Learning techniques for drum patterns?

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Severed head
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Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by Severed head »

I was looking for tips or techniques to learn how to better create drum patterns ?

I hear a lot of electronic music that has drum patterns that feel very fluid, and Im fairly new to creating drum beats with eurorack or electronic instruments in general and was hoping to hear what folks do to get or create the fluid drum sounds of electronic music

For example those patterns like on Transient Stellar ‘Rkodr’ or Vatican Shadow works

Maybe someone could a few exercises that would help one create similar techniques ?

- I’m currently using a Varigate 8+ & VB combo with a handful of drum modules.

Maybe these sequencers aren’t the best for this style? Maybe I’m just not familiar with the skills needed?
Any tips would be awesome!!!!
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TemplarK
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by TemplarK »

I use the V8+ and its not the easiest to use to program really intricate patterns like you can with midi. Its doable but you have to spend a lot of time with it.

You have to spend a lot of time with the V8+ and learn to manipulate it live to get the most out of it, you can't just program it and let it run, you have to be going in to track mode and changing the divisions on the fly to really get it to do what you want.

The V8+ is like the best and worst of sequencing combined lol sometimes its a fight and sometimes its genius to get where u want to be. I admit i'm constantly thinking i'll go back to midi sequencing my drums.

Listening to the tracks you listed above you most certainly will get results like that out of it pretty easily. Take the BD or Snare track and manipulate it live in track mode and use the flashing random repeats and divide the clock on say the BD manually.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by GuyaGuy »

It might help to try to recreate some of those songs to get a feel for what goes into the beats—not just the patterns but also how the vibe is defined by the combination of pattern and voice.

This book is more old school but it might be useful to try out some of the patterns to get a hang of where accents are and how that informs the groove.

https://ia800700.us.archive.org/2/items ... s_text.pdf

With the probability, output count, ratcheting and other features of the VG8+, there’s already plenty you already can do.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by dubonaire »

Rkodr sounds like an amen break sample chopped up.

I couldn't find "works" by Vatican Shadow (doesn't sound like. Vatican Shadow drums often sound like they come from epic Spitfire Audio type sample packs.

Fluid beats as you call them really come from shuffle, moving notes off the grid, variations in velocity, ghost hits etc.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by Severed head »

GuyaGuy wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:10 pm It might help to try to recreate some of those songs to get a feel for what goes into the beats—not just the patterns but also how the vibe is defined by the combination of pattern and voice.

This book is more old school but it might be useful to try out some of the patterns to get a hang of where accents are and how that informs the groove.

https://ia800700.us.archive.org/2/items ... s_text.pdf

With the probability, output count, ratcheting and other features of the VG8+, there’s already plenty you already can do.
Thnx!
I’ll look into that book

That’s a similar technique I use for learning in general
I’m definitely comfortable with creating the ‘voices’ that suit or complement my own creative style but capturing the fluidity and flowing nature of electronic drums has been an obstacle that I haven’t been able to leap by trying to use the methods of -listen and (attempt to) recreate- I think it’s stemming from a lack of familiarity with the nature of drum sequencing (as compared to note sequencing) and how counting drums with in a electronic environment works

I’ve been working with V8+ features and definitely am having fun & getting interesting and creative results but they still fill very mechanical

I suppose the answer is probably the obvious time, practice & experience will lead to the ‘skill’ im looking for
WTB:-Mac recordings software from 2008/9
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Severed head
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by Severed head »

dubonaire wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:26 pm Rkodr sounds like an amen break sample chopped up.

I couldn't find "works" by Vatican Shadow (doesn't sound like. Vatican Shadow drums often sound like they come from epic Spitfire Audio type sample packs.

Fluid beats as you call them really come from shuffle, moving notes off the grid, variations in velocity, ghost hits etc.
Oh sorry by Vatican shadow work I was referring to his body of work not a specific album or song titled work
Sorry about that
WTB:-Mac recordings software from 2008/9
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by dubonaire »

Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:28 pm
dubonaire wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:26 pm Rkodr sounds like an amen break sample chopped up.

