The Drum Track is a simple single-track arrangement tool for Grooves in the Palette.

This feature is particularly useful if you use the standalone version of BFD3 as a live drum accompaniment tool – you can put together a whole song's drum arrangement with as many changes as you like, manipulating each part in the Editor.

The state of the Drum Track is saved with Palettes and BFD3 Presets, making it easy to quickly load up a whole song's worth of drums in new projects.

Another useful feature of the Drum Track is the built-in offline export functions allowing you to export the entire track as a multi-channel bounce faster than real time.

 

g_dt_autoplaytrack

Enabling the Drum Track

To enable the Drum Track, the Auto-play mode must be set to Track.

 

Adding Grooves to the Drum Track

Adding Grooves to the Palette is as simple as dragging them to the desired position either from the Palette or directly from the Groove Browser. When dragging Grooves from the Browser, they are added not only to the Drum Track but also to the Palette. Grooves in the Drum Track are called Parts. It is also possible to right-click and Copy a Groove in the Palette, right-click in the desired position in the Drum Track and Paste the Groove.

If the Auto-play mode is not yet set to Track, it is set automatically when a Part is added.

 

g_dt_dragtoadd_full

 

Parts

Once a Groove has been dropped onto the Drum Track, it is referred to as a Part. It is important to remember several facts about Parts in the Drum Track:

 

Drum Track parts reference Palette Groove slots

Parts on the Track are actually instructions to play a Groove from the current palette.

If you attempt to clear a Palette Groove which is used in a Drum Track Part, the Part is also cleared from the Drum Track. You are prompted for confirmation before proceeding.

 

Default and Slot Groove Actions are ignored

Parts on the Drum Track do not follow the Default and Slot Groove Actions of their original Grooves. Any structuring of Parts over time must be explicitly created in the track itself.

 

Only one Part can be played on the Drum Track at any one time

The Drum Track has a single 'layer' – it does not permit any type of layering of multiple Parts on top of each other. Only one Part can be playing on the Drum Track at once.

 

Drum Track synchronization

Playback follows the host tempo and time signature if you are running BFD as a plugin within a host, and synchronizes to its the host playback position when the host transport is running.

If you are using the standalone version of BFD3, or if the host transport is stopped, BFD3's internal transport can be used.

It is not possible to create tempo or time signature changes in the BFD3 Drum Track. If you need such functionality, you must use a host that is capable of this.

The Drum Track can, however, follow host tempo changes. It also tracks host time signature changes, but does not represent them graphically.

If you use tempo and time signature changes, it is recommended that you sequence BFD3's sounds entirely from a suitable DAW.

 

Drum Track interface

g_dt_ui

Track ruler and Track lane

The Track ruler represents the Drum Track timeline in bars and beats. Grooves are added as Parts into the Track lane using drag & drop from the Palette or the Groove Browser. Only one Part can play on the Track at any one time.

Markers

Position marker

The Position marker indicates the current playback position when the Drum Track is playing.

Double-click in the Track ruler (outside any loop indicator) to set the blue position marker – if the Drum Track is currently playing, the playback position immediately moves to this new position. This also results in disconnecting host sync when playing in sync with the host/DAW while running BFD3 as a plugin.

 

Insert marker

The Insert marker indicates the insertion point when adding a part to the Drum Track and when moving or copying parts within it. It also specifies the point at which part split operations occur.

To change the position of the Insert marker, click the desired position in the Track lane.

 

Start marker

g_dt_pos_startmarker_new

When in standalone mode or when the host transport is stopped, the white Start marker specifies the point at which playback starts. By default, the Start marker is set at the start of the Drum Track.

To set the Start marker, ALT-click at the desired point in the Track ruler.

If the Position marker has passed the Start marker, clicking the Return to start button causes the playback position to return to the position specified by the Start marker.

If the Position marker has not yet reached the Start marker, clicking the Return to start button causes the the playback position to return to the start of the Drum Track.

The Return to start button can be used during playback - the playback position shifts immediately to the Start marker point with playback continuing. If this is performed while running BFD3 as a plugin in a host/DAW, the same behaviour occurs but synchronization with the host is disconnected.

 

Loop start and end markers (Looped playback only)

When the Loop button is enabled on the BFD3 Transport, the Loop start and Loop end marker appear on the Drum Track ruler. When the position marker reaches the Loop end marker, playback loops back to the position specified by the Loop start marker.

Click and drag the Loop start and Loop end markers by clicking and dragging them left/right along the Track ruler.

Both the loop start and end markers can be moved simultaneously by click-dragging the red area in the ruler between the markers.

 

Zoom controls and scrollbar

g_dt_zoom_scroll

The Zoom in/out buttons at the bottom-right of the Drum Track display control the horizontal zoom level of the Drum Track. If the zoom level results in part of the Drum Track not being visible, use the Scrollbar to change the visible area.

 

g_dt_zoom_new

The right or left edge of the Scrollbar can also be dragged left/right to change the zoom level. An overview representation of the Drum Track's Part arrangement is shown within the Scrollbar.

It is also possible to use your mousewheel to change the zoom level - hold down ALT while scrolling.

 

Editor controls relating to the Drum Track

The following buttons are located above the Groove Editor grid and also affect aspects of the Groove Editor's behaviour.

Focus

With the Focus button activated, the Editor shows the Groove that is currently playing in the Drum Track. With the button deactivated, the Editor always shows the selected Groove in the Palette.

Follow

When zoomed into the Drum Track so that only part of it is visible, activating the Follow button causes the display to scroll, following the playback position indicator.

