Old 11-12-2017, 12:54 AM   #1
BiftekVisage
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Default Midi drum editing headaches!

Although ive been using Reaper for several years, i've only recently gone down the path of a midi controller/free Drum plugin for drums. I previously would play my Roland drum kit live into Reaper for all drum tracks, but this is no longer an option as ive moved abroad.

I've got to say, the process of creating a midi drum track from start to finish with a midi controller/drum plugin is so time-consuming for me that it completely saps my creative energy.

Moving those little dots around the screen for what seems like hours with no progress (or constantly fking things up) is doing me in.

Are there any tips for getting a basic 3 minute drum track with fills down FAST.

Are there any copy/paste shortcuts or cheats that i'm missing?

And especially, are there any plugins (aside from the stock one with Reaper) for midi editing that have a better interface or are easier to work with?

Thank you in advance for any help.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:40 AM   #2
ivansc
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Bonjour, SteakFace!

Welcome to the foprums.
My usual advice - If you didnt already, download the free User Guide and check out the free video tutorials from the download link at the top of the page here.

Funnily enough I have just been editing some very old MIDI drums I did on my Commodore Amiga decades ago.
I was actually surprised how good they sound using modern drum rompler sounds!

To your question:
Most drum parts are pretty repetetive, so my method is to creat a one or two bar phrase to set the basic rhythm, then extend it (pull the right hand edge out) to the length you think your project will end up being.
This gives you some boom-tish to record some other parts to.

I usually glue the loop points (or turn off looping in the track ) so I am left with one big MIDI item for drums & then add the fills, embelishments and other bits on a second track.
This gives you the chance to go back and re-do sections that you decide should be different in the original looped midi IF YOU NEED TO. ()

Once you are happy with the drum part, you could actually just leave it all separated out & print it from that, but you can also just merge everything to one track if you prefer.

This still leaves you a fair bit of mousing to do, but in my case I bought a Korg Nanopad and a Roland TD8 E-drum kit, taught myself to play a bit & just bashed the basics in. Using quantise at the end of all this and just mousing in bits you didn`t manage to play is way easier.
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Last edited by ivansc; 11-12-2017 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:41 AM   #3
blommberg
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1.
Get yourself midi files
https://groovemonkee.com/pages/free-midi-loops
Get yourself a VSTi
http://www.superwavesynths.com/d-808
Edit the midi files as you like
2.
Get this
https://www.meldaproduction.com/MDrummer%20Large (sale)
or
https://www.meldaproduction.com/MDrummer%20Small (free)
It does everything on it's own but is fully editable.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:47 AM   #4
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And if you use the free MT Power Drum Kit that has plenty of grooves and fills ready to copy into your track. I often use them to give me a starting point and then fiddle with them. They can certainly save a lot of time.

Steve
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:58 AM   #5
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There is no way I'd create drum tracks that way (in any daw), especially if I were a drummer. I'd do like I do now, play the vast majority on a keyboard. And... if I were duplicating repetition it would be in the arrange view using midi items instead of trying to copy/paste/move individual notes/patterns in the midi editor.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
There is no way I'd create drum tracks that way (in any daw), especially if I were a drummer. I'd do like I do now, play the vast majority on a keyboard. And... if I were duplicating repetition it would be in the arrange view using midi items instead of trying to copy/paste/move individual notes/patterns in the midi editor.
I totally agree, although I do it all in the midi editor. I'll usually start out with the kick and snare playing it in live. To me getting the feel is really important. Sometimes I'll put in the fills as I go to, it just depends on the situation. As far as the fills go, I don't play them in as I'm going along, if I hear something in my head, I'll stop and put it in separately.

I'll usually record a verse, chorus, and other parts such as a bridge, then start copy/pasting. I've got to admit, copy/pasting midi in Reaper can be difficult, even excruciating, but I've got actions setup on my main midi toolbar to take the pain out of it.

I've never used drum loops or midi files, but then I have to admit, my clients aren't into metal, and although they might bring in a rock song or two, for the most part they're country. So there's nothing sophisticated about most of the drums I create.

I also have to admit, my timing with the keyboard leaves a little to be desired, so I will quantize anywhere from 50% to 75%.

