How can I trigger fast alternating MIDI drum kicks?

I’m looking for a way to be able to trigger a pattern of drum kicks from Superior Drummer 2, by holding down a key. Say one kick sample is triggered by the note C1, the second by B0. I would like to be able to hold down A0, which would enter C1 and B0 in an alternating 16th pattern dependent on my metronome settings, and it would do this continuously until I let go of A0. I’d do the same on other keys that would trigger the pattern in 8th notes, 8th note triplets, etc.
I would like this to play and write the MIDI notes, so triggering an audio file with a double bass pattern won’t do.
My goal is to write metal drum patterns more intuitively and instantly on my keyboard, without having to fool around with the mouse in the midi editor.
Is there a way this can be accomplished, and if yes, how? Thanks in advance!

Just play the part and then quantize it. I guarantee it will sound the same.
Uninspired, lifeless, without emotion…

Hey, thanks for your reply. I don’t know if you listen to metal, but playing double-kick patterns (let alone while simultaneously playing snare and hats/cymbals) is not an option, it’s way too fast. And humanizing was not my question.
Anyone have an idea how to achieve what I’m looking for?

there is a learning curve to cubase and complex vstis. you could probably create a macro to do what you want if superior is even capable of it. happy reading/experimenting

I would just half the tempo temporarily…record the kicks easily then speed it back up…!! :slight_smile:

Or just open a drum map and set your quantize grid to the interval that you would like your kicks to be and use the stick tool.

Thanks for the replies!

I researched the Macro functionality, as far as I understand it wouldn’t be possible because Macros execute a string of commands instantly, I don’t see a way to make one continuously enter notes based on length of key press and current bpm.

@CubaseKarma: Your second suggestion is how I usually do it, I’m looking for a performance solution on a MIDI keyboard, i.e. no mouse, just play. :wink:
Your first suggestion might be the best work-around for now, thanks for reminding me of that option!

Still looking into the Input Transformer tool, but I’ve only managed to transform on key to another, that’s one difficult beast to understand there!

Hi, imho the easiest straight-forward solution is to get something like an AKAI mpd 18. it is below 100 Euro.
What do you get: 16 sensitive drumpads, one slider, etc. PLUS something that repeats notes in a given bpm (or synchronized to your daw).

Cheers, Ernst

Haven’t thought about a hardware solution yet, thanks for adding that path of thought!
I actually own an mpk88, the note repeat function is a bit too 1-dimensional, but maybe something like a Maschine Mikro could do the trick…

You could create some snippet midi files (export midi) and drag them in… They would fit to the tempo when you drag them and you could use Ctrl-D (duplicate) to create more once you’ve dragged the first one in. Or, a similar thing, create a template project with some midi files on a muted midi track.


Hey Mike, thanks for your reply, that’s an option when working with a mouse, I’m looking for a way to perform them on a MIDI keyboard, so I can write them when I’m playing with the music.

Doesn’t Groove Agent do this…?

I use patterns in GA sometimes, triggered from notes I play on my mini USB keybaord - works well for quick drum patterns. You may be onto something there, but I’ve not done much more than that so I can’t say much more than that…


Interesting… I don’t know, I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Okay, this has become the #1 work-around so far, it’s actually almost a solution with two small hitches. You were right, I can achieve (almost) exactly what I need by programming and triggering the patterns in GA. Hitch number one is that I can’t use my Superior Drummer samples. But since this is only for writing the music, I can build a decent kit with all the free drum samples floating around the internets, then transfer to SD later. Hitch number two: The kicks aren’t recorded as individual midi notes, Cubase just records the key I use to trigger the kicks. This way I can’t just transfer the MIDI part to SD, I have to go into the editor and replace those long notes with individual kicks.
But besides those kinks, I can finally perform/record fast metal drum kick patterns in real time. Which is the main thing I wanted to achieve. So thanks a million for your concise advice, musicbeat! :smiley:
I’ll do a bit more research, maybe there actually is a way to route the triggered notes through Superior Drummer, and have Cubase record the notes that come from SD. I’ll keep you posted. :wink:

Or put the double kicks on a separate track and add a MIDI delay plug-in with 1 100% repeat on 16ths, you could set an automation track to handle number of repeats if you want it to change it throughout the track.the bonus is you’d only have to add the original onbeat event and the second one would be produced by the delay plugin - you could then add a small amount of swing to humanize the double kicks slightly.

How is groove agent working out for you? I’m considering buying Cubase but I have the same concerns Coming from Maschine and Ableton Push, I rely heavily on note-repeat functions. I see groove agent has some ways to do note repeats, but I wonder if it will be anything like what I have.

  1. Record slow, playback at tempo – it’s MIDI

  2. Use your keyboard’s arpeggiator set to 16h note repeat. Hold down key and record part, quantize and adjust velocities according to taste or need.

  3. Use the MIDI insert arppache and record the output of it via “Merge MIDI In Loop.”

  4. Call in a real dummer and record the part; replace or augment the recording with additional samples.

  5. Step-Record the part and playback at tempo.

  6. Use Beat or Step Designer to create the part.

Use two different samples to avoid re-trigger cut-offs and so on. Mess with it, it’s going to sound good.

Good luck. :slight_smile: