Replacing Drums with Ultrabeat & Flex Pitch

This Logic Pro X tutorial focuses on the use of Ultrabeat and Flex Pitch and replacing drum sounds you have already arranged via Logic’s arrange view using audio stems.

The reason for this tutorial is because of a newbie producer I used to work with.

From here on I will reference him as Mr Newbie.

Mr Newbie hadn’t been using logic for long, he’d been tracking his drums through dragging and dropping WAV files onto the arrange view of his project, eventually becoming frustrated with how long it would take him to track a decent drum pattern.

He wanted to be able to keep the arrangement of his drums and be able to slot in different sounds with ease and experiment with what one-shots he had to see what sounded best straight out of the box.

When I asked Mr Newbie how he was tracking his drums,  when he told me, the first thing that I wanted to do was slap him. (I managed to hold back! when I first started I fell victim to this kind of workflow)

This way of working might be fine for some people but for me! I find it incredibly time-consuming if I want to change my drum sounds but also keep the arrangement, the only option to take in that situation is to build out your drum pattern all over again.

If you’re not satisfied the second time around, you’ll have to repeat the process. (You can imagine how many times I’ve face planted the desk in frustration)

This is a complete ballache!

Here is my suggestion on tackling the issue.

Step 1 – Extracting MDI Data

First, we use flex pitch to extract the MIDI data, you must ensure that your audio is highlighted to begin the step

Now turn on flex

Hit flex pitch

Go over to edit and all the way down to create MIDI track from flex pitch data, you will now see that logic has created a new midi track and duplicated the arrangement of your audio files.

The midi may be slightly out of time, now you need to highlight all of the midi data and drag it to the correct point that each one shot should trigger.

Step 2 – Importing New Drum Sounds with Ultrabeat

Now we’re going to move on to using Ultrabeat to experiment with your drum sounds and see what sounds the best with your project.

So now we need to select Ultrabeat as the instrument on the midi track logic created for us.

(have your drums open in a finder window)

Now we want to set Ultrabeat to drag and drop samples and this will ensure that everything is empty and has no samples or effects on any of the keys.

Now I’m going to grab a kick and drop it onto C1 of Ultrabeat

And that’s how It’s done!

All you have there is to do now is repeat the process for each of your audio files and now you can use Ultrabeat to experiment with as many one-shots as you like.

Replacing Drums with Ultrabeat & Flex Pitch – Video Tutorial

George Matthews
George Matthews

With 17 Years music production experience, George Matthews is the CEO of Your Local Musician, he also makes music under the name Grimmm and releases Lo-fi music.

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