My BIGGEST problem

Other than going through life “fat, drunk, and stupid”

It’s BEATS. Rhythm tracks. I’m terrible at programming them, and find it tedious and annoying.

I’ve had various workstations in the past that integrated on-board drum machines with either the on-board sequencer or the DAW’s sequencer, and composing was a breeze… having beat patterns ready-to-go was a godsend to inspiration and composing.

I ain’t got no beats no mo’. A few days ago I bought some nice 24-bit drummachine samples but I don’t ahev anything to play them through. I was told either Groove Agent 1 or Beat designer would utilize them, but after RTFM several times I still can’t figure out how this is done. Even if I did I still wouldn’t have any patterns to compose/experiment/explore with

Any advice will be appreciated

Learn to play drums or purchase a single drum trigger pad, then you will know how to program rhythm.

Alternatively there are “finger pad” triggers that might work.

Hi Doug

What format are the samples in? Loops or single shots?

I recently got myself an Alesis performance pad which I use for triggering Addictive Drums The performance pad isn’t all that great velocity sensitivity wise, or it could be my playing :wink: but I can easily edit inside cubase. For guide tracks I usually find something in the included files with Addictive drums and the addons I have.

Just had a play with Groove Agent One. First of all open Media Bay. Locate your samples there. You might have to tick the file location in the internal browser. You can drag the samples or loops from media bay to a groove agent one pad. You’d think it would be possible to drag and drop from windows explorer. :neutral_face:

I can program rock rhythms fairly well… it’s the other genres I have no clue about, teh ones that typically don’t use real drums. So I want rhythm loops to assist me in both inspiration and composing.

My controller has Akai MPC drum pads on it. I need to figure out how to trigger sounds in Cubase from it. It’s all pretty new to me.

So dave you’re saying that if I open MediaBay I should be able to locate my samples from there? Okay, I’ll try that – thanks!

I’ve got one of these

Hi Doug

I used to roll my own drum tracks from scratch. These days I do import pre-made midi tracks as teaching-aids and inspiration within a style. Importing into groove agent makes sense, but I prefer an interface which includes it’s own midi-section organizer - like EZDrummer, or what I use now, which is Toontrack Superior. Kim is IMO the ‘man’ when it comes to hacking into those, and I bet he’ll have input on how you could make those new sounds of yours fit into a great accessible format :slight_smile:


I don’t get on someone’s case without putting mine on the table:

“I am Glyn Powell, I’m a silly bugger,” This derived from my Northern-English Grandma’s “You’re a cheeky little silly bugger, but your MY silly little bugger, you little bugger, so lets have a game of checkers.” ‘Bugger’, though it has intimate connotation, is a common Northern English term of endearment with no connotation of bum-sex. ‘Sod’ can also be so used, but includes connotations of ‘bad’.

At the time I WAS Little. OFTEN Cheeky. SOMETIMES silly, though 99% of the time that was the ignorance of a seven year old. Then again, in my Grandma’s ‘Cubase Project’ they were never on ‘separate tracks’ in her ‘arrange window’.
They were already rendered to stereo: “Hehehe-comehere’n’givegran’ma-aluvelykiss-yersillylittlebugger-hehe-yelittlebugger-heheh-WHO’S a sillylittlebugger?-YOUR’Easillylittlebugger-hehe.” Actually MONO - it arrived less like a sequenced or balanced mix, and more like a truck dumping sand or shale in the front yard of my young mind.

