>Step by step

Work­ing glitchy fills and rolls into a live drum track

Computer Music - - Dear Beat -

1 Here’s my raw drum pat­tern. It’s been played in live via edrums and is trig­ger­ing a mod­i­fied ver­sion of Su­pe­rior Drum­mer 3’s Tight and High Plate pre­set kit. I’m go­ing to make copies of the kick, snare and hi-hats for sep­a­rate trig­ger­ing and ma­nip­u­la­tion.

2 I start by sav­ing the edited snare drum out as a User pre­set for load­ing into a new In­stru­ment slot – much quicker than copy­ing the set­tings across from one snare to an­other. I then load this into the kit us­ing the Add In­stru­ment func­tion, and map its Cen­ter ar­tic­u­la­tion to the un­used MIDI note 113.

3 Turn­ing off Hit Vari­a­tion for the copied snare means it will al­ways sound the same when played, with no round robins or ran­domi­sa­tion – just what we need for the ‘ma­chine gun’ ef­fect we’re af­ter. I then re­peat the process for the kick and hi-hats, map­ping the du­pli­cates to notes 114 and 115 re­spec­tively.

4 Now we’re ready to draw some notes in. The ex­act form these take will de­pend on your drum track, but here, I’ve dragged cer­tain kick, snare and hi-hat hits up to the note lanes of their de­hu­man­ised al­ter­na­tives and used them as the start points for fast, ‘me­chan­i­cal’ note runs.

5 The next step is to au­to­mate the du­pli­cate kit pieces to take any re­main­ing re­al­ism out of them, and Su­pe­rior Drum­mer 3 makes this easy with its Macro con­trols, which en­able mul­ti­ple pa­ram­e­ters to be mapped to a sin­gle knob for grouped tweak­ing. I start, how­ever, by flip­ping the hi-hats into re­verse.

6 Good tar­gets for au­to­ma­tion in this par­tic­u­lar sce­nario are the hi-hat Re­verse Time, and tun­ing and en­ve­lope re­lease for all three in­stru­ments. By map­ping those con­trols to three in­stru­ment-spe­cific Macros, record­ing or draw­ing trans­for­ma­tive mod­u­la­tions into the host DAW as au­to­ma­tion is a cinch.

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