Your thoughts on SW to create MIDI for use in BB?

I’m sure many would be interested in any and all thoughts and hard won experience on this topic. Thanks to an exchange I found between Goran and John M posted last spring I found some inspiration and lots of questions. With the wealth of resource and stock material there are still needs to tweak and create beats.

I loaded demo EZD2 on my MAC - wonderfully intuitive to build with where BB stock beats and others don’t work - but as others have found it does not export some things (like articulated hi hat or any hi hat at all) due to mis-matches with BB version of the MIDI map, etc. So it appears if I go that route to build my own I would need yet another step to align/fix EZD2 output before planting the result in BB to create an .sng. Or maybe pay for SD which I think would allow me to create a custom map while retaining the ease of use of EZD2?
In my case I will never use the layers of art buried in either product - I’m interested in playing not sitting patiently and building a piano roll point-and-click stilted version of a beat track but we are addicted to our BB after playing gigs weekly for almost 2 years with it - in fact we have a 2nd as a backup so I sleep well at night…just in case :wink:

As a post-script I just loaded a simple EZD2 export (HiHat, kick and snare) into the Beat Builder someone developed as a quick MIDI app for BB but nothing even showed up although it plays in BB Mgr!

I would need a bit of an education in EZD2. But here is my understanding of what you have said about it from this and other threads. 1) you like the sounds you get out of EZD2. 2) EZD2 has multiple iterations of a single drum. Ex. instead of the 3 hi-hat sounds we have now, pedal, closed hit, open hit, there are more. 3) you find it easy to build beats in EZD2, but what you export does not play, or does not play well, in Beat Buddy, 4) EZD2 uses multiple sample per drum, and per velocity. 5) you either have wav files in the EZD2 program that produce the sounds, or you could create the same, through exporting each sound. Please correct me, if I am wrong in these assumptions.

What I need to know: Can you export a midi file from EZD2 that has a separate lane for each drum tone that you are using? if, yes, could you provide a map of where the tones go? IF EZD2 does not export a midi file for each tone, I would not be inclined to tackle this project. It would require programming that I am not interested in doing.

If the above criteria are true, the only thing needing to be created is a drumkit to match the midi file output from EZD2. There are two limits. 1) You can only have a possible 128 basic drum tones. 2) The total size of all the sample you use to create the kit cannot exceed 100mb.

I assume you are only wanting drums. A diverse, robust kit can easily hit the 100mb limit. The Vintage Ludwig kit uses 87% of the available BB memory, for example. But, if you are willing to live with the limitation of many fewer samples per drum, it would seem an EZD2 to BB kit would be conceivable, but probably will not sound as good as your EZD2 output.

Phil - I have heard some other attempts to ‘neuter’ EZD for BB and I’d rather live with limited drums than limited drums with mediocre sound. After all there are literally thousands of songs of equal value we can work up that may fit BB ‘as is’ better. Certainly a better fit groove for a given song and some cool congas when needed with the right groove would be ideal -I could live without the memory hogging hi hat perhaps.

Toontracks replied to this topic (BTW I’m not married to using one SW over another - looking for anything that isn’t overly burdened with features and is intuitive at a good price…the holy grail) suggesting using EZPlayer Pro ($49) as a separate step to re-map the Midi to a format EZdrummer can use (the EZdrummer Midi format). Ezplayer pro is a tool that allows you to import, layer, edit, and export Midi to various formats, or even send the Midi to various sound instruments.
Another workaround is to open the Midi editor in a DAW (such as Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, etc…) and simply rearrange the Midi one-by-one so that they fall on the correct Midi notes to trigger the correct samples in EZdrummer 2.

Since I am only targeting BB (I don’t have interest in DAW) alternate #2 is off the board - and also re-arranging anything painstakingly one-by-one puts me off that track immediately. I’d rather have a mostly fit-for-purpose map with few alterations needed I could call up.

It sounds like you are approaching a solution that will work for you. Let us know how if turns out, and when you get there, please provide a sample of two.


A note on my personal progress…slow and not without flaws. Like finding the new version of BB Mgr 1.64 (right click>edit…on my MAC) handles transcribing not supported entries in a MIDI file quite nicely. It appears EZDrummer 2 will still be a good choice…so far.

Just a word of caution. Using the BBM Midi Editor in most any version doesn’t process the bass note offs correctly. It results in stuck notes for the bass—the NP kits just don’t sound good. It’s not an issue if you’re not using kits with bass or the NP kits.

Thanks! I would have learned the hard way otherwise. I find we are being drawn into trying a number of the ‘w/bass’ kits like Key to the Highway (which we currently play) and a few still in rehearsal. Although we all play bass that expands the band nicely for some tunes. Haven’t warmed to (or need to look into) the NP kits yet.

Update; decided to try EZD2 with shuffle beat package added (BB is fairly limited in this back beat style). I exported a WAV file and MIDI file from a typical verse selection in EZD2 using the original mix modern drum kit selection. BB Brushes 1.1 seems a close fit. I loaded a WAV file truncated using Audacity into a BB .sng (accent) and the MIDI as a verse main loop. I needed to edit the loop to move unsupported MIDI channels to something close to EZD2 (Hi Hat). The results seem reasonable considering the degrees of articulation you give up moving from EZD2 to gain BB functionality. EZD2 is fairly intuitive and lots of YouTube helps. So for <$150 and ease of use it got my vote until BB grows into something like EZD2.

DropBox folder - “EZD2_BB test” contains the .sng, .mid and .wav

As an added thought - we do few ‘one button’ BB songs preferring to control things live. We use UnRealBook on iPad for set lists with lyrics/chords from pdf files held in a DropBox for the purpose (thank you Aron Nelson!). On a few songs (Pink Floyd Breathe & Time and Ozzy’s Crazy Train) I recorded 10-15 seconds of sampled audio as intros. UnReal lets you add a ‘Transmogrify’ button on the song page and set it to play an mp3 when ‘pushed’ - we segue over it into the song. If a song really demands a more articulate drum track we could make a ‘one press’ from the EZD2 file!