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  #1  
Old 05-31-2010, 04:57 PM
Overg Overg is offline
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Default How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

I am trying to lay down a drum track on a drum-less song, and I want to know what is usual procedure for this kind of a task :)
Do you first run a basic beat? then add fills?
where to put transitions and so on.. ?
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

What are you using to record..?
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:41 PM
ReggaeDrummer ReggaeDrummer is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Best to record at least the bass lines as well or guitar, if possible, just to keep the arrangement. I'm assuming you mean recording drums first then everything else on top... more info and maybe i can help more. Go well
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:53 PM
Eggman Eggman is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

In most of the bands I've been in, the guitarist (or main songwriter) will lay down a scratch track of the song, fully arranged, to a click. This scratch track may or may not have vocals/bass/keys/whatever else. Then I'll play along with that scratch track (with the click in there too) to record the drums. Then we'll throw out the scratch track, keep the recorded drums, and everyone else will overdup their parts on top of it.

In other bands, we might just mike up everyone in the studio and do it live, but the above scenario is more common for me.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:01 PM
ReggaeDrummer ReggaeDrummer is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Ah , i think i see what you mean now. You have a song recorded except for drums. Then I hope you have it set to a click track ! In which case , as long as you know the arrangement well enough, you should be able to get it down in one take.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:15 PM
Overg Overg is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

mmm.. I should have added more data to the discussion :)

I am using Tommy Igoe DVD, I want to lay down some drum "TUNE" (if you can call it like that..) on the recorded songs that he did there.

I want to know the methodical way ( or composition way ) you use to build a drum track in a song.

Maybe now it is more clear..
Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:10 PM
ReggaeDrummer ReggaeDrummer is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Ok, i see, well in that case my advice would be , play along until you get a feel for the song and familiarize yourself with the song and keep it simple. You can always overdub some extra fills if needed. All the best
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:41 PM
AudioWonderland AudioWonderland is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overg View Post
mmm.. I should have added more data to the discussion :)

I am using Tommy Igoe DVD, I want to lay down some drum "TUNE" (if you can call it like that..) on the recorded songs that he did there.

I want to know the methodical way ( or composition way ) you use to build a drum track in a song.

Maybe now it is more clear..
Thanks!
You generally play the track in one pass like the guitar player does,. You don't play time in one pass, tom fills in another and cymbals in another.
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2010, 05:22 PM
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Therma lobsterdore Therma lobsterdore is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

I'm no expert, but the standard way seems to be to record the drums to a click and nothing else (a bass or guitar track might screw up your timing) and do each track in one pass. Then the bass player records using the drum track as a guide, followed by the guitars and then lastly vocals.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:27 PM
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2010, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overg View Post
mmm.. I should have added more data to the discussion :)

I am using Tommy Igoe DVD, I want to lay down some drum "TUNE" (if you can call it like that..) on the recorded songs that he did there.

I want to know the methodical way ( or composition way ) you use to build a drum track in a song.

Maybe now it is more clear..
Thanks!
Yes! Those tracks are great for practice. I assume this is more for improving your overall playing as oppose to recording technique. There are some general rules of thumb on where to crash, fill, etc. like at the end of every 4 bars or 16 bars as a couple of examples. I would listen to what and where Tommy plays what he does and try to copy that. I think the DVD itself best answers your question on "groove construction".

If the language is a barrier, COPY TOMMY!
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2010, 10:23 PM
AudioWonderland AudioWonderland is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

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Originally Posted by Therma lobsterdore View Post
I'm no expert, but the standard way seems to be to record the drums to a click and nothing else (a bass or guitar track might screw up your timing) and do each track in one pass. Then the bass player records using the drum track as a guide, followed by the guitars and then lastly vocals.
You need something to play to. The guide instrument should be played to a click. If the guitar part is screwing you up it needs to be redone.
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2010, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

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Originally Posted by Overg View Post
Do you first run a basic beat? then add fills?
where to put transitions and so on.. ?
As already stated, play the song from go-to-woe, include any fills, transitions and cymbal crashes AT THE TIME of recording.

