Dwarf Drummer?

Having run into some ‘artistic differences’ with my old band, I’ve started a new one (as you do!).
At this point we are looking to do small gigs, open mics and similar. We want to incorporate some drumming to give our songs a nice rhythm, but setting up/tearing down a drum set is not really viable. We have one band member who is learning the Cajon, but would prefer to utilise her skills in other ways at the moment.
I know there are some great Drum sounds in the Dwarf, but I’m stuck trying to figure out how to drive them.
Ideally, I’d like to build a collection of midi files (one for each of our setlist) which is basically the “Drummer Track”.
At gig time I’d be able to load the desired track and then start it off with a footpress.
I have seen that there are some MIDI sequencer plugins, but they only go up to 32 steps.

I’d appreciate suggestions as to how we can get our Drummer in a Dwarf … I’d prefer not to have to use any external devices to achieve this due to cost and hassle of more gear.

S’manth x


I can’t help you for the sequencing parts but I did something with plain audiofiles with the Dwarf when we were out of drummer for a while:

  • File player, loaded up with some drum tracks
  • Bound some presets with certain songs loaded in the file player
  • switched songs by turning one of the endless knobs

No control over the structure of the song thoug, since they were audio files

You could do the same thing with midi files and a drum syth/sample though


Haven’t tried it myself, but maybe the MIDI File - MOD Audio plugin is what you’re looking for?

Edit: For more flexibility in terms of jamming, I think you could have different drum patterns in a sequencer and switch through them using pedalboard snapshots.


Ooo @derschakal , that plugin looks just the ticket … thank you!

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At the moment the sequencing capabilities indeed lie between either loading midi files or using the built in step sequencers.
You can of course also play with the other midi tools to combine alterations, probability, “humanization” (variable velocity) and such, but the patch can get pretty complex and hard to manage or replicate/reuse.

One other way is to use Cardinal to generate (or manipulate) drum notes, however that requires a whole different creativity by using control voltage and Rack polyphonic features. You can also use Cardinal to fully create the drum sounds as well of course. I often will use the clock/transport source, together with some logic modules, to create varying and modulating drum rhythms that are synced.

I’m still brooding some ideas for generative midi plugins that can create note patterns, but really not sure about the requirements and interface for something like that.

Any combination of all of the above should be able to generate quite a variation of results, but I’m definitely also looking forward to more sequencing capabilities for MOD!

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you can check out my pedalboard Taktgeber D+ | Modern Metal Groovebox - MOD Audio

I use the midi sequencer for that. An advantage is you can trigger song parts with the footswitches of the dwarf and can alter them on the fly.


On my opinion, there is lack of the plugin that would provide BeatBuddy pedal like functionality, I even tried to write it myself several month ago, but stuck a bit due to a steep learning curve of plugin development, and switched to more achievable projects. I would return back to this idea later, but it can take ages with my lv2/c++ skills, so I hope there would be other people to fill the gap.


Damn I checked that out and something like BeatBuddy looks like what I could use for my solo gigs as well!

Create a song with some drum patterns per song and then be able to cycle through songs and through sections if you are in-song.

Would that work for you as well @Smanth ?

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I had a look at a review of the BeatBuddy (Thanks for the idea @ignis32) … I think it would totally work @LievenDV, but I do not want to add anything to my wee pedalboard, especially when I know the Dwarf has the capability to do the same stuff … I might have to install the Plugin Dev tools and have a go at producing something similar (30 years in IT before retraining as a nurse so I should be bale to do it … if I can find the time lol)


Yeah I was only implying that at some point, a JamBuddy-like plugin would be a useful addition to the arsenal :wink:


Love my BeatBuddy: Song of Comfort (live looping) - YouTube


If you’re looking for an interesting solution in pedal form, check out the Snare Trap. Limited, but in a very good way…

With this in mind, it seems like there could be some interesting and creative drum plugins for the MOD platform. I would think there are some ways to do this stuff via CV too.

So I’ve landed on this setup for now.

The drums sound rather good through my Bass amp :slight_smile:


I love the black pearl kit. I use it in qTractor all the time!

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Problem for me with the MIDI File plugin is that it is not friendly to the short drum loops.
I had a feeling that there is a pause between loops, but after trying it again for some time now I think that it is more interesting than that - it misses first notes of the loop when going into the next cycle. For example, my funk drum loop starts with a bass drum, and in Repeat Mode On it is just not playing this bass drum stroke on every iteration except the very first one.

Also there is no possibility to assign midi file selection to any knobs or midi events, so midi file usage is very limited, unless you wish to play along with a one single full song drum backing track per pedalboard. (probably, there is also something you can do with presets to choose a track without web gui, but I do not use prests for other reasons, so I am not sure)


I’m using full length midi files.
I’ve saved snapshots, one each with a track loaded and the midi player stopped … the idea is I can quickly load the midi track
(the snapshot does this) and then hit a foot switch to start playback.


I experienced that, too. I wanted to have a metronome and that did not work at all.

For the midi file selection, also see Midi/audio file plugin: chosing midi/audio file via mod dwarf endless knobs

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Another interesting aspect of the drum stuff usage (at least in my use case) is a tempo sync to the looper.

I’ve found (that was not much of secret, lol) that LP3 produces F8 midi clock messages on it’s midi output, so it should be possible to sync that hypothetical drum machine from the lp3 looper.

At least it works for the midi metronome plugin I am trying to write now as an DPF exercise.