The Song Editor is a DAW-style drum editor that lets you edit and fine-tune different aspects of your drum track. For anyone that’s familiar with the basic in and outs of DAWs (digital audio workstations), it will be a straightforward and intuitive process to perfect the ideal drum track.
Adding Drum Patterns
Whether you’re building a drum track from scratch, piece by piece, or starting out with pre-made drum tracks, you can add those straight into the Song Editor by tapping on the Quick Add (+ icon) on the individual drum patterns in the Patterns view, or on the cover art in the Templates view. You can also drag and drop individual drum patterns into the Song Editor by tapping and holding the desired pattern and placing it anywhere in the Song Editor. Also present is a loop function that lets you select a particular section of the drum track to repeat the playback for that section.
Tip: All drum patterns are categorized by song structure (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, fill, ending) and are represented by different colors for easy management.
Now that we’ve got some patterns inserted into the Song Editor, let’s take a look at how to perform some basic editing. To move a drum pattern around, tap to select it, then move it along the Song Editor by dragging it. You can also duplicate patterns by first selecting a pattern, then tap the Duplicate button to make a copy. To delete a drum pattern, just select it first, then tap the Delete button to remove it from the Song Editor. There’s also a Clear All function that removes all drum patterns from the Song Editor. To Redo or Undo an action, tap the Redo or Undo button located just to the right of the Song Editor.
To play back the pattern(s) in the Song Editor, just tap the Play button on the transport window at the bottom of the screen. Tap the Stop button to stop the playback, and if you wish to return the playhead back to the beginning, tap the same button again. Also available is the loop function that lets you practice jamming along with a specific pattern. It’s also very useful in letting you experiment with different drum kits and drum edits as you listen back the selection in real-time. X Drummer now also offers a recorder function that lets you record your guitar signal straight into the app. We’ll go more in-depth about the Recorder function in another section.
Fine-tuning Drum Patterns
After you’ve got your basic drum track laid out, let’s go more in-depth on how to edit drum patterns.
First, tap to select a drum pattern on the Song Editor, then tap the Fine-tune button to bring up the Fine-tune editing window. Here, you can change the hit articulation for each instrument by tapping on the down arrow icon to see a drop-down list of the options that are available. Take the hi-hat as an example, you can choose to have it play as a closed, ¼ open, half open, or open hi-hat. For the snare, you can choose between a rim click, center hit, or rim shot as the desired hit articulation for the chosen drum pattern. Finally, for the crash and ride, you can change between an edge hit or a bell hit.
The Fine-tune function also lets you change the overall groove by changing the leading hand/instrument with the Counting Mode function. To change the leading hand/instrument to another instrument, just tap and hold the Counting Mode icon to move it. To further change the complexity of the groove, you can choose how many times that leading hand/instrument plays per measure. For instance, you can set it play quarter notes, eighth notes, or sixteenth notes within a given measure. Counting Mode can alter the overall groove of your drum track drastically, so take some to explore as you work towards an idea for your song.
Lastly, the Fine-tune function features pre-made intensity settings to help you get started on settling on a groove for your song. The intensity setting ranges from Original (how it was originally recorded), Mellow, Straightforward, Intense, and Explosive. These options offer different velocity and and complexity settings for you to experiment with. It’s a quick and dirty solution to help you find a groove that meshes with your idea, and you can always further edit these settings by changing the hit articulation and Counting Mode options.