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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section

    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.

    Lets make the drum track more interesting Pt 2.....
    by DCC

    Drum Article Two:
    Iím going to start this second part with something practical. I use Cubase for all my midi work but the general approach is much the same for any sequencer. As mentioned before, I think that the volume of each note is crucial to the overall feel of a drum track. Download the: midi file and have a go at this:Midi File. Play around with the velocities. As youíll see I use key edit for drum editing rather than the drum edit window simply because I find it easier. In this midi file I've programmed in all the notes at 100 velocity so it sounds very bland. Let it cycle for a while and get used to the way it feels in its bland state and then have a fiddle with the velocities as Iíve done in the diagram. By doing this youíve taken the first steps towards programming a drum track close to the way a drummer would play it, for example; Notice the two kicks that are close together, the first one in the bunch should be much softer than the one following it so cut these ones down and FEEL the difference. Much the same with the snares really except snare programming can be more involved because a drummer would tend to be flasher with his/her snare work, not always of course but generally speaking. The snare triplets in the midi file sound terrible in their un-edited state as Iím sure youíll agree so weíll look at them next.

    To be honest I donít think thereís a set way of doing this, itís really up to you what sounds good and what doesnít. This is just a starting point. Weíve got four snares close together for the triplet. Take the first down to about 20vol, the second to around 40 and the third to lets say 60 keeping the fourth as the main snare volume at 100. From there, play around with them until it sounds good to you. Itís irrelevant how good or bad your programming really is. If you like what you hear then itís job done as far as Iím concerned! Same with music in general I suppose.

    Now this is where it gets good. Weíve looked at note volumes, weíll now look at drum sounds. If youíre using the same snare sound for all the different velocities it will sound better after editing but when a real snare is hit at different velocities it produces a completely different sound altogether, not just a quieter version of the main snare. If you are able to edit sounds then find a dull DOOOSH!! Sounding snare, hard to explain in words! Take the attack out and try to make it very tinny sounding if you can. Doing this will make it sound more like a lightly tapped snare and can be used for the first three snares in the triplet bunch, making sure that the tuning is as close as possible to your main snare. We can go another step further with thisÖSOUND FONTSÖ.Pheeew!! Now weíre really talking.

    Editing snares etc is great if this is all you can do but sound fonts are a different world altogether!! Real sounds recorded in top studios. The major advantage with fonts is youíre not only playing around with for example a snare thatís been recorded separately from the very light grace sound right up to the main hit and rim shots etc but theyíre also what is called . This means that on one note of your keyboard you can have all your snares if you want, for example; grace snare 1/ 0-50Ö grace snare 2/ 51-70 velocity and so on. All totally editable with a sound font editing programme but you donít need an edit programme to use them!! Of course sound fonts are not restricted to drum sounds, every other instrument you can think of were all notes have been recorded separately for every note on your keyboard. I used soundfonts for the DCCmp3 sample.

    If some of the things Iíve suggested are impossible because you donít have the appropriate gear then GO & BUY SOME!!!! Thatís the only way around the problem. You can buy a fairly cheap sound card thatís sound font compatible and the sound font CD ROMs are very reasonably priced. Donít expect to beat world pole vaulting records using a broom handle. To be able to do a good job of anything you must have the tools. Donít you think your musicís worth it?

    Every thing I've written in this article is purely my opinion and again, REMEMBERÖIf sitting there playing the chord of G for 2hrs gives you immense pleasure then so be itÖthatís what musicís all about.

    DC Cornelius.

    Make sure you catch all the great Tips from DC Cornelius
    Tips #1  I  Tips #2  I  Tips #3  I 

    C. 2006, All rights Reserved


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