Instruments with DSP chains can, like plugins, only be played back in one track at a given time - help please!

My aim is to set up drumkit instruments on my pads, with more than one sample layered per pad.

My problem is that I want to EQ and process each layer separately so that the separate drum sounds can be ‘mushed’, ‘squashed’ together into one fatter sound nicely.

I was going to do this in sample FX chains but I have realized there is a limitation that you cannot playback samples with FX chains contained within one instrument on multiple tracks simultaneously.

“instruments with DSP chains can, like plugins, only be played back in one track at a given time”

This generally shouldnt be a major problem because most of the breakbeats style drumming is linear drumming…one drum sound at a time, but I have gven it some thought and decided that I would like to get around this limitation anyway because, on occasion, I may want to play for example, a hihat and a kick together or a hihat and a snare together.

I still want to have each type of drum sample on a separate track so that I can process them separately.

With only one sample per drum this is not a problem because I can simply put EQs, compressors and some other FX into the track which a particular drum type sample is on.

However I am confused about what to do when ‘squashing’, ‘mushing’ two drum samples together. I cannot use sample FX chains to EQ and compress them together because then I will not be able to play drum sounds from a particular instrument simultaneously in separate tracks.

If I want to EQ and compress two or more drum sounds together into one fat drum sound per drumpad within one instrument ( for example, a single hit from a break ‘mushed’ together with a synthesized kick, snare or FM hihat? ) and I also want to have the option to playback these sounds simultaneously whilst not being inside the same track, what should I do?

I am really perplexed about this…sorry if this is a noobish question. What should I do?

I can think of a way. Send all of the drum hit types to different fx lanes. Then to the very right of each fx lane there is a dropbox for track routing, send each hit to its own track. Then you can play note anywhere, and the sounds will always be routed to the tracks you configured. Then put all those tracks into a common group, and in the group you can eq/compress all sounds together.

Thanks for you help.
Im not sure I understand fully.
This is what I did:

I have a kick sample and a tom sample.

I put both samples onto the same key in keyzones.

They play together when I press a pad.

Now I want to EQ each separately ( the kick and the tom which are placed onto the same key in keyzones ) to make them sound good squashed together nicely as one fatter, layered drum sound.

I hit the pad and enter a note into a track…both kick and tom play together (they are both assigned to the same key in keyzones).

I put a send device into the track.

The two sounds playing together ( kick and tom ) which are stacked on one key in keyzones, with that key being triggered by a single note event inside track 1, are now routed ( by the send device in track 1 ) to send track 1.

Inside send track 1 there is just an FX lane, or fx column? (no note event can be entered there).

I got stuck here.
I cant find the dropbox you said was to the very right of each fx lane.

There is the right click menu from fx column in send track.

There is also a ‘module’ at the start of every send tracks FXchain ( the one that has active, off, mute, name, routing, panning, volume, width )…in here there is a dropdown for ‘routing’ but the only options are ‘master’ and ‘primary sound device’.

What should I do from here?
How will it separate the two stacked samples for separate EQing and any other stuff that needs doing? ( maybe compression possibly something else ).

sorry, so noobish


Setup your FX Chains in the instrument itself, then route the output of each chain to a seperate Mixer Track. this will allow you to apply different FX to each sample (by setting each sample to its own FX Chain).

I’m pretty sure this is what @OopsIFly is describing above.

Yes, exactly that is what I meant. Sorry if I don’t describe it well.

Create some fx chains. Select each sample in the sample list, and route it to the fx chains you created (select sample, then click on the “bulled” spot left to the fx chain). For your example you would route kick and tom to the same fx chain. Then you can route those samples to individual tracks with the drop box to the right of the fx chain, that is opened up in screenshot above at the right border of screen - each fx chain can be routed to another track.

And to compress/eq all the drums together, you can put a group around all the sounds, and put compressor/eq into the group channel.

