What is the best way to setup drums in Logic 8 when using MIDI? Is it better to split all of the different drum parts into separate tracks like base drums, cymbals, high hat etc.?

4 Answers 4


This isn't specific to Logic or MIDI, but I like to have all of the different drum sounds on different tracks so that they can be processed independently. This isn't a necessity unless the sound you want is based on having this separation (for example, some electronic music where you might want to put a special effect on the hihats but not the kick and snare) but I find it to be useful in general for EQ and editing.

The tradeoff is in complexity and processing power: more tracks means more things to keep track of, more things to check if something goes wrong, and of course more computer power to process the extra audio, although this last concern isn't really a big deal until you use lots of effects. Just summing audio is not very computationally expensive.

  • 1
    I use ToonTrack's EZDrummer and it will output the "mics" to separate tracks -- saves on CPU because you still have one MIDI line triggering one VSTi, but lets you compress, EQ and add effects to each drum mic just as you would if you were multi-tracking a live kit.
    – Ian C.
    Jan 25, 2011 at 14:46
  • @Ian That's a pretty slick way to do it, if you're using a plugin for drum sounds! It's much cleaner than having a a MIDI track and plugin instance per drumhead IMHO.
    – Warrior Bob
    Jan 25, 2011 at 15:16

I tend to make specific "packs" of hits, using NI Battery or Logics Sampler I'll build one pre-set of 10 or so kicks, another of high-hats, another of snares etc..... I find it handy to help develop my own sound (I write electronic stuff), my template project opens with the plug-ins loaded and ready to go. Then if I need to I can still separate the individual drums. I'll often process and re-sample loops I come up with, chop them up and re-sequence. I also run each channel to a drum bus, so I can add some processing to the drums as a whole before they go to the outputs.

For my Novation Drum Station I've got individual inputs into Logic, and the same idea with a summing bus, sequence, experiment, record and process. then resample etc...


You really want to have everyone of your sounds separated in a different track so it can have its own EQ, Compressor, etc.. You can then send groups of your tracks to a common bus to add the same reverb to all your hi hats or stuff like that.

One of the best Batterys out there is Logic's UltraBeat (i am not shure if it is only available for logic pro)

It is also very easy to have all your different tracks processed independently:

  • You have to select a multiOutput instance of UltraBeat.
  • Create some auxiliary objects in the environment.
  • Open UltraBeat and select a different output for the tracks you are using (next to its name)
  • Select your auxiliary's inputs as UB 1-2, UB 2-3, Etc... (remember to set your tracks to stereo)

Hope this helps!


I would use UltraBeat and use the multiple outputs. Make sure you get the multi output version when you pick it - or you can change it at any time without losing settings. To get to those outputs, look at your UltraBeat in the mixer or environment, there will be a little plus sign which will add aux tracks for your additional outputs. Then you select the output on the left side of ultrabeat per sample.

Ok, that's how you do it, but why would you? UltraBeat has quite a bit of processing inside of the plugin, so you can get pretty far without complicating things. If you want external plugins on something, follow the directions above and you'll be set up in a minute or two.

You'll probably want to route all those outputs back to another bus so you can effect all the drums as a group.

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