 

Working with the Drum Track

Adding Parts to the Track

Adding a part between 2 other parts

g_dt_addbtwn_crop

To add a part between 2 other parts, drag and drop the part from the Palette or Browser to the Track ruler.

This technique also applies when moving or copying Parts within the Drum Track (see below).

 

Adding a part over another

g_dt_addover_crop

Drag and drop a part over an existing Part to replace it.

Existing Parts are shortened if they are only partially replaced by the new Part - note the truncation indicator at the lower-right of the Part.

This behaviour also applies when moving or copying Parts within the Drum Track (see below).

 

Selecting Parts

Click on a Part to select it. Several adjacent Parts can be selected by clicking on the song background and drawing a selection box over the desired Parts.

Any currently selected Parts are highlighted.

You can also multiple-select parts in the following ways:

• CTRL-click on a Part (Windows)
• CMD-click on a Part (Mac)

Adds the Part to the current selection. If the Part is already selected, this process de-selects it.

• SHIFT-click on a Part

Creates a contiguous selection between two Parts.

 

Moving and copying Parts

g_dt_movepart_crop

Click a Part (or selection of Parts) and drag it left/right to move its position within the Track lane.

g_dt_copypart_crop

Hold down ALT during the drag & drop operation to copy the Part(s).

Parts can also be dropped between or over existing Parts in the same way as the operations described above to add Parts.

Additionally, it is also possible to use the Part context menu's Cut/Copy/Paste functions (see below).

Changing the size of Parts

It is possible to change the length of a Part by clicking and dragging its left and right edges. Any truncation is reflected in the Groove Editor display - any truncated areas are greyed out on the Editor grid.

Changing the size of Parts

g_dt_resizefromstart_crop

Click and drag its left edge to the right in order to shorten a Part, changing its start point.

Drag the edge towards the left to lengthen an existing shortened Part.

Note the trunction indicator at the lower-left of the Part.

 

g_dt_resizefromend_crop

Click and drag the right edge to the left in order to shorten a Part, changing its end point.

Drag the edge towards the right to lengthen an existing shortened Part.

Note the truncation indicator at the lower-right of the Part.

 

g_dt_resizefromend_crop

Click and drag the right edge to the left in order to shorten a Part, changing its end point.

Drag the edge towards the right to lengthen an existing shortened Part.

Note the truncation indicator at the lower-right of the Part.

 

g_dt_lengthenpart

Parts can also be made longer, in which case they loop throughout the duration of the Part.

If the lengthened Part begins/ends after or before the actual start/end of the Groove, truncation indicators are shown as above.

 

Part context menu

Right-clicking on the Drum Track displays a menu with several additional functions for manipulating Parts. The functions available depend on whether an empty area of the track or a selection of Parts is under the cursor when invoking the menu.

 

G_DT_partcontextmenu_new

Cut, Copy, Clear and Split Parts

The Cut Selected Parts and Copy Selected Parts functions add Parts to the clipboard for use with the Paste functions (see below). The Clear selected Parts function removes the selection from the Drum Track without affecting the clipboard.

If you right-click on a part, you can split the part at the position marker with the Split Part at marker function.

When a part is split, the first of the resulting two Parts shows an truncation indicator at its lower-right to show that it has been shortened.

The second of the resulting Parts shows a truncation indicator at its lower-left to show that its start point has been moved later than the actual start of Groove.

Paste at marker/before selection/after selection

The Paste functions insert Parts stored in the clipboard as a result of using the Cut Selected Parts and Copy Selected Parts functions.

The Paste at marker function can be used when right-clicking on an empty section of the Drum Track. When the function is used, the Parts stored in the clipboard are inserted sequentially from the Insert marker in their original order. Their relative positions when they were originally Cut or Copied are not retained. If any existing Parts are encountered before the end of the paste, they are shifted to the right as needed.

When right-clicking on an existing Part, the Paste before selection and Paste after selection functions are available - these functions insert the clipboard contents before or after the Part. Again, any existing Parts are shifted to the right as required.

Grooves can also be copied to the clipboard from the Palette's Slot context menu before insertion onto the Drum Track using the above Paste functions.

 

Repeat selected parts

When one or more Grooves are selected, performing this operation results in inserting copies of the selected Parts immediately after the selection.

If there is an insufficient gap to accomodate the copied Parts between the last selected Part and any subsequent Parts, all Parts after the selection are moved back by the length of the Groove selection.

 

Merge to New Part

The Merge to New Part function is available only when multiple contiguous Parts are selected. When used, it combines all selected Parts into a new single Part.

 

Create variation of Parts

This function creates duplicates of Grooves in the Palette based on the currently selected Drum Track Parts, and changes the selected Parts to reference the duplicated Grooves.

The duplicated Grooves are created sequentially in the next available Palette slots higher than the original Groove.

If multiple selected Parts reference the same original Groove, only 1 duplicate Groove is created and all relevant parts are changed to reference this Groove.

This functionality is intended to make the creation of variations easier by avoiding the need to delete Parts and drag new Grooves back into the Drum Track to replace them.

After performing this operation, simply edit the duplicated Grooves as desired to create the variations you need.

 

Clear All Parts

The Clear All Parts function clears the current contents of the Drum Track. The Grooves in the Palette remain unchanged. You are prompted for confirmation before proceeding.

 

Saving and loading Drum Track contents

The contents of the Drum Track cannot be saved in isolation since they are dependent on Grooves in the Palette. Therefore, the Drum track can only be saved and loaded along with the Palette. It is also possible to export the contents of the Drum Track as MIDI or audio.

See the Saving and Exporting Grooves section for more details of these functions.