A while back I shared some of my thinking on how to make drum patterns using MIDI plugins for songs. That post contains a section with my best tips on how to make the drums sound like they’ve been played by a human drummer. You can, however, take this humanization process a number of steps further to create amazing-sounding programmed drums.
While I’m no expert, EtherealEntity of the Sevenstring.org forums is. He has collected his best tips on bringing programmed drums to life a comprehensive post: http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/drums-percussion/104336-bring-your-programmed-drums-life.html
This post contains very concrete tips on the following topics:
- Verifying that beats are playable by a human
- Tempo behavior with human drummers that you can replicate (slightly rushing fast fills, tempo wandering in verses etc.)
- Velocity – ghost hits, different strength in the two hands etc.
- Quantization or not
Read the full post here: http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/drums-percussion/104336-bring-your-programmed-drums-life.html
Also, just out is Bulb’s (Periphery) Drum programming tips and tricks video, the first of a two-part series:
When you are done with that excellent thread and the video, here are more posts and articles on the matter: