Jump to main content
Typographical Conventions
In our documentation, we use structural and markup elements to present information according to its purpose.
How To Contact Us
Click the Steinberg logo in the top right corner of the control panel to open a pop-up menu which includes information on how to contact us and to receive help.
About the Documentation
The documentation is available online and can be downloaded in PDF format from http://www.steinberg.help.
Setting Up
You can use Groove Agent as a plug-in for a number of host applications. Depending on the host application, you might have to make additional settings, or you might be restricted to a reduced parameter set, number of outputs, etc.
Some common controls and concepts exist throughout the program. For example, presets can be used in several different sections and contexts, but their handling is always the same.
Knobs and Sliders
Knobs and sliders can be unidirectional or bidirectional. Unidirectional values, for example, level values, start at a minimum value and go up to the maximum. Bidirectional controls start from the middle position and go to the left for negative and to the right for positive values.
Multi Selection and Parameter Controls
Groove Agent contains two different types of buttons: On/Off buttons and push buttons.
Value Fields
You can enter or edit values in the available value fields using your keyboard or mouse. To enter key ranges or the root key, for example, you can use an external MIDI keyboard.
Key Commands
Key commands are assigned to many functions in Groove Agent.
Groove Agent offers two types of presets: section/module presets and VST presets. Section and module presets store and recall the setup of a specific component on the Groove Agent panel. VST presets contain all information necessary to restore the complete state of the plug-in.
These sections help you to get started with Groove Agent and introduce program functions and settings.
Window Overview
The Groove Agent window is divided into several sections.
Agents, Kits, Multis, and Content Files
Groove Agent comes with a variety of content that you can load and edit. At the top of the hierarchy, you can load kits or multis. Further down the hierarchy, you can load and edit MIDI patterns, styles, drum samples, etc.
Loading Kits
You need at least one kit to produce a sound with Groove Agent.
Pattern and Instrument Pads
In Groove Agent, you can edit both the sounds and the patterns that are used by your drum tracks. Instrument sounds can be accessed via the instrument pads. The pattern or style that is played can be edited via the pattern pads.
Assigning MIDI Patterns and Styles to Pattern Pads
The Load panel allows you to browse for patterns and styles and assign them to the pattern pads.
Playing back Pattern Pads
You can play back pattern pads using the MIDI Player or the Style Player. The MIDI Player allows you to play and modify one pattern. The Style Player offers a variety of patterns, suited to create the different sections of your drum tracks.
Converting Styles to MIDI Patterns
If you have found an acoustic or a percussion style that you want to use on your pad, but want to edit it further in the Pattern editor, you must convert it to a MIDI pattern first.
Modifying MIDI Patterns in the Pattern Editor
In the Pattern editor, you can modify patterns by adding or deleting notes, by replacing a drum sound with another, etc.
Creating the Different Sections of a Drum Track
To create the different sections of your drum track, for example, an intro, a fill, a main part, and an ending, it is useful to start by copying the current style to other pads. And then, to modify the style for those pads.
Recording Trigger Notes for Your Patterns
When you use Groove Agent in a DAW project, you can record trigger notes at the positions where you want to trigger the patterns. This allows you to create the drums for your project on the fly, in the project context.
Dragging Patterns into a Project
You can drag patterns from Groove Agent into your DAW project and edit them there.
Editing Patterns in the DAW
When you have created MIDI parts from your Groove Agent patterns, you can further edit the parts in the DAW.
Working with Multiple Agents
Using multiple agents allows you to add drums of different styles to your drum track, for example, to add percussion to your acoustic drums.
Recording the MIDI Output
If the host application supports MIDI output from plug-ins, you can record the MIDI output on a track in your DAW.
Note Repeat
Note Repeat allows you to repeat the notes of a particular drum sound.
If you are working with Beat Agent kits, you can use the Decompose function to split your samples into their noise and tonal components.
You can manage your files using the Load panel.
Kit Slot
This section shows the name of the loaded kit, allows you to load a different kit, and make basic settings such as specifying the polyphony for the kit, for example.
Kit Rack
The kit rack to the right of the kit slot section gives you an overview over the loaded kits and their corresponding agents, and allows you to perform some editing for the selected kit via the context menu.
Kit Context Menu
To open the kit context menu, right-click the kit slot or right-click a kit in the kit rack.
Load Panel
The Load panel allows you to manage, navigate to, load, and preview different file types.
Groove Agent features two different types of pads: instrument pads and pattern pads. Instrument pads are used to trigger samples. Pattern pads trigger MIDI drum patterns or styles.
