View Full Version : How to make your own beats? EZ Drummer content

03-20-2012, 07:18 AM
I bought EZDrummer on sale last year thinking it would be EZ to create my own drum tracks using the virtual kit and clicking the mouse. Seems like I actually have to get into MIDI/editing to build my own beats. Does anyone know of a piece of software where I can create beats in real time?

I'm writing/arranging songs and many times need something different than what's offered in the beat libraries. Sound quality isn't important, it's more about being able to create demos that I can bring to the band/drummer. Am I better off going back to a hardware setup (e.g., Alesis HR-16)?

Thanks in advance, I've scrounged around the web but haven't found the right answers.

03-20-2012, 08:02 AM
I use EZ Drummer and what I do is find a beat within the included midi files that is close to what I want, and then I modify it in the MIDI editor of my DAW. Once you get the hang of it it's not hard, and it sounds great.

Also, if you have a MIDI controller, you can set it up to control the EZ Drummer sounds and play your beat in real time. I don;t know how to do this because that's not how I work, but I'm sure it's possible.

03-20-2012, 08:14 AM
Calaban's right .I do think you can plug up and map a pad to EZDrummer. I've never done it but isn't it really just a software/midi instrument? I'm using it with Reaper but I think my computer is too weak for it all haha... I'm not turning out near as good results as I did with the iMac and garage band... Shouldn't have sold that... Anyway, maybe look into Reaper? They have a lot of online support docs too.

B Money
03-20-2012, 11:58 AM
you're best bet is to hook up a keyboard to a midi track in your DAW, and assign EZ Drummer to that track as a Virtual Instrument. that way you can play the drums in real time using the keyboard, and record the midi performance for playback/editing.

Although, I have gotten quite good at editing beats in Cubase's drum editor using mouse clicks, which is actually the method I prefer.

03-20-2012, 12:41 PM
I find that an "all of the above" approach works well, mixing and matching everything you have available to get what ever you need. But yes, a midi keyboard or pad device can be used to play in real time via a midi track. I personally have to layer an instrument or two at a time. You'll probably have to work a bit a to find and set up what pad or key triggers what virtual drum sound in whatever EX Drummer kit you're using.

03-20-2012, 02:49 PM
you can just loop a section on your track and then, using a keyboard of whatever, physically play in your beats one by one. So do a round of kicks, then snare, the high-hats etc etc Afterward, you can quantize and fine-tune everything else (velocities and whatnot) using the piano roll. Basically you can go as in-depth as you want or just not bother at all. Beware, you might just find it quite addictive! lol

Most keyboards are just plug and play. I dont use EZdrummer but in Steven Slate its just a case of clicking the mapping button and then assigning to a key or pad. Real Simple. Im sure EZdrummer is similar, just check the manual.

03-20-2012, 11:24 PM
I can always count on my TGP brethren; thanks for all the great responses and for taking the time to help me out. Looks like I'll have to dive a bit deeper, but not too deep, to get this capability. Appreciate the help, and would love any additional thoughts, but I think I'm on my way.


03-21-2012, 06:31 AM
I use EZ Drummer and what I do is find a beat within the included midi files that is close to what I want, and then I modify it in the MIDI editor of my DAW. Once you get the hang of it it's not hard, and it sounds great.

This is how I do it as well. I have several of the expansion packs, and I keep finding most of what I need/want in the Nashville pack. I can usually find almost exactly what I want. I might have to move or add a snare hit or kick hit. A cymbal crash for accents. And the fills they have are great, unless you need something specific, then you can just write it right in the piano roll editor.

03-21-2012, 07:58 AM
I used to try and use previously recorded loops. It would change the feel of the song for me.

Since then, I just make my own from scratch. Using a keyboard controller, i'll mess around till I find something i like. If its a really difficult beat idea, then i'll do Kick/Snare first, hi hat/ride second, and then work on fills last. I like to get a little more "human" element into the tracks, especially with hat/ride work, being much more careful w/ the velocities than to just slam the keys.

Do a 2 or 4 bar loop for each part of the song, add a crash on the 1 of each phrase, dial in a couple of toms going into the 1, and copy/paste.

03-21-2012, 12:23 PM
When choosing beats from ez drummer I usually focus on the kick first, then the snare. When I find it beat that has those two elements how I want them I paste in that beat and drag/fill it in the section of the song where I need it. Then I go to the first bar of that section, which can be edited in the piano roll, and change the accents to taste. Changes made in the first bar will automatically impact all subsequent bars in the same section. After I have the drums right for one verse obviously getting the other verses done is a snap. It's still more time-consuming than I would like but the results are good.

06-03-2012, 07:34 PM
Just wanted to say thanks again for the tips, I'm getting along pretty well w using piano roll to edit library beats to meet my needs, goes pretty quick.

Rusty G.
06-03-2012, 08:37 PM
I use ProTools as my DAW in a MacbookPro and Superior Drummer 2 when writing parts. What I usually do is tap the tempo I want. Then, I'll lay a 2 or 4 bar track with kick and snare drum and add hihat. Then, I loop it and record it to two tracks in my ProTools TDM system. Then, I lay down my guitar tracks, bass, vocals, backing vocals, keyboards, etc. Last, I take my hard drive to a studio, where I have a real drummer lay down the real drum parts.

06-03-2012, 09:49 PM
In terms of keyboards, are there alot out there that can be mapped for drum beat programming? Total newbie here, I was just wondering if an entry level Yamaha keyboard could do this, or you need something special.

Rusty G.
06-03-2012, 10:03 PM
Entry level keyboard should be able to do it. Besides step sequencing, I've tried using a Zendrum Zap, Midi Keyboard and R.E.T. Percussion drum set. Nothing works as good as a real drummer. Accordingly, I use step sequencing to build a repeating loop and use a real drummer for laying down tracks.