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3 steps to create the best programmed drums!

Updated: May 19

Today we're doing another Red Pack hacks post and it's again about midi, so the previous post i made was about midi mapping, and this is always a hassle when you're using different kind of libraries and different kind of midi files.

So there I exactly explained how to map the right midi notes to our drum library so if you have any questions concerning that problem i'll check out the other posts.

But there were more questions about how to go about importing and using existing midi files.

What are the right steps to take to get the sound that you want and that you need?

I this post I explain my steps on how to use midi in your productions and how i go about doing that, so let's jump in the session and i will exactly explain my steps on how i modify the velocity and the things I need from the midi file and then combine that with a good sounding drum library.

  • Changing midi mapping off piano roll editting

First thing I do is changing Cubase on to the general midi map

That way we geta midi edit windwo that is more focussed on drum editting.

Note length is not really something you need with drums so it's just confusing so that's why I just use general midi and then you get these diamond shaped midi notes. (Cubase only) and that's much easier

  • Checking the mapping of the midi file

If you're using existing midi files with a new drum library always check if all the notes are mapped correctly. In our libraries that's really easy to do on the midi page and using the midi learn buttons. Just click the midi learn button, then hit your electronic pad for e-kits or click on the note in de midi file twice so the library learns the mapping. Do this for all the notes and patterns you need are you're good to go.

  • Hit strenght sider at default position

Then check if the hit strength slider is in the middle (default) just ctrl or command click.

So the hit strength slider is in default position a linear line that means that if you program your midi notes louder or lower it wil trigger the samples in a linear fashion.(linear velocity curve)

If you slide the hit strenght slider to the left it wil make a curve down (see soft 1-3)

This way it takes much louder programmed notes to trigger the louder samples.

And if you slide it to the right it wil get much louder faster (see hard 1-3)

So for hard hitting electronic drum kit players you can use the hit strenght slider to the left, and for soft hitting playersto the right.

If you are using existing midi files you can use this slider dynamicly without getting in to the editor page and get fast changes in hit strenght.

Midi curves explained

So you're bending the the midi curve, so all the midi notes are getting higher or lower programmed. But if they're programmed the loudest that they can go, the hit strength slider doesn't do anything because the note is in the top right corner of the diagram (see image above)

It's a good practice when you you want to use this hit strength slider in your productions to make quick adjustments, to program the midi notes a little bit lower so they get effected by the midi curve as explained above with the image.

  • Adjusting all the midi velocities in the midi files

Final step is to go through your electronic drum recording or midi file to check all the velocties if they are how you would like them to sound.

See video below where you can see me do this in realtime and listen to my preferences.

Thanks for the read and don't be shy to send me an e-mail if you have more questions about this topic.

Jonathan Red Pack drums

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