How do I create quality drum tracks for my music?
Good drummers are usually well-known and appreciated all over the world. A quality drum track can make difference between an average and an excellent melody. Drums are able to add new power to a melody, to emphasize certain parts, to make a tune alive and breathing.
We will observe a pretty good software drum machine, Acoustica Beatcraft. This program is a perfect solution for both amateur and professional musicians, as it combines ease of use with professional quality samples and flexibility. It allows you to create quality drum tracks of any complexity that are almost indistinguishable from those recorded by a skilled drummer.
Step 1: Download and install the program.
Download Acoustica Beatcraft to a known location. Launch setup and follow on-screen instruction to install the program.
Step 2: Launch Beatcraft. Create a new project.
Launch the application. Upon the very first launch, an example project will be loaded, showing you program's capabilities.
Looks strange? Don't worry, it's pretty easy to understand.
What you see is the main program's window. Up in the window is a usual menu bar and a toolbar. Below the toolbar is "Pattern Editor" window. Here you create new patterns to use them later as building blocks for drum sequences.
Finally, the lower part of the window is devoted to "Sequencer" window. Here you add created patterns to form a drum sequence for your music. Patterns may be reused in any succession. You can also use different patterns simultaneously (on different tracks).
What is a pattern here? It's simply a drum sequence for a single measure, a basic building block. With just 8 those blocks you can create rich and fancy drum parties, like those in the example.
Let's move on. Click menu item "File", choose to create a new project ("New Project", "Ctrl" + "N"). The following window will appear:
Type a name for your project in, adjust properties of your music (number of beats per measure and steps per beat). Select a ready-made drum kit from the drop down menu:
You can also choose to use none of the kits, if you intend to create a custom kit or to load samples manually. For now, we will use some kit to avoid additional complexity while getting acquainted with the beat maker.
Step 3: Start creating drum patterns and sequences.
Beatcraft sets a new project up. Let's see how we can create a drum sequence.
Firstly, we should create a pattern.
The program offers us a blank "Pattern 1" by default. When creating new project, we preferred 1-measure patterns with 4 beats per pattern and 4 steps per beat. So, now we will produce a simple beat structure by setting hits to every 1st step of every beat. Just click the corresponding boxes to repeat the pattern shown on the screen shot above. You can reduce volume of each hit by clicking "Down" arrow below the corresponding box. To increase the volume, click the corresponding box once again.
Now let's preview the result. Click the "Play Pattern" button on the toolbar (blue triangle).
Well, the pattern is there. We can surely create a more complex sequence, but for now it should suffice.
As we have said earlier, each pattern can be reused. So it is a good idea to name it somehow. Click "Name" above the "Pattern 1" in the "Pattern Editor" window. Type some name in, for example, "Basic beat". Click "OK".
Now you can create drum tracks for your music. Select the created pattern in the lower window ("Sequencer") and click "Insert" to add the pattern to the current track. If you need the pattern to be played for three measures, just add it three times.
You can create a basic drum sequence for entire tune by looping the pattern, but one pattern is surely not enough for a quality drum track. Be careful to create a new pattern before editing it (click "Create" button). Otherwise you will be editing the current pattern, so your previous settings will be lost.
If you need more than one drum track (to play several patterns simultaneously), just click "Add track" in the sequencer window.
Of course, you can use your own drum samples as well. It is also possible to buy additional quality samples online.
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