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Playing synth notes using drums (like Bill Bruford) Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 7th August 2014
  #1
Playing synth notes using drums (like Bill Bruford)

I love Bill Bruford's Earthworks, especially the earlier electronic work. The second album, "Dig?", features MIDI synths controlled by Bill's drumming. Is there anybody here who is interested in doing this type of thing?

Yamaha's PMC1 played different notes of a scale or chord depending on how hard you hit the drum-pad. Do any other products cater for the hi-tech drummer who is involved in the harmonic and melodic parts of music (as well as the rhythm)?
Old 7th August 2014
  #2
Gear Guru
 

most samplers will give you velocity layering and you can put different notes on different velocities. I don't know how many sample sets are commercially available like this, usually the velocities are used for the same pitch only with louder, more biting versions for the harder hits.

But if you dig into the architecture of your sampler, you should be able to make your own and put any sound you want on each layer

One thing to watch out for is that some drum units send a note-off message automatically after half a second or so. If you want to use sustain-y sounds, you may have to defeat that or put the sampler on "one shot" so each sample plays its full length.


I used to do a lot of melodic stuff with my Octopad. In retrospect I would have preferred one of those controllers laid out like a Marimba, as I was always having to 'memorize' different layouts for each one of my scales.

I think with the Bill Bruford type stuff the idea is to set it up so that you only 'allow' notes that 'worked' in a particular key. That way if you hit the pad a little too hard or a little too soft, the note you get is not "wrong".
Old 8th August 2014
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I used to do a lot of melodic stuff with my Octopad. In retrospect I would have preferred one of those controllers laid out like a Marimba, as I was always having to 'memorize' different layouts for each one of my scales.

I think with the Bill Bruford type stuff the idea is to set it up so that you only 'allow' notes that 'worked' in a particular key. That way if you hit the pad a little too hard or a little too soft, the note you get is not "wrong".
I have an Octapad too. I sampled piano diads to give me two notes per pad. Hitting two together gave various 7th chords.

If I remember correctly, the PMC1 could have chords on each pad, and higher velocities would sound its chord with a higher inversion. I think it would have been better had the pads and kick triggered chords and notes that altered with progress through a song. That way bass parts and other harmonic groove elements could have been played by the drummer.
Old 8th August 2014
  #4
Gear Guru
 

a lot depends on your sampler
many samplers have more than two velocity layers. I think the old Simmons drum brains had nine.

you could also set your crossfades on the velocity layers to overlap. So if you hit a pad with a velocity of 64 you would hear a sound assigned from 32 to 78 and also a sound assigned from 55 to 127
Old 22nd August 2014
  #5
Gear Addict
 
dcrigger's Avatar
 

I'm personally into doing that sort of stuff - but I don't know of anyone more into than the folks writing the software for the drumKat controllers. Definitely worth checking out.
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