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Logic 10.4 Drum Machine Designer is an Embarrassment


SteveVines

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It's 2018. Yet the most simple of drum machine programming in logic is painful, slow, laggy, glitchy, backwards in 10.4

 

'Drum names' in piano roll often appear wrong/glitched when dragging samples, from a very slow glitchy laggy file browser (especially when playback is enabled) onto drum cells. (see image below)

 

There is no sample auditioning and when you undo from the undo history window it doesn't undo and reload the the previous patches.

 

The drum names also dont go over 25 (which is a limitation of under the hood Ultrabeat) - any above 25 look like the below image with no name and 'null' on the note name. Not fit for Logic's supposed streamlined easy to use software.

 

These are but a few of the annoyances and un logical ways the drum machine designer has been designed.

 

Ive been an avid user of logic for years and am a professional beat maker, but am now finally considering packing in this software. DMD has really let me down and in 10.4 its even glitchier than ever.

 

Sorry to rant but im just surprised others aren't also complaining about this largely useless part of Logic 10.4.

 

Does anyone else out there agree with me... or am i just going crazy..?!

 

:x :x :x

408323766_ScreenShot2018-01-29at10_13_47.thumb.png.96ce8bf908aafad5348b08848e1ef3f0.png

1076253059_ScreenShot2018-01-29at10_20_32.thumb.png.c0c9ad31d42eec56581f5c8dd33a6f0a.png

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I personally don't look to Apple for drums, vintage sound modeling, synths, reverbs, delays, saturation and other such components of the application that one can find from 3rd party developers. Whenever Apple actually does include these items, I feel they're a free extra that I didn't originally pay for - especially since I purchase a vey large number of plugins from, say, Soundtoys, Eventide, NI. Waves, etc. I'm generally amazed and happy that Apple develops such items as Drummer and doesn't even charge for the upgrade. Where else do you find such value?
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I kinda like DMD, what i mean by that is i also use Live with a Push controller and that beats it hands down - there's really no comparison on that front for making beats - particularly in a step sequencer behaviour, Ableton and Push is just ridiculously good for that, no comparison.

 

However, with DMD/Logic once you get to using the brush with the piano roll (Hugely better), and you naturally get used to pressing Ctrl+Spacebar when to prelisten/audition when scrolling down the waves in the logic browser, likewise, it's second nature to hit the Collapse button on/off in the piano view to refresh the piano roll names when i import samples...Not saying that's good, but it's something i've just become accustomed to doing that i've not noticed it to be an issue. :)

 

I generally only use about 8 samples at a time too, so i'm not really looking at the names on the piano roll so much.

 

The one big advantage with DMD though, is how it routes and formats the individual drum tracks, complete with inserts in a single UI to fit in with how Logic works... So even though you're only using that single interface - everything is being adjusted in the background, to do that manually would take much more time an effort. And i think that's a big part of these issues that it has, it's that it's basically a little automated robot doing many tasks for you.

 

So, for me, in a Logic environment - i find what it does, is pretty good. There's a lot of free drum plugins with built in step sequencers than can trigger on a key press if you want to try an alternative but the routing of DMD will always be saving you a ton of time.

 

I have the Arturia collection and that came with Spark drum machine - i loved it for about a year, but started using Logic built-in more because it's just quicker, plus i know it will reload on projects without an issue - Spark was a nightmare for that.

 

For basic beats, TAL Sampler is my go to now though, i just love the old-school Emu sound you get from it, it's cumbersome as hell but i'm a huge hardware sampler fan so i love it for that alone, i just use it on plain midi track and it sounds gritty and great - mainly use it for breaking up existing beats and making something new though.

 

One thing i've never been able to work out with DMD is how you get those original icons back if you add in a snare over a bass drum sample and you want it to register to the Snare group, i can change the icon to an real drum snare and it works, but not the orange 'simple' graphics you get with the preset kits.

