Recording MIDI needed!


New member
i originally posted this in the "drum" forums but then i realised it might be better suited here, so apologies for the re-post.

i've just finished converting the Rhythm Traveler drumset i bought recently into an electronic kit. DIY triggers, Pintech practice cymbals and a Roland TD-6V brain. i want to record into Ableton Live and Reason 3, substituting Drumkit from Hell 2 sounds for the module sounds. i already have all the software (and will get a MIDI to USB device soon).

just need anyone's help on the process of doing this recording and any pointers you can share.

basically i want to be able to record my performance on the drums in MIDI, tweak the individual notes to fill in any missed or extra notes due to false triggering and maybe tighten up the tempo abit. (the quantizing on my module seems to do weird things to the beats..and no, i'm not THAT off-tempo!) i would then replace the drum sounds with Drumkit from Hell 2 sound samples (it comes with NI Kompakt sampler, btw).

i need to know about mapping drum sounds cos Drumkit from Hell 2 (DFH2) doesn't use the standard GM percussion mapping (not if i want to take full advantage of it at least). i understand my questions are highly specific to recording drums using a dedicated MIDI drum controller and particular software, but i'd be glad if i could be pointed in the right direction.

i'm new to home recording but i've been trying to read up, so any and all advice would be appreciated. as they say, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

p.s. i want to get a portable recording solution (i.e. laptop), so the big question is...Mac or PC? i thought of getting a Powerbook at first but then after some research, i found that some third-party e-drumming software that i could really use were only written for PC! sigh, *decisions*...
I'm sure you are aware that Reason does not record audio and that's why you are using Live and Reason.

Have you considered the new Cakewalk Project 5 Version 2, since this Reason wannbe CAN record audio.

This may be better and cheaper since you only have to buy 1 software instead of 2.
reason why i'm using those software is because my guitarists have been using it on their Powerbooks already, and i'm only now trying to catch up with the software and technical side of things, so those are the software available for me.

i read this article on the net briefly describing how the NN-XT in Reason can be manipulated to be more drum-specific. like i said, i'm still so new to all this, all i've done is gone thru some of the tutorial cd and now i can program a techno drum-bass line. oh yeah. :p the article is here.

could i redirect your responses to my existing thread on the "How-to Drum" forum? just to keep everything in one thread, thanks. :D
Which format of DFH are you using?

James, can we somehow merge his 2 threads into one? I didn't realise until now that there are 2 similar threads.
My apologies - I didn't pay attention. You're using the NN-XT sampler within Reason.

Mapping isn't difficult. Just tedious if you're new to it. Since DFH is already mapped into NN-XT, it should be quite easy. But I believe it is meant for keyboard sequencing and therefore not in the usual GM drums mapping. All you need to do is to change the map - you should be able to get the standard GM drum mappings easily (you probably already know the mapping).

I believe DFH is quite extensive with left and right hand hits, different approaches to hitting etc. I'm afraid you're going to lose many of these intricacies unless you use a keyboard. You'll just have to select the "best" sample for each drum trigger (eg - hi-hat open, hi-hat close, snare etc). Then change the mappings - you should be able to drag the mappings like any other softsamplers. As I've not used DFH, I'm not sure of the internal mappings within each trigger. You should be able to open a "note" by double clicking to see all the samples within a note - there may be more things you can do to edit it. But again, I can't advise anymore unless I see DFH myself. I use Gigastudio - although all softsamplers editors function by similar principles, there are still differences which I cannot advise you in detail.
looks like my attempts to steer the conversation to the other thread has failed. let's keep it here then. :lol:

can i state a disclaimer here? all i've done is built my DIY edrums and secured the software. i'm not going to do any audio-editing on this pc (my desktop), but rather i plan to get a juiced up notebook so i can start to record. so alot of what i'm saying is discussion and theorizing. :)

if you take a look at the article i linked to in the other post, the guy talks about how he uses his MIDI drum controller (specifically, a TrapKAT) to control the NN-XT within Reason. i believe he plays live with this setup. he simulates left/right hits using the "alternate" function in the NN-XT and controls the hihats by assigning them to mute groups. cymbal chokes are achieved by setting the *no sample* velocity to 1-20, so a light triggering of the cymbal will instead serve to "choke" it.

