How to build a song from scratch with Song Creator in SD3

3 Aug 201820:30

TLDRIn this Mixbus TV tutorial, host David demonstrates how to construct a song from the ground up using Song Creator and MIDI libraries in Superior Drummer 3 (SD3). He guides viewers through adjusting clips, creating variations, modifying global velocity and intensity, and randomizing elements to achieve a more authentic drum pattern. David emphasizes the ease of browsing grooves, selecting a genre and play style, and customizing the drum structure to fit the song's needs. He also showcases the power hand tool for altering grooves and the grid editor for humanizing MIDI patterns. The video serves as an educational resource for those looking to enhance their drum programming skills with SD3, making it more realistic and performance-like.


  • 🎼 **Song Creation with SD3**: The video demonstrates how to build a song from scratch using Song Creator and MIDI libraries in Superior Drummer 3 (SD3).
  • 🎹 **Adjusting Clips**: Learn how to adjust MIDI clips to fit your song structure, including creating variations and changing global velocity.
  • 🥁 **Drum Patterns**: Discover the ease of making custom drum patterns with SD3, even if you're not a drummer.
  • 🔍 **Browsing Grooves**: The video shows how to browse and select grooves that fit your preferred genre and play style.
  • 🎵 **Power Hand Feature**: Introduction to the Power Hand tool for adjusting the emphasis in a groove, such as moving from crash to hi-hat.
  • 📊 **Amount and Velocity Adjustment**: Techniques for adjusting the amount and velocity of specific drum hits to fit the mood of different song sections.
  • 🔄 **Song Creator Functionality**: Overview of how Song Creator automates the process of building song structures with matching intros, verses, and other sections.
  • 🎶 **Humanizing MIDI Performances**: Insights on using the grid editor and randomization features to make MIDI drum patterns sound more realistic.
  • 🎚️ **Selective Randomization**: Learn to selectively randomize the velocity of specific drum hits to add a human touch to your drum tracks.
  • ⏯️ **Tempo Adjustments**: See how to adjust the tempo and time signature to fit the groove and feel of your song.
  • 📈 **Dynamics and Swing**: Techniques for tweaking the dynamics and adding swing to make the performance feel less robotic and more like a live drummer.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic of the video?

    -The main topic of the video is how to build a song from scratch using Song Creator and the MIDI libraries in Superior Drummer 3.

  • Who is the host of the video?

    -The host of the video is David from Mixbus TV mixing and mastering tutorials.

  • What are some of the features of Superior Drummer 3 that David demonstrates?

    -David demonstrates features such as adjusting clips to fit the song, changing global velocity and intensity, randomizing, and creating drum patterns.

  • How does David propose to start building the song?

    -David proposes to start by selecting a genre and a play style, then choosing a groove from the groove module and modifying it to fit the song.

  • What is the 'Power Hand' tool in Superior Drummer 3?

    -The 'Power Hand' tool in Superior Drummer 3 allows users to change the emphasis in a groove, for example, from the crash to the hi-hat, by double-clicking on the clip and adjusting the setting.

  • How can the amount and velocity of a drum hit be adjusted in the software?

    -The amount and velocity of a drum hit can be adjusted by selecting the instrument and using the amount and velocity knobs to decrease or increase the number of hits and the force of the hits, respectively.

  • What is the purpose of the 'Song Creator' tab in the software?

    -The 'Song Creator' tab allows users to build a song structure by dragging and dropping different sections such as intro, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, fills, and endings. It automatically provides matching grooves for each section based on the selected genre.

  • How can users make their MIDI drum patterns sound more realistic?

    -Users can make their MIDI drum patterns sound more realistic by using the grid editor to adjust the velocity, dynamics, and applying randomization to the velocity and other parameters of the MIDI notes to simulate a more human-like performance.

  • What is the 'Tap to Find' function in Superior Drummer 3?

    -The 'Tap to Find' function allows users to set the tempo of the song by clicking and adjusting to the desired rhythm or beat.

