Instructables
Picture of Ripping Drum Tracks from MIDI files
This Instructable walks you through ripping a drum track from a MIDI song. Then you can play along or create a cover of the song or let your creativity run wild.

Here is a sample drum track that I did using this method. It is from the Beatles song "Drive My Car".


I have found that this method creates as good or better drum tracks than the canned tracks that come with drum machines. But with this method the tracks are song-specific. You can also do some crazy stuff, e.g. I'm working up Brubeck's "Take Five" using the drum track ripped from Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Tarkus" (slowed down a bit).

REQUIREMENTS
Windows XP, VISTA and probably earlier Windows








 
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Step 1: Gather the tools...

For this Instructable, you will need the following:

DrumTrack (free software for creating...er...drum tracks...d'uh)
http://www.supercoldmilk.com/drumtrack/

A midi file (download the following for the demo)
http://209.197.86.65/19841988/rock/beatles/DriveMyCar.mid

OPTIONAL
Audacity (free software editing audio...it's very cool)
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/

Step 2: Fun with DrumTrack

Download and install DrumTrack
http://www.supercoldmilk.com/drumtrack/

Spend some time getting to know this really fine software. You can compose drum tracks with this. Check out DrumTrack's humanization (Song > Song Patterns > Humanization)...maybe it will make your drum track less drum machine like.

Now download the MIDI for the demo and listen to it. http://209.197.86.65/19841988/rock/beatles/DriveMyCar.mid

You should be able to double-click the demo MIDI file. If not (you don't have a player associated with mid files) try running Media Player and opening to the MIDI file.

In DrumTrack import the MIDI file.
File > Import MIDI Drum Score

Here's the catch...even though our Demo MIDI is a full score DrumTrack ignores all the instruments that are NOT drum related. Plus it assigns the drum parts form the imported MIDI to the appropriate instrument in the program.

admin6 years ago
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Whhisper2 years ago
I signed up JUST to say THANK YOU for this nice tutorial. I was about to get MENTAL trying to make something free work, to transform my guitar pro midi drums into something real to the audacity so I could record with the keyboard over it. And this was so simple! great job, thank you.
dummy19774 years ago
Thank you for this...  I knew there was a way with software that came with one of my ancient sound cards that's long gone, but this will definitely help me out since my music making process is crippled in structure and my inability to make anything happen with drum machines (fried mine before getting anything out of it) and software. And the inability to come across drummers or compatible musicians.

Saving this.
Cool program. Is there a way to convert mp3s to midi files? Ive heard there isnt (for stereo tracks), could you save tracks off a cd to midi?
If you use a software or site (zamzar.com is a great one) to convert a file, you could convert virtually any type of file to another... Hope I helped!