Drum edits - first (faltering) steps

Right, so I’m going to try out drum editing in C6. This is the big one. The one I’ve been waiting a long time for, and I do believe I’m not alone.

Well, it’s a cautious thumbs up so far.

First, the new grouping arrangement is well thought out. I opened a project with about six complete drum takes. I like the new lanes, though it will take a while to get used to the different colours.

It doesn’t do to mix the old ‘Group Parts’ command with the new Edit Group arrangement - I found some weird things happening. (The old project already had some Grouped Parts)

Also, if you have multiple takes it’s best to select/comp them first, don’t try quantising with lanes above or below - all sorts of strange things happen.

I ran into some oddness after creating Hitpoints (which now works very well - but still IMHO a pity you can’t make threshold adjustments to it without going into the Audio Editor) on the Kick and Snare tracks, then opening the Quantise panel. This should always open the Slice Rules window (if you have Hitpoints on one or more parts), but it sometimes doesn’t. Furthermore, it should allow you to set slicing priority between the tracks with hitpoints, but in many cases it only showed stars against one of the hitpointed parts, the others were greyed out. (later: I think this may only be because the other tracks had no stars selected.) The hitpoints are shown in red in the Project window when the Slice Rules window is open, which is helpful.

When you’re happy with the hitpoints, hit Slice.

Next, the quantise panel, with Iterative Quantise option!!! Yeahhhh!!!

Finally, and this works a treat, Crossfade. One click causes all the gaps to close and crossfades to be created. It sets a sensible default which can be adjusted in the panel (I made the crossfades smaller) and then all the crossfades can be nudged back and forward. Brilliant.

In all it should now be possible to edit and quantise a drum track in much less time than before. I used to do each edit by hand (though I tried the various Detect Silence routines) and i could do an average song in about an hour. I reckon with the new system it won’t take much more than 1/4 of that, allowing for careful checking of all the edits.

For me, this is worth the upgrade charge on it’s own, and more importantly, it puts Cubase back into the running for studios working with drummers day in and out.

Very Good!