Sequencing Percussion

I just watched this interesting screencast on someone demonstrating Note Expression in Cubase 6.5 with the new Retrologue synth:

but I also noticed a different way of sequencing percussion tracks. They seem to be grouped. I use N|I Battery for my percussion sounds and each pad is mapped to it’s own output channel, however I use one midi track to sequence all percussion and to be honest, it’s not very good for my music writing flow. A while back I tried using the Drum Editor Lane in Cubase but that was an even worse headache.

So does anyone know what the screencaster is doing here? Will it work with Battery?

The drum editor in cubase is imo the best choice when it comes to midi percussion or drums…if I were you I would spend some time learning to use it…when you do you will wonder how you ever lived without it,it will pay off.

I couldnt view the posted clip because im on my phone right now sorry cant help you their…but trust me when I say drum editor for midi drums and percussion is the greatest I would be lost without it…its fast easy to use and gets results…

And use a different midi track for each part.

They just created a “Folder Track” and added individual tracks for each drum sound into that “folder”.

You can see the folder icon and name “Ordner” of the top track (that’s the Folder Track), and indented below are the tracks with the drums “Kick”, “ClosedHH”, “Shaker” and “Snare”.

You can do this with any instrument and you could use ONE VSTi with drum patch ]and route several tracks to that one VSTi, or you could have a different VSTi for each drum part for even greater variety (a kick from this plugin, and a snare from that plugin, etc.).

You can use any combination of VSTi’s and track routings to fit however you like it. Some people seem to get stuck on one way to do it, and that’s cool, it works for them. I like to keep myself learning new ways of doing things, so I try to vary a little here and there. I’ve done this a while, and it’s not really rocket science, after all. :slight_smile:

If you keep every drum part (not talking about a Cubase Part here, but a single drum sound) then you do not have to build complicated drum programs (multi-samples, etc.), with zones and all that, in some synthesizer or sampler. And it’s easier to copy/paste, replace, complement, etc. It also lets you still use the Cubase Drum editor if you still want to, but you can of course do it any which way you like it.

Drum Map are awesome since you can edit the default drum map xml file (remember to create a copy first) and then develop custom instrument groupings for VST’s or external instruments.

Thanks for the replies everyone!

I will give drum map another shot. Where is the original .xml file that I want to back up? and why do I even want to edit this file? Can’t all of the editing be done in Cubase?

So I want to understand completely what I need to do here. I like the idea of using a group folder in order to create a midi lane for each percussion instrument. This will allow me to be a little more creative and less lazy when it comes to muting/copying sections for percussion arrangement So after I create a midi lane for each percussion instrument, do I need to change each of them to a drum map? Then I suppose I need to map each midi channel to its respective Battery pad I want to trigger.

Does all of this sound right?

Technically you could use a drum map across several channels but unless they feed the same instrument they will only be “copies” of the xml file loaded into memory.

Drum maps can be edited in order to remove unused instrument, thereby giving the effect of lanes but in a single editor.

In the short term you can simply drag unused lanes down to the bottom of the screen.

IM(H)O, the main attraction with the Drum Editor is to make switching between kits in different instruments seamless. The problem is that this assumes you’ve created mappings for all of them – and Battery’s mappings are all over the place. While it does tend to follow GM specs, it certainly doesn’t stick with anything consistent across the board. You’d be stuck creating a whole bunch of mappings just to get started. Then there’s things like cymbal crashes and other “tonal” percussion that you might not want to treat like a one-shot – the Drum Editor doesn’t handle these elegantly.

Every time I see the Drum Editor, I wish it did things like make percussion editing easier (auto-flams, ghost notes, etc) instead of just giving me little colored diamonds and a few maps. Not to rain on the parade :mrgreen: Just not sure the Drum Editor will solve the OP’s issue.

Just not sure the Drum Editor will solve the OP’s issue.

Maybe not but it’s the best solution currently available for editing drums hence why I WON’T be considering Nuendo even as a trial but it’s horses for courses I guess.

There are other things that you can’t do with drum editor because of the one shot nature. If you load a sample (for example a white noise sample) in a Battery pad, you can actually control the timing of the release. This wouldn’t work with Drum Mapping right?

Maybe I should force myself to use Beat Designer…

Drum map is an organization tool but beat designer can generate MIDI as far as I know and as such, should you master it (beat designer) then you may find a use for the drum map editor after all.

All things being equal, if competing applications could be anywhere near as stable or as useful as Cubase in general then the Drum Map would likely be what makes my purchase as I create all my beats from scratch using tempo and time signatures for many of the bars and musical phrases I compose.