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Using MIDI with Zenbeats

Zenbeats

Recently a customer asked about loading MIDI loops into Zenbeats (VERSION 1) by Roland.

That's a good question but I had no idea. So I downloaded it and tried....

It wasn't easy so I thought I'd share what I've learned with anyone seeking to use MIDI with what looks like a cool little music app.

Note: This information was created using Version 1. Please read this post if using version 2: MIDI with Zenbeats version 2

The biggest change is that you can now have nested folders in your user 'MIDI Patterns' folder.

Downloads

Download our Zenbeats Version 1 MIDI cheat sheet

Download our Zenbeats Version 2 MIDI cheat sheet

Download MIDI drum loops for Zenbeats

Results

The first thing I learned is that it's very difficult to find a way to import MIDI - unless I just missed it. The cheat sheet linked above outlines the steps required. But after using it more, I found other ways.

Second, you need to use type 0 MIDI files. Type 1 files appear to be empty after you import them and I didn't get any sound at all.

Third, the kits are limited to MIDI notes 36 through 43 so you're largely going to have to start with kick, snare and hat and build from there. It appears that you can add additional samples to the kits - if you pay to upgrade.

Fourth, Zenbeats won't look inside any folders added to the user 'MIDI patterns' folder. So you're going to have to swap files in and out for each project. However, on at least one screen I found a way to open any folder on my system.

Finally, some good news: you can save MIDI files as Zenbeats "drum patterns" and those are easy to import.

MIDI for Zenbeats

We can supply type 0 files for any purchases you've made - just send an email to support-at-groovemonkee.com and reference the email used to place your order if it's different from the one you're contacting us with.

In summary, I can say that this looks like a cool music program but it will take you time to get used to the interface and work flow. Working with MIDI will be a bit challenging at first but you'll eventually figure it out.

Thanks for reading this mini-post and please contact us if you need assistance or type 0 files for your purchases.



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  • John on

    This was very helpful. I’ve been bumping into some Zenbeats limitations and this helped me get past one. Have you found a way to remap individual drum instruments to different midi numbers/notes for MIDI out to an external device? (For example, I’d like the patterns to play on my SP404 instead of on the ipad so I can use the knobs for effects) My workaround is to create a parallel instrument track and move the notes. It can be done, but it’s a bit tedious. Thanks

  • Martin King on

    Thanks for taking the time to do this!


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