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Superior Drummer humanization on your own beats
Old 28th January 2013
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Superior Drummer humanization on your own beats

Is there a way using Superior Drummer 2.0 to humanize the beats you wrote via midi using a midi keyboard?

For the longest time I've settled using the grooves in the program for sake of my own beats sounding like a computer. I have some new tunes and I need to finally face programming drums. I thought maybe I could program the drums and then humanize it so that it will mix up velocity's etc.

is this possible or any tips? I used to use a drum machine 15 years ago and would change every beat's velocity to help.
Old 28th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Larry Mal's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Sure, you can "humanize" them. There's any number of ways to go about it. This is how Logic approaches it, probably the other major DAW's have a similar automated function that would work for you:

Humanize in Logic - MIDI transformation - YouTube

On the other hand, though, this is an automatic way of doing something that you can do by hand. Doing this by hand will always yield better results. What you would be doing, as you've already said, is drawing in different velocities, as well as adjusting the timing and so forth.

The main thing is to think like a drummer, which can be difficult if you aren't one. Referring to velocity, it's natural for a drummer to hit the drums harder as the music crescendoes, so you might have more velocity at the chorus and leading back into the "1" of the versus, and then settling into the groove again.

Also, as you've seen from the video, drummers don't always play exactly on the beat, they can be a little bit off. Some of this can be approximated by the randomizing of the MIDI notes, but again, what do drummers actually do? A lot of them will play a little bit before the beat, and not always all the drums. For instance, the snare on the two and four might be moved slightly ahead of the beat, or maybe the snare on the two might be while the four is played exactly on the beat. Either of these will change the feel of the music.

The thing you can't do, though, at least very easily, is replicate the feel of a drummer playing with a band. Drummers can speed up, or slow down, and since drummers are the beat keepers the whole band will do the same. This sort of organic ensemble playing is not easy to duplicate with software.

Not a lot of this is specific to Superior or whatever DAW you use, it's just some advice that I hope is somewhat helpful. Good luck!
Old 28th January 2013
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Silky Smoove's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Are you a drummer? If so, buy a small/cheap electronic kit and something like an Alesis Trigger i/o and actually play the beat. Much more human than using a humanize algorithm.
Old 28th January 2013
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks for the replies. I'm using Logic so I'll look into what you said.

I'm not a drummer but with the amount of time I bang on my desk at work and play drum beats with my fingers you would think I was! HA HA

I know what beats I want in the song, along with fills. Just need to record them and not sound like the drummer is playing the fills with one hand...
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #5
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bruno garza's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvtnedge ➑️
Thanks for the replies. I'm using Logic so I'll look into what you said.

I'm not a drummer but with the amount of time I bang on my desk at work and play drum beats with my fingers you would think I was! HA HA

I know what beats I want in the song, along with fills. Just need to record them and not sound like the drummer is playing the fills with one hand...
Since you mention you're using Logic...

Randomizing Pitch, Velocity and Length. Obivously you won't use Pitch which you can select "thru" and on pitch then that will go away so you're left with randomizing Velocity and Length.


Humanize is changing the starting position of the note


Using the Environment, create a macro that always randomizes in real-time which is what I do.
Old 29th January 2013
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Silky Smoove's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvtnedge ➑️
Thanks for the replies. I'm using Logic so I'll look into what you said.

I'm not a drummer but with the amount of time I bang on my desk at work and play drum beats with my fingers you would think I was! HA HA

I know what beats I want in the song, along with fills. Just need to record them and not sound like the drummer is playing the fills with one hand...
Maybe think about a small e-kit and a MIDI i/o. It's been one of the best decisions I've made for my small studio. Even something like a V-Drum Lite (the one that looks like it should be for the video game Rock Band) will get you good results if your playing is tight and you're going out to SD2.
Old 29th January 2013
  #7
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ksandvik's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The times I've tried to humanize existing MIDI drum patterns, it has been far easier to just jump behind an electronic drum kit and do the job and sweat a long time trying to make it sound human.

