This week I checked out the latest tutorial from Groove 3, Programming Rock Drums in Pro Tools and I thought I’d write a short review.
Programming Rock Drums in Pro Tools is presented by Travis Brown and runs about two hours, fifteen minutes. This is shorter than many of the other Groove3 titles which run three to six hours, but it is $10 cheaper than the others. Regardless of the length, there is plenty of content in this tutorial.
Travis uses Pro Tools for the tutorial but I wouldn’t say there is anything Pro Tools specific about the lesson, you should be able to apply the info to your DAW of choice. He also uses Steven Slate Drums EX but again any modern virtual drum package can be used in the same way.
This tutorial is aimed at beginners. Travis did an outstanding job of presenting the information in a way that will get beginners up to speed, but without dumbing it down too much for the intermediate viewer. I’ve been programming drums for years and I took a way a trick or three from this video.
Travis came up with a great beat for each section of the song, starting with a basic foundation, then making each part special, then working on humanizing. This is a great strategy that I’m going to adopt as I tend to spend far too long worrying about all the details before I’ve got the big picture and the full song laid out.
Mixing and processing drums is not covered in this tutorial beyond balancing the kit, just FYI.
The only criticism I have is some of the Pro Tools specific things that the average viewer may not notice. One was that he was switching tools all the time. Pencil tool to insert notes, grabber tool to move notes and selector tool to choose where to play from, rather than using the smart tool and modifier keys as necessary. This is just a personal issue for me and for the beginner, using a specific tool for each task is probably the better way to teach, but is really inefficient. The other is that the main ruler was on Samples instead of Bars|Beats so when he switched to slip mode the gridlines changed to samples. He even commented on that. Again, not something terribly important, just a little nitpick.
Groove3 sets and maintains the standard for software video tutorials. This video met the high level of quality I’ve come to expect from Groove3. Worth checking out.
You can get Programming Rock Drums In Pro Tools here: Groove3 The smartest option is the All-Access pass which let’s you watch the entire Groove3 library, hundreds of hours whenever you want.