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Superior Drummer Master Class

Lesson 18 of 26

Mapping Velocity Control

Rikk Currence

Superior Drummer Master Class

Rikk Currence

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Lesson Info

18. Mapping Velocity Control

Lesson Info

Mapping Velocity Control

So since I am again working with many, I want to really sort of put this in the context of how this is going to affect a MIDI performance like we have. You know, we've got a group selected. We're not in a doll. We're just playing a simple We could play any variation of that group. So what's interesting is you come to mapping and you see all the components of your group. All right, so you see, you've got all these different articulations. And again, if I right click the high hat, the high hat next to the snare drum, it's clear they're gonna have the most articulations necessary for a really life sort of performance. So what is this box do underneath? It's a great question. Thanks for asking, Kyle. I'm glad you're with it today. Here's what this boxes on this is This is another level of velocity control. So again, let me show you a couple things before I show you what we can do with it. And again it becomes apparent we're gonna use the snare drum. First of all, you've got this little on ...

off button. Okay, so let's right. Click one articulation and I can't stress this enough. Every articulation has it's own level of edit ability if edit ability is a word and it's not, but it's like downloadable. Neither of those are words, believe or not, so every level can be edited. And what that means is and what we see often, if someone will right, click and select the snare drum and presume understandably, that any change they're gonna make here in the velocity of Lope is going to affect the entire instrument. But it's not. It's only going to affect the articulation you have selected me. Say that again. We're in a snare drum. We have a number of articulations. Center edge, right center edge, right? They're different. We go all the way through. We selected the center. It's selected in this instrument list. If it's orange, it's selected here. In the visual reference, if it's blue, follow me. The snare as an instrument contains all these articulations and every single articulation can be edited individually and will be edited depending on what you've chosen. So a lot of time someone will select the snare and they'll think great. I'm gonna change some of the velocity, curve and the way that it works, performs, and they don't realize that they're only changing the center hit. So what happens a lot of times, Let's listen to our mini groove, and I think you understand what I'm saying. Now let's let's listen to the mini groove one more time and I want everyone to look here. This is the snare drum. This is the rough right thistles the side where we call it the rim shot. OK, just look at what's being triggered. That's all I want to say. So look in this particular group, Onley, the center hit is being triggered. So this is again another challenge that sometimes people run into is they're going to make a whole bunch of changes to all of these other articulations, not realizing none of those articulations air in the actual MIDI groove, their processing, and they don't understand why they can't hear them, why they're not coming to fruition. And again, it's It's a lot of the deep program, so you want to start with the center hit or you want to start with what's present in your actual many performance, because that's what we're using and what you can do is really simple. So this is the output. This is the import. There's little button down here that says gate and all of these controls are about velocity. So the easiest way to show you this is to show you how the velocity scale works or what this is doing. OK, now, what's really handy are these sliders with the numbers on them? So the first thing, always, if it's not on it's not working, we turn it on. Okay, We have a drop down menu here, which is very simple. So this is a normal velocity curve. We've selected the center hit. Let's you'll notice as I'm hitting it, I'm gonna show you something to check out down here and down here on the sides, I'm hitting it. You see kind of the visual reference, right? I'm not imagining that everyone can see it. Little blue dots blinking and again right here. The actual real time layer limit velocity levels go from one toe 1 27 And it's only because 01 28 doesn't sound is cool. So it's 1 to 1 27 right goes there and you can see exactly when you're hitting something. What velocity levels there and it should correspond to your grid. I know nobody likes to look at the grids. The math is confusing. Don't worry about it. It's all there for you. So check this out. The easiest way to show you how the velocity control works is to go in and use reversed. Now it goes the other way. Now what do we do? We just reverse the velocity curve. So all of the heavy hits air down here. That makes sense. And then when you get up here, so Rick, why would that's horrible. Why would you ever do that? That's a lousy trick to play on someone It is. Listen to the way it affects the groove. You talked about something slamming a now feels like the drummers drinking coffee with one hand and just dropping the stick on the other. Which is how I would do a session. No, why is this cool? Well, now let's think about the fact that we're using infirmity. You could reverse this Vlade, that simple command Reversing the velocity is great for any drummer who doesn't have a heavy hand who's a light player and you're trying to get Mawr of that heavy he's not gonna lay in and again, This sounds like a far fetched like that's that just made that up. There are a lot of guys out there that