Programming MIDI drums

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by dave64o, May 25, 2001.

  1. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    So far I've only programmed my DR-770 the hard way - using step entry on the drum machine itself. I'm now interested in programming it in MIDI on my PC and using the drum machine as a sound module. I currently use n-Track for multitracking and it has a built in MIDI sequencer. However, the editor is a piano roll editor and I'm having a tough time getting the feel of it. Maybe it just takes some time to get used to it, but I'm now wondering if there's software that uses a more "traditional" kind of editor. In other words, staffs, measures, actual notes for the rhythm, etc.

    I've done some searching here and some other BBSs (Homerecording, HitSquad, FDP Home Recording Forum, and Expert Forums), but so far I haven't found anything that seems to match what I'm looking for. So my questions are:

    1) Does such a reasonably-priced package exist? I'd prefer something that's priced more like shareware than one that costs several hundred dollars and is aimed at pros. For example, I love n-Track and it only cost me $35. I really want to stay below $100 if possible.

    2) Has anybody used such a program? If so, how did editing this way compare to using a piano roll over the long-term?

  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You could use this cheapo notation software (which I use for writing and arranging my MIDI), called NoteWorthy Composer (see It works fine for me, and is pretty easy to use. However, the MIDI programming you can do with it can come out as kind of... dull? It'll just be straight, perfect notes without feel, so you might want to edit the events afterwards in a piano roll window to change velocities, quantize and such.

    I write and arrange all MIDI in NoteWorthy, since it's easier for me - I can read music and therefore write the notation needed, but I can't play keyboards very well. Building something from scratch in piano roll is tedious and I think was never meant to be done.

    And it's only $39. But if you feel like ripping someone off, there are cracks for everything nowadays. :rolleyes:
  3. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Thanks for the info. I've downloaded several demos and so far I think Noteworthy is the front runner. And you're right about going back and editing your tracks to make them sound more human. I put a lot of time adjusting velocities of each "note" so it sounds the way I'd play it on a drum kit. I usually step edit than edit in real time and that means the timing is always perfect. But so far I haven't felt like it my tracks are too precise - I just pretend I got Bill Bruford or Neil Peart to play for me.

    Unfortunately I didn't realize until now there are several Coda Music packages below Finale and now I'm looking at Allegro. I just downloaded the demo last night and haven't had a chance to play with it yet. So far the best price I found is $145. I hope I don't find any reason to spend the extra money. :rolleyes:

    And, no, I don't use cracked software. I spent a lot of years as a software engineer and learned firsthand what it takes to write good software. I'd rather pay for it so I can always get support and also so the company has some money to put into all the cool features they'll put out in the next version.
  4. maimz


    Jul 23, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    try fruityloops it should do your midi sequencing fine
  5. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    i second the fruityloops reommendation.

    you can use any sample.

    i just built a killer drum kit from free on-line samples.

    you can do chords and melodies too.

    a real kicker!!!

  6. I prefer doing my drum programming in the matrix-editor in Logic Audio.
    It gives me good overview and it's easy to copy and arrange the beats in the Arrange view (so you don't get the same drumfills every time :)).
    I haven't used so many other programs but I think it sure beats even cubase's drum-matrix editor since you can easily change the velocity and stuff.

    In the enviroment editor you can also connect sounds from different channels and even different devices to one drum-track.
    I use that alot when I want drum sounds from different soundfonts (I use sblive...).