Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How to Make a Hydrogen Drumkit

This post explains how to create a Hydrogen drumkit without editing any code i.e. a point-and-click method. This may sound complicated but it is actually really easy. So when you decide to do this, simply refer back to this post and follow the steps. Here we go:

  1. Open Hydrogen (No-brainer), and make sure the Instrument Editor window is open.
  2. Go to View and select Show Drumkit Manager. Select any drumkit and click Load Drumkit. This will be used as a base for your new kit.
  3. I will assume that you already have the relevant sound files, you want to create the kit with, saved into a file (.wav, .flac, .au or .aiff formats).
  4. Select the relevant instrument you want to edit, i.e. Snare, and view it in the Layers tab of the Instrument Editor window. You should see something similar to the below figure:
  5. Select the blue horizontal block and click on the Delete Layer button.
  6. Now you want to add your own sound, so click on the Load Layer button. This opens a file browser which allows you to choose your sound.
  7. Select your sound and click Open. Your sound is now loaded as an instrument.
  8. If you want to use multiple layers for each instrument, i.e. soft and loud snare hits, you must load another layer. This is done by repeating step 6.
  9. With multiple layers you need to edit the volume at which each layer is activated. This is done by shrinking the blue horizontal bars in the Instrument Editor. As seen in the below figure, the two layers look like steps. This means that at high volumes the 1st layer will be used and at low volumes the 2nd layer is used (i.e. left is quiet and right is loud).
  10. You can rename your instrument by clicking on its name in the Instrument tab of the Instrument Editor.
  11. The Instrument tab also has some cool knobs which can be used to edit your instrument's sound. The most important of these is the instrument gain which allows you to raise or lower your instrument's volume to match the other parts of the kit.
  12. The Layers tab also has cool knobs. The gain knob edits the selected layer's gain and the pitch knob makes the selected layer sound either higher or lower.
  13. To add more instruments, simply select another instrument and repeat steps 6 to 12.
  14. Once you are happy with your kit, you have to SAVE it. This is done by visiting the Drumkit Manager mentioned in step 2. Select the Save tab and replace all the details with your own. Make it official by clicking on the Save button. You have now made your own drumkit. I recommend that you save periodically whilst making your kit - you don't want to lose all your work.
  15. Once you feel your kit is complete and you haven't done anything illegal like stealing proprietary sounds. Export it by using the Export tab in the Drumkit Manager and then post a link to it both as a comment to this post and on the Hydrogen Forum. Check out 4shared.com for free file hosting/sharing.
Let me know if this information was useful by rating this post.

Other posts you might find interesting:
Making a Roll Sound Realistic
Pimp my Beats
Multiple Outputs for Hydrogen
My Attempt at a Hydrogen Drumkit
Hydrogen Drumkits

18 comments:

Comix said...

great :-D

rgrwkmn said...

Thanks for this guide Brian, it was exactly what I needed to finally get into Hydrogen.

Brian said...

Its only a pleasure guys. I'm glad I could help. Don't forget to post links to your kits were you're done.

Later,
Brian

stevensenger said...

thanks for the heads up on this!

Brian the Lion said...

Hey Steven,

Thanks for the feedback. It's a really a pleasure.

Later,
Brian

Anonymous said...

hey how do you put a sample from one drum kit to another so you can use it in the same pattern? or can you use 2 different drum kits in the same pattern and i'm just missing it?

Anonymous said...

hey nvmd about the last comment i want to know how i can convert the hydrogen h2song files into audio for cd production

Brian the Lion said...

Hey,

Sorry I missed your previous comments. I've been away on holiday.

The only way I know how to use multiple kits in one song is to add instruments to the current drumset from the sound files of the other drumset. The sound files will be saved on your computer in the Hydrogen application folder. I don't know if that makes sense?

The easiest way to convert h2songs to a .wav is by using JACK to link to Ardour or a similar recording package and simply recording your song. This is simple if you are using Ubuntu studio, because the programs are pre-installed but on Windows this can be difficult. You would have to play with your soundcard settings to get a "record-what-you-hear" type of setup and then use recording software to record and mixdown you song to a .wav format.

I hope that helps. Later,
Brian

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial on creating your drum kit. It really helped :)

Nickleus said...

i just bought the korg microkorg xl keyboard. can i create a drumkit using sounds from it? is that legal?

Brian the Lion said...

Hey Nickleus,

You can create a drumkit and use it for yourself. It will only become illegal if you start distributing that drumkit to other people.

Hope that helps,
Brian

Nickleus said...

brian, is that in writing somewhere? i can't see the difference between a drumkit and sampling... i can't imagine it is illegal for me to sample a sound from my microkorgxl and then post it as a wav/flac/mp3 somewhere...
do you have a link(s) that supports your claim?
thanks for your reply

Brian the Lion said...

Nickleus,

Thanks for the reply. I don't have a link to my previous point because it is just my opinion. I could be wrong. My theory is that you paid for your instrument - recording samples and handing them out for free, or worse for some charge, could possibly stop people from buying the instrument themselves. However, some samples have an open license meaning that they can be distributed. Your instrument might have open license samples, but I'm not sure. You're gonna have to read the user manuals or contact the supplier to see what permissions you have.

Sorry, but that's unfortunately how the world works. An example of such a drumkit is the Hydrogen UltraAcousticKit - someone created this kit from keyboard samples. The supplier did not grant permission to use these samples and thus the drumkit is illegal and very hard to come by.

Later,
Brian

Walter - Rio de Janeiro said...

Thank you so much, good informations, sure!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the guide, I'm working on making a professional drumkit myself with a session drummer who works for my studio. Where can I host the file when I'm done?

Brian the Lion said...

Hey,

Thanks for the feedback. Please share your drumkit with us after its done - we would be interested to hear how it goes. Also, please note that our website has moved to www.briansbedroom.org.

Later,
Brian

Cryogenicimplosion said...

Hi!

Plz, check my drumkit. It's GM compatible, studio quality, rock/metal drumkit.

Here is the link: http://www.cryogenicimplosion.com/GM-Rock.h2drumkit

Brian the Lion said...

Hey Cryogenicimplosion,

Thanks for the link to the drumkit. I will definitely check it out.

Just so you know, Brian's Bedroom has officially moved to http://briansbedroom.org/

Later,
Brian