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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Garageband: better rock drums?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by soggybag, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. soggybag

    soggybag Tele-Meister

    Oct 20, 2012
    san francisco
    I've been learning to work with GarageBand. Overall it's pretty easy to use. The only problem is i find the drum loops a little disappointing. I can't seem to find good rock drum loops.

    Couple questions:

    1) What drum loops do you like and use?
    2) Are there any alternative rock drums available?

  2. DonM

    DonM Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Apr 21, 2016
    I use the GarageBand for IPad , which I understand is not as good as the Garageband program on a Mac. For me, the drums suck. They are limited in what they can do and won't keep a steady beat but will skip, and that drives me crazy. It was recommended to me to under mixing, to use quantization to 1/8 note to stabilize the drumbeat but that hasn't worked. I'd be interested to know of any alternatives or fixes too.

  3. edvard

    edvard Tele-Holic

    May 15, 2016
    Bremerton, WA
    Can GarageBand do sequencing? Basically, act as a drum machine? Or do you have a good drum sequencing program? I can link you to a few decent free drum sample packs so you can create your own loops and export them for re-use. I haven't found too many good drum loops myself, so I always make my own.

  4. Telegazer

    Telegazer Tele-Holic

    May 6, 2008
    Republic of Korea
    Get on the Loop Loft's mailing list and wait until they have their big 90% off sales, as the Indie Rock Drums bundle is decent And Loop Loft in general is really high quality stuff for not only having star drummers on board with excellent kit captures and mixes all good to go (the Omar Hakim bundle is one of my favorites), but also for having so many alt loops, fills, and other song structure-based takes in each folder that makes each "song" more flexible to use.

    But having control over individual tones with deep-sampling via multiple layers of velocity is why I rarely use loops unless one folder really pops out and fits the mood of a track I'm writing. I've been using SDII for about a decade now, and use it (with various additional Toontrack libraries) in plus the excellent KONTAKT Session Drummer and 8Dio Zeus. All in all, saving up for KONTAKT or KOMPLETE when on sale and learning to program your own drums can be remarkably liberating when working with any DAW, and the ability to separate each instrument (all while allowing mics to leak as well) and overheads/room mics gives you so much more control over the sound you want.

  5. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Does Toontrack products work with Garageband? If so... I'd recommend going with one of theirs... either EZ Drummer or Superior Drummer. It's way more flexible than loops and it's expandable.

  6. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    +1 on EDrummer. It's rendered the 10GB of ACID loops I've got pretty much obsolete.

    I did buy an Arturia Beatstep in order to take advantage of the dynamics, but getting these two items has made the drums on my demos immeasurably better.

    - D

  7. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    Dont use or buy loops! - You already have Drummer built in to GarageBand!!!

    Don't spend money on anything else until you see how great it is - and you can always use the drum parts it creates with other 3rd party sounds/samples later (like if you get EZDrummer 2) later.

    awasson, ac15 and AAT65 like this.

  8. soggybag

    soggybag Tele-Meister

    Oct 20, 2012
    san francisco
    Thanks for pointing this out. I alway use the built in loops. I should spend some time with the built in drum machine.

  9. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    It's not a "drum machine" per se, more of an algorhythmic drum composer" which you have real time control over with the content, not to mention it has the ability to sync and adapt to your tracks. It's not just a kick/snare beat box...

    Seriously, give it a try, and look up some tutorials online - it really can create impressive drum tracks in a huge variety of styles.

    Please don't dismiss it because it's free, and part of the app - if you sell it short, it's not because of what it's capable of, it's because you didn't put in the effort to learn it.

    That being said, it should honestly take you about 10 minutes to figure it out once you've read/watched a tutorial, and you'll find yourself spending a HUGE amount of time with it just making drum patters because it's so fun/good.

    I'm saying this also being an owner of EZDrummer 2 AND Superior Drummer - I often find it easier to create parts in Drummer (in Logic, which is 99% identical to GarageBand when it comes to Drummer), and then just swapping sounds, but not parts.
    StrangerNY likes this.

  10. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Oct 27, 2015
    Melbourne, Austraila
    Not to derail the thread, but I'd be really interested in those links. I prefer sequencing drums than using loops too.

  11. edvard

    edvard Tele-Holic

    May 15, 2016
    Bremerton, WA
    No problem...

    Big Mono - Nice royalty-free drum sample pack digitally sampled from tape recordings:

    Freepats - Free as in GNU open-source free.

    Freesound - Website of various sounds under various creative licenses. The site has a lot of drum samples done by different people, and these are the best I was able to find, but it's been a few years so there may be more/better ones if you look around. I won't be responsible for the hours of your life you'll never get back searching around the site though... :cool:
    Warning: these can be a bit on the "trashy" side sound-wise, but they work nicely for some gritty, down-and-dirty blues or garage rock.

    Hydrogen drumkits - Being on Linux, Hydrogen is pretty much the only game in town as far as drum machine software, but it's actually pretty darn good, AND there are versions for Mac and Windows. The Hydrogen project page has some drumkits for download. Just rename the extension from "h2drumkit" to "gzip" and you should be able to open it with 7zip or similar archive decompression software: Libraries/Main sound libraries/
    Recommended from the list:
    Millo (3 sets)
    Yamaha vintage kit
    Colombo Acoustic Drum kit

    I have these sets from years ago when they were free for the downloading, but for various reasons not available any more. You can try and search for them, they may be found on some obscure ftp site or something:

    Natural Studio 7 Free kit - Now NDK (, and no free version anymore (search for Studio quality drum samples; VERY clean. NOT royalty-free (basically, you are prohibited by license to make money from music made with the free samples.)

    Manytone drums - Formerly free, but now you need to buy something from to get the free kit. A bit generic, but they can be made to work.

    Tin Brooke drum samples - Formerly found on, but now I can't find it anywhere. Nice vintage-ish acoustic drum samples.
    Steve 78 likes this.

  12. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Oct 27, 2015
    Melbourne, Austraila
    Excellent, thanks very much!

  13. edvard

    edvard Tele-Holic

    May 15, 2016
    Bremerton, WA

  14. tony hunt

    tony hunt Tele-Meister

    Aug 22, 2012
    230V / 50Hz / GMT +1
    As mentioned by Hexabuzz the built in Drummer gives you good control over the type of drumming, the feel and the choice of kit. Choose a Rock set up, audition a few "Drummers" and change around their kits to get the sound you are looking for.

    You can go much deeper, even though it seems over-simple at first. For instance, you can have it follow the feel and beat of another track. You can push the data to midi and edit it the old fashioned way.

    I used to painstakingly write my own loops and fire them with trigger software to get what I need. It would take me days to get a full drum song track done. The Drummer tool has freed up my time for guitar and voice.

    Here is a Youtube link, which is actually a Video from which I find to be an amazing learning-source:

    DonnyDorsal, tintag27 and Hexabuzz like this.

  15. tintag27

    tintag27 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    Macclesfield, UK
    I used to write all the drum tracks manually in step time. Kick drum, then a snare - all very basic so I could use that a click track to put my bass track down. As the tune progressed I would keep revisiting the drum track to add hi-hats and fills and bridge sections etc. It would end up quite complex but I could control it precisely to match the tune structure...

    But I needed something less conventional to push me in a different direction, so I installed a disk full of contemporary drum loops that I bought at a music show. Many of them are awful, but a lot are amazing and have changed my writing for the better, it is a lot more dynamic now. I still write a basic click track on GB kit but then I audition a number of loops and use whatever is appropriate for that section. I can often chop them up and use only the rimshot for example to reinforce my other kit/rhythm tracks. I spend a long time adding fills at section changes. Eventually I have to fine-tune the volumes when mixing on my M-Audio AV40 Studio monitors (small but reasonable sound)...

    Here's a track I have just this minute posted on Twanger Central to demonstrate how all the bits come together (kinda)...


  16. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    May 9, 2005
    "Drummer" is great, a clever solution that eliminates most of the tedium associated with programming drums.

    I use Logic now, so I'm not sure how GarageBand "drummer" compares, but for "programming" drum parts, it beats anything else I'm aware of, especially if you use arrangement markers.

  17. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    In LPX:

    • Drummer allows you to access all the drummers by default.

    • You can open Drum Kit Designer to make changes to the drum kit, such as swap a drum piece, tune it, muffle it...

    • You can mix drumkits with much more detail.

    • Feel adjustment knob (Push / Pull)

    • Ghost Notes loudness knob (Quiet / Loud)

    • Hi-Hat opening knob (Closed / Open)

  18. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    As far as actual programming capabities, and the drum parts themselves, they're essentially identical.

  19. awasson

    awasson Friend of Leo's

    Nov 18, 2010
    Another thank you shout out for this ^ ^ ^

    I'm a newb with Garage Band (grew up with CakeWalk Pro Audio) and have been struggling with my recordings because of percussion and drums. I have always found it tedious writing drum parts on a piano roll so I've been looking for a quick and easy way to get drums down so I can work on the guitar, bass, keys and vocal parts. Drummer is a very quick method for getting in decent drum tracks and really speeds up the recording process.

    Thanks for that!
    Hexabuzz likes this.

  20. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA

    Make sure you explore the "Follow" feature in Drummer - it will lock into your tracks and adjust its parts to fit even better.

    awasson likes this.

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