Pro Tools
Pro Tools Tutorial

Programming Rock Drums

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16 Videos | Length: 2hr 17min 43sec
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  • Introduction 2:03


    An introduction to the tutorial series. We discuss using a virtual drum instrument and the Pro Tools MIDI editor to make realistic drum tracks in our session. We also preview the song 'Touch Me' by Avenues which will be used throughout this series.

  • Exploring the VDI 6:59

    Exploring the VDI

    Discuss and navigate aspects of a virtual drum instrument plug-in (Steven Slate EX), explain multi-layer samples, changing drum kits and pieces, saving custom kits, and review the parameters of each instrument we can control in within the plug-in. We also take a look at the built-in mixer within the Steven Slate EX drum plug-in and some of its features.

  • Using the MIDI Editor 6:36

    Using the MIDI Editor

    In this video we explore the MIDI editor in Pro Tools. We discuss the pros and cons of standalone and docked view, toolbar functionality, track lanes, piano roll, and aspects of the grid.

  • Grid Resolution 1:35

    Grid Resolution

    This video reviews grid resolution as it relates to the MIDI editor window and its importance in MIDI quantizing and drum programming.

  • Setting Up a Guide Track 6:37

    Setting Up a Guide Track

    Before we can start programming the drums we need to first determine the song tempo, set up a click track, and lay down a scratch guitar. We also map out the song using track markers for easy navigation of our session.

  • Quantizing 4:47


    In this video we discuss quantizing MIDI notes to tighten loose performances. We also look at some of the tools available in the event operations window in the MIDI editor.

  • Making Drums Pt. 1 11:54

    Making Drums Pt. 1

    We begin programming the drum tracks by creating a basic outline of our drum performance. The song is taken section by section using the MIDI editor and pencil tool.

  • Making Drums Pt. 2 14:09

    Making Drums Pt. 2

    We continue creating the outline of the drum performance using the MIDI editor and pencil tool.

  • Making Drums Pt. 3 10:19

    Making Drums Pt. 3

    Digging in deeper we are now near the end of the song and we make realizations along the way as to the best choices for creating a realistic performance.

  • Making Drums Pt. 4 12:37

    Making Drums Pt. 4

    We now finish up the outline for the drum part in the MIDI editor window.

  • Creating Special Moments Pt. 1 12:40

    Creating Special Moments Pt. 1

    In this video we start to create special moments like drum fills, cymbal accents, and tom rolls.

  • Creating Special Moments Pt. 2 9:24

    Creating Special Moments Pt. 2

    In this video we create more special moments as well as discuss creating excitement in the drum performance.

  • Humanizing Your Drums Pt. 1 8:38

    Humanizing Your Drums Pt. 1

    In this video we begin to 'humanize' the drum performance by adjusting velocity and moving MIDI notes from being gridlocked.

  • Humanizing Your Drums Pt. 2 13:36

    Humanizing Your Drums Pt. 2

    In this video we finalize the “humanize” procedure in the drum performance.

  • Mixing within the Plug-In 7:15

    Mixing within the Plug-In

    Now we explore mixing the drum performance using only the mixer section of the plug-in to save space in the session.

  • Printing Drums to Individual Tracks 8:34

    Printing Drums to Individual Tracks

    In the final video we route the drum instruments from the plug-in into their own individual tracks within Pro Tools. The tracks are then 'printed' or recorded and as we listen to the entire final performance. The pros of printing your drums into your session are also discussed.

Product Overview

Are you just getting into writing and recording Rock music? Well, the first step is to create killer drum tracks. In this series, project studio master Travis Brown is going to show you how to program realistic and rockin' drums using Pro Tools 9 and Steven Slate Drum EX virtual instrument, quickly and easily.

Designed for the beginner, this series starts with an introduction to the song you'll be creating drums for, exploring the awesome Steven Slate Drums EX plug-in, using the Pro Tools MIDI editor, setting up a guide track, digging in and playing the parts, all the way to creating cool fills and breaks, humanizing the feel of the performance and finishing off with mixing and printing your MIDI drums as audio for further processing or bringing to another studio.

Even though this series is shown with Pro Tools and Steven Slate Drums, you can apply the techniques and theories to any DAW and virtual drum plug-in. If you're just starting out and want to know how to program great sounding and feeling drums, this is the series for you... You can't beat it!

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