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7 Ways To Add Interest To Programmed Drums

Whether you’re programming overtly electronic beats for dance music, pop and hip-hop, or emulating ‘real’ drums in MIDI, there are plenty of things you can do to bring a little pizzazz to your rhythms.

Here’s 7 ways to achieve that.

1. Humanising, Swing And Groove

Your DAW or step sequencing drum machine no doubt offers various ways in which to bend and manipulate the rhythmic styling of MIDI parts, and these can be used to instantly enhance the groove and energy of rigidly programmed beats. At the very least, you can expect to find a swing/shuffle control somewhere, offsetting the offbeat notes within a pattern for a swung feel, but these days most DAWs also include humanising systems that gently randomise note placement and velocity, and/or some form of groove mapping function, whereby the fundamental timing and dynamics of one part are imposed onto another. Clever stuff, and ideal for magically imbuing your own drums with the vibe of a sampled classic breakbeat.

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