Splitting a single Slate track into several tracks for mixing? Best practice

Hi all, I'm new around here but I love the friendly community vibe and it's great to be in touch with like-minded iPad music makers!

Question for the community: do you all separate your drums into separate tracks, so you can mix/add effects to each sound? This seems to be standard practice on every mixing/production tutorial I've seen, so that things like Kick / side-chain / low end / snare / other percussion etc, can all be separately processed and have different EQs and compressors and so on.

that makes sense to me from a mixing/producing point of view. However:

I am more of a single-drumbox-tapper and I like to create/record my drum patterns in one go (on one track/one instance of Slate), so that I can make the different instruments work with each other rhythmically (it's just the way I compose rhythm tracks I guess, a little bit old-school). So when it comes to mixing I find myself with a dilemma - all my drum sounds are in one track! - if I try to then split the existing pattern out (eg kick, snare, hihat) into separate tracks, I have to create additional individual tracks from scratch and set up all the correct drumkits/samples again in every new instance of Slate etc (because each new Slate track always opens with the default kit and I may have used a different one)

  • there must be a shortcut for this? Some way to cut and paste out the kick info (for example) and to paste it into a separate track for mixing, without having to make a whole new instance of Slate and set up all the parameters again? For example, is it possible to copy and paste the INSTANCE of Slate into a new track (retaining all the settings and tweaks I may have made). I've tried using 'track lanes' but this doesn't seem to be for this purpose (I still only get one channel on the mixer even if I add track lanes)

I understand that I could just, from the beginning, tap in my kick rhythms into one track and then add the snare patterns on a new track later, and then the hi-hats etc into new tracks - but that's not really the way I work with rhythm, I'm a bit more organic/multi-handed/pianist/amateur-drummer style, where I like to play the sounds all together around each other in time and space to get a nice conversation going between various elements. I hope that long-winded description makes sense! =)

So if I start with only one instance of Slate to create my rhythm pattern, which is my preferred workflow, it seems like a lot of work to split it all out for mixing - any thoughts?

Many thanks in advance and have a nice day!

PS I recently uploaded some tracks into the Creation thread if anyone is interested in my particular area of music-making! - cheers.


  • Create your master slate track and record all your MID drums there.

    Then create several new Slate tracks, one for your kick, one for your snare, one for your hihats etc...

    Use the MIDI send function in your mixer to send the MIDI from the master to all the others

    Then in your master Slate instrument, use the hamburger menu at the top right to copy the entire kit

    Paste the kit into the other Slate tracks

    Finally use the Mute function (top right of the Slate kit) to mute the unused pads in each of the slave kits. For example in the kick track mute all the pads except the kick.

    You can now perform your drumming in the master track and the MIDI is sent to all the slave tracks.

  • @richardyot THAT is a great system - thank you for the idea! After posting I realised about saving my kit as my own preset just for that song, and loading it into other tracks, but the MIDI element (if I can figure it out) is genius! And I can kind of leave this step until after the other composing, which is just perfect ( didnt want to faff about for a long time on drums only before the rest of a song is made)

    Many thanks for your reply - I can't wait to try this out! :)

  • also think about using of Slate internal effects - you have 4 fx busses inside Slate, you can send any pad to one of them.. every bus has 3 fx inserts (you can reorder them by drag ndrop) - EQ, Filter, Compressor and you have also Reverb/Delay send effects - so you can do pretty much do lot of mixing job in the box inside Slate...

    For sidechainig for me works very good just sending whole track into sidechain track and then to use compressor sidechain filter to filter our everything except of kick... Of course you can use also another slate instance with just kick, then send midi from main Slate to this secod Slate (using MIDI sends), then set mixer fader of second Slate with kick to zero and use it as "pre fader" send into sidechaining compressor - that way sound of this second Slate is not added to mix, but it IS applied in target sidechain compressor

  • You can also use the Slate hamburger menu to copy a single pad from one Slate instance to another.

  • @dendy great ideas, thanks a lot! I was aware of the possibility of mixing/balancing the drumkit within Slate using the buses, but I'm a beginner with the details so am more comfortable with ProEQ3 for the visual help. But over time I can see my way to using the FX bus in Slate more confidently. And the ideas of filtering the whole drumkit down to just a kick, and/or MIDI send just the kick, for a sidechain - brilliant! Thanks!

    @Will I see that now, just been playing around with the suggestions - thanks for your note!

    I still would love to be able to 'duplicate' the track settings though... like if I have a particular drumkit set up on a Slate track, to be able to 'Add a track with the same settings' would save a bunch of going through and selecting the kits again each and every time.... even if I save mine as a preset it doesn't open up Slate immediately to that kit...

    @richardyot I've been experimenting with your idea already and it definitely works - I made a group of all Slate tracks and used the Group fader for a 'master' channel (like a drum bus) and then I have to put the fader of my original Slate kit down to zero so as not to double the audio output which is also coming from each of the 'midi send' separate Slate tracks (each drum pad). If I mute my original track, none of them play! (cos that's the one with the notes info on it!) but I can put the fader to zero and the other tracks still sound out. So then I have: one track for playing my notes/hits into, several tracks which are 'MIDI-bounced' as individual sounds from the kit, and one channel for mixing the whole kit ( the group fader)

    Thanks all!

  • You don't need to save your kit as a preset, just use the hamburger menu to copy and paste the entire kit from one Slate instance to another. It's super-quick.

  • @richardyot aha great tip, thank you!

  • I do this all the time, and it's a little tedious, but once you get the hang of it, you will get really quick at it.

    Make your loop as normal, and when you're satisfied with it, add as many instances of slate as you need (if your drumkit is using 8 sounds, then 8 instances) and then copy your pattern and drag it to each new track you made. Once you do that, go back to your first pattern and select everything but the kick and wipe it, do the same in the second pattern for everything but your second sound, and on until each instance is handling the percussion seperately on it's own.

    It is much better in my opinion to have your drum tracks split like this, and that's how I mix, even on a hardware desk. That way you can do all sorts of tricky stuff like making the kick mono so it punches harder, stereo spreading individual percussion sounds, etc.

  • @BearBazooka Thanks so much for your tips - sounds good, I will try and incorporate this into my workflow habits! B)

  • @bobheads said:
    @BearBazooka Thanks so much for your tips - sounds good, I will try and incorporate this into my workflow habits! B)

    No Problem!

    The one thing I forgot there was that obviously all of your Slate instances will need to be using the same drumkit, so once you're done getting your stuff together and you're ready to split, save your kit as a preset. It's a pain in the arse at first to duplicate tracks and patterns, but the more you do it, the quicker you get.

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