Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
tedlogan
Posts: 1347
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:23 pm
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Contact:

Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by tedlogan » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:28 am

First off, please excuse the long post - simply ignore this post and move along then.

I've been having a lot of fun setting up and playing my drumrack, and I 'm quite curious as to how you guys have yours set up. Mine is pretty standard atm:

I keep expanding on mine, which is much easier than I thought - simply add the new sample(s), and again click "distribute ranges equally". The cell with the most different samples is no more than 50 or so I guess. I don't want samples I'm never gonna use in there. The problem with this is: when you listen to hits in isolation, they can sound bad, but would be perfect for certain styles/mixes, and vice versa. Not a big deal though, but makes me think I should just drag the lot in and weed them out over time.

Currently 16 cells used:
bottom row = kick A; kick B; Sub A; Sub B
next row = snare A; snare B; snare C; clap
next row = ride; tom A; tom B; Rim
top row = crash; shaker; hatopen; hatclose

They contain anything percussive that can loosely fit in to the above 16 categories. Each Sample is racked, with the 8 macros being:

Sample selector; filter type; filter freq; filter res; volume; attack; decay; release.

Some use just use decay and no release I've seen, but for some hits with long tails the interplay between decay and release makes a noticeable difference. Instead of Sampler's filter controls I used to have pan/transpose/velocity, but found that I almost never use them, and much prefer experimenting with filters. Can always just dive into Sampler to adjust those. TomV - if you're reading, "Pan" is not anywhere to be seen in Sampler's community mapping. No fear, I'll take care of that one myself :)

At the moment I have only 2 send effects in this rack, convolution reverb and simple delay. I've mapped the main controls from the delay to the master macros of this rack, as I like playing around with really short unsynced delays etc. If there was a way to access drumrack sends effects' parameters from Push (I haven't checked PXT's manual for this yet, I know I can access the send amounts per cell), I would map other master controls to the rack. Probably non-send effects' most important controls.

So far this is all I've done. Yes, I had a wild Saturday night. This is my general drumrack. I'm now thinking of making categorized groups of 16 cells within this rack, maybe 4 or 5 groups, separated by a line of empty cells maybe. For example, a group with: very dubby sounds only; only metallic sounds; only experimental sounds and so forth. I can always decide to isolate these in separate drumracks by saving them to new ones and deleting all the other "Kits".

So, how do you people have yours set up?

(On videos, when people create the rack, they actually drag a whole new Sampler into each cell and reconfigure all the macros etc again...madness! simply Ctrl-drag the already configured Sampler from a previous cell and delete its samples and go on from there! Perhaps its done over and over for educational purposes...)
Last edited by tedlogan on Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

regretfullySaid
Posts: 8913
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:50 pm

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by regretfullySaid » Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:07 pm

Subbed for later.

On my checklist is to do some videos on making 'Superkits' including:
1: How to easily convert groups of samples into one sample for Live to access and then split them back into individual ones (while still being from one sample) for efficiency.
2: doing the actual (128s) thing by tying the chain selector or pitch to a macro.
3: Using Clyphx for randomize choices, either the whole kit, or each drum cell.
4: Using Clyphx to make 'presets' of different kits in that one 'Superkit', via the 'Dev Set' or 'Snap' command.

It's nice when you can have your 'preset change' locked into the name of each clip, because then you can just drag the whole track into your user library and you canhave a variety of different kits that you like already set, just from one 'superkit' :D

When it comes to which Sampler controls you tie to macros,Theodore :P
I typically have the filter controls on all of them, but then i can differ. Some I may tie some to different modulations, or at least the basic pitch and filter lfos.

I'd really like it if Ableton updated the Selection area so that not all samples are selected if you have auto-select on, because then you have to split samples by pitch instead just to see which sample you're actually on. The problem is is that you can do some cool midi effect stuff to the pitch of your samples if they are split by Select rather than pitch. Otoh you can also do some cool stuff vice-versa, but preferably I'd rather be able to use Sel.

I usually tend to keep the drum cells to 8 (because of macro control) but typically extend up to 4 more drum types depending on the sample bundle. Usually it more percussion, cymbals and wacky misc.

