Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Apple > Audio & Video

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Arranging the Drum Track

In this exercise, you will lay out the song structure and populate the Drummer track with Drummer regions for the whole song.

Using Markers in the Arrangement Track

Using the Arrangement track, you will now create arrangement markers for all the sections of your song. You’ll adjust their lengths, positions, and order, and fill all the new sections with Drummer regions.

  1. At the top of the track headers, click the Global Tracks button (or press G).

    The global tracks open, with the Arrangement track at the top. You won’t need the other global tracks, so you can hide them.

  2. Control-click a global track header, and choose Configure Global Tracks (or press Option-G).

    A shortcut menu opens in which you select the global tracks you want to display.

  3. Deselect the Marker, Signature, and Tempo tracks, and click outside the shortcut menu to close it.

    The Arrangement track is now closer to the regions in the workspace, making it easier to see their relationships.

  4. In the Arrangement track header, click the Add Marker button (+).

    An eight-measure arrangement marker named Intro is created at the beginning of the song. By default, arrangement markers are eight bars long and are placed one after the other, starting from the beginning of the song. Let’s rename the marker.

  5. Click the name of the marker, and from the menu, choose Verse.

  6. Click the Add Marker button (+) to create a new marker, and make sure it’s named Chorus.

    You will now create a marker for a new intro section and insert it before the Verse and Chorus markers.

  7. In the Arrangement track header, click the Add Marker (+) button.

    An eight-bar marker is created.

  8. Click the name of the new marker, and from the pop-up menu, choose Intro.

    A four-measure intro will be long enough, so you can resize the Intro marker before moving it.

  9. Drag the right edge of the Intro marker toward the left to shorten it to four bars.

  10. Click the marker away from its name (to avoid opening the Name pop-up menu), and drag the Intro marker to bar 1.

    The Intro marker is inserted at bar 1, and the Verse and Chorus markers move to the right of the new Intro section. In the workspace, the Drummer regions move along with their respective arrangement markers.

    As with regions in the workspace, you can Option-drag a marker to copy it.

  11. Press Command-Left Arrow to zoom out horizontally and make space to the right of the existing song sections. Option-drag the Verse marker to bar 21, right after the chorus.

    The Verse marker and the Drummer region are copied together.

  12. Option-drag the Chorus marker to bar 29, after the second verse.

    The Chorus and the Drummer region are copied together.

    The song is taking shape. You will now finish arranging the song structure with a bridge, a chorus, and an outro section. As you place the last three markers, continue zooming out horizontally as necessary.

  13. In the Arrangement track header, click the Add Marker (+) button.

    A Bridge marker is created after the last chorus.

  14. In the Arrangement track header, click the Add Marker (+) button two more times to create markers for the Chorus and Outro sections.
  15. Make sure the two last markers have the correct names, Chorus and Outro.

    Let’s shorten the outro section a bit.

  16. Resize the Outro marker to make it four bars long.

    The song structure is now complete, and you can add Drummer regions to fill out the empty sections.

  17. On the Drummer track, Control-click the background and choose Populate with Drummer Regions.

    New Drummer regions are created for all the empty arrangement markers.

  18. Listen to the drum track, focusing on the new sections.

    New patterns were automatically created for each new Drummer region.

Amazing as the playing is, Kyle (the drummer) might not have guessed what you had in mind for each section. You will now edit some of the new regions to adjust the drummer’s performance.

Editing the Intro Drum Performance

In this exercise, you will make the drummer play the hi-hat instead of the toms. Later, you’ll cut the Intro region in two so that you can use different settings for the second part of the intro and make the drummer play a progressively louder and more complex pattern.

  1. In the workspace, click the background to deselect all regions, and click the Intro region to select it.

    The Drummer Editor shows its settings.

    Throughout this exercise you can click the Play button in the Drummer Editor to start and stop playback, or you can navigate the workspace by pressing the Spacebar (Play or Stop) and the Return key (Go to Beginning).

  2. Listen to the Intro.

    Let’s make the drummer play the hi-hat instead of the toms.

  3. In the Drummer Editor, click the hi-hat.

    04-033.jpg

    When you click the hi-hat, the toms are muted automatically. Aside from the kick and snare, the drummer can focus on the toms, the hi-hat, or the cymbals (ride and crash).

    The drums are still a little too loud and busy for this intro.

  4. In the XY pad, drag the puck toward the bottom left.

    04-034.jpg

    The drums are softer, but the transition into the first verse at bar 5 is a little abrupt. Making the drums play crescendo (increasingly louder) during the intro will help build up some tension leading into that verse. To make the loudness evolve throughout the intro, you will cut the Intro region in two.

  5. Stop playback.
  6. Hold down Command to use the Marquee tool, and double-click the Intro region at bar 3.

    The region is divided into two two-measure regions. When a region is divided, the drummer automatically adapts his performance, and plays a fill at the end of each new region.

  7. Select the first Intro region.
  8. In the Drummer Editor, drag the Fills knob all the way down.

    Notice how the crash disappears from the first beat of the following region. Even though it is in another region, the crash is actually a part of the fill. Now let’s create the crescendo.

  9. Select the second Intro region, and in the XY pad, drag the puck up to make the drummer play louder.

    04-036.jpg
  10. Listen to the whole intro going into the first verse.

