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-   -   Drum Machines replacing you (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56517)

starkeydrums 12-16-2009 07:50 PM

Drum Machines replacing you
 
how do you feel that more and more bands are opting to use a beat/drum machine instead of an actual drummer?
you turn on the radio and hear 90% of the bands using an electronic drum beat (no crashes, fills, only straight beat the whole way through)
also, whats up with these bands and the over-simplified back beats, and replacing it with techno-esque synthing? i mean, if you have 10 1/2 drummers in that one little machine then why cant they cant think of anything better than "4 on the floor"?
not intended to start a fight or anything, just curious what you guys think of it.
and no, drum machines aren't really replacing you.

Thaard 12-16-2009 08:22 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Also, it would be a real drag to see a cardboard cut-out and a box playing drums, instead of a real person.

GRUNTERSDAD 12-16-2009 08:38 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
If that techno music is made for dancing then the 4 on the floor is the easiest beat to dance to. Not my style so just a guess.

zambizzi 12-16-2009 08:53 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
I'm more worried about robots:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veQS6tsogAA

Mediocrefunkybeat 12-16-2009 08:59 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
It's nothing to be concerned about. Your argument that they will be 'replacing' drummers was used in the early 1980s. That was thirty years ago and it hasn't happened yet.

Ironically, a lot of the 'real' drums you hear are actually more mechanistic than the programmed drums. Ever heard of quantising audio? Look it up. Even 'real' drummers today are made to sound like machines through various editing procedures and techniques.

I write a lot of music with drum machines and sequenced parts. It's not better or worse, just different.

bermuda 12-16-2009 09:04 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Sequences are as good/bad as the person programming them. While some genres simply require a straight beat without variation, a producer does a fine job on those. But worse would be a drummer coming in, not getting the concept, and trying to program 'drummer sensibilities' all over the track. Worse still would be a drummer who insists on playing live on a track that should be sequenced.

And worse than that, a producer who won't say 'no' to that drummer.

Usable machines and sequences have been part of music for almost 30 years. They're not suddenly a threat to live drumming or 'intelligent' drum parts, and they never were. To be a working drummer in most genres, one must be able to program, create sounds, and know when it's correct for someone else to do that work and make the choices they do.

Bermuda

BassDriver 12-17-2009 01:54 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Ironically, a lot of the 'real' drums you hear are actually more mechanistic than the programmed drums. Ever heard of quantising audio? Look it up. Even 'real' drummers today are made to sound like machines through various editing procedures and techniques.
Yeah, the musical equivalent of cheating...and you thought you couldn't cheat with music, the real test comes when a bvand that uses quantisizing performs live.

Playing along to a metronome makes your timing a bit better but there are still always human nuances, so the performance will still be human.

It's good because it is really hard to count "1e&a2e&a" and when you get to about 120 bpm or "1 & 2 &" at 240 bpm.

Performing live along to a metronome keeps things precise and human but not sloppy.

Drum machines won't be replacing Jazz drummers in the near future because of the dynamic nature of Jazz just can't be programmed ("It don't mean thing if it ain't got that swing") ...and there are several ways to swing music ayway.

Mediocrefunkybeat 12-17-2009 02:53 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BassDriver (Post 642895)
Yeah, the musical equivalent of cheating...and you thought you couldn't cheat with music, the real test comes when a bvand that uses quantisizing performs live.

Playing along to a metronome makes your timing a bit better but there are still always human nuances, so the performance will still be human.

It's good because it is really hard to count "1e&a2e&a" and when you get to about 120 bpm or "1 & 2 &" at 240 bpm.

Performing live along to a metronome keeps things precise and human but not sloppy.

Drum machines won't be replacing Jazz drummers in the near future because of the dynamic nature of Jazz just can't be programmed ("It don't mean thing if it ain't got that swing") ...and there are several ways to swing music ayway.

Did I ever say quantising was cheating?

I'm not saying that I like over-quantising. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Just like I generally dislike auto tune when it is used as a corrective tool. Simply put, however, these are tools that could very well be used for genuinely creative uses and just aren't. It's a shame that they get backhandedly criticised when there is a lot of potential for some really amazing work to be done with these tools.

It's not the tools that are the problem.

bermuda 12-17-2009 03:40 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Agreed, quantizing isn't cheating. It's a process intended to correct deficiencies in human players that can't play consistently with a click, and programmers who can't tap out parts in good time.

