How to Map MIDI Notes to Ultrabeat

Written by jason savage
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How to Map MIDI Notes to Ultrabeat
Ultrabeat is a drum sequencer that comes with Logic Pro and Logic Express. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Ultrabeat is a comprehensive drum synthesizer, sampler and sequencer plug-in built into Apple's Logic Pro and Logic Express. It is used to synthesise percussive noises using its built-in synthesis toolset, play recorded samples of acoustic drums and create drum sequences using its built-in step sequencer. It comes with a large collection of drum-sets, both synthesised and sampled, covering most genres of music. Using Ultrabeat's import feature, it is possible to map any drum sound to any MIDI note between C1 and B2.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • MIDI keyboard

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  1. 1

    Open Logic. Once it loads, create a new project. Click "File" and select "New." Select "Empty Project" from the pop-up dialogue. Logic's sequencer screen, called the "Arrange Area," will appear along with the track creation dialogue. Select "Software Instrument" in the dialogue and click "Create." An empty MIDI track will appear in Logic's Arrange Area.

  2. 2

    Insert an instance of Ultrabeat on the new track. Click on the first box beneath "I/O" on the track's channel strip to the left of the Arrange Area. A contextual menu listing all available software instruments will appear. Select "Ultrabeat (Drum Synth)" and "Stereo" from the sub-menu. Ultrabeat's interface will appear.

  3. 3

    Click on the disclosure triangle to the right of the "Copy" button on Ultrabeat's interface. A list of available drum sets will appear. Select "01 Drum Kits" and choose "Drag & Drop Samples" from the sub-menu. This will load an empty drum set. Note that by default, Ultrabeat maps each drum set according to the General MIDI (GM) standard. The kick drum is mapped to MIDI note C1, the snare to D1 and so on. The "Drag & Drop Samples" drum set is blank---the user can map any drum voice to any note between C1 and B2.

  4. 4

    Click the button labelled "Import" at the top of Ultrabeat's synthesizer section. A pop-up window containing a list of available drum-sets will appear. Double-click the name of the drum-set you want to map. The pop-up window will close and a list of the drum-set's individual voices will appear. Note that, for now, each voice in the imported drum-set will correspond to GM mapping.

  5. 5

    Drag and drop each voice from the imported drum-set onto the desired MIDI note. There is a graphical representation of a keyboard running vertically along the left-hand side of Ultrabeat's interface. The bottom note represents C1 and the top note represents B2. For example, if you want to map a snare sound to MIDI note E1, locate "Snare" in the imported drum-set list and drag and drop it onto E1 (fifth note from the bottom).

  6. 6

    Play your MIDI keyboard to hear the assigned drum voices. For example, if you mapped a kick drum sound to C2, play your MIDI keyboard's C2 to hear the kick drum. You are not limited to using only one imported drum-set. You can map any drum voice from any drum-set onto any MIDI note between C1 and B2. Simply repeat steps four and five to map drum voices from another imported drum-set.

  7. 7

    Save your new drum-set map. Click the disclosure triangle next to the "Copy" button and select "Save Setting As..." A save dialogue will appear. Give your drum-set a name and click "OK." You can now load your mapped drum-set for use in any project within Logic.

Tips and warnings

  • Most MIDI keyboards come with software for mapping notes as desired. In other words, you can map any MIDI transmission onto any key or controller on your MIDI keyboard. Consult your keyboard's documentation for instructions.
  • You are limited to the C1 to B2 range when mapping individual drum voices to MIDI notes. Ultrabeat does not recognise input from any MIDI note outside of this range.

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