Creating MIDI Drum Tracks for Your Songs
There are many different reasons for wanting to create MIDI drum tracks, maybe you don't have a band, or maybe you just want to write a full song by yourself for demonstrative purposes.
Regardless of the reason, in our current day and age, there are a lot of options out there these days that sound very professional, compared to just 15 years ago when you would have had to have used a drum machine that sounded like garbage.
So, consider yourself lucky.
Getting Started With MIDI Drum Tracks
Now, your MIDI drum software will likely come with some very good pre-programmed patterns and drum loops that you can use. As handy as that may be, chances are you are going to want to write your own patterns. You are, after all, the creative sort.
Below is an example of what creating a MIDI drum track on your computer will look like. Just a simple bit of programming and sequencing.
Programming Your First Beat and Making it Sound Real
- A good starting point would be programming the snare drum. This will act almost like a metronome as far as keeping the time of the song.
- Next you will want to add your bass drum. Be sure to accent particularly interesting musical portions with the bass drum, perhaps throwing in a double or at least changing up the beat a bit.
- Then come the toms, followed by the cymbals.
Now, chances are that your first drum pattern is going to come out sounding very mechanical. Don’t worry over this too much though, you can make it sound more life like with a few tweaks. Namely, you want to work on the velocity and timing to give the pattern some dynamics.
- The velocity, in terms of drum patterns, refers to how hard a note is “hit.” Think about it, a human drummer isn’t going to mechanically hit the center of the drum with the same force every time. Edit the velocity up and down throughout to give it a more realistic sound.
- As for the timing, humans are prone to errors. Timing will not be 100% perfect every time and you should program your pattern to reflect this. Now, I’m not saying you should throw the timing of your song off, but a miniscule “misstep” here and there will give you a much more human sound.