What Makes Our Drum Beats THAT Good?

April 4th, 2011

There are tons of sample CDs, drum loops and other drum beat libraries, but the drum beats you’ll find here on DrumTracks.com are different!

World-Class Los Angeles Drummers

All of our drum beats were recording by drummers that have credits from recording and touring with top-selling major label artists. When you play our drum beats, you’ll be inspired to write better songs!

Drum Editing That Makes YOUR Life EASY!

The drum beats on our site are perfectly aligned to a grid. Each and every drum beat within the drum tracks are locked with the tempo. If you want to cut/paste and move sections around you can do that easily without cross-fading or complicated editing.

Mixed By A Grammy Nominated Mixing Engineer

Our drum beats were mixed by Studio Pros’ Grammy Nominated mixing engineer.  You’re not only going to get great drum source tracks, but you’ll get a drum mix that was mixed by a pro!

Superb Drum Sound

We’re using the same drum recording studios that Studio Pros are using for recording LIVE drum tracks for TV shows like the American Idol and other FOX shows. As well as drum beats for bands like “The Script” (reached #1 on billboard’s top 100!) and over 1,500 other recording artists.

Download free drum beats and hear for yourself! (You must be logged in to download.  Join us to create your own account)

Making Money With Our Drum Beats

February 7th, 2011

Making music is always fun… so wouldn’t it be great to make money from making music? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably your ultimate dream. In fact, I’ll bet it’s probably the dream of just about every musician out there trying to “make it.”

There are a lot of ways to make money from music, but one of the best avenues for musical income is by licensing your songs to film, TV and commercials. In order to build up a portfolio of tons of license-ready music Read the rest of this entry »

Download Drum Beats for Songwriting

February 4th, 2011

In this video, guitarist Evan Brown shows why he likes using full length drum beats to spark his creative process by laying down a jam in just a few minutes

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Featured Artist: Lior Ron

February 3rd, 2011

Lior Ron has made a career out of composing and recording music for films, TV commercials, video games, and other media. Because he’s often working with deadlines (and sometimes very tight deadlines), he has become an enthusiastic user of DrumTracks.com to help him create a professional product on demand.

“Many times I have to meet deadlines and work around budgets that I’m given as a producer/composer,” he says. “They don’t just want to get music, they want

sounds. They want a finished product that sounds good.”

Hear a sample of Lior Ron’s music made with DrumTracks.com:


The stress can really pile up when time is tight; and time is tight very frequently, as he is routinely given only 24 hours to finish a project. “It’s not enough time to book a studio with a technician, set up a drum session with a live drummer and be back to export everything and do my mixing at my studio before I send it off,” he explains. But DrumTracks.com allows Ron to get a quick start on his recordings. “I can usually have my edited and exported drum track within three hours of getting a tight deadline with DrumTracks.com. That’s a huge plus, not having to deal with going out and getting drummers into the studio. It just makes the process much easier.”

Ron’s career in music didn’t start in the recording studio. He started playing trumpet when he was six years old as an after school activity, and eventually went to tour the world with classical orchestras. He followed that up with freelance trumpet gigs on high-profile TV shows and as a session player. But his real aspirations were to become a composer and a producer, so he spent three years practicing and developing his skills in the recording studio, getting familiar with the software and hardware. Once he felt comfortable with what he felt was his sound, he was confident enough to start taking work as a producer.

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Featured Artist: Glen Poland

October 20th, 2010

“I’m in Djibouti Africa and I’m recording studio quality songs with no synthetic instruments,” says DrumTracks.com user Glen Poland. “I travel a lot, so carrying a drum kit around is out of the question, even an electronic one.” Poland, who is a drummer himself, only has his guitars with him where he works in East Africa.  But he wanted to record some of his music as a hobby. “There aren’t many people to play with [where I am] so I decided to start writing,” he explains. “Just record as much music as I can and create a library of tunes.”

In order to start writing, Poland needed a great-sounding drum track to build from; and being a drummer, he couldn’t settle for anything less than the real thing. “I can hear the kick drum pedal squeaking in Led Zeppelin’s ‘Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You,’” he says. “Not many people can hear that and know what it is. These are real drums, and I can tell.”

Poland found DrumTracks.com while searching the Internet for drum backing tracks and was quickly sold on the concept. “After listening to a few, I was hooked. These tracks were real. I downloaded one and wrote an arrangement around it… It was great.”

Growing up in Plymouth, MA, Poland was exposed to the drums and rock music from a very young age. As a teenager, he started playing electric guitar. “A high school friend brought me to his house and did the Back to the Future thing with me: he slung a guitar on me, placed my fingers on the fretboard, cranked the amp, and told me to hit it,” he remembers. “It was a loud, electrifying A power chord and I fell in love.” Poland soon started playing in a band and listening to hard rock and heavy metal music, one of his biggest influences being Dokken.

Read the rest of this entry »

Making Drum Beats Sound “Natural”

October 5th, 2010

One of the hardest things to do is get a natural sounding drum track without hiring an actual drummer. But getting a fabricated-sounding drum track can throw off the rest of your recording. Since drums are the basis of most recorded music and the first thing we lay down for a song, they can dictate the feel and vibe of every instrument that comes afterwards. So it seems pretty clear why having the most natural sounding drum beat possible stands to take your song to higher levels than robotic, artificial-sounding drums.

There are many options when it comes to manipulating your drum beats to sound more “human.” Here are a few that may help your next recording.

Variety is the spice of life

One problem with drum loops is the lack of variety. Most drummers don’t just play the same pattern over and over again throughout a song. Usually there are multiple sections, fills and crashes that give the song a little more variety. Therefore, adding variety to your drum track makes it sound much more real. If you’re using loops, find some that include more than one version of each pattern and various fills. You can even use a combination of loops with samples to add cymbal crashes and other fills. If you’re sequencing drum patterns with samples, be sure to program in your own fills and switch up the drum track throughout the song.

Randomizing

Drummers aren’t robots–one of the things that makes a drum track sound natural is the very slight variation with which the drummer plays his kit. They don’t always hit the snare drum exactly on beats 2 and 4 for every single measure… There are tiny differences in timing for each drum hit, and while we can’t usually directly perceive them with our ears, the variation makes the track feel more human to us, and we connect with that as listeners.

Most digital audio editors have a randomizing function. If you’re assembling a drum beat out of samples, it may be worthwhile to use the randomizer to shift various beats slightly off the click. You can determine how much you want to move the beat around by adjusting the randomizing percentage.

Read the rest of this entry »

Drum Loops and Sample CDs VS. FULL-LENGTH Drum Beats

September 14th, 2010

I remember a time when I was in college and I wanted to record a few of my songs. I didn’t have a lot of recording gear, and I didn’t have any good drum sounds in my studio setup. I wasn’t about to drop hundreds of dollars on a drum machine–I was a college student, after all, and I was still buying ramen noodles because they were ten cents a package. So I figured it was about time I stocked up on some drum loops.

Scouring the Internet, I looked for what my options were. To my surprise, many drum loop CDs Read the rest of this entry »

How to Write a Song Starting With a Drum Beat

August 17th, 2010

Songwriters are always looking for new ways to find inspiration. Sometimes your life is full of big events that seem to leap onto the page as great new songs. Other times you write stories about friends, family, enemies, fictional characters, etc. But every once in a while, we all hit that dreaded creative wall and get stuck in the rut of writer’s block. No matter what we try to do, we can’t seem to come up with anything catchy, clever or interesting. What can you do at these moments when your ink has run dry and the usual tricks just don’t pan out into memorable songs?

A great way to rekindle the creative flame is by writing a song starting with a drum beat. This is because it gets you thinking a little outside your normal chords-and-melody box. Starting a song with a drum groove provides you with a base to build from instead of just writing a song from nothing at all. A drum track can get you into a certain mood which you can then channel into a song. It can also inspire you to write some music that maybe you never would have come up with without it.

Overall, writing a song from a drum track is a great creative tool. Here are a few tips to help facilitate the process.

