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Seriously I have been searching yet none really give an explaination of what the heck is going with them.

I have EZDrummer for my Cubase plugin , and have put it as my virtual instrument and assigned it to my midi track, and then I go to drum map and there is only GM which is the bog standard for cubase. So i use it, and well it says things like "Hand Clap" yet doesn't sound anything like it when I try draw in the beats, and some don't make any sound.

What am I doing wrong?

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hueseph Tue, 05/20/2008 - 15:35

A drum map is exactly that. It is simply a map of where certain drums "occur" on the piano roll. There should be a map on the EZdrummer install disc that you can import into Cubase. I have EZdrummer at home but not here. I could check but you should be able to find it simply by exploring the cd.

pr0gr4m Tue, 05/20/2008 - 16:18


Most drum machines/modules/plug-ins will tie specific drums to a MIDI note number. But none of them really do it the same. For example an Alesis drum machine might tie a kick drum to the C0 key on a keyboard (MIDI note number 24) while a Roland drum machine may use that key for a cymbal or snare or some other sound. Originally there was no standard (and there really isn't one now) and manufacturers just did what they wanted.

Without getting into a big explanation...General MIDI was created as a way to standardize some of that. It was actually designed for a complete set of sounds, not just drums. For example, piano type sounds would be patch numbers a-b; bass sounds would be on patches c-d; leads e-f, etc. Drum sounds each has a specific note number under the general MIDI specification...Kick on note number 35, snare on note number 38, etc. But that only allowed for a specific set of sounds. It was really designed as a way for people to create MIDI tracks/files/devices in a way so that they could be played anywhere and sound close to what they were supposed to sound like. General MIDI is limited and in the real world not too handy unless you are just playing back MIDI files you download off the internet. But back to the problem at hand...

In come Drum Maps. A drum map is a mapping of drum sounds from a device to MIDI notes in your software. So, using the example above, when you are using your Alesis drum machine, you would load in a specific drum map that is set up for that Alesis drum machine so that all the notes and sounds will correspond to each other. When you click or play the hand clap, you'll hear a hand clap.

Drum machines are not limited to one set of drum sounds/MIDI note numbers. They allow you to create multiple drum kits and usually you can assign each drum within each kit it's own MIDI note number. Add multiple drum machines/modules/plug-ins and you can have litterally hundreds of different drum kits and each with their own specific MIDI note configuration.

Generally to manage something like this, you would try to keep your drum kits similar, using the same MIDI not for all your kick drums, the same for the snares, etc. However, that is not always possible and that's where drum maps are useful.

I tend to keep all my drum machines to a standard and can use 1 or 2 different drum maps to cover them all. However, I also use Battery. I not only use it for drums but I also use it to trigger samples. Some times I'll create a drum map just for a specific song if the sounds I use in Battery are all sorts of different things. I also use different drum maps for DFH.

Really, the best thing you can do to learn how they can be helpful is to just create and use one. It'll take a little time setting it up but in the end if you use many different drum kits and do a lot of drum programming it will make your life so much easier.

sirchick Tue, 05/20/2008 - 16:49

Thankyou for the replies guys.

I wanted to make my own drum maps, but I have no real clue on what to do, nor where to find simple instructions on how to make a basic one so that I can then follow that principal for my EZDrummer.

Most pages I have found, kinda expect you to know half of what they want you to do in the first place, but I have never even touched a drum map before so finding a tutorial is pretty difficult.

anonymous Tue, 08/18/2009 - 00:15

Thanks so much for sharing the post.

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