HOWTO: do flams well

I’ve been trying to do flams for a bit but they sounded … wrong. I was using a snare with a retrig of 1/64, but somehow it ended up sounding late.

Until I figured out that what I do naturally as a drummer is not what I assumed I would have to do to program it; the first hit is slightly before the beat. So, for a good trig on the 13 of the last page of a 4-page 4/4:

  • Lay your trig down on the 13th
  • Hold the 13 button down and micro-time the trig 1/64th sooner with the left cursor key. While you’re here, set the velocity to a low-ish value (I’ve used 40)
  • Set up the retrig with a LEN of 1/32 and a RATE of 1/64th, and adjust VEL up to taste (I’ve used 127 – flams are not subtle in my world)

Hey presto, a great disco flam (ba-BAT!). Use with a fat disco snare sample for best effect.


Y u no play your flams with the pads in unquantized record tho? Its what I prefer, very easy to do by using both the pads and the trigs simultaneously

Quite a lot of the time, I do. At the moment, I’m not doing my usual mid-tempo lo-fi stuff and I wanted something hugely precise and tight-sounding at very high tempo. I’ve never liked flams on single drum pads; when I’ve needed to play flams on pads live in the past, I’ve assigned two software pads to the same snare. That’s not really an option on the ARII (edit: just noticed your suggestion to combine pad and trig button; I’ll try this, thanks), and while the pads are really very good (one of the main reasons I got this machine), I don’t leave this to multiple takes when I’m being forensic :slight_smile:

Also, playing live record on this: man, you’ve got to be disciplined. Most times I forget I have it on, and then I turn an encoder and suddenly I’ve got a load of yellow trigs I didn’t want affecting a parameter that wasn’t even vaguely connected to what I was doing.

I may never do it this way again, I might always play it live. But there are plenty who don’t or can’t, plenty who are vastly more comfortable programming, and this should help that crowd.

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