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What is your suggested way to create drum patterns?


Thank you for your software! Since Qtractor doesn't have a drum editor like MusE and LMMS. What is your advice or suggestion on how to create drum pattern on Qtractor?


rncbc's picture


on a MIDI track: set Drums on; from this moment all clips in the track are shown in said "Drum mode" ie. diamonds
instead of rectangles ...

then it all matters on which plugin or external instrument it's inserted on that very track or through its output bus.

simple as that; what else? :)

Ah..ok. One last question. So, if I want to create a beat using samples, I need to have a plugin where I load all my samples, right? Then this plugin will be "connect" to the piano roll, and then I can create the beat. Is that the workflow?

rncbc's picture

in a nutshell, it's a MIDI sequencer: you write MIDI sequences (as clips in the piano roll) and feed them to MIDI instrument plugins, external standalone or outboard hardware... and these might be a synth, a sampler (or rompler, whatever) that are in fact the real sound (audio) producers in the end.

whether you write the MIDI events on a step by step basis or record them as live performance, from a MIDI controller or keyboard for instance, it's all your call of ones workflow...

qtractor doesn't impose any kind of workflow to you whatsoever--quite frankly it's all about the other way around ;)


My question about the workflow is because I don't have any :-) I'm just starting playing around, so my knowledge is basically zero. I just want to find an "easy" way of doing some beats.

I'd suggest keeping it simple and just learning the basics of working with MIDI by itself before trying to incorporate samples. Here's a simple workflow that will get you moving. Everything you learn here will lend itself to other workflows down the road.

1. Assign Calf-fluidsynth plugin to a track
2. In Calf-fluidsynth, load the FluidR3_GM.sf2 soundfont (this is a very standard file I'd expect to exist on your system)
3. Back in Qtractor, change the track to use MIDI Channel 10 (this is the channel your drums are available on via the soundfont)
4. Create a clip of 4 bars
5. Loop the 4 bars
6. Double-click on the clip to open PR and start adding notes (Your kick drum will be found on MIDI Note 35)

I'm not covering every nuance here as you'll eventually want to speed up productivity through key-bindings, perhaps creating a template, other things.... This workflow is just designed to get you up and moving around; on your way toward understanding what MIDI is and how it works.

Personally, I'd strongly suggest avoiding any "drum pattern" stuff as that approach offers a mere subset of what is possible in a full sequencer. You can always just tweak a "clip" to your liking and just copy/paste it as much as you like anyway. Beyond thinking in terms of "reusable clips", a full blown sequencer allows you a much finer grain of control and IMHO lends itself much nicer to collaborating with others since exporting/importing should be much easier (there's no "translation magic" to figure out in either direction).

That's what I needed. Thank you!

Note: BTW... the Calf plugin crashes Qtractor, so I'm using Fuida

Oh nice. I never heard of that one

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