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The Velocity Curve property box is an extremely useful tool for quickly dialing in the dynamic response of an instrument in the drum kit (or multiple selected instruments). The Velocity Curve property box is so effective that it can easily save hours of MIDI editing with just a few simple adjustments.

One example where the Velocity Curve comes in handy is if you have created a drum sequence using a specific snare drum, but then switch to a different snare later in mixing. All snare drums respond a bit differently and have different dynamics, meaning that even if the same MIDI note and velocity is sent to two separate snares they can appear to play back at slightly different intensities.

In this case, rather than going through the time consuming step of re-editing all of the snare hits, you could simply create a Velocity Curve to tailor the new snares response to your track.

In the following pictures and downloadable project file, I’ve chosen the Yamaha Copper Nouveau snare drum from the Superior Drummer 3 core library. This snare sounds great, but the MIDI performance on the Song Track does not quite match. This MIDI file coupled with this Yamaha snare make all hits sound too loud, especially the ghost notes. However, rather than compromising and changing the snare (or re-editing the MIDI), I can simply select the snare drum and then draw in a curve in the Velocity property box.

To create this curve, open the Velocity Curve property box by clicking on the double down arrow. Then click and drag on the line to create a breakpoint.

When a breakpoint it created Superior Drummer 3 will show you the velocity transformation. In this picture, an incoming velocity of 80 will be transformed to a velocity of 35.

Soft curves can be created by clicking the menu and then selecting the Soft Curve option. This option is useful if a surgical curve is not needed.

It’s also possible to set velocity limits by dragging the “…” icon towards the center. In the picture below I have set a upper limit of 111 for the snare. This will ensure that no samples above a velocity of 111 are triggered, regardless of the incoming MIDI velocity.

To hear this effect for yourself, download the attached project file and play the looped groove on the Song Track. Turning the power button for the Velocity Curve property box on and off while playing the groove will make its effect immediately apparent. Suddenly the snare falls into the groove and no longer sounds out of place.

Happy mixing!


Mike Sanfillipp


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