multiple kits in a song?

Carl Edlund Anderson cea at
Thu Jul 17 17:31:06 EDT 2003

For I guess a few months now I've been musing over how to put together a 
Doggiebox drum kit (or kits) to model a Latin-style percussion 
section.  I've been thinking about the way the Doggiebox UI is organized, 
particularly as summed up in the manual:
>The rationale behind our five-group drum arrangement hinges on two concepts:
>   1. A human drummer, with two arms and two legs, is typically able to hit a
>      maximum of only four distinct drums simultaneously.
>   2. A huge grid providing slots for dozens of instruments quickly 
> becomes very
>      unwieldy, although the grid paradigm itself is useful for visually 
> sorting
>      information.
>Consequently, the approach is to group the drum kit instruments into five 
>general categories, like so (from top to bottom):
>   * accessory cymbals (crashes and other);
>   * rhythmic cymbals (hi hat and rides);
>   * secondary drums (tom-toms);
>   * principal drums (snare drum);
>   * foot-operated drums (kick drum).

This works great for modeling a single drummer, but I'm thinking that 
perhaps the UI concept could be expanded to include the concept of a rhythm 
_section_.  For an easily accessible example, the contemporary Santana band 
has a rock kit drummer, a congas/bongo/quinto/tumba percussionist, and a 
timbales percussionist (and probably they or someone is shaking a maraca or 
whacking some claves occasionally, too).

In theory, one could assemble a single, monster, Doggiebox kit with all 
these elements, though this would kind of violate the principles of the 
Doggiebox rationale (and I'm not sure how amongst the 5 categories I would 
want to sling all these extra drums anyway).  In a sense, the Doggiebox 
rationale suggests that to put together a percussion section like this, one 
would really want to put together a percussion section: to load _3_ 
seperate drum kits -- a rock kit, a congas etc kit, and a timbales etc. kit 
-- which would appear simultaneously in the Drum Kit List pallette (though 
labeled and grouped seperately).  Then one would proceed to compose your 
Doggiebox song as normal, but conducting a section rather than a single 

Would something like this be sensible/useful/feasible?  The ability to load 
multiple kits would work let you get into things like modeling situtations 
like the Allman Bros or Grateful Dead where there are two or more 
drummers/percussionists.  Heck, with the addition of the talked-about 
"humanization" feature to offset timing and velocity slightly from kit to 
kit, one could quickly imitate a marching band ;)


Carl Edlund Anderson
mailto:cea at 

More information about the Doggiebox mailing list