Hey everyone! This is Part I of my Guide to Reaper and EZDrummer. In here, I'll describe how to set up EZDrummer so you can add effects and tweak the sound. EZDrummer provides good raw sampling, which allows you complete control with how they sound. Very close to real drum mixing. This is more of a general, "how to" guide on how to get rolling with EZdrummer so you can do your thing. Part II will have more information on what I do to get a better drum sound, and that might help you out. Everything I do will be with plugins that either come with Reaper or are completely free.
Step 1: Download Reaper, install it, and open it. It's free to evaluate, you can evaluate into eternity, but if you do want to pay, its only $40 ( and I'm buying my license tomorrow ).
Here is what Reaper looks like:
Step 2: Add a track.
This is done either by choosing the menu option selected above, or by pressing the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+T".
Step 3: Find the "FX" Button and click on it. Here is a helpful diagram to show you where it is.
Step 4a: Click on "VSTi", and look for "DFH Sampler ( Toontrack )" or something similar.
Hit "OK" and this will add the EZDrummer VSTi to your track. If you have the Drumkit from Hell ( which I REALLY like for the extra cymbals and toms ), then go to step 4b. If not, go to step 5.
Step 4b: Switch over to the Drumkit from Hell! This is done like so:
Easy enough. The rest of the guide will be for DFH specifically, but it is very easy to transpose the knowledge over to regular EZdrummer.
Step 5: This is personal preference. However, for most metal recordings, this is helpful. There are three presets, "Default", "Roomy", and "Dry". I always set everything to Dry. This gets the most separation and the least room sound. This is good if you want to have greater control on the reverb. In my opinion the room sound on EZdrummer isn't that good. You can access the presets like so:
Step 6: In order to route the different drum tracks on the mixer here out to the mixer in Reaper, you have to set the EZD mixer to "Multitrack" mode. Here's how that is done:
You'll notice that I turned "Comp Mix" off and I turned the bleed off on the snare drum. You won't need "Comp Mix" since ( as I'll show in part II ), you don't want the compressor on the entire drum kit. The bleed is personal preference of course.
Step 7: Now that we've got EZDrummer to output to multitrack, we need to have "multitrack". Add a bunch of tracks. You want it to look like the picture.
Step 8: In order to get our "MIDI Drums" track ( the track with the EZDrummer VSTi ) to do what we want, we need to set it to be more than a stereo track. Here's how to do that:
To get to this screen, click the "I/O" button on the "MIDI Drums" track. It's in between the phase switch and the folder tool.
Step 9a: EZdrummer is set to output. We have tracks to receive these outputs. The track is ready in Reaper to accommodate everything. Now we just have to tell Reaper where to send what. Here's what EZDrummer is doing:
You can look in the EZDrummer mixer to see exactly what "Track 1" is. For our purposes, its "Kick Drum".
Step 9b: Go back to Reaper, click on the "I/O" button for the "MIDI Drums" track.
Step 9c: Using this box, add a "send" to the "Kick Drum" track. And while we're at it, add "sends" to every drum track. Like so:
Now you've got "MIDI Drums" sending audio to each drum track. However, "MIDI Drums" only has the kick drum on the track channels 1 and 2.
Step 9d: Now you need to match the audio sends up with the tracks. If you've been following exactly, this is what it should look like:
If you're doing something else, you'll obviously have different results.
You are now set to mix and apply effects to each drum individually. Drop in your MIDI to the "MIDI Drums" track, and have fun!