don't hit really hard, and there are guys that are older that play E kits that have carpal tunnel have arthritis. They have issues with the planets. One of the reasons that plane ticket to begin with By reversing the velocity curve, you allow them to achieve the maximum sound out of the center hit with minimal effort. That's pretty cool. It's also cool. Super cool. This is an expanded feature you have to visualize because we don't have props. Lots of bands tour with superior drummer as reinforcement live reinforcement for the drum sounds that they're playing live so the drums will be miked up. The band will be playing, but the germ will have triggers on the drums, triggering sounds in addition of what's being recorded and produced live by the sound guy. Now, some guys do that just for the monitor feed. They trigger the sounds that go to the monitor engineer, and just those triggers go to their ear piece so they can better hear themselves play. When you reverse the velocity like this again, you're creating an opportunity where the maximum sound can come out with the most minimal value. Now, of course, it doesn't make sense necessarily in a MIDI environment, right? We have a mini performance. We saw that it's kind of cool because it changed the mini group. That's kind of cool. If you're into that, that's one way to do it again. More sound shaping. But just that quick flip can solve so many problems from a performance standpoint. That's why it's in there again, probably not your first thought. You're probably my first started years ago, and I was like Who this is And I was like, Oh, that's right, Everyone's not me. Other people do different things And then I kind of wrap my head around and it's very cool. And to change that back, obviously we could just come in here and reset it. So now we're on a typical velocity curve, so there's a number of things that we can do in this fader and again, I'm going to keep going back to its on Lee for the selected articulation at that time in the instrument that specific articulation, which means that every single one of these articulations can have its own set of velocity controls that responds accordingly. Based on where it is, that's pretty awesome. That's deep editing that's giving you the ability to adapt a performer style adapt Amidi groove. And again, it all works in conjunction with everything we learned yesterday with our pitch and our human eyes are instrument levels. Everything we did yesterday comes back to now. You understand why it's important to have your foundation ready, because this is also going to effect the performance when you're listening back to it through the mixer. So everything you are doing is literally changing were things lay all throughout your track, so it every step of the way really is important that you, I mean, I'm a big fan of presets. Save the priest that if you do something you like, save it. I mean, that's the beauty you can save as many presets is you want. You're not gonna break superior numbers. Save them, save them, save them. One of the questions we get is there an undo button, and there isn't generally in a drop down menu. There will be a reset. But if you do something, you horribly mess it up and you will. You either live with it, start over or reset. Now, in your Daw, it's a whole other story. But I don't necessarily know that every dollars controls are gonna correspond. Anything that happens in the V I. But we'll check when we go to pro tools. I've actually never tried. I just get in the habit of me like, Oh, and starting over. So we're here and we've just begun. So the first and the easiest thing we've done is to just hear how it can change the physical performance. But you can go in and you can do a little bit better than that. So, for instance, right now, as we're listening and I know the audio guys are making this very visible, we'll hear the sound. I mean, we can hear. We know we're getting something here. A lot of people see that this is a 20 right there like, Oh, there's nothing happening below 20 and that's not true. There's a lot happening below 20 All your soft hits, remember, we have soft, hard. What's in the middle, child, you remember radiant and just think of like Grady from Sanford and son because he was kind of in the middle sometimes on Fred Side, sometimes on Lamont side. But Grady was always in the middle. Grady int says name is in the word. So it's hard, soft, Grady int. So as you come up past 20 you start to see again. This curve is responding to the dynamic range. So what happens if you just grab this little note here and pull it down? Well, that means that it's not going to increase so quickly. And if you watch again, watch over here. Because right now, let's set this even low. It set this to 29 so we're not gonna hear anything here. We're watching. Now watch over here. We're getting close. Then we start to hear it kind of go up. Then it takes that crazy spike up. So what is this good for? Well, a lot of things. This is a really, really effective tool in correcting not good midi or MIDI performances. Dynamically and again, a lot of this type of control. The velocity control is really ideal for e drummers in your changing the way the drum responds to someone's playing, and the only way to do that is to watch someone play. It's gonna be different for different players. We have folks that use this. For instance, they come in and they tweak all these velocity control settings to the session drummers that used the Eket in their studio. So every guy's got a different preset for every articulation with his name. And that's how a lot of studios managed appeared Germer sort of the one stop shop for the Re kiddo. Bill is here. Great. We pull his stuff. Oh, Mike's gonna play today And that's the beauty of it is. You can again