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Old 11-08-2007, 07:57 PM
asiabackpacker asiabackpacker is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: West LA
Posts: 86
Default MIDI Drums are making me crazy

So, before anything else, I am kind of a newbie to audio production...I'm just a notch or two above beginner.

Now, I'm trying to add drums to my Pro Tools sessions.

I purchased BFD a little while back, hated it when I first got it, but just this week purchased some grooves from Groovemonkee, and have been using the groove librarian feature...with the GM package, BFD has become a little better. But it's still making me a bit crazy.

I'm wondering if I'm going about this all wrong. Some folks have suggested EZ Drummer, however my current OS (10.3.9) doesn't support it. I don't really know what other options there are.

There are some specific problems I'm having with BFD in PT, which maybe someone can advise me on. (the problems seem almost endless, but here are a couple that might be easy to answer):

I am using notes to trigger grooves, but when I add another note at the same time the groove is triggered, (like a crash symbol for instance), the extra note doesn't play correctly. If it is a symbol, when I click on the MIDI note by itself, it plays fine, but when my track is playing, it plays but then the sound gets cut off almost immediately after getting triggered. And, yes I have polyphonic mode turned on.

The other thing that sucks-maybe this is just a limitation, and there's nothing I can do about this. I am working on a track with kind of a half-time feel, and I am running it at 62 BPM, because there are no beats that sound right at 124 BPM. However, at this tempo all the drum fills are just slow as hell....I cannot find any drum fills in GM that work at this tempo....maybe this is a limitation of the GM grooves, and not PT or BFD. Don't know if there is anything I can do about this??

Also, I'm just not really crazy about the grooves, to be honest. This is the only package I have experience with, so I don't really know what else is out there. Am I missing something and just need to dig a little deeper, or are there other options that might be easier to work with. There's just all these funky/unusual beats...almost none of which are working with a simple straight 4/4 rock tune. There's only a small handful of simple straightforward beats that are working with a simple 4/4 rhythm, and I could probably have just banged one of these out on my keyboard. And, like I said, I haven't been able to work with any of the fills.

Anyone out there!? Please!

Should I just ditch the BFD/Groovemonkee combo all together and go some other route?

It's frustrating me way more than it's succeeding in inspiring my creativity.

A lot of questions, I know.... (but I'm sure you were here once too, ) Thanks for any help at all!

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Old 05-22-2009, 08:53 AM
jmitchell1532 jmitchell1532 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 764
Default Re: MIDI Drums are making me crazy

I know this is terribly old, but why not just write in your own beats instead of using the grooves?

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Old 05-22-2009, 09:12 AM
Murt Murt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UKEire
Posts: 365
Default Re: MIDI Drums are making me crazy

+1 for creating your own grooves. Create one bar - switch it to a region and repeat it throughout the song - go back to the pre chorus or whatever and alter it to add a fill - do the same for the chorus if you want a bell/middle cymbal feel or whatever.
Shame about your OS not supporting EZ Drummer though - beats BFD hands down for simplicity and speeding up your workflow.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:29 AM
tha]-[acksaw tha]-[acksaw is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 674
Default Re: MIDI Drums are making me crazy

I have been a BFD user for years. I just upgraded to BFD 2 about 6 months ago. I have the Percussion Pack and Jazz Pak as well, so its safe to say I'm pretty invested in BFD. I also own just about every Groove Monkey Pack they make. I'm missing the World Beats and the Heavy Metal Grooves, but thats about it.

First things first. Are you using BFD 1.5 or 2.0? What type of music are you working on?

Second, specificaly what don't you like about the Grooves you have been using in BFD? Whats bugging you about the Grooves you use from Groove Monkey? Is it the general feel, or the way the drums are hit or sound? I'd be interested to know. I love all the grooves in BFD 1.5, 2.0 and Groove Monkey. I will admit, I often spend hours customizing drums performances by hand on midi tracks, after finding a set of grooves I like. It not like I can just pick one, and its 100% fine for what I'm doing. I also don't work on Metal, so Harder Rock/Hip Hop is about is wild as I ever get with BFD. If you doing Metal, I might not be of much help. I mostly do Pop/Rock/Blues/Reggae stuff with BFD.

If you having trouble with notes not sounding, split each drum into a different midi track. I really believe BFD works better when you drag the midi grooves out of BFD, to a midi track, and work from there (sounds like thats what you are doing). Overall it just give you more control, and more visuals. I usualy spit my drums with 1 midi track for kick, one for snare, one for the kit (highhat, and toms), and then I do one more for cymbals. Sometimes I will do two for cymbals depeinding on how much stuff I have going on with them. Its also nice to have them split in case you want to sub one out later, or want to add a support. Then you can just use the midi from specific drums hits to trigger from you Keyboard, or Softsynth.

I also noticed that upgrading to BFD 2.0 got rid of 90% of the hangups I was having with BFD 1.5, which were here and there. Its worth the $200, so if you havent, go for it. Do make sure you have a seperate Hard Drive for all your BFD data. It's the difference between having problems, and not. At least it was for me.

If you can be more specific about your style of music, issues with the Grooves, as well as how you are working with the midi grooves in PT/BFD, I would be willing to help further. I'm finaly to the point where I can use BFD with 99% ease, so its safe to say I have probably had lots of the same problems you are, and/or will have.

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Old 06-02-2009, 08:17 AM
earshatter earshatter is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 123
Default Re: MIDI Drums are making me crazy

I have used a bunch of different programs to do all my midi stuff. I used to lock Logic to P/T using the 'iac' driver, but it became cumbersome, still though, in hindsight I think that is the best way. Now, after many years of doing my own beats, using various midi tricks and programs, I've reverted to Reason. No, it's not the best, however with the mountains of refill packs available, with some simply amazing sounds, grooves, samples, I now lock that to P/T via 'iac' and it works amazingly. Very simple to use, very quick, and I think that's the MOST important thing so that one doesn't lose the motivation when 'genius' strikes.
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