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Understanding and Programming Reaper SampleMatic using VDrums

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  • Understanding and Programming Reaper SampleMatic using VDrums

    I'm new to vdrums and happy to have found this forum! I recently purchased an ATV ESX-5 with the aD5 module. I've been playing on it for sometime just with the module to stereo out into my board with much success, but I want more control when I record into the computer.

    This might be easily done with a Mac or PC using something like Superior Drummer. But, I'm using the aD5 drum module, Reaper and Linux, and I think I've taken the unintended long, winding road. I've tried a bunch of different ways to make this work and what I found is best for me is to use Reaper SampleMatic and assigning the midi keys. I feel like I have the most control over samples and triggers, and I can save templates for drum kits to import into new projects later on, without having to jump through hoops like using WINE or open source drumkits that are much more limiting and obtuse in some ways.

    I'm 90% to where I want to be, but the snag is the hi-hat. I am having a hard time really understanding the way to program it. Between SampleMatic, Choke and ControlMIDI, I think making the hi-hats work is achievable, it's just not obvious.

    I logged the MIDI output of the ATV hi-hat like so:

    Code:
    // Foot down and release
    0: B9 01 64 [CC1 Mod Wheel MSB] chan 10 val 100
    1: B9 01 7F [CC1 Mod Wheel MSB] chan 10 val 127
    2: 99 2C 3C [Note On] chan 10 note 44 vel 60
    3: A9 2C 23 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 35
    4: A9 2C 55 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 85
    5: 89 2C 00 [Note Off] chan 10 note 44
    6: A9 2C 23 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 35
    7: A9 2C 0B [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 11
    8: A9 2C 00 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 0
    
    // Basic top hit
    0: B9 01 00 [CC1 Mod Wheel MSB] chan 10 val 0
    
    // Foot down, top hit, then release
    0: B9 01 7F [CC1 Mod Wheel MSB] chan 10 val 127
    1: 99 2C 10 [Note On] chan 10 note 44 vel 16
    2: A9 2C 0B [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 11
    3: B9 01 70 [CC1 Mod Wheel MSB] chan 10 val 112
    4: A9 2C 00 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 0
    5: A9 2C 0B [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 11
    6: A9 2C 23 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 35
    7: A9 2C 55 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 85
    8: 89 2C 00 [Note Off] chan 10 note 44
    9: B9 01 7F [CC1 Mod Wheel MSB] chan 10 val 127
    10: 99 1A 5B [Note On] chan 10 note 26 vel 91
    11: A9 2C 23 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 35
    12: A9 2C 55 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 85
    13: 89 1A 00 [Note Off] chan 10 note 26
    14: A9 2C 23 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 35
    15: A9 2C 0B [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 11
    16: A9 2C 00 [Aftertouch] chan 10 note 44 val 0
    The aD5 obviously does a good job translating the hi-hat open/closed/clamping and this log output shows how it's working (I assume), but I feel like I need some help understanding how to interpret this with the SampleMatic.

    The hi-hat has 3 trigger points. I'm not really seeing all of them in here, but I believe one is the top (#44), one is the edge (not listed here) and the third... when I clamp down? It's unclear, but the module shows the third trigger as a note/position. Also, I think the clamp down is a CC trigger. Looking at the CCs log shows "CC1 Mod Wheel MSB". I'm not really understanding Aftertouch and Note On/Off. But, these feel like the keys to the kingdom staring me in the face.

    Maybe I'm misinterpreting it, but here's what my mental model is:

    1. MIDI for open hi-hat (or, midi for top hit without the CC engaged)
    2. MIDI for closed hi-hat (or, midi for top hit with the CC engaged)
    3. MIDI for the clamp action (or, the sound of the hi-hat closing)

    The choke seems pretty strait forward, but how to program the interaction of all that? And, am I missing a trigger? How does it know to ease off the CC based on pressure to give the sound and feeling of it being partially clamped? The aD5 does a great job with all of this, but the manual doesn't explain how any of this works. It's all just midi, so it seems like it's programmable.

    I'm a little exhausted spending the last 3 days to get this far, so my apologies if I'm missing the obvious. Any insight would be appreciative!
    Last edited by kawaneekarlov; 10-08-21, 04:40 PM.

  • #2
    I can tell you about ATV midi messages: the ATV module sends CC1 instead of CC4 (so you'll have to remap the CC number for certain drum samplers with fixed CC4 mapping). Forget all Aftertouch messages that are generated with pedal motion because they are completely useless (filter them out if possible). CC is sent with note only - so no chance to achieve hihat splashes in SD3. And note number 44 is Pedal Chick. 26 is Edge and 46 would be Bow.
    Last edited by Nick74; 10-08-21, 08:22 PM.
    The Software Drumming Forum - tips & tricks + discussing drum samplers

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    • #3
      Is this a limitation of the aD5?

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      • #4
        The fact that you cannot play SD3 hihat splashes using ATV modules is of course a limitation to those who want to play them.
        The Software Drumming Forum - tips & tricks + discussing drum samplers

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        • #5
          Yeah, learning all the limitations of the aD5 for recording and MIDI is a hard pill to swallow. I picked up a TD27 after researching this a bit more. I really don't want to have to reprogram in Midi what a module does so well, and I don't want to go from a module into a software module, like Superior Drummer, which isn't a great option for a Linux user, imo.

          While the TD27 doesn't sound nearly as good as the aD5 out of the box, it offers the ability to multitrack drums using the module as an audio interface. 28 tracks including overhead and room mics. This was exactly what I was looking for. It works perfectly in Linux with class compliant USB, using JACK and ALSA to add the TD27 as an additional audio interface (which is awesome, frees up the intputs in my main audio interface). All I can say is, it just works. The only drawback is that it takes some tweaking to get the drums to sound good, but I can live with that. The TD27 offers up so much more than the aD5, but I'm just a broken record saying that.

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