The Interactive Keyboard
The Interactive Keyboard has is the heart of Virtual Drummers performances. Here you can
- Play individual drum hits (left half)
- Create entire song performances by playing Parts (right half)
- Build songs in your DAW by using the Drag and Drop feature (top half of Part keys).
Playing Individual Drums
The left half of the Interactive Keyboard shows you which keys play which drum instrument.
Playing individual instruments is only necessary if you want to program your own drum tracks or if you want to manually add extra hits to a performance created by Virtual Drummer.
Note: While you can test individual drum sounds on the Interactive Keyboard, these notes won’t be recorded in your DAW. For recording individual hits, use a MIDI controller - this has the added benefit of velocity control.
You can temporarily exclude individual instruments from phrase playback with keys G#2 and Bb2:
- Hold key A#2 and press an instrument key to mute the instrument (exclude it from phrase playback).
- Hold key B2 and press the instrument key to unmute again.
- Note that you are still able to play the individual instrument hits while the instrument is muted. This way, you can e.g. mute the snares from phrase playback to play them manually.
Creating Song Performances
Using the right half of the Interactive Keyboard or the corresponding MIDI notes, Virtual Drummer can play entire drum performances – i.e. all you need to do is tell your drummer which part to play when, and it will lay down a complete song in a specific style.
Accordingly, in Virtual Drummer, drum performances are organized into Styles and Parts. There are 60 styles in each Virtual Drummer, each covering a particular groove or rhythmic characteristic.
Styles are broken down into Song Parts: You got Intros, Verses, Choruses, Breakdowns, Fills, Endings, and bonus parts called “Special”.
In this menu, you can select one of the 60 Styles by either clicking a name and opening the menu, or by using the arrows to step through the list.
Styles are organized by tempo (bpm) and Version 2 Styles are marked with a “- 2.0” appendix to their name.
Each Style features 23 individual Song Parts that are displayed on the right half of the Interactive Keyboard:
Note: Styles are not editable within Virtual Drummer, but you can edit Styles and Parts outside of Virtual Drummer by using the Song Part Drag and Drop feature.