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Drummer vs Drum Machine

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

I guess the first question to ask is: 'Why would you use a drum machine as opposed to a real drummer?' If you’re just starting out writing a song you want to get something together that doesn’t impact your flow of songwriting. You want to get the ideas out of your head into your DAW or onto the paper! But when you’ve done that and got the song more or less together how do you look at getting it sounding even better?

Sometimes it’s not just a case of sounding better but also FEELING better.

Drum machines are great at being consistent. They’re machines so their timing is always right down to the millisecond! And because they’re machines they also hit at the same velocity every time.

Of course you can add in different velocities to give more feel but they will play the pattern you’ve told them to play.

Put a drummer in the song and tell him to play a groove and record the part. It’s going to sound completely different! Not every part on the hihat will be hit at the same velocity which will give more dynamics between the parts and intertwine that with what the bass and snare drum parts are doing, there will be lots of inter dynamics between all of the different voices and these will also change throughout the song. It's these little nuances that give a groove and the feel. There would also be more cohesion between other instruments as well (hopefully depending on the drummer!) and the song although not ‘perfect’ from a timing point of view as compared to using a drum machine would have more of a feel and would groove more.

Don’t get me wrong drum machines are great at what they do and for certain genres they’re the best choice but sometimes to make the music groove we need the inconsistencies that only a human can add!

Why not try some multitracked drums in your song to see how it works? I have free drum stems available which I’m always adding new drum recordings to. They are multitracked drum parts with no added effects. I’m always adding more and they're free to use in your music - here’e the link ->>

If you’re interested on getting some live drums recorded on your song then please get in touch with me and we can talk about what you’re looking for. I can remotely record drums from my studio and send them back over to you.


Mark Midwinter online session drummer

Mark is an online session drummer based in Reading UK providing remotely recorded drums to clients all over the world.

His main focus on the drums is to always serve the song and listen to what is being played by the other instruments in the band. It's always about the song.

Find out more information here:

Download FREE Drum Stem packs here:


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