This is the first in our series of tutorials on the new Superior Drummer 3 from Toontrack. I’m gonna keep this short and simple, because if you’re searching for something like this, you’re probably frustrated and want answers fast.
SD3’s Tracker is a killer feature that turns close-mic’d drum audio files into sample-accurate triggered MIDI. It DOES NOT work in real time. In order to get your drum sounds from your DAW into Tracker (which resides in your DAW as a tab in SD3), you must first export the files first, and then either re-import them with the Add button, or drag them into Tracker from your desktop.
It’s important that your files start at the beginning of the session so they will align with the song when you import them to Tracker. So before you export or bounce the drum files, be sure to consolidate them so they start right from zero – this will keep your parts in sync with the rest of the session. You can almost think of Tracker as being a DAW within a DAW, in the sense that you can have them synced (via the Follow Host button at the bottom) or you can run it entirely independently. But when it comes time to drop the MIDI files you’ve created into your host DAW, if you didn’t line them up to begin with, you’ll have to re-align them.
How To Import Your Tracks
After you export the drum performances, you can get them into Tracker in one of two ways –
- by using the Add button, then finding where you exported or bounced your files to and selecting the ones you want,
- or by opening the folder on your desktop where you bounced them to, and dragging them onto Tracker.
Either one will get the job done, sometimes one is easier than the other. The thing I was trying to do right off the bat with no success is dragging the waveforms in from the Pro Tools edit window and dropping them in Tracker. That doesn’t work – bummer!
How To Export MIDI
Once you’re done doing that, and you are happy with the way everything is sounding, you’ll probably want to export the MIDI tracks you’ve created back into your DAW. First, hit the blue “Export” button at the top right of the Tracker window. This will open the MIDI export window (press the x at top right to close). You can export any or all of the MIDI files you’ve created at once or separately, individually or with all the tracks combined into one. Despite not being able to drag audio from your DAW to Tracker, you can do the opposite with MIDI – just grab it and drag it onto a MIDI or instrument track and drop it where you want it. Or, you can drag whichever tracks you like into the Song Builder below – or simply export them with the “Save Selected MIDI As…” option. They certainly didn’t slack on giving you plenty of options to export your MIDI!
Keep an eye out for more videos and tutorials on Superior Drummer 3 over the coming weeks!