Help me suck less at drums in Reason

This forum is for discussing Reason. Questions, answers, ideas, and opinions... all apply.
User avatar
Posts: 4033
Joined: 17 Jan 2015
Location: Fanboy Shill

Post 05 Jul 2022

selig wrote:
05 Jul 2022
challism wrote:
02 Jul 2022
I think this is a pretty good channel for music theory and songwriting techniques.
Here's a playlist of their entire "Drum Hack" series.
Not sure I totally get it, they give the first example as if it is universally understood to be inferior to the final version. But what I hear is a simple approach (which I have been asked to do many times) vs a busy approach (which I've been asked not to do just as many times!).

I didn't think the final example was any better or worse than the original, just busier. And I'm not sure there are folks out there 'accidentally' creating a simple beat when they intended to create a busy one, so maybe that's why I don't totally get it I guess because that seems to be the intended audience, no?

Bottom line, a simple repetitive beat is just as valid as a more complex beat, it comes down to personal taste and intended audience/genre IMO.
And was I imagining it but the bass line also changed with the final version of the drum beat, indicating you can't just change one and expect the other to also work without change.
I don't know nearly as much as you do about drums. The two points I got from the video was 1) try to keep your drums from being boring/repetitive, and 2) the kick drum has more room/freedom to experiment than some of the other drums in the kit.

I found their explanation of the different drum kit elements interesting, and I never thought of it like that before. Snare = energy; Toms = variety; Cymbals = pulse; Kick = groove. What are you thoughts on that, Giles?

Obviously, we talent like Peart and Bohnam is very rare, so I agree that less is usually more and keeping it simple (less busy) will most likely going to serve the music much better than thinking you need to put a busy drum fill at the end of every bar, or have a way busier kick than needed; Charlie Watts is an excellent example of keeping it simple and staying out of the way, while still holding down an excellent beat. I agree that the kick in the second example was busy as hell and not necessarily "better" than the kick in the first example.
Players are to MIDI what synthesizers are to waveforms.

ReasonTalk Rules and Guidelines

Posts: 121
Joined: 28 Jul 2019

Post 05 Jul 2022

I used to worry about all that. Was a drummer in high school. So I get all the drummer snobbery. But is it worth all the trouble? All you're going to is end up sounding like a 2nd rate drummer. I say go back to the attitude keyboardists had back in the 1980s. The attitude of putting drummers in their proper place and that our mission as keyboardists is to put all drummers out of business with the lamest beats imaginable just because we can.

User avatar
Posts: 2365
Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 05 Jul 2022

selig wrote:
05 Jul 2022
And was I imagining it but the bass line also changed with the final version of the drum beat, indicating you can't just change one and expect the other to also work without change.
Not only that, but from what I picked up the 2nd example also "cheated" by having actual drum fills playing with more than just some additional kick drums. So in total I'd rather put that video in the "magician making a nice little trick show to get you into paying for the full performance" category.

User avatar
Posts: 771
Joined: 21 Dec 2015

Post 08 Jul 2022

it would be useful to know what exactly you think is wrong with your drums. about your approach: extracting grooves is a good idea, but not every groove fits every beat, so that might be part of the issue. try to create your own loop, then shift the individual notes left and right and vary velocites to create your own groove. then extract it and apply it to variations of your self-made pattern, that will help to achieve a consistent and fitting expression.

User avatar
Posts: 364
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 08 Jul 2022

This is a pretty neat and short book on "realistic" drum machine programming from the 90s. Might be worth checking out: ... r/mode/2up

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests