Download Drum Beats for Songwriting

Friday, 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: Glen Poland

Wednesday, 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.

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

Tuesday, 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 (more…)

Drum Beats – the Definitive Guide

Thursday, 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.

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And You Thought Stevie Wonder Only Played The Keys…

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

I found this clip of Stevie Wonder playing the drums and thought I should share it with you all.  As if he didn’t make us feel bad enough with the way he can play the keys?  I guess some people just have talent.  Wouldn’t you want Stevie to record a drum track for you?  I know I would. 

Drum Tracks With The Slapstik

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Pushing your boundaries is fun… It’s even more fun with a slapstik! Drummers – if you haven’t heard about this neat new contraption, don’t worry. I’m here to tell you all about it!

The slapstik http://www.theslapstik.com/ is a new and exciting tool that can bring your creativity to a whole other level! It basically consists of a regular drumstick, with a small bendable attachment on the end that lets you create upstrokes and down-strokes on the hi-hat, or anywhere else on the drum kit, with amazing speed and agility. It is intended to be used in the dominant hand, with a regular drumstick in the other hand. With the slapstik you can produce AMAZING new rhythms, and styles that haven’t even been invented yet!! – and anyone can use it! Whether you’ve played the drums for 7 years, or 7 days, you’ll find sounds coming out of your sticks you never thought could be possible!

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Drum Tracks sounds from the 60′s

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Recording Session

Everyone always seems to be moving forward in music. New ideas are being brought to the table every day in the music business. Technology changes, things become digitalized. People replace live drummers with machines. But what about when we want to bring it back? I thought it’d be a good idea to take a minute and look back to what has worked in the past and use it today. Drum tracks for the future, using the tricks of the trade from the past. Good idea? I thought so.

Sometimes I get sound alike projects where customers are looking for the old sounds of the sixties. As a producer, I have to go into the studio and set up the kit to get that “old sound”. Here are tricks I have found to work to get that 60’s drum sound:

  1. I use my Rogers Dyna-Sonic snare drum that captures that old sound
  2. I use two condenser mics as left and right overheads and a SM57 in front of bass drum
  3. I try to make the drums sound as natural as possible and capture that sound

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But Drummers Do!

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Admit it. We’ve all used drum loops or drum samples at some point in our songs. It’s a quick fix to the huge problem of finding the right player and place to record your own custom drum tracks.

At first, drum loops and samples sound really good. Most of them are being recorded in commercial studios with professional drummers so they sound flawless. Most loop libraries are taking well known session drummers and putting them in a box for you. Drum loops have individual creative characteristics like live drums do, but that manufactured beat wasn’t created with you in mind.

You know those hit songs you can identify in the first five seconds? Think for a minute why those songs stay so fresh in your ears. The answer is simple. Those songs have a unique sound and way of performing that even your grandma won’t forget. When you’re tired of sharing the same drum loop with a thousand other songwriters, custom drum tracks will be worth the effort and the money. A live drummer creating custom drum tracks will get you a unique sound, something that belongs only to you and separates you from the crowd of everyday songwriters.

Find a drummer or an easy way to record your custom drum tracks at http://drumsforyou.com.

Download Free Drum Beats

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

WAV drum tracksWe had such a great response from our last free drum track that we decided to go ahead and post another for everybody to have. This one is a slow jam, meant to break hearts and take names. Lay some smooth guitar over the top and really let yourself croon. Do what you can with it and see how many tears you can squeeze out of someone, moms are a good target. Hit us back with what you got by sending your completed tracks to drummer@drumtracks.com.


http://drumtracks.com/free

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Heyo!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Welcome to the blog o’ drum tracks! There is no bigger hook-up on the blogosphere for drum tracks than at Drum Tracks dot com. Did we mention the free drum tracks? Oh yeah, there’s free drum tracks.

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