Captain Beat is the one-stop-shop for making drums. You can choose to use the built-in drum instruments, or add your own one-shot drum samples instead.
If you’re not really sure how to create a drum pattern of your own, or you need some inspiration, Captain Beat contains hundreds of patterns you can choose from in the patterns menu.
They are broken down into popular genres and can then be edited to your liking.
If you’re new to music production, or new to a particular genre, these are a great help before you try making a pattern from scratch.
We’ll show you how to build up a drum pattern, choose the best drum instruments and kits, tweak and edit using the many parameters; and then how to add the drums to your DAW, either as MIDI data or audio.
We’ve also added some Pro Tips, because we’re nice!
Here’s the Captain Beat Epic User Interface. On the top left you’ll find the 3 main tools, Edit, Pencil and Magic Record.
Edit allows you to add drum hits, move them around or delete by using a combination of single/double clicks and motion on your computer’s mouse or trackpad.
Pencil lets you draw in multiple notes at once, this works great when combined with the snap/quantization settings.
Set the quantisation you desire and draw the drum hits in one motion, they’ll automatically be in the right position. This makes it super quick to build up your own pattern.
Magic Record allows you to play beats live and they’ll be recorded straight into the canvas. Each drum instrument has a corresponding key on your computer keyboard which you can identify on each instrument channel (see below).
There are also some extra settings to help you use Magic Record; you can choose to automatically commit the drum hits, or have them appear as ghost notes until you decide to commit them.
It’s also possible to choose the resolution/snap the drum hits should be quantised, or snapped, to.
Turn on the metronome for help with timing when playing and recording in real-time.
Once you have a full sounding drum pattern, try auditioning the pattern you’ve created with the various included drum kits, click through the list until you hear something you really like.
To add some variation to the last bar of your pattern; turn on Fill and then you can browse through many pre-programmed drum fills. These are fully editable so you can tweak to perfection.
If you create a pattern you love, save it to your own custom banks to recall later.
Below the kit picker is a Global Filter knob. ‘Global’ simply means that it affects all of the audio in Captain Beat Epic, not just the individual channels.
Volume, Play From Plugin and Loop Playback options function the same as in the other Captain Plugins Epic flavors (Yes, you should read all of the How-to guides!)
At the bottom of the canvas, you can find the Velocity controls, these are super-important for adding accents and humanizing your drums – ignore them at your peril!
At the top of the user interface are the four Control Parameter tabs, Basics, Controls, Effects and Export.
Basic allows you to change individual drum instruments and their rhythm, from numerous kits and presets, plus you can drop in your own drum samples to individual instrument tracks right into this area.
Note: In some DAWs, you’ll need to drag and drop from the sample’s source folder, rather than from inside the DAW.
Once you’ve added your own Drum samples you can save them as a new kit for easy recall later.
Note that the Save option will only be visible once a kit has been edited in some way, otherwise it is hidden.
The Controls tab gives you typical ADSR (Attack, Sustain, Decay, Release) style envelope parameters. These allow you to shape each drum hit to your liking.
Remove some audio from the start of the drum transients with Attack, or shorten the sample length using Decay and Hold, for a snappy feel.
One of the most useful tools is Pitch. This allows you to change the pitch of each drum instrument and is essential for tuning your drum instruments to the key of your track.
Load up Mixed In Key Live or Mixed In Key Studio Edition and dial the correct tone in for Toms, snares, kicks and any other drum sound which has a definable pitch. Your drums will gel beautifully with the rest of your music.
The Volume and Pan controls allow you to mix the drums inside Captain Beat Epic and when combined with some effects from the effects tab, it’s possible to achieve a cohesive, balanced and spatial drum mix.
Once you’re happy with your Drums, click on the Export tab and you’ll have several options to export to your DAW.
You can export as MIDI or Audio, per-channel, or all-drums-in-one Master MIDI region, or audio file.
To export, drag the desired region from Captain Beat Epic straight onto an audio or MIDI track in your DAW.
That’s enough learning for now, it’s time to make some Epic Beats!
If you want to read the how-to-guides for the legacy Captain Beat 5, please visit this page.