How to Make Drum Rolls With Strike Pro Tools

How to Make Drum Rolls With Strike Pro Tools thumbnail
Pro Tools lets you use your computer like a recording studio.

Pro Tools is an industry-standard digital audio workstation. With it, you can record, edit, mix and master your music using your computer. Strike is a drum-sequencer plugin that enables you to program beats and grooves using an intuitive drum-kit interface. Drum rolls add intensity and dynamics to a groove. The Strike editor permits you to add these to default grooves in order to customize them to your own preferences.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with minimum 2GB RAM
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    • 1

      Double-click the Pro Tools desktop icon. It may take a few seconds for Pro Tools to fully launch.

    • 2

      Click “Plugins” and select “Strike” from the drop-down menu. The Strike interface will open in a separate window.

    • 3

      Click “Styles” and select your preferred groove template, for example, “Heavy Metal” or “Boogaloo.” A groove template is a default drumbeat with adjustable parameters. By tweaking the virtual dials, such as “Feel” and “Timing,” you can customize the sound of the groove. Use the individual drum dials to increase or decrease the volume of each drum relative to the rest of the kit.

    • 4

      Click the “Kit” tab and audition the drum kit sounds. Click on the speaker icon to listen to each kit playing the selected groove.

    • 5

      Click “Style Editor.” This brings up a piano-roll style editor. Piano roll is a universal MIDI grid editor interface. The notes of the kit are laid out as if they are on a piano keyboard, which forms the vertical axis of the grid. This is so you can map the kit notes to a connected MIDI controller keyboard if you wish. The horizontal axis represents time, measured in beats and bars.

    • 6

      Click on consecutive squares on the “Snare” row of the grid to add a snare stroke. This assigns a drum stroke to that part of the groove. To turn the drum stroke off, click the illuminated square. The amount of snare strokes you program is a matter of preference. For example, to create a regimental drum roll sound, program them in sequences of four. For a looser feel, program them in threes. Experiment with placement and intensity of the drum roll by turning the drum strokes on and off.

    • 7

      Drag the “Velocity” faders that lie above the grid interface. One fader appears for every drum stroke you program. By adjusting the velocity, you make the snare louder or quieter. This adds a more human feel to the drum roll. Strike will automatically set each programmed stroke at a default volume. A human drummer, no matter how good, can not play every note to the exact volume. This is the main difference between sequencing and playing. Adjusting the velocity approximates the variance you would hear from a human drummer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adjust the "Complexity" dial to increase the amount of drum strokes in the groove itself; this will leave room for your own rolls.

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