Impact is a multichannel sample player configured as a virtual drum machine. In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to build custom drum kits and use some of the included processing elements of Impact.
Impact has a lot in common with hardware drum machines such as the Akai MPC. Drum sounds are assigned to each of the pads and then triggered via MIDI.
Impact is first and foremost, a drum machine. To use it as such, you will need to have some drum samples on your hard drive. You can make them yourself, or you can download them from the internet. Presonus offer some sound sets for impact in the Studio One Exchange.
Load an instance of impact on an instrument (by clicking and dragging from the browser)
Next, add some drum samples to the pads. Navigate to your drum sample folder in Studio Ones browse panel. You can audition samples by double clicking them. Add the samples to impact by clicking & dragging them onto the pads. I’m using four samples here- Kick, Snare, HiHat and Crash.
Once you have a sample loaded on a pad, you can use the prev / next buttons to cycle through files in the folder. This is a really handy way of trying out different sounds until you find one you’re happy with.
You may want to route each pad through its own channel on the mixer. This will allow you more flexibility later on. Impact offers 8 stereo channels and 8 mono channels for routing pads. To select a route for the pad, select it from the drop down menu. I like to assign each pad its own mono channel.
The new channels get added to the mixer automatically.
We can now begin writing a drum pattern in the MIDI editor. Note how when the drum editor is activated, S1 displays the sample name on the vertical axis, so you always know where your samples are in the editor.
You can set the start and end points for each of the samples by clicking and dragging it from either end in impacts waveform view. This will allow you to crop the sample however you like. Normally you will want to cut off any silence at the beginning of the sample.
Impact allows you to solo or mute each pad individually. The buttons for this are found just below the pads. In the image below, the kick and the snare are solo’d, so they are the only pads that will sound. The rest are all muted.
You can trigger drum samples loaded in impact using a MIDI keyboard or launchpad. Each pad is triggered by a different MIDI note from the keyboard. By default, the drum pads in impact are set up to receive MIDI notes starting on B0, moving up chromatically through D2.
You can assign any pad to any MIDI note manually if you choose to do so by highlighting the pad, and typing a MIDI value (C -2 to G8) into the trigger assignment box.