Old 01-28-2013, 06:09 PM   #1
hotjams
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Default Jamstixx or EZ Drummer?

....? Which is better?
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:24 PM   #2
Lucian
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Tough Call and I have both. I like EZdrummer's expansion kits and they come with a nice amount of midi drum lines. Jamstix is good if you want more original drum lines as it attempts to compose them based on your music which can be cool and also quirky in a good way but it takes some time to get Jamstix to do what you want.

For me, it just became easier to buy an Alesis Control Pad and use midi files for drums and overwrite the hihat or whatever is needed by playing it.

Jamstix can use midi too and can alter it which is cool, it is kind of like explaining to a real drummer what to do in parts but it takes time.

Ezdrummer sounds alot better to me but I have most of the expansion packs, it is quicker to use as you can just drag and drop midi files into reaper and play immediately. Midi can sound alittle sterile if you don't make edits.

Too be honest I never really got the hang of Jamstix (when things go wrong, it can be bad and my frustration kicks in) so consequently my preference is EZdrummer. I love the idea of Jamstix but do not have the patience.

Either way, editing is involved at some point. My original intent was to have Jamstix create the midi and then play it in EZdrummer. I might get there some day but it is easier for me now to just play the edits I need.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:50 PM   #3
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Better? To my simple mind, EZD sounds better (richer, fuller sound). Jamstix is close.

But there's a caveat. They are two completely different variations on a theme.

EZD has loops & libraries & kits 'n stuff. I use it a lot & love it.

Jamstix 3...I'm still coming to grips with it. It has intelligence in that it will create patterns based on what song structure you tell it, kit, style, 'drummer' etc. And it is wickedly configurable in the fine tuning dept. It will create a drum track for you. It's like Reaper: it does 'simple', but there's a lot under the hood that you have to spend some quality time with in order to fully utilize it's capabilities. And it does complex really well.

Both will send you into GAS hell as they have different expansion packs that will bleed your savings dry. And it doesn't help the budget at all that these two play really, really well together (like taking a EZD track & running it thru Jamstix to change the piece up quite a bit).
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdownie View Post
Better? To my simple mind, EZD sounds better (richer, fuller sound). Jamstix is close.

But there's a caveat. They are two completely different variations on a theme.

EZD has loops & libraries & kits 'n stuff. I use it a lot & love it.

Jamstix 3...I'm still coming to grips with it. It has intelligence in that it will create patterns based on what song structure you tell it, kit, style, 'drummer' etc. And it is wickedly configurable in the fine tuning dept. It will create a drum track for you. It's like Reaper: it does 'simple', but there's a lot under the hood that you have to spend some quality time with in order to fully utilize it's capabilities. And it does complex really well.

Both will send you into GAS hell as they have different expansion packs that will bleed your savings dry. And it doesn't help the budget at all that these two play really, really well together (like taking a EZD track & running it thru Jamstix to change the piece up quite a bit).
+1 to all this, plus if you prefer the sounds of EZD but like the "brain" of JS, you can route JS into EZD, and have the best of both worlds.
But don't assume you will understand JS intuitively. It is too complex for that. Spend some time with the manual, watch the videos, etc. it's just a different animal. But I highly recommend it. I kind of like the JS kits as well, but mmv. I also have and use Addictive Drums, and I think the JS sounds are a bit less polished (I do like AD as well.)
If I had to pick one, I'd keep JS.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:56 PM   #5
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For me - the best is Superior Drummer - but, I just acquired BFD2 from FXpansion and am liking that. EZD was my first foray into Toontrack products - really glad I went that route. I've also been down the XLN Addictive Drums route, and a variety of things like Native Instruments Abbey Road drums, many others. When I'm in a rush and want as close to a live sound as I can get quickly, I go straight to SD.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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Default Both very good, but

...they are two very different programs.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:19 AM   #7
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Jamstix is like Band in a Box for drums and Ezd/Superior are actual drum romplers.

If you want omeone else (or rather something else) deciding how your drum track should be played, Jamstix is great but if you have a definite idea of exactly what you want played or can play stuff in yourself, the Toontrack stuff or Steven Slate Drums or Battery or BFD are all good. I own all of them plus a good few others and they ALL have their uses.

