First of all I wish every a happy new year!
Coming to my topic: I am new to Cubase and Cubasis and I am already into watching tutorials, trying and failing etc. The last couple of days I did my first MIDI track directly in Cubasis 2.3 (upgrade from Cubase LE after IAP) to program drums as a background for recording bass. Now that wasn’t so difficult to figure out how it is working. I used the “AM Rock Kit 1” from the Microsonic library which has a nice sound and fits to my first experiments. Everything okay so far. But when I export the Cubasis project as a ZIP file and import it into Cubase AI 9.5 using HALion Sonic SE drumkit, some arrangements of the MIDI track are wrong. That means, that for example a closed hihat is interpreted as a tom. This happens only for some drum instruments and not for all in general, snare for example is always right.
Maybe that is an easy one as I am also new to MIDI, but is there something I need to prepare in Cubasis that the exported MIDI is always good? Can somebody tell what I am possibly doing wrong? I expected that MIDI drums work “platform independent”, shouldn’t I?
It was okay for me to rearrange the MIDI parts in Cubase but only for this one time. I hope to hear what I should consider or change when thinking about MIDI in Cubasis.
Here is my setup:
iPad 3gen with iOS 9.3.5: Cubasis 2.3.1 (App help says Cubasis LE 2.3.1)
iMac late 2013 with macOS 10.13.2: Cubase AI 9.5.10 Build 79 with Cubasis Importer 2.2
P.S.: I imported the rearranged MIDI track into Cubasis and I faced the same problem with wrong arrangements but this time in Cubasis…
Most kits are customized rather than universal, so when you program a hi hat on one, it might be a shaker or bongo drum on another as you noted. The only universal drum kit is general midi. Drum kits are kind of designed to be programmed with the one you will actually be using rather than being transferred via Midi.
I personally don’t like kits and don’t use them because I’m very picky and most kits don’t have the right groups of sounds I would use. I assign each sound to its own track which allows full mixing and control. With each track clearly named, there is no confusion later about what was which part. The kick Midi track is labeled “Kick” and so on. This is especially important when naming the data block since the track names don’t seem to show up when sending to other platforms. When transferring Midi files, you either assign a kit to the track and move the Midi notes to the corespondent sound or load a sample and go from there. I make demos on my iPad and send them to producers who use various DAWs, so this approach seems to work. And yes, with layered vocals, a demo will easily have over 50 tracks with this approach. They can assign their go to kick to the kick track or spend time customizing a layered kick sample. I freeze each Midi track and send them what I created as well as the midi so they get the midi as well as the audio. I suck at drums, so I’m assuming they will just replace what I came up with anyway. I wouldn’t bother spending a lot of time programming drums on a kit if you are planning to transfer the file anyway to work on it in Cubase.
Also, I have a custom template in Cubasis that has each track broken up with effects already set up. I even have basic patterns set up like hi hats so the drums are mostly already there and I can focus on the music. I look at Cubasis as a scratch pad to flesh out song ideas. My goal is to get from idea to demo as quickly as possible. So, you really have to think about what your musical goals are with your set up. I take my iPad with me everywhere and love that I can work on a song idea anywhere. That’s the real advantage of Cubasis/IPad in my book. Otherwise, I would write the whole song on a DAW on a laptop and not bother with transferring files. The downside of iPad is limited storage, so lots of deleting once a song is moved elsewhere. I hope that helps.
That was a really good answer since I was not sure if I had the right understanding of how to use MIDI and especially drum kits. Thank you for your advice and giving me some insight in how you do drum things. That sounds completely reasonable to break drum instruments into separate tracks. I will keep that in mind to set up a bunch of templates ready to use within Cubasis.
Thanks again, that really helped me!