Another thing I do is use full song midi items, that gives me what I call track based midi. Then I set the track up for "Record: MIDI overdub/replace>Record: MIDI overdub". That way I can do all my recording right in the midi editor.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
There is no way I'd create drum tracks that way (in any daw), especially if I were a drummer.
I don't suppose I would if I were a drummer. But then if I were a drummer I'd probably do it by hitting drums. Not keyboards .

Steve
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipstick View Post
I don't suppose I would if I were a drummer. But then if I were a drummer I'd probably do it by hitting drums. Not keyboards .

Steve
But the OP said "I used to use my Roland drum kit" but still, hitting a key is still easier IMHO than dorking in any midi editor, I'm not a drummer and have done it this way since day one which was I don't know 25 years ago.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:35 AM   #9
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What Tod and Karbo said. I'll post the following anyway, but it's pretty much just seconding what Tod says above about method, which I find to be the easiest and most effective.

I can't play keybs so I didn't splurge on an expensive MIDI keyboard as I was only ever gonna play drums on it. Bought a cheap one [$30] a couple years ago, works fine, touch sensitive, no latency issues.

Step recording drums is like trying to *see* the way you feel, whereas live recording is feel capture, then maybe just fix any mistakes or overdub them. Sometimes I use loops from a library for fills, edit to taste.

I too always record kick and snare as a single operation, maybe two or three passes of the song section.

With kick and snare sounding now included in the playback, record the hats, throw in the odd open hat if doing mainly closed/half closed hats.

Then the crashes, make a big emotional effort here imo, treat the crash track like you're one of those crazy orchestra conductor guys going for dramatic effect

Once you've got the drums done well in this way, it usually locks pretty good with an existing bass track.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
I've got to admit, copy/pasting midi in Reaper can be difficult, even excruciating
Yea, what I do is just take each motif, whatever it is, and use glue to create sections of items (verse/chorus/bridge with fills on the end if needed), and to all the split/move/copy/paste arranging in the TCP - then glue that (if needed) into a single MIDI item, then I can open that in ME as needed and edit any individual notes etc. It's just so much faster for the arrange/copy/paste part that way.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:50 AM   #11
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One of the problems with "Move CC with notes" is that it misses CC events that are in between the notes. Also I usually forget it when it's "on" and end up unknowingly deleting CC events.

So instead I've got this little custom action that does it quite quickly. First I draw a note and snap it to the grid so that it's in front of what I want to copy. Then I run the action and it selects everything, then copies it.

Here's a little gif that kind of shows how my action works, and notice, the note I use to copy with has a velocity of 1, that's so it's easy to identify.

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Old 11-13-2017, 01:16 PM   #12
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If it's easier for you to use the built-in notation editor instead, there's a plugin in my VI Folio collection that will let you map specific note heads to pitches so you can position those notes in the natural way you would write them. Don't know if that'll help you at all...
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:41 PM   #13
chris davies
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Default midi drums woes

HI guys, Sorry for the noob question.

I am trying to write a drum track in Reaper and I'm using MT drums.

My issue, how do I add/edit a note via the piano roll?

I have the piano roll open and I have two bars selected, but if I click to add a note, I get TWO notes, one in each bar. How do I make that I just add ONE note?

It must be something simp[le, but I can find it.
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:08 AM   #14
Stoker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris davies View Post
HI guys, Sorry for the noob question.

I am trying to write a drum track in Reaper and I'm using MT drums.

My issue, how do I add/edit a note via the piano roll?

I have the piano roll open and I have two bars selected, but if I click to add a note, I get TWO notes, one in each bar. How do I make that I just add ONE note?

It must be something simp[le, but I can find it.
At a guess, I'd say you have a single bar that's looped to 2 bars. In this case the 2nd bar will always be the same as the first. Either create a two bar item to start with or glue the looped bars to stop the note repetition.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:57 AM   #15
chris davies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoker View Post
At a guess, I'd say you have a single bar that's looped to 2 bars. In this case the 2nd bar will always be the same as the first. Either create a two bar item to start with or glue the looped bars to stop the note repetition.
Thanks for the update, it seems when I dragged the selection, I was clumsy and selected the loop option in error. Needed to look more closely during the selection process.

Thank you for replying
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