Or, use MIDI samples such as those from DrumCore that have a human touch as they were recorded by drummers.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
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bruno garza's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandvik ➑️
The times I've tried to humanize existing MIDI drum patterns, it has been far easier to just jump behind an electronic drum kit and do the job and sweat a long time trying to make it sound human.

Or, use MIDI samples such as those from DrumCore that have a human touch as they were recorded by drummers.
It's easier to use your DAW instead, if it's supported. heh
Old 29th January 2013
  #9
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duckoff's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Play your parts in on the keyboard & just quantize to 60-90% instead of 100% - keep some of your own feel.

Easy
Old 29th January 2013
  #10
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JohnRick's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The humanizer function must be one of the most useless inventions in the drumVST-world yet, I must humbly say. It doesn't come close to what we actually would play. I always record superior via my DTX900 - programming and fiddling with velocity values, changing a ghost note 31 ticks back in a desperate attempt to fit the groove just doesn't do it.
Pls show me a hand programmed and humanized beat from "Squib cakes" with Tower of Power?
Old 29th January 2013
  #11
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MisterCrayle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Try messing with SOFT VEL in the humanize section in the GUI.
This controls a majority of the dynamics, if it's low, all the hits
are going to be pretty hard resulting in the 'machine' sound you're probably getting.
If that don't work for you, fiddle w/ the velocities and imagine
what a drummer would do (or if you are a drummer), what would you do,
hit this part hard or soft, etc.
Other than that, try not to quantize it, if you are.
Old 29th January 2013
  #12
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

Last night I tried messing around, and just an intro sounded like crap. I resorted to using loops and when recording the lead lines wasn't happy at all with not hearing what I want to hear in my own song. Especially when the drums are supposed to stop and they don't lol

I'll give it another shot tonight but thinking the best bet might be to edit a loop rather than building from scratch.
Old 30th January 2013
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Well I thought I'd get creative and use my iPad as a wifi midi controller using s1 midi trigger. The program works well except for no matter what pads I hit, they don't trigger the assigned values I gave them. I would assign one pad as c1 which is a kick drum based on the piano roll view and superior drummer however it would trigger c0 instead which was a hihat. No matter what I tried nothing worked
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRick ➑️
The humanizer function must be one of the most useless inventions in the drumVST-world yet, I must humbly say. It doesn't come close to what we actually would play.
I agree 100% - "humans" are not "random"

when humans play imperfectly, they make their "mistakes" in a direction, possibly with a bias, sometimes even with a style

no human is capable of perfect playing, but no human is capable of perfect randomness either!

taking some notes and screwing them up does not make it sound "more human" it just makes it sound more screwed up.

play your parts in
if you don't have the chops, play them at half speed or play one drum for each pass

if notes are early, make them LESS EARLY but don't fix them all the way

if notes are late, make the LESS LATE but again keep your 'intention' even if it a subconscious intention

Some drum parts need to be "on top" of the beat. Some drum parts need to be back in "the pocket". The computer's 'humanize' function can not decide this for you.

also - to make rolls sound like two-handed rolls you need two sounds... the same drum but a "Right" and a "Left" version, just an ever so slight difference
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvtnedge ➑️
Well I thought I'd get creative and use my iPad as a wifi midi controller using s1 midi trigger.
I don't see how the iPad can register or transmit velocity? It is just a touch-screen. You can't put any expression into your playing. Playing with your fingers on the keyboard or an MPC-style pad would be better. At least you could accent notes and put in some dynamics

Quote:
I would assign one pad as c1 which is a kick drum based on the piano roll view and superior drummer however it would trigger c0 instead which was a hihat. No matter what I tried nothing worked
I would first suspect that it is simply offset by one octave.

Anyway, you now know C0 give you the hi-hat!

I would just take the pad I want to = kick drum, and assign it every number in turn, starting at C#0 on up, until I hear the kick drum sound!
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq ➑️
I don't see how the iPad can register or transmit velocity? It is just a touch-screen. You can't put any expression into your playing. Playing with your fingers on the keyboard or an MPC-style pad would be better. At least you could accent notes and put in some dynamics



I would first suspect that it is simply offset by one octave.

Anyway, you now know C0 give you the hi-hat!

