Groove Agent meta thread

There was some talk about looking for good Jazz GA packs, my son wants to do some improv with me so I took the plunge on the Simon Phillips Jazz Drums kit as it sounded pretty good. Bought, used the download code and installed.

  • Doesn’t show up in Dorico GA VST
  • Try in Nuendo - disturbingly the Nuendo GA SE5 shows a different, smaller set of kits
  • Back to Dorico, restart a few times, still not finding it
  • Right click on a loaded kit, and try “Load Kit”
  • In there find an individual track that happened to be from this kit, tried to load it and it complained about no Simon Phillips license.
  • Tried a few more times, and finally seemed to kick in and load
  • But GA wasn’t really working well, so quit Dorico, restarted to get it now with a license I hope, and now all my packs are gone.

Unoptimal experience, help …

Ok the main GA search dialog is now broken, any tips on how to help that would be appreciated. But you can use the “Load Kit …” dialog to access things it seems.

Found some really nice patterns from this Simon Phillips kit that work perfectly. So FYI - great kit if you’re looking for Jazz, terrible installation process.

Related topic, it’s easy to drag patterns into Dorico, but is there any easy way to get the drum kit actually set up properly to correspond to the kit you chose in GA?

For example, I’ve got the default drum kit set up, but when you drop patterns that don’t correspond to instruments in the kit - like this highlighted note, they show up as magic notes, but you can’t copy and paste them elsewhere because that part of the kit is missing.

What would be ideal is if we could drag a kit design over from GA to Dorico too

You need to set up a suitable P-Kit and P-Map correctly for Dorico so that pattern dragging and editing, as well as playback, will work properly in Dorico. After studying the instruction manual, this worked quite well for me using the Dorico tools provided for this purpose. However, I only managed this for Steinberg’s “Song Writer - Stick and Rods” and shared these maps in the forum. I will definitely do it for the S.P. Jazz and Studio kits as well, but I don’t know yet when I will get around to it.

The installation of the kits was without any problems. I followed the Steinberg installation instructions exactly.

I haven’t thought of that at all - at the moment I help myself by dragging the patterns onto a normal piano instrument track (or something similar). Then everything works properly, you can hide the track.

Important: set the midi import settings to “Keep midi positions and volume”.


Sie müssen für Dorico eine passendes P-Kit und eine P-Map korrekt einrichten, damit das Ziehen der Pattern und das Editieren sowie die Wiedergabe in Dorico richtig funktioniert. Nach Studium der Bedienungsanleitung hat das bei mir mittels der dafür vorgesehenen Dorico-Tools nach Einarbeitungsanstrengungen auch recht gut geklappt. Ich habe dies allerdings erst für Steinberg’s “Song Writer - Stick und Rods” vollbracht und diese Maps im Forum geteilt. Für die S.P. Jazz- und Studio-Kits werde ich es auf jeden Fall auch noch machen, aber ich weiss noch nicht, wann ich dazu komme.
Daran habe ich gerade gar nicht gedacht - ich behelfe mir z. Zeit noch indem ich die Pattern auf eine normale Piano-Instrumentenspur ziehe (oder ähnliches). Dann funktioniert auch alles richtig, man kann die Spur ja ausblenden.

Wichtig: setzten Sie die Midi-Import-Einstellungen auf “Midi-Positionen und Lautstärke behalten”

Die Installation der Kits war problemlos. Ich bin genau entsprechend den Installationsanweisungen von Steinberg vorgegangen.

Yeah thanks figured that out, I’ve been setting those up. A question I have is whether the Kit/Map are universal across all the different Instrument presets


It looks like those different Instrument presets would be playing techniques in Dorico, so to properly set up a P-Kit you can do that from the graphic

But for the P-Map you need to go through all the Instrument presets to get out the keyswitches?

And, presumably each GA library needs it’s own set

dragging the patterns onto a normal piano instrument track (or something similar). Then everything works properly, you can hide the track.

Correct, it’s MIDI internally it appears so you can actually drag it anywhere

BTW I was able to get GA normalized again by doing some resetting

Having a hard time finding that, do you mean this?

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I’ve been following this thread, because it seems like we can drag in MIDI grooves from other drum samplers too, not just GA. So if I wanted to drag in a groove from one of the kits in the NI Karriem Riggins set, I just need to set up a kit and map that corresponds to all the keyswitches on the pads at the right of the screen here?

Seems like that should work - but you have to get a lot of pieces to set up- as mentioned - for this to come together properly

Maybe @_derBertram can enlighten us how to set these up correctly, but for example I set up this off the Simon Phillips pack (which I’m really liking btw, much better than the included, but it is $80)


In the score the top kit is the default drum kit, the bottom a new one with the setup shown above, dragging the same pattern into both gives (ignore the bass line in between)


I’m not very familiar with this drum set notation, time to learn … but to do it right you need to fiddle all the note heads properly.

Is there any good guides on this notation? I’ve done tons of searches before but not found anything very useful.

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The Samuel Z. Solomon book “How to Write for Percussion” is a great reference and has an entire chapter on “General Notation.” Most people seem to adhere to this graphic nowadays, although I often see the toms lower on the staff too.


