createdigitalmusic.com recently ran an article about drum mapping on midi controllers:
It's a great writeup about an equally great video where Brandon Murphy explains his mapping setup on his MPC controller. So I thought I'd take a moment to share my mapping setup, both for drums and melodies. I believe the Zendrum ZAP has the ultimate layout for finger drumming, with offset rows like a computer keyboard, allowing for really fast and expressive playing. Here's how I map standard drum kit sounds:
And here's how I note map for use with melodic instruments (C blues scale):
And here's a short video that shows me using these mappings. Well, the drum map is slightly different in the video than what I'm using now. And I had just gotten the ZAP when I made this video, so I'm going a little crazy on the thing...
In the video, I'm triggering sounds from an E-mu PX-7. Now I use Battery 3 kits, hosted in Kontakt running in Ableton Live. This gives me the freedom to load numerous Battery kits into Kontakt, switch between them using program change on the ZAP, and still only run one sample engine (as opposed to running a chain of Battery kits, which can get very cpu intensive hosted in Ableton Live).
As for the kit setups, I like to use different sample for right hand and left hand on snare and toms if they're available. If not, I use the "alternate stroke" articulation function in Battery to simulate the variations that come with real hand-to-hand playing. As for the snare, I will usually map a rimshot sound to the highest velocity level for my two main snare sounds (right hand and left hand), then I'll use the "drag" articulation on the third snare pad. Playing the drag articulation repeatedly gives the effect of a drum roll, while hitting it only once just before a snare or tom gives a snare ghost-note drag effect. Pretty useful... I also like to map a kick up between my two crash cymbals, as a kick gets layered with a crash sound 90% of the time.
Finger drum on!