87. What options do I have for creating a MIDI drum track in RealBand?
  • You can use one of the pre-made drum loops that are included with RealBand. To do this, go to the Edit menu and click on Fill Track with Drum Pattern. In this dialog you can click on the [Select Pattern] button to choose one of the drum loops, as well as define the track number and range of bars that you want the drum loop to be imported to. Notice that the drum patterns in the 'Drums' folder that come with RealBand are of two types: *.dp, and *.dg files. *.dp files are essentially just small MIDI files, whereas the *.dg files are made using the Drum Grid Editor.

  • You can use the Drum Grid Editor to create your own custom drum loop, or you can edit an existing drum grid (*.dg file). This is the easiest way for you to make a drum track from scratch within RealBand. To open the Drum Grid Editor, go to the Action menu and click on Drum Grid Editor. Each of the columns of boxes represent a beat. Each box is a drum sound. To input a drum sound, type in a number from 0-127 - this number is the 'velocity' (volume), that you want the drum sound to have. The drum files are saved as *.dg files. Note that you can make the drums sound more realistic by using the 'random' feature.

  • You could input a drum track using your mouse and computer keyboard in the notation window. To do this, you should understand a couple of things. There are 16 MIDI channels. Channels 1-9 and 11-16 are generally used for any instrument EXCEPT drums, while channel 10 is generally used as the Drum channel. On channel 10, different note pitches sound like different drum sounds rather than different pitches of the same instrument. To select different drum kits (on channel 10), you send your synth Program Change messages. Program Change #0 is the standard drum kit, and is most frequently used drum kit as it is included in any General MIDI synth. On other MIDI channels, Program Changes are used to select different instruments (piano, guitar, etc.). Using the list of drum sounds/note numbers in the General MIDI Standard Drum Kit (see the General MIDI instrument list on our website, or the instrument list in the documentation for your synth for reference) you can input drum sounds into the notation window in editable notation mode. They will sound like drums provided that you have set the track you are working on to channel 10. If you input a couple of bars that you want looped, you can use the Edit | Copy and Paste commands to copy the bars to your whole song. The Paste dialog has an option to specify the number of repetitions you want. Alternatively, you can save 2 bar drum section as a .dp file so that you can use the Fill Track with Drum Pattern feature.

  • If you have an external hardware MIDI drum machine synth, you could connect this up to your computer and record directly into RealBand. If your drum machine is General MIDI compatible and has drum patterns, you can record them with RealBand and save them as *.DP files.

    1. Select Options | Sync Source and set RealBand to clock MIDI.

    2. Press record on RealBand and then start your synth pattern playing.

    3. Record the drum pattern (usually only 2 measures).

    4. Save file as a *.DP file.

    5. Remember to turn sync source back to internal.

    You can now use this drum pattern in any song you create by using Edit | Fill Track with Drum Pattern. You can also record drum parts from any other synth that you might have, even if it's not a drum machine.

  • You can record from the Drum Window in RealBand simply by pressing Record and mouse-clicking on the drums in that window. Once you are finished recording, press Stop. RealBand will ask if you want to keep recorded notes from .dll, to which you will answer yes. Also answer Yes to the Keep Take dialog. You may need to move the drum window out of the way by clicking and dragging it, because the 'keep take' dialogs will appear beneath the Drum Window plugin. The Drum Window can be opened by clicking on the Drum button in the RealBand toolbar. If the Drum Window button does not appear there, add it to your toolbar using the little arrow on the right-hand side of the toolbar ('Add/Remove buttons'). You can also use keyboard shortcuts in the drum window rather than mouse-clicking. To show the keys to use for each drum sound, open the Settings dialog and place a checkmark beside 'Display QWERTY characters on Drums'.

  • Finally, there is always the option of using a drum track created by our program Band-in-a-Box®. In Band-in-a-Box®, select a style that has a drum track you like, mute all of the tracks except for drums, save the song as MIDI file, and import the MIDI file into RealBand. If you would like, you can save your Band-in-a-Box® song with each drum sound on a separate track by selecting this option in the 'choose destination for MIDI file' dialog.

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Alyssa - PG Music