Sorry - I mean this so that it sounds like the original:

And this setting for the input or the live recording:

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Great book.



Well - I think I said everything important above: set up a percussion map and kit or use a piano track.

Here is my “Song Writer” as a sample:

  • also highly recommended, but unfortunately no demo version available.
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lol, and I forgot that I have that book, maybe I should read it!

Actually that graphic is good enough for guberment work thanks!

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I needed to do a bit of notational cleanup after dragging it in, but it does work! There are obviously some differences in levels, but if I use 4 bars of the MIDI I dragged in and then 4 bars of a sample, I get this:

There are 16 different kits in that Karriem Riggins set, but here are Dorico files for the Absolute5_4 kit and percussion maps in case anyone else has it.

Karriem Riggins - Absolute (6.8 KB)


Awesome, sounds great.

Unfortunately the GA kits are somewhat hard to make maps from. The documentation is minimal, the online page shows the full kit which is not shown in the plugin anywhere I can see

Best I can figure is you have to click through all the Instrument setups and pick off the keyswitches from the pads. How do you get the playing techniques? No idea, there’s a little help from the name but that’s not enough

You can hover over the keys and get a string, that looks maybe a little better



I switch to the instrument tab in GA - not to the pattern page. Then I go through all the beats in the row ( in all sub-tabs, usually from 2 - 6, in ascending key-number order) and enter them in the P-Map, creating non-existent playback techniques if necessary. (Symbols are not necessary)
To do this, click on the respective instrument in GA and use the midi key and name displayed there to select the respective Dorico instrument. You can follow the instrument and its sound on the right side of the instrument page.

For the sake of clarity, I take the respective original name from GA as the PA instrument user name in the P-Map.

I then make a picture copy of the P-Map and use it when creating the P-KIt so that I can see all the instruments used in the P-Map and their beat variations.

Maybe I could help a little? Maybe someone has the time and inclination for a better and more detailed help description?


Ich schalte in GA auf den Instrumenten-Tab - nicht auf die Pattern-Seite. Dann gehe ich alle Schläge der Reihe durch ( in allen Unter-Tabs, meist von 2 - 6, in aufsteigender Key-Nummern-Reihenfolge) und trage diese in dir P-Map ein, dabei lege ich bei Bedarf nicht vorhandene Playback-Wiedergabetechniken an. (Symbole sind nicht notwendig)
Klicken Sie in GA dazu auf das jeweilige Instrument und verwenden Sie die dort angezeigten Midi-Key und Namen für die Anwahl des jeweiligen Dorico-Instrumentes. Sie können rechts auf der Instrumenten Seite das jeweilige Instrument mitsamt seinem Klang verfolgen.

Der Übersichtlichkeit halber übernehme ich in der P-Map den jeweiligen Originalnamen aus GA als PA-Instrumenten-Anwendernamen.

Ich mache mir danach eine Bild-Kopie der P-Map und benutze diese dann beim Erstellen des P-KIt, damit ich alle in der P-Map verwendeten Instrumente und deren Schlag-Variationen sehe.

Vieleicht konnte ich etwas helfen? Vieleicht hat jemand Zeit und Lust für bessere und ausführlichere Hilfe-Beschreibung?


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Vielen dank!

Maybe if you could check over what I’ve got so far. Using FredGunn’s diagram above I have this


The three toms in this kit are different pitches so that’s easy, low, medium and high. The three ride symbols are basically two high and one a bit lower.

Question; if there are two ride MIDI notes coming in, how does Dorico know which ride to map them to? There’s only two ride choices available (high low)

Here’s a diagram I made up, black names are internal VST and red are Dorico instruments

The Hi-hat is two instruments - one when hit with sticks and two from the pedal

For the notes I’m just going along the piano roll in the VST - they should be all in there - you can see the tiny floating popover which shows you what it is

And here’s what I’ve got so far

These are all Steinberg products, this shouldn’t be so hard, really… just sayin’.


It seems to me (just my impression, no facts behind it) that the entire DAW and plug-in industry is a collection of tech geeks who are still in the “awesome, dude” phase. They each tend to get interested in something and develop it up to a point that is no longer interesting to them. That yields horrendous user interfaces, non-existent or unusable documentation, and all sorts of loose ends that just don’t connect easily.

And not a week goes by that somebody isn’t claiming to have invented yet another “world’s best compressor” or EQ or something.

It isn’t as sexy or exciting to follow through with products that integrate easily and are easy to understand. I do hope this industry grows up. OTOH, I guess they are giving customers what they want. Would people actually pay for more integrated, seamless components?


More or less agree with these sentiments … OTOH there’s a history here. These VST’s were invented for DAW’s where people just do a mashup of sound, dropping in patterns and mocking up things quickly. AFAIK Dorico is the first deliberately designed system which plumbs through from notation to VST - the fact that it does so elegantly speaks to the engineers who designed this. It seems daunting at first but it’s really the best ‘separation of concerns’ design with the different maps and setups.

In an ideal world Steinberg corp would provide expression maps for these packs for both Cubase and Dorico - that part is silly that we have to do it, over and over.