Recording simple live drums for the below average drummer.

Last week, Rockit and myself started recording our first song “Jamming at the weekend”. I wanted to record live drums for this song so after 3-4 months of teaching myself drums, I mic up the drum kit and gave it a crack. Seriously though, I play once a week at Rockit’s place, as this is where my drum kit is, and I play probably for about 3-4 hrs for the day, so in all honesty my drum playing at best is probably considered below average, but I was confident enough to record good enough live drums on our song, but will probably need fixing up later on the computer. The one thing I did do is make sure I had worked out the arrangement of the song before I started to record. Once Rockit recorded his rhythm guitar, I played that [guitar recording] through the head phones from the computer for me to play and record my drums. I only used one microphone to mic up my kit, so we didn’t go to any great length to record professional sounding drums. It took about 4-5 attempts before we recorded some decent drums. I think if I practiced for a couple of more weeks [more like years] and learnt exactly what I wanted to play, then I may of been able to play good live drums on our song, but I decided to take the recordings I had done that day and fix them up at home on the computer. First thing I did is rearrange the song by copying and pasting parts of the drums I liked into certain areas of the song, [to give the drums a more consistent sound] so I was at least happy with the playing of the song. After completing that part, it was time to, time out my drumming, as it was lagging in some areas due to the copy and pasting I did earlier and also my lack of ability to play perfectly timed out drums, despite using a drum machine to guide me with my playing.drum pic To fix this problem, I recorded a copy of the drum machine I used to guide me with my playing at the length of the song.  I lined up the beginning of the live drumming with the drum machine recording. Next is to find the length between your starting kick and the next drum sound. you can see the length is .436 of a second. You can see in the 2nd pic  drum picthat my drum playing is going out of time with the drum machine. This is when you need to stretch or shrink each part of the live drums back in line with the drum machine recording. This can take some time, and can be a laborious process, so patience is required. Once you are ready to [in this case] stretch your drumming back in line with the drum machine, you need to go to the editing section of the program you are using [for me it’s cool edit pro] The length of my drum track to be edited is .414 of a second and we need to stretch it back out to .436 of a second view In cool edit, in the editing window, I go to the effects drop down window, go to “time/pitch and then stretch”stretchIn the length section, type in .436 436That will re-aline your live drums back in time with your drum machine drums. All you need to do now is go through the full length of the song following this process and make sure your drums line up with the drum machine drums and you should have some descent sounding, well timed out drums. I’v added 3 demo video’s to show you my bad drumming to my good edited drumming

Sample of live drum recording.

Sample of unedited drums.

Sample of edited drums.  

Hi folks, my name is Darryl. By day I work as a cleaner/labourer, Currently recording a home produced LP with a friend. I have become a self taught multi instrumentalist, singer songwriter over a 25 year period. It didn't happen over night, but it did happen.

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Posted in business, how to write a song, music, original music, songwriting

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