observe the way someone interacts with their physical instrument. And that's really again what this control is forced, the e drumming people that want to really try and get the most creative, live, responsive feel from the drums. If you're not using this tool or you didn't know, that's what it was for you, I'm telling, is gonna change your world. This will change the way you play the drums with superior drummer and again we're in solo. So it's great you're not in the doll. You have the low CPU footprint. We've got the memory allocated properly. We're not eating up a lot of space. We have everything going for us and we're just getting started. So what I would recommend before I show you some more things is if you were going to make these decisions, I would do it. In this order. I would choose a drum set on the construct page playing mini groove or player eket to determine what drums you want or don't want in. And then I would go straight from that decision straight from selecting the instruments to your mapping. And the reason I say that is because, obviously, with the articulations you're gonna want there, maybe there's some you won't use, maybe, or something. Well, you want to have all of this important stuff done before you start affecting the sound. Before you start making things allowed or required er or changing the pitch of things, you want to definitely make sure everything is where you want it. Now, if you're working with many again, it's right out of the box. You're set up to go. If you're changing anything in the mini realm, it's to either be creative or correct enmity that's not really recorded well or really compatible with Superior drummer. But if we come back to sort of our example so again, we can always just go in and reset. Um, we can click the gate on and the gates kind of cool because the gate does exactly what you think it does. So any time you think of a gate, it stops the hippies from coming in. So the hippie notes don't get in because the gates in the way. So the right now the gates said it. Zero. If we raise the gay, you see things go red. Um, and they go read. This turns into 58. So we're not gonna get anything tour up here. We crossed that threshold. Even a 57. We're not getting anything. We've gated it. Why is that Cool E drummers again, guys that have lazy hands in a drumming or in real drumming? I mean, it's kind of cool in real drumming. You work your whole life to get your left hand as close to wishing your buddy rich's possible. And then you use that to fill in the space between your primary notes. This is this is a technique used in rock, jazz, metal everything, and you condition yourself to do that until you realize when you go to play an e kit, you don't have that subtlety just based on volume. And now it just sounds like you're literally bouncing the stick off the pad and dropping it. So a lot of guys will use that gate control to filter out the fact that when they hit, they have the tendency to do a drag. Are rough for a role, and it's not gonna translate because they're playing on a rubber pad and you only have one articulation, right? So again, all of these things it's this chain of thoughts that seems overwhelming. But I promise you, the more you get in and you do this in, the more you experiment with it and work with it. It's not that complicated, so it's a really useful feature again for e drummers and foreign for keyboard players. I mean, a lot of times it doesnt translate, and it practice your technique, get it squared. It's more important than everything. Just understand that when you move to a virtual instrument, you move to a controller. There are sacrifices. And anyone that tells you there isn't is just lying to you. So I'm going to tell you that there are sacrifices. We know this, and we have tried to give us many tools as humanly possible to minimize the sacrifices you're gonna have to make. Okay, so the gate is a very cool feature, and again, you could take the gate. I mean, if you want to play a trick on the drummer and you're the one actually controlling Superior, why he's playing, just keep raising the gate. The harder he hits so that he thinks there's a short in the pad, the more and he'll go slowly crazy and think something's wrong and then bring it all the way down when I know it sounds great and keep bringing the gate up. Or don't tell him about the gate feature and just let him figure it out on his own. That's what you should do if you're an engineer and you have a drummer playing in your kit. Okay, so the gate can be turned on and off simple and again, you can adapt the curve just by saying, Okay, this is a slower climb. What? We're seeing is we move. The fader is It's just a slower climb to 1 27 so we can literally it's much slower. Not very realistic. We're gonna get here. It's gonna spike up. So again, why would you use that musically mawr than not? You're going to use that slider to correct poor MIDI. Other people's many meeting that's not recorded well, performances that or maybe, ah, little less than perfect. You can change the velocity and the actual impact of the players performance just with the sliders. And again keep saying it, Save it, go in, save a preset And as you can see when you drop, save as you can manage them in the finder so you can change your name. But ultimately, the combination of many notes with the proper articulations placed in the proper places is going to make for the most realistic performance. Everyone follow me. OK, so I'm gonna close this for a second while we're talking about mapping and I'm gonna open pro tools. Not that we can get ahead of ourselves, but just so that we can make sure that everybody understands what I'm talking about. When I talk about where the articulations line up in a midi group, does that make sense?

