Best pc software program for programming midi drum beats?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by CrackPipeWilly, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. My first time posting, been a reader of the forum for a while now. hope you guys can help me out!

    Here is my situation:

    I have a alesis sr-16 drum machine. I like the drum sounds it makes, however I find programing my own beats on the machine to be tedius and time consuming. Drums arn't my thing, so I prefer to spend as little time as I can afford getting beats that match my songs. I play/write mainly rock/idie/folk type stuff, So Im just looking to create simple beats/midi loops that fit my songs.

    I have used, and like, Reason's Redrum drummer pattern sequencer to program simple beats. I find it very easy to use, however the drum sounds are limited and I want something that will output to midi! Reason 2.5 only allows midi input, not out, as far as I can tell.

    I have my alesis connected to my compter via midi. I have used sonars built in session drummer, and it works fine to drive my alesis via midi, but its dificult to create your own patterns, and its patterns it provides are limited. I even tried writing my own staff music to drive the alesis via midi but that was too time consuming and more trouble than its worth.

    I guess what I am asking is. Is there a good software program that I can use the drive my Alesis sr-16 drum machine, that is easy to use? I am looking for something with a nice GUI similar to reason's redrum drummer(or old roland style drum machine). Don't want to use a program where you have to put a bunch of small dots on a bunch of differnt lines, and map a full keyboard of drum sounds to my 10 pad alesis.

    I hope I made myself clear, let me know if you have any questions. There must be a program out there that can do what Im looking for I just need to find it.
    thanks.
     
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    From your post it looks like you've experimented with a few different methods. And those pretty much cover the full range of drum programming.

    These days you basically have three different methods for creating drum patterns, step sequencing, pattern sequencing or real time sequencing.

    If you like reason redrum, that is pattern based sequencing. There are a specific number of beats and you just select the drum and place it on the beat where you want it. This is basically the same thing as putting "a bunch of small dots on a bunch of differnt lines", it's just displayed to you in a different format. To be able to move forward in the biz, I recommend that you learn how to read and program drum beats using those dots on the grid because it is WAY easier to use and MUCH more versatile.

    These days, most sequencers come with their own sounds. But some of them also have MIDI output options which can be used with your drum machine. I am not aware of any stand-along pattern based sequencers, but a quick google search brought up this... http://www.sonicspot.com/beatsequencers.html. Another good place to look around would be http://www.kvr-vst.com.

    My favorite drum machine right now is SonicCharge's Microtonic. It is pattern based but uses it's own sounds.

    One major concern here is do you want to program beats into your SR-16 or do you just want to create beats on your computer and play them back using your SR-16? If you want to program them into the SR-16, you are going to have to program them into the SR-16 either in step mode or real time mode.
     
  3. Thanks for your reply. I had come across the sonicsport.com webpage myself in my searches, it apears to have a lot of older software geared towards win95 and such, and I would be looking for something newer and more professional. kvr-vst.com looks like a good resource Im sure I will come across usefull info there.

    I am wondering if anyone has tried to do what I want to do and what programs they have liked. Or do most people simply use computer programs and the sounds they come with to create all there beats? I don't want to waste money on a software sound pack when I have all the sounds I want in my drum machine.

    I just purchased the midi cable so I have just started playing with midi, I am just now learning the pro's and con's of it.

    My ultimate goal is to be able to create and save small midi files that will drive my drum machine. I would like to be able to insert these midi files as loops, fills, and patterns into cakewalk sonar, or any multitrack recording program, record a audio track from my drum machine. So I would just need to, create beats on my computer and play them back with my SR-16. Maybe further down the road I would like to be able to program the beats I have on my computer into the SR-16 for live proformances, but I will worry about that later.
     
  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    I've got an SR-16 too and I use it's sounds often. These days, most people are using sequencing software to create drum beats. I thinks that's pretty standard.

    Using something like Cubase that incorporates sequencing and audio recording, I can create the beats via midi. Output the midi to the drum machine and record the audio back into Cubase. Of course, recording the midi is the part you want to be easy. It would probably be best for you to learn it using a standard midi sequencer because you will definitely benefit from it in the long run.

    However I am going to check out some of those pattern sequencers, because I do like using them. Even though they are sort of old, most of them should work. If I find one that is pretty good I'll let you know.
     
  5. I found this the other day on the alesis website. A PC based Drum Kit Editor designed just for the Alesis sr-16.

    http://www.opticsilan.org/html/html.alesis/alesis.htm

    Its not exactley what I was looking for, but I will give it a try, looks like it has a lot of useful features and is well supported.

    I have also been experimenting with FL Studio (fruity loops). It does almost exactley what I want, creates midi loops that will drive the alesis. The only problem I have had so far is that when I import the saved midi loop files into sonar, the loops don't match up, meaning they arn't perfect loops. Has anyone else had this problem with fruity loops? I have tried every way I can think of to save the midi files as loops but they arn't smooth, very frustrating!

    Anyway thanks for all your help, if anyone has anymore input please post, if I find a soloution to my problem I will post it.
     
  6. Damejedi

    Damejedi Guest

    Hi willy , youve got to check out Reason. It has a great module called redrum .But also has Dr rex ,which is awesome for chopping up loops and using the hits in any way thinkable.
     

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