It was not delivered with my father’s surgical precision of life-threatening abusive-messages. “Home by 10PM. Did I say 11:00? Did you say ‘yes’ when I said ‘Back by 10’? What time is it now? If you knew you were coming back at 11, why did you say ‘yes’ to 10? Are you just a stupid dolt or are you a little liar? If you think you can lie to me, you’re not just a liar - you ARE a stupid dolt. Well? WHY? I’m Waiting” … [me=silent because trying to process a loaded statement] … “Thinking hard how you’re going to try to get out of it? Aren’t you? As usual.”
The MONO Mix-Down was, in a loud monotone voice,“You’re a Stupid-Lying-LittleDolt-TryinToGetOutOfEverything-You’reNoGood.” As a mashed message, it had no possibility of redemption, and to make it worse, he’d given me the track-by-track, with ‘Shout’ and ‘Evil-eye-glare’ as insert effects. He’d also insisted that I try and fail to sing harmony. Note-by-note coaching in singing the “I am worthelss” song.

Therefore, Doug, I wanted to check with you: Is that self-putdown you wrote just a casual/fun thing which may or may not be applicable at all, in parts, to some times in your life? Or To what extent have you been going through some of your life telling yourself that? And To what extent might others who are connected with you have been going through THEIR lives telling you, and/or other people close to them, such negative messages? And did they learn when it is right to stop it and to say some of the more realistic and nice things?

I have experienced you as modest regarding your own skills, but never heard you talk like you did up there, and therefore did not wish to risk just ‘walking by’ without making some comment, or checking that it be just light self-humour and nothing more.

I do not aim to pry, nor that you should share private matters.
The most I ask is that you witness the following simple and obvious facts:

You are proven to have control, in the service of, for example, your health when you wake up/notice/take inventory. Your variance from your ideal in matters of your eating and drinking became the territory of a project most noble and an example to us all. Your Weight-Thread got deleted, but this project’s effects, not just on you, but on others who read it and changed their behaviours thereby, are fresh in our minds and bodies as your work became the spearhead and guiding light of our common wish for longevity with quality.

Witness also, please, that there is, on this forum, a greater-than-10-year ongoing public record of your competence, integrity and commitment to develop, in musical, technical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual matters. Any ONE of those, though admirable in itself, might have been a personal and positive ‘wolf note’ or one-trick-pony’s trick. The sum, however, and moreover, the way they are combined, uncontradictorially, across your works, though I have only experienced the written and the recorded, cannot be other than Tip-of-the-Iceburg or Smoke-of-the-Volcano. You have maintained this record, not only in fair weather, but also in foul times, times of challenge both respectful and vile. These is output and expression of one who is infinitely more than that one-liner I read. One whose greater whole renders that one-liner most feeble - at best, temporary and out dated, and at worst, a ‘whiplash’ of sadness or frustration, even if the one-liner had origins in you in the first place.

The contradiction between your comment and the man I know was too great for me to just pass by.

Best wishes

Edited one time for spelling and tidying.

Oh dear, Doug. I’m afraid I’ve no advice for you - but you do have my moral support borne out of empathy and admiration. I have few reasons to chuff my chest out about only having an acoustic guitar to program (which still resolutely insists on flesh and nail being applied). I periodically wonder what landscapes I could add to my humble efforts were I to master some elementary drumming, virtual or otherwise. But I cower in abject terror. Coz I know it’s as big a skill as any I could muster or yet now accomplish. I’m still trying to learn to swim proper.

I have every confidence you will work this out. :sunglasses:

There are plenty of junk electric kits on ebay very cheap that can be linked up via MIDI.

There is a program from SMPRO audio that allows you to switch on only particular MIDI interfaces (unlike cubase) so you can mix and match very obscure pieces of hardware via USB MIDI interfaces.

Of course that only allows you to play, but what you can do if you are keen is trigger it via MIDI so it does not drain on the resources of your main system. Of course you can play along with loops and learn using a second audio interface and mix it to an analog desk along with your other VST’s and/or drum machine, sound module etc.

Some things, some time, are not an indication of “out of character” ya know. :slight_smile:

In a practice called “The Fourth Way”, it is called a buffer. An unconscious attempt to derail ones own character in order to request honest and legitimate help. It happens to the best of us.

