The Art of Drum Optimization

The drum instrument has several basic parts:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare
  • Hi-Hat
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Toms

The first three (ie "Bass Drum", "Snare" and "Hi-hat") are the most basic parts.

Now, let's see the spelling "Mechanical" of a simple 8-beat rhythm-pattern.

Note: Different versions of hi-hats of the same rhythm-pattern may also be preferred.

We'll continue here based on first version...

First we set up the Hi-Hat:


Strokes marked "ob" are called off-beat. We reduce their strength by 50%.

We will do this by entering a value from the Inspector into the Velocity section. (The value to be entered for this example: "-50")


Strokes that we mark as "wb" are called weak-beats.

We reduce them by 25%. (The value to enter in Inspector for this example is "-25")

Downbeat and third beat:

The first stroke of the measure we mark as "DB" is called "downbeat". We leave of this in place.

 We're reduced the third-beat  by 12.5%. (The value to enter in Inspector for this example is "-12.5")

We have now completed the optimization of our Hi-Hat rhythm-pattern. We can listen to mechanical and optimized parts. (The first 2 measures were not optimized and the last 2 measures were optimized versions.)

Snare Drum:

We used two strokes for the Snare-Drum: on the second and the fourth beats. We reduce the second beat by 25%.

Let's listen to Hi-Hat and Snare together. (Since the optimization is done as a subtraction, we have to increase the dynamics of the optimized part)


Let's reduce the third beat of "Bass-Drum" by a little (12%) and the offbeat by a "25%".

The final version of our optimized rhythm-pattern is as follows.

Now let's listen to this rhythm-pattern with bass-guitar:


Naturally, not all rhythm patterns and their beats are optimized in the same way.
If you understand the logic shown here, you can easily make your own optimization.

Tip: Just optimize the rhythm pattern once. You can copy it and use it for pages.

Click here to download the mscz file example. (you need to extract it from the Zip file).

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