3 Tips for Working With Virtual Drum Software


As you might already know, I’m a big fan of EZDrummer. I used it exclusively on my last album for all of my drum sounds.

While there’s no replacement for recording a good drummer in a great-sounding room, EZDrummer lets us home studio hacks get great drum sounds for MUCH less than we would spend on booking a professional studio or even buying all the mics, preamps, and stands we would need to record drums ourselves.

First things first.

I want to re-iterate this before I give you some tips for dealing with virtual drum software.

Use a real drummer if you can. While software is amazing, you’ll always be better off recording a real human on drums.


Beware the “Easy” Button

As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of the program EZDrummer. I’ve used it many a time when I needed drums quickly and didn’t have the time or the budget to hire a drummer.

There are plenty of great (and more advanced) drum programming options out there, but EZDrummer was the first one I used, and it worked for what I needed, so I kept using it.

While I think Toontrack is a great company, they’ve been releasing more “EZ” products over the years, one of them is called EZMix. On the product page for EZMix, it says, “Making professional mixes has never been easier!”

Then they just released an expansion pack for it called “Mastering EZMix Pack.” According to their website, with this plugin you can “Start mastering – it’s EZ!”

I’ve never used these products, and perhaps they sound fantastic and are really useful.

However, I gotta call a spade a spade. (more…)

Ask Joe #31

Lots of great questions this week. Keep ’em coming!

Some questions covered today:

  • Should I mix and master separately?
  • How do I find clients in a rural area?
  • How do I pick my first pair of studio monitors?
  • How to not bite off more than you can chew with client work.
  • and lots more…

Ask your questions over at www.AskJoeGilder.com.

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“Humanizing” Virtual Drum Software

Yesterday I posted a video review of EZDrummer.

Mark, one of my readers (and a member of MixWithUs.com) asked in the comments section if EZDrummer has a “humanize” function. It does. I forgot to mention this, but it’s the little button on the bottom left side.

The bigger question, though, is what does “humanize” mean and why should you care about it?

Cold, Lifeless Drummer

In a perfect world, we would all have a huge drum room in our home studios. We’d have a closet FULL of great mics, great preamps, plenty of inputs, and a top-notch drummer and drum kit.

In case you haven’t noticed, we don’t live in a perfect world. Down here in reality it costs thousands of dollars to build out a drum room and buy all the necessary equipment to track drums. And it still costs several hundred dollars to hire out a studio and record the drums there.

First off, let me just say that if you CAN record live drums, do it. If that’s not possible, you’ll need to turn to virtual drum software, such as EZDrummer, BFD, DrumCore, Steven Slate Drums, etc.