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Get to know the elements of a drum kit and the roles they serve

One of the most fascinating aspects of drumming is the almost open-ended nature of the kit itself. Essentially, a drum kit can be whatever you want it to be, from a small three-piece setup to a massive tom tom-laden monster.

Thankfully for us, most drum grooves and patterns can be recreated on a basic kit with a core set of standardised drum and cymbal sounds. The former comprise a bass drum, a snare drum and two or three toms, while the cymbals will typically consist of a set of hi-hats, a ride cymbal and one or more crashes. Your drum ROMpler will be packed with sounds in all of these categories, providing a level of sound-selection flexibility that you’d struggle to match even in the most well-equipped real-world recording studio.

If you’re looking to program truly realistic drum parts, one limitation you should always bear in mind is the physicality of the drummer him/herself – we’re referring here to the ‘four-limb limit’, or in other words, the obvious fact that a drummer can only play a maximum of four kit elements simultaneously. Not only that, but if you watch a drummer play a drum kit, it soon becomes apparent that their four limbs are assigned to specific roles, further limiting your flexibility. Quite simply, the kick drum and hi-hat foot pedals take up two of the drummer’s available limbs, leaving you two arms with which to play everything else.

Take a quick tour of the drum kit, looking at the sounds available and how they’re played in hte complete Music Radar tutorial here.

 

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Source: Music Radar

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