PADS versus SHELLS
composed in notepad so i can never know how it looks till i posted it -
UNDERSTANDING MIDI DRUMS - PADS V SHELLS -
when most people open N Track Drums they are completely baffled by what they see - many give up there and then, a few others try to work it out, and having got so far they give up the ghost, yet still wanting a MIDI drums application run off and spend $300+ on a big name VSTi only to be conftronted with a barage of problems that they cannot handle and the MIDI drum dream ends in a nightmare -
SO LETS LOOK AT WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT -
OK - apart from the GUI (graphic user interface) there is little to seperate how NTD operates from any of the others - NTD has a set of pads, onto which are loaded a set of SAMPLES that represent one part of a drum kit -
the sample can be triggered in two ways, 1 clicking on the pad and 2 by using a MIDI note -
NOW - a full size MIDI keyboard will have 88 keys on it - so most PIANO ROLLs are set to an 88 key range - on a piano you press a key and a note sounds - not so with MIDI DRUMS - this is best described as, If you moved all the black keys on a piano to one block you would have, white keys, black keys, white keys - OK - in this situation when you press a black key part of a drum set will sound as every black key has a drum part assigned to it - the white keys are mute - nothing happens when you press them -
so to get MIDI drums to play corectly the notes on a MIDI track have to be in our black key range - if the notes for another instrument are sent to NTD, not all (or any) drums will be played. to play in NTD then the notes are have to be in the correct place - open the piano roll click in the keyboard, chose General MIDI Drums - see where the note are - no drum names at the side of notes, no play - also there has to be a pad with a blue square in it for a drum part to be played - no pad, no drum -
PADS v SHELLS -
as i said above there are two main types of VSTi that play MIDI drums, the PAD version and the DEDICATED drum shell kit version - the PAD version is sometimes harder to get your head around but has far greater possabilities than a dedicated drum shell kit -
with the DEDICATED drum type you either choose a pre-defined drum kit or build up your own - either way you are often locked to the samples that are supplied with or designed for that aplication - in a lot of this type you get a picture of the kit you are using, clicking on a drum shell in the picture will sound that drum exactly the same as clicking on a PAD in the NTD type drums -
there is another difference that is generally misunderstood, this is
QUALITY - EZD, BFD etc sound better than NTD, not exactly, if you can import the samples from other apps they would sound the same - it is the quality of the samples used that make the difference - OK so in the high price apps you can add in a load of effects to your kits the basic principal is the same - the better quality the sample the better the kit sounds - NTD will give excelent results if you program it using samples from a quality (royalty free) sample CD -
with the PAD type apps you are not limited to drum samples, any .wav file can be assigned to a pad - adding your own drum (or any other samples) samples for use in NTD is really easy - open the N track folder on your hard drive, then open the VSTPLUGIN folder, then open the N Track Drums folder, in there is a folder marker LIBRARY, it is in here that the drum kits suplied with NTD live -
to add your own samples, open the LIBRARY folder and create a new
folder called MY SAMPLES, now drag (for ease of use) say 20 samples
into that folder - if you want to add more samples, close that folder and then add another new folder into the LIBRARY folder “my samples 2” etc -
when you open NTD right click in a pad and choose the REALTIME SAMPLE REPLACER - using the DRIVES option navigate to the NTD LIBRARY FOLDER from here you can select the sample you want to use -
click on the sample and click on the SELECT BUTTON - the sample is now assigned to that pad and will sound when the pad is clicked or when it is triggered by a MIDI track - if you like that sample press KEEP -
now if you click to the right of a BLUE square in the pad you will open the VOICE EDITOR - at the bottom right of the panel you wil see NOTE OFF - if the little box is RED the sample will only sound for the length of the MIDI
TRIGGER NOTE - if the box is clear the sample will play for its full length -
AGAIN - you can add any wav file to a pad of any length, you can add in guitar riffs, synth sweeps, clasical music tracks, anything you can think off -
the only limitation is that although you can set the end of the sample play time by the length of the MIDI note you cannot set the start position of the sample - and you may have to reposition the notes on a pre-made MIDI track to get the samples to be triggered correctly - see below -
The GM drum set contains 47 instruments - NTD only has 24 pads so to
get a pad to play there has to be a MIDI note in the correct place within the GM drum range BUT it is the settings IN THE PAD that say what drum will trigger it - in the kits i have the FIRST (top left) pad is set to the second from the bottom of the GM drum set being BASS DRUM 1. not ACOUSTIC BASS DRUM which is the first drum available - the MIDI DRUM NUMBERS start at the bottom with note 35 and go upwards - if 8 pads in a row are shown this does not mean that the first 8 drum parts are used - pad 1 can be Bass Drum and pad 2 can be Open Triangle which is at the other end of the GM set -
MOVING MIDI NOTES - open the piano roll - view all song - with the
mouse draw a frame around the MIDI notes, when the notes have been
captured - zoom in a bit so that when the cursor goes over a note it
changes from the pointer to a cross, left click and drag all the notes to a new position -
USING THE STEP SEQUENCER - this can play in two modes - either on its own if inserted in a blank MIDI track or along with if inserted in a pre-recorded MIDI track - the on/off buttom at the bottom of the step
sequencer determins what happens - you can drag any pattern you reate
in the step sequencer (or those that are pre-programmed for you) and
transfer it to a MIDI track which can then be played or exported for further use - this way you can mix n match styles at will -
with my OS (Win 2k) this has problems - so this is how i have to do it - program step sequencer - open piano roll for a track - click on the button with the (strange) note on it and drag (move the cursor) to a EMPTY place on the piano roll - revert to timeline the new MIDI pattern is now there and i can position it where i want -
N Track Drums is a BADGED version of DK DRUMS and the version we use is free issue - if you go to the link below, here you can download the MANUAL for DK+ (the paid for version) there is very little between the two so get it now - manual comes in windows help and PDF versions - look for it at the bottom right side of the page - also available are more kits to download - the manual contains many links to other areas on the Nusofting website, info that could be a great hep to you -
Link to manual and kits -
Hey there is a question I have been meaning to ask…and rather than start a thread for it it fits here…
Let’s say I have real acoustic live drum tracks and I want to turn them into MIDI files so that I can sync them up with FX sequences…
Is that possible with N an and possibly another converter utility?
Perhaps if I describe the end game the answer will better suite the entire query.
I am wanting to use a Digitech GNX4 pedal (huge midi learning curve here) to sequence live FX, I just got tired of all those pedals and having to hit them while singing at specific times in the songs.
According to the manual you can create a midi file that will change the FX at certain points in the song.
I am using backing tracks, which are live drum tracks but they are in mp3 format, that is why I am wanting to convert them to Midi and save them as one file with the FX sequences.
Also I am wanting to created a midi click track to send to one channel (r or l) so that I can use an earpiece to listen to the tempo so that I do not loose it during the silent parts of the drum tracks.
My thought was to put the click on the left and drums on the right and only send the right to the PA and left to the earpiece.
The hurdle I think I have to get over is how to convert my backing tracks to Midi so that I can put them into a proper organization to all sync together.
I also have X-Edit and Pro-Tracks plus that came with the GNX4 so perhaps that would be best to try all this in?