Making your own grooves

quick intro

now that you have learned about all the cool features, you probably want to start right away. if you already setup your soundcard as described in the last chapter, this is no problem:
first, click on the play button in the upper left corner of the screen (you probably know how it looks from your home stereo). now you will see some leds flickering in the upper half of the window which is the first channel so to say. by pressing the buttons below which symbolise one measure each with the left mouse button, you will hear you first attempt in making a groove. if you are not satisfied with the rhythm, just klick on the same button again and it will be erased from the time scale. when you are satisfied with your bassdrum, click on the next track number on the left side on the screen. the track should now change its appearance and offer all editing possibilities. now you can enter another rhythm in this track. if you want to change the instrument, just click on the instrument name and choose a new drum.
experiment and you will soon get it groove !
Realtime functions
all realtime functions can be directly accessed on the DrumStation window with sliders or knobs.
the realtime functions are divided into two parts:
  • the master panel for controlling the basic functions such as speed, volume, start/stop, record etc.
  • the 8 channel panels for editing each drum channel separately
Master panel
the master panel on the upper part of the window contains all the basic functionalities of a drum machine.

play control

starts the sequencer. press again to pause.
with this button you start the recording to the internal record buffer. all what you can hear afterwards will be recorded by DrumStation with superior cd quality. by pressing this button again, the recording will be stopped and you will be asked to enter a filename for saving.
stops the sequencer and rewinds.


the sequencer arranges the single pattern into a complete song. it contains four banks (A, B, C, D), each consisting of 8 patterns and 3 different play modes.
a single pattern consists of the rhythm information of the 8 channels.
a bank contains 8 pattern. in each bank, you can select different settings for the drums. if the bank is switched, so are the drums and drumsets for the selected banks. in a whole, you can use 4+8 = 24 pattern in a song. to select a pattern, first select the appropriate bank an then the pattern itself (e.g. bank b, pattern 3).
you have the following play modes available in the sequencer: single pattern mode
only the current pattern is played in a loop.
bank mode
only pattern inside the current bank are played in a loop. you can select the bank range and start.
Sequence mode
you can program up to 99 steps with patterns from different banks.

programming a sequence

  • make sure the sequencer is stopped
  • switch to sequence mode
  • enter the length of the sequence via the steps field
  • the position field shows the actual position in the sequence
  • you can choose a bank and pattern for every position
while playing, the position will be counted from 0 to sequencer steps and the corresponding pattern for the position will be played.
follow me switch
this switch is a very useful option while programming patterns when the sequence is played. If the switch is activated, the sequence displays the sound that is currently played. If you want to edit a pattern, just turn it off and the sound will continue, but you can focus on editing the current pattern.

machine control

controls the basic behavior of the drummachine.
main volume
the main volume of the drum machine (don't forget your neighbors :))
the tempo of the sequencer. this can be adjusted form 60 to 199 beats per minute. use a double click on the field to enter the value directly.
this is a nice feature to give a bit of groove to a machine beat. right from the swing knob, you can see the step swing entry. here you can simply select by clicking, which steps should be delayed.
context menu
by clicking on the right mouse button on the background, you gain access to the control panel context menu:
mute all channels [shift-a]
mutes all channels.
all channels on [ctrl-a]
switches all channels back on.
swing even 1/16, swing uneven 1/16, swing even 1/8, swing uneven 1/8
sets swing step to the specific swing.
bank copy copies the whole bank into the clipboard.
bank insert inserts the whole bank from the clipboard.