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One thing i've never been able to work out with DMD is how you get those original icons back if you add in a snare over a bass drum sample and you want it to register to the Snare group, i can change the icon to an real drum snare and it works, but not the orange 'simple' graphics you get with the preset kits.

 

Unfortunately those resources don't present themselves like the standard drum icons.

I think they're buried inside a framework/nib file in the app bundle and can't be easily extracted as pngs or whatever for general use.

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One thing i've never been able to work out with DMD is how you get those original icons back if you add in a snare over a bass drum sample and you want it to register to the Snare group, i can change the icon to an real drum snare and it works, but not the orange 'simple' graphics you get with the preset kits.

 

Unfortunately those resources don't present themselves like the standard drum icons.

I think they're buried inside a framework/nib file in the app bundle and can't be easily extracted as pngs or whatever for general use.

 

They are there with the other icons.

You can use these ones to start with:

 

1735643487_DMDBlue.thumb.png.1ada245d7cf4e569b84d74ffd28ce5f2.png

 

DMD - Blue Icons.zip

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ICYMI if you use a "Producer Kit" within Logic the Piano Roll drum names will work

 

Similarly if you use an external drum machine some "drum maps" line up ~ others don't

frustrating fo sure- would love it if my Electribe ESX drum machines recorded GM (General) MIDI as easily as my Yamaha RX5.

Have to transpose the ESX Kick two octaves to make it line up to C1

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Personally, I think that Drum Machine Designer was created as an inexpensive way to update Logic's Drum Programming capabilities without actually rewriting Ultrabeat which would be time consuming and expensive. They could make use of multi out channel strips, and their effects, using DMD as a wrapper with macros set up that send signals to the corresponding samples, effects and AUX channels

 

Unfortunately in my opinion, this creates a bloated experience, which is confusing to say the least, with many options to achieve the same result, and no clear direction to which one should take. I also think Apple knows that many beat makers are either using a 3rd party option such as Battery and Maschine or Ableton's Drum Racks, Sampler Instruments and Push.

 

I have the same feeling about the new Horns, Strings and Mellotron Instrument. They are all sampled instruments, but rather than rewrite EXS24, (and include the new instruments in the sampler), which is expensive and time consuming, and might create a lot of compatibility issues throughout Logic, they created sampled instruments that exist on their own. Now we have two places to go for sampled strings/horns - EXS24 or the new instruments in 10.4. Three if you include the Legacy/Garageband instruments.

 

Unfortunately this is confusing for those who are new to Logic, and trying to figure our why there are so many instruments that cross over, in different places.

 

Previous to the Mellotron Instrument, you could access all the Mellotron sounds in the channel strip settings under Mellotron, but if you went directly to the Mellotron samples in EXS24, you can only play the String Section Samples, (All the samples are in EXS24 but default to Strings only).

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I also think Apple knows that many beat makers are either using a 3rd party option such as Battery and Maschine or Ableton's Drum Racks, Sampler Instruments and Push.

 

I think that beat makers are using third party options like Battery and Maschine because they have to, not because they necessarily want to... especially the beat makers that use Logic as their DAW. All of the Ableton users I know are very happily using the built in Drum Racks feature for drums.

 

I think that Drum Machine Designer was created as an inexpensive way to update Logic's Drum Programming capabilities without actually rewriting Ultrabeat which would be time consuming and expensive. I have the same feeling about the new Horns, Strings and Mellotron Instrument. They are all sampled instruments, but rather than rewrite EXS24, (and include the new instruments in the sampler), which is expensive and time consuming, and might create a lot of compatibility issues throughout Logic, they created sampled instruments that exist on their own.

 

Expensive? I disagree. Apple has all of the resources and money in the world to do anything they please, quite literally. There has to be another reason for this. Maybe they're developing a brand new sampling protocol altogether that the rest of us just don't know about yet.

