HitIt – The Ultimate Guide to Programming Drums
by Chris Nothdurfter
I’m reviewing HitIt – The Ultimate Guide to Programming Drums eBook by Chris Nothdurfter. Let’s check it out.
Review: HitIt - The Ultimate Guide to Programming Drums eBook
My Bottom Line
Pros: Not only is this book ideal for use by experienced DAW programmers who aren't drummers, it's also a great reference for actual drummers who want to get involved in digital drum programming.
Cons: A Latin based chapter would have been a nice addition.
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How to Use This Book
The Pieces of a drum kit
Four to the floor
A drummer is not an octopus
>Tiger Bill’s Take: This section introduces the various parts of the drum kit, for those of you who are interested in programming drums but are not drummers. It also serves to give drummers (who may never have programmed drums before) with just enough knowledge of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) programming to be dangerous… LOL!
Chris also covers what he refers to as “four to the floor” or what some of us in the biz call the Money Beat!
Building the beat
The Ride cymbal
Bass drum variations
Crash cymbals and final tips
>Tiger Bill’s Take: In this section, Chris covers the drum patterns and techniques most commonly used in Pop music including hi-hat splashing/barking techniques made popular by drummers like Bernard Purdie, and David Garibaldi.
Snare drum Comping
The Ride cymbal
>Tiger Bill’s Take: This section covers most of what a programmer needs to know to replicate rock grooves and even includes ghost notes to add an authentic feel to a track may other wise sound tool mechanical. I was happy to see various drum fills covered for the same reason.
Locking-in with palm muting
Double Bass drum beats
Basic Metal fills
Advanced Metal fills
Accompanying element variations
The Crash cymbals
>Tiger Bill’s Take: This section starts out by explaining how the drum programmer can “lock-in” with a guitarist who uses the palm muting technique. This will serve to take your programming to the next level.
This section also shows you how to build the most commonly used Metal drum patterns, step-by-step, from the use of double bass to the Gallop groove and various blast beats from Traditional style through Hyper Blasts and Skank beats. Rounding out this section are many examples of basic and advanced fills used in Metal style drumming.
- Ghost notes
- Double Bass drum beats
- Blast beats
- Fine-tuning velocities
>Tiger Bill’s Take: Most drummers, myself included, prefer the sound of real drumming as opposed to digital drumming but that’s most often because digitally produced drum beats often sound too mechanical.
I was happy to find that Chris addressed this concern in an extensive section designed to help the digital drum programmer understand how to produce more realistic grooves, patterns, and fills.
BONUS CHAPTER: ODD TIME SIGNATURES
>Tiger Bill’s Take: Lots of popular music today, especially in the progressive rock genre, is played in time signatures other than common time (4/4 time). Here, Chris teaches us how to build digital beats using the most common odd time signatures.
BONUS CHAPTER: MIXING TIPS
Different types of Drum Software and Routing
Room sound and Reverb
>Tiger Bill’s Take: This section is the topping on the cake. Chris covers various types of drum software used with DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. This includes how to route your drum kit signals and what types of filters to apply that will provide you with the most realistic sounding digital drums possible.
HitIt – The Ultimate Guide to Programming Drums: The Bottom Line
Throughout this eBook the author uses graphics like the one below to go along with his written instructions.
You also get access to a MIDI file containing all of the examples in the book, which makes things really easy.
If you haven’t been able to tell by now, I really liked this book.
Not only is it ideal for use by experienced DAW programmers who aren’t drummers, it’s also a great reference for real drummers who want to get involved in digital drum programming.
Considering the price of the eBook version is only $12.99, it’s a no brainer. And, for those of you who like working with a printed copy, that’s available too for only $24.99.
To buy a copy or if you’d like more information, including a video, just click the link below:
About the Author of HitIt
Chris Nothdurfter has been producing for ten years. He has worked with bands as well as on his own projects. As a songwriter he has produced demos for a wide range of genres spanning from German “Schlager” Pop music to blazing Death Metal. While his first musical influences were classic Heavy Metal bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden he nowadays enjoys most band-oriented music out there (as long as it’s crafted well). Chris is also involved in Live/Tour Production as well as a number of non music-related projects in the fields of Film & Video, Health, Fitness & Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing.