Starting a song in your DAW with EZDrummer 3

Shootie School
2 Aug 202216:07

TLDRIn this tutorial video, Sean from Shootie School guides viewers on starting a song in a DAW using EZDrummer 3, highlighting his collaboration with musician Steven Perricone. Sean sets up a new Pro Tools session and meticulously places markers for each song section, offering strategic insights into efficient song structuring and production. The video emphasizes creating a predictable, replay-worthy song structure and ends with setting up drum tracks using the Gospel EZX, aiming for optimal sound dynamics. The session serves as an informative walkthrough for creating a country rock track, celebrating Shootie School's milestone of reaching 10,000 YouTube subscribers.


  • 🎉 The video is part of a two-video series on starting a song from scratch in a DAW with EZDrummer 3.
  • 🎶 The song structure presented is verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, verse (breakdown version), double chorus, and outro.
  • 🎵 The importance of song replay value is emphasized, suggesting keeping songs short and predictable for new listeners.
  • 🎸 Steven Perricone provided guitar and bass parts for the song, showcasing a collaborative approach to song creation.
  • 🚀 The video celebrates reaching the 10,000 subscriber goal on the YouTube channel, Shootie School.
  • 🎧 The use of markers and pre-roll in the DAW session for efficient editing and cross-fading of song parts is highlighted.
  • 📍 The process of importing and using MIDI packs from Groove Monkey in EZDrummer is demonstrated.
  • 🛠️ Tips for velocity editing and setting up a foundation for beats in the DAW are provided to streamline the workflow.
  • 🎼 The video discusses the concept of not mixing drummers with sounds they weren't intended for, to maintain authenticity.
  • 📈 The presenter shares insights on the monetization of the YouTube channel and the importance of donations for supporting the content.
  • 📺 A giveaway is mentioned for Groove Monkey MIDI packs, with instructions on how to participate included in the video.
  • 🔄 The video offers a power tip for managing unused instruments in the grid editor to reduce visual clutter and improve focus.

Q & A

  • What is the main focus of the video?

    -The main focus of the video is to start a full song from scratch in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) using EZDrummer 3.

  • What is the significance of the 10,000th subscriber goal mentioned by Sean?

    -The 10,000th subscriber goal is a milestone that Sean from Shootie School is celebrating in this video.

  • Who provided the guitar and bass parts for the song in the video?

    -Steven Perricone provided the guitar and bass parts for the song.

  • What is the tempo of the song that Steven Perricone recorded?

    -The tempo of the song that Steven Perricone recorded is 150 BPM (beats per minute).

  • What is the song structure that Sean decides to use?

    -The song structure Sean decides to use is verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, verse (the breakdown version), double chorus, and out.

  • Why does Sean emphasize the importance of replay value in a song?

    -Sean emphasizes replay value because he believes that if a song ends and the listener never listens to it again, it means the song has failed to engage the listener and recruit them as a fan.

  • What is the name of the EZDrummer 3 pack that Sean wants to use?

    -Sean wants to use the 'Gospel EZX' pack in EZDrummer 3.

  • What is the 'Boneyard' in the context of the video?

    -In the context of the video, the 'Boneyard' is a term used by Sean to describe the track in EZDrummer where he pulls fresh beats from.

  • What is the name of the song that Sean is building in the video?

    -The name of the song that Sean is building is 'Swamp Country'.

  • Why does Sean suggest not writing overly complex songs until you are established?

    -Sean suggests this because complex songs require analysis before they can be enjoyed, and people are often too busy with too many options to give such compositions a chance. He advises focusing on replay value until you have a fan base.

  • What is the giveaway that Sean promotes in the video?

    -The giveaway Sean promotes is seven drum or bass Groove Monkey MIDI packs that work with EZDrummer or EZBass.

  • How can viewers enter the Groove Monkey MIDI pack giveaway?

    -Viewers can enter the giveaway by commenting 'Groove Monkey' spelled correctly in the comments, subscribing to Sean's channel, and enabling notifications.



🎵 Starting a Full Song with Easy Drummer 3

Sean from Shootie School introduces the process of creating a full song using Easy Drummer 3, starting with guitar and bass parts provided by Steven Perricone. This video is part of a two-video series, aiming to construct the song in a linear and structured manner. Sean sets up a new Pro Tools session at 150 BPM, emphasizing grid mode for structured editing. He details various song components like verses, choruses, and solos provided by Steve, and strategically places markers for efficient song building. The video also hints at the psychological aspect of song arrangement to maintain listener engagement.


🥁 Discussing Song Structure and Easy Drummer Set-Up

The video script elaborates on creating a predictable and engaging song structure. Sean discusses the standard verse-chorus format and the importance of replay value in music. He introduces the use of Easy Drummer's Gospel EZX for its unpolished sound and explains his method for optimizing drum kit setup to avoid distractions and save resources. Sean promotes the idea of maintaining simplicity in song structure to enhance listener retention, and details how he's soliciting contributions and continuing partnerships, like with Groove Monkey, to enhance his music production resources.