 

Feature-wise, I really like Ultrabeat just the way it is. It's the terrible UI that I just can't deal with. I would be totally happy if they made Ultrabeat look similar to Phat FX and Step FX, very minimal yet functional. Can't be that hard to port over, right? As for the EXS24, it could use some feature additions.. maybe make it similar to Ableton's Sampler.. I wouldn't mind a minimal facelift if we really couldn't get anything else.

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Points above taken. I've calmed down... :|

 

But if Apple could just sort out the many glitches and the drum names issue - ie map the drum names in piano roll to track names in DMD, and fix the browser so its not laggy when browsing through samples, and perhaps a hot swap/audition function - oh and also fix the smart controls for external assignments so they work when sub stack tracks are selected, then DMD would be up there as one of the best drum programming options... but as is...it's frustrating and confused!

 

I guess I'm just frustrated because it could so easily be a perfect choice for beat programers if they addressed these core issues.

 

rant over :)

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I also think Apple knows that many beat makers are either using a 3rd party option such as Battery and Maschine or Ableton's Drum Racks, Sampler Instruments and Push.

 

I think that beat makers are using third party options like Battery and Maschine because they have to, not because they necessarily want to... especially the beat makers that use Logic as their DAW. All of the Ableton users I know are very happily using the built in Drum Racks feature for drums.

 

I think that Drum Machine Designer was created as an inexpensive way to update Logic's Drum Programming capabilities without actually rewriting Ultrabeat which would be time consuming and expensive. I have the same feeling about the new Horns, Strings and Mellotron Instrument. They are all sampled instruments, but rather than rewrite EXS24, (and include the new instruments in the sampler), which is expensive and time consuming, and might create a lot of compatibility issues throughout Logic, they created sampled instruments that exist on their own.

 

Expensive? I disagree. Apple has all of the resources and money in the world to do anything they please, quite literally. There has to be another reason for this. Maybe they're developing a brand new sampling protocol altogether that the rest of us just don't know about yet.

 

Feature-wise, I really like Ultrabeat just the way it is. It's the terrible UI that I just can't deal with. I would be totally happy if they made Ultrabeat look similar to Phat FX and Step FX, very minimal yet functional. Can't be that hard to port over, right? As for the EXS24, it could use some feature additions.. maybe make it similar to Ableton's Sampler.. I wouldn't mind a minimal facelift if we really couldn't get anything else.

 

Logic 11 maybe? I also think Ultra beat is very powerful. In my mind, Apple is a computer company, whose biggest product is a mobile phone. So their sampling tools are much further down on their list of things to do. I hope I'm wrong though.

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  • 2 weeks later...
It's 2018. Yet the most simple of drum machine programming in logic is painful, slow, laggy, glitchy, backwards in 10.4

 

'Drum names' in piano roll often appear wrong/glitched when dragging samples, from a very slow glitchy laggy file browser (especially when playback is enabled) onto drum cells. (see image below)

 

There is no sample auditioning and when you undo from the undo history window it doesn't undo and reload the the previous patches.

 

The drum names also dont go over 25 (which is a limitation of under the hood Ultrabeat) - any above 25 look like the below image with no name and 'null' on the note name. Not fit for Logic's supposed streamlined easy to use software.

 

These are but a few of the annoyances and un logical ways the drum machine designer has been designed.

 

Ive been an avid user of logic for years and am a professional beat maker, but am now finally considering packing in this software. DMD has really let me down and in 10.4 its even glitchier than ever.

 

Sorry to rant but im just surprised others aren't also complaining about this largely useless part of Logic 10.4.

 

Does anyone else out there agree with me... or am i just going crazy..?!

 

:x :x :x

 

Have you tried Geist 2? I've been playing around with the free Lite version. I'm finding it really intuitive!

Available here - https://www.fxpansion.com/products/geist-lite/

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  • 7 months later...