Decide on the mood and style

Before you set out to write a song over a drum beat, you should first decide what kind of vibe you’re going for. There are a lot of options when it comes to drums, so you’ll want to get somewhat specific with what you’re looking to start from. Ask yourself a few questions, such as:

What time signature do you want? Do you want a standard 4/4 groove, something in 6/8 or a more unique time signature like 5/4 or 7/8?
What tempo should it be? You don’t have to pinpoint an exact BPM quite yet, but you’ll probably want a ballpark of how fast or slow you want the song to be.
What style are you going for? Drums vary greatly from style to style, and most genres have “standard” and typical drum patterns that are used often. Do you want a straight ahead rock groove with a backbeat, or maybe a swinging jazz drum track played with brushes? You might want a country snare beat or a heavy hip-hop drum track.

It’s good to remember that none of these decisions will lock you into one stylistic box. You can always change your mind as your song progresses, or do something revolutionary like write a rap song over a country drum beat. Right now, the idea is just to narrow down your many options so you have something to start with.

Creating the drum track

Once you have an idea of what you’re going for, step two is getting the drum track itself. There are many ways to do this. You could hire a drummer to play at a local recording studio, but that can get pretty expensive and time-consuming if you don’t know exactly what you want. You can also sequence or play the track yourself. If you’re not too experienced with programming drum parts, you might want to skip this option, as well. Sequencing drums can take a long time and be very frustrating if the final product doesn’t sound “natural.” Plus, you won’t ever feel the spontaneity that you’d get from a real drummer who would play with fills, dynamics and variety.

DrumTracks.com offers a great alternative to expensive studios and disappointing programmed drums. We have hundreds of full-length drum tracks played by real drummers which include various song sections, fills and dynamics. They’re a great place to start for songwriting inspiration, and even if they don’t end up fitting the exact form of your tune, they are recorded and edited to a click track–changing them is as easy as dragging and dropping sections.

Looping and writing

Now that you have your drum track and it’s in the style of your choosing, you get to start writing! The songwriting process is uniquely personal and varies from artist to artist. But what you probably want to do is take your drum track and drop it into a DAW like Pro Tools. This way you can set the program to loop the drum track or specific sections of the drum track so that you can compose over an endless beat that will never interrupt your creative process. It could be a good idea to loop just the verse beat for a while, then the chorus, etc. That way you can focus on one section at a time. Try writing chords or riffs over the beat. Or if you’re more of a lyrics-first person, you could even write a melody and lyrics just based on the drum beat and figure out the chords and harmony later.

Finishing it up

The beauty of writing a song to a drum beat is that once you’re finished composing, you’ve already started the recording process! When your song is complete, you have a drum track ready and waiting for you, so you can immediately start laying down tracks for your new song.

Let DrumTracks.com help kickstart your creative process. Sign up for a free account today and start browsing our huge library of drum tracks!

Making Drum Tracks Sound “Natural”

July 10th, 2010

One of the hardest things to do is get a natural sounding drum track without hiring an actual drummer. But getting a fabricated-sounding drum track can throw off the rest of your recording. Since drums are the basis of most recorded music and the first thing we lay down for a song, they can dictate the feel and vibe of every instrument that comes afterwards. So it seems pretty clear why having the most natural sounding drum beat possible stands to take your song to higher levels than robotic, artificial-sounding drums.

There are many options when it comes to manipulating your drum beats to sound more “human.” Here are a few that may help your next recording.

Variety is the spice of life

One problem with drum loops is the lack of variety. Most drummers don’t just play the same pattern over and over again throughout a song. Usually there are multiple sections, fills and crashes that give the song a little more variety. Therefore, adding variety to your drum track makes it sound much more real. If you’re using loops, find some that include more than one version of each pattern and various fills. You can even use a combination of loops with samples to add cymbal crashes and other fills. If you’re sequencing drum patterns with samples, be sure to program in your own fills and switch up the drum track throughout the song.

Randomizing

Drummers aren’t robots–one of the things that makes a drum track sound natural is the very slight variation with which the drummer plays his kit. They don’t always hit the snare drum exactly on beats 2 and 4 for every single measure… There are tiny differences in timing for each drum hit, and while we can’t usually directly perceive them with our ears, the variation makes the track feel more human to us, and we connect with that as listeners.

Most digital audio editors have a randomizing function. If you’re assembling a drum beat out of samples, it may be worthwhile to use the randomizer to shift various beats slightly off the click. You can determine how much you want to move the beat around by adjusting the randomizing percentage.

