MIDI Key Maps
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Click the Key Map button in the main BFD3 navigation bar to display the Key Map panel. This panel provides functions for mapping Drum articulations and Grooves to MIDI notes so that they can be played using MIDI note input. It is possible to modify and fine-tune existing Key Maps, add further assignments for additional Drums or create new Key Maps from scratch.
Mapping page layout and MIDI keyboard displays
Vertical and Horizontal keyboard layouts
Key colouring (both keyboards)
Keys feature colour-coding to represent various states.
Key labelling (vertical keyboard only)
Keys with an articulation are labelled with the current Drum loaded into the relevant slot along with the articulation name. If the slot is empty, the default slot name is shown.
If multiple articulations exist on a key, multiple is shown.
Keys with Grooves always show the relevant Groove slot number.
Whenever a key on the keyboard is selected, it is previewed in the same way as it would be heard when being played via MIDI. Previews are velocity sensitive depending on the click position on the key:
•On the horizontal keyboard, the loudest velocity is heard towards the lower part of the keys.
•On the vertical keyboard, the loudest velocity is heard towards the right of the keys.
To select a key without hearing a preview, click it while holding down the ALT key.
Activating the Follow MIDI button results in an incoming note selecting the relevant key in the keyboard layout.
The last state of this button is used when launching a new instance of BFD3.
The Articulations list shows the available articulations for the currently selected Drum slot.
This list is only visible if the Show Grooves button is deactivated.
After one or more mappings have been created, the mapped MIDI note is shown under the Mapping column for each Artic (Articulation) in the Articulations list.
The numbers shown after the MIDI note represent the velocity Input Range for the assignment. When multiple articulations are mapped to a key, velocity split ranges can be set up using the Input Range control in the Mapping Response panel - see below. This velocity readout is not available if the articulation has been mapped to more than 1 key.
The Mapping Editor provides a number of functions for the articulations on the currently selected Key. It features an Assignments list displaying the current assignments on the key, as well as the Mapping Response panel which provides advanced fine-tuning functions for mappings.
Activating the Show Grooves button displays a list of the Groove Palette's 128 Groove slots in place of the Articulation list. This mode is used in order to assign Grooves to MIDI keys.
Show MIDI Log
Activating this button displays the MIDI Log at the lower-left part of the interface. The MIDI Log provides an overview of incoming MIDI messages, useful for troubleshooting mapping operations. Click the Show MIDI Log button again to hide the panel.
Mapping Drum articulations to keys
Note that it is not necessary to load a Drum into a slot in order to map the slot's articulations: the default choices of articulations for the slot's intended purpose are assignable. However, it is highly recommended to do so in order to be able to test and hear the results of assignments.
Using the Assign to Selected button
1. Select a Drum such as the Snare in this example, either in the Kit Display or in the Mixer. The Drum's articulations are shown in the Articulations list.
Note that the selected key in this example is still a key assigned to the Kick.
Drag and drop to the Mapping Editor for the selected key
Drag and drop directly to any key(s)
Use the Learn Single function
Use the Multi Learn function
Stacking multiple articulations on a single key
As described above, articulations can be stacked, or layered, onto a single key. This offers more advanced Drum layering than the simple Drum Link function in the Kit display but is intended only for using MIDI notes rather than the Groove engine to play BFD3's sounds.
When articulations are stacked on a key, they simply play at the same time at the relevant velocity whenever the key is played.
It is also possible to create 'velocity splits' with layered articulations using the Mapping Response panel - see below.
Please note that Choke articulations cannot be stacked with other articulations. Attempting to assign a Choke articulation results in it overwriting any previous contents on the key. Likewise, attempting to stack any articulation onto a key already containing a Choke, the existing Choke is overwritten.
Any playing articulation for a Drum can be choked by playing the slot's Choke articulation. This stops the decay of any Drum articulation according to its Choke Response settings (default settings exist in the BFD3 Preferences, while settings for loaded Drums exist in the Drum Editor
Chokes can be stacked on the same key with other articulations - when triggering an articulation, it may be useful to choke 1 or more other Drums which may be playing.
BFD3 can also choke cymbal slots with polyphonic aftertouch signals from electronic drumkits - see the next section.
Variable tip (hihat slot only)
These articulations appear for the Hihat slot only and are intended for use with electronic drumkits - see the next section.
Variable snare (snares only)
This articulation appears for Snare slots only and is intended for use with electronic drumkits - see the next section.
The Mapping Editor panel displays information and additional parameters for the mappings that exist on the currently selected key.
Click this button to delete all mappings on the currently selected key.
Mapping Response panel
The Mapping Response panel cannot be visible at the same time as the Hihat or Snare Response panels - click the Response button to display the Mapping Response panel if it is not already visible.
Note that the Snare panel is only visible if a Variable Snare articulation exists on the currently selected key. The Hihat and Snare Response panels are described in the next section.
The Mapping Response panel features a number of functions for adjusting the way that incoming MIDI note velocity is mapped to articulations.
This panel is only concerned with articulation mappings - its controls are not available if a Groove key is currently selected.
Input (Input Range)
This control defines the MIDI note velocity range to which the selected articulation responds. The primary use for this control is for creating velocity-based splits for keys with multiple articulations, so that different velocity ranges can trigger different articulations.
Output (Output Curve)
This control adjusts how input velocities are translated to the range of the articulation's velocity layer samples.
By default, a linear 1:1 mapping is used - the active range of MIDI input velocity (defined by the Input control) is distributed proportionally across all available velocity layers for the articulation.
The graph allows you to change the lowest and highest velocity layer that is accessed by the velocity range of the input range, as well as vary the curve response from linear to exponential (drag down) or inverse-exponential (drag up).
With the Gate setting activated, any incoming MIDI notes with velocities outside the input range are ignored for the articulation mapping. This behaviour can be very useful when creating velocity splits or for eliminating crosstalk-related issues when playing BFD3 from an electronic drumkit.
With the Gate button deactivated, such notes trigger the articulation, with velocity values that are forced to the Input Range boundaries. For example, if the Input Range is set from 25 to 90 and an incoming note's velocity is 10, it is treated as a velocity of 25. If an incoming note's velocity is 100, it is treated as a velocity of 90.
Setting up velocity splits
The Mapping Response panel functions can be used for setting up velocity splits for keys containing stacked articulations.
The following examples demonstrates how to create a velocity split setup for a key mapped to Snare Hit and SideStick articulations.
Choke on Aftertouch
This function is intended to be used with electronic drumkits - see the next section.
Key context menu
MIDI event log
Click the Show MIDI Log button to display the MIDI Event Log panel. This panel displays a list of all MIDI events received by BFD3's MIDI input and can be very useful for troubleshooting during mapping tasks.
Click the Show MIDI Log button again to hide the panel.
Note that this log is also provided as an auxiliary window: use the Show MIDI Log function in BFD3's Tools menu to open the external window.
Saving in the Key Map panel
All the following functions can be found in BFD3's File menu.
Save Key Map
This function opens a system file save dialog prompting for a location and filename to save the current Key Map.
It is recommended to save the Key Map to the default location - <user location>/Maps - so that it is accessible from the Load Key Map panel without further adding and scanning of data locations.
Save Key + Automation maps
This function saves the current Key Map and Automation Map with the same name (although the two resulting map files have different file extensions – .bfd3map and .bfd3auto).
Save MIDI Event Log
This function saves the contents of the MIDI Log for diagnostic and troubleshooting reasons. Logs are saved with the .log file extension.