Proposal: Alternate approach to drum track layout

I am also submitting this as a feature request, but as a product designer, I appreciate seeing how users plan to use my products. I am also curious if this is something that others might be interested in.

Current Drum track layout:

8 different drums layout out in 8 groups of 12 with a different velocity per pad. This is largely unnecessary for most of the drum hardware I and others use. The biggest limitation is that it is only 8 drum triggers per track. Typically, I see around 16 being fairly common on other controllers.

Proposal 1

Allow 16 drums per track with half as many velocity levels. That would be more than adequate for most scenarios.

Proposal 2

Allow the user to define up to 128 drums on a track along with the velocity for each. This way, for the drums that are velocity sensitive, I could add a few pads with varying velocity levels and for the rest, it would be one pad per trigger.

What do you think?

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Although I can see why you might want more than 8 drum sounds, my my Electribe SX has 9, and my Elektron Rytm has 12, 8 is actually usually more than enough at any one time I’ve found.

There is a very obvious reason to think more is more flexible, and therefore better, I think the limitation might make you consider things a bit more (at least in my experience) and 16 - for me - is way too many.

It’s easy enough, I think, to have 2 drum tracks, one for your ‘rhythm section’ (or ‘meat and potatoes’ percussion if you will) and then a second for more ‘percussion-y’ sounds, which also in a way would give you even more flexibility, as you then essentially have 64 different variations, rather than just 8.

But horses for courses, as always. Your mileage may vary.

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That makes sense. My use case may not be common, but here’s where I am coming from:

I find around 15 or so drums (also samples) to be the sweet spot myself. The trouble is when you have something like a Drumbrute Impact that has 8 sounds with 8 alternate versions an octave up. These 16 sounds also have two velocities bringing it to a total of 32 options. Combine that with some added hits/more eclectic Eurorack drums and that’s a pretty extensive rack.

Ideally, I would love to have two total drum tracks that are identical. This makes it easy to sequence one while the other is playing and so on.

For the Drumbrute, I will just be using it like a polysynth since the drum mode is inadequate for mixing and matching sound variations. That means it will take up two tracks and I will have to manually set velocities.

In addition, I am looking at a third drum track for eurorack/miscellaneous sample hits. If I want to be able to sequence that while one is playing, then I need a duplicate. All of a sudden I am up to four drum tracks in one project.

sound like Im similar to @Loz
I seem to use between 8-12, usually 8 is enough, but Ive not had an issue (so far) spilling over to a 2nd track, for more variations…
but I can see why, if you are more into percussion, using up lots of tracks could be a problem

I do quite like the layout as is, I don’t think id want it smaller…

for me, if Squarp allowed multiple pages of 8, that would work for me.
(two would be fine… but I suspect if they allow pages, then they can as easily so many more)

Im no finger drummer, so really I could group things in 8s that need to play together, is as much as I can cope with :wink:

but perhaps zoom, could also be used to make it all 1/2 size… so those pages can then fit more pads, but with less levels.

really, all worth running past Squarp… my guess is they are getting feature requests in this area, so they can balance what you would like with what others have raised with the,

(I know a few have asked me about more than 8 drums per drum track… so I think there is some appetite for it)

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I am also no finger drummer, but I am working on it.

I already sent them a suggestion via The Form.

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I think 16 drums and half the velocity pads would be great! This would allow an entire drum machine to be on a single track.

Like my Tr-707, Td-8, Rx5, MPC…


does each Drum Track have to correspond to a single device and/or MIDI channel? that is, if I want my basic RD-9 sounds on one Drum Track (kick, clap, snare, CHH, OHH, ride, crash, rimshot) can i put the three toms on a second Drum Track but fill out the other five sounds from a different device, e.g., percussion samples from Blackbox?

I would really appreciate “16 drums per track and the user has some way to specify the levels of velocity”


Depending on your setup, yes. Each drum ‘sound’ on the drum track has its own note and MIDI channel, but they all are only send via one of the MIDI outs. So, if you had a MIDI splitter and both machines plugged into MIDI Out A (or were using Thru on one drum machine into another) then this is very possible.

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+1 for being able to define the velocity of each pad.

I’d prefer 16 drums at a glance with half the velocity options to the current state. But two pages or an option to choose between layouts would be cool as well. I wouldn’t mind having only 8 drums per track quite so much if I didn’t think 16 tracks in total were way too few for such an otherwise powerful sequencer. With 32 tracks and 16 patterns each, 8 drum sounds would be totally fine (for me).

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reminder (to those commenting)

please remember to send your ideas/feature requests via the contact form.
these topics are NOT routinely being monitored by Squarp, so if you want your voice heard the contact form is the way forward!


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