It's 2015, still no standard decent drum machine/editor?

I started with Fruity Loops over 15 years ago, but I finally decided to step up and grab Cubase since it offered some stuff that FL was not capable (at the time) of doing. recording is easy, all 3rd party vst’s, effects work seamlessly. That’s where it ends. Editing within Cubase seems rudimentary at best by comparison. Especially drums. First of all, 95% of the songs on the radio use drum machines, yet it doesn’t come standard. (only upgrades will get you that luxury :confused: )
Fine, so I download a 3rd party drum machine, open up the drum editor and there we are again. The most awkward editing experience I’ve ever had of any program. Placing diamonds on a line? There’s a reason everyone uses blocks on a grid. Oh, but wait, I can get a drum machine for extra money from Cubase. Ok, is it easy to use? Not according to this board it’s not. Does it come with easier editing capabilities (i.e a grid) Nope, not unless you shell out even more money for Pro. Cubase LE comes with Groove Agent, but not with Beat Designer. Why would it?!

I’m so frustrated with editing within Cubase on all fronts, I’ll probably just install my free version of Studio One 2 and call it a day.

Agreed. - with the drum editor part and that cubase is a step up…

The drum editor is so akward that i have never and will never use it until the diamonds turn into blocks whose velocity can be adjusted by raising or lowering said blocks height…
I use the arranger events for this…- which, is perfectly fine for me as the main drums get played in via controller and fine tuned / and stuff added in the arranger…

Edit: cubase does rox tho:p - and, you are free to use which sequencer you like at the end of the day…:stuck_out_tongue:

I really loved the drum machine in Reason. It was so easy to use and simple… Kinda miss it :slight_smile:

It’s absurd that if I had a hh, a kick and a snare or any sample for that matter, Cubase has to place for them other than to open up each sound in it’s own channel then draw a beat using the PIANO ROLL. (Unless of course you’re running Pro. Nothing for you $300 and under guys) and even then (from what I’ve read) Groove Agent 4 is so confusing, it’s not even worth it. Of course I wouldn’t know because I can’t download a demo since I refuse to pay $40 dollars for a usb licenser. And like I said earlier, If you do want a VERY basic step sequencer (beat designer) you need to shell out $500 for pro. Do you see a theme here?

At a base level
Ableton has Drum Rack/Impulse
Studio One has Imact
Reason has Kong/Redrum
Sonar has it’s own step sequencer.
FL Studio is one big step sequencer.
ETC.

Just wondering how this is even possible. I’d love anyone from Steinberg to defend this in any way.

Voicing my opinion makes me a troll? You agreed with me in my first post…
Amyway, I have Cubase. I use it. I’m just scratching my head as to why there’s no step sequencer and or drum machine, when every other DAW offers one at a base level. Even a much cheaper Steinberg DAW comes with something https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h7M1Wxwljc. Using FL Studio and exporting individual wavs is getting old. Learn what a troll is before you start throwing terms around.

Hmm…

I have to disagree. I love Cubase’s drum editor with the diamonds.

If you are looking for something easier, why not use the beat designer plugin in Cubase? You can send that to anything really.

Maybe I am missing something?

This. Cubase has the absolute best MIDI editor for drums - I wish other programs used the diamond UI.

Cubase has the absolute best MIDI editor for drums - I wish other programs used the diamond UI

I personally (along with the majority of others) find the grid MUCH easier. Steinberg must as well since their beat designer is a grid. It also makes sense (for reasons I won’t bore you with). There’s a real reason as to why everyone else uses a grid. It’s not just a design choice.

Anyway, I have Elements 8, which has groove agent, but strangely, no beat designer. The 2 go hand in hand in my opinion. I guess they want you to upgrade even more. Oh well.

