I have read several threads (see, e.g. Why might one want to record a drum accompaniment electronically without using regular or electronic drumheads and cymbals to drum on?) about creating a drumline using software. How does one go about that? I have seen software where one can input notes by clicking with the mouse, creating note values, etc., using a normal computer keyboard; or using a small piano-like (musical) keyboard connected to the computer. Once the tune is inputted, then you can choose a playback feature.

I can't imagine that's the procedure used for creating a drum part.

So how is it done, and what software do people use for that? I'm just curious. I'm sure my son would find it intriguing, but I do NOT want to steer him away from playing his acoustic drumset! It is very therapeutic for him. (He has Tourette Syndrome and sensory integration disorder.)

  • I made an entire album worth of drum parts using the exact method of pointing and clicking with a mouse that you mention in your question. Yes, it took months of tedious work. Of course, copy and paste was used a lot. Plus, this was in ProTools which has extensive randomization features that I was able to use to create a more organic sounding drum part. Music production can be very labor-intensive. Oct 26, 2015 at 6:09
  • @ToddWilcox - So no one has brought artificial intelligence to this problem? Oct 26, 2015 at 11:09
  • The definition of "artificial intelligence" that I know is something that doesn't exist, even though it may be possible to create it one day. Like a Bussard ramjet. Oct 26, 2015 at 11:41
  • @ToddWilcox - I was imagining a program that would give you some suggestions to start from. Oct 26, 2015 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


You're pretty spot on with what you said about clicking and adding notes with the mouse. However this is just one way of programming drums. First and foremost there are hardware drum machines with their own layout and software built in which allow you to create drum tracks with sampled drums. You can also write out drum tracks in MIDI using software such as Guitar Pro (which is what I do) or as you said, you can do it directly in the DAW itself.

If you want to take a peek into this, you can try out some good drum VSTi's such as EZDrummer, Superior Drummer, Addictive Drums and Kontakt. I'm sure most of these have demo versions that you can try out, and also with the Toontrack products (EZ and Superior), they come with a massive library of pre-made MIDI drum beats which you can use when recording, or take a copy of the MIDI and butcher it to your hearts content!

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