Author Topic: VSTi drum kits and midi files  (Read 216 times)

Offline holdenhk

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VSTi drum kits and midi files
« on: July 30, 2020, 19:35:08 »
Hi,
This is my debut in this forum. I thought there is a straightforward answer to my problem, but I haven't found it, which means the answer is either too obvious (alas, not to me) or there may be no answer at all. Anyway, my problem:
I'm trying to replace generic drums in a midi file with a drum kit (MT Power Drum Kit - it consists of only one set, so no tweaking is necessary, or even possible). What I do is as follows:
1. I load a midi file.
2. I load a drum kit plugin (say, as FX1).
3. I go to 'Instruments' tab, and I go through each drum instrument (crash cymbal, bass drum, hi-hat, snare etc.) and set the 'Plugin/MIDI' to FX1: MT-PowerDrumKit in a drop-down menu.
4. The midi channel is set to 10 (by default), and I either leave it or change to 'mapped' (no difference).
5. Midi bank - I don't know what to do with it, but it seems whatever I do changes nothing. Can this be the answer?
The result: I can hear either the hi-hat only or no drums at all (I don't know what it depends on).
What do I do wrong? If I load the same midi file in Cakewalk and set the output of the drums track to MT Power Drum Kit (loaded as instrument), everything is replaced immediately and sounds exactly as expected. Is there a way to get a similar result in OpenMPT?

Offline peterpiper0815

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Re: VSTi drum kits and midi files
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 20:26:52 »
Have you create an instrument that is set to the VSTi?
If not:
1. Go to the instrument tab
2. create new instrument
3.Choose your Drumkit VSTi in the PlugIn / MIDI section of the instrument tab

Now you should be able to play the drums with your computer keyboard but you probably won't hear them when the MIDIfile is playing cause...

4. You have to change the instrument number in the patterns to play the new created instrument. So select all notes on all channels that play drums, rightclick and choose change instrument.


Offline LPChip

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Re: VSTi drum kits and midi files
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 21:48:05 »
You are lucky, I know that plugin as I've used it myself.

There is one problem with this VSTi, as with many drum VSTi's, it does not adhere to the general midi specs. This drum only has 13 different instruments, and through banks you can load in different sounds, but the general midi specs use 128 different drum sounds. Because the mapping is off, you will not be able to load in a midi track and get it to work magically using the MT Power Drum kit. The only way you can be assured that you can get a 1-on-1 fit, is by using an SF2, SBK or other soundfont bank player vsti and download a general midi bank in a format this player understands, and it will work out of the box, no note editing necessary.

OpenMPT comes with a general midi soundfont bank that is of low quality, but you can download kits of over 100 mb with really good quality online. You can even download drumkits that follow the general midi spec without other instruments. I have really good kits of 7mb that sound about the same as the MT Power Drum Kit. The only difference is that the MT Power Drum Kit has many soundbanks whereas I have to download different kits seperately, and not every kit is equally good.
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Offline Saga Musix

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Re: VSTi drum kits and midi files
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 08:40:27 »
I cannot reproduce this here. I imported a MIDI file, replaced some drum instruments' samples with the plugin and it was using the correct key.  However, if the instrument is not set up correctly, it may not translate the pattern note to the correct MIDI note. You can double-check by looking at the note map of the instrument - if it maps every note to C-5, you will indeed only hear a hi-hat. The bass drum instrument should for example be mapped to C-3, snare should be mapped to D-3 and so on. Is that not the case?
» No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.

Offline holdenhk

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Re: VSTi drum kits and midi files
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 11:52:24 »
The only way you can be assured that you can get a 1-on-1 fit, is by using an SF2, SBK or other soundfont bank player vsti and download a general midi bank in a format this player understands, and it will work out of the box, no note editing necessary.
I tried Phenome with several drumkits, but all I got was hi-hats. This led me to a conclusion that appeared in Saga Musix's post (which only confirmed my earlier suspicions):
You can double-check by looking at the note map of the instrument - if it maps every note to C-5, you will indeed only hear a hi-hat. The bass drum instrument should for example be mapped to C-3, snare should be mapped to D-3 and so on. Is that not the case?
This is EXACTLY the case (everything is mapped to C-5). I transposed each instrument manually (ctrl+A) until I reached the standard values (i.e. bass drum to C-3, snare to D-3 etc.) and I achieved some promising results (I can hear ALL the drum instruments from the song), at least with some drum kits (e.g. "1115-Standard Rock Set.sf2" and "Elec. Percussion.sf2" - unfortunately it's not the sound I'm looking for - they're not better than the generic sounds, at least with default settings; the "1276-The KiKaZ DrUmZ.sf2" is much better). It seems we found a solution, and although it does require some manual intervention, it's not a big deal - it works, and that's what counts.
However, it doesn't work with many drum kits I tried, which brings me back to LPChip's post:
an SF2, SBK or other soundfont bank player vsti and download a general midi bank in a format this player understands
Any suggestions on a recommended, working combination (i.e. which sf player and which bank you use)? As I said, I use Phenome and drum kits from flstudiomusic's "56 free drum & percussion soundfonts" and MIDIDRUMS TAMA ROCKSTAR DYNAMIC BANKS, and I keep searching and trying, but there may be a known, good solution at hand? Does it also mean I should forget all the kits that don't work after the transposition I mentioned above?

Offline Saga Musix

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Re: VSTi drum kits and midi files
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 11:58:47 »
Quote
This is EXACTLY the case (everything is mapped to C-5).
Upgrading to the latest version of OpenMPT should fix the issue then. This was a bug in OpenMPT 1.29.01.00 only.

This has nothing to do with finding a better soundfont or better soundfont player.
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Offline holdenhk

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Re: VSTi drum kits and midi files
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 12:03:52 »
Thanks! I've just tried MT Power Drum Kit and it works like a charm! :D