Learning Superior Drummer 3 parameters

Learning Superior Drummer 3 parameters

A customer reported that Gig Performer would not learn mixer faders in Superior Drummer 3 (SD3). Thanks to some help from Toontrack which we greatly appreciate, we discovered that SD3 requires an extra step. You cannot simply move any parameter in SD3 and have it learned. You have to bind your parameters to Macro knobs and it is those macro knobs that can be learned. Suppose you want to control the One Shot fader from Gig Performer. If you attach a knob in Gig Performer to Superior Drummer, you will see a list of possible parameters:

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 parameters

Also, if you right-click on the One Shot fader in SD3 you will see that you can associate a parameter number with the fader:

Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 parameters bind to macro buttons

Sure enough, if you select “1. Macro Parameter” in SD3 and you select Param 1 in Gig Performer, you will find that you can adjust the slider in Gig Performer and the One Shot fader will move as well. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work the other way round. You should be able to move the One Shot fader and have the Gig Performer slider respond.

It turns out you have to add the following steps:

  1. Click the Macro Controls button at bottom of the SD3 window
  2. This will cause some new knobs to be displayed in SD3 
  3. It is in fact THESE knobs that send their values out so that a host can detect them
  4. So when you associate the One Shot fader with Macro Parameter 1, you’re actually associating it with the Macro Parameter 1 knob in the Macro Controls view. If Gig Performer is in Learn mode, then moving the Macro Parameter 1 knob will cause the Gig Performer slider to learn that knob.

Warning: because of this extra indirection, if you later associate another fader in SD3 with that Macro Parameter 1, then the Gig Performer slider will essentially be changing that new fader value, even though you didn’t change the association in Gig Performer. Therefore we recommend that you only do 1-1 mapping between Macro Parameter knobs and SD3 parameters and let Gig Performer be responsible for controlling multiple parameters, particularly if you want to use a single widget to control parameters in multiple drum plugins simultaneously.

Related topics:
How to rapidly assign plugin parameters to widgets (with video)
How to connect a widget to a plugin parameter? (User Manual)

Scaling Curves

Scaling curves allow you to control the shape of the output of a widget or convert an incoming note velocity to a new velocity. Various predefined curves are available and they can be tweaked as necessary. You can also just draw your own curve as well to achieve the effect you require.


MIDI File Player Plugin

You can load up to 128 MIDI song files in a single plugin instance. Switch from one song to another, mute tracks and/or change their channel numbers. Tempo can be controlled by individual songs or you can use the global tempo and tap tempo to control the BPM interactively.


Favorites and Presets

Create a sound by placing and interconnecting your desired plugins, such as a synth, some effects and perhaps a mixer. Select them all and then save the selection as a named favorite. The favorite will subsequently show up in all plugin insert menus, making it easy for you to recreate that configuration whenever you need it again. This feature is also very powerful for creating your needed sounds on your studio computer and then transferring them to your touring laptop.


Probabilistic Sound Designer

Parameters you select in an open plugin are captured into the Probabilistic Sound Designer dialog window. When you click Randomize, you're only adjusting those selected parameters. Each entry in the PSD dialog has a curve but unlike widgets where the curve controls scaling, in the PSD the curves are used to define the probability of particular values being selected. Make sure the filter cutoff never gets too slow so as to block all sound. Perhaps adjust the max range of the VCA attack parameter so that the sound doesn't have too much delay. Constrain the octave ranges of the oscillators, perhaps ensuring that 1/3rd of the time we select 8' and 2/3rds of the time we select 4'. The possibilities are endless.


More Widgets

Numerous new widgets are included in Gig Performer - a new sustain pedal, plastic knobs, drum pads and more colored sliders. Shapes can be colored with different borders and fill colors and morphed from rectangular to circular. Your creativity is now the limit to creating fabulous front panels in Gig Performer.


MIDI Message Helper

Select MIDI devices by name. Choose the MIDI message type and adjust the appropriate parameters for the specific type



Layout management

Gig Performer supports arbitrary resizing. Layout your widgets the way you want - resize the main window and the widgets will grow or shrink as necessary to maintain the same interrelationships. No matter what size screen you have, your front panels will still be neat and usable.


Undo Support

If you move your widgets around and/or resize them, or even delete them by mistake, the Undo facility will correct your mistake. Minor moves to a widget by mistake will no longer spoil your design


Plugin Channel Count

Some plugins support a large number of outputs and they depend on the traditional channel strip to control how many ports should be available.   When you only need a stereo pair, it is convenient not to have a large horizontal block. In Gig Performer, the number of available ports  is controlled by the channel count override, which can be applied to individual plugins and will be remembered when the gigfile is reloaded or if the plugin is saved as a favorite.


Input muting and output fading

Rather than a single audio length tail, Gig Performer 4 gives you the ability to control input muting and output fading separately. Input muting controls how much time it takes for audio input to be silenced when you leave the rackspace. Output fading controls how much time will be taken for audio to fade out when you leave the rackspace.


Faster Plugin Finder

Instead of searching through menus of perhaps hundreds of plugins (you know who you are!), the Quick Plugin Finder makes it easy to find the plugin you need by simply typing partial strings. For example, as shown here, to find the Modartt Pianoteq 7 plugins, it's enough to type pia mod 7 (in any order, by the way)  to restrict the list of available plugins to those matching your query. The Quick Plugin Finder also knows about manufacturers, presets and favorites.



Touch Friendly Input

Any entry field can be changed by either dragging your mouse (or finger) up or down, or by using the large popup touchpad where you can just tap on the squares to enter a value. The large popup keypad also does validation so you can't enter an invalid value. You can also just tap the BPM field to pop up a larger view where you can quickly change tempo, tranpose, trigger Tap Tempo and enable Ableton Link, the last allowing you to synchronize Gig Performer with any other application that also supports Ableton Link.


New Tuner Display

The tuner view makes it easy for guitarists to quickly check and adjust their tuning. You can toggle into the tuner view from any other view and toggle right back as soon as you're done. All output will be silenced automatically while you're in tuning mode. You can adjust the concert reference pitch from its default of 440 Hz to suit your own needs. The tuner view fills the entire screen so you can easily see it from a distance.