In the previous tip I mentioned that I extract the drum rack chains once I’ve got a basic arrangement laid out. There’s another piece to my workflow, though: I usually do one pass of drum editing before extracting the chains.

After the arrangement is laid out, I find spots to create additional variations – such as fills after important durations of time such as 16 or 32 bars. I’ll find the location in the arrangement where I want to place the fill, then use the Split command to create a new clip:

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Then, I’ll go into the MIDI editor to create a variation or fill. The reason I do it this way is that when I’m still in “drum programming” mode, I find it much easier to see the whole rhythm in once place, as opposed to having it spread across several tracks.


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(tip continued after you buy a t-shirt)




Once the chains are extracted, I’m mostly experimenting with removing layers. Although, I do still end up shifting individual notes around a bit. At this point in the process, instead of editing the MIDI, I usually just edit the clips using Copy, Paste, Duplicate, etc:

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