I couldn't find "works" by Vatican Shadow (doesn't sound like. Vatican Shadow drums often sound like they come from epic Spitfire Audio type sample packs.

Fluid beats as you call them really come from shuffle, moving notes off the grid, variations in velocity, ghost hits etc.
Oh sorry by Vatican shadow work I was referring to his body of work not a specific album or song titled work
Sorry about that
Dominic Fernow has a huge body of work. My guess is he does a lot of Vatican Shadow stuff ITB likely programming beats in Ableton Live which he apparently uses.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by Severed head »

dubonaire wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:39 pm
Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:28 pm
dubonaire wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:26 pm Rkodr sounds like an amen break sample chopped up.

I couldn't find "works" by Vatican Shadow (doesn't sound like. Vatican Shadow drums often sound like they come from epic Spitfire Audio type sample packs.

Fluid beats as you call them really come from shuffle, moving notes off the grid, variations in velocity, ghost hits etc.
Oh sorry by Vatican shadow work I was referring to his body of work not a specific album or song titled work
Sorry about that
Dominic Fernow has a huge body of work. My guess is he does a lot of Vatican Shadow stuff ITB likely programming beats in Ableton Live which he apparently uses.
I didn’t know that, Dominic Fernow was the human behind Vatican Shadow LoL
I’m very familiar with prurient but had no idea that Pruient, VS and RSE were all the same person… kinda makes sense now why they’re all released on Hospital
🤦
WTB:-Mac recordings software from 2008/9
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by dubonaire »

Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:45 pm
dubonaire wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:39 pm
Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:28 pm
dubonaire wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:26 pm Rkodr sounds like an amen break sample chopped up.

I couldn't find "works" by Vatican Shadow (doesn't sound like. Vatican Shadow drums often sound like they come from epic Spitfire Audio type sample packs.

Fluid beats as you call them really come from shuffle, moving notes off the grid, variations in velocity, ghost hits etc.
Oh sorry by Vatican shadow work I was referring to his body of work not a specific album or song titled work
Sorry about that
Dominic Fernow has a huge body of work. My guess is he does a lot of Vatican Shadow stuff ITB likely programming beats in Ableton Live which he apparently uses.
I didn’t know that, Dominic Fernow was the human behind Vatican Shadow LoL
I’m very familiar with prurient but had no idea that Pruient, VS and RSE were all the same person… kinda makes sense now why they’re all released on Hospital
🤦
:tu:
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by wuff_miggler »

learn drumming :)

watch some rudiment videos on youtube / start thinking about subdivisions. Switch up every 8 bars subtly, every 16 bars a bit less subtly, every 32 bars not subtly at all, every 64 bars just be quiet.

When i sit on the kit - i can play a Kick on 1 , snare on 3 for 10 minutes, and between pausing at the end of bars, at the start of bars, and cycling between divisions (1/4ths, 1/8ths, 16ths, triplets and dotted variations) things never sound dull even without playing "big rock fills"

Rudiments will help you learn about ghost hits and incorporate them into your programming. But programming custom swing is where its at....or if what you use allows importing "groove maps" - even better.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by mjlong »

Breakbeat Bible is also a good resource, particularly because it covers both physical drumming as well as programming and some intersections between the two.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by GuyaGuy »

Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:27 pm
GuyaGuy wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:10 pm It might help to try to recreate some of those songs to get a feel for what goes into the beats—not just the patterns but also how the vibe is defined by the combination of pattern and voice.

