Introduction: Drum Beats in Audacity

Picture of Drum Beats in Audacity

This Instructable will show you how to generate a sequence of drum beats in Audacity which can be mixed with other instruments.

Step 1: What You Will Need

You will need:
A computer capable of running Audacity (Linux, Windows, or Mac)


Audacity


Audio Selection Sequencer 2 Audacity Plug-in (Download from http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins)


A set of drum sounds (Included as ZIP file with this Instructable)

Step 2: Installing

Picture of Installing

Make sure Audacity is installed. Then extract seq2.zip which you have downloaded from (http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins) and copy seq2.ny into /usr/share/audacity/plug-ins/  if you use Linux
OR
C:/Program Files/Audacity/Plug-Ins if you use Windows

Extract 17-29_TicTacShutUp_Studio_Drums_1.zip . It does not matter where the drum sound files are placed as long as you can remember where they are.

Step 3: Import Drums

Picture of Import Drums


Open Audacity. Under Effect... Plugins 1 to ? "Audio Selection Sequencer Two" should appear. Next, Import the drums you would like to use by clicking on File...Import...Audio. Each drum should be a different layer/track. You may wish to label the tracks by clicking on the down arrow beside the track, then name, then type the name of the drum (eg. bass drum) All tracks should be mono. Double click the track to select it and then click Tracks...Stereo Track to mono. Do this with all the tracks. Remove any unwanted audio by highlighting and then pressing Delete but be careful not to remove too much.

TIP:Be safe, save often.

Step 4: Sequence

Picture of Sequence


Double-click to select the first drum track. Then go to Effect... Plugins 1 to ? ...Audio Selection Sequencer Two. Enter a tempo. Beats per sequence should be "4". Overall Transpose Value, then for successive measures should be "0". Sequences to generate should be "1". Type in the semi-tone volume pan (SVP)values, these will be the drum pattern.

(0 1 0) is a hit
() is a rest
therefore "(0 1 0) (0 1 0) (0 1 0) (0 1 0)" is constant hitting

Create patterns for the other drum layers.

Step 5: Finishing Up


Adjust the volume levels of the individual tracks if needed by clicking on  Effect...Amplify. Negative amplification will lower volume levels. Positive amplification levels will raise volume levels. Avoid clipping. That's it, have fun!


I have attached MP3, OGG and Audacity versions of a drum sequence I have generated. The OGG version will play directly in Firefox.

Comments

JossBeaumont17 (author)2016-11-06

Hi, Thanks for the tutorial.

I have a question I did all the
steps you mentionned but when I go into effect I simply cannot see the
"Plugin 1" entry, nor can I see the "Audio selection sequencer". Do you
know what could be the problem ?

MikeW271 (author)2016-08-12

I've Just started with this, so I'm sure with a little more fooling around, I'll figure it out, but I can't seem to get a sequence that's any longer than like 45 seconds. Is there a way to make them longer, or do I have to string a few of them together?

GrangromD (author)2016-03-24

In Ubuntu (Linux), the default plugins directly has actually changed to /usr/share/audacity/plugins

Also, thanks for the tutorial but I'm not sure if I'll end up using this because it's time consuming to edit each drum's sequence individually. Might be easier to use a separate drum machine program and just record the output.

CareyD1 (author)2015-12-07

How do you open the kit sounds in audacity?

You first need to extract the .wav files from the .zip file. Then to import a wave file into Audacity run File-->Import-->Audio and select the drum sample which you wish to use. Choose the make a copy (safest) option.

RandyH3 (author)2015-01-07

I'm confused. I'm no expert on this sort of stuff, but can you be more specific with this section? I have windows, and the part where you say to "copy seq2.zip into C:/Program Files......" is throwing me off big time. Haven't got to where I can see Audio Sequencer 2 on Audacity yet. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

Make sure Audacity is installed. Then extract seq2.zip which you have downloaded from (http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins) and copy seq2.ny into /usr/share/audacity/plug-ins/ if you use Linux

OR

C:/Program Files/Audacity/Plug-Ins if you use Windows



Extract 17-29_TicTacShutUp_Studio_Drums_1.zip . It does not matter where the drum sound files are placed as long as you can remember where they are.

Frances75 (author)RandyH32015-01-21

thanks....is quite useful.....

Okay, 17-29_TicTacShutUp_Studio_Drums_1.zip contains the .wav files for the drum beats. Once this zip file is extracted, the wav files can be imported into audacity and sequenced. seq2.ny must be placed in the audacity plugins directory. C:/Program Files/Audacity/Plug-Ins .Audacity will automatically load these plugins on startup.http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins also suggests that these plugins can be placed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity. on 64-bit Windows. So, just copy and paste seq2.ny into that directory.

RandyH3 (author)2015-01-07

I'm confused. I'm no expert on this sort of stuff, but can you be more specific with this section? I have windows, and the part where you say to "copy seq2.zip into C:/Program Files......" is throwing me off big time. Haven't got to where I can see Audio Sequencer 2 on Audacity yet. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

Make sure Audacity is installed. Then extract seq2.zip which you have downloaded from (http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins) and copy seq2.ny into /usr/share/audacity/plug-ins/ if you use Linux

OR

C:/Program Files/Audacity/Plug-Ins if you use Windows



Extract 17-29_TicTacShutUp_Studio_Drums_1.zip . It does not matter where the drum sound files are placed as long as you can remember where they are.

RandyH3 (author)2015-01-07

I'm confused. I'm no expert on this sort of stuff, but can you be more specific with this section? I have windows, and the part where you say to "copy seq2.zip into C:/Program Files......" is throwing me off big time. Haven't got to where I can see Audio Sequencer 2 on Audacity yet. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

Make sure Audacity is installed. Then extract seq2.zip which you have downloaded from (http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Download_Nyquist_Plug-ins) and copy seq2.ny into /usr/share/audacity/plug-ins/ if you use Linux

OR

C:/Program Files/Audacity/Plug-Ins if you use Windows



Extract 17-29_TicTacShutUp_Studio_Drums_1.zip . It does not matter where the drum sound files are placed as long as you can remember where they are.

JaniThor (author)2014-12-17

does this work on Windows 8?

androidlove (author)2011-06-12

Thanks for showing me this. I'm sometimes asked about the easiest and cheapest way to track. I tell them to Google Audacity. I'll mention this feature next time.

You're welcome.

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