How to create a drum pattern? (Without MIDI input)

A beginner’s question, of course.

There are so many more-or-less good drum instruments, like snare-n etc. But it want it triggered by a, well, piano-roll-thing. To make short things short, is there are piano-roll-thing that allows me to map a note to a sound, like “c2 triggers the SNARE-N, while c#2 triggers the BD-9” etc?

Thank you! Cudos!

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So there is a full on piano roll sequencer within VCV. this would be the Piano Roll by VCM. However this usually connects to a V/Oct input not a gate. There is a drum sequencer within VCV by SV Modular. This sequencer is a visualization that looks more like what you would see in an FL Studio like format. It is essentially a step sequencer where you can paint in the drum steps and connect the gate to the trigger input of the drum/sound that you would like to trigger.

You can outboard a Midi keyboard to trigger gates through the Midi to CV module by VCV rack, however if this is connected to a drum that has no v/oct then all it does would make it so that every key triggers the sample.

I would say look more into drum sequencers and gate sequencers.

Great ways to sequence drum patterns: Gate Seq 64, Foundry

Stellare modular’s Turing Machine is also a great module to use to add randomness to drum sequences.

hope this helps

-DJ Zen Zieke


Hello. Welcome.

Not exactly a piano roll, but cf’s ledSeq might be a help. Here’s an example patch showing what it does: ledseq.vcv (1.7 KB)

If you want to try the algorithmic route, you can use something like Valley’s Topograph (a software clone of Mutable Instruments Grids): topo.vcv (1.6 KB)

Or something like Grayscale’s Permutation: permutation.vcv (1.6 KB)

Or you could combine them :smiley: : combine2.vcv (2.8 KB) combine3.vcv (2.0 KB)

really good piano roll sequencer is the Entrian Suite of sequencer


And also a really good free one in my suite.

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I’m sure there are a zillion ways to do this, but this module will take a polyphonic cv/gate and use it to trigger 8 independent drums: SquinkyVCV-main/ at master · kockie69/SquinkyVCV-main · GitHub


It might be a little off topic, but I’ve created a groovebox module that might be worth mentioning: VCV Library - Voxglitch Groove Box


I got a lot of fun using Bernoulli Gates to semi-randomise triggers into a 6 piece drum kit. If you branch the gates you can simulate left hand/right hand and kick/HiHat patterns.


One of the simplest ways to create a drum track is with my Meander module. Meander has “1ms Clocked Trigger Pulses” outs on the following time intervals:per bar, beat, beat/2, beat/4 and beat/8. I tend to use the VCV paid drum modules KICK, SNARE, TOM and C-HAT and run the Meander clocked triggers to the TRIG inputs on those modules in a rational manner. This is an extremely easy way to get a decent albeit monotonous drum track that is in sync with the Meander harmony, melody and bass parts at the Meander time signature (default is 4/4).and tempo (usually controlled by CLOCKED BPM and 8X clock).

Of course any drum module or voice that accepts triggers will work in this mode.


Piano roll is a good format, many people have used and like the look of it. I don’t care for it myself and have come to really enjoy using Encore by BiDoo. It looks like a Roland-ish 16 step, but it has any number of steps from 1-64. It has probability per step, ratcheting, gate length, ability to place step early or late of the beat, copy/paste functions, has 8 lanes of sequencing, keyboard tool for V/oct, and 2 additional cv outputs per channel and a passel of other features I forget( 2 great expanders too, one adds a lot of fun content shifting tools). Just remember that it is designed for a 32x clock ( I use Clocked to do this easily).