This book is more old school but it might be useful to try out some of the patterns to get a hang of where accents are and how that informs the groove.

https://ia800700.us.archive.org/2/items ... s_text.pdf

With the probability, output count, ratcheting and other features of the VG8+, there’s already plenty you already can do.
Thnx!
I’ll look into that book

That’s a similar technique I use for learning in general
I’m definitely comfortable with creating the ‘voices’ that suit or complement my own creative style but capturing the fluidity and flowing nature of electronic drums has been an obstacle that I haven’t been able to leap by trying to use the methods of -listen and (attempt to) recreate- I think it’s stemming from a lack of familiarity with the nature of drum sequencing (as compared to note sequencing) and how counting drums with in a electronic environment works

I’ve been working with V8+ features and definitely am having fun & getting interesting and creative results but they still fill very mechanical

I suppose the answer is probably the obvious time, practice & experience will lead to the ‘skill’ im looking for
Dig into the PW and DLY. They will give you that shuffle that dubonaire mentioned. Then you can use CV to add variation like adding accent to a step by decreasing filter cutoff, changing the attack on certain steps, chopping off the envelope decay, altering pitch, etc.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by wuff_miggler »

mjlong wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:53 pm Breakbeat Bible is also a good resource, particularly because it covers both physical drumming as well as programming and some intersections between the two.
yep - i have this - its great :)
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by dubonaire »

wuff_miggler wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:58 pm
mjlong wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:53 pm Breakbeat Bible is also a good resource, particularly because it covers both physical drumming as well as programming and some intersections between the two.
yep - i have this - its great :)
Yes me too and it is.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by dubonaire »

Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:27 pm I’m definitely comfortable with creating the ‘voices’ that suit or complement my own creative style but capturing the fluidity and flowing nature of electronic drums has been an obstacle that I haven’t been able to leap by trying to use the methods of -listen and (attempt to) recreate- I think it’s stemming from a lack of familiarity with the nature of drum sequencing (as compared to note sequencing) and how counting drums with in a electronic environment works
It's not easy, especially in modular and especially if you are using simple drum modules. For example, I often make hi-hat type sounds in the modular and then modulate the envelop to add movement. You also run the drum module outputs through VCAs and filters and modulate those. And I might use Cirklon as the sequencer in which you can nudge notes off the grid.

Attack magazine online has some good basic tutorials for programming the beats of many different dance music styles. I recommend looking at those as well.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by Severed head »

Thanks friends

Will look into these tips!!!
WTB:-Mac recordings software from 2008/9
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by Stu B »

Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:30 pm Thanks friends

Will look into these tips!!!
I highly recommend the purchase of an Acid Rain - Constellation for your drum programming.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by dubonaire »

Stu B wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:21 am
Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:30 pm Thanks friends

Will look into these tips!!!
I highly recommend the purchase of an Acid Rain - Constellation for your drum programming.
Oh and also Stolperbeats. How could I forget I got one just last week.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by etckla »

You typically need 16 steps to programme a breakbeat style rhythm. The varigate 8 gives you 4x8 steps. You could probably link together some of the channels using a switch to get longer patterns. (Edit: maybe there is some jazzy stuff you can do with divisions or ratchets. I don't know the module well)

But that's getting into the weirdness of doing drums in modular. Some of the stuff that helps with programming natural sounding drums often needs a lot of patching or dedicated modules. Like accents for example are a PITA.

If you want to learn about programming break beat drum from scratch without all the modular quirkiness/expense you could get a programme like Reason, Fruity loops or Ableton and then look for breakbeat/drum n bass/jungle tutorials on YouTube.

Another approach is to get some breakbeats (either presliced or slice them yourself) and play them in a module that handles slices like Erica Sample Drum.
Last edited by etckla on Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by GuyaGuy »

etckla wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 2:51 am You typically need 16 steps to programme a breakbeat style rhythm. The varigate 8 gives you 4x8 steps. You could probably link together some of the channels using a switch to get longer patterns.
I think you're thinking of the VG4. The VG8+ has 16 steps.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by etckla »

GuyaGuy wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:01 am
etckla wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 2:51 am You typically need 16 steps to programme a breakbeat style rhythm. The varigate 8 gives you 4x8 steps. You could probably link together some of the channels using a switch to get longer patterns.
I think you're thinking of the VG4. The VG8+ has 16 steps.
Ah cheers. My bad.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by Garnoth »

You could use a binary logic module like the doepfer A-166 to see what logic operation lead to different beat patterns. It really helped me gain some insight in how common rhythms can be broken down into logic operations.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by NoGuitars »

Severed head wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:47 pm I was looking for tips or techniques to learn how to better create drum patterns ?

