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I am using REAPER and Addictive Drums 2 and usually compose full MIDI drum tracks. When I want to edit the individual sounds of the drum kit, AD2 is not very helpful. Of course, I can EQ and compress every component of my virtual drum kit in the plugin directly, but the editing options in AD2 are very limited.

What I'm trying to achieve is an individual track for every component of the kit (so one for kick, snare, each tom, each cymbal, hi-hat...) to be able to compress and EQ them with my preferred VSTs.

Can I somehow split my full drum track into separate tracks by "pitch" of the notes, or do I need to separate them manually? Maybe there's an option to use a VST on just one MIDI channel, so other components are not affected?

I'd also like to know, if I separate my drum track and use the AD2-plugin on every single track, wouldn't that be too much to handle for my DAW?

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Here's how it works, generally speaking:

  • One MIDI track which has your complete drum score, with the VST plugin applied to it.
  • Any number of tracks, each of which receive a different output (channel) from your MIDI track.

So the basic sound is provided by the VST plugin, but you can add the necessary plugins on a component-by-component (or track-by-track) basis.

You can get started with this link to enable individual outputs in AD2. It doesn't have Reaper listed on how to create the send/receive, but I've done the same thing with Superior Drummer so I know it works (and that you'll easily find more info if you get stuck).

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Here's how you can do this:

1) create a new track for each piece of the drum kit and insert an empty midi region of the length of the drum part.

2) go to the full midi drum track and open it in the piano roll editor. Right click on the keyboard note on the left to select all midi events on that note.

3) copy all the events for a single note and paste to one of the new new tracks. Each set of events for a single note goes to a separate track. You might want to save after each copy paste.

4) don't delete the original full kit midi track, just hide it.

5) if you think your system can handle it, you can now put an instance of AD2 on each new midi track and play. If it chokes up then you can either freeze the tracks and just unfreeze the one you want to work on for effects or you can print all the tracks to audio tracks one at a time if necessary and then it's like you have a drum kit recording. You could take all your cymbal midi notes and paste them to one track to make faux overheads if you want.

I don't know AD2 at all but a lot of higher end virtual drum instruments will let you return separate audio to individual audio returns for separate external processing. I know the full version of BFD does this, so you might check the manual and see if you can do this without separating out all the midi. The above is just s worse case that will definitely work.

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    Frederick's answer is better than mine and I've upvoted his. I'll leave mine here in case someone has the same question about a drum plugin that doesn't have separate outputs. – Todd Wilcox Mar 25 '15 at 11:24
  • Both are quite helpful, now everyone has the option of two different approaches, thank you :) – muffin Mar 25 '15 at 15:32

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