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Are real drummers in the studio done? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 22nd November 2017
  #1
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Are real drummers in the studio done?

What if real drummers in the studio are done? In a world where we're constantly looking to do things quicker and easier, would it be possible for drummers to have had their day?

There are benefits to having a drummer inside your laptop.

There are benefits to having drum kits inside your laptop.

How do we not know John Bonham or Keith Moon wouldn't have used what's available today?
Old 22nd November 2017
  #2
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People were asking this late 70s early 80s. The answer was 'no' then and I think it remains so. No matter how advanced sampling and programming becomes, that 'human element' will always be unreachable by anything other than a drummer playing a kit; and it will, I think, always be desirable.
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Old 22nd November 2017
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Hey you can go out on stage solo and do karaoke to canned music too if you think that draws an audience.

Personally I'd take a decent drummer over a perfectly groomed loop any day of the week. I get inspired playing along with a real drummer. you learn to do things you'd never think of doing unless you have worked with real drummers too. can you get your drum loop to speed up, slow down, increase dynamics, break, or fill just by looking ait it, I give you credit. Those are the kinds of things you do over time by working with real drummers. You become a working team who reacts together. maybe not always perfectly but that's what keeps you sharp.

Its no different then going to see a ball team. If you think people are going to come out just to watch a quarterback rin around on the field by himdelf either on video or live, all the power too you. For me I'd rather see the hole team and hear the whole team when I'm listening to a recordings. I like that human element where small flaws exist. I can plug in a drum machine and listen to a monotonous flawless beat anytime. I surely don't get inspired by it much but we deal with those evils when we have few choices available.

I'd also say anyone who prefers canned drums likely hasn't played in many bands or possibly couldn't cut the mustard when they did. Drummers tend to be the glue which unites a band. Without them, its karaoke and amateur.
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Old 22nd November 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
Hey you can go out on stage solo and do karaoke to canned music too if you think that draws an audience.

Personally I'd take a decent drummer over a perfectly groomed loop any day of the week. I get inspired playing along with a real drummer. you learn to do things you'd never think of doing unless you have worked with real drummers too. can you get your drum loop to speed up, slow down, increase dynamics, break, or fill just by looking ait it, I give you credit. Those are the kinds of things you do over time by working with real drummers. You become a working team who reacts together. maybe not always perfectly but that's what keeps you sharp.

Its no different then going to see a ball team. If you think people are going to come out just to watch a quarterback rin around on the field by himdelf either on video or live, all the power too you. For me I'd rather see the hole team and hear the whole team when I'm listening to a recordings. I like that human element where small flaws exist. I can plug in a drum machine and listen to a monotonous flawless beat anytime. I surely don't get inspired by it much but we deal with those evils when we have few choices available.

I'd also say anyone who prefers canned drums likely hasn't played in many bands or possibly couldn't cut the mustard when they did. Drummers tend to be the glue which unites a band. Without them, its karaoke and amateur.
That's why I wrote 'in the studio....'
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Old 22nd November 2017
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Depends on the style of music I guess
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Old 23rd November 2017
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Neither a drummer nor a drum kit can fit inside a laptop. It's very small and dark inside there.
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Old 23rd November 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevron View Post
What if real drummers in the studio are done? In a world where we're constantly looking to do things quicker and easier, would it be possible for drummers to have had their day?

There are benefits to having a drummer inside your laptop.

There are benefits to having drum kits inside your laptop.

How do we not know John Bonham or Keith Moon wouldn't have used what's available today?
Still recording plenty of real drums. The feel is hard to replicate. Also the synergy between different parts of the kit is almost impossible to replicate unless you use pre-recorded loop. Loops are more time consuming to manipulate to suit the song. Please don't start an argument that you can do everything with a pre-recorded loop.
Having said that many styles are based on manipulated loops or midi-ed up tracks. Also many replace individual drum sounds with samples. Everything has its place
Old 23rd November 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toowrongfoo View Post
No, it's impossible to replicate. Can you come close? Debatable.

I don't have access to one, and even if I was a great drummer (which I'm not ) I have no way to set up/record one.

I use ezdrummer because it sounds serviceable for which I do here in my house. But even though I use my drum machines (and that is all they are) a lot, they are never going to be real drums.

