How to Split MIDI Drums to an Individual Channel

Written by steven french
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How to Split MIDI Drums to an Individual Channel
MIDI drums can offer more editing flexibility than acoustic drums. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Recording with MIDI drums helps to bridge the gap between acoustic and electronic drums, as drummers have the ability to play electronic drums that feel somewhat like acoustic drums instead of a keyboard. When recording MIDI drums, you may find that you would like to tweak the timing or volume of individual sounds. This can be achieved by splitting the drums into individual channels. Most MIDI drums output on only one channel, so you will need to split the drums in the sequencing software after recording.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • MIDI drum kit or pad
  • Sequencing software

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  1. 1

    Record the MIDI drums into your sequencing software as a MIDI track.

  2. 2

    Duplicate the drum track as many times as necessary for each of the drums you wish to separate to individual tracks.

  3. 3

    Open the first duplicate track in the "Piano Roll" or "Key Editor" view of your sequencer. This option is usually located in the "View" menu at the top of the screen or you can double-click the MIDI data in the track. The piano roll displays each MIDI note on its own horizontal line, making it easy to identify individual drums.

  4. 4

    Click the "Eraser" tool and erase all notes that except the notes of the first drum. Repeat this process for each track, leaving only a single drum on each track. Some piano roll editors allow you to select an entire note line at once by clicking the note at the left of the interface, then you can press "Delete" to remove the entire line of notes.

  5. 5

    Mute the original drum track, but leave it intact in case you find that some notes were unintentionally deleted in one of the individual tracks.

  6. 6

    Change the MIDI channel for each individual track.

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