Also with the twofold (from sample, and then to track) fx chain routing, you can place the notes in any channel you’d like, even jam in master - the samples will aways sound in the tracks you selected. You could even make a special “dummy” track that will just contain all notes, and no sound.

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thanks for helping me out with this…sorry my first post was quite badly worded.

I understand that I can put fx chains per sample into the instrument itself, as well as do further fx in the track fx.

I now also understand that I can route those samples with their own per sample instrument fx chains to particular tracks, to be processed further with track fx.

This will help me create the ‘composite’ sound made up of two samples assigned to the same key in keyzones, to be triggered together, EQed and squashed together into one sound with compression. EQs in the per sample instrument fx chains, compression in the track the two sounds are routed to from there.

However, I can still only play one sample at a time if they are going into separate tracks.

For example I cannot play a hihat and a kick from the same instrument at the same time if the hihat and the kick are going into separate tracks.

Is there any way to overcome this other than having hihat and kick in separate instruments?

Having each drum sound in a separate instrument will probably mean I will have to mess with akai mpd218 editor and have different midi channel per pad…that way seems messy to me.

What do you think its the best way to acheive polyphony, whilst having all drum samples inside one instrument as a ‘drumkit’, some of them composite sounds, each sample with its own instrument fx chain, with each ‘drum-type’ being routed to separate tracks for further processing…

My problem is to do with the limitation

“instruments with DSP chains can, like plugins, only be played back in one track at a given time”

Im just setting up so many breakbeat drumkits at once (many many)…I want to make sure I set it up correctly…

This first screenshot is using separate instruments for each drum sample, which is how I currently prefer to work. (This is where you’d have to get creative with your midi channels and such as you describe above)

This second screenshot is showing how you can rename the note columns in an instrument track, which seems to be what you are looking for. Just double click “Note” and you can rename it whatever you want.

Using the second example, you can use a separate Note Column for each sound. This way you can play multiple notes at once with per sample FX as described in the posts above.

I know that I can name note columns in a track.

I know that I can use multiple note columns within one track to write a drumpart.

My problem is this:

Sometimes a single hit snare sample chopped out from a breakbeat can have a really nice ‘high end’ but not enough ‘body’. The higher pitched sounds in the snare sound really crispy and nice, but the snare sample from the break alone is not strong enough in the ‘low end’. The snare doesnt have enough ‘body’. It has the ‘crispiness’ but it doesnt have the strength to compete with some synthesizer instrument.

In cases like this it is sometimes a good idea to layer a drum machine snare with the snare sample taken from the breakbeat to add more ‘low end’ or ‘body’ to the snare sound in order to make it more powerful.

To do this you would place the drum machine snare sample (which has the power, the lower frequencies) and the breakbeat snare sample (which has the ‘crispiness’, the higher frequencies) on the same key in keyzones.

Just doing that alone wouldnt be enough because you have to ‘meld’, ‘mix’, ‘combine’ the two snare samples into one sound…that is, you must take out the ‘high end’ from the drum machine sample, keeping the ‘low end’ which you want to use to ‘enhance’ the breakbeat snare sample. Also maybe you would want to emphasize the ‘high end’ crispiness of the other single hit snare sample which was chopped out from inside a breakbeat from a record.

To do this, each snare sample would need to be EQed separately. You can place an EQ5 or EQ10 in the per sample instrument FX chains. After you have taken the ‘high end’ out of the drum machine snare sample, keeping the ‘low end body’ and emphasized the ‘crispiness’ of the breakbeat snare sample, you need to use compression to ‘glue’ the two stacked samples together so that they sound more like one sound, not just two samples playing at the same time.

So each sound needs a separate EQ (the EQing each sample needs is different)…but they need just one compressor for both of them…this is what helps to combine the two sounds into one new sound. So you can compress the fuck out of both of them until they are quiet and then raise the volume again and you have a fat, heavy snare sound which has both the power of a drum machine snare and the ‘crispiness’ and ‘naturalness’ of a breakbeat snare. Then the two sounds are combined properly.

