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Hi ladies and gentlemen, I'm a drummer and I'd like to monitor my play to find out how and why my beats lag or advance the proper rhythm/timing. So I need to detect drum beats of snare, hi-hat, bass, toms and record their timing to analyze how the beat lag develops during the play. My design is:

  1. Record every drum parts (snare, bass, hi-hat, toms, cymbals by mics) in my play.
  2. Input these audio streams to PC. For simplicity of beat detection, one audio stream should contain only one part.
  3. Write a user program to detect the characteristic frequency of each part and record the timing for analysis.

    I'm new to audio interface and DAW. Is there any DAW software can generate several audio stream, transfer them to PC simultaneous, and most important, allow 3rd-party program to access these streams (effect is unnecessary)? Real-time access to these stream is preferable. I wish to check the timing during my play rather than analyze it with a recorded file.

    And cheap software is welcome. Thanks.

  • I'm not 100% sure what you're asking - for instance point 2 is confusing because normally you would record the drums right into the software that is doing the beat detection. From most to least expensive, these three packages include beat detection: Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Reaper. I'm sure others do too. Reaper is very affordable and has a free trial that you can play with before you buy. – Todd Wilcox May 18 '15 at 16:58
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First, I highly recommend Reaper http://www.reaper.fm/ and the Sweetwater Studio Extensions. You can use Reaper 100% free for a really long time and then decide if you want to drop the $60 on a personal/non-profit license.

I'm not sure about realtime, but check out this tutorial Beat detective

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As Todd Wilcox pointed out, one would normally record directly into the DAW. Reaper is a great choice for that, cost-wise. However, if you're interested in finding out where a beat is lagging or pushing against a set tempo, simply record into any software that can provide a click for you to play to, then listen back (with the click enabled and playing) and analyze where you're rushing the tempo and where you're lagging behind.

Many musicians - not just drummers - have very poor time when it comes to maintaining a steady tempo. They often slow down or speed up over time and often it's by a noticeable margin. They're shocked when they first try recording to a click and discover that their internal meter is all over the place. This is a skill and one that needs to be worked on in earnest for any serious musician. I would strongly recommend practicing to a click and learning to play exactly on the beat. It's easy to know when you've achieved facility with this skill as the click becomes almost silent as you hit the drums at exactly the same time the click is playing. The click virtually disappears from the mix.

The beat detection software won't help you in this quest, as it's designed to do the opposite: find the transients of the beat in the recorded waveform and allowing you to map those transients to your specified subdivision and ultimately, to the click, thus "correcting" your lagging and rushing so that the loop or waveform can be used in a DAW and it will stay exactly with the tempo of the song.

If you still have that need, then I recommend using Recycle from Propellerheads. https://www.propellerheads.se/recycle It's very flexible, is an industry standard for mapping loops to new tempos and is recognized by virtually all DAWs.

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