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.


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).

Is this available for free? =)

Squinky Lab and Voxglitch are free
and there are free versions of the Entrian sequencers in the library too

Maybe not suitable for beginners, but…

Speaking of Squinky Labs, I guess you could use SFZ player as a piano roll drum thing. There’s also a piano roll module in this collection. But you could use whatever you like. Just download sample pack from somewhere (here’s a starting point - Drums - SFZ Instruments)

And speaking of Voxglitch, I think you might use Autobreak or Autobreak studio to chop the samples and then address the slices with CV.

For the simple solution Erica Synth’s Pico Drums might work (probably possible may be. I am not sure). Yeah. It doesn’t… Nevermind. I guess PCM by Hora should work if you connect it to 8Face (or UMap) or something like that. Well, not the easiest solution

And everything mentioned is completely free (but you can donate money for the developers in the menu)

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