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Software Drumming: DAW Benefits over Standalone
Old 1st June 2020
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Nick74's Avatar

Software Drumming: DAW Benefits over Standalone

With "Software Drumming" (= using your e-drum hardware as a midi controller triggering external sounds from a computer) you can achieve the best-sounding results in drum sound. And you can go far beyond the common features and possibilities of acoustic drum instruments.

You can play "Software Drums" using a drum sampler's standalone app (if this is a feature provided by the manufacturer) or you can play the drum sampler as a plugin inserted as a virtual instrument in a host DAW.

Now let's look at the benefit you'll get using the latter method. This benefit is achieved by the MIDI-editing of an able host

In general the advantage of course is track-sequencing (recording and playback of midi and audio tracks within the "arranger").
Furthermore there is the possibility to tweak your sound using third-party supplier's DSP software (and hardware) of your choice! (e.g. "VST plugins").

Now let's come to special and detailled benefits. Not every host (and/or version) offers the same!... So I'll give "Cubase Artist/Pro" benefits examples:

- note remapping (in case your drum sampler lacks this feature - e.g. EZDrummer2, most Kontakt drum samplers...).

- dynamic setting for each of the articulations (in case your drum sampler lacks this feature - e.g. EZDrummer2, most Kontakt drum samplers...) -> very important!.

- "Variable Hihat": high detail hihat CC remapping -> every input value can be changed into a wanted output value (in case your drum sampler lacks this feature - e.g. EZDrummer2, most Kontakt drum samplers...). You decide what pedal position will trigger a certain hihat open-closed stage. And skip stages of your choice if you don't want them.

- positional playing (in case your e-drum hardware is able but your drum sampler lacks "Positional Sensing" - e.g. EZDrummer2, most Kontakt drum samplers...).

- note switch (round robin notes): e.g. play two bassdrum sounds with one pad in order to get real doublebass feeling. But also different pads and not only bassdrum sounds are possible.

- dynamic stages trigger different sounds (e.g. your snare rim cannot split notes for "rim click" and "rim shot", or you want two "dynamic zones" trigger two different sounds on one pad. ...In case your drum sampler lacks this feature).

- "Variable Hihat" fixes: workaround for the Toontrack/Slate issue and its shaky sound artefacts. Fixes also everything else (like for example the GrooveAgent hihat).

- erase unwanted double (or more) triggers from cheap trigger hardware that lacks settings (suppress by time range): the main benefit could be that (imagine your module's trigger inputs are all plugged - no chance to plug a further Crash or you can use for example an additional cheap Medeli cym pad connected to a cheap multi pad like Alesis "PercPad"...

- Cymbal choking: remap polyphonic aftertouch in order to reach any sampler's cymbal. Example: you just have mapped a different cymbal in your drum sampler and you want it to react on choking. Using this method you can also mute a cymbal by choking a not referring cym-pad or you can even choke it with all of your cymbal pads!

- Filter out crosstalk. A "TD1" user reported his crosstalk that can't be improved/eliminated by module. The simple fix is using a DAW!

- If your e-drum hardware sends Ride Positional Sensing data but your sampler does not feature Cymbal PS you can have it anyway. I.e. drum samplers like BFD 2/3 can be played incl. (Ride) Cymbal PS!

- Playalong music with sync'd audio-, video-, drum editor tracks (practise by playing along bar-quantized loops).

- Play melody sequences on a single drum pad (with the additional software "Bidule" it is even possible to play/trigger orig. (hardware) synthesizers the way a synth player plays and not only samplers!). Be not only the drummer but also the synth player and make full and ready music. be continued...

BTW: as you can see you can pimp up drum samplers that are pretty weak at e-drumming and make them powerful like a flagship drum sampler (like SuperiorDrummer). This is a very strong benefit of an able DAW!
Old 14th June 2020
Lives for gear
JohnRick's Avatar
Agree. Been recording like this for the past 10 years on my DTX 900 via SD (now SD3). Happy customers - and releases.
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