Just been reading this thread and it prompted me to join this forum to post an answer. I'm an Ableton user and I've just been investigating Ultrabeat and the Drum Machine Designer. I agree with the comments that the UI for Ulrabeat is awful, but at the same time once you understand how it works, it's quite intuitive. Ableton doesn't have anything that comes close to creating analog drum sounds the way Ultrabeat does, except some quite limited M4L synths. With regards to DMD, it looks like the routings, plugin chains and settings for each drum voice have been really well thought out. Ableton would keel over and die if you tried to process samples with the same amount of plugins each drum voice in logic has on its chain.

 

For me the, I think using an existing DMD preset, changing samples, tweaking plugin chain parameters that results in a drum track that can be processed and mixed at the same time as laying down and electronic drum track is pretty impressive. I have Ableton and Bitwig and I can't get the same performance out of those two applications. From what I can see Logic is very efficient with CPU usage when it comes to plugins so this is a big plus. On the other hand, the Push 2/ Ableton combo is pretty hard to beat for getting ideas started and fast workflow.

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I agree with the comments that the UI for Ulrabeat is awful, but at the same time once you understand how it works, it's quite intuitive.

Agreed. It's such a pity considering all of it's functionality. The Ultrabeat UI is not only confusing and cluttered, most importantly it's uninspiring.

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  • 1 year later...
ICYMI if you use a "Producer Kit" within Logic the Piano Roll drum names will work

 

Similarly if you use an external drum machine some "drum maps" line up ~ others don't

frustrating fo sure- would love it if my Electribe ESX drum machines recorded GM (General) MIDI as easily as my Yamaha RX5.

Have to transpose the ESX Kick two octaves to make it line up to C1

 

Thank you @Pete! Years later, this helped me a ton!

 

I know this post is old - but this is new to me and maybe for someone else this can help a little more.

I am starting to make my own kits with Drum Machine Designer and this thread helped me realize that I wasn't crazy and that DMD has a few bugs.

 

Taking the advice of this thread, I was able to make my own kit and have the names still appear in the DMD Track Stack & in the Edit View (names appearing next to the corresponding key in the Piano Roll Editor).

 

Here's what worked for me and what didn't.

 

I started with a new Software Instrument track & loaded a Drum Machine Designer preset.

 

Library > Electronic Drum Kit > Drum Machine Designer > Crate Digger

 

This opened the Crate Digger Drum Machine Designer kit that had all the sample names labeled correctly.

 

Then I rearranged the pads so they were chromatically in order (C1, C#1, D1, D#1, E1, F1, F#1,....etc.) so the would like up with my hardware MIDI drum pads (MIDI Fighter :).

(^^ based on this guy's advice)

 

Then I replaced each sample, one by one.

 

I did this slowly and checked to make sure that the name of the new sample correctly showed up in the Track Stack & in the Piano Roll Editor.

 

It messed up a few times, so I ended up doing 2 samples, then saving the kit, 2 more samples, save the kit, etc...

 

That way, when the naming bug showed itself, I could go back to the last saved Kit and start from there.

 

This took a while, but I did finally get it working with all the correct names.

 

The only bug that I couldn't work around, was:

 

I had all the samples working as they should. But - rather quickly, my C1 drum sample stopped playing.

 

That's the only sample so far that doesn't work. I reloaded the sample, tried different samples in the C1 slot, shortened the sample file name....

 

No matter what I did it always exhibited the same behavior:

 

Working fine for about 30 sec, then C1 sample stopped playing. (all other samples are fine)

 

So for now I just have 1 less drum sample than I would like.....

 

If anyone knows how to fix this or another advice, I'd love to hear!

 

I'll update this if I find anymore solutions or problems.

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No dog in this hunt, but when I am teaching level 1 classes and I show the student DMD, they go absolutely gaga with joy.

 

 

I created an empty DMD template for loading my own sounds awhile back but gave up on it altogether for two simple reason: First was the fact that I could not stop DMD/Ultrabeat from automatically loading effects. Second I for the life of me could not figure out why it would constantly distort. Would you happen to know how to fix either of these issues?

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