Do look at Big Mono (free) and Splitsticks Popsticks etc from anaaloguedrums.com - cheap and really really good little kits.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:16 AM   #8
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Both!

Jamstix for creating the drum lines, or adding "feel" to your own, and EZD (or better still, Superior Drummer) for generating the audio.

Having owned and used all of them, I couldn't be satisfied with less than Jamstix, SD2 and my collection of SDX and EZX libraries.

>
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:20 AM   #9
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I think EZ drummer sounds better (and Superior drummer sounds even better). So you have a nice upgrade path if you go with EZ.

I've demo'd jamstix twice. I liked it, but i went with EZ/Superior b/c it sound better. I've also started using grooves rather than manually playing in parts which makes a big difference IMO.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Jamstix is like Band in a Box for drums and Ezd/Superior are actual drum romplers.

If you want omeone else (or rather something else) deciding how your drum track should be played, Jamstix is great but if you have a definite idea of exactly what you want played or can play stuff in yourself, the Toontrack stuff or Steven Slate Drums or Battery or BFD are all good. I own all of them plus a good few others and they ALL have their uses.

Do look at Big Mono (free) and Splitsticks Popsticks etc from anaaloguedrums.com - cheap and really really good little kits.
Jamstix doesn't have to be overbearing like that. You could do as I do and use the Jamstix editor to program your own drums by 'hand'. I love working in that environment.

Piano rolls and such don't make sense to me, but the Jamstix editor does. Loop a bar, double click to place sounds, right click, change to different sounds per cel, move the timing of your hits to be behind the beat, switch to rim shot, yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda. Edit in Jamstix, send midi to Superior Drummer. Perfect.

In some bizarro world, if I could have only just purchased the editor on it's own, I would have happily paid 3x what I paid for the whole suite, just for that part of it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:15 PM   #11
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Both.

Jamstix for composing the drumtrack (forget about Jamstix' samples). It so much easier using Jamstix than having to listen to loads of midi drum loops.

Toontrack for the sounds. (I use Superior, but the answer is probably valid for EZDrummer too).
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindafishy View Post
the Jamstix editor to program your own drums by 'hand'.
Kindafishy -

Can you give a detailed explanation of how you go about programing Jamstix by hand?
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dea-man View Post
Kindafishy -

Can you give a detailed explanation of how you go about programing Jamstix by hand?

You can do it with the orange bar-timeline thingie, or you can program you MIDI beats and then import them into JS to "humanise" them, ie to get JS to play them.


>
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dea-man View Post
Kindafishy -

Can you give a detailed explanation of how you go about programing Jamstix by hand?
Sure thing dea-man. I was forced by my simple midiot mind to find something that works for me.

Before even loading up Jamstix, I get a basic scratch guitar done against a click. Once that's done (being done that part is a very, very strict rule for my workflow so I don't get distracted - I can cut and paste and move to play with the arrangement and structure further without restriction later, but this is my starting point), I throw Jamstix up on a new track, and pick the kit I want to use for the song. If I don't know the kit I want, I'll just use the built in sounds to build out the basic structure.

Here's where I'll start using the editor on the Jamstix song tab.

First things first, I know the timing of my section and the length, so I add a part to Jamstix representing the section.

I select the first measure of that section in REAPER and let REAPER loop over it a couple times while I get some ideas for some basic kick and snare patterns in my head. Stop REAPER, click the preview control in the Jamstix editor to make it play internally (it will be on the same measure as REAPER, it's always synced) and double click the editor where I want the kick in the right foot and the snare in the left hand. The Jamstix preview is editable in real time, so this is always a good time. Stop Jamstix preview, start REAPER, rinse and repeat until I've built a groove that I like (together with hats/shakers/tom hits/whatever). This generally comes together in a few minutes. Right click menu with double click defaults and 'lanes' representing the LH, RH, LF, RF, LP and RP just make so much sense to me with the grid. It's a godsend and I love it.