Pad Section
The pad section is located on the left in the plug-in window. It contains the transport controls, the group buttons, and the pads.
Renaming Pads
Renaming pads is useful if the names of the samples or the MIDI files are either too long or not very intuitive. Furthermore, it allows you to indicate that more than one sample is mapped to a pad, for example.
Using Different MIDI Channels/Ports for Instrument Pads and Pattern Pads
By default, instrument and pattern pads share the same MIDI port. If instrument and pattern pads are both assigned and share the same trigger note, the pattern pad always gets priority, therefore, instrument pads that use the same trigger note as a pattern pad cannot be played via the same MIDI port. In this case, you have two options: You can set up a different MIDI port or a different MIDI channel for the pattern pads.
Instrument Pads
Instrument pads are used to trigger samples.
Pattern Pads
Pattern pads trigger MIDI drum patterns or styles.
Beat Agent is a full beat production instrument with all the tools and sounds to create amazing beats for any electronic or urban music genre.
Beat Agent Sound Editing
On the Edit page for instrument pads, you set up the sound of the kits.
Importing and Exporting Files
Acoustic Agent is a next-generation virtual acoustic drummer that offers first-class drum sounds and an integrated player that creates the perfect accompaniment for your songs.
Acoustic Agent Sound Editing
On the Edit page for instrument pads, you set up the sound of the kits.
Percussion Agent specializes in instruments, grooves, and styles that feature percussive elements.
Percussion Agent Sound Editing
On the Edit page for instrument pads, you set up the sound of the kits.
You perform your mixing operations on the Mixer page.
Beat Agent Mixer
The Agent mixer of Beat Agent offers 16 busses.
Acoustic Agent Mixer
The Agent mixer for Acoustic Agent kits allows you to perform the mixing of these kits.
Percussion Agent Mixer
The Agent mixer contains a channel strip for each percussion instrument and its articulations.
AUX Mixer
The AUX mixer features four AUX busses that can be used to realize classic send effects.
Kits Mixer
The Kits mixer contains a channel strip for each bus that is assigned to a kit slot.
Master Mixer
The Master mixer shows the channel for the Master stereo output bus. It can host up to four insert effects that can be used to add a global EQ or compressor to the signal chain, for example.
AUX Effects
Each kit slot in Groove Agent features an AUX mixer with four AUX busses that can be used to realize classic send effects. Each bus hosts up to four insert effects, which allows you to set up complex effects.
Groove Agent comes with a collection of high-quality studio effects.
Reverb Effects
The Reverb submenu contains the reverb effects.
Delay Effects
The Delay submenu contains the delay effects.
EQ Effects
The EQ submenu contains the equalizer effects.
Filter Effects
The Filter submenu contains the filter effects.
Distortion Effects
The Distortion submenu contains the distortion effects.
Modulation Effects
The Modulation submenu contains the modulation effects.
Dynamics Effects
The Dynamics submenu contains the dynamics effects.
Spatial and Panner Effects
The Spatial + Panner submenu contains the stereo panorama effects.
You can automate Groove Agent parameters from within the host application, and you can assign MIDI controllers to the Groove Agent parameters.
Both kit parameters and global parameters, such as AUX effects, can be automated.
MIDI Controllers
You can assign Groove Agent parameters to MIDI controllers.
In the plug-in functions section, on the toolbar, and on the Options page, you can find global functions and settings for Groove Agent.
Plug-in Functions Section
The plug-in functions section at the top of the window gives you access to global functions that affect both the currently loaded kits and the general working of the program.
Plug-in Name and Steinberg Logo
To obtain information regarding the version and build number of the plug-in, click the plug-in logo. This opens the About box. To close the About box, click it, or press Esc on your computer keyboard.
The toolbar contains useful global functions.
You can use the keyboard to get a better overview of the mapping and to trigger MIDI notes.
Options Page
The Options page contains global settings regarding performance optimization, global functions, and MIDI controllers.
You can use Groove Agent independently of a host application.
Preferences Settings
You can configure the standalone version of Groove Agent via the Plug-in Preferences dialog.
Preferences Dialog
The Plug-in Preferences dialog has several pages on which you can make settings.
Selecting the MIDI Input and the Audio Output
Scratch Pad
The scratch pad allows you to record and play back MIDI files in Standard MIDI File format (SMF). You can load existing MIDI files, and you can record your own files and save them.
Loading a MIDI File
You can load MIDI files in Standard MIDI File format (file name extension .mid).
Saving a MIDI File
Master Volume
Mixer Routing Diagrams