Programming Drums?

BrandonXD

Senior Member
Well... My band has had the incredible opportunity to be offered to record a demo alongside Ben from the band Malefice... The problem I'm facing is, that we're all having to pay £100 to record this. It's not the payment that's the problem for me, but that he'll be programming the drums instead of actually recording them.
I'm not sure if I should actually have to pay for the recording, if I'm not actually going to be recording myself. Of course, the band members disagree because then they'll have to put more money in themselves.

Although I will be recording the full album if we end up making one, who's in the wrong here when it comes to payment for not actually getting to feature? Me or the band? :/
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The point of a demo is to showcase the band, not someones programming skills. If you aren't on the demo than whats the point? Your playing needs to be heard, as you are part of the band. No machine can replace all the little nuances and feeling that a drummer can add to a song, even if you are playing the same thing over and over and over.

Also, you are a member of the band so yes, you should help foot the bill for the recording. That being said, you should also have a say in being on the track. Personally I would shop around for someone else to do the demo
 

Chunky

Silver Member
I don't think it's as black and white as that.

You're in the band and you's are recording so either way you should pay but, you's need to decide between you's whatbis best.
You want to have your recorsing sound the best it possibley can and if that means using samples or programming then it's all for the greater good. Just as a guitarist will record micro-takes and track them multiple times to the point you couldn't do it live without a backing track.
But, why compromise your sound or songs for the sake of saying 'this is completely real'?

Not many people do that anymore, albums are full of all the bells and whistles and if you have the gear and money it's possible to do it live with clicks snd backing which goes down great.

It just depends on how much it bugs you to not be physically playing. You can bet there arw a ton of recordings you like that feature programmed drums and nobody knows about it.

When I was alot younger my band went into a studio and I recorded live drums, got a load of tracks down and had some great takes.
I was then approached by the band a few days later asking if I'd be willing to program the drums. Not because my playing was bad but, because the sound just wasn't good enough.
I had to think about it andnmy pride hurt at first but, I wanted our demo to sound as good as possible so, I did it and it was better for it.

You could call it taking one for the team!

So, whatever works best, sounds best, is best.

No point in being too proud but, I do believe the final decision should be the drummers so, you make up your mind.

I've had experience with both and treat it as a tool. I recommend programmed drums to some.bands who come into our studio, we talk it through properly and they end upnwith a recording standard they would never hsve had if the drummer played his kit, or played with limited skills.

I've even been payed to create parts and fills thatbsound great regsrdless of whether they can pkay it or not, then give them lessons and teach them to play it.

Pushes them to improve faster I think.

So, for me the that wall was smashed down long ago. Not everyone feels this way but, I think I'm more with the times and more future-proof because of it.

And never let it be said that I didn't do whatever it took to get a good sound for a band! Lol
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
I don't know any of the artists mentioned and I don't know how £100 translate into dollars.but I do know that it's a simple case of ROI.

In your opinion, If the £100 is worth the exposure, pay it. If it is worth minimizing conflict with your band mates, pay it. If it sounds like a scam, don't pay it.

Ego should not come into play here. This is a simple mathematical business decision.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I have nothing against technology in aiding with sound, but I do feel the drummer should play the part. I've been recorded with the drums themselves, with triggers, and with a combo of both. A click track was always used so cleaning up any mishaps could be done without a full retake. I will say that with the triggers it was nice because I could pick and choose the sounds that were fitting for each song, and making any adjustments was easier. But I played each track. That being said, programming the parts I played would have been out of the question because all the songs were fairly time change intensive, had tons of riffs and stops, and the time it would have taken would have been extremely consuming.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I don't know any of the artists mentioned and I don't know how £100 translate into dollars.but I do know that it's a simple case of ROI.

In your opinion, If the £100 is worth the exposure, pay it. If it is worth minimizing conflict with your band mates, pay it. If it sounds like a scam, don't pay it.

Ego should not come into play here. This is a simple mathematical business decision.
^ this.

Ego aside, it's not that uncommon. And heck many pro will tell you how they got paid to record drums, only to find out their parts were quantize and sound replaced later.

The issue for you is making sure you get equal benefit for your payment. I.E. and agreement that you are indeed an equal part of the band who will get an equal share of future profits.

If you don't contribute, and make it about you, let's say this demo leads to a recording deal, or becomes a radio hit, or earns an invite to play some great gigs. Why would should they include you in their windfall if you didn't contribute?

But at the same time, you need to cover your rear end so if such success does come up, so no one says "oh, we're not paying you since you didn't actually play on this."

Differences in opinion about money lead to most band break ups. Best to get that part locked down now.
 

BrandonXD

Senior Member
So we've spoke to Ben, and he's said there is no way around the actual playing part, I suggested perhaps pre-recording the drum parts and him editing them, and he turned it down. He did say I would be programming the drum tracks exactly as I would play it, so it would effectively be me programming.

I've took what you've said into consideration, along with me actually being fully 100% involved in the process and £100 is definitely worth 1) preventing future disagreements with the band and 2) the exposure.

Thanks for the wise words of advice :)
 
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