Pulling my hair out with Midi drums!


Jan 30, 2011
Ok, after putting a thread up in the "rate my mix" section, a lot of the complaints had to do with the drums.

Up until now, I had been using Acoustica Beatcraft for all of my drum sequencing, and although it worked, it lacks a lot of things like the ability to use multiple velocities and samples for one particular instrument, and I figured maybe it was time to start getting to know Midi drums.

So I figured I'd try some of the free shit out there before spending money on something I don't even understand yet. I downloaded "Softdrum" and put together a kit using samples here from this forum (I actually took all the shells, except for the kick, from a recent thread posted here) and all that fun shit..

After figuring out how (I think?) to load everything up and start actually mapping the events out, I quickly noticed that for whatever reason, when I playback a pattern I made, one Crash cymbal will cancel out the other. So if you hit 1 crash, and then a different crash shortly afterward, the second crash will play but completely mute what was left/still resonating from the first crash hit. Also, the crashes will "mute out" once a ride cymbal is hit also, so if you "hit" a crash, and then jump to a ride, the rides play fine but they choke the resonance of the previous crash out. And if you hit BOTH crashes at the same time - it's just total silence.

I've spent a while trying to figure out why this is happening, but I can't seem to get anywhere, I'm hoping someone here knows what's wrong with the way I've set everything up because it's driving me fucking nutty, lol

For what it's worth, I use Reaper for my DAW and all I have is the stock midi editor in Reaper and the Softdrum software.

Thanks in advance for any hand-holding you guys can offer..:confused:
I know nothing about Softdrum, but this sounds like a multi-timbral issue. It would appear that the cymbals are mono-timbral, meaning you can only produce one sound at a time, which is why one crash is cancelling out another.

If it comes with a manual, have a look at the multi setting or polyphony setting. might turn something up.
I don't think that's the case, because if I manually "hit" the cymbals outside of the map, just to test things like volumes and whatnot, I can go back and forth between the cymbals and rides just fine. The crashes don't cancel out the rides, (so if I hit a ride cymbal, and THEN a crash, both will play their entire sample) it's just that the crashes shut up as soon as the rides start playing IN THE MAP, if the crash event occurs BEFORE the ride event.

Does this make sense to anyone?

The chinas are fine, splashes are fine, hats are fine, shells seem fine, it's just the crash cymbals that are giving me a headache.

I'm not sure what "polyphony setting" means but I'll do some homework and get back to ya with that one. Thanks!
I'm not familiar with Sfotdrum but im assuming theres a mapping editor (where you frag your samples). You haven't got 2 on the same key have you?
not trying to treat you like a dumbass but it could happen :lol:
I don't think so, haha, I didn't even know you COULD do that. But at least when I look at the editor, Each crash, ride, china, they all have their own separate bars on the left.

Further perusing of this forum makes me wonder if I should have asked "How do mix drums?" Lol ¯\(°_o)/¯
yeah it could be the length of each midi note if i was in yyou shoes id try assigning the same cymbal to two differant notes and have the MIDI notes alternating, (as shown below) although i know nothing of softdrum so it might not be the problem

Example one here would cut off if softdrum wasnt polyphonic (play two notes or more at once)

in this example though the midi alternates between, two channels, both with the same sample, and this allows hits to last longer,

sorry if this is completely irrelevant but its what popped into my head as a solution and was hard to explain without using pictures:)
Just figured it out!

Chalk it up to what I'm sure you all thought was happening - something got overlooked.

The way Softdrum starts off as soon as you open it, is with it's own "Default" settings for samples, and so on. I didn't like the defaults, so I made them the way I like them instead. In doing so, it meant that I took the spots reserved for Hats open, hats closed, and Hat pedal-choke, and made them Crash 1, crash 2, and ride 1 respectively. Those 3 "instruments" were grouped together independent of the rest of the kit, so as long as one of them is playing, nothing else in that group can play (which makes sense because they were all grouped originally as part of the same instrument.

So, all better, it seems. Thanks again for the help though, everyone!!!