DFH2 has Native Instrument's Kompakt sampler included with it. i *think*, but i'm not sure, it has support to use alternating hits and mute groups. no point installing the software on this pc as i'm not gonna use it to record, so i can't verify that.

i guess i'm wondering, with all the software at my disposal, which combination would be best for me to record with? using Kompakt in Ableton Live, or loading the DFH2 samples into Reason (which would mean trying to figure out their filename system if i want, say, left/right hits or open, 1/2 open 3/4 open hihat etc. correct?)

i'm starting to get the feeling i didn't know what i was jumping into when i decided to go "electronic". 8O as it is right now, i'm never completely satisfied with the triggering on my drums..always searching for a closer emulation of acoustics. *sigh*
I apologise again - must be tired and I'm not reading your entries clearly. You are using DFH2 not DFH. DFH2 has the build-in Kompakt player from NI. So it is a standalone. The format is not compatible with Reason NN-XT which only supports their native NN-XT format, wav, aiff and soundfonts. I believe they are still trying to get Akai samples to work. NI's Konpakt cannot be edited and spliced into their individual wav files to be imported into NN-XT - this is NI's way of preventing piracy (which really hinders a lot of creativity since we cannot edit the individual samples as with other formats). But you can still re-map the samples within Kompakt, I believe. Kompakt is way more powerful than Reason's NN-XT anyway. They also have a similar alternating sample trigger.

In this case, you just need to load DFH2 within Ableton as a VST. If it is remapped into GM drums, you have your drums ready for recording. If you want to play live, just open DFH2 as a standalone.

elevenine said:
i'm starting to get the feeling i didn't know what i was jumping into when i decided to go "electronic". 8O as it is right now, i'm never completely satisfied with the triggering on my drums..always searching for a closer emulation of acoustics. *sigh*

The whole idea of using samples (like DFH) is to be as realistic as possible. Hence you are on the right track to try to achieve "closer emulation of acoustics". The mappings for drum samples are mainly for keyboards - easy for us since we have 10 fingers and the mappings are extensive spreading across the keyboard. But to use it using electronic drum triggers, you have the problem of re-mapping and losing some details. But triggering from drums is always more realistic than playing on the keyboard. So there are pros and cons. Still, if I can play the drums, I would use electronic drums to trigger instead of the keyboard because it always turn out more realistic.
thanks for all the thoughts cheez.

just shooting from the hip here: why would i lose some details if i remap DFH2 to my drum module? i'd like to record what i can play within limits, so if i'm using just a 4 piece kit with 2 cymbals, that's all i'm gonna need out of DFH2. if i want a tambourine or shaker or whatever, that goes it after the drum tracks are laid down.

Kompakt can "auto-randomise" the hits right? so i don't have to go back and edit every other note to make it sound more realistic.. as for hihat control, i think i can make that edrummer's partner software work for me with some tweaking. what i think DFH2 brings to the table besides outstanding acoustic drum samples, is the fact that i can bring in the ambient mics to capture realistic mic bleed, which is really what gives an already outstanding sample set an extra dose of realism. of course, i'm assuming that the hard part is recording a satisfactory drum part with my edrums, then tweaking the MIDI if necessary.

correct me if i'm wrong, but all i have to do is load up the full kit with ambient mics on, and with correct mappings..and voila, instant realistic drum sound upon playing back the MIDI! and if i want, i can record individual tracks like kick, snare etc. to individual tracks in Ableton Live or smth for more mixing.
hi cheez, i can't merge different threads leh. hmmm... maybe i lock 1 of them and put a link to the other?
Again, I'm not entirely familiar with DFH2. You will have to look into the manual and the individual samples and mappings. But with newer drum samples like Larry Seyer 's Acoustic Drums, you get different samples for different hits on different position on a snare, tom, hi-hat and cymbal. There is no way this can be captured on a electronic drum unless the drum is able to recognise different positions the stick hits it.

Yes, you can map each hit with the random alternator which gives you more realism (to get rid of what we call the "machine-gun effect" of which the same sample is triggered again and again when hit repeatedly fast). But you also lose control - you cannot determine which sample will be triggered. For example, there are left and right hand hits. You switch on the alternator, and it randomly triggers left or right hand samples. So although you hit with your left hand, you may get a right hand hit. You may end up with left-left-left-right when you hit left-right-left-right. Of course, to the untrained ear, it may not be noticeable - and it is the best we can do in sampling technology at the moment. In a keyboard, I can use 2 fingers to play left and right hand - so I can control more. In Larry Seyer's drums, for example, almost the entire keyboard is mapped. So one can control exactly where he wants the stick to hit on the drum (close to the edge or nearer the centre - I believe the library has about 10 positions on each drum).

But you can still get very realistic sound if you map all the alternate samples for each drum into one and turn on the alternator. That's the best you can do and it will acheive relatively good results. Yes you are right - change the mappings is all you need to do to achieve good results. But if the mappings span across the entire keyboard, you cannot map everything.

When you get it to work, don't forget to give us a sound demo of your recording!