There are 2 ways to program patterns, inside Beat Discovery or within the DAW.
How you choose to program patterns is usually dependent on the style you’re trying to create. If you want to make hip hop beats that are heavily swinging, it’s easiest to program that within your DAW. If you want to make trap beats that are quantized and thrive with cool polyrhythms, it’s easiest to do that within Beat Discovery.
Programming beats inside the DAW with Beat Discovery
The core power of Beat Discovery is it’s ability to let you hear endless sound combinations using your own samples. No matter how you program beats, you’ll always be able to leverage that. When programming beats inside the daw, with a midi controller, you can stick to your traditional style of programming beats, but instead of slowing down your creative flow, you can do these steps to maximize it.
1. Open Beat Discovery & load a preset pack (you will change the sounds later).
2. Plug in your MIDI controller, and find the keys that trigger the sounds within Beat Discovery.
3. Program a beat like you normally do, and set your pattern to loop on your DAW.
Now that you have a pattern going, it should be looping the sounds from Beat Discovery. From here you can turn the “Change All Sounds” knob until you find a combination of sounds that works well with the pattern you programmed. Being able to hear your pattern played with all different types of sounds will save an incredible amount of time. When you like what you have, you can export the pattern, then import it to Beat Discovery to easily tweak the samples and rhythms.
Programming beats inside Beat Discovery
The easiest way to program a beat inside Beat Discovery is by starting with a preset pattern. Beat Discovery can transform any pattern into any pattern quickly, we’ll go over some of the ways to do this.
1. Open Beat Discovery & load a preset pack. If you have an idea of what type of music you want to make, select the genre.
2. Once you’ve loaded the pack, set the BPM on your DAW. The sample packs usually list the tempo they were programmed in, but you can use any tempo.
3. Use the “Change All Sounds” knob to find a nice combination of sounds, then use the “Change Pattern” knob to find a pattern that fits your taste. Each folder comes with 16 patterns. To view more patterns within a Sample Pack, click the first drop down menu to select a new folder of patterns. You can also load your own samples by click the bottom bank label, and clicking “Set Sounds Folder”.
4. If you like the pattern, but want to change the sounds you can either load just the sounds of sample another pack, or load your own sounds. If you like the sounds but don’t like the pattern, you can load just the patterns of another sample pack. You can also quickly fill in patterns by clicking the bottom bank label, and clicking “Fill Pattern..” and choosing from a few options. This will fill in patterns quickly, which you can shift, double/halve, and tweak.
Once you’ve got something that sounds close to what you want, you can start tweaking the pattern and sounds to make them yours. Below we’ll list some of the techniques you can do to program patterns and totally transform presets. You will be spending most of your time on the SEQ view tweaking the Shift, Speed, Pitch, and Sample Length.
Shifting the pattern with the shift arrows will drastically transform the rhythm. Read about setting your shift time here. Double or Half timing the pattern speed with the +/- buttons will also drastically transform the rhythm. Changing the pitch of a sample and adjusting the sample length deals with the sounds themselves, and this is where you make sounds yours.
Making professional sounding drums
The best way to make your drums sound amazing is by treating each sound. All of your drums and sounds should usually be compressed, eq’d, with FX on some of your sounds. The way to do this is by running your Beat Discovery session in Multi Channel Output mode. This will allow you to have separate tracks for each channel on Beat Discovery. Having full control over each track will give you the ability to turn your sounds into radio ready productions.
Read about setting up Multi Channel Output here.