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The guy playing bass in my band was so lucky (and great) to be endorser for a brand. It's local, nothing outstanding, but we're double rainbows. He asked me to help him building a very fast / cheap / easy demo using computer: just drum (patterns) and bass recorded by him.

I have a little experience with various software with hard disk recording and waveforms but when it comes to midi and specially drum patterns I'm quite clueless and scared. The point is that I don't need accurate details about which software use and how but how to find the fastest path to learn how to compose like a drummer even if I'm not a drummer.

I've started searching on wikipedia to understand what funk is about. Where it was played from which kind of people. And then I've started copying and pasting easy or famous drum patterns.

Is this correct to achieve a decent result? I don't expect to be great but I'd love not to get tomatoes and empty beer bottles :P :D

Maybe I should just look for royalty free loops?

Any suggestion is very welcome :)

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3 Answers 3

Because of your lack of experience, learning to program drum patterns from scratch is not going to yield useful results. You should look for commercial, professional loops, not royalty-free loops.

Toontrack is a drum pattern company with affordable prices that friends have recommended to me. Their entry-level product is called EZDrummer, and they sell an expansion pack for funk drum parts. I have no direct experience with them.

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I do agree and will make treasure of the suggestions... What about being willing to learn in the long period? Can you suggest a "good path"? –  Pitto Aug 24 '11 at 13:04
    
@Pitto I think the second paragraph from groovinggandi's answer would be a good start for learning drums in general if that's what you mean. –  jadarnel27 Aug 25 '11 at 15:55
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If you want the fast and easy way, use some commercial loops and you're done.

If you really want to learn how to compose like a drummer, you need to put some effort in understanding what details are important about a drum groove. To begin with, I'd recommend to use drum books as guide to how patterns are composed in principle and drum recordings as reference how these principles are used in music. If you're interested in funk music, Stanton Moore's Groove Alchemy is a great book with lots of background information.

It took me several years after I had started playing the drums before I realized how important the feel and the micro-timing is. That is (fortunately for us drummers) something that you can't reproduce easily when programming drum tracks. If you just put the notes into a sequencer, it will sound like a sequencer, not like a drum groove. For a living drum groove, you need to consider details like micro-timing (is the snare exactly on 2 and 4 or milliseconds before or after?), sound (which parts need a consistent sound and which parts need some variation?), phrasing (are all hi-hat beats the same dynamic level?).

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Logic's Ultrabeat is very good and there are loads of tutorials on getting started.

Also recommend (as the other answer) toontrack's EZDrummer - which includes many preset MIDI loops.

Also if you can get your hands on an electric drum kit, hooking that up to EZDrummer works very well - I have done many a demo using an electric kit + ezdrummer.

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Logic and ProTools would be too pricey for a beginner. Try ohmforce.com/OhmStudio.do or Reaper (reaper.fm). –  atoth Dec 20 '13 at 16:24
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