Multi Channel Drum Machine As Plugin


Currently setting up a linux laptop and really pleased with Ardour 3.

I want to be able to use a drum machine and mix/effect it’s separate outputs using multiple plugins, whilst also saving its state within a project.

Initially I tried using a separate instance of Hydrogen and patching it’s audio outs to ardour inputs via Gladish. However every time I load a new drumkit I have to patch the audio outs one by one again.

An ideal solution would be to use a drum machine plugin within ardour that has multi-outs that can each be routed to a bus/auxillary.

In lieu of that I want to be able to load hydrogen and have it’s audio outputs auto-route to available ardour inputs.

Is there a solution to this currently?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Sorry, ignore the “multiple plugins” part.


You can use Hydrogen and Ardour locked together with JACK Transport and in Hydrogen’s Preferences route each individual Mixer strip to separate outputs that can then be fed into separate tracks in Ardour. Depending on which distribution you use you can also use an LV2 Plugin named ‘DrMr’ on a MIDI Track in Ardour and have it load your Hydrogen drumkit right into Ardour and then draw or record your MIDI notes onto the MIDI track itself, then you can adjust the individual volumes of the kit pieces in the DrMr interface. DrMr is a pretty new plugn and not widely available yet, it is available for AV Linux and I would guess KXStudio as well, beyond that you probably have to build it for yourself.

I personally use method 1 with Ardour and Hydrogen locked together however I find in Ardour3 I have to deselect Ardour as the ‘JACK Time Master’ in the ‘Session’–>‘Properties’—>Timecode’ tab for it to work smoothly. If you want Ardour to retain the connections you don’t need any 3rd party Session Management simply make sure you open Hydrogen with the project you want to use before launching Ardour, if Hydrogen is open Ardour will automatically remember and connect the Hydrogen outputs.

There are also some sampler type plugins available like Rui Nuno Capela’s samplv1 and drumkv1 that allow you to create drumkits from samples on MIDI tracks but they do not currently allow multilayered samples like Hydrogen does.

That’s awesome news. I had no idea I could route each mixer strip in Hydrogen separately. Something I’ve wanted but I didn’t realize it was supported already. I’ll have to look into that. Thanks!

Hydrogen needs round robin so bad its not funny . But other than that its a great little program .