I will also agree that absolute quantizing doesn't always yield a pleasing result... then again, sometimes it does.

Has everyone forgotten that musicians strive for tightness in the first place? If a drummer plays dead on the beat, does he suddenly suck because he's now as accurate as a sequence?

I've played live drums on some tracks where even I think it sounds sequenced. I'm the most proud of those!

Bermuda

bobdadruma 12-17-2009 03:51 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Other instruments are also electronically added to recordings and also to enhance live performances.

bermuda 12-17-2009 04:16 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bobdadruma (Post 642937)
Other instruments are also electronically added to recordings and also to enhance live performances.

Yeah, those darn bands that want to sound good... OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

Steamer 12-17-2009 04:43 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
In the FAR distant future they might be able to get computers to replicate and mimic the "intent" of the organic mastery of Elvin Jones playing with the John Coltrane Quartet making and creating the music of a living human being communicating emotionally on a heavy level on the spot with all the natural "imperfections" that make it sound like what a real human is only capabile of........................maybe....

Till then the world of actual creative music played as it happens by humans on the spot listening and searching for sounds with a level of human organic ebb and flow making bouyant swinging intuitive or totally open improv based music as a ensemble unit is NOT under any threat of instinction whatsoever in my view. Still very safe from being replaced............

You might be able to use computer programs, drum machines, sequencers etc.. to mimic the skills of human musicians playing instruments and sounds but you won't be able to teach them to listen and improvise and create what comes from the soul that flows out with real emotional content which only can be achieved with real living folks playing acoustic instruments together on stage in front of a audience or in a recording studio to capture it. You CAN"T achieve that sound and you CAN"T achieve that emotional effect or content for acoustic ensemble jazz in particular with any form of electronic replication at present.

In the FAR distant future one never knows but i'm safe at present and have no concern about a machine replacing what i've spent a lifetime learning how to do and learning how to do it with others on the spot to create a greater whole in the end.

bobdadruma 12-17-2009 04:48 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Thats good Stan because I don't think that the world is ready for a computerized Stan clone! :)

Steamer 12-17-2009 04:54 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bobdadruma (Post 642953)
Thats good Stan because I don't think that the world is ready for a computerized Stan clone! :)


Yes global madness would prevail Bob............:}

GRUNTERSDAD 12-17-2009 05:29 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Well it may not be a need for 4 arms but a need for 4 sticks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUvQl...layer_embedded

DrumEatDrum 12-17-2009 06:18 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat (Post 642771)
It's nothing to be concerned about. Your argument that they will be 'replacing' drummers was used in the early 1980s. That was thirty years ago and it hasn't happened yet.
.

I think that's a bit of an over simplification though.

While true, real drummers have not gone the way of the do-do bird, as mentioned in this thread there is a lot less session work going on today compared to years ago. If it's not a machine, its loops or sequencers. Even the great Kenny Arnoff admits he's not making as much money as he used (see Drumhead magazine).

So many clubs now feature Dj's that only play machine oriented music. Some DJ's are even considered a form of "musician" themselves because they mix together different loops and samples to make something not already assembled.

Even in the 80's, drum machines were mostly in new wave music, and some pop, and rap was still in it's early stages.

Now, just about every top 40 song has a drum machine/loop.

Yes, there has been going back to drums, with some pop, R&B and hip-hop artists hiring real drummers for their shows (and bring to the public's attention some great players) still, the majority of the studio recordings are machine/loop based.

Most of my friends who've gone on to form their own bands/side projects, all use machines. My vocalist & keyboardist & guitarist friends get invited to play sessions, do guest appearances on other people's records, but they'd all just assume use a machine for the drum parts.

One my friends band prides themselves on using cheesy drum machine parts as part of their shtick!

bermuda 12-17-2009 08:15 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum (Post 642967)
While true, real drummers have not gone the way of the do-do bird, as mentioned in this thread there is a lot less session work going on today compared to years ago. If it's not a machine, its loops or sequencers.

To be fair, the reduction in session work cannot be blamed strictly on technology. In the golden era of session players ('60s & '70s) a lot of 'groups' weren't radio-ready, and ringers were called in to play. But as young players got better on their instruments - perhaps from emulating bands whose music was made by pros - groups became more self-contained and could record tracks on their own. Hence, fewer calls to the Hal Blaines, Kenny Aronoffs and Eddie Bayers' of the studio scene.

