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Old 02-20-2016, 05:11 PM
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zedhed zedhed is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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Default Re: How do I use sampled drums on Pro Tools?

Originally Posted by UndergroundLab View Post
I don't have the product yet, however I do not have a way to record drums from the drum set itself, so as a cheaper solution to buying 7-8 drum mics that one would normally need for each piece of the chicken, I'm thinking of getting a IK Instruments drum sample pack to record drums with.
It's not only the Mic's you'd need. An interface with sufficient I/O capability & pre's would also be required. Not to mention cables and other bits and pieces.

Originally Posted by UndergroundLab View Post
How would I be able to record drums in Pro Tools from a program like that?

Using any 'virtual' instrument (VI) negates the need to actually "record" anything, at least at the part of the process where talent is used to physically play the instrument. Working with an interface using it's output only for monitoring is called working 'In the box'. Obviously it's a cheaper way to do things but it has it's limitations, nevertheless great results can be achieved once one knows what they're doing.

Most companies that provide samples supply a means to play them, using a specific program to do so. Once installed as a plug-in, you can use the program as an 'insert' on a track (typically an instrument track) in a Pro Tools session. It is within this program/plugin that one can select the samples to be played. At minimum, a fundamental knowledge of MIDI is the key to using VI's.

A 'trigger' is also needed to place midi notes into the timeline to play samples when & where they are wanted. The trigger can come in the form of a midi keyboard controller, midi drum pads, electronic drum kit or by manually penciling in midi notes on the timeline in the Midi Editor in Pro Tools (note: manually penciling in notes is generally not the way to go as it is more difficult to create a groove and is extremely time consuming). Using the pencil is best for fine tuning a performance when needed.

So as a basic setup one would create an instrument track in Pro Tools, insert the plugin-in on that track. It is a good idea to refer to the user manual to learn about signal I/O routing at this point.

Press the record/play button and play ones chosen trigger medium to place the midi notes onto the instrument track to create the performance. If you've routed everything correctly you can hear the drums in real time as you play. Companies that produce Programs/plug-ins often provide 'Midi Packs' which are professionally produced grooves which save you the job of capturing any performance at all. Drag n drop a midi groove onto the instrument track and you have a virtual drummer right there.

Once the Midi performance exists on the track, everything will be played back in virtual symphony. It is at this point one can dig in and process the sound of the triggered samples. A more sophisticated setup will have the drums routed out of the plug-in into discrete channels in Pro Tools so processing can be done on each piece of the drum kit separately. Some plug-ins have internal processing ability or one can use other 'external' (third party) plug-ins inserted on the track.

To record or 'Print' the midi performance, the instrument track would be routed and recorded to an Audio Track in Pro Tools. Once this is done, the performance becomes in a sense less virtual since it's now captured and committed. There is a variety of reasons for doing this but I won't get into that right now, suffice to say that it isn't always necessary.

This is a very basic explanation of what's going on and things can get way more complicated in heavily structured sessions where different types of instruments are added to the mix.

If you haven't already got at least an Interface, midi controller and a decent set of headphones, you are best advised to invest in these items to be able to get decent results.

Check Toontracks Superior Drummer (or ezydrummer) out, I'd recommend looking at one of these as a viable solution for you. There are a lot of other choices available as well which may better suit your budget/needs.
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Last edited by zedhed; 02-21-2016 at 01:37 PM.
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