Groove Agent 5 is not user friendly

When you open GA5, it looks good, sounds good, good presets, etc. But if you want to change, edit sounds and go deeper in GA5, it becomes completely impossible to find what you want to do.
Steinberg has advertised that. Working with GA is flexible, many possibilities, you can do the same thing in several different ways, and that’s where it gets difficult, you can’t do anything because everything is so confusing. There is no straight line when editing, A to B okay play! does not exist, but you have to jump here and there without knowing what you are doing. You have to kindly go back and load the program’s own presets, and continue to fantasize about what GA could do.

I’ve been using GA for many years but never managed to fully utilize GA. But I still hope it will be better, so I have bought GA5 but it is not better. I have read the manual and watched the video. But that’s how GA5 is, confusing.
I have given GA5 a few days to learn the program, but after a while I notice that this is not my instrument, I don’t want to work with this. So it will be my other VST instruments as usual

Thanks Cayabaja


So, what exactly are you having trouble with? What are you trying to accomplish that you can’t seem to figure out?

One thing is e.g. Simon Phillips Jazzdrums I want to change a snare drum in a pattern. Or take a snare drum from another pattern to SPJd.

Are there only some Agents that can be edited.
When I have tried to change and load instruments it has become that.
In the left part I have eg Vintage funk drum, the middle part Son Montuno, in the right part Studio kit and nothing can be edited

What is the use of all 4 Agents

I don’t understand the intended workflow in GA

Do you know of any good tutorials for GA5

There are many other things too but these are a few.

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Agent Kits like SPJD are locked. You can ‘remix them’ and apply different mic/effect scenarios, but those ‘agent kits’ like that aren’t meant to be heavily edited. The idea is…you’ve hired Simon to bring his favorite kit (mics, sticks, techniques) and play for you in a studio session. You’re not meant to ‘use a different snare’ since it wouldn’t be using the same sticks and playing technique.

See this post for more info:

In contrast, if you build your own kits from scratch using your own samples, or starting out with the beat agent kits, or using any of the many unlocked samples that come with Cubase…then you get way more editing features.

There are ways to mix and match the Agent kits…

Say you want to use a Snare from a totally different kit and a ride from yet another.

Simply load both kits in GA. If the snares happen to be on the same pads it’s super simple. Have both kits on the same channel, mute the snare pad in kit 1, and solo the snare pad in the second kit.

If the pads don’t align, you can unlock the pad mapping and add/remove trigger notes for various pads.

You can also just put the kits on different MIDI channels. Use different MIDI tracks to begin with, and you can later freeze the tracks and merge them into one if you like (channel set ANY so things play over the right channels).

If you have Cubase, you can also use the track Drum Map and alter the outgoing channel of individual kit pieces.

See this thread for more info. While it was done for GA4, things are still very close:

It sounds like the main source of confusion here is the difference between different “Agents”. Brian explained some of this above, but to sum it up:

Beat Agent kits function like traditional drum machines. Each pad is a completely independent set of samples that can easily be replaced (e.g. by using the Instruments tab of the load panel, or drag and drop). The Edit tab allows you to modify every aspect of each individual pad.

Acoustic Agent kits are self-contained sample libraries with a custom interface. They use advanced sample layering and scripting for a more realistic sound. For example, when you hit the “Snare Center” pad, you’re actually triggering samples from multiple microphones: snare bottom, snare top, overheads, room… For this reason, the sound of each pad can’t be easily replaced. You can edit some aspects of the drum sounds by clicking the drum kit pieces to the right. For example, most kits have multiple snare drums to choose from, all recorded in the same room.

I hope that helps clear things up a bit. I think most guides on YouTube will be for the Beat Agent kits, since they offer a lot more options. If you need help setting things up, feel free to ask.


Thanks for the help. I will try to figure out how to get a flow in my work with GA. But it is difficult for me to understand how GA is intended. Now I use Ezdrummer , Drumtree and GA 5 to produce the drum track I need. I thought I could do this with only GA5

Thanks Cayabaja

Hello looks Good thanks

Den ons 17 aug. 2022 15:35GWC_Music via Steinberg Forums <> skrev:

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I’ve had a similar issue recording a demo. We’re using the Metro heights library.

I found this as a work around. Load in SPJK into slot 1. Load in the kit that has the snare into slot 2.
With slot 1 selected - CREATE DRUM MAP FROM INSTRUMENT. Now go into the drum editor and select the drum map and save it. Now remove the created map. Now load the saved map and I believe you should be able to edit the map. Choose your snare in the map and set the channel to midi channel 2.

Now in the drum track make sure you midi channel is set to “ANY”.

I love GA5 but I do also agree with you, SB should be making some basic to advance tutorials for us. I was told if I chose the midi notes and edited them in the editor to channel 2, they would play to midi channel 2 but they don’t. So long as the created drum map (which has them set to midi channel 1) is loaded, they always go to midi channel 1. PAIN!

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Thanks for that GWC!

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All great tips I recently started using GA5 and what I do is I use SP GA kits and record the complexity and variations to a separate MIDI track, and then just load a different kit and use that recorded MIDI track.

Cubase 12, I just tried to use Groove Agent (I loved version one of the software back in the days of windows xp) and lord, how counterintuitive this Groove Agent 5 is. I looked on YouTube to learn how to edit patterns and I can’t even replicate when I press edit. Why is it so hard to have an old-school layout like reason so users can program their pattern in 2 secnds ??
Seems like now everyone has to do a course just to learn something so simple. Not to mention when I try changing the sounds and loading a different instrument, the dialog just points back to the last folder opened rather than where the sample is (eg the next clap sound in the library etc. Sorry Steinberg, but hth !! why do we have to waste our time learning this? I get irritate with the youtube tutorials


This is not how humans learn things:

It takes time and can be frustrating but if you have music you want to get out you push through it or change to another program.

I recently discovered this whole “Groove Agent” thing, went thru the confusing and uncomfortable process of getting it working, and so I would definitely agree! Actually, I’ve been on Nuendo forever, but never even knew it was in there.

The positive is that it’s a huge asset to have Drum Editor and Drum Maps in the DAW, along with this integrated tool to host the sounds. The negative is that it is catastrophically unintuitive and frustrating when going even one level deeper (making and saving kits, mapping to keys, dealing with the “oops cannot find your sound” hassle, bugs where it randomly becomes unmapped and won’t pass sound, really ugly and counterintuitive browser, etc).

The concept is really quite simple, and it should not be impossible to make a bugfree and intuitive interface to do this task.

I did post this two years ago, but it’s always worth mentioning…
Anthony (One Man And His Songs) has a GA5 free tutorial video series
over on his YouTube channel. For those unaware, it’s well worth a look:

(27) Steinberg Groove Agent 5 Tutorial - YouTube


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