I hear a lot of electronic music that has drum patterns that feel very fluid, and Im fairly new to creating drum beats with eurorack or electronic instruments in general and was hoping to hear what folks do to get or create the fluid drum sounds of electronic music
(...)
I usually program a beat on a drumcomputer -I will use accents, but that's as far the "programming" part goes- and then record a bunch of loops while hand-playing the parameters on the drumcomputer, mixer and effects to add dynamics and vibe.

These loops can then be muted/unmuted, mixed, filtered, etc. often while I keep the drumcomputer running so I can add "live" parts to the loops.

This is much more fun then programming in the dynamics.

If you're just starting out making beats: volume is key! Both per-hit, i.e. velocity or accents in your patterns AND on the mixing level: the exact same beat with the hihat super loud and the clap on the background feels totally different then with an upfront clap and distant hihat. Play your mixer and listen. Sometimes changing the kickdrum level a few dB is all the difference in the world.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by Keltie »

This might be a bit “macro” or …. something. I dunno.

It won’t get you a polished non gridy fully produced drum track right off the bat, but it’s profound, and gives you a great starting point….

Someone mentioned logic functions. This technique plays with or + and. Start with or.

Run a trigger every x steps. Either programme that, or do a trigger at step 1, and a length of x clocks. Which amounts to the same thing. Take another sequencer track, or sequencer. Repeat, using a different value of x. Euclidean Circles is great for this, with one trigger on the first clock, and each track set to different lengths, with the shared reset input, and shared clock in.

X shouldn’t be one, smart ass. Either or both can be prime, if you want to really be a smart ass.

Make sure these Reset in sync at some point. As mentioned, EC is easy for this. Your system may vary. Reset at one bar, two bars, whatever.

Logically Or these triggers, or just run them through a DC coupled mixer. Use this output to trigger a drum sound. A kick is a good start, but if you’re doing hats/ weirdo gronky modular percussion, you’ll want some kind of time keeping pulse to line this up against, at least to start with. If you’re an EDM chump like me, run all this over a 4/4 kick.

You have something that makes musical sense. It may or may not be useful to you today, right now but the result is potentially musically useful.

I know this because…

It doesn’t matter what values of x you used in those two tracks.

No pair of numbers will fail to work.

Read those last two sentences again.

Have a short lie down.

This is a fundamental demonstration that music is applied maths, and this is most obvious in the domain of rhythm.

Now try the same with logical and. Not with primes, dumb ass. Now try all those other logic functions that, like me, you pretend to understand.

Now add a third number.

Now expand or shrink the timings by clocking at different multiples of clock rate. Consider adding a metric shit load of trigger sequencers to your rig. Consider some clock dividers too. Because essentially what we’re doing here is dividing clocks, and combining the results.

Now do this a few times with different drum sounds.

Holy shit, try this with bass.

If you’ve never tried this stuff before, your mind is about to get blown

You’re welcome.
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Re: Learning techniques for drum patterns?

Post by medium Rob »

wondering how Trigger Riot stands up (nowadays), in comparison to modern trigger sequencers. forget about (size) .. is it a hassle to program or fairly immediate? does it have probability per channel (and/or per step) ? does it have any timing flexibility; does it feel rigid? how does it compare to something like Constellation, and would it be better / more worthwhile to look at more modern options? my impression of the Trigger Riot is that it looks to be more immediate than something like Four Bricks Rook, but I hesitate because it's existed for so long. how is the general feel and "playability" of it? Have there been useful firmware updates, etc. ? ...any thoughts, suggestions, opinions and whatnot are appreciated, and my apologies for the somewhat off-topic nature of this post.
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