Routing individual notes for processing

If I’m using a drum kit that’s been sliced is there a way to route the individual notes to tracks in Ableton for processing?

Yes. In Halion 6 you can sort things by layers, and each layer can have independent bus routing.

If you do not have HALion 6, but instead use Sonic, skip to the next post.

First, enable another set of audio outputs for HALion. Now you should get an extra set of HALion outputs on your DAW Mixer (Sorry, I don’t have Ableton…so I’m assuming…this is how it works in CuBase).

How easy it be will can depend on the kit in question. If the layer is unlocked in a way that you can see all the individual kit pieces when you unfold it, it’s pretty easy.

In the “Program Tree”

In some cases each kit piece might already be in separate layers. I.E. Several snare drum samples for different velocities. In cases like this, Just create a new bus in this layer and route it where you want.

It might be beneficial to copy the whole kit first and delete everything you don’t want isolated from the copy. While not always necessary, it gives you a clone of the top level ‘sound and zone’ settings to start with, and you could tweak those independently of the rest of the kit from there if desired. So personally, I usually take this approach. Another reason for doing it this way is for Sonic compatibility (in case you want to export an HSSE compatible preset), which would make it possible to reroute each layer’s bus through the Sonic MIX tab. Sonic supports up to 4 layers at the top level (they can each have a macro page as well), and each layer can have an independent bus.

Lets use the “Standard Rock Kit” as an example. I am going to isolate the snare drum and send it to the second set of outputs. The rest of the kit will remain on the Master Bus.

Before we do anything to it, it looks like this.

  1. Using Copy/Paste, make a copy of the top layer containing the drum kit piece you wish to isolate.
  2. Expand the copy and delete all of the contents of the copy.
  3. Drag the kit piece from the original kit layer you want to isolate into the copy.
  4. Create a new audio bus inside this new layer.
  5. You should be able route it to Output 2 at this point.
  6. If you want to make any adjustments to the sound and zone for this new layer, do so.
  7. If you want any internal effects from HALion itself applied to this new layer/bus, do so.
  8. Save a copy of the Program/Preset. You might want to name it something different from the original.

After you’re done, it’ll be something like this:

If you’re trying to use something that has the layer locked down it gets more complex, but it’s still possible. An example would be isolating just the vibraslap sound out of the General MIDI Drum Kit that comes in the SE Basic Library. You’ll notice that in some of the kits that come with Sonic/HALion, that you cannot ‘open’ some of the kit Layers in the Program Tree to get at individual samples or sub-layers (They are locked/protected).

In this example have a look at the drum kit “[GM 129] Stereo GM”. The vibraslap sound we want to isolate is packed into the ‘perc’ layer, which is protected. Out of the box it looks like this:

In the “Program Tree”

  1. Make a copy of the top layer of the Kit you wish to isolate.
  2. delete everything but the layer containing the kit piece you wish to isolate from the copy.
  3. Use a MIDI Modulator/Mega Trig in the first layer to filter the kit piece out of the original layer.
  4. Use a second MIDI Modulator/Mega Trig to filter everything BUT the Vibraslap (A#2) out of the second ‘copy’ of the kit.
  5. Set up a new Bus in your copy layer and route things where you want it.
  6. Save a copy of the Program/Preset. You might want to name it something different from the original.

When I’m done, it looks like this:

The Megatrigs are set to filter the vibraslap (located on key A#2) instrument out of the first layer, and to ONLY let it play in the second layer. They look like this:

and this:

That was for HALion…

What if you have Sonic instead?

Sure, you can isolate an individual kit piece to its own outputs.

Here’s the task of isolating the Vibraslap of the Standard kit.

  1. Activate a new Audio Output. (Top right corner of the plugin…little down arrow brings up a menu where it can be done).
  2. Load the same kit into Sonic for 3 instrument slots.
  3. In the MIDI tab set all three kits to the same MIDI channel.
  4. Create zones to filter things so the A#2 only plays in the second slot and goes out over output 2.
  5. In the Mix tab set the audio output for the slot you wish to isolate.

Here’s what everything looks like.

Thank you so much Brian!