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Recreating an old drum machine in Groove Agent

If you’re like me, you’ll have old bits of kit gathering dust in the attic that have seen better days and a drum machine is likely to feature somewhere in that collection.  Maybe you have a song or two that were written using that particular machine and nothing else quite seems to fit or sounds quite right.  Recording the sounds is simple, (and for most older machines, there was no multi-sampling at different velocity layers), or you can download pre-recorded samples for some machines from the web, but what do you do with the individual sounds once you have them?  In this video, I look at incorporating some drum machine samples within Cubase’s Media Bay and using them to recreate my old Roland TR505 as a preset in Groove Agent.

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From the Boiler Room: February Update

drum_comboThe drum parts for all of the original songs are now complete, as are the bass parts. There may be some tweaking of the basslines as the arrangements develop, but they’re there or thereabouts for all songs. The drums are mainly the EZX Indie Folk and Americana kits, (a 50-50 split), but I couldn’t find the right parts for “One More Time”. In fact, anything I tried, no matter how simple, seemed too busy or just leaden, so I’ve opted for some simple (EZX) Latin Percussion on that and it’s just enough to provide some movement without becoming a distraction. [Read more…]

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Multiple VST drums in Cubase

To wrap up my short series of videos looking at various aspects of drums in Cubase, I’ve tried to draw together some of the ideas I’ve covered, (such as drum maps and multiple outputs for VST instruments), in the video below.  It looks at how I constructed the drum part for my song “Flames In The Fire” by taking what was originally a single MIDI part and splitting the voicings across three separate VST drum kits – the Nashville and Twisted kits for Toontrack’s EZDrummer, plus Cubase’s own Groove Agent One for some percussion – then mixing the multiple outputs together to give the impression of a single performance on this virtual, composite kit.

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Video Tutorial – Editing notes without editing the groove

Working to the grid is great for ensuring that everything lines up quick and easy, but it removes the all-important “feel” that gives the music its groove.  In this video, I look at how to edit the notes in a drum pattern in Cubase to change the voicing without killing the groove.  In this case, the groove is there already, but I’ll be returning to the topic of keeping the feel of a recording in future videos.

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Video Tutorial – Revoicing live drums using hitpoints

So you’ve got a recording of a real drummer playing on your track and the performance is hot, but the sounds aren’t?   You might want to replace the drums with samples or augment them to reinforce the sound of one or more of the drums.  Whilst there are plugins available that will do the job, this video shows how you can go about revoicing live drums using Cubase’s built-in functionality.

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From The Boiler Room: Less Is More From A Virtual Drummer

DrumsAs you may have gathered from previous posts, the drums on the album aren’t going to be provided by a real drummer, but will come from a drum VSTi, specifically EZDrummer.  Looking back at the rules I set myself at the top of the project, I want the end result to sound like all of the songs should sit together and so I’ll not be aiming to have a different kit used on every song.

[Read more…]