  • How does David suggest changing the mood between different sections of the song?

    -David suggests changing the mood by adjusting the velocity and amount of specific drum hits in different sections, such as reducing the kick drum velocity in the verse for a quieter feel.

  • What is the significance of the 'randomize' feature in making the drum pattern feel more human?

    -The 'randomize' feature allows for slight variations in the velocity of the drum hits, making the pattern less mechanical and more akin to a human drummer's performance.

  • How can users select and adjust specific parts of the drum pattern?

    -Users can select specific parts of the drum pattern by clicking on the desired notes in the grid editor and then adjusting the velocity, dynamics, or applying randomization to those selected notes.



🎼 Building a Song from Scratch with Song Creator

In this video, host David introduces viewers to the process of creating a song from the ground up using the Song Creator and MIDI libraries. He emphasizes the ease of adjusting clips to fit a song's structure, creating variations, and modifying global velocity and intensity. David also demonstrates how to randomize elements for a more natural sound and how to construct drum patterns using SD-3. He shares that he is not a drummer or composer, which may resonate with viewers in a similar situation. The video serves as a tutorial on leveraging the capabilities of Song Creator and Superior Drummer 3 to build a rock or metal song, starting with a 6-bar example and exploring different parts like intros, verses, and bridges.


🎹 Superior Drummer 3: Functions and Song Structure

David delves into the functionalities of Superior Drummer 3, showing how to insert different sections like intros and verses into a song. He explains the importance of the 'tap to find' feature for tempo adjustment and how to select grooves by genre and play style. The video illustrates the use of the power hand tool to modify drum sounds, such as moving the emphasis from a crash to a hi-hat. David also covers the customization options for each instrument, including adjusting the amount and velocity of hits. He introduces the Song Creator tab, which provides matching song sections once a groove is imported, and demonstrates how to build a song quickly by dragging and dropping MIDI clips.


🎤 Humanizing MIDI Drum Performances

The focus shifts to making MIDI drum tracks sound more realistic and human-like. David discusses the grid editor in Superior Drummer 3, which allows for the selection and adjustment of individual MIDI notes and drum hits. He shows how to modify the velocity and dynamics of hits to create a more authentic performance. The 'randomize' feature is highlighted as a powerful tool for adding realism to a programmed drum pattern. David also covers the selective randomization process, enabling users to tweak specific hits rather than entire clips for a more nuanced performance. He concludes with a demonstration of how to adjust the velocity and dynamics for different sections of a song, like verses and choruses, to create variation and depth in the drum track.


🎷 Song Dynamics and Superior Drummer 3 Features

David continues to explore the nuances of drum programming with Superior Drummer 3, discussing how to adjust the velocity of specific drum hits to match the energy of different song sections. He demonstrates the process of humanizing drum fills by selectively randomizing and tweaking the velocity of MIDI notes. The video also covers how to change the tempo of a song section by nudging notes forward to create a slowdown effect. David emphasizes the ease of using Superior Drummer 3 to build a realistic drum pattern and the flexibility it offers in adjusting the song's dynamics. He invites viewers to ask questions and provide feedback on specific areas they'd like to learn more about.


📢 Wrapping Up and Engaging the Audience

In the final paragraph, David wraps up the tutorial by summarizing the key points covered in the video. He reiterates the ease of building a realistic drum pattern with Superior Drummer 3 and encourages viewers to share their thoughts and ask questions in the comments. He also promotes other videos related to Superior Drummer 3 and asks viewers to like, share, and subscribe to the channel. David reminds viewers to follow Mixbus on social media platforms for updates on new content and thanks them for their support.



💡Song Creator

Song Creator is a feature within the software discussed in the video that allows users to build a song from scratch. It provides a user-friendly interface to create and edit MIDI clips, adjust tempo, and explore various grooves and styles. In the context of the video, it is used to demonstrate how to craft a song, particularly a rock or metal song, even for those without drumming or composing experience.