I've never seen tom fills or cymbals (that weren't effects...i.e. conga's, tambourines etc) overdubbed later, in any recording session I've been privy to. The drummer plays the song the same way as he would play it live.

Play it as you feel it....and track it at the same time. All this talk of playing to clicks or what-have-you is confusing me. Aren't you playing along to a fully structured song that has already been recorded? If so, just follow the tune.

Last edited by Pocket-full-of-gold; 06-02-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2010, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Unless you have a completely written out arrangement, I like to put the drums on late in the game. The more things I can hear, the better I can react to the dynamics and feel of the song. Otherwise it doesn't sound like a live band. If you can do it twice, you can lay down a basic beat with a few simple fills at obvious points, and then go back and work with the song later. I wouldn't try to put in complex things on a raw track unless you know exactly what everyone else is going to do. As I'm also a guitarist, I hate improvising a solo and a phrasing idea will occur to me that fits where I want it, but there will be a drum fill already there that clashes. Or a fill may handcuff the singer doing something they want to do.

If you can't go on after everything else is done, I'd try to work out the arrangement with the writer/arranger/producer ahead of time. Get an idea of where the person responsible for the song feels it should ebb and flow. Where will the dramatic builds be, and where should there be a lighter touch. Then you come up with something that fits what you are hearing in your head. The result will be dependent on how well the arranger communicates their concept to you, and how easily you can play to a concept in your head instead of live musicians. In this case, you will be creating the drama and flow of the song.

If you can go late in the process, I've said this in other threads but instead of a dry click, I like to make up some basic pattern on a drum machine and put that on a scratch track. It's easier for the other musicians to go with the flow of it. And if you program in some swing or groove, the rest of the parts will have that swing, making your groove easier to put on top.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2010, 06:29 AM
ccsimms ccsimms is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

i don't have as much experience as some of the other cats on this forum but one thing i can tell you for especially rock tracks, metal tracks, or anything along those lines is: you wanna keep it a bit more basic so the studio tracks retain more of that solid sound. when you play in a live situation that's when you can get a bit more free and change things up a bit with improvising and etc.
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2010, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
I've never seen tom fills or cymbals (that weren't effects...i.e. conga's, tambourines etc) overdubbed later, in any recording session I've been privy to. The drummer plays the song the same way as he would play it live.
According to Bob Rock, Lars Ulrich tracked every single fill on the Black Album seperately. But he's a special case.


To the OP, there is no standard procedure, you just play the drums! If it sounds good, great, if not, do it again!
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2010, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Maybe OP is referring to song structure?
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  #17  
Old 06-03-2010, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
You need something to play to. The guide instrument should be played to a click. If the guitar part is screwing you up it needs to be redone.
I guess it's personal preference really. I practice my bands songs to nothing but a click at home, so I guess that's why I prefer to lay down the drums on their own.
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2010, 04:30 PM
sabian92 sabian92 is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

The way I did it when we recorded songs at college was the drummer and the bassist would go into the recording studio with the rest of the band in a control room, and a vocalist in vocal booth. The bassist and drummer would be recorded with the vocalist providing vocals (along with what part is coming up next on the off chance we had forgotten, it didn't matter as they weren't recorded, they just came through our headphones). The guitars would then be recorded, then the vocals on top of that and if there were any, the backing vocals would be last.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2010, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldhardsteel View Post
Maybe OP is referring to song structure?
That's my take on it.

I hope he returns to correct me if I'm wrong, but it doesn't seem to me as if he's asking: at what point the drums should be recorded, or if they should be recorded to a click, or if the bass player and guitarist should be there with him.....but, how does he go about formulating drum parts to compliment the pre-recorded play alongs on the Igoe DVD. In fact, the OP said it himself.

