How to record drums using vst instruments
Whatever genre you are working on or you are writing ,it’s absolutely sure that you are going to record drums some time. Recording drums in your home studio is a little bit difficult not to say impossible unless you have a spare room for recording booth. Thanks to technology we can countless opportunities for recording in our home studio! It’s been a few years now ,where everyone can record drums in his home studio.And how is that possible? Using vst instruments or drum samples. Either both ways are very convenient because you save a lot of time for recording a song ,especially when you want to record a guide track or a quick demo. The samples that are used nowadays are very reliable and sometimes it gets so hard to recognize either it’s a drummer or a vst instrument. If you aren’t a drummer yourself ,I’m sure that you hesitate for the ways of recording drums. How do I record? I can’t record at the same time although I know how to play but I’m not so expert on recording all at the same time. Don’t worry! In the digital domain we are living and working in, we have the ability of multi-track recording. This is a huge advantage for us ,who aren’t drummers.In a previous video in HSP’s YouTube channel ,I showed you how to record piano with the easy way. You can record one hand at a time and the result sounds perfect. We are going to use the same method to record drums.
First of all ,you have to know the parts of a drum kit. There is a drum kick or bass drum ,the snare drum , hi hats,toms (floor tom and rack toms) and the cymbals ( crash-ride). Now let’s start recording drums using vst instrument. We are going to use a stock vst instrument that comes with Cubase. If you have another DAW , I’m sure you have a different but similar drum sampler. From the Menu bar you select Devices menu and the Vst instruments sub-menu.You can also click F11 on your keyboard.It’s the key command for this window.
When this window appears you have to select the right vst instrument. As I told you I am going to use Groove Agent One. You assign this vst instrument to a midi channel-track that you have already created and you are ready to start recording! Don’t forget to rename the track so you can manage all your tracks much easier!
If you have a midi keyboard or a workstation connected to your computer , then you can record drums this way, otherwise you can use your mouse and more specific your drawing tool in the key editor. How are you going to do this? As you can see in the picture below all the drum parts are placed individually on these pads that Groove Agent One has. As you can see on the first pad is the kick drum and above says C1.that means that C1 note on your keyboard represents the drum kick. The D1 note is for snare ,E1 for another snare and F#1 is for the hi hats. Oh in the beginning of my recording I have added a cymbal playing the C2 note.
With this method ,as you can see I have recorded fast and easy one bar of a drum part using only kick drum,snare and hi hats.So simple as that. As I mentioned you are not a drummer and you can record each part of this drum kit separately and afterwards you can edit them such as quantize. There are two ways you can record each drum part separately. The first is by opening the key editor and start recording the kick drum. When you are ready,you continue without exiting key editor ,recording the snare and so on. You can make any adjustments you like along the way. You can delete some parts or copy them. The second way is by selecting the merge command on the transport panel. This way you record the first part and whatever you record afterwards it merges with your previous recordings
In the picture below you can see Studio Drummer, a vst instrument that I use to some of my recordings. I will show you in next videos how you can record drums and some ways to get some great recordings in your home studio.
Leave your comments below and let me know if you are using vst instruments for recording drums and if that was helpful.