For each instrument (Kick, Snare,..) or group of instruments (Toms, Rides, Crashes) within Virtual Drummer there is an instrument channel that lets you adjust volume and other parameters individually.
Note: Like all other parameters, Instrument Channel Settings will get overwritten when you load a new Preset. If you want to keep them, please save them in a Preset.
Selecting an Instrument Channel
To select an Instrument Channel, click the Instrument Icon.
The Select status will be indicated by a colored circle top right of the Instrument icon. When selected, all parameters visible in the bottom bar pertain to the selected Channel.
Move the tiny triangle left from the Instrument Icon to adjust the volume of that Instrument (Group).
Selecting an Instrument Type
Click one of the letters labelled Type to select different instruments. There are up to four variations available per Instrument Channel.
By default, the Decay envelope is off (knob all the way up). Turning it counter-clockwise shortens the envelope and therefore the length of that drum instrument. Shorter decay times can make a drum sound tighter and even artificial.
Adjusting the Tuning
You can adjust the tuning of every Instrument Channel by ±7 semitones (or 700 cents).
This control adjusts the individual Instrument Channels send level to the Reverb unit in the Master Section.
You can mute/solo any instrument channel individually for editing. The solo status is indicated by a tiny yellow dot right next to the Instrument Icon, the mute status by a red dot.
Ambience Channel Icons
Ambience Channel Strip
The two Ambience Channels in Virtual Drummer don’t carry individual instruments or effects, but are actually recorded room ambience signals from the original drum kit recording sessions:
- Overheads are a pair of microphones hanging left and right over the head of the drummer and picking up mainly the cymbals, but also a strong bleed signal from the other drums. Therefore, don’t be surprised if you turn down individual microphones and still hear the instrument. Overheads are used to create the stereo image and pick up transients as well as a coherent mix of the kit.
- Room comes from a pair of microphones placed at the back of the drum recording chamber, left and right behind the drum kit. This is not a Reverb, (there’s an extra control for that in the Mix section) but a dense, short room signal, great for adding depth and live feel to the drum kit.
Like the Instrument Channels, Ambience Channels can be selected, adjusted in volume, soloed/muted and sent to individual outputs. On top of that, they have three built-in audio processors allowing you to shape the Ambience signal.
The Compressor lets you … well … compress the Overhead or Room signal, which increases the perceived density and presence of that signal even at lower levels.
Low Pass / Hi Pass Filters
With these filters, you can gradually attenuate high frequencies (Low Pass) or low frequencies (Hi Pass) in the Ambience channels. This is useful to clean certain frequency ranges from too much Ambience, making the dry signals stick out more, or for creative purposes, e.g. by turning Overheads fully up but cut some high frequencies for a trippy synthetic effect.
You can choose to send any Instrument and Ambience Channel either to the Master Section (default) or to an Individual Output that will be fed to an Aux bus in your DAW.
The order in which Channels are sent to the DAW is fixed as follows:
The exact setup of a multi-output Virtual Drummer will depend largely on your DAW, so we recommend to check out the corresponding instructions in your DAWs user guide. Usually, what you have to do is …
- Instantiate a multi-output version of Virtual Drummer. This usually happens when selecting it from a menu of available virtual instruments, e.g. in the AU Instrument menu in Logic.
Plugin menu with Multi-Output options in Logic Pro
- Set up a number of Aux Channels for that multi-output instrument. In Logic, for example, after instantiating a multi-output Virtual Drummer, you will find a “+” icon in the Mixer channel of that instrument. Click it to create additional Aux buses and you’ll see and hear those Virtual Drummer channels you set to “Individual” separated out to those busses.