Everything Drums

I really wish for a better drums workflow in C14.
If only Steinberg could program a “drum mind” that would work between a revamped “master controller” and VST plugins:

  • if using external hardware controller, drum kit or pads, Cubase would recognise it and pull or read its output settings, avail to map out, therefore the controller would never have to be tweaked when switching drums VSTis.

  • the drum mind would also have all the available drum mappings for current drum VSTis. I find currently maps don’t show unless you go to GM maps setups which is an archaic system.
    Rather than yet another compressor I’d love Steinberg to pull the time and make the background work to let interfaces and plugins link together smoothly

  • multiple mappings : drum mind would know that the user might like to map one controller to several plugins, eg a TD17 with kick to one plugin, snare to another, toms to another, etc…

  • “drum mind” composition : I really would love a brainy setup where I can work together with drum mind and chord pads and markers. So I can draw a song structure with markers and pick some chord progressions with chord pads and fill between the markers with basic drum grooves with drum mind to get started.
    If that means have Groove Agent talking to markers and chord pads and tempo track, then why not, it would make starting a track much easier.

There’s probably users with many more drums requests. I wish for this thread to be helpful for Steinberg and highlight what I think is the future of DAWs which is smart integration and creative assistance.

I’d love more input from other users.
Example issue I have today :

  • I want to play Ujam Legend with my TD17 but the toms are not mapped right
  • no mapping settings on the Legend instrument
  • I could map from the electronic drumkit but imagine changing every time, a pain
  • so I have to create a transformer settings to change note values for this VSTi, which is convoluted and not intuitive
    A drumbrain environment that could read and remap the ins and outs configurations would be ideal there.
    It could also allow me to create some awesome setups where I would control several VSTi drums at once for creating custom kits.
    Or am I missing something?

So here is the drum remapping fix I came up with

As you can see to change 3 drum pads I had to create 3 midi Transformers, which I will have to load each time, or save my VSTi as a track preset I suppose.

I’d love a better workflow, or feedback on my proposed “drum mind” concept which I think would make sense as a controller-to-instrument logical environment, with all kinds of options for routing, arpeggiating, pattern creation etc…

The whole remapping for drums has been taken care of in the Drum Maps. It lets you do exactly what you did with the transformers.

There are two drawbacks to Drum Maps, however. One is that it is clumsy to use (you called it archaic), the other one is that it caters to only one midi output at a time. Thus you cannot create a drum map that consolidates drum sounds of different instruments.

Those would be two items that could change in a first step.

This is something that would require MIDI 2.0 as a pre-requisite, with current MIDI this is not practicably doable. That would probably mean you’d have to purchase a new hardware controller, Cubase needs an update to support this, and, if you work on PC, Mircosoft needs to implement support for MIDI 2.0. Apple already has MIDI 2.0 implemented, though I don’t know if there current support includes this particular case already.

Steinberg included the possibility for VST instruments to send their “mappings” to the DAW as part of their VST3 specification, so that it can be automatically configured to this instrument. However, only few plugin developers make use of this feature. I assume because other DAWs have not implemented it on their host side and therefore such a feature would only work in Cubase so far.
If you work with Groove Agent you can have Drum Maps created in a breeze.
It is really the rest of the industry not using the offered solution from Steinberg, so please direct this kind of feature-request to the maker of the plugin.
The same applies to Expressions Maps. Plugin developers are making it hard for the customers but easy for themselves.

Thanks Johnny! I can’t understand why I went to look into transformers instead of tweaking the Drum Maps, I think I was a bit dumb there ! But at least learnt a couple of things about Transformers. Yes the mapping works easier as you said, thanks again.

For the rest thanks for the notes too, then let’s look forward to MIDI 2.0. Maybe Steinberg can still improve on Drums Maps in the meantime.
There should be existing maps included in Cubase for most existing Drums VSTis and they should appear in every song. Also have detection so a note played highlights the right one in the map.

I have to correct myself here. In the Drum Map editor you can define an individual MIDI output per entry, read per drum.

Best is to create a template project for Cubase with all your drum instruments loaded so that you have a static setup.

I heavily disagree. First it would mean that whenever a plugin developer releases a new drum kit, Steinberg has to add a drum map. Then it means that you don’t have one drum map for all your different plugins. And last but not least this idea does not cater for user-made drum kits. So the current solution is actualy brilliant - let the plugin transmit its current setup to the host. Just, the plugin developers are not utilizing this feature.
That is the bi-directional communication that you asked for in your first item of your feature-request. VST3 is basically already doing what MIDI 2.0 will be able to do once it is available to the general audience.

Sure you can.
Set the Output to individual instruments:
and make sure the “main” output is set to “Not Connected”:
The MIDI Track you apply the Drum Map to also needs its output in the Inspector set to “Not Connected”:

One more thing that annoys me in the Drum Editor with a GM map loaded, we cannot CTRL click on an item to select all those notes like in the Key editor Piano Roll.
That would be useful if added please :smiley:

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Seeing this thread reminds me of an issue I tried to tackle a year or two ago. I haven’t tried this in Cubase yet, but in Ableton Live I set up routing individual drums/percussion tracks from Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 to their own tracks in Live to mix separately - as if tracked with mics on a real drum set. Between researching how (with limited results online) and the actual implementation, it took so long that I created a template in Live to drag the kits in from, but later found that Ableton’s poor ability to handle CPU threads from 3rd party plugins basically rendered sets where I did this unusable.

Is there a user friendly way to set something up like that in Cubase?
I basically gave up and haven’t touched SD3 since. I’d love to use SD3, but the wasted hours and scars from before leave me less than inspired

I assume you would like to do the mixing on the audio channels, not on the MIDI channels.
Usually this is done by activating multiple audio channels (audio outputs) in the plugin itself:

Right-click the marked area in order to bring up the shown context menu. The feature of multiple outputs must be programmed by the plugin manufacturer.

Afterwards you will see the channels in the mix console, where you can mix them as you see fit. You probably need to assign individual drums or pads to the required output. How this is done is in your case determined by SD3 .

Thanks that helps. That hidden menu wasn’t obvious at all.

I had just sat down and started up Cubase, so your timing is precise :grin:

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And I am not even a drummer. :grin:

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