But seriosuly, you really don’t find this a much easier process than placing diamonds on lines?
https://youtu.be/0h7M1Wxwljc?t=1m25s This seems so useful. I’m actually shocked it doesn’t exist inside of Cubase.

man, with all due respect, I disagree with you. That style of beat making, while perfectly acceptable, is not the preferred choice for the majority of Cubase users. It may be easier to work with for people less skilled or newer to beat making but it is also way more limited compared to Cubase’s “diamond” grid.

Like I mentioned before, the Beat Designer plugin was created for users, such as yourself, that prefer to create “mechanically looped” beats the way you mentioned. You typically aren’t going to be creating jazz, fusion, rock, classical, etc. with that style of drum sequencing.

Cubase offers users MANY tools to create drums patterns and just because you can’t create drums you are happy with inside it’s drum editor doesn’t mean other can’t. Personally, I love it’s drum grid editor and use it all the time.

“man, with all due respect, I disagree with you. That style of beat making, while perfectly acceptable, is not the preferred choice for the majority of Cubase users.”

Blanket statement based on nothing.

“It may be easier to work with for people less skilled or newer to beat making but it is also way more limited compared to Cubase’s “diamond” grid.”

Again, a blanket statement and not true even slightly. And limited in what way? Do you think those icky grids are for electronic music only? Also, ou do realize once you place a “block” on a a grid it doesn’t mean it’s stuck there, right? you can move it anywhere you’d like, just like magic. (And for what’s it’s worth I’ve been producing music professionally since the 90’s.)

Like I mentioned before, the Beat Designer plugin was created for users, such as yourself, that prefer to create “mechanically looped” beats the way you mentioned. You typically aren’t going to be creating jazz, fusion, rock, classical, etc. with that style of drum sequencing.

I’m starting to get the idea that really have no idea what you’re talking about, which is fine, since that what forums usually consist of. First off, It’s not an either or thing. You can have both a grid and your beloved (yet very dated) “diamond on lines”. Cutting off potential users by not having a place to put your drums on anything less than Pro is silly in my opinion. I know people who loved Cubase, but decided to go with Abelton for instance for a more complete experience at a basic level. As for your genres comment, I’m not sure I understand. Typically if you really want to program jazz or any genre with complex patterns (not sure rock or classical fit into this) you would have individual hits assigned to the keys on your controller and PLAY the parts and make adjustments after. I’m not sure anyone programs complex drums for an entire song placing diamonds on lines in the Cubase drum editor, but it’s your free time, if you like spending hours on something that would take me 10 mins, that’s your prerogative.

Despite what you may think, diehard fans on forums are actually harmful. Companies listen to suggestions, believe it or not. Shooting anyone down immediately because they offer an idea you clearly don’t understand is not a good thing. And despite what you may think, there’s countless threads online dealing with the exact issue I brought up. So like, relax and try to embrace the future.

I guess I, and thousands of other users, aren’t anyone then! We do this daily! The layout of Cubase’s drum editor hasn’t changed much in over 20 years. Why do you think that is? Because it perfectly as is!

Cubase is program that caters for many musical styles. If you don’t like the Drum Editor, there the Beat Designer plug-in (as peAk pointed out). Otherwise move off to Abelton Live (which is more or less useless for anything but loopbased musical styles).

Learn to use the right tool for the job, and stop complaining that you can’t hammer in a nail with a saw!

Please read carefully.

I guess I, and thousands of other users, aren’t anyone then! We do this daily! The layout of Cubase’s drum editor hasn’t changed much in over 20 years. Why do you think that is? Because it perfectly as is!

When you have no valid point to make, I guess generalizing seems to do the trick. First off, don’t fool yourself. NO ONE in the music industry paints individual dots on lines for the entirety of a song that’s too complex not to use a normal step sequencer. If it’s really that complex they’ll use a drummer or play the part through their controller. If that’s the way you do it, fine. If it really is “perfectly” as is, why do you think every other program in the world offers a step sequencer/drum grid? Is everyone else wrong? (dumb question on this board)

Abelton Live (which is more or less useless for anything but loop based musical styles).

