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Drums separately or in the same pattern? (FL)

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I work with FL Studio, so I'm not sure how well this applies to other DAW's, but anyway.

In my latest project I started putting automations each into their separate patterns (rather than including them inside the note patterns). It made things a lot clearer and easier to manage, so I'm going to keep doing that from now on.


That got me thinking; I still have all drums - except loops, cymbals and special fx - in single patterns called drums this and drums that. In other words, I have patterns that have the kicks, hihats, snares etc. inside together. I wonder if I should split them up too? Do you people do that? If you do, how do you arrange them (screenshot?) pros and cons?

I think if you have everything in one pattern, it's more convenient to copy repeating patterns and it doesn't take a lot of space. But on the downside you don't really see what's in the pattern until you click it open. Splitting the drums - more flexible and fun? Or just a lot of pointless extra work and a bad idea?

Edited by Byproduct
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Keep everything in a single drum midi track until you are sure you won't be changing them up then split them across other midi/audio tracks Kick, Snare, Highhat, Toms Etc. This gives you better control over what you can do. Keeping everything in one track like that can make things easy at first but eventually you'll find it limits you horribly.

-You can't adjust the volumes from console view which means once you bounce to audio you can't adjust the volume of the parts of the kit at all

-Your EQ is going to apply to all parts of the kit. (This is a bad thing)

-You can't use individual sends to set up parallel compression should you want to

-You won't have an easy source for simple transition effects. (reversing a crash)

There's bound to be more but definitely split your drums up once you are near finalizing them.

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Depends what youre making and how you want to make it. You COULD...

Split the samples by type;

Clean and easy for management, but it gets difficult to manage individual dynamic variances and scapes

Each sample gets a separate layer;

Excellent control for sounds and balance, but it'll get messy real quick and tone may be inconsistent if you dont manage your sends well

Divide by group:

Most logical and consistent for overall processing, but you really need to think ahead and know the track before you start making it. Ends up messy if you change halfway through.

Also, note that I use Reason and not FL, so managing automation in a track line is easier (imo)

Personally I prefer to divide samples by group because of post processing. But if I'm making a track without a sound/style in mind, it ends up sounds TERRIBLE.

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I think both of you might be confused somehow. Byproduct is talking about splitting the drumkit into several rows of patterns instead of just one set of patterns housing all drum parts. i.e. Splitting into Kick+Snare and HiHat+Ride+Cymbal. I usually only do this if I want to do a buildup that includes a HiHat or something separate coming in, but not often.

Edited by timaeus222
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Not confused at all - thats what I'm talking about too. But I'm not dictating how he should process his drums, because each producer is different and each recommendation works well in different scenarios. So I stick by those three types of processing

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While I don't use FL, some of what I do in Logic might apply.

Patterns that don't change can be looped. I can have my bass drum on a separate midi track most of the time, just looped. It can feed into the same drum instrument as my other drums... or not. I can either have them all in the same instrument to save some processing power and reduce the number of tracks I'm working with, or keep them completely separate to have full control over them without having to add half a dozen midi tracks and outputs (something Logic isn't particularly good at anyway).

That's for electronic music. For stuff that's supposed to sound more live, I wouldn't be looping the note data, so I'd probably use single long midi region instead. That'd feed into a single drum instrument, and I'd either mix the drums in the instrument itself and only output the combined sound and any source for sidechaining, or I'd output groups onto different audio tracks and mix in the DAW instead.

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