Bermuda

DrumEatDrum 12-17-2009 08:45 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bermuda (Post 642989)
To be fair, the reduction in session work cannot be blamed strictly on technology. In the golden era of session players ('60s & '70s) a lot of 'groups' weren't radio-ready, and ringers were called in to play. But as young players got better on their instruments - perhaps from emulating bands whose music was made by pros - groups became more self-contained and could record tracks on their own. Hence, fewer calls to the Hal Blaines, Kenny Aronoffs and Eddie Bayers' of the studio scene.

Bermuda

Perhaps. Josh Freese may think differently LOL.

But on the other hand, technology also allows a producer/engineer to take an imperfect drum track, quantize it, and make it sound like a studio drummer or machine.

Still, the drum machine may have been invented in the 80's, but I'd say the use of non-real drummers is much more prevalent today than it was 20-30 years ago, be it an actual drum machine, samples, or purchasing pre-record loops of real drummers.

DrumEatDrum 12-17-2009 09:34 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
My case in point:

Here is the Billboard top 10 of their hot 100 for this week in 1985:
http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-...ate=1985-12-16

Maybe one or two of those songs don't feature a real drummer. Some have a machine mixed with a real drummer.

Compared to this week in 2009:
http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100#/charts/hot-100
Quick, which song has a real drummer??

Mediocrefunkybeat 12-17-2009 11:42 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum (Post 643144)
My case in point:

Here is the Billboard top 10 of their hot 100 for this week in 1985:
http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-...ate=1985-12-16

Maybe one or two of those songs don't feature a real drummer. Some have a machine mixed with a real drummer.

Compared to this week in 2009:
http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100#/charts/hot-100
Quick, which song has a real drummer??

What relevance has the top ten ever had to the state of music in general?

Pollyanna 12-18-2009 12:20 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Does anyone remember when computers and robotics were first introduced to industry with the promise that this would lead to a leisure society with machines doing all the work. Our biggest challenge would be working out what to do with all that free time.

Now we probably work even longer hours but our productivity has been massively increased. Jobs were lost and new ones found, plus the nature of work changed, due to technology.

I see the biggest threat to music via technology is not automation but competition. Video games, DVDs, DTV etc have really cut into music markets. LIve music at venues was at first being replaced by cheaper DJs but there was still a live music scene, albeit weakened.

Now many clubs/pubs don't bother with music at all and instead have banks and banks of shiny gaming machines producing the kinds of returns that bands and their drunken revellers can't hope to match. But even that wasn't just technology; it took changes to licensing legislation to really screw the live music scene up.

bermuda 12-18-2009 01:56 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat (Post 643182)
What relevance has the top ten ever had to the state of music in general?

None to the state of the music... but it has a direct correlation to people getting paid for that work.

In the context of the topic Drum Machines replacing you, although the issue was stated as those parts not being very good, I'm pretty sure the underlying text is the potential lack of income as an issue.

Bermuda

DrumEatDrum 12-18-2009 06:41 AM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat (Post 643182)
What relevance has the top ten ever had to the state of music in general?

I wasn't referring to music in general, I was referring to drumming, which ties in directly with the original post "you turn on the radio and hear 90% of the bands using an electronic drum beat"

Of which Bermuda put it best:

Quote:

Originally Posted by bermuda (Post 643243)
None to the state of the music... but it has a direct correlation to people getting paid for that work.

But to answer your question, I'd say 1964 when The Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" became a top ten hit. Unless you want to try to tell me The Beatles had no impact on music. :-P

sharonk868 01-05-2010 05:11 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum (Post 643307)
I wasn't referring to music in general, I was referring to drumming, which ties in directly with the original post "you turn on the radio and hear 90% of the bands using an electronic drum beat"

Of which Bermuda put it best:



But to answer your question, I'd say 1964 when The Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" became a top ten hit. Unless you want to try to tell me The Beatles had no impact on music. :-P


Thanks you for the post.
Hi guys, Im a newbie. Nice to join this forum.

Garvin 01-05-2010 05:26 PM

Re: Drum Machines replacing you
 
I've learned to make nice with technology. There is no shortage of tasteful uses of computerized or digital music. Its just a fact of life. I think people like KJ Sawka straddle the fence pretty nicely. Whether or not you are into his style of music, you gotta admit he integrates the technology pretty seamlessly with live drumming.


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