How To Apply Custom Grooves In Strike 2 In Pro Tools

12-11-2013 09:24 PM

During the update from Strike to Strike 2 we lost the function to be able to apply custom grooves to Strike patterns in Pro Tools. This was a valuable feature that allowed you to take a live drum performance and then add the feel of that performance to a Strike track. I’ve spoken with AIR and that is on their to-do list for future updates, however in the meantime here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it in Strike 2. If you want to get the best from Strike 2 then check out my full video tutorial for Strike 2 here.

First work out your song in Strike so that all the patterns you want in your track are playing in the correct order. Then go to the ‘Record Export’ pane on the far right and select MIDI, leave the setting on the bottom as ‘Full’ this will record a the pattern in the native Strike key mapping. Then press the red icon and start Strike playing, when it has finished going through the entire song press stop.

Then grab where it shows the bar count and drag it to the instrument track that Strike has been inserted on. Make sure you have the MIDI output set to Strike 1-15, that will send the MIDI notes you have placed in the time-line to Strike on channel 15.

The next task is to extract the Groove from the real drum audio part. To open Beat Detective go to the ‘Event’ menu and select ‘Beat Detective’. Make sure you have ‘Groove Template Extraction’ set on the left. Then select all the audio on the timeline and select capture selection, it doesn’t have to be the entire drum performance, you are simply capturing the feel of the track so you can extract the groove. Then select the large Analyze button top right of the window with the Analysis set to ‘Enhanced Resolution’ then start to move the Sensitivity fader up until you can see that it has captured enough trigger points from the audio. As shown below.

Then hit the extract button to save the groove you have extracted from the audio. The window below will appear.

Click ‘Save To Disk…’

Give the groove a name you will remember, the groovier the better.
Now on the track that you dragged the MIDI performance to make you you have the Real-Time Properties showing, this is where you can change Quantize, Duration, Delay, Tranpose etc.

Select the Quantize option so it turns green and then navigate down to find the groove you just created and saved to disk, it will be at the bottom of the list. This will apply the groove to your MIDI track.

Then you can listen and compare the performance with and without the groove applied, if you wish you can apply it via the Real-Time Properties window (found in the Pro Tools Event menu) where you can vary the strength. On complex audio you may sometimes have to try and extract it a couple of times to get it right.

Now you can experiment applying the groove to the track and compare them in varying ways.
Here is the Strike MIDI playing along with the original audio with no groove applied.

Here is the Strike MIDI playing along with the original audio with the groove applied.

Of course you apply your new groove template to as many tracks as you want, I often add it to a bass part too.