drum loop creation suggestions

Hi everyone

Im a musician who writes mostly acoustic pop rock arrangements and altho i get by a lot with recording other instruments and vocals…im asking for suggestion about drums.

the drums are not the primary priority instruments in my tracks tho they arent buried deep in the mix either so therefore i create my own drum loops using leafdrums and using tom hicks acoustic kit samples.

the samples sound great and ive been able to create nice beats…but it still sounds “too” sterile as its no surprise since im creating them through a sequencer via leafdrums.

im horrible using a midi keyboard and laying drum tracks drum by drum. with the method im using so far with what i got…do you guys have any further suggestions to enhance my drum loops?
they dont have to sound like an absolute live drummer but it should be far more subtle too

thanks so much!!!

I use Jamstix for my drums now.
A lot quicker than programming midi drums and sounds a lot better too.

After n-Track, the best bit of software I’ve ever bought!

This is the first song I’ve finished using Jamstix (got a few others in various stages of completion…)

The Jamstix forum is pretty good and Ralph is super responsive to any bugs identified or feature requests.


Another vote for Jamstix!

I have used leafdrums a lot myself. It’s pretty nifty as drum sequencers go but, like all sequencers, you have to program every single hit and it’s just sooo tedious. I can do a decent job with it but it would take a mountain of work to make it sound like a human drummer.

Jamstix is just plain easy and sounds better than anything I could sequence. You can just let it do it’s own thing which requires almost no work on your part. Or you can get as detailed as you want. You’ve got to check out the free demo at least.


[Edit]A BIG thanks to RichLum for pointing the board to Jamstix in the first place many moons ago.[/Edit]

Actually I think it was etaws who first posted about Jamstix… I just happened to jump on quickly and helped work out a lot of the bugs with N (which Ralph from Jamstix was incredibly fast at fixing)

As mrtoad said, you can pretty much let it do what it wants or you can get really detailed and program specific hits.
The way I usually do it is pick the general rhythms I want for each section, map out the velocity (which will affect how it plays the drums, not just the volume) and then let it play, then I go back and specifically program bars that I want timed cymbals hits for emphasis etc.
Makes it a lot quicker than programming teh whole track to get it sounding human and unprogrammed.

And then sometimes I just let it do what it wants and jam along and that is fun too. :)


Groove Agent has a great VST instrument drum machine.


I downloaded jamstix demo installed it and could not find any dll’s anywhere to put into n track all I got was manuaks in my program files it didn’t show up anywhere as a file I could use…any help waht’s up here?

Cruiser :(

OK got it figured out it’s in ntrack now … :D

I am in the market for some drum software. Does anyone with N v3.6 use Jamstix?

I have checked out Reason and read in Electronic Musician some good reviews for the new version (the older one was considered cheezy in an older review?)

I am looking at the Sweetwater catalog and there is a collection of these items there too.

I am hoping that N3.6 users have found it compatible.


Hmmm . . . I am now using n-Track v4.05 with jamstix (happily, I might add) but I’m pretty sure I had downloaded the jamstix demo and started playing with it (also happily) before I upgraded n-Track (I was using v3.5, I think.)

In any case, I know that v3.x worked fine with plenty of other VSTi’s. Go ahead and give the free demo of jamstix a try. What can you lose?


Wasn’t 3.3 the last version on n-Track V3?

That was some time ago (2003?). IIRC there had to be n-Track changes for Jamstix to work properly - and I’m sure they were more recent than V3.3, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you run into problems.

Acid is still the more intuitive deal for me…I’m going to spend some time with jamstix to give it a fair go but acid is soooo easy quick and flexible it’s hard to beat for me!


Can someone explain to me how to add Jamstix demo as a vst instrument? ie: I have a recorded guitar track, what’s next? :wink: I never did get into MIDI stuff so I’m sure that’s my problem. The manual doesn’t say much about ntrack. :(

Do a search for Jamstix on the forum.
there have been a few discussion about how to get it working

Most of the earlier discussions had workarounds for bugs but they are pretty much all ironed out now.

So you should be able to follw the instructions and leave out the bug work arounds


Cruiser, I to have Acid Pro. When you say it works better for you and is easy, I admit dropping loops is pretty slick. But what about creating kits from single hits?

I just found a whole slough of single hits and will try creating kits with these so I dont know how fluid that will be.

I am also looking at Groove Agent and BFD although more pricey than JS.

Hi Syn…I think this question revolves around how significant your drums are to what you are doing. I don’t create different kits but i do clip out one shots and place them where i need them and this is the kind of flexibility I was referring to. The difference in kits for me just comes from the different kits used to create the loops.for me drums are in the background and as long as they don’t sound too repetitive and have a human feel I’m good to go and Acid can do that for me. I guess my outlook is like when I played in a cover band for 12 years and searched all kind of analog vintage pedals for THAT tone only to realize that all that effort and $$ was really wasted because 99% of people who listen to us couldn’t tell the difference between a good vintage analog delay and a cheap ass DOD digital delay. So Acid is quick easy and high quality…however jamstix is interesting and I will give it a thorough try and maybe end up using both.


RichLum: Thanks. Got it running. I dont know why I need to be told to search the forums, but that’s the one step I /ALWAYS/ forget.