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Skyline_UK

How to extract MIDI drum track from drum MP3

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Posted (edited)

I have (from YT*) the isolated drum track from Hall & Oates' 'Maneater'.  I want to extract a MIDI file for it and see how the element of swing is done.  I've tried AudioSnap (which in all the years I've never really understood or figured out how to use...) and dragging the MP3 track to a MIDI track to see what Melodyne makes of it, which is not a lot because it doesn't know how to tell the difference between the kick, snare and hihat sounds.   And there is a tiny, tiny bit of (tape?) bleed on the drum track from some of the other instruments.  Is what I'm trying to do possible?  If so, how best to approach it? 

YT Maneater' drum track.

Edited by Skyline_UK

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I have not tried this personally but I would think that Melodyne would be your best bet. You could try to copy the file to several tracks and then filter them to try to isolate each peiece a bit more. It probably won't be perfect but might get you somewhat close.  

Cymbals are going to be the hardest I would think.

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Posted (edited)

I've just tried this with AudioSnap and it *can* be done but it's not an overly great result, to be honest.

First, I've imported the audio in, snipped it off at the beginning of the transient of the first kick and moved it to the very start of the project, then dragged it onto the time ruler to get the tempo, which was 88.65 bpm. That wasn't necessary for the detection part but it's handy if your metronome plays in time, for reasons I'll get to in a bit.

I did what @reginaldStjohn mentioned next by copying the track 3 times and filtering out each instrument with EQ and tried to gate as much out of each hit as possible, which left it sounding pretty awful but I had a decent amount of separation to work with. The kick went OK, the snare was so-so and the overheads had a lot of snare in there as well as hats + quiet backing track.

Audiosnap detected the kicks fine. Snare was mostly OK, but overheads were dicey. If you don't mind doing some manual clean up to fix any rogue transients, this is workable for the next step.

So you'd change the track edit filter to Audio Transients, open up the AudioSnap pallette and adjust your threshold to get as many correct transient markers as possible, then clean up or move the wrong ones.

Then, select the kick track, make sure your cursor is right at the start of the timeline, and click the Copy as MIDI icon on the AudioSnap palette. Create a new MIDI track, make sure the cursor is right at the start of the timeline and paste into that track - you should have a heap of C3 notes where the kicks will be. Repeat that for the other tracks. Every track will be C3 so you'll need to transpose them to wherever your drum instrument has the sound.

As I said, my results were fairly average for this. Maybe Melodyne might work better?

The good news is the actual drum part is really simple to recreate. The hats and snare are just 4/4 timing with no swing in there at all - the kick is doing all of the heavy lifting when it comes to the groove. If you can't get a clean overhead and snare track, program those up and quantize to 8th notes, then try to use the AudioSnap MIDI conversion to make the kick track. That's a 16th Triplet if you want to try that manually.

If you could get hold of the stems of the original project with stuff already separated rather than trying to pull apart a mixed YouTube video, I'd say you'd get far better results than what I did. But that should get you started. :) 

EDIT: @scook has a good idea with Drum Replacer too - that's got a lot of the filtering built in.

EDIT 2: With a bit of fiddling, here's 4 bars of the MIDI using SI Drums. If you mute the kick, you'll see what I mean about everything else being completely 4/4 straight.

Edited by Lord Tim
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Posted (edited)

Strangely I just made a tutorial on how to do something like this. There's no magic button. It's a lot of work. And the Melodyne tempo extraction can go haywire on you. I just did this again a few days ago on another old recording of mine and I'm rebuilding that song as well. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuPc1RjBRbc

There's also this one on Drum replacer. Drum replacer was designed to be used on solo drum tracks from a multitrack recording and works badly on a mixed track. 

https://youtu.be/OnR0b8OPve8  

 

But there's a much easier way to do this. I just Googled  "Maneater Midi file" 

Freemidi org is an easy to use site with 1,000's of good files and safe downloads.

