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Hello all. I couldn't find a more suitable section to post this question in, so here goes.

As the title states, I have no idea what the best way to do drums is. I am a guitar player of almost 25 years experience. Written so many songs of different styles, but have no electronic musical experience.

I currently own Sonar X3, and barely know how to use it. The main thing that concerns me however, is Drums. I think I can figure out many things through tutorials, but there seems to be such a wide array of ways and applications to create drums, that I'd rather ask the experts whose music I listen to. Any external applications, Sonar upgrades and techniques are welcome. Links to preferred tutorials are also welcome.

I appreciate any feedback :)

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Electronic, as in electronic-sounding, or electronically-processed? By electronic-sounding, I mean for electronic-centric music, and that may include Roland TR samples, for example, but by electronically-processed, I mean anything involving drum samples used in a DAW, even acoustic ones.

Assuming you mean how to get started with writing electronic-sounding drums, http://goldbaby.co.nz/ has some great, well-polished drum samples for electro, hip-hop, and other electronic-centric genres that you can use right out of the box and/or layer to get meatier results.

If you mean how to write acoustic drum rhythms, then you may want to watch videos of

and getting an idea of their tendencies for variation and flow.

I think

helps on writing drum rhythms in general, whatever type of drums they are. Edited by timaeus222
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Electronic, as in electronic-sounding, or electronically-processed? By electronic-sounding, I mean for electronic-centric music, and that may include Roland TR samples, for example, but by electronically-processed, I mean anything involving drum samples used in a DAW, even acoustic ones.

Assuming you mean how to get started with writing electronic-sounding drums, http://goldbaby.co.nz/ has some great, well-polished drum samples for electro, hip-hop, and other electronic-centric genres that you can use right out of the box and/or layer to get meatier results.

If you mean how to write acoustic drum rhythms, then you may want to watch videos of

and getting an idea of their tendencies for variation and flow.

I think

helps on writing drum rhythms in general, whatever type of drums they are.

Electronically-processed drums is what I'm after, thanks for your reply

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Is it how to compose the drum parts or how to use drums in Sonar that you want to know? Composing drums in Sonar is, like, EXACTLY my specialty. Mixing/mastering/producing drum parts, on the other hand, is not my specialty.

Using drums in Sonar would be the best case scenario for me, as I already own Sonar, so that's perfect!

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Is it how to compose the drum parts or how to use drums in Sonar that you want to know? Composing drums in Sonar is, like, EXACTLY my specialty. Mixing/mastering/producing drum parts, on the other hand, is not my specialty.

Any tips or links to good tutorials you may have used?

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The best "tutorial" is to listen to the music you like and break the drum parts down. Drums are very easy to do on a basic level, but it's impossible to fake what a drummer does in terms of feel and timing. So your goal should be to study as many grooves as you can, and then slowly try to re-create them.

I assume you're going after acoustic sounding drums (rock drums). To get these right you usually need to invest in a decent sample library. I recommend EZDrummer 2.

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Sorry, perhaps I'm not being clear enough. Ive drummed before, and though not an expert, I have no problem at making beats. I need to know the bet technique for actually making electronic drum beats, midi drums, i dont know what to call them, in Sonar X3. I do not know a good way, and was hoping for some tips and suggestions to get me started. Im new to creating electronic music with samples and these types of programs like Sonar, but am a seasoned musician.

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Basically, any drums you hear on ocremix that arent legit real drums, that are electronic , midi or whatever.

Let me jump in to clarify some stuff about drums and our kind of DIY music making.

1) Electronic-sounding electronic drums for electronic-sounding electronic music. If the word drum machine describes the sound well, this is it. This retro sound is easy to work with, but won't work well with all styles and genres.

2) Modern electronic music doesn't use the oldsk00l drum machines sounds raw, as was done in the 70s and 80s. It won't sound like a real drum kit, because the samples are processed too much for that, the performance is often inhumanly precise and too repetitive for most real drummers anyway. Modern electronic music uses processed individual samples, but also a lot of loops, processed in different ways. Glitching, filtering, reverse effects... This style will work with just about anything, but it's hard to shake the electronic feel of it.

3) Simple "acoustic" drum kits are also available, ones with samples from real drums but put together into a very simple sampler that really only plays those sounds back with no regard for how they'd work together in a real drum kit. These kits tend to have few velocity layers, no round-robins, and a simplistic instrument group muting (if any). You won't miss those things until you know you want them. If a kit sounds like it tried to be areal kit but failed to convince you, this is probably it. I find that this option, while sacrificing realism, is a lot quicker and easier to work with than the 4th.

4) Advanced "acoustic" drum kits. They've sampled real drums and put them together in a more advanced package. Maybe they've recorded everything the way you'd record a real drum kit. Maybe they're simulating that part. These kits will rarely be free (unlike the aforementioned options), but they'll sound a lot more realistic. They'll have velocity layers and round-robins, and plenty of drum-specific options. For realism, this is your best bet, but it takes a bit more work to get the instrument to behave the way you want it to.

5) Actual acoustic drums, and a studio, and a lot of mics. Most realistic, least flexible once it's recorded. it also means you have to get a drummer, or be a decent drummer yourself. And a recording engineer, too. At the same time. Not impossible, but imo more trouble than it's worth. But it's not particularly electronic anymore, so this is hardly the option you're looking for.

--

As for writing the drums, you've got a few options there too.

1) Mouse them in. Sequence them with the mouse. This is the most rigid and time-consuming option, and if you're shooting for realism, this is not what I would recommend. it's a gerat way to learn how drum writing works, though.

2) Keyboard recording. The drum kits are mapped to keys on midi keyboards. With a midi keyboard, you can record, in tempo or at a lower tempo, the notes you need. You may have to adjust the timing afterwards. I know I usually do. That's why I generally avoid trying to sound too realistic. This stuff is hard.

3) Electronic drums, a midi drum kit to beat on in the real world, and get the midi data into your computer. This is more costly than the other options, but if you're a decent drummer, this might be worth it. Even then, you may need to go in and mouse in some adjustments.

4) Midi grooves. You can of course find ready-made midi drum patterns to import and use. I think it's cheating, but it's the results that count, isn't it? Even as a cheat, they have educational value in that you can import them, see how they interact with your drum kit and mixing, see how a groove you can recognize looks like in midi, see how nuances like subtle timing differences and changes to velocity (note loudness) affects the sound.

And _then_ you have to mix the drums. :D

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