I always sequence my drum beats in real-time, using a MIDI controller, such as my keyboard or drum pads. But, I understand that not everybody feels confident enough to knock out their beats in this manner. And, if you don’t feel confident about playing a drum beat it makes perfect sense to gravitate towards a drum pattern sequencer (such as the one found on Redrum). Feeling out drum beats using step keys, as the pattern loops over and over, is a great way to get your feet wet. Plus, there’s definitely something positive to be said about the pattern sequencer “feel” and what it can add to dance, hop-hop, and other styles of electronic influenced music.

That said, I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way to pattern sequence. Using your DAW program’s snap to grid mode, Pencil Tool, and MIDI editing tools you can knock out superior sounding pattern sequences and arrange your patterns into a song in a fraction of the time that it would take you to automate all of your patterns using a traditional pattern sequencer. Students often ask me how to program beats in their DAW, and this is the secret. So, drop your virtual drum instrument’s built-in pattern sequencer and start using your DAW program’s Pencil Tool and snap to grid function instead. If you’re going to program beats, and you’re already using a pro DAW (such as Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Record, and Logic), this is a great way to drop your beats. Have fun! :-)

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    This is a great video. I have suggested to Berklee many times that they should run an entire course on making beats with your DAW.

    Very informative. I’ll try my best on this one. Don’t have Pro Tools 8 as yet.Keep good Hawk.

    Hi…Thanks for sharing such a awesome video with us.

    Thanks for sharing useful video with everyone. Its a great tutorial for others to learn programming with drum beats.

    What are your thoughts on using loop libraries for drum sounds?

    Thanks for the video!Though most of the guys out there use FL or an MPC for creating beats, I still prefer Logic over Pro Tools ( just the midi part) but I think you can’t beat PT for automation and audio editing. Cheers and I’ll check back for new vids!

    It’s good to make your own drum loops, but loop libraries have their place too. Indeed, combining your own beats with ready-made drum loops can be a powerful production trick. Have fun!

    When you are searching to make music and rap beats utilizing your PC there are a number of programs to create beats on the market that you can use to make hip hop beats and rap beats on-line. Whether you are a beginner or if you have been making rap beats and hip hop beats for several years, if you have either a Mac computer or a PC you can learn to make beats on your computer.

    Thanks for a great video, it’s exactly what I was looking for! I have been stuck in a ‘pattern sequencer hole’, but now I’m inspired to break out the pencil tool in Reason…

    very informative and nice production…

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