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I have an electric drumkit (Roland V-drums TD9-kx) and it has a MIDI-out. I also have a Tascam interface (US-122MKII). I have used these two to record songs, but I recorded via an audio input. For software I used Cubase LE5. Now, I would like to start testing things out with MIDI. But I don't know where to start. I have the cables and I'm connected to the PC but what now?

  • What programme do I need?
  • Where do I find good midi drumkits?

Etc.

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1 Answer

You should have everything you need already with Cubase. Since you have recorded audio with this setup before you have essentially the same workflow for midi.

You will need to add a new midi track and select the input device. Keep in mind that the V-drums use channel 10 by default, the same as most midi percussion sets.

Then record the midi track as you would audio. This will capture the note events independently of the drums sounds used for playback.


There are plenty of good midi controlled drum kits (your V-Drums are a hardware example). For the simplest software based approach you will want to use VSTi (VST Instrument) plugins. These implement synthesizers, samplers, and combinations of the two.

Since VST has been around for a while now there are plenty or free plugins available to get you started. Some of the included limited, but very usable, versions of commercial instruments.

Here are just a few of the sites available:

In my experience one of the simplest high quality instruments to start with is SampleTank FREE. When you are comfortable with the process you may want to try out a other samplers like Battery.


Hope that gives you jump start.

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Thanks a lot for your reply! When I got time, I will try it and subsequently accept your answer. A small question though: these VSTs are plugins for Cubase I presume? And, is it possible to edit what you recorded in MIDI in Cubase a bit (say, volume and timing of individual notes). Thanks a lot! –  Bram Vanroy Oct 20 '12 at 13:10
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Oh yes, Cubase is a great environment for midi editing. Each note is an event with it's own (modifiable) pitch, duration, velocity (think volume), and many other parameters. Like audio production it takes time to become familiar with at the options. To get started you can also download and import a piano sequence and then just open the tracks and change around notes to see how playback changes. Here is a great site of free classical midi files: classicalmidiconnection.com. I would recommend Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition for a variety of piano techniques. –  Kelly Christoffersen Oct 20 '12 at 20:04
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