I would just take the pad I want to = kick drum, and assign it every number in turn, starting at C#0 on up, until I hear the kick drum sound!
This is true. I thought you could control velocity by how hard you hit the ipad but I guess I'm wrong. As far as the assigning I thought about this afterwards. Do I need to assign superior drummer to the controller instead of the controller to superior drummer?

I was trying to change the values of the pads lets say to match SD but Im thinking maybe I need to change the value of SD to match the pads?
Old 30th January 2013
  #17
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brockorama's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I use my Korg PadKontrol with SD all the time. It is great for articulating velocities and building song parts. I have a real kit in the studio, and I still use it the most. Loves me some PadKontrol
Old 30th January 2013
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Try listening to some actual drummers and then try to make your midi parts sound like theirs by any of the means mentioned above. You'll learn a lot and get the hang of it if you do it enough. As others have said, velocity, ghost notes, and timing play a role. I've always found the nuances of the hihat make a big difference. Different drummers open and close the HH in varying degrees to accent hits or to crescendo/decrescendo. Some also continue to pedal the HH even while playing other cymbals.

Frank
Old 30th January 2013
  #19
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Personally, I don't use any type of randomizing and simply program in the drums myself.

I find the samples I want, or record them. I chop them apart into single shots and fills. I use Live so I lay out my samples into Drum Rack. Grab my choice of velocity sensitive controller. And start banging out my beats. This is what works best for me.

Occasionally I will go in and make minor adjustments. But if I don't like the sample, I toss it and start again. This generally leads to a different beat/groove. You said you want it as "human" as possible right? Find your niche and improve on it. I think your on the right track.
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by brockorama ➑️
I use my Korg PadKontrol with SD all the time. It is great for articulating velocities and building song parts. I have a real kit in the studio, and I still use it the most. Loves me some PadKontrol
Ok but heres the question. With the device you have, did you select one of the pads, decide you wanted that pad to be snare and click on SD snare to see what midi note it plays, and then with the device, change it so it triggers that note?

or.. for example, Lets say you wanted one pad to be the kick but by default it triggered the snare. Did you go into SD and drag the kick to the keyboard where the snare was and replace it, so you didnt have to change any settings on your controller?

Basically Im trying to figure out of the issue I had with the ipad is normal meaning you need to change the SD software to match the ipad vs changing the ipad to match SD
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvtnedge ➑️
This is true. I thought you could control velocity by how hard you hit the ipad but I guess I'm wrong.
keyboard keys measure actual velocity, i.e. how fast the key goes down. True drum pads have contact mics inside them and will send a bigger voltage spike to the drum 'brain' with a harder hit.

A touch pad has neither. It would have to have sensors everywhere in order to 'tell' whether you hit the snare hard or the tom hard.

Quote:
As far as the assigning I thought about this afterwards. Do I need to assign superior drummer to the controller instead of the controller to superior drummer?
You should be able to do either. I usually adjust my controller to the key map of the software. The software has dozens of kits and they will probably all have the same layout. Will it force you to change each one individually? Many different programs follow the same General MIDI layout, kick drum on 36, snare on 38 etc.

I might do the other way around for certain specific kits. For example, if I was occasionally using a specific "Latin Kit" where I wanted the toms to be timbales, I might just stick timbale sounds on the tom notes and save that kit, so I don't have to re-do the controller every time.


as I said, it could be that your controller is simply offset by one octave. This could be in the controller itself or maybe you did something global in the software. Check the manuals, there may be a way to "un-offset" it, in which case you may not have to 'change' much of anything
Old 30th January 2013 | Show parent
  #22
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brockorama's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvtnedge ➑️
Ok but heres the question. With the device you have, did you select one of the pads, decide you wanted that pad to be snare and click on SD snare to see what midi note it plays, and then with the device, change it so it triggers that note?

or.. for example, Lets say you wanted one pad to be the kick but by default it triggered the snare. Did you go into SD and drag the kick to the keyboard where the snare was and replace it, so you didnt have to change any settings on your controller?

