Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Do you care about my MIDI drum parts?


michael saulnier

Recommended Posts

I've been writing some new material recently and since I'm currently not in a band full time, I've been using MIDI based drums to create my demo's of the songs I've been working on...

 

I'm ready to find a real drummer to work with, but I wonder how he or she will feel about the drum parts I've put down...

 

Should I expect them to try to learn and play what I've written, or will they expect to "create" their own drum parts. Should I play them the demo's of the songs with or without the MIDI drums?

 

I admit that I'm no drummer and so my MIDI parts could have no correlation to what a real drummer may or could play on a given song... but I do like some of what I've done on my own.

 

Anyway, what do you all think about coming in on somebody's material with MIDI drums already there?

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 8
  • Created
  • Last Reply

guitplayer, I'm going through the same thing right now (doing demos of my songs to hand off to the "real musicians") so I know what you're talking about.

 

I think different drummers tend to have different attitudes about playing a part that someone else programmed or played on a demo. Some of them have what they feel is a "professional" attitude, meaning they will just do what they are told and they assume you want something very close to what you did on your demo. Others want more leeway in deciding on the arrangement. So the onus is on you to figure out which type of musician you want to work with and find that person.

 

Personally, I try to make my demos as sparse as possible because, although I DO want to communicate the basic feel of the song and where the arrangement is going, I do NOT want the other musicans to feel that I'm dictating to them what to play. I absolutely want musicians, especially drummers, to give input and come up with parts that are uniquely theirs. So I make it very clear that they shouldn't listen to what's on the demo in terms of thinking that's what I want on the final product. The only exception is if there's some kind of "signature" riff or fill that absolutely has to be there. And that will rarely be going on through the whole song. http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

 

If you do go the same route as I do, besides letting the drummer live with the demos for awhile, try to schedule some preproduction time - time to go through the songs and work out the arrangements in a practice space where you're not paying too much. That will give the songs a chance to come to life with the other players involved. I'd hate for anybody that I played with to feel that I'd already spent 6 months and done all the work getting the arrangements together, and now they've only got 2 hours to come up with their own creative expression. Know what I mean? Sure there are session players who believe they CAN do it all in 2 hours, but that's not really who I want to work with. I want people who really want to get inside the song and come up with something that we would never have come up with in 2 hours.

 

Sooo... your mileage may vary a lot, of course. But those are some options in deciding how you want to work.

 

--Lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lee,

 

Thanks for the comments. I agree that having a MIDI demo is probably a good way to introduce a song, but I hope any musician I work with will bring a little "more" into the project from their own experiences.

 

I'm lucky in that I have a rehearsal space in the warehouse of my office and I can play most weekends and evenings without needing to lease other rehearsal space... I agree it can take a while to find a part that adds something new and great to the song...

 

BTW, in your experience, do drummers tend to have their own mic's or know how to best record their drums?

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>>BTW, in your experience, do drummers tend to have their own mic's or know how to best record their drums? <<

 

No, not in my experience. Sometimes they will have mics but those are generally mics suited to live gigs rather than recording. If you don't have that many mics, you can still get excellent drum sounds with only 3 or 4 mics.

 

A drummer with lots of studio experience will usually know how to get good sounds out of the drums themselves in the studio - which requires them to be a little more meticulous about heads, tuning, hardware rattle, etc. than for live gigs. Definitely it is a good idea to make sure your drummer does have experience in the studio and knows that the kit will hold up to the scrutiny of recording.

 

--Lee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howdy guitplayer and Lee

 

I've done quite a bit of this sought of work guitplayer, I personally would like to get your demo's with midi drums so I can see exactly where your coming from.

 

However I will always come up with what I think is best first then if you don't like it or want to change it, that's fine with me (it's you project). I think out of respect, if you hire someone in you should let them have creative input, at least in the first instance. I have no problem with you telling me what to play as long as you have given my ideas a listen. In most cases it's been my idea they have gone with, in a couple of cases it was a completely different feel to the original and the client loved it.

 

I will also try to get the tapes ahead of time so I can run through them myself although I have also done a few when I've gone in cold.

 

If your not sure put the tracks with drums on one side of the tape and with just click on the other.

 

Hope this has helped

Brenton

Cheers

Brenton

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

I work with a drummer from one of my touring bands occationally. He works at a store with an ADAT studio. I usually just give him an ADAT tape with a rough mix on channel one and click on channel two. That leaves him 6 channels and he usually records kick and snare, stereo overhead and maybe an ambient mic about 30 feet away from the kit. If I know I'm gonna use him I'll just record the rhythm section parts to a midi drum loop to keep me on, but he certainly doesn't need it, just click. His mics are nothing special; D-112 on kick, SM-57 on snare and SM-81s for overhead, but they usually work out fine.

 

On the other hand, if you want to use midi drum parts on your finished piece, then by all means get an octapad or something similar. I do a lot of my own drum parts via midi, but I always 'play' them instead of program them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the guitar player writes cool drum parts...I'll play them...hopefully with a little more sonic depth as well. If the parts suck (to me), I'll play them if they want me too, cause it is their thing. If I play a fill they don't like...then I won't play it again if they ask. If I play one they like...great we are both the happier.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, GuitPlayer:

 

At least you have a big hurdle out of the way in admitting that you are not a drummer. Many folks who are not, ... think they know what a drummer should be playing. When in many cases, ... THEY DO NOT HAVE A CLUE! But, on the other hand, there are many greats that could tell the drummer what they wanted (Stevie Wonder for example) and have it be the exact part the song needed.

 

The bottom line is this: you are the song writer and in some cases the song composer. You know what you want to hear. In most cases, I will work with the song writer and talk through the song. If a drum machine demo track has been laid down, the question would be, "Is this the drum pattern you are looking for on this song, or was it just a pattern laid down to hold the song together until today." We would then talk through possibilities and determine what would work best while maintaining the songwriters integrity and intentions.

 

Teamwork.

 

DJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with hearing bad drum ideas on demos. Makes me cringe! But that's why they hired me.

 

I will often do multiple takes for them, one with their groove, and then one with a more conventional, better groove (IMHO). Send them both, and let the artist decide. Or with a DAW, they can chop up fills from different takes, depending on what they like.

 

My job is to make the song sound as good as it can, and provide the songwriter with options, especially if they are not in the same room (or city for that matter).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...