I will admit that the 'loop REAPER', 'stop REAPER', 'loop Jamstix', 'stop Jamstix' aspect is less than ideal, but I am used to the workflow and I find it fun. I put out a feature request to Ralph some time ago to allow us to edit in the bar editor while the host is looping so we can hear everything real time as that would be much better. He said it was hard. I said please. He said we'll see, so we'll see. Maybe I'll jump over to his forums later and ping him on the feature request. Perhaps with all the changes to bring Jamstix up to version 3.5 will leave the software in a better position to do this. Anyway...

Now that one measure is how I want it, I will copy it in the part navigator section of Jamstix (bottom left of the UI and paste it to the rest of the section). Now I go measure by measure and tweak away if I'm in that mood, or I will move onto the next section if I'm in that mood. From there it is just a matter of going over what is there, listening and refining, adding human elements as needed.

One the whole basic structure is there, it is fun to apply different drummers to what's there to see what 'they' do with the groove. There are ways to tell Jamstix to leave elements like the kick and snare alone, but I can't recall how to do that just now. It's in the manual somewhere...

That's it. Simple and fun.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kindafishy View Post
Sure thing dea-man. I was forced by my simple midiot mind to find something that works for me.

Before even loading up Jamstix, I get a basic scratch guitar done against a click. Once that's done (being done that part is a very, very strict rule for my workflow so I don't get distracted - I can cut and paste and move to play with the arrangement and structure further without restriction later, but this is my starting point), I throw Jamstix up on a new track, and pick the kit I want to use for the song. If I don't know the kit I want, I'll just use the built in sounds to build out the basic structure.

Here's where I'll start using the editor on the Jamstix song tab.

First things first, I know the timing of my section and the length, so I add a part to Jamstix representing the section.

I select the first measure of that section in REAPER and let REAPER loop over it a couple times while I get some ideas for some basic kick and snare patterns in my head. Stop REAPER, click the preview control in the Jamstix editor to make it play internally (it will be on the same measure as REAPER, it's always synced) and double click the editor where I want the kick in the right foot and the snare in the left hand. The Jamstix preview is editable in real time, so this is always a good time. Stop Jamstix preview, start REAPER, rinse and repeat until I've built a groove that I like (together with hats/shakers/tom hits/whatever). This generally comes together in a few minutes. Right click menu with double click defaults and 'lanes' representing the LH, RH, LF, RF, LP and RP just make so much sense to me with the grid. It's a godsend and I love it.

I will admit that the 'loop REAPER', 'stop REAPER', 'loop Jamstix', 'stop Jamstix' aspect is less than ideal, but I am used to the workflow and I find it fun. I put out a feature request to Ralph some time ago to allow us to edit in the bar editor while the host is looping so we can hear everything real time as that would be much better. He said it was hard. I said please. He said we'll see, so we'll see. Maybe I'll jump over to his forums later and ping him on the feature request. Perhaps with all the changes to bring Jamstix up to version 3.5 will leave the software in a better position to do this. Anyway...

Now that one measure is how I want it, I will copy it in the part navigator section of Jamstix (bottom left of the UI and paste it to the rest of the section). Now I go measure by measure and tweak away if I'm in that mood, or I will move onto the next section if I'm in that mood. From there it is just a matter of going over what is there, listening and refining, adding human elements as needed.

One the whole basic structure is there, it is fun to apply different drummers to what's there to see what 'they' do with the groove. There are ways to tell Jamstix to leave elements like the kick and snare alone, but I can't recall how to do that just now. It's in the manual somewhere...

That's it. Simple and fun.
Thank you Kindafishy, I appreciate you taking the time. I will sit and take some time to digest your methods.

Be back at you guys.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:15 PM   #16
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JamStix is an amazing product. So many options to make the drum groove original and reminiscent of popular drummers at the same time.

I like to use the Wizard to create a track and then edit it to coincide with my song. I always start my song on measure 2 so I begin by adding a silent measure in JS first. Then I add/subtract measures to fit the rest of the tune.

Next comes the fun part of experimenting with different drum kits, drummer profiles, accents, fills, etc. These can all be changed per section if desired. The AI of the program prevents physically impossible hits which keeps it more realistic.

Being a non drummer, JamStix has been a remarkable tool for me in my hobbyist attempts at enjoying making "music" :-) .

I am so looking forward to when Ralph, the developer, ports JS over to iOS which is becoming my method of choice at least starting my new creations.
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