💡MIDI libraries

MIDI libraries are collections of pre-recorded MIDI files that can be used to create music. They serve as a resource for musicians and producers to access a variety of sounds and patterns. In the video, David utilizes MIDI libraries to find and modify grooves for the song, showcasing the ease of creating drum patterns and song structures with these resources.

💡Global velocity

Global velocity refers to the overall volume or force with which a set of notes or an entire piece is played. In the context of the video, adjusting global velocity allows the user to control the intensity and dynamics of the drum patterns throughout the song. This can help to create variations and build a more engaging and dynamic musical composition.


Randomizing in the context of the video pertains to the process of introducing variation and unpredictability into the MIDI patterns to mimic a more human-like performance. By randomizing aspects such as velocity and timing, the drum patterns sound less mechanical and more organic, adding a sense of realism to the programmed music.

💡Drum patterns

Drum patterns are the arrangements of drum beats and rhythms that form the foundation of a song's rhythm section. In the video, creating drum patterns is a central focus, where David uses the Song Creator and MIDI libraries to build and modify patterns that suit the rock metal genre. He also discusses the importance of adjusting these patterns to fit different sections of the song, such as the intro, verse, and chorus.

💡Superior Drummer 3

Superior Drummer 3 is a software or plugin used for creating realistic drum tracks. It includes advanced features for adjusting and humanizing drum patterns, such as the power hand, velocity control, and randomization options. In the video, David uses Superior Drummer 3 to demonstrate how to build and refine drum patterns for a song, emphasizing its ease of use and versatility.


A groove refers to a rhythmic pattern or feel that provides the basis for a song's rhythm section. In the video, finding and modifying grooves is a key part of the process of building a song from scratch. The host, David, explores different grooves available in the MIDI libraries and shows how to tailor them to fit the desired genre and style of the song.


Humanizing in the context of the video refers to the process of making MIDI drum patterns sound more like they were played by a human drummer, rather than a machine. This is achieved through the use of various features in Superior Drummer 3, such as velocity adjustments, randomization, and the power hand, which together add a level of natural variation and imperfection to the performance.

💡MIDI drop zone

The MIDI drop zone is an area within the Song Creator interface where users can drag and drop MIDI clips to build their song structure. It allows for easy arrangement and manipulation of different sections of the song, such as intros, verses, and choruses. In the video, David uses the MIDI drop zone to import and arrange various parts of the drum pattern for the rock metal song he is creating.


Quantize is a process used in music production to align MIDI notes to a specific grid or timing grid, ensuring that the notes are played in time with the beat of the song. In the video, quantize is used to correct any slight timing inaccuracies in the drum pattern, making it sound more precise and professional.


Tempo is the speed or pace at which a piece of music is played, measured in beats per minute (BPM). Adjusting the tempo allows the user to control the overall feel and energy of the song. In the video, David emphasizes the importance of tempo in setting the mood and structure of the song, and he demonstrates how to adjust it within the Song Creator software.


Building a song from scratch using Song Creator and MIDI libraries.

Adjusting clips to fit your song and creating variations.

Changing global velocity and intensity with ease.

Making drum patterns with SD-3, even if you're not a drummer.

Browsing grooves and modifying them to your taste.

Creating a rock or metal song structure with different parts like intro, verses, bridges.

Using the tap-to-find function to adjust tempo.

Selecting grooves for a specific genre and play style.

Navigating through different beat types and time signatures intuitively.

The power hand feature for easy drum pattern modification.

Adjusting the amount and velocity of specific instruments in a clip.

Using Song Creator to build a song quickly by dragging and dropping sections.

Humanizing drum patterns with the grid editor and randomizing features.

Making MIDI drum sounds more realistic with Superior Drummer 3.

Selecting and tweaking individual drum hits for a more natural feel.

Adjusting the tempo and feel of a song section for a dynamic change.

Superior Drummer 3's extensive features for creating professional-sounding drum patterns.

Engaging with the audience through comments for further in-depth tutorials.