Auditioning midi drum loops with Groove Agent

I’ve been using EZ Drummer for years, in large part because of the ease of use in building drum parts. It has a library of midi drum loops and it’s easy to audition them. Just click on a loop and it plays on your current drum kit.

I have Groove Agent SE installed, and the drum kits sound fine so I wanted to give it a try for songwriting. However, I spent a fair amount of time last night and couldn’t figure out a) if there are libraries of midi drum loops for the kits like there are in EZD and b) how to browse and audition said loops.

I’m not a drummer, so manually writing drum parts wouldn’t be as good as what a real drummer would come up with. They also wouldn’t have the same human feel. Dragging and dropping loops from actual drummers has given me good results with EZD, but I don’t see how to do something similar with GE. The kits come with a few patterns preloaded on the pads, but that’s about as close as I got and is too limited in variety for my songwriting needs.

If there’s midi loops and / or a way to easily browse and audition them for GE SE, I’d be grateful for any insights you can share.



There are Patterns in Groove Agent. You trigger them by a MIDI Notes in a lower octave(s). You can see them after clicking on the Pattern button in Groove Agent.

Hey, Martin.

I appreciate the thought. I did see the patterns associated with the pads. However, that’s not the scenario I was looking for.

In EZ Drummer, there are hundreds of midi loops. I can browse them, and then audition them.

Is there a central repository in Cubase containing all the midi loops for Groove Agent? And can I audition them without assigning them to a pad button?

I’m also wondering if I could add the EZ Drummer midi files to the media bay, but then the same question arises as to whether or not I can audition them via the currently loaded drum kit in Groove Agent.


The central repository is MediaBay, where you can preview any MIDI file/loop. Once you find the one, drag and drop it directly to the track. A MIDI Part will be created.

I don’t know, how is EZ Drums programmed. If the MIDI loops are just common MIDI files somewhere on the disk, then you can preview and use them the very same way in MediaBay as any other MIDI file.

Thanks, Martin.

Maybe there’s a way to configure things so that I can associate drum midi loops with Groove Agent and then audition them from the media bay. I’ll play around with that and if I find an EZ Drummer type of workflow I’ll come back and share with class in case there are others with a similar question.

As always, appreciate your help and insights.

I don´t use GA, but should the auditioning happen by loading GA and preset and then just browsing media bay for MIDI files in sync?

Hey, Jari.

Yeah, that’s the sort of thing I need to explore. Thanks, man.

Just remember to select the output and sync in the lower right corner of the media bay

I think this is not possible in Cubase. Here’s why…
In Cubase you can save a complete MIDI file (a Standard Midi File, SMF) or a MIDI Loop. The MIDI Loop incorporates a MIDI Part and an associated VSTi preset.
What we don’t have anymore in Cubase is the ability to just save and load a MIDI Part. It used to be in Cubase but was removed many years ago.
I assume EZD uses a proprietary MIDI format for storing their “loops”. Or do they use SMF? If they use the latter than you should be able to browese through them in MediaBay (tip: use the full MediaBay window, makes it a bit easier).

Thanks Jari & Johnny.

I used the term midi loop incorrectly, they might more accurately be called snippets. EZ Drummer midi appears to be just standard midi, as I can drag them into a Cubase track and they behave like any other midi data.

If I can browse midi files in media bay, the main thing would be associating them with Groove Agent so that when they were previewed it would play that instrument, so that may or may not be possible. It’ll be the weekend before I have a chance to play with it again.

It’s a great tool but you do need to put some time into it:

I enjoy his videos and have actually watched some on Groove Agent, along with Dom’s videos.

This particular video doesn’t address the auditioning of individual midi files, but I do appreciate the thought.

EZDrummer´s “beats” are standard .mid files(I´ve converted some of those to MPC pattern files), so they should work thru mediabay like I explained

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I believe there’s about five videos in that set. It’s a full mini-course. Like everything in the digital world you seem to spend more time learning how to use the tools rather than recording.

Hey, guys.

Had some time to dig into this and auditioning midi loops with Groove Agent works great. Should anyone else come across this in the future, here’s the steps I took.

  1. In media bay, set Media Types to MIDI Files
  2. Sub Category: Drumset
  3. Sub Style: Pop/Rock (for example)
  4. At the bottom of the media bay screen, to the right of the play and stop buttons, click the dropdown list
  5. From the list, select Plug-ins, and from the sub menu select Groove Agent SE
  6. Press the Play button and the currently selected MIDI file begins playing through Groove Agent
  7. As long as Play is on, clicking any other MIDI files auto previews them
  8. When done, press Stop.

I found when dragging the MIDI file onto a track that it also created another track for SysEx data. There may be a configuration to disable that, but for now I just delete that data. After dragging the midi event into the track I’m working on, the drums plays as expected.

Many thanks for everyone’s feedback. Much appreciated.