Drummer software

GCRoberts

Well-known member
I'm a first year drummer and I've been looking for drum software where I can enter in drum notation and play it back repeatedly. I'd like to do this for my ear training, and also to play along with software. I've had decent success using musescore, but I've hit a wall with their drum kit editing. I have a 3up/3down kit, so that obviously makes drum notation a little more complicated. Musescore doesn't support the concept of a "drum legend". Musescore does have drum editing, but it's not allowing me to add new toms and chose the tuning of those toms. My toms (8",10",12",14",16",18") are tuned to intervals of major thirds (3G, 3D#, 2B, 2G, 2D#, 1B). Is there are other software out there....free or reasonably priced that would allow me to play back my drum notation using a non-standard setup? I'm not concerned about the software playing back pre-recorded drum sounds, midi representation is fine.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Pretty much any composition software will do this, doesn't need to be specialized drum software. I have Sibelius, but before I bought that I used Melody/Harmony Assistant, and before that I used this old version of Cakewalk Sonar (it was cracked), and prior to that I used the freeware Anvil Studios.

Freeware wise, I heard Musescore is a decent alternative, but I have no personal experience in it.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
You're asking for some super advanced features. Even the best programs like Sibelius and Finale don't have the features you want. You probably should just notate it on Musescore or whatever, without worrying about the note heads or sounds, and then export the MIDI file. Then, assign different sounds to each MIDI note, from a software drum machine that has enough toms to choose from. If you were using audio editing software that has some pitch manipulation, then you could pitch the toms up or down until they came close to the notes you want.

This is a very, very deep dive into music technology. Weeks and weeks of research, trial and error, etc. You sure you want to go down this rabbit hole?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Pretty much any composition software will do this, doesn't need to be specialized drum software. I have Sibelius, but before I bought that I used Melody/Harmony Assistant, and before that I used this old version of Cakewalk Sonar (it was cracked), and prior to that I used the freeware Anvil Studios.

Freeware wise, I heard Musescore is a decent alternative, but I have no personal experience in it.
Actually, that's a good point. Use Logic or something to directly input the midi notes, if you can keep track of what's what.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Yeah I actually didn't really read his whole post. Harmony Assistant allowed you to easily create custom staffs for drums, so you could assign each drum/cymbal/doodad to a specific line and cymbal. I'm sure Sibelius probably has that same feature, but I haven't looked since the default is actually fine for me.
 

GCRoberts

Well-known member
You're asking for some super advanced features. Even the best programs like Sibelius and Finale don't have the features you want. You probably should just notate it on Musescore or whatever, without worrying about the note heads or sounds, and then export the MIDI file. Then, assign different sounds to each MIDI note, from a software drum machine that has enough toms to choose from. If you were using audio editing software that has some pitch manipulation, then you could pitch the toms up or down until they came close to the notes you want.

This is a very, very deep dive into music technology. Weeks and weeks of research, trial and error, etc. You sure you want to go down this rabbit hole?
I'm a software engineer by trade. If I can't find exactly what I want, I tend to write an app to do it myself. I've been meaning to write a iOS midi app anyways, this might be my excuse to try it. Thanks for your feedback, definitely helped.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I'm a software engineer by trade. If I can't find exactly what I want, I tend to write an app to do it myself. I've been meaning to write a iOS midi app anyways, this might be my excuse to try it. Thanks for your feedback, definitely helped.
Awesome! Why the heck are you asking drummers?!

Noteflight is a pretty solid web app, though it lacks certain features (multi-measure repeats, for example). The playback is great, except that open hi-hat notes stay open and don't close. User interface is very good.

Sibelius is geared more toward notes being entered with a MIDI keyboard, rather than clicking with a mouse. I use both, but I'm much faster on Noteflight. Finale is similarly slow, unless you're on a keyboard.

None of the popular apps are geared towards drums; rather they're intended for arrangers and composers. The drum features are an after-thought, at best.
 

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
I just did a bunch of notation with a pretty massive setup like you are describing. It can be done in Finale (I'm using the full version) through the score editor. Not easy or free, but possible!
 
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