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Building a Song from MIDI Drum Loops

Here’s a tip drawn from our friends at Steven Slate Drums:

Often, a sampled drum instrument will come with a variety of MIDI grooves, fills, and loops that can be used as a “song construction kit.” Generally, the grooves are organized by various things, such as genre, tempo,
song section (intro, verse, chorus, fill).

To use the grooves to assemble a song, create two MIDI tracks in your sequencer or DAW. Next, start loading the grooves that you think will work for the song on to the first MIDI track. This is your audition track. Set its MIDI channel to send to your sampled drums (Steven Slate makes great-sounding ones), and as you find the grooves for the song sections that you like, move them to your second MIDI track, which will be your “working” MIDI track. The whole process is sort of like “comping” a vocal track or a guitar solo.

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