How do YOU programme drums?

(fladd) #1

There are at least 14 different ways to programme drums in the current version of Renoise:

  1. Each sample in own instrument - one sample per track

  2. Each sample in own instrument - all samples in one track

  3. Each sample in own instrument - each sample in own phrase - one phrase per track

  4. Each sample in own instrument - each sample in own phrase - all phrases in one track

  5. All samples in one instrument - one sample per track

  6. All samples in one instrument - one sample per track (with routing sampler outputs to different tracks)

  7. All samples in one instrument - all samples in one track

  8. All samples in one instrument - all samples in one track (with routing sampler outputs to different tracks)

  9. All samples in one instrument - each sample in own phrase - one phrase per track

  10. All samples in one instrument - each sample in own phrase - one phrase per track (with routing sampler outputs to different tracks)

  11. All samples in one instrument - each sample in own phrase - all phrases in one track

  12. All samples in one instrument - each sample in own phrase - all phrases in one track (with routing sampler outputs to different tracks)

  13. All samples in one instrument - all samples in one phrase - one phrase per track

  14. All samples in one instrument - all samples in one phrase - one phrase per track (with routing sampler outputs to different tracks)

I like to be able to mix my drums in the mixer, hence I used to do 6, but since I might want to convert my drum patterns into phrases to be used in Redux in Reaper, I am currently leaning towards 8.

Which one do you use? I am curious. Pros and Cons?

(Zer0 Fly) #2

I do:

each breakbeat cut into one shot hits into one instrument, containing layers like claps on snare, synthetic bassdrum over the breakbeat one. Much processing in the instrument fx, each sampletype like bd, hats, snares, crash, toms - each layer type has own FX lane with own processing. I am mixing the break against itself with sends that go to a single mixdown track (there compression for glue, common distortion).

Then other rhythm stuff like percussions, cymbals gets their own track, also the breaks each one track. All together into a common group that can have glue, sometimes each track goes to my premaster sends.

Then I don’t use phrases, but sequence each track with its samples/instruments. To repeat I copy/paste the patterns, encouraging later microedits on the stuff. The break gets multiple columns, and every other instrument as it is nessecary.

Downside with the breakbeats is that I have to go into the instrument fx if I want to mix some aspect (type of drum hit) of the break against other instruments. This is a bit complicated. But I like the results.

(trueschool) #3

Mostly I do 1 or 5 – I have a mix of single-sample drum sounds and quite a few nice drum “set” instruments, so I mix and match based on the sounds I’m trying to get.

I’ll normally have separate tracks for bd, sd, hh, cymbal, toms, break, etc, and often will put them in a track group so I can do automations across all of them (like muting all drums at the breakdown) or route the whole group to a send if needed. This also gives me flexibility to route the different drum tracks out to different send tracks for further processing.

I don’t mess with phrases. I still don’t get them.

(GarrettWang) #4

I build drumkits with single hits from any particular breakbeat assigned to the 16 pads on my akai mpd218.

I get my breaks from the 200 breakbeats download made available by ripley on renoise forums (link below). That was such a generous thing to do Im seriously grateful to ripley. So many breaks available without having to go searching or buy vinyl.

I render slices to samples, label each of them (ie kick1, snare3, or if two sounds ontop of each other kick1_cym, snare3_chh, snare5_ohh etc). I do a little more trimming, cutting a little bit here and there, sometimes add a small fade at the end of a drum sound if it ends too abruptly and makes a popping sound…

Anyway from there I will assign each of these single hits to pads…I double up the samples to do a symetrical layout…two of the same kick both in mute group 1, modulation set 1, fx chain 1… and so on…each drum sound gets two pads…so I get 8 drum sounds total per pad bank, or per 16 keys in keyzones. This allows me to practise left handed and right handed drumming stuff the same amount…its better for drumming practise.

I add a volume envelope and a pitch envelope in the sample modulation per drum sound (two of same single hit drum sample across two pads). I add a gainer for each drum sample in its own fxchain.

With the modulation set per sample the idea is that i will be able to fade or shorten the drum samples with the volume envelope and change the pitch of them with the pitch envelope. Mostly just using the envelopes as you would with operand but leaving the option open to do turntable stops by pitching down with the envelope. also volume fade ins / fade outs, shortening of the samples…octave up, octave down in pitch

With the FX chain per sample, the idea is that later I will be able to add EQ and compression and something else maybe distortion etc in the per sample fx chains, after the gainer that has been placed there already.