Adding dynamics

Continuing in the “drummers aren’t robots” vein, not only do real drummers play slightly off the metronome, they also don’t hit every drum and cymbal equally as hard each time. Though subtle, each snare hit is just a bit different in dynamics from the others. If you sequence a drum beat and it sounds particularly non-human, try changing the velocity so that some beats are slightly louder or quieter than others. You’ll notice an instant change in how real it sounds–and in turn, how good your song sounds.

The real thing

When it comes down to it, you can spend hours upon hours trying to make a fake drum track sound real, but nothing truly beats the real thing. Randomizing might not achieve the desired effect and changing the volume of each beat is not only tedious, it requires you to think like a drummer to determine which beats should be stressed more than others. It isn’t very time-efficient, and it isn’t always very fun.

Nothing is better than having a pro session player lay down the groove on your songs, but most people don’t just have access to a top-level drummer who is also within their budget. That’s where DrumTracks.com comes in… All of our drum tracks are played by real, professional drummers. They are full-length tracks with multiple sections, fills and dynamics. Plus, they’re edited to the click so that you can copy and paste sections to exactly fit your musical needs.

Sign up today for a free account!

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Drum Beats – the Definitive Guide

June 3rd, 2010
Drums are a unique beast in the world of music recording.  These days, it’s pretty common for even casual musicians to be able to record guitar, bass, or vocals in the comfort of their own bedrooms.  With some software and a little knowhow, guitars can be recorded directly into your computer and manipulated to sound like you played through an amplifier.   It’s much less common to have the resources to easily record drums.  Drums usually need complex setups of (sometimes expensive) microphones, and won’t exactly provide the silent recording experience you would need to lay down some late-night grooves in your apartment complex.
But unlike guitars and vocals, drums are much more easily reproduced using synthetic methods such as sequencing and drum loops.  And recording over a drum track played by a session drummer isn’t nearly as limiting to your creativity as hiring someone to play guitar–you can easily change notes and chords in your song without needing to alter the drum track.
So along with a few limitations, drums also come with their fair share of freedoms and options, as well.  Now, what exactly are your options when it comes to making drum beats for your songs?

Photo by goodrob131. Play them yourself

There is, and will always be, the old fashioned way of recording drums: by playing them yourself.  If you have a drum set, you’ll have to set up several microphones–typically on the snare drum, the kick drum, the tom-toms and “overhead” mics to capture the ambient sounds–and hit the record button!  After you play, you can edit the beat if desired, and then mix the individual drum mics to taste.
Another option is an electronic drum set, such as the Roland V-Drums.  In this case, no microphones are required.  You can simply connect the output of the electronic set to your recording interface and play away.  This is a more viable option if you don’t have the freedom to make a bunch of noise any time you’d like.
If you don’t have access to your own drums, you can always rent out a recording studio.  Many of them have in-house drum sets, and they always have high quality microphones and staff engineers who know how to set them up.

2. Use samples

The V-Drums that I mentioned above use “samples” to simulate a real drum set.  Samples are audio clips of actual drums that are triggered each time you hit one of their electronic pads with a stick.  So every time you hit the snare pad, an audio recording of an actual snare drum will sound.
Samples are incredibly flexible by nature.  You can manually piece together drum samples in a digital audio workstation (DAW) such as Pro Tools to create your own custom beats.  Most DAWs also have MIDI capabilities, which allow your computer to communicate with external drum machines, keyboards, or other MIDI controllers to sequence drum samples into beats.
Samples are very versatile–they aren’t limited to “normal” drum sounds.  Although you can use samples to imitate a real drum kit, many artists use electronic drum samples in their songs that sound nothing like an organic kit.  (You won’t hear too many songs with “fake” sounding guitar parts!)  One of the beauties of sampling is that you don’t have to commit to a sound while you’re recording; if you’re using MIDI, you can actually change the sounds of your drum set after you already sequenced the drum beat!
One drawback of sequencing samples is that it can be difficult to get a “natural” drum sound…  It’s actually the little inconsistencies in dynamics and time that make a real drummer play something that sounds more “human.”
If you’re interested in going the sample route, you can buy sample libraries and CDs online.

Read the rest of this entry »