To complete this process, the compressor will need to be in track FX, while the EQs can be in per sample instrument FX. So the composite snare (made from two snares) will need its own track with its own compressor…I dont necessarily want to compress the other drum samples ( or not with the same compressor anyway )…

Thats where I have a problem because I may want to play more than one drum sound at one time, simultaneously - “instruments with DSP chains can, like plugins, only be played back in one track at a given time”

I want to keep all the drum samples inside one instrument because I am a pad drummer…I want to jam on the ‘kits’ ive created, then record the beats I come up with.

Its fine for linear drumming (one sound at a time)…but if I want to play a kick and a hihat at the same time, or a snare and a cymbal at the same time i cant do this.

In the end each drum ‘type’ is goin to need its own track FX, so they will have to be separated into different tracks…not only because of the ‘combined’ or ‘composite’ sounds which will need a compressor in their track FX, but also I might want to put different delays on the snare and hihats, for example.

So, is there any way to keep ‘polyphony’ whilst having separate tracks for each drum-type, having all the drum sounds each with their own ‘per-sample-instrument-FX’, all within one instrument as a ‘kit’?

Do you know I mean? Or is it ‘linear drumbeats’ only? (only one sound at a time). I need separate track FX for each type of drum (primary kick, closed hihat, open hihat, primary snare, secondary snare, ghost snare, secondary kick, light kick etc)…they each need different FX processing, each in their own track.

Probably each drum-type will need to be sent to a single drums track at the end of the whole process to deal with all the drums together as one instrument too. like, I wouldnt want separate reverb per drum, but only one reverb on the whole kit, so it sounds like a real drumkit being played in a real space…like a room or cathedral or whatever

I dont mean to sound annoying here, its just so difficult to describe.

I cannot reproduce your problems. With the track routing of the fx chains (route them all, with the selector to the right of each fx lane!) you should be able to output to different tracks, and also place the notes just wherever you like

maybe you can upload an example song file with the problem? I am pretty sure that renoise can do what you wish to achieve.

The routing works fine, but I want to keep polyphony…
If I have each drumtype to its own track I cant play two drum sounds together simultaneously, because they have per-sample-instrument FX already inside, before the track FX are applied.

I want to to keep these ‘drumkits’ as single instruments.
Having 16 instruments and 16 midi channels per padbank sounds like an annoying thing to have to do


I’m pretty sure I’m doing exactly what you are trying to do. Take a look at this example. I have two snares mapped to the same Keyzone so they play simultaneously. There’s a kick and a hihat just to illustrate. All of the samples in the instrument are assigned their own FX Chains, with DSP FX, within the Instrument. Each FX Chain is routed to it’s own Mixer Track, except the snares, which are both routed to the SNARE Track in the Mixer. Each of the Tracks in the Mixer have DSP FX as well. They all get routed to a Send, too.

At the end of the pattern, all samples get played at the same time (polyphony). This appears to be the exact scenario that you are attempting, unless I am misunderstanding you completely.

If this is what you are trying to do, then awesome! This is how you can do it. If it is not, then I think we are having a miscommunication.

Edit: Played around some more. Now I’m a little confused, myself. 0DSP-FX-DRUM-INSTRUMENT-EXAMPLE hmmm.xrns (261.0 KB) Is it just me, or is this Instrument with DSP FX playing on more than one Track simultaneously, when it shouldn’t be able to?

O.K, awesome, this solves my problem. Thanks for going to the trouble of making an example.

I didnt realize you can preserve polyphony by having all drums sequenced within one track, whilst having each drum type routed so that they sound in another track.

I thought I would have to sequence each drum type inside the track in which it sounds.

So now I can have EQs in the sample FX chains and compressor for the layered snare in the track its routed to, plus all the drums together can be processed further because of the send tracks you put in there.

Thats nice, thanks for making the example. Much appreciated.

Sequencing them all in one track will also make things much easier when recording from pad drumming, wont have to go back and move everything after recording.

Awesome! This is what I was trying to describe initially. Much easier to just make an example.