I'm always thinking of ways to streamline my workflow. The equation is simple: The fewer hiccups and the less setting up, the more music I make. Since I recently moved to a new house and set up a new studio, efficiency has been on my mind. I expect to delve into this quite a bit on upcoming episodes of The Music Production Podcast.
I always think of having inspiration like holding water in my hands. I can keep it there for a few moments, but if I don't drink it, it will slip through my fingers.
For today, I have a tool that should dramatically speed up all of our workflows and help us act on our inspiration as quickly as possible..
How Drum Programming is a Flow Interruption
Just about every time I start a new track, I lay out some basic beats. It could be a simple backbeat, a four-to-the-floor, or just something to keep time so I can play other instruments accurately. I've noticed that this is a huge time-suck for me. It starts with choosing a drum kit. I have about 9,000,000 kits and samples. I lose time and creative energy trying to choose the most appropriate ones. After I finally decide, I lose a few more precious moments programming simple beats that I've programmed thousands of times before. By now, plenty of that metaphorical water has slipped through my hands and I haven't even started making the music I was inspired to create. I decided that this part of my process is one I could streamline...
Introducing the Foundational Drum Beats Sample Pack
In order to cut out this part of my workflow, I've created the Foundational Drum Beats Sample Pack. It's 275 acoustic drum loops, organized by BPM and whether the beats have open high hats, closed high hats, ride cymbals, or crash cymbals. I can quickly pick a loop that matches the energy I want to create, drop it on a track in my DAW and start making music.
The beats were all recorded on my acoustic drum kit and simply feature a kick, snare, and cymbal. They are simple foundational beats that so much music is based on. There are plenty of variations to choose from, but all are designed to keep time and set up a groove. When I play with real drummers, I often wish he/she would just hold down a solid beat. But drummers tend to get bored and start adding variations and fills, which can throw off the feel of what I'm working on. I can proudly say that these beats have no drum fills, no fancy embellishments, and no unpredictable changes. They are just straight solid beats that are perfect for building ideas upon.
Foundational Drum Beats
275 simple and straight-forward drum loops recorded on an acoustic drum kit. Designed to be placed on a track so you can start making music quickly without the burden of sorting through thousands of kits and samples. Save time and make more music!
Programming drums can be a lot of fun and inspiring in of itself. But sometimes you just want to grab a beat to get started on a song or to fill out a track. That's where this collection will save you tons of time. Of course you are free to chop up and resample these loops to create something new. I especially enjoy layering these beats with electronic kits for really full and diverse drum tracks.
Each loop was performed on my acoustic drum kit, which features a vintage 1960's Pearl kick drum and a 1960's Ludwig snare. I ran each loop into the Elektron Analog Heat for some warm saturation and compression.
I'm finding that these samples yield great results utilizing Ableton Live's Convert Drums to MIDI feature. This allows you to quickly take any of these 275 loops and convert them to any sound you want.
The possibilities are only as limited as our imaginations. But one thing is for sure: This collection will save us valuable time and allow us to tap into as much of that precious inspiration as possible before it slips through our fingers!