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.