Choose and Direct Your Drummer in the Logic Pro X Editor

By Graham English

The real power of Drummer’s artificial intelligence–like personality is in the drummer editor. To open the editor, double-click a drummer region or choose View→Show Editor (E). The editor opens at the bottom of the tracks area.

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The drummer editor is filled with personality. The left side of the drummer editor is where you change settings for the entire drummer track. At the top of the area is a style button. Click the button and a drop-down menu appears so you can choose between Rock, Alternative, Songwriter, and R&B.

Each style has several different drummers with names and headshots. The current drummer’s name is yellow in the headshot. Click the drummer you want for the entire track. The track regions and drummer editor are updated with the style of the selected drummer. Since Logic Pro X first came out, developers have added new drummers and kits, and more are bound to be on the way.

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The right side of the drummer editor is where you change settings for the selected region. Here’s a description of each section:

  • Ruler: At the top of the region settings are a ruler and a play icon. You can play the region or move the playhead within the region in this ruler.

  • Presets: Each drummer comes with a set of presets that you can click to update the editor controls. At the top of the Presets menu is a drop-down list where you can save, delete, and recall the default preset. You can also refresh the region to make subtle changes to the current region. Finally, you can choose to keep the settings while changing drummers.

  • X/Y pad: The X/Y pad has a yellow puck that you can move between Loud/Soft and Complex/Simple. The position of the puck makes a big difference in the beat the drummer will play.

  • Drum kit: Click the drum group to select the drums that will play in the region. You can also choose to add one of three percussion instruments. The sliders to the right of the drum kit allow you to choose between variations of the groove. If you select the Follow check box for the Kick and Snare slider, the slider changes to a drop-down menu and you can select a track in the project that the kick and snare will follow.

  • Fills: The Fills knob adjusts the number and length of fills. Click the lock icon to freeze the fills setting when changing presets.

  • Swing: The Swing knob adjusts the amount of shuffle feel. Click the lock icon to freeze the swing setting when changing presets. You can also click the 8th or 16th buttons to decide whether the swing is based on eighth notes or sixteenth notes.

  • Details: Click the Details button to open an additional editing panel. Use this panel to change Feel, Ghost Notes, and Hi-Hat performance. The Feel knob adjusts how Drummer plays relative to the tempo. You can pull back the performance so that it plays behind the beat or push it forward so it plays in front of the beat.

    The Ghost Notes knob adjusts how loudly or quietly Drummer plays ghost notes (notes that are played at a low volume between the loud notes). The Hi-Hat knob adjusts the amount of closed or open hi-hat that Drummer plays. The panel has a lot of personality, so don’t forget to make use of it.

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