaths with the emotions of the song.

Unless of course you are trying to produce music that sounds computer-made.

IMHO You should always record the drums live with the music. And if you want to add MIDI and stuff, build up a tempo track that is controlled by the drummer.

Technology should work for us, not the other way around.

locust_tree
12-11-2014, 04:40 PM
Even if it were aimed at me I wouldn't have a problem with it...I totally agree with you.

What I was primarily trying to do is "educate" some of the folks who are newer to recording as to the reasons why a lot of good drummers are not playing dead-on on the beat.

And it should also be noted that some music, such as blues, is simply not amenable to using a click.

Just like most "hired guns", back in the stone age, I tried to play what the song dictated, but it always came down to what whoever was paying for it wanted.

Something I have also begun suggesting is that folks use a "loop" out of BFD or somewhere during the recording stage, then add the drums last. This can give you the best of both worlds quite easily...

I'm short on time, but I would like to add more "agreement" with you...because I do, in fact, agree with you...

Very cool, thanks for the practice tips. By the way, there is now a programmable metronome app for smartphones that can "drop out" for any number of bars you like, among other things. It's called Polynome (http://www.polynome.net) and was a serious reality check the first time I used it...

dr_daw
12-11-2014, 07:04 PM
Very cool, thanks for the practice tips. By the way, there is now a programmable metronome app for smartphones that can "drop out" for any number of bars you like, among other things. It's called Polynome (http://www.polynome.net) and was a serious reality check the first time I used it...

I can't wait to get home and try that app out. I agree with you guys, I've been a drummer for the better part of 15 years. The vast majority of my drumming is in the studio and have an intimate knowledge of MY groove. I do use drum editing, but not always.

It's one of those things, I'd have to hear and see the OP's drum takes to make a real decision if I would want to edit them. But, hey, if someone wants me to lock their drums and pay me...and I'm not being credited or paid as the producer, then that's what I'd so.

Actually spent last weekend BD'ing my drums for a bit of a country shuffle we're working on. After the time was spent, and a day away...I'm likely going to use the original track. It pushes and pulls in the right spots with my wifes guitar playing. IT's different for every song, every genre and what the artist wants.

Love the thread though

Bill Denton
12-11-2014, 07:10 PM
Very cool, thanks for the practice tips. By the way, there is now a programmable metronome app for smartphones that can "drop out" for any number of bars you like, among other things. It's called Polynome (http://www.polynome.net) and was a serious reality check the first time I used it...

I checked out Polynome's website...it looks like a very cool tool!

Unfortunately, I use a Windows phone (business reasons) and an Android tablet (I'm a programmer, and for the last 25 years I've made a living off of Microsoft products, so I will admit to a slight "anti-Apple" bias).

I am going to drop a note to the Polynome folks and see if they will consider doing either a Windows or an Android app...

Thanks for the tip!

Bill Denton
12-11-2014, 07:25 PM
I can't wait to get home and try that app out. I agree with you guys, I've been a drummer for the better part of 15 years. The vast majority of my drumming is in the studio and have an intimate knowledge of MY groove. I do use drum editing, but not always.

It's one of those things, I'd have to hear and see the OP's drum takes to make a real decision if I would want to edit them. But, hey, if someone wants me to lock their drums and pay me...and I'm not being credited or paid as the producer, then that's what I'd so.

Actually spent last weekend BD'ing my drums for a bit of a country shuffle we're working on. After the time was spent, and a day away...I'm likely going to use the original track. It pushes and pulls in the right spots with my wifes guitar playing. IT's different for every song, every genre and what the artist wants.

Love the thread though

I don't know, man, but I'd be careful if I was you...I grew up in the Deep South and I'm pretty sure that putting country drums on a grid is a hangin' offense...:D

Needless to say I've played a little Nashville and Bakersfield stuff along the way...and I've gotten a few "what the hell?" looks from the other band members when I throw in a few country licks on a hard rock song!

I've always figured that a good lick is a good lick, and I don't care where it comes from, I'll steal it in a heartbeat.

I've also had fun by dropping blues licks into country songs...but it's like I've always said, "The only difference between blues and country is the skin color of the folks singing it"...and even that difference is going away...

feliponk
12-11-2014, 07:56 PM
Technology should work for us, not the other way around.

Well said! :cool:

dr_daw
12-11-2014, 08:48 PM
I don't know, man, but I'd be careful if I was you...I grew up in the Deep South and I'm pretty sure that putting country drums on a grid is a hangin' offense...:D



Needless to say I've played a little Nashville and Bakersfield stuff along the way...and I've gotten a few "what the hell?" looks from the other band members when I throw in a few country licks on a hard rock song!



I've always figured that a good lick is a good lick, and I don't care where it comes from, I'll steal it in a heartbeat.



I've also had fun by dropping blues licks into country songs...but it's like I've always said, "The only difference between blues and country is the skin color of the folks singing it"...and even that difference is going away...


LMAO!! Didn't think of that, maybe I should change my post :P We're actually a folk rock band, and the wife decided to write a couple a songs that turned a little country...Up here in the north the cold sometimes freezes all logic out :P Can't wait to get home from this shift and reinvestigate my track...thinking I may end up doing another take.