EDIT: The average listener doesn't know or care btw.
The average listener will care if the feel is not there and the song consecutively doesn't sound right. If you can achieve that in the box then all's good
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Old 23rd November 2017
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As a non-drummer, I don't really have much stake in this discussion. I've always been a fan of what can be done with programming, and the technology has continued to improve. Though so far, there is no technology that can 100% faithfully recreate the sound and feel of a drummer, and chances are greater than 0% that there never wilI be. However, I think there are genres for which this matters more than others. The core of rock's sound tends to be half about guitars and the other half drums. Take one element away and it isn't the same. Rock is also probably where you'll find the greatest number of conservative-minded musicians with the view that everything should be done the way it was done 50 years ago. Technology just strips music of its soul, man. Kidding aside, I think as long as rock is still around (and I think it's still got a few years left to go), there will still be a demand for drummers. Most rock bands have their own drummer anyway...poor guy's gonna start resenting his band mates if they don't give him something to play on the record. Lol
Old 23rd November 2017
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Definitely totally different. I have EZdrummer2 Superior and SSD4.
I also have an acoustic custom Canwood Canadian rock maple kit and an 80's Premier kit.
I use them all but there is no comparison in the drum track texture. Nothing sounds better than a real kit when your having a good playing day.
And when you play live...well.
Custom drums, tube amps and guitars will be back and back and back because its really not boring.
Old 23rd November 2017
  #11
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Man if someone can convince me, I want to believe. I'm still relying on people and boy do they ever suck sometimes. I've never heard a virtual instrument sound like the real thing but if I ever did I would be getting into that.
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Old 23rd November 2017
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Shouldn't that be in a drum forum? Is there a drum forum? Ah well, who cares :-)
Old 23rd November 2017
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It reminds me of my "all frequencies sound the same!!!" fun thread that got deleted by the mods. A drummer is not just sounds coming one after the other. A virtual drummer is no more than that. It's a "i settle for less, because" (which still can lead to good music). It's like "as if an engineer was just somebody with gear" when in real life it's about critical judgement, creative solutions, solid knowledge, knowing what will work in the bigger picture, etc.etc.
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Old 23rd November 2017
  #14
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Shouldn't that be in a drum forum? Is there a drum forum? Ah well, who cares :-)
That would be the last place to question if drummers in the studio are redundant! Can you imagine asking that question about guitarists here :-)
Old 23rd November 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
People were asking this late 70s early 80s. The answer was 'no' then and I think it remains so. No matter how advanced sampling and programming becomes, that 'human element' will always be unreachable by anything other than a drummer playing a kit; and it will, I think, always be desirable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminIAm View Post
Depends on the style of music I guess

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Still recording plenty of real drums. The feel is hard to replicate. Also the synergy between different parts of the kit is almost impossible to replicate unless you use pre-recorded loop. Loops are more time consuming to manipulate to suit the song. Please don't start an argument that you can do everything with a pre-recorded loop.
Having said that many styles are based on manipulated loops or midi-ed up tracks. Also many replace individual drum sounds with samples. Everything has its place

Quote:
Originally Posted by toowrongfoo View Post
Not to be contrary, but I've NEVER heard an 8-12 layer kit (BFD/SD/ETC) have the feel of a real kit.

This is not about me trying to show you up, it's just honest feedback (I already said I use those, it's the best I can do)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern View Post
Definitely totally different. I have EZdrummer2 Superior and SSD4.
I also have an acoustic custom Canwood Canadian rock maple kit and an 80's Premier kit.
I use them all but there is no comparison in the drum track texture. Nothing sounds better than a real kit when your having a good playing day.
And when you play live...well.
Custom drums, tube amps and guitars will be back and back and back because its really not boring.
To add, if live drum recordings are being quantised, more so in some genres than others, is the programmed software drummer more likely to get closer to a manipulated and edited drum recording? Do you think in that situation most people could pick out the 'real' recording?
Old 23rd November 2017
  #16
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Only if the studio doesn't know how to get a drum sound that rivals a software instrument. So few "professional" studios do. It's gotten to the point where metal drummers think programmed drums are their only option, even really talented drummers too. It took me ten years to figure out the techniques and acquire the tools I needed to get the sound I'm after. Now my real drums sound tighter, clearer and punchier than any soft-synth or electronic drum set controller.
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Old 23rd November 2017
  #17
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On the face of it, I like live performers. Yet.

I'm also a huge fan of JJ Cale. JJ is famous/infamous for using a drum machine on his first album and I really like his first album, Naturally.

