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Re: MPD-style drum pads vs midi keyboard / midi pedal



Am 05.02.2013 09:03, schrieb Buzap Buzap:
since we've opened up the topic of drum programming:
Is there any practical advantage of using MPD-style drum pads vs using 
midi keyboard for punching down drum patterns?
(I don't even want to get started on Piezo pads - think Zendrum, 
Futureman...).
As other said, it's a question of user interface. The Akai pads, as well as the 4x4 layout, seem to work for a lot of people, but may not work for you. What I also enjoy is that the pads are pressure-sensitive (polyphonic aftertouch) which, depending on the sound source you're using, can also help to create some realism-oriented effects.
Do you think you could program straight 1/16 hi-hats, then record a midi 
foot pedal sort of as automation, simulating hihat pedal?
If I understand this question correctly:
This is something you could do with your DAW. I remember playing a hihat thingie on a Roland Octapad (with a connected pedal). The pads would send MIDI notes, the pedal sent sustain CC (64). In Cubase, I used a script (I think they are called "logical functions") to shift the "closed hihat" pad to "open hihat" when the CC64 was >0.

Now on to the valuable suggestions by many folks so far, and also some own ideas: (As it just happened that I recently thought about some of that stuff discussed here, there's even some examples):

* That suggestion (I believe it was by Per) to use dynamics instead of timing corrections to get feel into it also works by some trick you can work on the human timing perception, exploited a lot in later bebop/hardbop recordings where instead of shuffling those fast leads/solos, the artists would play it straight, but ghost every second note, giving the perception of some shuffle. This also works well (on instruments where the note has a duration) with long and short notes. In this track, this technique is applied to the synth which starts the track. Note that during one section of the track, of the three synths that play this part, one shuffles:
http://secretalbum.bandcamp.com/track/wehgetan

* As for easily putting dynamic changes onto an already programmed drum groove, the Akai MPD/MPCs also help: put them in the mode where each pad plays the same note, but at different velocities. Set your sequencer to step mode and to only affect note dynamics, not create new notes, and you can quickly put dynamics onto your existing sequencer groove.

* This one was inspired by Rick Walker: combine computer precision with human life. Use a super-precise bass and snare drum groove (even a very repetitive one) and add a hand-played hihat part. Or the other way round. Again, the track from above: hihat acoustic (with some beat-slicing tricks applied), bd/sd Linn9000:
http://secretalbum.bandcamp.com/track/wehgetan

* Take the timing out of a groove you already enjoy: with a daw, you can often import an existing groove as an audio file and beat slice it (or import a REX file from recycle) and then apply the timing to your programmed groove. Still need to take care of the dynamics, though - anyone knows a DAW or plugin or whatever which can extract the dynamics from a groove? (yes, it's a tricky thing...)
This drum groove comes from the end of "What" from Joey Baron's "Down Home"
http://secretalbum.bandcamp.com/track/sids-impeccable-design

* As we are already at the topic of reusing existing audio material, another one: depending on the nature of your source, you might be able to extract a whole bunch of different snare, or hihat, sounds. Use them in a drum sampler to great effect.

* And another one: use an existing drum track, and then slice it and rearrange it to match the timing and dynamics of another source. Here, the drum part from "A Tätowierte Katz'" (https://soundcloud.com/moinlabs/a-totowierte-katz) was used as audio material to play the notorious Amen break, with its timing extracted as described above:
http://secretalbum.bandcamp.com/track/shalom-sister

* Sometimes, the artificial sound of samplers and sequencers can be beneficial to your music - this is an interesting arrangement task. I unfortunately do not remember the album or track, but there was this great DeJohnette track which had a big horn section, acoustic piano, bass and drums, and a cheap 70s drum machine adding a hand clap. Of course, this can work the other way round: use artifical drums, synth bass, cheesy synths, DX7-style epiano, and then add just a single-note-picking slightly driven wah guitar into the background.

Ok, enough for now...keep the ideas coming!

                Rainer