MIDI Velocity Question

Hey, I program my beats and I’m pretty good at it, but I want to learn how to vary the velocity of High Hats or Snare Fills.

I googled it, but didn’t get very far. So, would you change velocity while programming or after ? I’m in Pro Tools, and I have looked at the Event Operations window. Is there a setting in BFD, or would it be in the DAW ?

How do you do it ?


A lot of times, I’ll do some of the velocity fine-adjustment in the DAW. But accents on the Hat, as part of a rhythmic pattern are pretty easy to just feel and play, and frequently sound much better.

I might dial in a bit of input quantization as I play the Hat into the track. But many times playing without quantization gives a human aspect that works better with the track.

Also, if there are crescendo rolls on the Hat I will play the roll (or just step-enter a bunch of short notes into the pattern), then do a velocity fade in (or out) using the DAW controls.

I’m not a drummer, but I have gotten away with murder in some of my tracks combining step-entry, quantization, actual playing and DAW programming. YMMV Best of luck!

Hi Tom,

I don’t use PT but I do my velocity changes in the DAW. That way I can stay in the DAW and not have to open BFD for further editing while in the mix.

Kind regards,

Living Room Rocker

Random variation of velocity in PT is most likely not going to give you the best options, as it’s not going to be making decisions based on what a drummer would play. I use PT and just go in manually and edit the notes in the MIDI editor. I sit there and air drum and feel how I’d be playing it if I were in front of a kit. It’s a PITA and time consuming. Another option is to drag some grooves into PT and either examine what is going on velocity-wise, or just paste the hihats and fills.

Thanks, how do you do a velocity fade ? Are you in PT? How do you lower the velocity on 1 midi note ?

I never looked at the grooves in BFD until last night. There’s some wild stuff in there. I will try your suggestion, thanks. Do you know what the “ feel injector” and “Cubase style” stuff is in the MIDI Event section?

I use PT, Digital Performer, Logic and Reaper depending on the project and collaborators.

Step enter sixteen 16th notes. Play them in quantized to 16th notes, the velocity doesn’t matter (at this time). In your velocity map for the hats, simply draw a straight line from loud to soft (or vice versa).

To lower the velocity on 1 MIDI note only, The hat hit should be on a unique note. If there are other hat efx they should be on different notes or should be triggered by a specific velocity range or value.

Hope this helps.

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