Class Description

Superior Drummer is the industry standard for pro-level virtual drums. It is used on countless albums, at nearly every studio on the planet. Yet, most users are barely scratching the surface of the software’s capabilities.

In Superior Drummer Master Class, Rikk Currence, CEO of Toontrack North America, will give you the definitive guide to Superior Drummer. He’ll help you unlock countless new workflow efficiencies and creative possibilities. 

You’ll learn about:

  • The basics of the Superior Drummer interface
  • How to use the Construct page to assemble your kit 
  • Getting the Grooves page to work with MIDI 
  • Working the Mixer page – including effects and routing 
  • Navigating the Mapping page and using Superior with e-drums

You’ll also learn the advanced features that are the real key to getting the most out of Superior. Rikk will show how to use X-drum to assemble custom kits and layer sounds to create custom drums, and how to use the Bounce page, a highly-underutilized feature in Superior that enables you to bounce out every piece of the kit as its own audio file – the ultimate solution to bleed problems!

Superior Drummer Master Class with Rikk Currence will reveal the full potential of Superior and enable you to do things you only dreamed were possible.

Ratings and Reviews

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Shayne Sheldon

I am very pleased with this course. It was originally presented as a free live stream and is the first CreativeLive course that I have taken in. I am so impressed, that I have purchased it. If you are a current Toontrack Superior Drummer 2 user (or are thinking of buying SD 2) and are looking for a guided way to learning this software, this course is one of the best learning methods I have ever come across. I doesn't matter what your experience level is with Superior Drummer-- there is something here for beginners, intermediate, and advanced. Though I would recommend having a working knowledge of MIDI, audio and computers. Absolute beginners to using software instruments and creating music in their computer might find the information in this course a bit overwhelming. Instructor Rikk Currence takes you thoroughly through basic to advanced concepts showing the true depth of this virtual instrument program. Rikk takes you through the program settings and options; creating custom virtual drum kits; settings for MIDI controllers and E-Drum kits; using the SD 2.0 as a stand alone virtual instrument, as well runninf it as a plug-in in a Digital Audio Workstation (D.A.W.) like Avid's Pro Tools. So much more is covered in this course, that I can't fully begin to share it all in this review. The knowledge I gained from this CreativeLive two day course has given me extra insight, increasing my functionality with Superior Drummer 2. Two thumbs up for this Master Class-- I can't recommend it enough to all Superior Drummer 2 users Thanks to Rikk Currence and CreativeLive for a superior course on Toontrack's Superior Drummer 2.

Ian Stephenson

Great course, the tutor kept it entertaining and held our interest whilst still getting over a huge wealth of detail for all levels of user. recommended :-)


Killer class! Well worth purchasing. Each lesson is effectively thorough, as well as comfortably paced. And Rikk’s sense of humor makes the learning process all the more enjoyable.