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Old 03-05-2024, 11:09 PM
mickeyrouse mickeyrouse is offline
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Location: Beaumont, Texas
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Default Creating Drum Tracks for live performance

I’ve been using Pro Tools for about ten years now, and between Superior Drummer and a few others I’m generally getting the drum tracks I’m looking for. However, everything I’ve done thus far are the drum parts of larger complete sessions, in which all other musical parts are either created with virtual or live instruments and voices.
The group I’m playing with these days is exploring using pre-programmed drum tracks instead of a real drummer- we’re not going to fire one- we don’t have one.
What I have no experience doing is creating drum tracks (only) for performance. I can imagine ways to do it: write the drum track in Pro Tools, render it to a music track in desired format (WAV, MP3), transfer the files to a laptop, play them from there.
But that seems primitive. There are obvious drawbacks. How is the best way to make tune selection? Ordering of songs? How are count-ins best handled?
What about songs that have no drums on the intro, where a piano or guitar set the tempo and drums subtly sneak in? What if the mix is good for rehearsal purposes, but sound check at the gig reveals the kick is overpowering or the hi hat is inaudible? Some of these problems could be solved by playing from the un-bounced Pro Tools session tracks, but then you deal with load time, which means quickly responding to the feel of the house during a gig makes it problematical. Some matters, like intros, could be dealt with by attempting to segue in the song by accurately pressing the “Play” button at just the right time- if your own instrument’s part allows double duty.
Ideally, there would be software that would let you mix drum levels on rendered tracks, and just click on a title to play.
Or, maybe drum machines are just a whole lot better than they used to be- I haven’t looked at one in years.
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