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I am looking for a comfortable way to create a drums backing track in order to use them in my recordings.

currently I have 2 options (since I am not a drummer)

  1. drum machine - very mechanic and boring. (unless there is a professional drum machine I'm not aware of)
  2. taking midi tracks from known songs, using drum plugins and incorporating it in to the recording software to make the drum track. - This is fine, but it limits me to that song.

I'd like a program that will let me build a drum track by the song structure (chorus, variable beats) without me having to know how to drum.. Band-in-a-box does that for the entire song, is there such a thing for drums only?

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You might want to rephrase the title of this question, since "best" is such a subjective term, and those kind of questions are discouraged on SE. From reading your question, perhaps "Tools to help create drum tracks for non-drummer", or "Non-drummer learning to program drum tracks"? – morten Apr 19 '12 at 23:08
up vote 1 down vote accepted

ToonTrack EZ Drummer and Superior Drummer

They have large libraries of acoustic drumming in many different musical styles, played by real human drummers, so you can arrange a complete song structure and generate a drum track to go with it.

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I found this website that has backing tracks for lots of popular songs. What's great about it is that you can customize the track by picking which instruments and vocals that you want as part of the track.

The songs are covers.

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Sounds like you are already somewhat familiar with Band in a Box. It will do exactly what you want - and the more up-to-date versions have "RealDrums", which are sampled snippets played by real human drummers on real drums that can be arranged into song tracks. They come in a variety of styles, with more being released every once in a while. Just mute the other tracks (piano, guitar, strings, etc) and you'll have just the drum track you were looking for. And then do the "save to wav" thing and it BiaB will "print" your drums to a WAV file that you can import into any other sequencer as your drum track. I do this all the time, and RealDrums sound pretty good.

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Cubase, Sonar or any other DAW will let you use drum samples - the better ones will also let you place a basic beat automatically, which you can then edit by dropping in the drum beats you want.

It starts off a bit like hard work, but copying and pasting speeds things up, and the DAW's which have the ability to allow a bit of groove to your beats can sound remarkably good.

Good drum samples are easy to get hold of, with free ones in music magazines etc.

Additionally, some of the newer drum machines are pretty smart - even my electronic metronome is better for writing entire backing tracks on than drum machines of 15 years ago - it handles fills, intros, breakdowns, variable tempo and outros!

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thanks, which metronome is that? – Nick Ginanto Apr 20 '12 at 15:14
Will try and find that out - I'm not suggesting you use it for what you want to do, as it would be too fiddly for that, but I have a couple of basic 3 minute tracks programmed into mine to practice accuracy and speed. – Dr Mayhem Apr 20 '12 at 16:17

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