why is the note mapping in drum machines so weird?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:05 am

Thanks man.

Amaury
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Post by Amaury » Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:48 am

Hi,

I'll try to shed some light on the way Drum Rack mapping works.

First of all, I do not myself know exactly why some chains in the Drum Machine presets follow one method, and others another method. I'll investigate and get back to you.

Chains: for a chain you can set an incoming note, and a note that the chain will output when ever it receives the incoming note. Mostly the output note is kept at default, C3, because that's the note most samplers use for playing back a sample at original pitch. But that can be changed because you can use any plugin to play a sound in a Drum Rack chain.

A special case is "All" for the incoming note. It means that this chain would receive and pass on every note, it won't filter anything. This special routing is generally used for the case when you have a group in a chain, i.e. another Drum Rack with unique mappings.

Pads: A pad represents a note, and only that. So, the pad that is set to play "D1" will play the sounds from any chain that is set to receive D1 as its incoming note, regardless of the level of nesting.

Let me know where I can clarify.

Regards,
Amaury
Ableton Product Team

Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:46 pm

First of all, I do not myself know exactly why some chains in the Drum Machine presets follow one method, and others another method. I'll investigate and get back to you.

>>> Thanks Amaury. <<<

Mostly the output note is kept at default, C3, because that's the note most samplers use for playing back a sample at original pitch. But that can be changed because you can use any plugin to play a sound in a Drum Rack chain.

>>> What do you mean by any plug in can play a sound? <<<

A special case is "All" for the incoming note. It means that this chain would receive and pass on every note, it won't filter anything. This special routing is generally used for the case when you have a group in a chain, i.e. another Drum Rack with unique mappings.

>>> I could see that example, but in the case of Drum Machines, they are almost all set to "All", and most are only feeding single chains after them. This is what I don't understand, would have been easier to just have each chain assigned to a specific input not range I would have thought??? Downside is that you can't see which chain is playing when, or use Autoselect Chain functions in a rack, because now every single chain in the Drum Rack is showing as triggering for every single midi note in your clip. IE, my kick chain is no longer "lighting up" just when it receives midi notes corresponding to the kick sound, it lights up for every single note in the entire clip. <<<

Pads: A pad represents a note, and only that. So, the pad that is set to play "D1" will play the sounds from any chain that is set to receive D1 as its incoming note, regardless of the level of nesting.

>>> So if all chains are set to "All" for their inputs, it's the actual Pad location (#) that determines which of a clips midi notes are triggering which sounds?

One more thing why i have your attention :) I think Ableton should really reconsider using the GM layout for the Drum Machines. It would be ok if each machine actually used a full compliment of sounds to fill in the entire GM range of drum instruments, but they don't. So by sticking with a layout like this, and leaving so many blank slots, it makes it very hard for people to use pad controllers with the Drum Machines, which is how it's marketted and laid out. Sure people who are used to doing drums the old school way on a keyboard according to GM layout smight have it slightly easier, but I can't imagine there's more of these users versus those looking to use their pad controllers with Live. For a company known for bucking trends, seems like a very odd time to try and stick with an older standard???? Perhaps a workaround, is to have two sets of presets in the Browser, those labelled as GM, and those labelled as Pad? IE:

KITS
- 808-Classic GM (those laid out the way they are currently)
- 808-Classic Pad (those laid out in consecutive 4x4 grids)

At least then it would be easier for people to use them and ignore this internal mapping issues, without needing to reconfigure their midi controllers (which likely does wonders for automapping in other areas of Live). <<<

Amaury
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Post by Amaury » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:37 pm

Tarekith wrote: Mostly the output note is kept at default, C3, because that's the note most samplers use for playing back a sample at original pitch. But that can be changed because you can use any plugin to play a sound in a Drum Rack chain.

>>> What do you mean by any plug in can play a sound? <<<
I mean that any plug that produces a sound can be used as the device in a Drum Rack chain, i.e. any of the Ableton instruments, VSTi etc..
Tarekith wrote: Pads: A pad represents a note, and only that. So, the pad that is set to play "D1" will play the sounds from any chain that is set to receive D1 as its incoming note, regardless of the level of nesting.

>>> So if all chains are set to "All" for their inputs, it's the actual Pad location (#) that determines which of a clips midi notes are triggering which sounds?
No. If a chain is set to "All" and contains nothing else, it won't be represented by any pad. It's the chain of the embedded Rack that is represented on the pad, in the current example. Pads look at unique mappings, and don't care about nesting.

Regards,
Amaury[/quote]
Ableton Product Team

dbone
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Post by dbone » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:20 pm

Amaury wrote:
A special case is "All" for the incoming note. It means that this chain would receive and pass on every note, it won't filter anything. This special routing is generally used for the case when you have a group in a chain, i.e. another Drum Rack with unique mappings.
Hey Amaury. Thanks again for your insight. Still having a little trouble getting my head around this - mainly because I am reading from work with little time in front of Live 7 since I bought it.

Here is what I am trying to achieve - not sure if it means using an instance of "Sampler" per-pad, nesting racks or if it's something to be solved with a "Scale" object to filter the appropriate note values as somebody else suggested earlier.


* I want to maintain no more than 8 channel strips in the mixer
* I want all "C" notes to represent Kick, all Snares to be "C#" and so on

Tried loading an instance of Sampler per-pad where each Sampler has several different sounds of the same type (eg. Kicks) with each sample an octave up on one note so C-2, C-1, C0 each have a different Kick sample.

