Cre­at­ing Drum Vari­a­tions With Loops

Im­port­ing the same sam­ple mul­ti­ple times, be­fore cre­at­ing vari­a­tions to each it­er­a­tion can re­ally spice up your drum pro­gram­ming…


The only prob­lem with one-shot sam­ples is that, even with ve­loc­ity en­abled, the ways in which you can bring in­di­vid­u­al­ity and vari­a­tion to the hits in a pat­tern are ex­tremely limited. So, it’s worth think­ing of ways to bring un­pre­dictabil­ity to your drum hits when­ever pos­si­ble. One way is to use mul­ti­ple in­stances of the same drum hit, with each sam­ple mapped to its own unique key in the EXS24. Then, by en­abling the loop func­tion on each vari­ant of the core sam­ple, you can give each hit its own ‘loop’, ei­ther by cre­at­ing a short buzz (with a short loop), or more of a rat­tle (a longer one). Then, with a tweak to the Am­pli­fier En­ve­lope set­tings, you can make sure that each vari­a­tion is sub­tle. If you leave the first sam­ple as it is, you’ve got your core one-shot sound, to which you can add vari­a­tion via its ‘looped vari­ants’.

We se­lect the sam­ple at C#3 and set loop points around a sec­tion in the de­cay tail, be­fore mov­ing onto the next sam­ple and loop­ing a dif­fer­ent sec­tion, so that each sam­ple has its own sound. We can cre­ate loops nu­mer­i­cally, or use the wave­form ed­i­tor.

We save our In­stru­ment. We turn Sus­tain in the Amp En­ve­lope to zero, and set de­cay and re­lease times which al­low each loop vari­ant to be heard as each snare hit fades out. We pro­gram a snare pat­tern which uses these looped vari­ants along­side the orig­i­nal snare hit.

We start by im­port­ing the same 808 snare sam­ple sev­eral times, mak­ing each re­gion one note ‘wide’, from C3 up to F3. We leave the first sam­ple alone, be­fore en­gag­ing Loop mode on the re­main­ing sam­ples from C#3 to F3.

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