If your controller has pads on it, you should have a mapping utility in your software program which can assign sounds to certain notes. Like C1 might be Kick, D1 might be snare, E1 might be Floor Tom, Eb1 might be Side Stick, etc… Most of these mapping utilities use a representation of keyboard notes, and they should be available in both Cubase Groove Agent and your controller. I believe you need to use your controller as a “Midi Instrument” in Cubase, so you would need to create that first before mapping specific samples to the pads.

This is the same thing I do with my Fantom keyboard, which has a Similar Pad set. I map the pads in BFD2 and my Fantom only has to be hooked up by midi, so I can pound away gleefully, triggering BFD2 sounds with those pads.

You’ll have to get used to tedious and annoying I’m afraid. I’m right there myself every time I have to work out a rhythm part.


Hi John

I certainly hope it’s something like that

Best wishes
Glyn :slight_smile:

Dear Glynn – it’s a quote from a very famous American comedy:

Sorry if I set of an alarm there


Thank you, Doug :slight_smile:

I agree, it’s usually faster/easier to just start creating a drum track than hunting down the right MIDI file

And for me fairly straight rock/pop isn’t an issue either

It’s other genres – jazz, bossa, techno, electronica, r&b, funk, etc that I’m clueless and need something “ready to go” – not just in terms of the rhythm, but even more so the actual sounds involved

I probably need to just step up and buy Stylus and be done with it

Also, I ordered a Korg Kronos that will have some on-board beats but they’re telling me it probably won’t get here until late Spring (small local store that doesn’t enjoy allocation priority like a GC or sweetwater)

Jamstix 3

thanks – I’ll look into that one

(I actually had Jamstix 1 a long time ago but never used it… I wonder if they have a record of the purchase so I can get the upgrade?)

I did use Jamstix quite a lot, but for the last couple of songs I used EZdrummer.

But, regardless what I use, I tweak it a lot. I usualy only start with a basic beat and then add (or delete) fills, accents etc. till I’m happy. It’s a lot of work, but I always enjoy doing it. I know how to play real drums, but I wish I was a better drummer myself. In the future I think I’m going to get some sort of E-drums and then probably combine it with EZdrummer (or Jamstix), that will make it a lot easier to create beats and fills etc.

Ain’t that the truth, Brother!

I visited a local music shop some time ago and the had a e-kit set up in the display window of the shop so you could play it. I poked around for half a minute and just had to put the sticks down, because I knew if I kept playing a full minute I’d be hooked! :astonished: next year though … :sunglasses: :laughing:

But damn, that was fun!!! Maybe it was one of those $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ kits, all I know it was a Roland kit. Anybody who knows if there is a great difference in the feel and playability of a $$$$ and a $$$$$$$$$$$ kit? Maybe it’s worth the extra to get a kit that's a pleasure to play rather than save a and get a PITA kit?

Sooo true!
Had a buddy come by to do some recording and he left his Roland V kit for about a week.
My wife and two daughters fell in love with the damned thing so I had to get one.

And they are not even musicians but they loved putting on headphones and playing along with
songs they liked. The ability to change drum kits on the fly was what really sold it.
So I bought it. But I found out later that most real drummers would not touch it.

There is quite a difference between different pricerange eDrum kits. I have an Alesis DM5 which is rather cheap, but I found a nice DIY guide I followed to upgrade the drumpads with meshheads which really made a difference. I never played an accoustic kit, but with my new pads I felt I took the kit up a pricerange or 2 and it greatly improved my playing. The upgrade only cost me €50,-, with the kit being €350 second hand. Feels like playing a roland kit now (with the exception of the cymbals, I still need to figure out something for them :wink: )

For anyone interested, this is the conversion I did. If you own a similar drumkit --> WELL RECOMMENDED!

I generally program my own (BFD2 and a Korg Padkontrol finger pad…which I really like by the way). I have Jamstix too and use it sometimes to just get a quick drum pattern going. I’ve actually been pretty impressed with it. Easy to use and it has a number of very usable pre-built patterns.