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FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Converting recorded drums to MIDI-no easy way, is there?

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Feb 4th, 2018 11:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've dug out an old track I did that I was somewhat satisfied with except for the drums. I have the following separate tracks: Stereo overheads, snare, kick, hat, rack and floor toms. The objective is to convert to MIDI, re-track through EZDrummer (Nashville kit), and cleanup the performance a bit (exuberant crashes, timing issues, etc.)

So Using Drumagog I can use the wav files to trigger MIDI. Great program for kick replacement but painstakingly slow on rapid transients, even employing all the tools within the program. I've just about got everything printed to MIDI except some of the toms, and A LOT of hours into this.

Are there any programs out there that are less tedious for this specific application? I don't know if I'll allow myself to go down this bunnyhole again, but in the event...

reverendrob
FDP Data Goon
Moderator

We all want

our time in hell
Feb 4th, 2018 10:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Why not just re-record the drum tracks?

greg1948
Contributing Member
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Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Feb 5th, 2018 05:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Why not recreate the drum tracks totally in EZDrummer?

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Feb 5th, 2018 06:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Re-recording not an option due to space, location and logistics. Recreating in EZD would be tough because the performance wasn't played to a clicktrack. The recorded drums are the basis of everyone else's performance. I've got the raw data translated to MIDI and merged to a single MIDI track. EZDrummer rolls with it but now I gotta cleanup dynamics, some flubs and such. Kind of a fun adventure when you're not on the clock, but it seems like this should be easier.

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 5th, 2018 07:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don’t know what you are recording on,DAW,Tapes,etc. but in Studio One there is a function to go through the audio wave and edit in hit points which convert the tempo track to a custom track which in turn is sent out the midi port to synchronize up the midi gear or drum software. You might look into this or try to figure how to use it in another DAW to get you there.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Feb 5th, 2018 08:01 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm using Pro Tools 10 in Windows, executing the Wav to MIDI function through Drumagog 5. On the individual Wav files I select a region and "separate file at transients". I then delete any bleed percussion such as kick on a snare track. The remaining clip serves as the MIDI trigger. I tell Drumagog to print MIDI to the corresponding note selection in EZdrummer (i.e.-snare to D1). Drumagog has all kinds of controls such as auto ducking, thresholds, etc., but I find them only marginally useful in this process. There are subtle articulations in snare and hi-hat that are often missed, or unwanted artifacts piggyback in if the threshold is set too low. I found it's more accurate to highlight these small regions and record them in half time.

The minutia is maddening!

thumbpicker
Contributing Member
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 5th, 2018 12:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I agree with the maddening part of it. It’s rough having so many choices and getting aggravated because of it. I field record a friend of mine into a lot of my stuff on a Boss BR-80 because it’s handy and I use a desktop for everything else. When you fly the tracks in they synch "kind of" occasionally and tempo mapping is the best way to get everyone back in "the same room" so to speak. It works but it’s time consuming to match it up event to event.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
********

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Feb 6th, 2018 06:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's a very time consuming process to get everything right. No easy way to accomplish this as far as I know.

Here's a good lesson from Lynda.com on it.

Lynda.com tutorial

Roly
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Whitehorse Canada

I don't get out much
Feb 6th, 2018 02:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hard gate the track with the fastest open and close time available.
Set the gate threshold just low enough to let the strongest transients through.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Feb 6th, 2018 05:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes there are some easy ways to do this. I do it in Reaper when drums are not well recorded. This is a common technique these days referred to as "drum replacement"

Sadly, I might say.

Anyway. Slate Digital has one of the best ones out there called "Trigger"

You can pull up tons of his sampled kits recorded at top notch studios on legendary drums and the drum tracks will trigger the samples. You can blend them or erase the real drums altogether.

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Feb 6th, 2018 05:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Not a bad idea to use this.

I mean, if this is a one time deal, there may be another long way around.

Slate Trigger

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
********

Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Feb 7th, 2018 07:09 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Does Slate Trigger convert the audio file to a midi file though? That was the original question. That video looks like it just uses the transients to trigger the plugin.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Feb 7th, 2018 07:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

At a quick glance "MIDI control capability" is mentioned in the platinum version of Slate. It seems very much like Drumagog, which works well for kick and uncomplicated snare work. I think converting wav to MIDI or using wav to trigger other replacement wav files is just too complicated for fine hi-hat work or super dynamic snare work. I think the closest one can get is the painstaking process of using tab to transients, capturing the wav you want to trigger the specific drum part, painting it to MIDI and then fighting with velocity/articulation.

