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Old 12-11-2023, 01:43 PM
GNRMatt GNRMatt is offline
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Default Drum Machine

Any good recommendations on a Drum Machine that can:
  • Connect to my computer easily, probably via USB (or through my FocusRite connection)
  • Easily connect with Pro Tools
  • Allow me to use my hands to determine exactly where in the song I "hit" the drum, how hard I "hit" the drum, etc. So, basically, I'll hit the drum machine button each time I want the bass drum or snare drum, etc. to play in the song
  • Has a few different snares, basses, toms, cymbals, etc. to choose from
  • Won't break the bank

I'm open to other ideas on this. I've tried doing this directly in Pro Tools in the MIDI Editor, but it all sounds very "mechanical" and I was trying to see if there's a way I can make my drums sound more "human". (This is for hard rock music if that makes any difference)

Thanks!
-Matt
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Old 12-11-2023, 02:40 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Drum Machine

While there are trigger devices available(M-Audio Trigger Finger and similar), I would skip and use a different method for rock music. What I would do is to use a good drum VI plugin that has midi performance loops to build your tracks. I have had excellent results with Toontrack Superior Drummer 3, EZDrummer and Addictive Drums(from XLN). SD3 is my fave for many reasons, but all 3(and several others) allow you to audition loops to find what suits your production and easily drag&drop these loops to a stereo Instrument track(which would host the plugin). With the midi dropped onto the Instrument track, its a piece of cake to edit/alter the performance to fine tune to your needs. All can also be routed out so you can have all the sounds on their own tracks(think: kick, snare top, snare bottom, hat, toms......) so you can mix it just like a multitrack recording of a drum kit and you can honestly make a drum track that(with the right skill and nuance) will sound like a real drummer played it

Of course, any midi controller should allow you to trigger sounds with velocity sensing to build basic performances. The "next level" happens with grace notes and fills(which are much more difficult to perform on pads).
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Old 12-11-2023, 05:01 PM
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Bob L Bob L is online now
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Default Re: Drum Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
While there are trigger devices available(M-Audio Trigger Finger and similar), I would skip and use a different method for rock music. <snipperoo>
The M-Audio Trigger Finger I've had for a decade has never worked. Every few years, I'll drag it out, try it, and place it back in the Hall of Crap Gear.
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Old 12-11-2023, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Drum Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob L View Post
Every few years, I'll drag it out, try it, and place it back in the Hall of Crap Gear.
Many studios have Waves APA as a doorstopper nowadays. Works well there
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Old 12-11-2023, 06:59 PM
GNRMatt GNRMatt is offline
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Default Re: Drum Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
While there are trigger devices available(M-Audio Trigger Finger and similar), I would skip and use a different method for rock music. What I would do is to use a good drum VI plugin that has midi performance loops to build your tracks. I have had excellent results with Toontrack Superior Drummer 3, EZDrummer and Addictive Drums(from XLN). SD3 is my fave for many reasons, but all 3(and several others) allow you to audition loops to find what suits your production and easily drag&drop these loops to a stereo Instrument track(which would host the plugin). With the midi dropped onto the Instrument track, its a piece of cake to edit/alter the performance to fine tune to your needs. All can also be routed out so you can have all the sounds on their own tracks(think: kick, snare top, snare bottom, hat, toms......) so you can mix it just like a multitrack recording of a drum kit and you can honestly make a drum track that(with the right skill and nuance) will sound like a real drummer played it

Of course, any midi controller should allow you to trigger sounds with velocity sensing to build basic performances. The "next level" happens with grace notes and fills(which are much more difficult to perform on pads).
Thanks! If I use something like EZDrummer (the price of that one seems reasonable), can I work with it from within ProTools within the MIDI Editor window? Or do I need to work from within the EZDrummer software and then some how export my drums to my Pro Tools file?

As for a MIDI controller, I've never used one before. Does that allow me to "hit" the drum (by hitting a pad or key) to control how it sounds and to play with the song? Is there a MIDI controller that could be recommended that would have a reasonable cost to it? Also, is the MIDI controller something I'd connect to my computer/Pro Tools with a USB cable?

Thanks!
-Matt
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Old 12-11-2023, 07:27 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Drum Machine

Quote:
Originally Posted by GNRMatt View Post
Thanks! If I use something like EZDrummer (the price of that one seems reasonable), can I work with it from within ProTools within the MIDI Editor window? Or do I need to work from within the EZDrummer software and then some how export my drums to my Pro Tools file?
You can do either or both, whatever suits your preference/workflow.

Quote:
As for a MIDI controller, I've never used one before. Does that allow me to "hit" the drum (by hitting a pad or key) to control how it sounds and to play with the song? Is there a MIDI controller that could be recommended that would have a reasonable cost to it? Also, is the MIDI controller something I'd connect to my computer/Pro Tools with a USB cable?
A MIDI controller here can be anything from a cheap desktop pad to tap with your fingers up to full MIDI drum kits with incredible control of what is going on. With some overlap in that those high-end drum kit setups will also often have their own virtual drums/e-drums built-into them as well as provide MIDI out.

The connection from the MIDI controller/MIDI drums is MIDI. It can be MIDI over DIN-plugs but nowadays is typically MIDI over USB.

If you don't know where to get started look at Sweetwater or similar web sites, find some interesting looking products and find and read their documentation. Say from to Roland V-Drums/V-Pad range of products at the high-end to any number of pads/MPCs at the low end ... eg.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search?s=midi+pad

Need more help call up and talk to a sales rep at Sweetwater or similar, that will often help you faster than here once you have read a little about a few products.
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2023, 10:41 AM
GNRMatt GNRMatt is offline
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Default Re: Drum Machine

I ended up getting the MDK Mini. What I'm struggling with is how to assign each drum pad to a specific drum. For example, if I want Drum Pad 1 = Snare Drum, Drum Pad 2 = Kick Drum, Drum Pad 3 = High Hat, etc. using the Xpand2 drum sets, how do I customize this?
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Old 12-30-2023, 10:49 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Drum Machine

The MIDI channel and notes are shown in the XPand plugin UI so you can set what you want there. You can google and find XPand2 PDF manuals online, maybe from Air if not Avid.

You need to read the MPK directions for mapping pads to MIDI notes.

But XPand2 is kinda limited, so one piece of advice before spending too much time with that is if you wanted a rock/pop/jazz drum I'd be looking at third party drum VIs, especially from Toontrack. If you wanted more general sample hosting then XPand2 can be fine. You can get a free demo of say Toontrack EZ Drummer to try.

There are lot of useful videos out there, e.g. first google result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-WpMPsuvUc

Its also often a good idea to install a MIDI monitoring tool on your computer, so you can see exactly what MIDI notes/events are coming from the controller to the DAW.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 12-30-2023 at 11:20 AM.
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