Sampler / Beat - SETUP


I have a question which might suggest that I true noob :wink:

It’s regarding the setup for working on beats / samples.

So far what I have done is that I import different one-hits and loops. Most of the time I want to use such an eclectic beat ensemble that I 9 times out of 10 I don’t find I can use pre made drum banks in VSTs.

I give each sample / drum hit / loop a track of its own.

I do this maybe mostly for visual reasons, to be able to have an overview of the project when I look at the DAW sequencer of the song. I am an order / control freak so I feel the need to see clearly for example on what parts of a song say a certain percussion instrument is active / not active. Where the beat changes its patterns etc…

I also do it to be able to rearrange loops and edit (mostly mute) parts of them etc. I can’t see how I could do that if I assigned the loops / samples to different midi keys in a vst.

I also do it to be able to do separate automations and insert fx for the different hits / samples.

However since a long time now I have a deep suspicion that this is extremely far from the best way to do things. CPU wise but also workflow wise.

Do you have any comments on what I am doing wrong and examples on how you do it?

I have been thinking that I should probably try to get more audio samples onto one track. And use a vst to program the patterns of the samples. I was thinking of Geist and / or Kontakt for that but don’t know what is best. Or if there is something better. I also thought about using regroover instead of editing the loops by cutting and pasting in the sequencer.

My main concern about using a drum machine vst is that get dizzy by thinking of programming different patterns for a song but then not see visually in the DAW sequencer which pattern is on where in the different parts of the song.

Thanks so much for reading this long question that I probably could have put in a much clearer and brief way.

Btw I am on Cubase 11 on Mac / Mojave but this question is universal I assume.



Myself, I would use Groove Agent SE for this task. I would fill it by the samples, you want to trigger. I would use only one instance of Groove Agent. Then I would create several MIDI tracks. Every single MIDI track for every single pitch/sample. So you would still have the overview, where is which sample in use, but you would use only one Groove Agent instance, so you would save the CPU load.

I use Groove agent and I create an output for every sample so I can mix them better and export the stems faster. I have a template where groove agent is already active with 8 outputs. The only downside for using groove agent instead of the sampler track for example is that if you move your samples or delete them from your computer won’t be copied in automatic in the project folder so you will only have the midi data without any sample.

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Thanks a lot to both of you! Maybe groove agent is the way to go, didn’t know you coulf load your own audio into it. How does one assign the difference samples to different midi tracks? Never used midi tracks :neutral_face:


Every single sample is triggered by a specific MIDI Note.

  • Add multiple MIDI Tracks
  • Set all MIDI Tracks’ output to the Instrument (Groove Agent SE).
  • Set all MIDI Tracks’ Channels to 1.
  • Play only one Pitch per track. The pitch = the sample (pad trigger).