I-Notes, O-Notes, and Pitches

Going through the following theory helps you make the most out of the drum map concept – especially if you want to create your own drum maps.

A drum map is a kind of filter that transforms notes according to the settings in the map. It does this transformation twice; once when it receives an incoming note, that is when you play a note on your MIDI controller, and once when a note is sent from the program to the MIDI sound device.

The following example shows a modified drum map with a bass drum sound that has different pitch, I-note, and O-note values.

I-Notes (Input Notes)

When you play a note on your MIDI instrument, the program looks for this note number among the I-notes in the drum map. If you play the note A1, the program finds that this is the I-note of the bass drum sound.

This is where the first transformation happens: the note gets a new note number according to the pitch setting for the drum sound. In our case, the note is transformed to a C1 note, because that is the pitch of the bass drum sound. If you record the note, it is recorded as a C1 note.

For example, you can place drum sounds near each other on the keyboard so that they can be easily played together, move sounds so that the most important sounds can be played from a short keyboard, play a sound from a black key instead of a white. If you never play your drum parts from a MIDI controller but draw them in the editor, you do not need the I-note setting.

O-Notes (Output Notes)

The next step is the output. This is what happens when you play back the recorded note, or when the note you play is sent back out to a MIDI instrument in real time (MIDI Thru):

The program checks the drum map and finds the drum sound with the pitch of the note. In our case, this is a C1 note and the drum sound is the bass drum. Before the note is sent to the MIDI output, the second transformation takes place: the note number is changed to that of the O-note for the sound. In our example, the note sent to the MIDI instrument is a B0 note.

The O-note settings let you set things up so that the bass drum sound really plays a bass drum. If you are using a MIDI instrument in which the bass drum sound is on the C2 key, you set the O-note for the bass drum sound to C2. When you switch to another instrument (in which the bass drum is on C1) you want the bass drum O-note set to C1. Once you have set up drum maps for all your MIDI instruments, you can select another drum map when you want to use another MIDI instrument for drum sounds.