HOW TO: build a drum kit from samples?

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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:17 pm
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HOW TO: build a drum kit from samples?

Post by megahurt » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:17 pm

I know this is probably really simple...

I have a drum loop. I drop it in, warp it, and can slice to midi.

What I really want to do is just save the kick and snare (along with effects) into one tidy little drum rack instrument that I can drop into any session as a MIDI instrument. I've tried it a couple times but it seems like the actual audio samples aren't being saved with it.

How exactly do I get this to happen?

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Re: HOW TO: build a drum kit from samples?

Post by MarcAaron » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:03 am

Several 'correct' answers obviously, but one solution I'll throw on the table is to use something like the sfz file format

What you'd be doing is mapping your sample files (kick.wav, snare.wav, etc) to a range of MIDI notes via a simple text file that's pretty easy for a human to work with but is understood by soft synths. I've done some basic work with this in Cakewalk's Rapture soft synth and it's worked well for me. I seem to remember sfz being proposed as an open standard but cannot confirm if all of today's soft synths support it. I think if you own anything by Cakewalk you'd be in the running but perhaps the other forum members can comment more to this.

Anyway, the mapping really is easy to perform and then your "drum kit" becomes a simple soft synth preset/program/whatchmacallit that you can load as a Live instrument. For example, banging away on my Korg Poly 800 keyboard used as a MIDI controller, I might trigger a kick.wav with C2, snare.wav with D2, open hat.wav with E2, etc... or get fancy and sample some darker/lighter kicks and play them back with C2 through G2, snares with C3 through G3, etc. This method really shines if you subscribe to any of the music mags that have a monthly cover DVD with drum or other royalty-free instrument samples. Once you're familiar with the sfz format and have the filenames and samples from cover the DVD, 5 minutes' work will give you a new kit you can load up in Live via your soft synth plugin.

Where it really starts to get fun is that I can use the sfz format to tell my soft synth to introduce variations to the samples it's playing back. Variations in pitch are always the first example tossed out in the sfz docs but might not be of interest to a drummer -- but response to velocity might :-) And, I like being able to perform the "heavy lifting" using the Notepad or Textedit editors to do the mapping. Though I can't imagine working in any other environment than Live, this solution does let me move my "drum kit" to any platform that supports a soft synth that understands the sfz format, rather than being bound to something specific to the DAW (like a Live drum rack).

Try reading the sfz intro doc at Cakewalk's web site and see if it stirs your creativity. I'm hoping you would not necessarily need a Cakewalk product to pull this off in Live -- or that a free sfz VST plugin would be available for you at the least.

Gregory Wells-King
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Location: Somerset UK

Re: HOW TO: build a drum kit from samples?

Post by Gregory Wells-King » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:32 pm

Erghh! 8O

You've allready done it then. and no doubt, by the time anyone answers this post you will have worked it out,
but just remove the midi clip and trigger the wanted sample from your controller.

But if your looking to use the sample in anything else within live, such as Impulse, just pick up the selected sample or isolate it with clip view and drop it onto an available slot.