Thank God I don't plan on making this a regular practice.

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Feb 7th, 2018 12:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I think the closest one can get is the painstaking process of using tab to transients, capturing the wav you want to trigger the specific drum part, painting it to MIDI and then fighting with velocity/articulation."

I agree litteuch! The only way to get an accurate representation of ghost notes, drags, flams etc, is to manually do it like in the video I linked. Additionally you'll then have an actual midi track to manipulate anyway you want. You're correct though! It will be a painstaking process!

ninworks
Contributing Member
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Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Feb 7th, 2018 12:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

....or hire a real drummer with an electronic kit. How much is your time worth to you? A good drummer could probably do the whole song in an hour or two at the most. I would pay someone $100 - $150 to do that for me....unless you just feel like meticulous tinkering for hours and hours and hours.

For me, when I have to do that much editing I lose sight of the end product and eventually I'm sick to death of it. The closer to the end it gets the less I tend to care about if it's perfect or not.

(This message was last edited by ninworks at 02:52 PM, Feb 7th, 2018)

Juice Nichols
Contributing Member
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Feb 7th, 2018 01:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

ninworks for the win!

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Feb 10th, 2018 08:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So I aborted on converting the original drums to MIDI, but ultimately used them to "pace" the track, then dropped in a newly created EZDrummer track. I also tried to re-record the first line of the vocal with a change in lyric and melody, but couldn't match the original recording. I kinda lifted just first line from STP/Big Empty. Shhhhhh. :-p

No More

Achase4u

U.S. - Virginia

Feb 10th, 2018 10:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Does Slate Trigger convert the audio file to a midi file though? That was the original question. That video looks like it just uses the transients to trigger the plugin."

Yes it can as far as I can tell. With Larry being unhappy with the drum sounds, drum replacement is the quickest way to get to a better result. That's the big picture here. Slate just makes it much quicker to get to new drums sounds by allowing it to trigger. If it simply captured midi map notes, you'd still have more work to do. It makes it streamlined.

You can always use Pro Tools beat detective process to clean up the rhythms of the original track (this works really well in PT) then go with the replacement.

The only other options are either tab to transient and manual editing which is an enormous time killer or hire a drummer and just do it over.

Of course it's best to hire a drummer. It's best to use a great drummer on great drums that are tuned perfectly in an amazing room etc etc. There are lots of better ways to skin this cat, but price is important. If this song is to be released, then I would consider some money towards a drummer. But I would also consider that same amount of money towards samples(that come with triggering software) of amazing drums in amazing rooms that can at least augment my original drum tracks. I could spend that money once and have the ability to use those sounds on an unlimited number of songs I do.

If I hire the drummer, I get one song. I prefer the real thing, too, but this must be considered.

Have you used trigger? Many people do. Even on top 40 songs on the radio right now.

"For me, when I have to do that much editing I lose sight of the end product and eventually I'm sick to death of it. The closer to the end it gets the less I tend to care about if it's perfect or not."

I totally agree. Which is why I would consider my only two options to be 1) trigger samples(quick and decent sounding) 2) retrack (potential to sound the best but also potential to sound bad and suck up funds)

If it doesn't have to sound that real, then just play them in on midi with EZ and tighten them up with quantize function.

"I think converting wav to MIDI or using wav to trigger other replacement wav files is just too complicated for fine hi-hat work or super dynamic snare work." This honestly depends on how it was mic'd. I had to replace some drums I recorded with a recorderman setup, snare over/under and kick out mic. There were plenty of ghost notes and I used a trick in reaper to capture all of it, and it worked like a charm. Isolation is key. If you have that, you can capture anything.

If you need intricate hi hat and snare, it's best to have the hi hat mic'd and the snare have an under mic.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 04:29 AM, Feb 11th, 2018)

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

pronounced "Klinkhammer" in French
Feb 11th, 2018 05:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Trying to get another drummer to fill the groove put down by another drummer seems pretty futile. Using tab to transients on the stereo OH drums, then control-I (identify beat), I mapped out the whole song on the wavering tempo grid. Beat by beat. Since this is what all the instruments played to, EZDrummer conformed to the tempo variances. I have a pretty extensive library of drum grooves in the push/85 bpm range, so it was more a matter of tweaking fills and setting some velocities.

Fun work,...not.



zenland

U.S.A. Hotlanta

avise la fin
Mar 15th, 2018 08:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

(This message was last edited by zenland at 09:34 AM, Mar 18th, 2018)

FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / Converting recorded drums to MIDI-no easy way, is there?




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