Making a Drumkit - Experiences

I use brush kits a lot during live performance. I also use Beat Buddy more as a drum module than a footswitch operated box, so I play it using self-written MIDI files. Neither the standard “pop” brush kit or the jazz brush kit suited my original material, so I set about making my own custom kits. Here are some of my learnings:

a) For sources, I used a Kontakt instrument by SonicCoutre called Moonkits (which has some of the best brush kits I’ve heard), and also some of ToonTrack’s brush kits.

b) For sampling to WAV files, I used Logic’s AutoSampler, which you can set up to trigger the source using predetermined sample velocities, key ranges, and round robins. A huge time saver.

c) I spent a lot of time figuring out the optimum velocity levels and round robins to fit within Beat Buddy’s restrictions on 15 samples per instrument. I wish they would lift that restriction!

d) the brush BeatBuddy MIDI files are tuned to work well with their associated drumkits. So for my kits, I did the same; created my MIDI files to match the optimum velocity samples for my kit. This method will give you the best overall results. If you are using “pre-rolled” MIDI files, tune your kit velocities to work well with those files.

e) I was able to create some extensive kits (for example, snare rim, stick, center, etc; hihat open, half open, pedal, closed, etc) and still fit within the 100Mb size limit. No problem there.

f) the BBManager is a pain in the arse to use, error prone, and way harder than it needs to be. I don’t know why they couldn’t design a “drag and drop” interface, or allow a file folder format. Having to use the archaic “Browse” function was laborious. From reading the forums, it looks like users have been whining for an update for a long time. Rightly so – the software is a trainwreck! [Tip: use a tag stripper to remove all metadata from your WAV files or you’ll have big problems.]

g) Creating drum kits would be so much easier if Singular Sound would allow drag and drop editing of folders of kits and individual instruments. For now, users are forced to edit drum kits a sample at a time. This is tedious when a kit might contain over 150 samples. May I suggest a separate utility that could be used to easily create drm files?

h) I’m now using a high-speed SD card so my drumkits load a lot faster.

i) designing your own kit is really time-consuming (I spent most of a day making a single drumkit), but its worth the effort if you need a specific sound.

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thanks for sharing, I’m struggling trying to make a custom drumset…

After I drag and drop the .wavs from my protools session folder into the BB manager I can click on them and hear them play back but once I save it and synchronize the project no sound plays from the new samples anymore.

Don’t understand why it’s not working, it’s very frustrating and taken up half a day.
Ive tried different session sample rates, 44.1/48k, different bit depths, I’m stumped.


Are you using Mac or Windows? Either way, I suggest sticking to 16-bit, 44.1k for a start. Make sure you strip all metadata from your WAV files using a utility (I’m on Mac, so Tag Stripper or NCH Switch). Instead of drag and drop, use the Browse function in BBManager to add your samples. One thing that helped me a lot was the instructions from @Phil_Flood:

Let us know how it goes…

48k will not work. 44.1k @ 16 or 24 bit, but I recommend 16 bit to save space in the kit. And, yes, strip all meta data. I use NCH Switch. Simply convert from wav to wav, and it strips the garbage.

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Using Windows, I will try the browse function, and I just read that manual.
Let you know if it works!

I took another run at trying to make kits. Nothing has changed. Its still a PITA. Why, oh why doesn’t Singular Sound update the BB manager and make it easier and friendlier.