Basically Im trying to figure out of the issue I had with the ipad is normal meaning you need to change the SD software to match the ipad vs changing the ipad to match SD
The PadKontrol has 16 scenes (ie 16 different setups with 16 pads for each setup. (you can store and swap 16 scene sets off your hard drive)

In any one scene (16 pads) you can place the SD kit where ever you want. In edit mode, you just highlight the pad and use the encoder wheel to select the sample you want while watching the mapping tab in SD. Then Save the scene to any scene number you like (doesn't have to be the one you are editing).....its easy and flexible

It comes standard with a SD preset scene (Scene 7) that will get you running immediately, then edit to taste---cheers
Old 30th January 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I agree that randomisation algorithms aren't really going to help much. The best way by a country mile is to build the song up with the included toontrack midi loops (or buy additional expansions/midi packs), and edit the grooves to fit your song. You may need to add the odd kick or remove the odd snare, but the majority of snare and especially cymbal hits will sound a million times more realistic. Also way better to grab your fills from midi loops and edit to fit the song.
Old 31st January 2013
  #24
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MadGuitrst's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvtnedge ➑️
Is there a way using Superior Drummer 2.0 to humanize the beats you wrote via midi using a midi keyboard?
Since no one answered your question:

You should be able to save/copy your midi files into a sub-folder that you create in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Toontrack\EZDrummer\Midi (ex: C:\Program Files (x86)\Toontrack\EZDrummer\Midi\MyMidi)
Then, just use Superior to play it.

If you want the humanizing function, you really need to record as an audio track.

Simple as that.
Old 31st January 2013
  #25
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
thanks for all the replies guys.

I managed to get the ipad working with SD but with much latency and no real velocity so kinda useless, and edited exsisting beats for the meantime.
Old 31st January 2013 | Show parent
  #26
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvtnedge ➑️
thanks for all the replies guys.

I managed to get the ipad working with SD but with much latency and no real velocity so kinda useless, and edited exsisting beats for the meantime.
It's quite a long arduous task, normally I set velocity to 125 then start lowering individual strokes.. Sounds pretty good usually too..
Old 31st January 2013
  #27
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cowboycoalminer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Personally, I really don't get the "humanizing" thing. In past experience with bands, when we would try out drummers, what we were looking for was someone who was always in the pocket, always even with their hit's velocity wise, always on time. The better drummers I've played with in the past where best described as "he's a machine". So now here we have technology that affords us that very thing it was once nearly impossible to find, and we complain about it and want to "humanize" it? I use SD 2.0 often and I really don't like that feature, so I turn it off. Not trying to change anyone's opinion here, this is just my perspective.
Old 31st January 2013 | Show parent
  #28
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer ➑️
Personally, I really don't get the "humanizing" thing. In past experience with bands, when we would try out drummers, what we were looking for was someone who was always in the pocket, always even with their hit's velocity wise, always on time. The better drummers I've played with in the past where best described as "he's a machine". So now here we have technology that affords us that very thing it was once nearly impossible to find, and we complain about it and want to "humanize" it? I use SD 2.0 often and I really don't like that feature, so I turn it off. Not trying to change anyone's opinion here, this is just my perspective.
Well in metal, we use triggers anyway.. To be able to stay a float of the mesh of dirty distorted instruments and synth's it needs to be as constant as possible..

So, mainly for me it's about adding nuances to add impact to a song.. Like a beefy floor tom at the end of a phrase to give it a kick.
Old 31st January 2013 | Show parent
  #29
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cowboycoalminer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowAMD ➑️
Well in metal, we use triggers anyway.. To be able to stay a float of the mesh of dirty distorted instruments and synth's it needs to be as constant as possible..

So, mainly for me it's about adding nuances to add impact to a song.. Like a beefy floor tom at the end of a phrase to give it a kick.
Yeah, defiantly get that. I adjust velocity sometimes as well manually to give it some nuance, same as a great drummer would. But I prefer to do that stuff myself. I don't want a program making decisions like that for me is all I'm saying.
Old 31st January 2013
  #30
Gear Addict
 
musicianof1's Avatar
Manipulating a custom midi drum track to sound convincingly authentic and natural is a lot of work. Even with a v drum kit it can still be a labor intensive process. No easy way around it.
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