This article is part of the “One Man Metal Band” series
Hello weirdos, in this series I’m going to show you how to create a one man metal band. I’ll show you what software to get started with for drums and recording, building virtual drum sets the easy way, how to lay down tracks, and how to mix down and output for CD and the internet. Now this is not meant to be any kind of “this is the way you should do it” kind of tutorial, this will be more of a “this is the easiest, cheapest way to get started for beginners” kind of tutorial. I’m going to assume some basics like that you have a guitar, bass and microphone already and are at a minimum capable of structuring songs and playing at an intermediate level. Specifics in these areas are outside of the scope of this series. So, without anymore bullshit… let’s get started.
In my many years in Mortician the most common questions I am asked are related to either how to effectively use hardware based drum machines or how to assemble a realistic computer based kit. Most people seem to have problems creating realistic blast beats when it comes to hardware based machines while the stumbling block with computer kits is usually everything from where to get good samples to what software to use. I will cover these basics in this series.
First a little about my starting tools. Here’s a list of the gear that I actually bought and paid for. Everything else we’re going to try to do for super cheap.
This article will explore how to create a Death Metal Drum Kit using totally free tools available on the internet including the samples. This will be the first part of a series on creating a death/grind metal band from scratch using inexpensive and free tools.
My Starting gear:
- 80’s BC Rich Mockingbird
- Peavey 5 String Grind Bass
- MXL-910 microphone (a surprisingly good sounding condenser mic for its price)
- Tascam US-800
- Modern Windows 7 PC
Free tools that we will be using:
- LMMS Linux Multimedia Studio
- Freesound.org Great resource for samples
- Cubase LE (this or something similar comes free with most hardware)
What we’re looking to do:
- Assemble a virtual drum set using free software and samples
- Build basic grind metal beats and patterns into a song
- Output drums to stereo wav file
- Import drum audio into the recording software
- Add bass, guitars, vocals, etc.
- Group tracks, effects and mix down
- Output for CD and internet
- Hail Satan (or the flying spaghetti monster of your choosing)
A few words about software. When it comes to audio software the choices seem endless and everyone will be sure to tell you why what they use is the best. Truth is that for the average home recording artist almost anything modern will do that supports multi track recording and VST instruments and effects. There are plenty of choices out there for free as well as paid solutions. Take a look in the box for your guitar interface that you are using for what might have been included with the device. In my case for this series I’m going to use Cubase 5 LE which was included free with my Tascam US-800. I really like the Steinberg line of audio software for Windows. Cubase is quite an evolved product (on version 7 as of this writing) Most hardware includes version 5 LE which can do just about everything you need to get started. Best thing of course is that you might even already own a copy (if included with your hardware). In any case, the basics of what you do in your recording software will be the same no matter what you choose. This software will be your virtual tape deck and mixer, if you’re old school like me.
OK, so Cubase 5 LE has us covered for our virtual “mixer” and “tape deck” to record our sounds, time to figure out adrum solution. For years I used Fruity Loops for my sample management/patterns and Cubase together in a rewire setup. Now, Cubase LE does lack in a few areas and one is rewire support. To make this simple, rewire lets you use a piece of “sound generating” software (drum machine, keyboards, etc.) and use it as a “track” in your recording software. This would be the ideal solution but most free and entry level software does not support this ability. So for this series we will try to stick to what’s out there that is free and within the reach of most people on a low to no budget.
Ironically enough the best free sample player that resembles what Fruity Loops can do for you is LMMS, Linux Multimedia Studio. LMMS will let us get done what we have to do with the least fuss and is quite simple to work with. There’s a bunch to do here so this will be much easier to just screen cap into a video.
That’s it for now. Files from the video can be found below in the “Related Files” section. Make sure to register for the site, subscribe to me on YouTube, Facebook, SoundCloud.com, etc., etc. blah, blah, blah… Until then… STAY BRUTAL!!!
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