"I want to know the methodical way ( or composition way ) you use to build a drum track in a song."

Why would he need a click? I'm sure Tommy Igoe and the seasoned session guys he used to record the tracks on that DVD, either used a click themselves, or are solid enough in their own timing not to have needed one.
Why would he need to worry about when or where other muso's record their parts? Again, Igoe and co. have saved him the hassle by pre-recording it and presenting a completed track minus drum parts. All he's gotta do is play along with it.

There's some great recording advice offered here, no doubt about it. But I don't think much of it answers the OP. Hence my initial response. Play it as you feel it. If you don't like what you hear on playback, wipe it and track it again.
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2010, 05:59 PM
AudioWonderland AudioWonderland is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

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Originally Posted by Therma lobsterdore View Post
I guess it's personal preference really. I practice my bands songs to nothing but a click at home, so I guess that's why I prefer to lay down the drums on their own.
So you are counting bars in your head for 3-5 minutes and memorize that you play a fill at bar 234? Thats really doing it the hard way
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  #21  
Old 06-04-2010, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

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Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
So you are counting bars in your head for 3-5 minutes and memorize that you play a fill at bar 234? Thats really doing it the hard way
Not really, I play the riffs in my head whilst I play, makes it quite easy
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2010, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

I saw some band's video of them in the studio and what they did is get a scratch guitar recorded with a click then the drummer would lay his track to the scratch. Then re-record the guitar and other stuff.
Mastodon on the other hand has Brann Dailor drum to the riffs, not prerecorded, and then they put on bass, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, then vocals.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

In addition to what everyone else has said, if the track is essentially complete except for the drums, I would pay particular attention to what the bass is doing and lock in your groove with that, also listening for any full-band hits that you should accentuate and making sure your dynamics are appropriate for the different sections of the song.

I think it's more of a creative process than anything, but critical listening is pretty key so you don't step all over what the other musicians are playing.
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  #24  
Old 06-06-2010, 02:34 PM
Overg Overg is offline
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
That's my take on it.

I hope he returns to correct me if I'm wrong, but it doesn't seem to me as if he's asking: at what point the drums should be recorded, or if they should be recorded to a click, or if the bass player and guitarist should be there with him.....but, how does he go about formulating drum parts to compliment the pre-recorded play alongs on the Igoe DVD. In fact, the OP said it himself.

"I want to know the methodical way ( or composition way ) you use to build a drum track in a song."

Why would he need a click?........ .
Just got back to the post, and thanks to all this nice responses, but as the guy here wrote ( and as I wrote in the middle, maybe some of you didn't read it.) I am not into studio drum recording , that is, what to do with the click, what to record first, and so on, but as I said before :
"I want to know the methodical way ( or composition way ) you use to build a drum track in a song."
So this is the only answer I got so far that answer my question, any more ideas ? btw? :)
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  #25  
Old 06-06-2010, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: How do you lay down a drum track in a song?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overg View Post
"I want to know the methodical way ( or composition way ) you use to build a drum track in a song."
Start by playing simple time along to the tune, no fills, no crashes....just feel the groove. Listen to what's being played....what does it need? What can you add? Slowly start to add some of yourself to the track, include some simple fills....try to feel the mood of the track, imagine the musical changes and then try to add some fills that set up those changes. Always be sensitive to what others are playing, but also try to be yourself at the same time. Record yourself and listen back. Build from there, add some spice and get a little more complicated if it's called for. Set a good groove as a foundation and add your own flair.

Are you playing WITH the other musicians as opposed to playing TO the other musicians?.....there IS a difference IMO.

I can't tell you how to play mate....that's your cross to carry. This is what the learning experience is all about.....this is YOUR musical journey. Just listen to the music and try to become a part of the process.....keep the pulse, create mood and invoke feeling. IMHO, that's what being a drummer in a band is all about..
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