Its not that I don't like rhythm. Tapping my foot, LOUDLY, is a fundamental part of my sound. I guess the problem is that drummers don't generally like to play nice with other band members. The last thing I need is a prima donna drummer who plays too loud and can't keep time anyway.

Drum machines do what they are asked to do.
Old 23rd November 2017
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevron View Post
What if real drummers in the studio are done? In a world where we're constantly looking to do things quicker and easier, would it be possible for drummers to have had their day?

There are benefits to having a drummer inside your laptop.

There are benefits to having drum kits inside your laptop.

How do we not know John Bonham or Keith Moon wouldn't have used what's available today?
What if real guitarists in the studio are done? In a world where we're constantly looking to do things quicker and easier, would it be possible for guitarists to have had their day?

There are benefits to having a guitarist inside your laptop.

There are benefits to having guitars and rigs inside your laptop.

How do we not know Jimi Hendrix or Keith Richards wouldn't have used what's available today?
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Old 23rd November 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
I guess the problem is that drummers don't generally like to play nice with other band members. The last thing I need is a prima donna drummer who plays too loud and can't keep time anyway.
******SWEEPING GENERALISATION ALERT!!!*****
Old 23rd November 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Drum machines do what they are asked to do.
...and they don't spontaneously blow up.
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Old 23rd November 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
******SWEEPING GENERALISATION ALERT!!!*****
What's life without a sweeping generalisation. Or 3.
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Old 23rd November 2017
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
What's life without a sweeping generalisation. Or 3.
Life with three less sweeping generalizations.

Not that you can eradicate all of them - they're pesky little suckers...
Old 23rd November 2017
  #23
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This thread should be rephrased “are real studios doomed if drummers go out of style?” For bands without a huge budget, the real studio might only get booked just to track drums in and go back to the home/project studio for everyone else.
Old 23rd November 2017
  #24
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There are great things that happen when a good bass player and a good drummer are in the same room, and that will never be replaced by a machine.
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Old 23rd November 2017
  #25
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The answer to the original question is, no, most certainly not. Sure maybe for some genres where feel and groove are less important or where the drums are expected to be inhumanly and perfectly snapped to a grid. But then those genres have always been that way. But for anything organic sounding, the drummer is still most certainly needed. That should be obvious to anyone who listens to and/or records organic music.

I think some people ask questions like these in hopes of receiving confirmation from others that their drum sequencer really IS just as good as a real drummer in all cases.

Granted, it's certainly cheaper and easier to not have to record drums. But then greatness and laziness tend not to be bedfellows.
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Old 23rd November 2017
  #26
I love ITB drums and hate them too. They are so convenient, they sound “real”, and they are fantastic for the lone musician. But I loathe drum replacement because every drum library out there is hyped (kicks that sound more like snares, orchestral ship or gunshots ffs) and the results just don’t sound as good as the source material. Even when poorly mic’d, in fact you could argue that drums get better sounding the worse mic’d they are so especially when pooorly mic’d.

Real drums have this whole energy, they’re what puts the hit into the hit record, they are to me the most important part of pop music and we’ve gone and all but removed them. Great drums and great drummers like Bonham, Hal, they have their own recognizable sound and replacing drums everywhere is killing drummers own articulation and voices on record. I would rather hear a badly recorded crappy drummer on a record than a drum replacement.
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Old 23rd November 2017
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Thread Starter
You sure about that? What style of music...?
Old 23rd November 2017
  #28
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Just becomes standard loop manipulation. It changes the effect of drummer's "touch" and the feel is less natural then. Its much quicker and easier to rerecord the track. 3-4min per take and you have what you need. Its more creative too.
Yes you can stuff up a real recording to sound like a programmed drum beat created with loops
Old 23rd November 2017
  #29
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They were always to stoned to figure it out :-)
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Old 24th November 2017
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The short answer to this question is absolutely no! I've had my busiest year as a studio session drummer in 2017 and every single person that has come to me looking for drum tracks has made it clear to me that having the feel and input from a real drummer is one of the things that makes their music sound so much better to them, and in turn to others.

Even from a creative standpoint it's amazing how some artists will ask me to do a drum track on a song and will give me free reign to do what I think suits best. Then when they hear that i've played it will actually inspire them to rewrite a part of a song because my parts have altered their vision of where the song can go. You don't get this interaction working with a VST drum plugin.

I'm sure this applies to loads of different guys doing the job, not just me, and I'm sure it most certainly applies to other session musicians other than drummers.

Cheers,
Mark.
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