Create Drum Beats That Sound Realistic

Gone are the days when you had to own several instruments or hire musicians to record a full song in a professional studio. There are great Midi softwares out there that allow you to create drum beats and melodies of other musical instruments using samples. Whether you’re using a keyboard or a drum machine to create your beats, you’ve probably noticed that many times they sound like an actual machine; far from resembling a real drum set. In order to make your drums sound like a real drummer is playing them, you need to understand how a drummer plays.

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people forget that drummers only have 2 hands and 2 legs. If you play the snare drum, 2 toms and a cymbal all at once, the result will be unrealistic sounding drums. Put yourself in the drummers seat; think about his(or her) capabilities and limitations then adjust the drums accordingly to create a realistic beat. On the same note, don’t be too repetitive; change the pattern a little here and there. You can use different setting as well, such as switching between open and closed hi-hats.

A very important factor in creating realistic sounding drums is that a real drummer, as good as he or she may be, will never be as accurate as a machine. Moving some of the beats on the sequencer to make them play very shortly before or after they’re supposed to hit will create an illusion of a human drummer. Trick is to move the beats just a few milliseconds away; it’s not enough to make the human ear notice a delay but it’s all it takes for the brain to realize it and believe that a human is playing.

A drummer will never hit the drums with the same amount of pressure whether he wishes to do so or not. As in the previous case, these differences are so minor that you may not be able to notice, but your brain will. To change the pressure on different beats play with the velocity, you can do this not only to create more realistic drums but also to give a different feel to certain parts of the song. You can start with a low velocity and make it higher to create a sense of excitement.

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