Drum Maps

A drum kit in a MIDI instrument is most often a set of different drum sounds with each sound placed on a separate key. For example, the different sounds are assigned to different MIDI note numbers. One key plays a bass drum sound, another a snare, and so on.

Different MIDI instruments often use different key assignments. This can be troublesome if you have made a drum pattern using one MIDI device and then want to try it on another. When you switch devices, it is very likely that your snare drum becomes a ride cymbal or your hi-hat becomes a tom, etc., because the drum sounds are distributed differently in the instruments.

To solve this problem and to simplify several aspects of MIDI drum kits, such as using drum sounds from different instruments in the same drum kit, Cubase features drum maps. A drum map is a list of drum sounds with a number of settings for each sound. When you play back a MIDI track for which you have selected a drum map, the MIDI notes are filtered through the drum map before they are sent to the MIDI instrument. The map determines which MIDI note number is sent out for each drum sound and which sound is played on the receiving MIDI device.

When you want to try your drum pattern on another instrument, you simply switch to the corresponding drum map, and your snare drum sound remains a snare drum sound.

If you want to have the same drum maps included in your projects, you can load these into the template.


Drum maps are saved with the project files. If you have created or modified a drum map, use the Save function to save it as a separate XML file to make it available for loading into other projects.