Encyclopedia > Drum machine programming

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Drum machine programming

Most drum machines follow a convention similar to this diagram:

  DRUM TYPE        BEAT
 ==================+===============================================================================+
                   | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Bass            |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |   
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Snare           |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Open High Hat   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Closed Hih Hat  |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Ride            |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Hi Tom          |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Medium Tom      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Low Tom         |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Crash           |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+

To add constant 16th notes on the high hat:

  DRUM TYPE        BEAT
 ==================+===============================================================================+
                   | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Bass            |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |   
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Snare           |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Open High Hat   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Closed High Hat | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  |  X |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Ride            |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Hi Tom          |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Medium Tom      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Low Tom         |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Crash           |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+

To make a generic Techno/Trance/industrial music beat:

 
  DRUM TYPE        BEAT
 ==================+===============================================================================+
                   | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Bass            | X  |    |    |    | X  |    |    |    | X  |    |    |    | X  |    |    |    |   
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Snare           |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Open High Hat   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Closed High Hat | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  |  X |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Ride            |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Hi Tom          |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Medium Tom      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Low Tom         |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Crash           |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+

To make a generic Hard rock beat:

 
  DRUM TYPE        BEAT
 ==================+===============================================================================+
                   | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Bass            | X  |    |    |    | X  |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |   
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Snare           |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    | X  |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Open High Hat   |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Closed High Hat | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  | X  |  X |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Ride            |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Hi Tom          |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Medium Tom      |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Low Tom         |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+
   Crash           |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |    |
 ==================+===============================================================================+

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