I’m a big fan of Drum Racks. Every track I do has its main beat programmed using one. There are lots of reasons for this, but a big one is the Extract Chains command, which is accessed by right-clicking in the Chain List:

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In the above example, this command will remove the chain called OB-Hat from the Drum Rack, and remove the MIDI notes that trigger this chain from any clips in the track. This chain and the removed notes will be placed into a new MIDI track.

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Voila! The hi hat now has its own track. By repeating this command, you can split out every drum into its own track. NOTE: If you want the new tracks to pick up the name of the chain, you have to explicitly give the chain a name using the Rename command. Otherwise, all the new tracks will be named after the Drum Rack.

You can also split out select groups of drums. For example, you could extract an open and closed hi hat together by holding down Cmd (Mac) / Ctrl (PC) to select both chains before using the command.

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(tip continued below)


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The top reason I do this is that it simplifies the process of finalizing my drum arrangement, because it allows me to edit the drum part without using the MIDI editor. For example, if I want to remove the kick drum for a stretch, all I have to do is delete some of the clip:

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Not only is this quick and easy, it makes it that much easier to look at the arrangement and see what’s going on with the drums at any given moment.





After I’ve got my basic arrangement laid out, I’ll usually go through and make a few