Managing Drum Note Lists
Most MIDI devices, including General MIDI devices, have one or more drum kits. A drum kit provides a set of various percussion instrument sounds.
General MIDI devices include a standard drum kit for drum sounds that are played on MIDI channel 10. The pseudo pitch of a General MIDI drum note determines its instrument sound. For example, middle-C (MIDI pitch 60) produces a "High Bongo" sound, and C# (pitch 61) produces a "Low Bongo" sound.
Many MIDI devices offer multiple drum kits. Each drum kit is associated with a unqiue combination of a MIDI bank and patch (program). For example, the Yamaha Tyrostm keyboard has a bank (CTRL 0 = 127, CTRL 32 = 0) with several different drum kits. Each drum kit is assigned a different MIDI patch (program) number. For example, patch 17 is the "Rock Kit" and patch 28 is the "Dance Kit". In the Rock Kit, pitch 38 is "Snare Rock", and pitch 40 is "Snare Rock Tight". In the Dance Kit, pitch 38 is "Snare Clap" and pitch 40 is "Snare Dry". The Yamaha Tyros has hundreds of drum sounds assigned to different pitches for different MIDI programs on this particular drum bank (CTRL 0 = 127, CTRL 32 = 0).
With a General MIDI device, you must assign the drum staff to channel 10. For other devices with drum kits, you can usually assign any MIDI channel.
When you add a new drum staff for a non-General MIDI device using the Staff Setup command, you will need to specify its bank and program, as illustrated here:
The rest of this topic explains how you can configure your MIDI device with drum note names. In the above example, "Snare Dry" is the drum note name for pitch 40 for MIDI program 28 on the Yamaha Tyros Drums bank. If you do not configure your MIDI device with drum note names, then you will be able to refer only to pitch and program numbers, which are difficult to remember, since any given device might have hundreds of different drum sounds.
The easiest way to configure your MIDI device with note names is to import a MIDI Device Description (.mdd) or Cakewalk Instruction Definition (.ins) file for the device. For instructions, see Importing from a MIDI Device Description (.mdd) File and Importing from a Cakewalk Instrument Description (.ins) File. Only if you cannot find and import the note names should you spend the effort to manually enter them.
Before we describe the procedure for adding drum notes, we will describe how you can review the list of drum notes that already exist for a device. This will give you a better idea of where you are headed before you start preparing a new drum note list.
To review currently configured drum note lists for a device:
-- OR --
Type "qds" or "qdc" for Quick Device Setup or Quick Device Configuration.
Composer will display the MIDI Device Configuration Window, such as illustrated below.
Composer will display the Device Properties dialog box, as illustrated here:
In the above selection, the Yamaha Tyros Drums kit indicates a "d" after the bank selection values (CTRL 0 = 127, CTRL 32 = 0).
Composer will display the Drum Notes dialog, which shows the names of all of the drum note pitches defined for the particular MIDI program (patch) on the specified MIDI bank:
Continuing with the above example, this is what the score looks like when you choose the Show Playback Pitches option for the Yamaha Tyros Dance Kit:
To specify the drum note names for a device:
Note that you will need to refer to the user's manual, or perhaps the front panel, of your MIDI keyboard or sound module, to determine the MIDI bank, patches (program numbers) and drum note pitches for the various drum kits available for playback on that device.
-- OR --
Type "qds" or "qdc" for Quick Device Setup or Quick Device Configration.
Composer will display the MIDI Device Configuration Window.
Composer will display the Device Properties dialog box.
Composer will display the Drum Notes dialog, as illustrated in step #4 in the previous procedure.
The drum notes do not need to be listed in the same order as their pitches. You can organize the drum notes in any order that will make the most sense to you when you later assign drum notes to song staves. You can also change the order of the drum notes in the list at any time, using the Move Up and Move Down buttons.
Composer will insert a new row in the Drum Notes list. Initially, the name of the drum note will be empty. Also, the Playback Pitch and Recording Pitch will probably not be the value you want.
Drum Note Recording Pitch
To copy a list of drum notes from one device, bank, or patch to another:
The title of the dialog box will change from "Drum Notes" to "Copy Drum Notes from Another Device/Bank/Patch".
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