This allowed me to stay within the 8 mixer channels, but I wasn't able to trigger the samples via MIDI notes within the clip.

I was *really* hoping just to load up a bunch of pads and be able to direct their audio output to a particular mixer channel via drop-down menu. When I saw the "Route Audio To" box, I thought that was it... but no.

Do you have any suggestions??
Last edited by dbone on Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

longjohns
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Post by longjohns » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:38 am

I'm thinking the main rack being an Instrument Rack, with multiple drum racks inside that..

each one defined as a range on the Instr. rack chain selector

?

Bassic Dave
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Post by Bassic Dave » Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:26 am

I have been just dragging the pads down so they fit on the 16 pads of my trigger finger. It seems to sound fine, but am i missing velocity multi samples by doing this? This seems like an easy fix to me... but i dont really understand all the stuff above.

Dave
"Without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave." - G.I. Gurdjieff

www.myspace.com/8118beats

rajcoont
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Post by rajcoont » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:43 am

these drum machines have been a huge disappointment and feel so not like a live app.

They are extremely difficult to personalize, and as soon as you try to modify them to make your own sounds you end with a bunch of confusing routing issues that make no sense and take you into the land of troubleshooting instead of inspiration, the first time i think i have ever felt this way about live, it's always been about simplicity and this reminds me of the awfulnes of the cubase days of my life


really unimpressed with these, and about to uninstall them to stop myself from getting lost figuring out how things that don't work should work instead of making music....

case in point; posting on the forum to bitch instead of finishing the song

just reading the info in this post gives me a headache, live is usually about forgoing all this shit so you can have some kick drums and set them up quickly and easily to make some music

hope this isnt a sign of the feature creep starting in

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Post by snowtires » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:10 am

i'm glad to see i wasn't the only one confused by this

micah frank
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Post by micah frank » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:51 pm

Hmmm... not really sure either.

Ableton tweaked a few things (like note mapping) after my work with drum machines finished. The only thing I can think of is that within each multisample mode simpler each sample has it's own note value.

I'll check it out later, but maybe this can shed some light on it.... maybe not. :roll:
Last edited by micah frank on Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

micah frank
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Post by micah frank » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:58 pm

doublepost

Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:06 pm

micah frank wrote:Hmmm... not really sure either.

Ableton tweaked a few things (like note mapping) after my work with drum machines finished. The only thing I can think of is that within each multisample mode simpler each sample has it's own note value.

I'll check it out later, but maybe this can shed some light on it.... maybe not. :roll:
Thanks Micah, I was hoping you'd chime in here if the thread got big enough :)

Amaury
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Post by Amaury » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:37 pm

dbone wrote:
Amaury wrote:
A special case is "All" for the incoming note. It means that this chain would receive and pass on every note, it won't filter anything. This special routing is generally used for the case when you have a group in a chain, i.e. another Drum Rack with unique mappings.
Hey Amaury. Thanks again for your insight. Still having a little trouble getting my head around this - mainly because I am reading from work with little time in front of Live 7 since I bought it.

Here is what I am trying to achieve - not sure if it means using an instance of "Sampler" per-pad, nesting racks or if it's something to be solved with a "Scale" object to filter the appropriate note values as somebody else suggested earlier.


* I want to maintain no more than 8 channel strips in the mixer
* I want all "C" notes to represent Kick, all Snares to be "C#" and so on

Tried loading an instance of Sampler per-pad where each Sampler has several different sounds of the same type (eg. Kicks) with each sample an octave up on one note so C-2, C-1, C0 each have a different Kick sample.

This allowed me to stay within the 8 mixer channels, but I wasn't able to trigger the samples via MIDI notes within the clip.

I was *really* hoping just to load up a bunch of pads and be able to direct their audio output to a particular mixer channel via drop-down menu. When I saw the "Route Audio To" box, I thought that was it... but no.

Do you have any suggestions??
Hi,

If I understand well, you want one chain per element (kick, snare etc..), and different samples per element, velocity dependent?

You'd have to create a Drum Rack, create a chain named "Kick". Then, if you own Sampler, use it, load all of your Kick samples, and adjust the velocity ranges at will. By default, that chain would receive C1, and output C3, which will play the Kick samples at original pitch, if you play a C1 on the keyboard. If you don't own Sampler, you can do the same with an Instrument Rack inside the Drum Rack chain. Load the samples in the Instrument Rack, each in a Simpler, each on a different chain, and set the velocity ranges in the Instrument Rack.

Hope that helps,
Amaury
Ableton Product Team

dbone
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THANKS!

Post by dbone » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:55 pm

Amaury wrote: Hope that helps,
Amaury
Thanks for the reply, Amaury - really appreciate it! Your solution is more or less what I had envisioned but something happened on the way to heaven... probably my being new to Sampler w/ L7.

Probably not going to impress the more seasoned rack-meisters out there, but I will post the finished product as an example. Hopefully later tonight if I am not too busy digging us out from the snowstorm! :wink:

PEACE!

d.

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Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:28 pm

micah frank wrote:Hmmm... not really sure either.

Ableton tweaked a few things (like note mapping) after my work with drum machines finished. The only thing I can think of is that within each multisample mode simpler each sample has it's own note value.

I'll check it out later, but maybe this can shed some light on it.... maybe not. :roll:
Thanks.

-M

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