Can you program drums in N-track?

Hey guys…what is this Piano Roll thingy in ntrack…Is there any way you can record drum tracks with it…I think that would be cool if you could do that in Ntrack…

Where can I find more info on Piano Roll?

Thanks guys…

PS: Is there any free VST plug-ins or drum machines out there… :p

To answer the question in the title - Yes

The piano roll lets you manually enter midi data using your mouse instead of a midi keyboard or some other midi device.

Midi drums are generally on midi channel 10 although they don’t have to be.
If you have an SB card or some other GM midi sound module then use channel 10 and you should be right.

You can change the piano roll so it displays the GM drum names for each note (right click on the keyboard I think or go to properties)

Plenty of free things on the internet :)
sfz from rgcaudio is a free soundfont player that will let you use drum soundfonts.
I use RMF from linplug which is a free drum sythn/sample player.
There are plenty of others though which you may like better.

They all play back midi drum tracks


I bow down to you my friend!! Thanks a bunch for all the info. I am loving every bit of the world of DAW. I was so hesitant to set up my DAW…but every bit of the risk is proving to be worth while. I am going through the all help files and learning more about Piano Roll. This stuff seems unreal/amazing to me…

I shall pester you guys again if i run into any problems…and you bettcha i will :laugh:

thanks man…

Argghhh…i cant believe i would run into a problem this fast.

Last time I hit a note on the Piano Roll…i was able to hear a sound…even though the lag time was unbearable… (I used my built in sound card that time)

Now I got a better sound card (M-audio Delta 44)…it was the solution for the lag times i was facing for my audio tracks…but now i get no midi.

what have i done wrong?

I check my Midi Settings and this is what i have:

Midi In: 1X1 Midi Port
Midi Out: 1- Microsoft Midi Mapper

(I have another option but i dont know what that is for: “Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth”) Should I select this one instead of the MS midi mapper?

utterly confused…

The M-Audio does not have built in midi sounds.
Your old sound card might have.

You can use the MS SW synth but it will sound crap and possibly lag.

If you download sfz and nskit (do a search and you should find them) you can use them and they’ll sound a lot better.


Oh…my God…what…no Midi in my M-Audio 44…last time someone told me that my M-audio would do much superb job with midi than my built in crappy sound card…

now i will face whole new problems synchronizing both these sound cards for audio and midi… :(

My delta came with Reason Adapted…i have to install that and see if i can program drums…it better have something…

But thanks a lot for your $ 0.02

I disabled my old sound card…now i will have to enable it again and give it a try…

Hold…on I am doing a serch on Nskit right now…i will let ya know…soon…

hey man…what is nskit…all i get is “netwrok service kit”…how can it play drums :(

pls ignore my previous post…i think i got it this time :laugh:

There’s lots of ways to get a drum track going.

I used to use a Midi sequencer program to do my drums. It had a decent drum editor. Personally I struggle with the piano roll method preferring the “grid and pattern” technique of software like FruityLoops.

There are other programs, but Fruity is my chosen tool at the moment. Quite a few others use it too.



hey yeah… I have heard good things about Fruity loops…but i heard its not really for rock oriented music.

Can you program drums using Fruity Loops? How do you guys use FL. Do you have to use Rewire and all that…or do you just create the drums trac, save it as a wav file and import it to N-track?

Hey RichLum…i am still downloading the nskit…(i have a slow modem…) how do i install it once its downloaded…is it the same procedure as a vst plug-in?

Yes you can do drums using FL
FL is popular for drums and loop based music. I don’t really like it but it’s a personal preference thing. I tried Acid and that seemed easier to use to me but still not my cop of tea.
You can use FL as a VSTi in n-track or separate

Once you download NSkit you will also need sfz (or some other soundfont player) to load nskit into.

Install sfz into your VST folder
load it in n-track and route your midi drum track to it.
load up nskit in sfz

Make sure you are downloading the soundfont version of nskit and not the wav samples.


Thanks Rich…i really appreciate your help. I am working on it right now. Nskit does have a .txt file with setup instructions…i should have no trouble this time…

Thanks once again :)

hey yeah... I have heard good things about Fruity loops...but i heard its not really for rock oriented music.

Hmmm. Well I guess it gets that reputation because the built in sounds are very easy to make techno type music. But you can do with it what you like... it's a patten based sequencer and you can load up your own samples etc. I, and others, do rock music with it.

Here's a song I did ages ago with Fruity drums. (It's a collaboration). It's probably not a great advert for Fruity but at least it's an example...


Can you program drums using Fruity Loops? How do you guys use FL. Do you have to use Rewire and all that....or do you just create the drums trac, save it as a wav file and import it to N-track?

Well I have one of the low-end versions of FL so I have to do exactly that.... I first up build my patterns in Fruity (using imported samples), I then arrange the patterns into a song. Then the song gets exported as a WAV and imported into N-track. The more expensive versions of FL will appear as a vsti in N-track but I've never done it so I can't say too much about that method.

I think that more importantly you should use whatever you find easiest because then you can make music instead of fighting the technology.



Hey Mark…awesome track. You have done a brillant job drum programming. (if they were not built in loops)

hey…i am actually a lousy drum programmer…does FL have lots of built-in loops you can use…can you chain them together to create a song? I am actually planning to buy one.

You should try Skale tracker also, . There will be a VSTi-version soon according to the author. I’m using it for composing rock/metal tunes from scratch to pre-master (with help of N-Track since the program can’t record but can instead play back any guitar track I feed to it).

Hey Mark....awesome track. You have done a brillant job drum programming. (if they were not built in loops)

hey...i am actually a lousy drum programmer.....does FL have lots of built-in loops you can use......can you chain them together to create a song? I am actually planning to buy one.

Thanks for the kind comments.

All those patterns were created by me from scratch and then strung together into a "song". To my knowledge, FL doesn't have any loops built-in but you could of course import some I guess.

The samples are various that I've collected over the years, but most likely the infamous Tom Hicks samples (thanks Tom).

I usually make a basic outline of the song... eg, an intro pattern, a verse pattern and a chorus pattern. I then build the song up with those. I then start tracking the other instruments.

When that is done, I usually go back and put some finer detail into the patterns. For example, instead of one "verse" pattern I might create 3 - all slightly different, and then re-construct the verses with the 3 patterns instead of just one. I might jumble them up on different verses too so the 2nd verse is slightly different to the first.

Then I might re-visit the instrument tracks again. Perhaps my new drum track suggests a slightly different bass fill/run or whatever.

Then just before mixing, I'll probably apply a little bit of "randomisation" if I haven't done that already..... I might tweak the volumes on a hi-hat for example.... or make sure that consecutive cymbal crashes are a slightly different tone (Fruity allows you to make quite a few tweaks to the samples "on the fly").

The song I posted is somewhere near the beginning of this sequence. I lost interest before I finished it. :(

It isn't actually all that hard to program up a few decent patterns. I've been doing it in one form or another for about 15 years, and I do find that I have got better. I like the freedom of being able to create my own patterns with their own expreseion rather than use loops.



Great drum programming there Mark… very nice. :cool:

Mark…thanks for ur great suggestions. They would certainly help me compose. I actually went ahead and ordered a used copy of Fruity Loops off ebay.

What is the producer version? Can you even record audio with it?

I thought Fruity Loops had a lot of built-in loops you could use. I am a bit afraid to program drums the way i would want. You are so freggin good, it was even hard to say it was programmed. The drum kit you used was sooo realistic. were you a drummer by any chance :laugh:

Keep up the good job. :)