Laid back / in front

I understand this might be a lot of R&D… but do you think it is possible to create a feature which allows the user to make the beats a little bit more laid back or in front? Preferably with an expression-pedal so one can alter the micro-timing during the song. I believe, it would sound more human.

Check out the sobriety setting, one beer.

It started out as a joke, but it’s a bit more human.

1 Like

Unfortunately, the Sobriety function is randomized, so it just makes the BB sound sloppy, not human - at least not like a GOOD human drummer. Good drummers can play “behind the beat” - which most of my drummer buddies agree means playing the snare later (maybe 5-10 ms) than it would be in a quantized beat (if EVERYTHING you play is behind the beat, you’re just “dragging”). Some artists and producers (like Boston’s Tom Scholz) believe (and I tend to agree) that playing a little bit behind the beat (often) sounds BEST, and that playing “on top of the beat” (neither in front nor behind - think Max Weinberg) doesn’t sound quite as good (at least MOST of the time). It’s a complex subject, and subjective - if you’re interested in learning more, see youtube (like one video in which the beats of John Bonham are quantized) and decide for yourself.

But I too would love the ability to put the snare in a particular song a little behind the beat - maybe as a percentage of the song’s tempo, rather than in milliseconds? That way, I wouldn’t have to make a calculation for each new song.


Yes, I’m using this. Better than 100% sober.

Exactly, this is the micro-timing, we are talking about. This is one of the few ways a good drummer can express emotions and make a groove somehow magic. I once enjoyed a 20 minute drum solo by Christian Eigner (Depeche Mode’s stage drummer) who was performing with a blues band. The auditorium was not satisfied and still wanted more! His micro timing was so exiting…
Of course this can’t be done by a computer, but having some of the drums a little bit laid back by a few 0.1% of the beat should be possible.
But many musicians are not aware there is micro-timing and believe playing on top of the beat is the key to the groove. Probably the developers of drum computers do not know. It can’t be so difficult. Probably 200 grand for R&D…

… yet!

This is doable … but not easy … and maybe not cost effective.

I use Reaper as my MIDI editor, and it does have an option to “humanize” only selected notes, and to bias that randomization ahead of or behind the beat. That seems like it might meet your desires in part.

I’ll have to try having the snare alone trail the beat; that might be the key that’s keeping my songs still feeling too “up front.”

Ok, so I tried this using Reaper, and it made a HUGE difference! Finally got that more relaxed, groovy feel I’ve been trying for!

I selected all of my snare hits, then pressed Ctrl+F2 to bring up the Note Properties. I then added “+.02” to the “Position” field to move all of them slightly behind the beat. I then used the Humanize function with 7% position, 14% velocity.