HOW TO: Ghost Hits in percussion

Definition: GHOST NOTES - hits added by drummers in addition to the regular pattern, usually at lower volume, to add accent and variety to a drum pattern.

How would you add them?

I apologize that this patch requires a paid module (VCV Pulse Matrix) but I’m addicted to the idiom I use in this patch: Use two rows combined with a logic OR (from the Submarine OG-106) in order to vary the rhythm. I’d do it with a free module but I’m not aware of a sequencer that does what Pulse Matrix does, allowing individual row sequencing directions to be different.

This works by using a Submarine XF-101 crossfader - when a trigger happens on the second (randomly ordered) row, it triggers an envelope, which drives the crossfader. The ‘A’ input is the full volume output of the high hat module, and the B volume is attenuated by a VCV VCA.

So when one of the random hits occurs on the second sequencer row, it lowers the volume of that hi hat note, giving you a ‘ghost’ hit.

2021-02-15.vcv (19.3 KB)


Good one.

I made a version which I think is the same but just uses a Bernoulli Gate/Chances rather than the Pulse Matrix (and an extra output on the Clock)

I added a VCV mixer just so you could compare the two - your original on mixer channel 1 and mine on channel 2.

Logic being your first row on Pulse Matrix is just an eighth note (x2) clock pulse and your second row is a 16th note (x4) pulse that hits randomly (with a 25% chance). Clocked takes care of the first row and Clocked + Chances the second.

Ghost Hits SB.vcv (23.7 KB)


Clever. Minor quibble: Hard to follow a modular patch when the wires are invisibile :wink:

Fair point - image replaced with cables visible.

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And with some more gates and using the level input of the hihat module you can get rid of the extra clock and use any sequence for the on beat and varied fill hits with random ghosts.

Strong hit when sequence 1 and 2 both have a hit; random level variation when sequence 1 or 2 (but not both) has a hit.


I use a second version of the drum and lower the volume in the mixer. It needs it’s own line in the sequencer but it works fine.