After making all necessary preparations, we are now ready to make the first recording of our MIDI drums.
Step 1: Click on the track header of the MIDI track you want to record in.
Step 2: Set your virtual drums as a plug-in in your MIDI drum track. We use Samplitudes sound generator “Vita“ as a plug-in and select the “Acoustic Drum Kit Ballad“ program. The hi-hat is activated by the F#1 key.
Step 3: Press “R” on your keyboard or activate the record button in the transport console. Recording starts. Now play a simple quarter note hi-hat part on your keyboard.
Step 4: We have activated the loop mode in the transport console and set “Overdub“ as the MIDI recording mode.
This way, we can add the bass drum (C1 key) to our 8-bar segment in the second recording round by playing it on the 1st, 4th and 5th beat. On the third round we can add the snare (D1) on the quarter beats 2 and 4.
Step 5: Now press the “Stop“ key in the transport console to stop recording and listen to the drum recording.
Step 6: Double click in the arranger on the recorded object. The “Matrix Editor” will open.
Step 7: When you click on the drum symbol the display switches to “Drum Editor”. The drum notes will be displayed according to their velocity as vertical bars of varying height.
Step 8: Now we want to quantize the played notes. We’re going to change the quantize grid to 1/8 notes. If you enter # in the length quantization values input field, the value will be linked to the respective snap quantization value.
Step 9: Now we’re going to click on the “Quantize” button, to quantize the notes to the next 1/8 note. In order to quantize all notes, make sure than no single note is selected.
This will conduct a standard quantization of your recordings.
Step 10: Now we would like to double the hi-hat sounds in order to give our groove an eighth feeling. To do so, we double click between two hi-hat hits in order to select all notes.
Step 11: Copy notes using “Ctrl + C”, move the play cursor in the first bar to the right by 1/8 and paste the hits into the empty 1/8 space using “Ctrl + V”.
Hint: In order to move the play cursor in 1/8 grid steps, set the beat grid in project settings (keyboard shortcut: I) to 1/8.
Step 12: The copied hi-hat notes are highlighted, which means that we can now slightly reduce the intensity of the notes. Varying velocity between “on beat” and “off beat” improves the natural feeling of the hi-hat track.
Step 13: Drag a frame for all snare notes and move them up or down using the arrow keys on your keyboard. This lets you test out various other drum sounds for the selected drums.
Step 14: If you activate the “Play clicked notes” function found in the options section of the MIDI Drum Editor you can hear the sound whilst adjusting the hit’s intensity.
Step 15: Now we would like to zoom into a pre-defined range. We’re going to draw a range over two bars and click on “Zoom” and then on “Section from Range”
Step 16: Now select the snare hits in this range and change the quantize grid to 1/64.
Step 17: Begin playback in loop. If you move the snares by 1/64th of a note left or right using “Event to grid on the left (Ctrl + Alt +1)“ and “Event to grid on the right (Ctrl + Alt +2)“, you can play with the timing.
Step 18: Holding down Alt while left clicking on the notes lets you move them in fine increments.
This way you can take some notes off the quantize grid in order to delay or move them slightly forward.
Step 19: Set the quantization grid back to 1/8 and quantize the snare hits again to fit them exactly to the 1/8 grid.
Step 20: Finally click once more on the “Zoom” button and select “8 beats” to zoom out and see the whole drum part again.
Next time we will examine MIDI syth recordings in more detail. We wish you fun recording and editing your MIDI drums in Samplitude.
Your Samplitude Team