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Divide Drum Track

Divide Drum Track
Learn about this very unique Drum Track Construction Tool
Divide Drum Track: Drum Track Construction Tool
Let's look at "Divide Drum Track" - which is found by pressing [JOB] > [F5] TRACK

This function is a sequencer JOB that basically allows you to use 8 tracks of the sequencer to initially construct your drum track. It can separate the different drums by their type to separate tracks. Then once you have worked out the drums you can reassemble them on to one track. This will use 8 tracks of the sequencers as a work area for drums and when you have completed your work you will clean up and free those tracks for other music data.

Concept example: You record your basic drum groove using a single KIT on a single MIDI Track. Divide Drum Track will then analyze what you played and automatically EXTRACT the different components and split them (dissolve) to separate tracks 1-8. The idea is so that you now have separate tracks for your Kicks, snares/Handclaps, cymbals, toms, percussion etc. And you have the data in separate Phrases. If your workflow is to work mainly in SONG mode, this Divide Drum Track allows you to assemble the drums as separate entity. You are going to use a PATTERN to construct the Drum Track, then you can basically do the equivalent of Cut and Paste it into the linear SONG structure. The entire power of PATTERN mode to work out the DRUMS!

Often in writing and composing you need to work things out linearly first - this is where you might use a simple Drum Loop in SONG mode as a tempo giver. Later when you have the basic structure of your composition, you can go back and build the exact drum track, with fill-ins and build-ups in just the right places. This is a case where you have the majority of the composition in a linear SONG, while you can work out the drums in PATTERN mode. Since data can be moved and copied between SONG and PATTERN mode it is not impossible to transfer a region of measures from your linear SONG to a PATTERN SECTION to work out the drum and percussion PARTS. This is where the mastery of the SEQUENCER JOBS comes into play. In this article we will introduce you to few of the JOB functions and talk about how they work in a musical context.

This will allow you to do things like quantize the different components with different swing values. In general, quantize (timing correction) can be done in the sequencer either as you record or after the fact... it can be done both permanently or non-destructively. You can now shift just the snare drum hits behind the beat... you can swing just the high hat parts... basically you can bring the full power of the sequencer editing jobs on each individual drum component.

Divide Drum Track will also allow you, if you wish, to keep the drums (permanently) on separate tracks, choose different kits. Or you can choose/audition different sounds and then assemble those sounds into a custom drum kit... the possibilities are many. However, once you have edited the timing (swing) and velocity of the performance on separate tracks you can reassemble the drums to a single track (using the "MIX TRACK" Job).

What it does:
Divide Drum Track will take your kicks and place them on tracks 1 and 2, the snare/handclap or any item that functions on the back-beat and place them on tracks 3 and 4, cymbals and other dressing on 5 and 6, toms and percussion to 7 and 8. So you can think of this JOB as a special type of EXTRACT job. There is also a specific EXTRACT EVENT [JOB] found at [F3] EVENT, that lets you take all of one particular note (or range of notes), for example, and move it to a separate phrase – which can then be 'patched' to a new track. This is useful for example to pull out one drum and then affect its performance data in some way and then place it back (using the MIX job). The DIVIDE DRUM TRACK Job will overwrite data in the target location. However the EXTRACT EVENT and MIX Jobs will merge the data with the target.

Depending on your final goal, you can either leave your drums divided out on separate tracks or you can reassemble them to a single track. The possibilities are there for you. As we have mentioned numerous times, there is no one-way to work. We have suggested that you might begin your composition in SONG mode using just a simple repeating drum-groove-as-metronome, you could later use the entire PATTERN mode to construct your drum track in greater detail. Moving data between the two sequencer modes is easily done with the appropriate JOB functions. Your drum track could be assembled in PATTERN mode and then moved to a linear Song, even cut and pasted to specific measures within that Song.

The Divide Drum Track is a very useful spin on the EXTRACT function – because it can intelligently sort data and give you separate phrases from a single phrase. If you, for example, originally have your drums on Track 10, when you Divide Drum Track, you wind up with your original data (phrase) assigned to track 10, and individual "divided" phrases spread out as necessary on tracks 1-8. By using a track outside of the original eight, you can maintain the original undivided phrase and get each drum category divided out by the job.

What you can do with the divided data is open for you to explore. Ever want to grab just the hihats from a particular drum groove? Ever want to quantize the hihats separately from the rest of the kit?

If you are not going to need the additional tracks then you can simply skip the "MIX TRACK" job and use tracks 9-16 for your music. But if you require the tracks for your other music, you can create a custom kit containing just the sounds you like – assembling drums into a kit is easy enough (covered in the REFERENCE Manual, page 47).

Extract Event, Mix Track and Mix Phrase Jobs
Start to see these JOB functions as inter-related tools:

Extract Event

Press [JOB]
Press [F3] EVENT
Select JOB 04: EXTRACT EVENT: This Job lets you define a measure region (even a single note) and remove that region of events by moving them to an empty track. The data is actually removed from the source track and placed in the target destination track. This allows you to remove all of one type of data, be it volume data, system exclusive data, note events, etc. You can isolate a snare drum assigned to note D1, extract it to an empty track; perform a timing edit and then place it back in with the original data using the "MIX TRACK" Job.

Mix Track
Press [JOB]
Press [F5] TRACK
Select JOB 03: MIX TRACK: This Job lets you take data from the source track and combine it with data on the destination track. It does this without deleting the source track and it merges the data with existing data on the destination (target) track. Because the source track data remains you can delete it separately or keep it to combine it with another track.

Mix Phrase (Pattern mode only)
Press [JOB]
Press [F4] Phrase
Select JOB 03: MIX PHRASE: This Job lets you take data from a PATTERN mode phrase and combine it with data of another PATTERN mode phrase. You can use this to combine data even if that data is from a different PATTERN number entirely. It is non-destructive as both the source and destination phrases will remain. When combining Phrases within the same PATTERN check the "Current Pattern" box.

Earlier in this article we discussed the "Divide Drum Track" job. What it does is use the Extract function to divide drum kit notes by kind, splitting them to empty tracks. You can then edit those tracks and finally recombine the data (if you wish) using the MIX TRACK or MIX PHRASE Jobs. If you EXTRACT a snare drum, for example, you can then select a special DRUM kit that is nothing but snare drums. These ALL Snare Drum kits ("Acoustic Snares" and "Grouped Stereo Snares") are useful because then by simply Note Shifting the data you can audition many different snare drums in rapid succession. When you find a particular snare drum you like, you can either just leave the note 'shifted' to that pitch or you can identify which snare that is and edit it into your own custom KIT. (See the article on the DRUM KIT VOICE for details).

There are also ALL bass drum Kits, as well, ("All Kicks" and "Dance Kicks") which in a similar fashion can be used to "try out" different Kick drums in rapid succession, in the context of your music! Depending on your final goal, you can either leave your drums divided out on separate tracks or you can reassemble them to a single track. If you are not going to need the additional tracks then you can simply skip the MIX TRACK job and use tracks 9-16 for your music.
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