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January 13, 2007

Recording drums for backing tracks

How do you record your drum tracks on your recording equipment? I use Cubase and I am alway struggling with recording decent drums.

For me, to quicker I can get down the basics, the better. Just like when I'm getting tutored by my takelessons tutor, I like to keep it simple. If I have to struggle with programming drums for any length of time, I lose my inspiration to record anything in the first place.

I have an old Roland drum machine, an R-5, but I don't have the correct power adapter for it (I have a Swedish version), but it was quite nice to use, since it has nice and big, pressure-sensitive pads. If I had the correct power adapter, I could use it again, either with its built-in sounds (quite decent) or for MIDI.

Currently, I sometimes use a little kid keyboard that has MIDI, and then I use a drum module that came with my Cubase, it's called L7 I think. It sounds pretty good, but I am not very good at programming drums in Cubase and I get frustrated easily.

I have created some free drum loops for download, using this technique.

What I started doing a while ago is to use a freeware program called HammerHead to create simple loops. The sounds are not that great, but what I like about it is that it lets you get something done fast - that's what I need. To get a simple but decent groove going within the shortest amount of time possible, that's my goal. HammerHead lets me do that. Check out HammerHead Drums - try it and let me know what you think. You can download better sound banks on that site, so that the drums sounds are more suited for the kind of music I am interested in.

Another program I tried that was quite promising is Groove Agent, a virtual drum machine that I should probably try again. The version I tried, version 1, didn't have so many, to me, useful grooves. Now that there's a version 3, I bet they improved it a fair bit.

Do you have any suggestions on creating quick, decent drum loops so a guitar player can focus on guitar playing?

I will probably post a few video clips soon, of me jamming along to some drum grooves.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on January 13, 2007

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