Another nice habit to have with superkits is to save each grouped sampler (or group of samplers, if your drum type amount is more than 128). Save each 128 so then you can mix and match to make new superkits. If you tend to make more superkits, let's say you have a drum'n'bass superkit, and ahip hop one, and a progressive house one, etc; maybe down the line you'd like a kit with house kicks, drum'n'bass cymbals, brazilian lercussion, etc. you can just pick from the library the individual 128 you already set up instead of having to do some surgery.
ImageImage

JoshG567
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:42 pm

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by JoshG567 » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:05 pm

I "mirror mapped" a drum rack to have each of 128 cells correspond to the 128 different drum hits in the Metal Foundry sample pack for Superior Drummer 2. There's some redundancy across the keyboard (snares, hats, toms, kicks triggered from different keys), so that freed a few cells in the end for random stuff. I then put an instrument rack with 128 chains mapped discretely across the full keyrange, each with a pitch effect, on a MIDI track and routed the mixer so I could copy all the MIDI I send to trigger acoustic samples in Superior Drummer through that track and into my drumrack where all my samples are "electronic," using the pitch effects in the individual to ensure all the redundant drum hits route to a single cell in the rack. Normally I keep the MIDI "bridge" track muted in the mixer, but whenever I want to double up the acoustic drums with the electric samples it's a button away.

The drumrack itself ends up GM mapped with a sampler or instrument rack in each cell; I grouped all the drums (snare edge, center, sidestick, etc. for example) in instrument racks so they had their own track in the mixer and I could apply effects to them uniformly, and mapped my individual samples to discrete values in the zone selector so I just turn a mapped knob to change the sample. This is especially tight the way I've mapped by BCR; I can tap a specific push encoder in the top row to select a specific sampler (kick, snare, clap) and it's instantly automapped to the same top row of encoders - makes setting new sounds up very quick.

TomViolenz
Posts: 6854
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:30 pm

tedlogan wrote:First off, please excuse the long post - simply ignore this post and move along then.

I've been having a lot of fun setting up and playing my drumrack, and I 'm quite curious as to how you guys have yours set up. Mine is pretty standard atm:

I keep expanding on mine, which is much easier than I thought - simply add the new sample(s),select all the samples in the zone tab, and again click "distribute ranges equally". The cell with the most different samples is no more than 50 or so I guess. I don't want samples I'm never gonna use in there. The problem with this is: when you listen to hits in isolation, they can sound bad, but would be perfect for certain styles/mixes, and vice versa. Not a big deal though, but makes me think I should just drag the lot in and weed them out over time.
I don't like technical possibilites to go to waste. So I like to use 16 different pads (like Push and my Maschine controller can naturally access) and fill them with 128 sounds each.

What I did before though is to sieve thru thousands of samples in order to set them up. That may not be the most fun thing to do (and it took several weeks!), but it helped me sharpen my tools and somewhat determine my sound in the process. I also went through the trouble to take very good care how the Samples in my 128s sound in succession. This does not only make it easier to tune the desired sound later, it also allows me to use the SampleSelector in Live situations without worrying that the next sample may sound very different. Changing the kick, for example, of a Midi loop you play mid-playing leads to nice variations.
Currently 16 cells used:
bottom row = kick A; kick B; Sub A; Sub B
next row = snare A; snare B; snare C; clap
next row = ride; tom A; tom B; Rim
top row = crash; shaker; hatopen; hatclose
Bottom: KickPlastic, KickMaschine, SubKicks, Bass
2nd: DarkSnare, DarkPercussions, toms, congas/bongos
3rd: SoftSnare, MelodicPercussion, ShortPercussions, ScrapePercussion
4th:HHclosed, HHopen, ClapSnaps, Synthstabs

The sounds are either self made like in the case of Bass (often the pitched down and shortend low passed versions of my other sound designs) or SynthStabs (which are shortend versions of my sound designs)
The rest are fom sample selections, mostly from Maschine, Plasticlicks an some from the Vengance minimal house sampler (mostly the percussions)
They contain anything percussive that can loosely fit in to the above 16 categories. Each Sample is racked, with the 8 macros being:

Sample selector; filter type; filter freq; filter res; volume; attack; decay; release.
Mine are: Volume, Attack*, Release*, Drive*, ShaperAmount, FilterFrequency(HP4x), FilterResonance, SampleSelector

* To note: stared items are parameters of ShaaksTransientShaper which I have behind each Sampler. I like using this for sound design of my drums much better than Samplers volume envelope. It adds its own sound to it too. In a good way (IMO)
Some use just use decay and no release I've seen, but for some hits with long tails the interplay between decay and release makes a noticeable difference.

