Hello, everyone...

I recently purchased a Mesa Mark V and Pro Tools 8 LE. I assumed Pro Tools would come with a drum machine but it appears this is not the case. Since then I've been looking around at various drum machine programs and I'm not sure which to get.

I actually am not sure how they work, either. I envisioned it would be something like this: You would bind the snares/hi-hats/whatever to your keys on your keyboard, and hit record, and it would record everything in the exact tempos that you type it. The reason why I'm mentioning this is in case if some drum machine programs work a different way.

The basis of my question is, what drum machine program should I get? I don't know theory, so writing down time signatures won't help. I hear exactly how the drumming should go in my head. It's very orchestral, so there's no way I could use those preset beats.

Any help is appreciated.

Do you have any understanding of MIDI tracks and how they work? Drum samplers utilise MIDI input via control or mapping. As far as I'm aware, there's no straightforward way to set up sampling software to use your PC keyboard as an input device, short of downloading software that allows such interaction.

EDIT: I'll probably never check this again, so I'll just give you the bare basics.

Step 1: Write a MIDI drum track. Do this with any notation software (eg. Guitar Pro, PowerTab etc)

Step 2: Export the project from your notation software as a MIDI file. Only export the drum track if you added any other instruments for reference.

Step 3: Import the MIDI track into Pro Tools on a new track (I have no idea how Pro Tools works, you'll have to work this out yourself. REAPER for great justice).

Step 4: Load your Drum Sampling software as an effect (obviously, you'll need to acquire said software first. I'd highly reccomend anything by Toontrack Software)

Step 5: Configure your sampler, check and modify your midi file as required for the sampler's preferred MIDI map (eg. find out where the snare drum hits are mapped, then alter your MIDI track as necessary).

Step 6: Play it back, get the sound right, then record it.

Step 7: Boners all round.
Last edited by Kikuta at Jun 16, 2010,
I do it exactly the way Kikuta explained.

For Step 3: It's just a drag and drop of the midi file into an "instrument" track.

For Step 5: For EZ Drummer or Superior 2.0, you don't need to modify the midi file if you used Guitar Pro exporting, it should be exported in the standard way.

For Step 6: You don't need to record it, but if you want to in order to save on system resources, go for it, I do.

So, yeah. It's pretty easy, really. I am sure that you can assign notes to your keyboard and play it like that in real time, though. But I don't know why you would want to...
Pro Tools comes with a drum machine. Look for the disc with BFD on it (of course, if you got the ignition pack that usually comes with it)
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