You also seem to be very misinformed. Just because a program is geared towards a certain audience, doesn’t mean it’s incapable of recording guitar, drums, vocals, etc. Just as the step sequencer in that program is made for more than “loop based” music.

Learn to use the right tool for the job, and stop complaining that you can’t hammer in a nail with a saw!

This literally makes no sense. How is trying to sequence drums in a DRUM SEQUENCER like hammering a nail with a saw?

It’s a shame that people are so quick to try and “make points” on here that they end up
A) Talking about things they have no idea about .
AND/OR
B) Lose sight of the real topic.

Listen, I like Cubase. I use it. I’ve tried every program out there, and I stuck with it.
My point is, If someone purchases anything other than Cubase Pro ($500+) They pretty much have no choice.
I had AI which came with a UR242. I had drums samples I’d like to either play or sequence, but that’s where it stopped. There was nothing for me to put the drums into (a sampler perhaps) or a drum sequencer. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to include this as an option. Like I said, EVERY program offers at LEAST that. Even the much cheaper Steinberg Sequel ($79). I don’t see how that offends people, but I guess that’s the democracy of the internet.

Here’s a fairlight from the future of 1983.
Have fun!

Actually whilst I like using the drum editor there are many significant functions missing for me. Firstly you can’t hide the lanes you are not using - you can’t colour the lanes to create visually identifiable groups - I’d like to see a group editors so that for instance I could edit the cymbals or hi-hats separately.

The diamond shapes for the hits are perfect by the way as you can tell by the top and bottom point exactly where that hit is to place it accurately. Not all of us quantise our drums. Yes it takes longer but it sounds more real. The feel changes with a snare that is variably ahead of or behind the beat. I have never enjoyed the sound of sequenced drums. I think you have guessed EDM is not my thing.

If you don’t like what Cubase offers, do a mock up of what you would like to see rather than showing what’s wrong, draw what would be right for you and give the developers a clue where to go next.
Simple

Another vote for this.
Having used a DAW with blocks, I much prefer the diamonds.
The Drum edit page, which has been around since Atari days, is one of the main reasons I still use Cubase.

Can’t you still open the normal midi editor instead of the ‘diamond’ drum editor, dadahhh blocks.

Personally I’m still in the habit of dropping the samples direct on an audio track, no midi triggering or step sequencers. I don’t like step sequencers.

Yeah, I can use the piano roll and open up every drum sound individually on a separate audio track, but that slows workflow way down for me. I just think it was very misleading of Steinberg to show Beat Designer in every demo of Groove Agent Se 4, then when I upgraded to Elements 8, Beat Designer was nowhere to be found. Since they do go hand-in-hand, it wouldn’t have hurt to throw it in. To use Beat Designer you should NOT have to spend an additional $500. I’m sorry.

Is it included in Artist? Elements really is the lightest version. I’d say it’s not really aimed at the level your at. I don’t think Elements even has sidechain. If the Beat Designer isn’t included in artist we may see it added at some point. I remember when Cubase Studio didn’t have sidechain and Pro did, they added it in a software update, free, probably realising it was a must to keep up.

I’ve just downloaded Elements 8, and I was surprised to see all the extra EQ options. My version of studio never had these, just the standard ones.

What we should realise is, it’s the full pro buyers who are paying the way for them to even shelf these LE’s, Elements etc. They have to draw a line somewhere in what you’re getting.

I will add to your missing functions not only hide or delete, but the ability to move more than 1 drum track at a time. I really wish the drum editor workflow would be updated a bit.

“Personally I’m still in the habit of dropping the samples direct on an audio track, no midi triggering or step sequencers. I don’t like step sequencers.” The OP said 95% of the songs on the radio use drum machines. I think he means 95% of the songs on Top-40 radio format use drum machines? There are many formats where music isn’t centered on a drum machine. Even looking at just the Top-40 format, look at the success of Dr. Luke. He pretty much does this without entering the midi realm. Everything is samples in PT, no drum machine included.