Instead of Sampler's filter controls I used to have pan/transpose/velocity, but found that I almost never use them, and much prefer experimenting with filters. Can always just dive into Sampler to adjust those. TomV - if you're reading, "Pan" is not anywhere to be seen in Sampler's community mapping. No fear, I'll take care of that one myself :)
Interesting I must have overlooked that, I'm using mostly the chain Pan from the DrumRack.
At the moment I have only 2 send effects in this rack, convolution reverb and simple delay. I've mapped the main controls from the delay to the master macros of this rack, as I like playing around with really short unsynced delays etc. If there was a way to access drumrack sends effects' parameters from Push (I haven't checked PXT's manual for this yet, I know I can access the send amounts per cell), I would map other master controls to the rack. Probably non-send effects' most important controls.
I use five DrumRack sends, because that's how much PXT can access. I also used an echo and a delay in the past, but that turned into problems down the road with my routing into my loopers. (If you try to get the audio from the chains, the returns are not present-with delays and echos that effect was just too big a difference to be used live)

I have:
A short reverb (Valhally Room) a TubeDistortion (Redoptor D16), a Bitchrusher (DecimortD16), a MultiBand distortion (DevastorD16), a Chorus(SynthorusD16)


Each chain of my DrumRack also has long chains of identical effects sections. Which I either access with the individual AfterTouch Maschine has in Midi controller Mode for each pad. Each Maschine group controls a different effects parameter for all 16 Pads, these effects are Distortion (yes another :-)), Chorus, Reverb(Plate), Filter, and OscillaterVolume from Samplers Osc section (!!!)<--- This is one of the coolest lucky accidents I had, identifying what that Parameter does to you drums when played with AfterTouch. I play these pads by pressing for the AfterTouch effect over already playing Midi notes.
I'm not much of a finger drummer
I also have Reverse (sample reverse in Sampler) and Note Mute (via clyphx) assigned to two groups.
In addition I use Maschines encoder pages to also control a BeatRepeat (for the Freeze function) and a SimpleDelay---per chain! .

I use PXT and Push to make the sound design of new kits, and for the programming and playing(!) of all my drum Midi loops.

I save the settings of this immense DrumRack in ClyphX snaps. My different kits are therefore stored within the set and can be fluidly recalled over playing clips by triggering the snap-clips. Instant live DrumKit recall!

At every moment I have full controll over every aspect of my sound in real time and in a very intuitive way, the sound possibilities seem endless and all of this I can use live.

Now I just have to finaly stick to my new instrument and learn how to play it :mrgreen:

panten
Posts: 877
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:02 pm
Location: South of London

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by panten » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:00 pm

Excellent post TomV, very informative thanks.

regretfullySaid
Posts: 8913
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:50 pm

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by regretfullySaid » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:08 pm

That sounds pretty well.
ImageImage

tedlogan
Posts: 1347
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:23 pm
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Contact:

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by tedlogan » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:18 pm

Great stuff guys, doing some impressive/creative things. You know I'm here to *harvest ideas right? :mrgreen: :D

Tom - also very detailed reveal, thanks a lot. About it taking weeks - I'm realizing this, as all I've been doing the last 3 days is building/editing these monsters. I love it though. I too thought of having sounds flow well via the sample selector, so it's def something I'll do over time - fine tuning every single cell, replacing/addding sounds. I do like my cell layouts though.

Very cool setup. Interesting about the Sample reverse settings. How is that set up? Via clyphX as well? So you can reverse any cellgroup's sample any time? That would be immensely useful.

I've also now started creating my own samples, all via Zebra. From really tight slightly buzzy sub bass to strange percussions etc, then sampled into an audio channel for sorting later. I've managed to assemble some pretty unique groups so far. I never use other people's stuff/samples/presets in my work ever, except drums (single hits) and orchestral multi-instruments. I thought it was time I designed my very own drum sounds.

I wanna babble some more, but gotta pry myself away from Live and go eat etc.

Cheers guys for your insights so far!

Forgot to mention -

at the moment I have a general group of 16 cells at the bottom of every drumrack. This is a pretty tight,bright,bassy and crisp set. The rest of the drumrack would consist of tribal "kits", or "acoustic"kits" etc. So whenever I wanna add extra punch to the unique kits, I'd simply overlay the general kit to accentuate certain parts of the loop.

So I don't have just one master drumrack: it's the basis of tightness, and then whatever I've decided to build on top of it. Works great so far.











*just a little joke

TomViolenz
Posts: 6854
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by TomViolenz » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:00 pm

tedlogan wrote:Great stuff guys, doing some impressive/creative things. You know I'm here to *harvest ideas right? :mrgreen: :D
Nothing wrong with that.
Tom - also very detailed reveal, thanks a lot. About it taking weeks - I'm realizing this, as all I've been doing the last 3 days is building/editing these monsters. I love it though. I too thought of having sounds flow well via the sample selector, so it's def something I'll do over time - fine tuning every single cell, replacing/addding sounds.
This sorting thing is, as you can probably imagine, quite a time consuming procedure. It's basically a 128X128 combinations problem. I ususally listen too all of them a few times thru and then decide on sonic categories that they can be grouped in. This makes the whole thing more handleable and provides nice sound grouping.

It's a lot of work and decision making, but now I have made my SampleSelectors into continuous parameters that I love to use!
Very cool setup. Interesting about the Sample reverse settings. How is that set up? Via clyphX as well? So you can reverse any cellgroup's sample any time? That would be immensely useful.
No clyphX needed for this one. I assigned the Midi notes that my Maschine sends to Live on one of the 8 different pad groups to the Reverse button of each Sampler. So 16 pads - 16 reverse pads on Maschine.
Programming Maschine to control Lives DrumRack is great. The MaschineControllerEditor let's you really control every aspect of the controller. Ableton should take a good look at this for how other companies are doing something better! Because I want this for Push too!

When I set up all the samples for reverse playing, I had to again spend quite a lot of time into setting each samples end. Because now you want it to sound good/interesting in both directions.

I also want to add, that for playing this set-up I use PXTs Clip Loop Selector (The Blue/Green grid with 32 pads each). I have been making 32 bar Midi Loops, that are not really meant to be played in sucession. It's more a selection of 4 bar loops with different variations on the same theme. When recording into Arrangement(or when playing live) I keep choosing different loop combinations. On my Maschine I control the different sound parameters of each DrumPad and also NoteMute(the looped Midi doesn't play, but you are free to play over it, because the pads are not muted).

I also have incorporated four look-ahead loopers into my workflow (8 bars each). Each one can loop with the press of a button the eight bars that have been played last on one of the four rows on my DrumRack.
So when I managed to have a good variation in my playing of a group of drum elements, I just press Loop and it keeps playing the last 8 bars. (While muting the drumpads that the looped sounds came from, so no doubling occurs.) I can now play with the other sounds or change which bar is played in my clip (changing the rythm) while the Looped variations stays as a constant.

I'm kinda in the hunt for making the whole creation thing in Techno (Minimal or otherwise) a live experience. It's all always a compromise between power and playability. Live, its DrumRacks with 128s and the mentioned controllers and scripts make A LOT possible :-)

tedlogan
Posts: 1347
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:23 pm
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Contact:

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by tedlogan » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:12 pm

I hear you. It's definitely all worth it. At this moment I'm still busy sampling bits and pieces of Zebra patches, emerging with some really crisp sounds of all sorts, across the whole dynamic of sound - from rumbling cinematic-like wardrums to ultra-punchy electro kicks, from ethnic esotericsm to droidshrieks and so on. Sampling them on by one into Live channels with appropriate track names, like "ZebraKicks"; "ZebraFX" etc. Then making little groups inside each track to finally drag into Drum rack cells.

It sure beats the Live packs' drumsounds quality for me so far. I can stop harvesting from there. Those kits never quite did it for me, I mainly used ones from Bomblastic - Acoustified, and bits and bobs from the other kits. They were all too obvious when you heard em though. "Ah that's 'Kit-Ethno'...now he's using 'Carbonized'". There are some nice solid hits here and there mind you.

I am thinking of giving up the "volume" parameter in each Sampler rack to replace with "reverse", as I find I don't adjust this very often either - all samples are volume balanced during the creation of this drumrack. Reverse though, is very useful, and applied in an instant with the turn of an encoder. For the rare volume adjusting occasion, I can simply dive down 2 levels on Push, 2 button presses. So many decisions. Maybe only replace volume with reverse on select cells. Or have separate cells reversed. Or reverse my decision.

In the past, when I built any complex racks and such things for music making, I wound up not using any of it at all. I'm glad that this is quite different, and that I'm filling up my clip folder with loads of drumloops I know will be used.

And then sleep gets in the way.

tedlogan
Posts: 1347
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:23 pm
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Contact:

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by tedlogan » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:04 pm

Some thoughts and two questions:

TomV - you say you have all those insert effects on every sampler group/chain, and x 128 cells? Doesn't this cripple your computer?

Do any of you guys, on occasion, set up velocity-triggered cells instead of split by Sample Selection? I've set up some cells this way, and it works and plays great for cinematic drums. Of course, it will work well for any percussion.

I've kept the Volume parameter and ditched Decay in favour of Reverse. I've realised for drums, Release and Attack are all you really need - in the mix you can't really hear the very subtle differences you can achieve with Decay as well. Reverse is just extremely useful, especially in Quake1-soundtrack/Lustmord/Desiree Marginis-type dark ambient-influenced pieces, or creating an easy quick buildup to a new musical phrase with a long release hit. Simply step-automating reverse is very quick.

tedlogan
Posts: 1347
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:23 pm
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Contact:

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by tedlogan » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:33 pm

If you assign Velocity to Sample Offset in Sampler's MIDI tab, you can get some more expressive playing out of it. The harder you press, the sharper the attack, or vice versa. Pity you cannot map any of the MIDI tab's routing amounts to macros! Off to the beta site suggestions for that one.

An alternate way to do this would be to turn on the Aux Envelope section, turn attack, decay and sustain to zero, and release to taste. Assign "A" to Sample offset and the desired amount. Now with the Peak button you can adjust the sample offset, and you can map Peak to a macro. You'll have to be expressive with an encoder here, not with playing. Pity.

Is there a way to somehow then have the Peak Macro affected by Velocity input? Something tells me there is, I'm just not seeing it.

Timbeaux
Posts: 754
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by Timbeaux » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:22 am

how long does it need to load your 128s drumracks?

TomViolenz
Posts: 6854
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by TomViolenz » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:15 am

tedlogan wrote:Some thoughts and two questions:

TomV - you say you have all those insert effects on every sampler group/chain, and x 128 cells? Doesn't this cripple your computer?
As I wrote above: I use 16 pads (cells), one Sampler as a 128 each. I see no need, or practical use in a live situation for more.

Further: As I wrote I mostly access these effects with the Aftertouch (Pressure) on Maschine (as a Midi controller). I have 8 easily switchable banks of 16 pads on Maschine. Each bank gets its pads Aftertouch assigned to a different effect on each chain.
The Midi CCs that the Aftertouch sends got assigned to a macro on the rack that I put that effect in. That Macro is not only assigned to the Dry/Wet of the effect but also to its on/off switch.
This way it is only turned on while I press the pad in question. All 'n all the CPU load is managable.
But I am running a quad i7 MBP lately. So that helps :-)

tedlogan
Posts: 1347
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:23 pm
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Contact:

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by tedlogan » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:36 am

how long does it need to load your 128s drumracks?
Currently on my desktop WD 7200rpm HD(SATAII I think? dunno) it takes about 8 seconds, but I'm only using around 50 of the cells so far, and most have 3 - 5 samples only, some have 30. So if it was full, it would probably take a while, which is not a problem for me, as I load it once per day, and then work on either music, or build/tweak the rack further.
TomViolenz wrote:
tedlogan wrote:Some thoughts and two questions:

TomV - you say you have all those insert effects on every sampler group/chain, and x 128 cells? Doesn't this cripple your computer?
As I wrote above: I use 16 pads (cells), one Sampler as a 128 each. I see no need, or practical use in a live situation for more.

Further: As I wrote I mostly access these effects with the Aftertouch (Pressure) on Maschine (as a Midi controller). I have 8 easily switchable banks of 16 pads on Maschine. Each bank gets its pads Aftertouch assigned to a different effect on each chain.
The Midi CCs that the Aftertouch sends got assigned to a macro on the rack that I put that effect in. That Macro is not only assigned to the Dry/Wet of the effect but also to its on/off switch.
This way it is only turned on while I press the pad in question. All 'n all the CPU load is managable.
But I am running a quad i7 MBP lately. So that helps :-)
Ah yes of course you did say, cheers.

I need way more than 16 pads, but this is for studio use. A half rack dedicated to cinematic/orchestral/sci-fi bits and bobs, some with sample selecting, others purely triggered by different velocities. So far, I am more than happy with it, and the workflow is phenomenal in terms of speed. All areas are grouped kind of how an orchestra of strings/brass/mallets etc would be. I can very quickly build complex drumloops, from ambient brooding/pulsating percussive atmospheres to loud dramatic pieces. And the best thing is, it's my rack, and no-one else will have this setup or samples.

Thanks to all in the forum who've occasionally mentioned the usefulness of 128s :)

Timbeaux
Posts: 754
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Curious about others' 128s drumrack setups

Post by Timbeaux » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:10 am

okay, this thread catched me again, so yesterday i started to do a 128s drumrack again.

Before i have had many drumracks in one instrument rack but it have had huge loading time. atm i have ca. 500 samples inside one rack and it still loads in 1 second.

@ TomViolenz:

the idea of the transient shaper behind each sampler is a nice idea. how do you set it up as a dry/wet chain? do you use the selector or did you macromaped the volume of each chain?

Post Reply