MIDI Drum Editing

Hi Folks:

I’m editing a drum part I played from my Drum Kat and am wondering how to edit velocities on the snare. I’d like to have all the 2 & 4 hits at a constant velocity (around 110-115) and the in between ghost notes around 30. Is there any way to edit specific time points in the bar for one instrument in the Drum Editor?

-thanks, Mark

if they are on the same note you must do it in a couple of rounds, if you have the ghost hit on a separate note you could just do fixed velocity from the midi menu on each row of hits.

if you double click on the part it should take you to a drum map.
You can edit the part then.

Take a look at the Midi Logical Editor.

There are several Logical Editor presets that will achieve this very common task. And dozens of variations.

I suggest you download the Metagrid Cubase folder to install Jonos LE presets. There are several dozens. Pick and choose what you need.

Keep in mind these are just LE presets…really nothing to do with Metagrid.

Hi Mark,
I have edited, literally, really a thousand drum parts. There aren’t too many shortcuts for real drumming input. Player, as you know, have a lush range of velocities (and timing), making editing a chore sometimes.
There are several ways of getting things pretty close to what you want. One is to not be to concerned about exact midi velocities, as that is gunna sound pretty stiff and not-really-a-drummer-ish. A bit loose ain’ too bad a thing.
To that end you can use the velocity change tools in the velocity editing lane; choose all snare (I’m assuming they are all the same midi note) hits and use the “scale velocity” handle to to even out the hits, and the “move velocity” to adjust the entire thing up/down without changing the relative values.
You can also use the midi effect 'compressor" in the midi inserts to limit the upper max velocity.
I’m not sure that the logical editor would be useful, mainly because even though you want to choose beats 2 & 4, they might have x-number of ruffs between them, so you couldn’t really tell it to select any well defined number of hits.
If you have not that many ruffs between hits you might consider just selecting these, moving them to a new drum sound, doesn’t matter which sound…neighboring notes works…then edit the two, individual, lines the way you like, then move the weak notes back to the snare line.
Drum editing, especially for actual drummer perfornmances, is time consuming, but completely worth it to get a natural drum performance that tight.

Hi Guys:
Thanks for all your suggestions. I’ve only been working on Cubase since February-previously I had a Roland VS-2480, a Yamaha QX-3 sequencer and a bunch of 90’s MIDI modules. Pretty dated by todays standards, but I knew that gear 100% and could get results quickly.

The QX-3 had a few functions that would help me achieve what I’m trying to do. If I was working on it, I would do it this way:

  1. Note Extract: I can extract all the snare notes (#38) from the drum track to their own dedicated track.
  2. Spot Extract: From that Track I can extract all the notes on 2 and 4 to their own Track.

Now I can offset or expand/compress velocities of backbeats and ghost notes separately. Once I get what I want, I can merge the edited snare back to the original drum Track. Is there some way to extract note or “positional” information from a MIDI Track on Cubase? It looks like the MIDI Logical Editor could do the trick, if I can figure out how to work it.

-thanks, Mark

Isnt it where those hits fall on the grid relative to beats 2 and 4? I know I have additional hits, perhaps ruffs, and beats 2 and 4 still get selected correctly with ruffs still in place. If you dont want a pure quantize and keep a human feel, then that timing variance has to be included in the LE preset, or quantize first, use a LE preset, then humanize however that could take longer.

I’m not a drummer, but before executing a LE preset to select for example beats 2 and 4, could you have a LE preset to select velocities only above X amount? Then combine those into 1 LE preset, or keep them as 2 LE presets and chain them in a macro?

My guess of success would be dependent on a host of variables. It could be too time consuming to set up if it’s a function you rarely use for future. Using a LE preset to select beats 2 and 4 is easy. But if those beats vary a little bit, then you need to include that in the LE preset.

I’m a novice at making LE presets. But stealing others, especially Jonos LE presets because he created so many that address measures and beats, you can learn how to create what you want, sometimes even just manipulating his.

It should be possible to do all that in the Midi Logical Editor, but no need to extract to a separate track. Select all the snare notes and the Logical Editor will only affect those.

Hi Guys:
I should mention two things:

  1. Drums are my main instrument
  2. I always (hard) quantize MIDI drum parts.

I find that groove and accuracy (or consistency) have a lot in common, so I want my drum parts to be consistent in terms of timing. What helps groove the most is retaining dynamics (think emphasis); certain positions in the bar are more important than others, in the order of quarters, eights, sixteenths. Not to turn this into a philosophical discussion about the pros and cons of quantizing, but for this exercise all my drum data will be “on the grid”, which should make it easier to edit.

And there’s lots of ruffs.


Then using a LE preset should be straight forward.

For lots of LE presets that address different accents, go to Metagrid>downloads>Metasystem app specific resources> choose Cubase. Again, there is no need to download the Metaserver or anything else. You just want the Logical Presets that Jono has created.

EDIT: after years of the same version, just today Metagrid was updated, and it appears Metasystem app specific resources isn’t clickable. PM me if you wish and I can send them. Or contact Jono …

Hi greggybud:

Thanks for the info. I’ve been playing around with the MIDI LE and so far I’m able to select a snare on either 2 or 4, but not both 2 and 4. I downloaded the Cubase App Resources from Metagrid and there’s a ton of presets in the folder as .xml files.

I found the locations of the stock Cubase LE Presets; they are: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase 10_64\Presets\Logical Edit . I moved the Metasystem Presets into that folder and they open fine in Cubase MIDI LE. Wow; tons of Presets.

Does anyone have the exact syntax that the LE would understand to select a MIDI snare (nn#38) on both 2 and 4, or is this even possible?

-thanks, Mark

By syntax do you mean LE preset? Or do you mean actual steps to make it happen in the LE?

There are a lot of presets, but they should be named pretty clearly. I’m out of town, but someone else who uses Jonos should know, or wait a couple days. iirc, he breaks them down into measures, quaarters, eights sixteenths, etc and just about every combination is included. Accent for beat 2 and beat 4 should be easy to find.

Success! I spent some time with the MIDI Logical Editor today. By Syntax I mean the exact wording of the commands to be Input(ted) to the Editor. It’s like DOS Command Line-one spelling mistake and it won’t work. I also looked through the Metagrid Presets and found one (MG-139) that was close enough that it could be tweaked to what I wanted.

It’s great that you can also create your own Folder of commonly used Presets to store and recall easily. Thanks greggybud for pointing me in the right direction.