I just double clicked the file and it opened in Cakewalk and played sounding actually pretty good with the TTS-1. Just make sure you have no midi outputs checked for that to work. 

https://freemidi.org/download3-3644-man-eater-hall-and-oats#google_vignette

The drum track seems accurate to the original, nothing fancy. Interecting use of the Nylon Guitar as a bass! Never thought of that it actually sounds better than any of the GM bass sounds. 

 

Edited by John Vere
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Ha, yeah - that's probably the easiest solution! It's not often I get stuck re-creating a song but having the MIDI file available, even one that's fairly badly made, can give you a "ahhh, I see what I should have tried" moment. But it's fiun to learn new methods like AudioSnap and Drum Replacer, so it's a useful exercise all the same. :)

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Posted (edited)

Many thanks John, I'll study that video.

I downloaded MIDI files and they all have the 'correct' drum part, but somehow that YT actual isolated part has a certain tiny 'skip' swing which I can't quite put my finger on.  As Lord Tim said, the kick is imparting a groove; certain push or pull to the pattern.  It's a very smart piece of drumming.  

Edited by Skyline_UK

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That's really the human element to it. On the MIDI I made in my post, it's quantized so it's all "correct" but on the original audio, the kicks are playing just a touuuuchhh behind the beat in the part that gives it the most groove. Try giving stuff a bit of a nudge either earlier or later to see what works best - for example, sometimes a slightly earlier snare can really give the illusion of the entire track being 5bpm faster because it feels more immediate.

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Posted (edited)

No humans were used on the original drum part. It says it was a Linn LM 1. It’s the bass line that to me gives  it that groove  The bass part was a direct rip of Supremes You can’t hurry Love  whom I believe might have been played by James Jameson  

Hal and Oats were among the early sequencer driven music groups that came out in the 80’s  

 

Edited by John Vere
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Decoda  is able to separate out notes in a melodyne- like display and you can highlight notes you want to export as midi and then export those as midi. I have decoda but have never used it to export parts as midi so no idea how accurate it would be, but while listening to selected areas playing back it seems to separate things well. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, John Vere said:

No humans were used on the original drum part. It says it was a Linn LM 1. It’s the bass line that to me gives  it that groove  The bass part was a direct rip of Supremes You can’t hurry Love  whom I believe might have been played by James Jameson  

Hal and Oats were among the early sequencer driven music groups that came out in the 80’s  

 

Definitely samples on the track for sure but I'm dubious of it entirely being all programmed - the tempo was drum machine solid for the entire track but the actual playing was a bit loose in places. That said, I started with a Roland MC-500 sequencer and various slaved synths and drum machines, and the MIDI jitter was ridiculous sometimes!

Edited by Lord Tim
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26 minutes ago, Lord Tim said:

That said, I started with a Roland MC-500 sequencer and various slaved synths and drum machines, and the MIDI jitter was ridiculous sometimes!

Exactly what I was thinking. Things were definatly different back then.  My Roland 505 tempo drifts because that is set with a knob. It's gotten worse over time as a result of the pot is probably worn out.  I do remember that the Lynn drums were concidered the state of the art at the time.

This is listed on Reverb for $10,000!   It doesn't have MIDI but it did use a DIN jack for syncing( to what?? an Atari? ) .

This statment might explain the timing--   "This machine is legendary for a reason. Unbelievable sounds, the pitch function is phenomenal, the quantizing (for a super old unit) is surprisingly good. If you can find it, buy it." 

 

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HA! Wow, that's awesome!

And yeah, between the TR-808 and the Linn drums (whatever version), that's the 80s basically covered there. The LM2 was a game changer particularly, and I still use heaps of those samples mixed in with my sounds now! :) 

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a lot of early sequencers used precision (0.5% tolerance) thermisters (thermal resisters) and capacitor type "clocking" on some form of crystal master clock. the slow degrading of these devices eventually overcome any thermal stability afforded by the high tolerance components... so over time the stability and relative settings drift... i just fixed 4 synths and machines last year by replacing these components to get them mainly back in order...

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my Sequential Circuits Pro One was the rock-solid clock source for the rest of the devices (keyboards, drum machines etc) so one dial to turn for tempo 🙂 

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