Here is a sample drum track that I did using this method. It is from the Beatles song "Drive My Car".
I have found that this method creates as good or better drum tracks than the canned tracks that come with drum machines. But with this method the tracks are song-specific. You can also do some crazy stuff, e.g. I'm working up Brubeck's "Take Five" using the drum track ripped from Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Tarkus" (slowed down a bit).
Windows XP, VISTA and probably earlier Windows
Step 1: Gather the Tools...
DrumTrack (free software for creating...er...drum tracks...d'uh)
A midi file (download the following for the demo)
Audacity (free software editing audio...it's very cool)
Step 2: Fun With DrumTrack
Spend some time getting to know this really fine software. You can compose drum tracks with this. Check out DrumTrack's humanization (Song > Song Patterns > Humanization)...maybe it will make your drum track less drum machine like.
Now download the MIDI for the demo and listen to it. http://126.96.36.199/19841988/rock/beatles/DriveMyCar.mid
You should be able to double-click the demo MIDI file. If not (you don't have a player associated with mid files) try running Media Player and opening to the MIDI file.
In DrumTrack import the MIDI file.
File > Import MIDI Drum Score
Here's the catch...even though our Demo MIDI is a full score DrumTrack ignores all the instruments that are NOT drum related. Plus it assigns the drum parts form the imported MIDI to the appropriate instrument in the program.
Step 3: Continuing With DrumTrack
If you have developed a mastery of DrumTrack, you can enhance the original drum track. Otherwise, you can go on to export the track to something usable.
File > Export to MIDI
File > Export to WAV
DrumTrack does NOT export to MP3. So export to a WAV file. Then download and install the freeware program Audacity.
In Audacity, open the WAV file that you just exported.
File > Open
Once it opens, export to MP3
File > Export As > MP3
Step 4: Conclusion
Here is my wishlist for improving on this Instructable
1) How to add a click track to the beginning of the track so that you know when to come in (you are playing along, no?)