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- Have the drum sounds mapped to a Drum Rack for real-time playing with drum pads (QuNeo, Ableton Push) and to be able to step sequence the VST drum module with external MIDI controllers (such as with Livid CNTRL:R, Ableton Push)
- Easy mapping of parameter automation to clips
- Still have real individual audio output channels for each sound. (Even though the Drum Rack provides channels, I'm not using them in this template because the Drum Rack audio channels lack some important features found in regular Ableton Live Audio channels.)
Requirements: In order to use this template, you need to already have the requisite D16 drum machine installed.
Add the .als files to your User Library, then drag whichever you want to use into your project.
The new template uses three main tracks. Track #3 submixes a Group of audio tracks which receive the Individual Outputs
After dragging one on to the project, you'll see three channels:
1. Named after the instrument (Drumazon, Nithonat, etc), containing the VST plugin. You can turn the fader down, muted, and channel off; this channel makes no sound.
2. (Instrument name) Midi, which contains a Drumrack with a bunch of chains. The channel can be left muted with the faders down. The channels in the folded group are for the audio return channels in the drumrack which we're not using at all. The channels in this group are all audio mixer controls, shutting them down doesn't affect MIDI input or traversal of the channel at all. Each Drum Rack pad is mapped to a single sound.
3. (Instrument Name) Submix, a Group which contains all the individual outputs for the instrument. These are used for individual audio output per sound and as an instrument submix instead of the Drumrack channels in the previous track. Each Audio Output is set to receive one of the VST's individual outputs. The only exception is Nepheton which has more sounds than supported individual outputs. I mapped these in a way that's useful to me but you can change them without breaking anything.
The audio channels grouped to #3 are used exclusively because the Drum Rack return channels are not as flexible as audio channels in ways that are useful for electronic drumkits. In particular
- There is no "arm session recording" per Drumrack channel like you'll find on regular audio channels.
- You can't pick individual tracks inside a Drum Rack as a sidechain source, such as ONLY the kick, or ONLY the snare, from elsewhere in Live, only the whole Drum Rack submix.
- If you want to use the D16 drum machine's built-in sequencers instead of Ableton Live's step sequencer but still use the Individual Ouptuts, turn on "Int. Seq." mode in your drum machine VST. Audio will still be routed to the individual audio tracks and you can disregard Track 2, the Drum Rack track. This is similar to the previous version of the template.
- In the drumroll stepsequencer clips in the Midi channel, each sound has it's name displayed and the piano roll folded, making for easy programming. After programming the drums in the Midi channel, you can move them to the channel with the VST. This will allow you to see all of the VST's controller names. (One of these days I'll probably merge these tracks using an instrument rack, but it will mean having to set up each chain using a MIDI Scale in each chain in order to prevent a weird double triggering problem because of a quirk in the Drum Rack mapping system.)
- If you want to play the Drumrack with a 16-pad controller like Push or QuNeo, select Track 2 and set Midi Monitor mode to In. When you're done recorded clips and want to go back to the mode where you just edit and play clips, set it back to Auto. This will also allow you to use it with Ableton Push's built in Step Sequencer, or if you're a Livid Cntrl:R user, with their Accent Max for Live drum sequencer. It should work with any Max step sequencer that is designed to work with a Drum Rack. Just drop the Step Sequencer into Track 2, the Midi track, next to the Drum Rack.
- If you want to do automation of the VST parameters, move your clip to Track 1, the track hosting the VST. If you click "Configure" on the VST and map controls, these will always show up in the Live clip editor's controller edit dropdown.
- If you want to route the instruments to different outputs for panning purposes, such as LC and LT to one channel on the center, MT and MC to another channel panned left, HT and HC to another channel right, go into the drum machine channel - and change the outputs in the VST, then into the audio tracks and remap the "Audio From" boxes so that they reflect the correct instrument in the top box and the output in the 2nd box.
- If you want to do fancy audio routing, you can turn Track 3 to "Sends Only" and route each individual audio channel wherever you want, for example to special submix drum buses or to the Master channel.
- Because there are more sounds than there are outputs in Nepheton, some sounds are mapped to the same output. For example, all the toms are mapped to the same channel. As a result, only the LT channel is unmuted, as it plays all three sounds (LT, MT, HT). If you unmuted the others, all three toms would play from all channels. Cymbals and Congas are similarly routed to common outputs, each. This isn't a concern for the other instruments.
- The VST instrument outputs are set to mono because that's how the originals work and that's how I like them.
Thanks to D16 for making such inspiring VST instruments, hope everyone enjoys this and makes some noise!
If you have questions or comments post them here, or reach me on Facebook in the music production focused group, "Let the Bass Kick," https://www.facebook.com/groups/452522531474985/