The drummer automatically starts playing louder before the end of the first intro region, which transitions into the louder second region and creates a nice tension at the start of the song. At bar 5, a crash punctuates the fill at the end of the intro. The straightforward groove continues in the Verse section, with the hi-hat a little less open to leave space to later add a singer.

Editing the Bridge Drum Performance

In a song, the bridge serves to break the sequence of alternating verses and choruses. Often, the main idea of the song is exposed in the choruses, and verses help support or develop that statement. The bridge can present an alternate idea, a different point of view. Departing from the main idea of the song increases the listener’s appreciation for returning to the chorus at the end of the song—almost like taking a vacation can increase your appreciation for going back home.

For this fast, high-energy indie-rock song, a quieter bridge in which the instruments play softer will offer a refreshing dynamic contrast. Playing softer does not mean the instruments have to play less, however. In fact, you will make the drums play a busier pattern during this bridge.

  1. Listen to the Bridge region.

    The drummer plays at the same level as in the previous sections, but he plays more here. You need to bring down the energy level.

  2. Select the Bridge Drummer region.
  3. In the XY pad, position the puck farther down and all the way to the right.

    04-039.jpg

    The drummer is still playing a lot, but he’s much quieter. To take this bridge into a different tonal direction, you want Kyle to play toms.

  4. On the drum kit, mute the snare and unmute the toms.

    The hi-hat is muted automatically when you unmute the toms.

    Let’s choose a busier pattern for the toms.

  5. On the Toms slider, click increment 3.

    04-040.jpg

    Kyle is now playing sixteenth notes on the toms, which creates a mysterious vibe similar to tribal percussion.

    Kyle plays slightly ahead of the beat during the bridge. However, the timing nuance is subtle, and it’s difficult to hear without other instruments to compare with Kyle’s timing. Let’s turn on the metronome and experiment with the feel of the performance.

  6. In the control bar, click the Metronome button (or press K).
  7. In the Drummer Editor, click the Details button to display the three setting knobs.
  8. Try setting different positions of the Feel knob, and then listen to the results.

    04-041.jpg

    Listen to the way the drums play compared to the metronome. Don’t be afraid to drag the Feel knob all the way up or down to hear the effect of extreme Feel settings.

    • Dragging the Feel knob toward Push makes the drummer play ahead of the beat. He sounds as if he’s rushing, thereby creating a sense of urgency.
    • Dragging the Feel knob toward Pull makes it play behind the beat. He sounds as if he’s lazy or late, and the groove is more relaxed.

    Settle on a Feel knob position more toward Pull to realize a reasonably relaxed groove.

  9. Click the Details button to hide the three setting knobs.
  10. Turn off Cycle mode.
  11. In the control bar, click the Metronome button (or press K) to turn it off.

You have radically changed the drummer’s performance in that region. Kyle now plays the bridge with a busy tribal pattern on the toms. He uses restraint, hitting softly and behind the beat, with a slight crescendo toward the end. The quiet and laid-back yet complex drum groove brings a welcome pause to an otherwise high-energy drum performance, and builds up tension leading into the last two sections.

Editing the Chorus and Outro Sections

You will now finish editing the drummer’s performance by adjusting the settings of the last two Chorus and Outro Drummer regions in your workspace.

  1. Select the Chorus region after the bridge and listen to it.

    That Chorus region was created when you populated the track with Drummer regions earlier in this lesson. It doesn’t have the same settings as the previous two choruses and sounds busier, except for Kyle playing the ride cymbal instead of the crash.

  2. On the Cymbals slider, click the first increment.

    The drummer now plays the crash, and this last chorus is more consistent with the previous two choruses.

  3. Select the Outro region at the end of the track and listen to it.

    The drummer plays a loud beat, heavy on the crash, which could work for an outro. You will, however, make it play double-time (twice as fast) to end the song in a big way.

  4. On the Kick & Snare slider, click the last increment (8).

    04-042.jpg

    Now it sounds like you’ve unleashed Kyle! Playing double-time at that fast tempo makes the sixteenth notes on the kick drum sound ridiculously fast.

  5. On the XY pad, drag the puck toward the left until the drummer stops playing sixteenth notes on the kick drum.

    04-043.jpg

    The performance now sounds more realistic while retaining the driving effect of its double-time groove.

  6. Listen to the last chorus and the outro.

    The outro has the required power to drive the last four measures; however, it seems like the drummer stops abruptly before finishing the fill. Usually drummers end a song by playing the last note on the first beat of a new bar, but here a crash cymbal is missing on the downbeat at bar 57. You will resize the last Outro region in the workspace to accommodate that last drum hit.

  7. Resize the last Outro region to lengthen it by one beat (until the help tag reads Length: 4 1 0 0 +0 1 0 0).

    A moment after you release the mouse button, the Drummer region updates, and you can see a kick and a crash on the downbeat at bar 57.

  8. Listen to the outro. The drummer finishes the fill, punctuating it with the last hit at bar 57.

You’ve laid out the entire song structure by creating section markers in the arrangement track, populated each section with Drummer regions, and edited each region’s settings to customize its drum pattern. You are now done editing the drum performance and can focus on the sound of the drums.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020