Drum tracks

I’ve been using GP for over a year now and most of my usage is pretty basic. I set up racks of various sounds to use playing live at church.

One of the things I’m interested in doing at home is playing along with a drum tracks/loops. I currently have NI Komplete 11 which includes Battery and also several drum VSTs in Kontakt.

Since my previous synth/keyboard experience was mostly hardware based and early PC software sequencing (think early synth workstations and Cakewalk for DOS) I’m still fairly new to the world of VSTs, DAWs, et al.

I’m looking for some suggestions as to how I can use GP to trigger drum tracks to play along with. I’ve gotten the VST and hard synth basic set up pretty well figured out, but not sure how to make this next step.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it.


Do you want to trigger audio loops or do you want to trigger midi sequences?

You could also be interested in MDrummer from MeldaProduction which is still 50% off for a few… hours ?

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I’m thinking audio loops.

Am considering something similar…programming drum loops to use instead of a metronome for practice.

I’ll use my DAW to create the loops with stepped BPM settings (e.g. in 5 BPM increments) using a drum VSTi and drum MIDI loops. I’ve got all kinds of drum MIDI (blues, reggae, rock, jazz, etc.), so I can have some variation.

Short loops: 4, 8, 12 (gotta cover the 12-bar blues) and maybe 16 bars, with a one or 2 beat fill at the end.

I’d stick with fully quantized for practice.

For making practice loops, you don’t need Superior Drummer or Addictive Drums. The kits you have will work fine.

But look for some drum MIDI in style(s) you’re interested in.

Just pay attention to the mapping. There’s GM (General MIDI), and then there are VSTi-specific mappings.

I’ve used several different approaches for this.

I currently run a separate Ableton Live session in parallel to GP. The only thin in Ableton is a dozen or so MIDI drum tracks, mostly 8 bars, that play through Superior 3. I have them each set up as a scene, which I can trigger with a midi note or a mouse click. If you name the scenes things like “4/4 120bpm” it will automatically change time and tempo accordingly. I also have a knob set up so I can adjust tempo any time by twisting right or left.

I’ve also done this with just Superior 3 inside a separate instance of GP, and with EZPlayer playing the midi files.

There’s a VST called Jamstix that I’ve had for years and used on and off. It’s similar to the Melda MDrummer VST that David-san mentioned. Both the Melda plugin and Jamstix can output midi to a drum VST of your choice or use their own internal sounds.

Band-in-a-Box can also do this, both as a plugin or by generating tracks that you can use something else to play.

I also messed around for a little bit trying to do it from the audio file player built into GP.

I haven’t found another way to get the flexibility and simplicity of control that I get doing it through Ableton. If you have an Ableton Live Lite serial from some other purchase I’d recommend trying it out. If not, buying Ableton just for that is overkill. (And Ableton is slightly less than ideal for hosting a serious drum VST because for whatever stupid reason it filters polyphonic aftertouch, which Roland uses for cymbal chokes.)

midi sequences

If I use something like MDrummer, how would I best trigger it within GP?

You put the plugin in a rackspace, make or choose a drum style and it will be synced to the GP tempo. That’s it.

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Can you trigger different parts of the groove by mapping a widget?

Yes, because you can trigger them using MIDI notes.

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But i think you will have to use GPscript because we only have latching switched widgets. So when you want to change your drum pattern, you first have to switch the “old” widget off before you switch the “new” widget on.
If we had non-latching trigger-widgets or (even better) radio buttons, then it would not be a problem at all, but at the moment there is only the way to gain a radio-button-like functionality via GPscript.
Or am i missing something? (I can only speak of the AIR Strike 2 drum plugin where the patterns are also triggered/stopped by MIDI notes.

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You could try to map a button widget to the Midi In for example to send Bb-1_NoteOn_22
connected to your Drum VST.
When the widget is pressed it sends “Note on A#-1 (22) Velocity 64 Channel1”
and sends “Note off A#-1 (22) Velocity 0 Channel 1” when it is “unpressed”.

So I think this should work fine with variations.

Yes, it can be a workaround, but I agree with @schamass, at a time it will be nice to have stuffs like momentary widgets (and radio button widgets :innocent:)…

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I recently bought MDrummer and would have liked to use it for jamming on days when the drummer can’t join me in the practice room, much like the drum section of a portable entertainer keyboard.
But now I have problems with the controling via Midi. Maybe someone of you has been able to solve this?


I would like to control the “Level” parameter, “Intro”, "Break, “LBreak” and Outro button from the playback section with a midi controller. So I would e.g. set the “Level” with a slider, and press a button assigned to e.g. “Break” to initiate into the new loop.
For me, this is much more pratical than selecting the individual loops directly via the loop selector.

Just now I have this idea:
If MDrummer does not offer me the possibility, thanks to Gig Performer and Scripting I would still think of a possibility, in which I send out different NoteOn commands (of the loop selector) in dependent of a slider position with pressure of a button! GP you are great!