Saturday, February 16, 2008

Multiple outputs for Hydrogen

I only just discovered that you can have multiple outputs from Hydrogen instead of using a simple stereo output. This means that in Ardour, you can have a different track for each drum, i.e. separate tracks for the snare, and kick drum. You might be asking: ¨What on earth is the point of that?!¨ Well... this provides versatility when mixing down and mastering your final song. Often when you adjusting the volume levels of drums without other instruments, you will get it wrong. If you recorded your drums using a stereo input, you have little control, but if you record with multiple tracks you can edit each drum´s volume at any time. i.e. your toms can be brought up whilst your cymbals are pushed down.

This can be done in Hydrogen as follows. Go to File, Preferences select Audio System and click the box which says: Enable Track Outputs. If you now go to the connect tab in JACK, you will see many outputs under the Hydrogen heading. Each output represents an instrument in Hydrogen and can be connected to the track inputs of Ardour. My advice is that you pan all your hydrogen instruments to one side (i.e. left), and connect them to Ardour as mono tracks. Do all your panning in Ardour because this saves on processing power and RAM.

Other posts you might find interesting:
How to make a Hydrogen Drumkit
Pimp my Beats
Making a Roll Sound Realistic
My Attempt at a Hydrogen Drumkit
Hydrogen Drumkits


Post Paint Boy said...

That is an awesome tip. Thank you!

Brian said...

It's only a pleasure. Just make sure your computer is decent enough to handle it, otherwise it is better to use stereo tracks.


sonictwin said...

Thats the shit right here. Thanks.

Brian the Lion said...

It's a pleasure, I aim to please :)


jonathanku said...


Good blog. A lot of what you're covering are things I've stumbled through myself (e.g. multiple outputs in Hydrogen to Ardour... and had questioned what panning strategy to use! Great advice too. Cheers,

Brian the Lion said...

Hey Jonathanku,

Thanks for the awesome feedback, I'm glad you found these posts useful. Please ask if you have any further questions and I will do my best to help.


Anonymous said...

Hey Brian, nice insights about hydrogens..Dyou know how to do some outputs in a different Bpm on a same workspace? Say, 300 BPM on a certain output then out of the same workspace, you want to lower the BPM to 150? I am using Hydrogen 0.9.4-svn. Cheers

Brian the Lion said...


Thanks for the feedback. From what I know about Hydrogen, I don't think it's possible to output multiple BPM channels...sorry. You will have to replicate the patterns at a higher speed and overlap them in the song editor. That's the best I can think of...once again, sorry. I hope you come right!


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