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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Feb 2019 > USING DRUM MAPS IN CUBASE


In our last issue’s Cubase workshop, Adam Crute dug into the details of the Drum Editor. This time around, it’s the turn of the Drum Maps which power that Editor…

There are loads of ways to generate drum and percussion sounds in the studio these days – we’re spoilt for choice with all sorts of beat-making methods. However, whether it’s external hardware, plug-in software, or synthesised or sampled drum sounds (or a mixture of the two), nearly all of these drum-sound sources have one thing in common: drum ‘kits’ are stored as patches in which each drum sound is assigned to, and therefore triggered by, a specific MIDI note.

The problem is that there is no common template or specification that governs the specific mapping of drum sounds to note numbers. Where one drum patch or sample bank may assign a kick drum to note C1, another may have a tambourine assigned to that note. This can be a problem for producers when they want to experiment to hear how a rhythm part will sound through different drum-kit banks and/or instruments – the different sounds associated with each note can be comically different. A similar issue exists if you’re playing drum parts using a controller, because different instruments and sound banks may require you to learn different key layouts, or to reprogram your pad controller. Cubase solves both of these problems with Drum Maps.


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About MusicTech

The first issue of MusicTech of 2019 is on sale now! This issue we’ve compiled the very best advice, insight, tips and general music making wisdom from our archive of interviewees to arm you with all the knowledge you need to enhance your compositions this year. We’ve also got the first part of a massive guide to scoring and orchestration, interviews with The Streets’ keyboardist Mike Patrick and industry innovators Aston Microphones, a huge review of Cubase Pro 10 and our usual mountain of tutorials, tips and guides. Enjoy the issue!