After this is all done I would probably send all drum sounds, from one instrument, placed on separate tracks by type (kick, snare, chh, ohh, cym, perc etc) to another track in which they could all have effects put on them at once…a small amount of reverb or something like that.
As they are on separate tracks should be o.k to have delay on snare only or something like that…

As each of these drumkits was built from a single breakbeat, all the single hits work so nicely together as a ‘kit’. Its not the same as just looking up individual hits and building a kit that way.
Howeveer some of the breaks are from old recordings, very tinny, very scratchy and thin so I hope to layer in some drum machine sounds for the kits made from those types of breaks. For this it will require EQ and compression skills which I dont have it will be good practise

Also because Im going through and building drumkits with every single breakbeat in that pack, later I will be able to build hybrid kits with a kick from one break, a snare from another, layered with a 808 vst etc…some of the breakbeats have an excellent snare but a shitty kick…or amazing hihats but a shitty snare…its fun, lots of drumming…Im still total noob with EQ and compression. Really want to focus on drums and bass for a while…did loads of melody and harmony earlier already

(random) #5

8 here. (redux compatible)
drum kit = 1 instrument, several samples with general midi mapping
sequences = phraseeditor

Can choose whether drum machine, or another sequencer indicates the clock (and avoid renoise quantization requirement)

(Djeroek) #6

Whatevers necessary for the job, hits, loops, slices, sample offset commands over one or more tracks. I love the flexibility of Renoise and that you can mix styles, not bound to tracks specifically.

Often for oversight sake, mainly making breakbeat type of music, I like having the main drum elements emphasized on separate tracks. For example; the first track for kicks, second one for snares, third for hihats(percussion). With these basics you can lay down the main groove and use other tracks solely catered to breaks (be it phrases and/or macro bendable beats). Easy blending, doubling up, following the kick and snare pattern.

Once I’m happy with how the blueprint is laid out, there is room for rendering parts to sample and use these samples in new tracks for effect embellishments. Rinse and repeat :sunglasses: .

(Raul (ulneiz)) #7

If I had to choose a preferred method, it would be the following:
A single instrument with one (or several samples of the same type) on separate tracks. All these tracks would be within a single group (called “percussion”, or “drums” or something like that…). And it is likely that I would use several levels in each note with several samples, configured in the keyzones.

In this way, it is possible to regulate each sample in the same instrument more easily. I would not use the FX chain of the samples, but the DSP chains of each track, having the DSP chain of the group as a general.

In addition, you can select a single instrument for everything, and use a single MIDI channel to play it, with your MIDI piano or pad controller.

I think we have to take advantage of the potential of Renoise’s native instrument. Using a sample for each instrument seems a little out of place, even if possible.

Anyway, Renoise is not as flexible as I would like:
I also use many plugins. It is good to organize all these things well.

Regarding using only one track, it is a bit cumbersome for live recording. It is possible that the notes of different samples are recorded “randomly” in the note columns (are 12). That is, in the same note column have different type of samples and I do not like that.

I have never considered building a tool to force a range of notes of the same instrument to be recorded in specific note columns. But I think it’s possible and it’s not very complicated. As you know, Renoise records the notes in the leftmost note column that is “free of sound”.

(GarrettWang) #8

Also, just a random little thing…probably everyone knows this already but just putting it here anyway

When recording from drumpads it is sometimes a good idea to turn off ‘polyphonic aftertouch’ and ‘channel aftertouch’ from edit-preferences-midi.

For those controller that have a ‘full level’ button its not necessary to turn off ‘velocity’.
I would probably record all drums at full velocity with quantize at one line…afterwards if you did a triplet and it recorded wrong because of quantize (if not using 12LPB) you can correct it with delay commands…and put in a load of velocity commands afterwards too.

With quantize off, unless your drumming accuracy is like a robot you will have to remove delay commands all over the place after recording although it might be good for looseness, humanness or whatever

I dont like to mess with the mpd218 editor at all, so I leave everything on standard settings (chromatic, one midi channel for all pads)…when recording drums they all go into one track…I separate the drum sounds into their own tracks after recording the beat

also looking at that screenshot “instruments with DSP chains can, like plugins, only be played back in one track at a given time”…this hasnt affected me yet…seems like you can play them in any track no problem…maybe because with breakbeat samples its usually mostly linear drumming (only one sound at a time)

Having the FX chain per drum sample allows for Gainer, EQ, compression, distortion per drum sample…then maybe can use separate automated delays on the snare and hihats from track DSP FX (turning delay on/off every now and then).