🔧 Implementing MIDI with Easy Drummer

Sean demonstrates how to add and use MIDI files in his song using Easy Drummer, specifically focusing on a Southern Rock MIDI pack. He explains how to link folders and sort through MIDI beats that fit the song's tempo and style. Sean provides practical tips for auditioning and selecting MIDI beats to ensure they align well with the song’s sections like verses and solos. He also discusses workflow optimizations such as global velocity adjustments to match the drumming intensity required for the song, highlighting efficient ways to integrate and manage MIDI files in production.


🎸 Finalizing the Track Layout in Easy Drummer

The video concludes with Sean setting up tracks in Easy Drummer to organize and finalize the song structure. He nicknames the tracks to keep the workflow organized and previews the next steps in his video series, which will involve producing and integrating the sorted beats and fills. Sean promotes his community resources like Facebook and Discord for further learning and interaction. The emphasis is on the practical aspects of digital music production, utilizing Easy Drummer's features to efficiently create a compelling music track.




DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. It is a software application used by audio engineers, songwriters, and producers to record, edit, and produce audio files. In the video, the host is using Pro Tools as their DAW to start a song from scratch with EZDrummer 3.

💡EZDrummer 3

EZDrummer 3 is a software drum module developed by Toontrack Music. It is used to create realistic drum tracks for songs by using MIDI files and drum samples. In the video, EZDrummer 3 is central to the process of creating drum parts for a song.

💡Song Structure

Song structure refers to the ordering of sections in a song, such as the verse, chorus, and bridge. It is a fundamental part of music composition. The video discusses creating a song structure that is 'short and sweet' with a typical pattern of verse, chorus, solo, verse, double chorus, and outro.


In the context of a DAW, markers are used to denote different sections of a song or significant points in the timeline. They are essential for navigation and organization. The script mentions placing markers for every section and important notes to efficiently navigate the song structure.

💡Groove Monkey MIDI

Groove Monkey MIDI is a company that provides MIDI files for drum and bass grooves that are compatible with software like EZDrummer or EZBass. The video mentions a giveaway contest for Groove Monkey MIDI packs, which can be used to create drum parts within a DAW.

💡Grid Editor

The grid editor in a DAW is a tool used to visually edit MIDI data, such as drum patterns or melodic lines. It allows for precise placement and manipulation of notes on a grid that corresponds to the timeline. The video discusses using the grid editor to unload unused instruments and to audition and select drum beats.


MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a protocol for communicating musical information between devices. In a DAW, MIDI data represents the performance information, such as note on/off events and velocities, which can be edited and manipulated to create a song's drum track.

💡Country Rock

Country Rock is a genre of music that blends elements of country and rock music. It often features electric guitar, drums, and a driving rhythm. The video is about creating a song in the country rock genre using EZDrummer 3 within a DAW.

💡Replay Value

Replay value in music refers to the likelihood that a listener will want to listen to a song multiple times. It is associated with the song's catchiness, memorability, and overall appeal. The video emphasizes the importance of creating songs with replay value to retain listeners and gain fans.

💡Subconscious Expectations

Subconscious expectations in music production refer to the intuitive reactions or anticipations that listeners may have based on common song structures or patterns. The video discusses how manipulating these expectations can affect a listener's engagement with the song.

💡Velocity Editing

Velocity editing in a DAW is the process of adjusting the velocity values of MIDI notes, which can affect the dynamics and expression of the drum performance. The video mentions the need for velocity editing to match the drum performance to the desired feel of the song.


Starting a full song from scratch in a DAW with EZDrummer 3

Video is part of a two-video series on creating a song with EZDrummer 3

Presenter Sean from Shootie School celebrates 10,000th subscriber goal on YouTube

Collaboration with artist Steven Perricone who provided guitar and bass parts

Using Steven's pre and post roll for smooth cross-fading and editing

Song structure includes verse, chorus, solo, breakdown, and outro

Emphasis on creating a predictable and efficient song structure

Importance of replay value in songwriting and keeping the song short and sweet

Using the Gospel EZX and Golden Age kit for a polished, non-overproduced sound

Unloading unused kit pieces to save resources and reduce distraction

Power tip for organizing the grid editor for efficiency and less crowding

Choosing a drummer and selecting from a collection of songs recorded by that drummer

Workflow for auditioning beats and selecting the right one for different song sections

Adjusting global velocity for better dynamics before committing to song track

Assigning MIDI blocks to specific song parts for efficiency

Setting up a foundation for the song and organizing beats and fills

Renaming tracks for better organization and planning for future editing and production

Giving away seven Groove Monkey MIDI packs in collaboration with Russ from Groove Monkey

How to participate in the giveaway and support Shootie School through donations