how to create drum fills: hold note repeat button, fux wit note variation slider
i usually work with a 2 bar pattern just so i have something to play ideas & jam over, then i copy that to itself to make a 4 bar pattern with some changes on the last measure. then i copy that again to make an 8 bar pattern with changes on the last measure. then i sprinkle in an extra kick & snare somewhere every 4 bars for variation.
if i have a part that's 16 bars long, it's usually the same 8 bar drum pattern underneath it with a little extra taken out of or added to the last bar or two of the last pattern.
i usually do 4 bar hat patterns. or copy 2 bars several times and add variation every 4th bar with fills on the 8th. hats give music a lot of locomotion & the feeling that it's moving, so getting the timing & placement of those in your fills is important
any time i do fills or drop sounds out, it's usually every 8 or 16 bars because the hook/drop/chorus/lead sound whatever will typically be that many bars long and i either drop drums out to make emphasis for other sounds coming in, or i add fills to signify something is about to change; fills are also good for breaking up repetition in other parts of the song i.e. a simple 2 note bass line 1 bar long repeated for 16 bars doesn't sound as boring or repetitive if fills are being introduced every 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th bar to break up the monotony.
you just have to think like a drummer lol.
i just think that's funny because it gets kinda ridiculous when you have to think like the drummer, a bassist, lead guitarist, some mixing guy, vocalist, the audio engineer, masterer...like as bedroom producers, we have to assume all these roles. and then it's like once you've got one thing figured out, you realize there's a whole other part you have to learn.
i really do try to think about the different parts of a song respective to the people who play them. so when i do drums, i try to think like a drummer. i try to visualize what they've done on stage every time i've seen them live (they don't just hit a kick & snare like a robot, they move and reach about to a rhythm). i think about what i do with my hands when i'm in the car and playing air drums on the steering wheel. if you actually think about the drum kit layout and a drummers hands, you can replicate those movements on the MPC to get the same effect and groove to your fills.
MPC 2000XL, Korg EX-8000 & MS-20 Mini, Behringer Neutron & Crave, Arturia Microbrute, E-mu E6400 Ultra, circuit bent Roland TR 505, Mackie 1604 VLZ3, Electrix Filter Factory, delays & compressors