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Customise your own drum machine

Discover how to mute, solo, reorder, replace and change the sound of your kit pieces

Logic Pro X’s 10.1 update delivered a handful of nifty new features, one of which was Drum Machine Designer. In part a swanky new front end for the existing Ultrabeat drum sequencer plug-in, all of the legacy Ultrabeat sounds are available for use in the new plug-in, as well as a host of cool new sounds, many based on current sub-genres of the EDM scene such as trap, dubstep etc. The interface features a grid of cells, each containing one drum sound or ‘kit piece’. You can mute, solo, reorder, replace and change the sound of each kit piece, so to find out how to load up, customise and save your own preset drum kits, simply follow the steps here.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 01

1. Create project

In Logic, go to File>New and tick the Open Library box in the New Track dialog. Click Create to make a new project with a blank software instrument track.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 02

2. Import MIDI File

Go to File>Import>MIDI File and load the provided MIDI file ‘DM Designer.mid’ into the project. Hit the ‘C’ key to enable the cycle range from bars 1-5.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 03

3 Load plug-in

Select the Grand Piano track. In the Library pane, choose Drum Machine>Drum Machine Designer>After Party from the preset list. Once you’ve done that, hit Play.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 04

4. Full disclosure

Click the Drum Machine Designer’s instrument slot in the channel strip to open its front panel. Click the disclosure triangle to reveal the dropdown Smart Controls.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 05

5. Kit effects

The Smart Controls show mix and effects settings that affect the whole kit. Adjust the level of kit piece groups in the Mix area, and add global effects in the Effects area.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 06

6. Edit kit pieces

Click on a cell and the Smart Controls now pertain to the selected kit piece. We can add more body to the snare by cranking up the Body knob, for example.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 07

7. Swap and change

To replace individual kit pieces, click to highlight the sound you want to swap out (the snare in this case). The Library should now be displaying a list of alternatives.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 08

8. Load up

Click on a sound in the Library list in order to load it into the snare cell in place of the original sound. Here, we’ve chosen Snare 2 Pile Driver.

LPX Drum Machine Designer 09

9. Flip through

Simply continue using the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate through the list as the track plays. Do this until you’ve built a kit you like.