How do you edit drum maps?

I’ve created drum map from a kit in GA and assigned it to my Groove Agent track. I can see it if I open Drum Map Setup.

Now I want to edit the names of the drums and also change the order. I have seen people do this on YT videos.

However I cannot change anything in my drum map. Tried double clicking names etc. no luck. Also I’ve seen people drag drums up and down the list in YT vids. I can’t do this it seems.

What am I missing here?


How did you get the Drum Map you want to edit? If the Drum Map has been “Created from Instrument”, then you cannot edit it, because it;s a mirror of the map of the Instrument, and it has to be in sync.

I’ve not actually tried this as for various reasons i create my own maps… try ‘save as’ then load the resulting file and edit that instead.

Be aware you have to load the Drum Map manually in this case.

The drum mapping is something that could probably be cleaned in a future version of Cubase, I hope. It seems tremndously convoluted. At least in my experience, so much so that I avoid making specialized maps anymore.

Thanks for the explantion re: create from instrument leads to no eidt ability.

As advised, if you save as then reload the map it should work. I’ve seen a guy do this save and reload thing on a tutorial vid (IIRC) and couldn’t understand for the life of me the point of the step. Now I guess I do.

Been away for a bit and will try this out when I get a chance, thanks again.

Agree this seems a bit of a silly restriction. If you create a map from instrument and you screw it up you can just create a another one. If you change the instrument (e.g. edit the pads) then likely as not this will be before you get down to serious work in the drum editor so creating a new map wouldn’t be an issue.

I’m no expert but it sems to me the big advantage of create map from instrument is you get all the individual drums marked in some fashion on a map against the correct key notes so you don’t miss any or get the keys wrong etc and you can then organise to your taste drum name and position wise, otherwise you have to slog through a process of entering each one manually.

Ok so i’ve just started a new project and decided to try this out… WHAT A JOKE!!!

I’ve just spent an hour or so with it, saved the map as i originally suggested and then reloaded it in order to edit… well it’s possible to drag lanes up and down but nothing else, they seem to randomly revert to their original ordering for no apparent reason too… As is it’s completely half baked and only really of use if you only have a few drum sounds to map, which is the kind of person who is unlikely to use maps anyway… please fix what could POTENTIALLY be a really handy feature…

DEVS:… this is what SHOULD be doable…

Create map from instrument… fine, seems to work ok

Edit Drum map so it is possible to rename cells and to reorder them.

The ability to save the newly edited map so it does not seem to randomly revert to its old ordering.

For some reason even if you save drum maps that have been created directly from instruments appear to have meta data that keeps it synced to the instrument. Even if you make a copy, rename it and save it under a different name it will just sync to the instrument again. that is something i want to do myself but cubase doen’t allow it.
I agree that this should be possible.

Yeah it is annoying you can’t change instrument generated maps. I was really not happy when I discovered this after losing an hour of work.

I have a workaround I use with BFD3, but I don’t know if you can do this in GA (which I don’t normally use). In BFD3 I built an internal drum map that had all of the drums/articulations in the order that I like - including for extra drums not in my default kit. Now when I use Cubase to build a map from the instrument, that map reflects my internal BFD3 map. It also turns out that if I swap out or change a kit piece in BFD3 that gets automatically shown in the Cubase map.

First, this is mainly relevant for people who NEED everything in a single track so they can SCORE it on a single Stave. Otherwise, just use separate tracks and be done with it :slight_smile:

In tinkering with using a bunch of different ‘Agent Kits’ over different channels, but through a single DAW track…
I found that as long as everything comes from a single instance of GA4, it does a pretty good job of automatically mapping things out so that all of the instruments are available through a single track.

However, maps imported directly from GA4 would not let me change the channel or port. This might be a problem if you want to trigger stuff in a different plugin, or instance of GA4 from this same ‘drum track’.

An obvious option is to start a ‘fresh/new Drum Map, or begin with the GM Map as your base’ (these maps allow changing the channel and ports at will)…but going down the list and setting every single piece all over again is a bit time consuming and annoying.

So, what if I’m set on doing all this from a single track, and I want to start out with a base Acoustic Agent Kit, and just borrow a few pieces from another kit on a another channel or even a different instance or VSTi? What if I want to be able to do this at any time during my project, without any extra ‘inserts’ or complicated mental gymnastics?

Here’s a little trick I found to quickly import a GA4 drum map and make it so the channel and output for each individual kit piece can be edited.

  1. In the instrument or midi track inspector that you wish to map click the drum map area in the track inspector.

Choose “Create Drum Map from instrument”.

Click that area again and choose “Drum Map Setup”.

You’ll get a big Drum Map Editor…

  1. Unfortunately this imported map will not let you change the outgoing channels or ports as is, but we can fix that with a text editor. A bit of a pain, but it’s much easier and quicker than going through and changing everything by hand on a ‘fresh new map’ where everything defaults to ‘channel 10’, ‘track output’.

  2. So…click the function tab in the top left of the Drum Map editor and save a copy of your imported map by clicking on ‘Functions’ in the top left hand corner of the Drum Map editor and choosing “save”.

Use a name and location you can remember (By default it’ll probably offer to save it in the directory of your currently opened project).

  1. Switch to the GM Map (which can be edited) and save a copy of that somewhere (just like you did in step 3 with the imported map).

  2. Open the GM Map.drm, and your imported map files in a text editor.

Scroll to the very bottom of both files…
Copy this bit of XML relative to “OutputDevices” and “init name” out of the GM Map (or alternatively, you can just copy it directly from this code block. Just note for future reference that I found this bit of code from a regular Cubase General MIDI drum map).

   <list name="OutputDevices" type="list">
         <string name="DeviceName" value="Default Device"/>
         <string name="PortName" value="Default Port"/>
   <int name="Flags" value="0"/>
  1. Highlight this bit of code in your imported GA drum map and replace it with the code above.
         <int name="Flags" value="1"/>
  1. Save your imported drm file in utf-8 format.
    It’s important to make sure you’ve your text editor to save it in plain utf-8 format, and that the file is named with the .drm extension!

  2. Back in the CuBase Drum Map editor: Click on your imported map in the list so it highlights, click ‘Functions’ again, and remove the map.

  3. Click “Functions” again, and load your altered copy of the imported map.

At this point, you should be able to edit the channels and ports/outputs of the map.

You might need to click the Drum Map area in the track inspector and tell it about this new map so it can use it.

For more on this topic see:


MANY thanks!!!

I was thinking about this last night and was wondering if it would be possible to do what you suggests, sans the details because i do not do any type of coding these days…

Will try this out later… again many thanks!

I did try the link you posted too but either i just get the message ‘you cannot edit this forum’…

Ooops…fixed the link in the post and here it is again here:

Cheers again Brian… just bookmarked it so will have a thorough read before i try tweaking that map!

Much appreciated!

This is really interesting as I have been very frustrated with the peculiarities of how Cubase deals with Drum Maps.
It seems that I cam save BFD3 drum maps. I choose a name and save it in the the BFD Drum Map folder - say for instance David 1. I load into a project and I get BFD2 Kit order 3.2 (or 3.3, 3.4 etc for each time I save a new map)

I can re-order and rename the lanes as I like and saving retains this, but will not save the name of the file. Would the text editing solve this problem too?

This is totally awesome Brian.
I always thougt that there must be some kind of switch in the map that could be turned off. You found it :smiley:

Thanks for that :wink:

Not sure but it might be possible. Have a look at your maps in an xml editor. Something might jump out at you that makes sense to try editing (please keep backups and test in isolation at a non-mission-critical time of course).

I personally have been using this one:

Thanks again for the link, i realised notepad wouldn’t be enough so was just looking for a light weight editor… nice one!

I haven’t tried it yet, but just looking a GM Map I see a field right away that should take care of your map naming…

<string name="Name" value="GM Map" wide="true"/>

I’m assuming that changing the ‘value=“GM Map”’ in this case, would give the map whatever name I wanted once loaded into Cubase.

Indeed Brian, I found exactly the same thing after examining the drum map XML file but haven’t got round to updating my own thread yet…

Changing that flag solves the problem handily. However I just changed the flag to ‘0’ and it seemed to work OK. Do you know what the purpose of the addition of the Device Name and Port Name atributes are, what they do, if I should be concerned about adding them?

Perhaps it works fine without the preceding cells; however, I noticed when comparing a map generated by Cubase for a Groove Agent 4 instance, to the fully editable GM Map; that, the GM map has that extra information, while the static map, generated by Cubase (which does NOT allow editing the fields in those columns) for my GA4 instance did not.

I’m making a raw ‘guess’ that it initializes columns for the device and port to some default values. Not sure where it gets the defaults from…could have something to do with the settings of a track (inspector), or maybe the last settings used (similar to how Cubase imports MIDI files when the flag to use Halion SE is NOT checked).

It might be interesting to make some changes and export a map again to see what…if anything Cubase does to these device and port values.