How to create group hit of notes?

Suppose I have a clap or snap sample and I want to create like a bunch of people are clapping or snapping at the same time (but not perfectly quantized and people are a few milliseconds apart). Is there a way to do it without creating a bunch of tracks for each sample?

I suppose one way is to do a loop and just keep layering on top of each cycle but want to see if there are any other ideas…


This is where Sound Randomizer helps. But this is Nuendo only, unfortunately.

Most clap VSTi’s I’ve seen have different claps on each note. What I do is the following which is Logical Editor centric:

  1. Create and edit a MIDI Part for one complete cycle or bar of your clap pattern - just a single clap right now.
  2. Edit the clap note’s velocity to put accents where needed.
  3. Duplicate the MIDI Part as needed for the entire song, then Glue all theses copies into a single big Part
  4. Edit this big Part and use the LE (or alt+drag) to duplicate your clap notes both above & below your starting line - use fairly large intervals like a 5th or octave when you copy the line. Do this a bunch of times to create your “crowd” size.
  5. At this point you’ll have a bunch of hands clapping your pattern but it will be very repetitive, always the same hand, velocity/accents, etc.
  6. Use the LE to randomize all the hand-clap note’s pitch value. Use the relative randomize so it moves the notes X amount from their current pitch. It’s best to make X equal to half the amount of the interval used when copying the line in step 4. That way you won’t end up with 2 notes landing on the same pitch at the same time.
  7. Next randomize the note positions using the LE, again using relative random to move them Y ticks before or after their current position. I recommend randomizing the position by a small amount multiple times rather than a larger amount just once. *
  8. Finally relative randomize all the velocities. The amount to randomize here will depend on what velocities the accented & unaccented notes used in step 2. Randomizing too much here can swamp out your accents.

I know this seems like a lot of steps but you can put a lot of it into Macros calling LE Presets in sequence. So once you do the setup work the actual execution is quick. Also a bunch of elements in this can be used on sounds other than claps.

*** Why randomize by multiple small steps instead of one big step**
If you look at a someone trying to hit a drum on a specific beat they of course don’t always hit it exactly at the intended time - instead they are off by small amounts (or for some players…). But the amount they are off is not a random amount. Usually they are very close to the beat, and sometimes they are a bit further, and every so often they’ll be even further off. If you made a graph of the distribution of this “offness” it would be a bell curve with more & more hits occurring the closer you get to the beat. If you randomize multiple times by a small amount the results will look like a bell curve where most of the time hits are close to the beat. If you randomize once by a large amount you’ll end up with the same amount (on average) of hits that are waaaayyy off as those close to the beat. This does not sound natural

Rereading OP and see it is only for a single clap sample. There are a bunch of free clap VSTi’s that will give you a bunch more variation than a single sample ever will. I’ve been using Clap Machine from 99Sounds for ages, but you should check out the KVR database to see what the current options are. I don’t generally use Groove Agent but assume it has a variety of clap sounds available.

Good info thanks