Pro Audio Files

Adding Drum Samples in Studio One

Warren: Hi, it’s Warren Huart here. Hope you’re doing marvelously well. Please, as ever, subscribe, go to, sign up for the email list, you’ll get a whole bunch of free stuff, and of course, you can try the 14 day free trial of The Academy.

So David Mood is an Academy member, and he’s already done a Studio One video for us based on the vocal thickening trick that I did using Pro Tools. So this time, he’s going to take our drum samples, which you can download for free from the website, just sign up for the email list and you’ll get them, and he is going to show us how to line them up infinitely quicker than the way I do using Pro Tools.

He has got a little trick using Studio One. So for all of you Studio One users out there, this is a way you can lay all the samples quickly and easily using stock plugins that come with Studio One.

So please, watch the video, leave a bunch of comments and questions below. David is very active as well in responding to all of the questions, and enjoy and thank you ever so much for watching!

David: Hi everyone! It’s David Mood here for Produce Like a Pro.

Today, I’d like to show you a really cool way to use Warren’s drum samples in Studio One.

Warren uses these drum samples in a lot of his productions, and I’m sure that many of you have already seen and heard them in many of his videos. The great thing is, you can get them for free if you go to and sign up for the email list, and I’m sure that many of you have downloaded them already, and maybe you asked yourself, “Okay, but how can I actually use them in my productions in my DAW?” And that’s exactly what I’d like to show you.

Now, of course, there are several different ways to do drum replacement in Studio One, and the method I’d like to show you is maybe not the most usual one, but I think it’s a really neat and efficient one, and also fun to use. So let’s have a look.

I’ve setup a short drum loop here with five tracks. We have one kick and one snare track, one hi-hat, and an overhead and a room track. Let’s have a quick listen.


Now this sounds pretty damn good already, but you know, sometimes, more is just more. So let’s use one Warren’s drum samples to enhance the kick and the snare. So let’s open the browser and navigate to the place where you saved Warren’s drum samples. I’ve got them here. There they are. Now we can audition them real easily by just double clicking on the first, and then use the down arrow key to audition them all.


Next in here, we have some kick samples, we have a lot of snare samples, and some special effect samples.

Now let’s start with the kick. We will use an instrument that comes included with Studio One, namely Impact. Just go to the instruments tab and drag and drop it into the arrangement. There we have it.

Now, Impact is a kind of fun Akai MPC style drum sampler. Very straight forward and easy to use. Of course, if you’re using another DAW than Studio One, then of course you don’t have Impact, but you could use any kind of sampler for this method. Impact just fits perfectly for our purpose here.

Now, of course, Impact comes already with a lot of presets for different drum sounds, but the cool thing is we can also load our own drum samples into this pad. So let’s go back to all the drum samples and let’s load kicks. We have three of them. First one is here. I have a kick.

Just drag and drop the sample to the pad of your choice. We put it right here. Then we have a PR Kick. I’m not sure what this means. I’m not sure that this is Public Relations or Peurto Rico Kick. Maybe Warren can shed a light on this.

Then finally, we have the Warehouse Kick. Let’s put it here.

Now, if we enable to monitor button on the instrument track, then we can immediately play these kicks by just kicking on them. And also, if you have a MIDI controller connected, then of course you can play directly with the assigned keys. In this case, you can see the assignment on the lower right corner of the pad, so we have here B0, and C1, and C#1.


So I can play them with these keys. Now what we need to do is assign all of the three pads with the kicks to the same note number so we can play them with just one key. So I already selected the pad, and down here on the right, you can see trigger first. Just click there, and you can either type it in, or just hit the key on your keyboard which you want to use for this pad. Let’s just use C1 because this is the standard in most drum sampler programs for the kick.

So I just hit C1. That’s fine. The PR Kick is already correctly assigned, so there’s only the Warehouse Kick left. So select it and hit C1 again. Now, there is one more important step. Here, where it says Play Mode, One Shot Mono, we have to change it to every pad to One Shot Poly, otherwise it will not work correctly for what we want to do. So let’s select all pads and select One Shot Poly.

Now, if you hit C1…


All three drum samples are played at the same time.

That’s exactly what you want.

Okay, great, so let’s load a second instance of Impact for the snares. Again, just drag and drop it. We can rename them so we know what we are doing. Let’s call this Kick MIDI and let’s call this Snare MIDI. Let’s enable the monitor button and load in some snare samples.

Now, because we have a lot of them, I will not load them all, I will just take three or four. So let’s say I’d like to take this Kramer Med Snare, and then let’s take Snare D28, then let’s take here the Snare Wood sample, and as you can see, we also have some stereo samples, but they are divided into two mono samples each, so we have them as room left and room right.

Now if you want to import them to one pad, we need to convert them into a stereo file first, and nothing is easier than that in Studio One. Just select both of them and right click, and select, “Merge to Stereo File,” and there we have it. Gallery Room. Now we can just drag and drop it here.

[snare samples]

There they are. Now we have the same procedure as we had for the kicks. Let’s assign them all to D1, because that is again, the key which is used in most drum samplers for the snare. So let’s select it and hit D1. Next one, D1. D1, and our last pad is already correctly assigned.

Again, just with the kicks, we need to set all pads to One Shot Poly, otherwise, even though they all light up at the same time, we don’t hear them yet at the same time unless we set them all to One Shot Poly, and now if we hit D1…


We can really hear them all at the same time. Now, of course, you could go ahead and load in all of the snare samples and set everything up correctly, and then simply save the whole thing as an impact preset. Let’s call these Warren’s Snares.

And then, you know, next time you want to use the snare samples, you don’t need to do all of this work again, you just call up the preset, and you’re good to go.

Okay, great, so the first part of our work is done. We have loaded all of the drum samples we want to use into the song. So what we have to do now is of course trigger them from the kick and the snare of the drum loop, and we will use the gate which comes included with Studio One for that, but first, let me quickly duplicate both the kick and the snare tracks. I will explain in a second why.

Right-click and select, “Duplicate Tracks Complete,” which also duplicates not only the tracks, but also the events on it. Let’s open the mixer, and we will insert a gate now on the duplicates of the kick and the snare tracks not on the original tracks themselves. So let’s type in “Gate.” There it is. Let’s solo this kick track.

Now, the great thing about this gate is, apart from the fact that it’s a very good gate by itself, is that you can use it as a trigger for a virtual instrument. So every time that the gate opens, it can send a MIDI note, which then you can route to the input of a virtual instrument. So if you’d like to recreate this method which I am showing here in another DAW than Studio One, then you would need to look out for a gate which offers a similar functionality.

Okay, let’s hookup the gate to the kick, let’s choose the fastest attack setting possible, pull the range all the way down, play the track.


Now as you can hear, we have some bleed from the snare. Now, this is the reason why I chose to duplicate the tracks to put the gate on them, because you don’t always want to remove the bleed, because it can happen to make the drums sound more organic and fuller. So if I choose a separate duplicate track to act as a trigger, I don’t have to worry about removing the bleed. I can have a perfect trigger and still have the bleed on my original kick track.

Now of course, if you want to get rid of the bleed anyway, you don’t need to duplicate the tracks. You can insert the gate directly on the original tracks.

So let’s get rid of the snare.


By simply dialing in the open knob up until we only hear the kick.

[kick, gated]

There we have it. And now, we activate here on the right side, the trigger function. You can already see visually that it’s sending out a note whenever we have a kick hit.

Great. We can specify the note which it is sending here, and we have chosen C1 for our kicks. So let’s type in C1. We could also set a velocity, but because we are using one shot samples, you know, without different velocity layers, we don’t need to worry about that, because it doesn’t make any difference.

So we’re almost there. The only thing left to do is to go to our Impact track with the kicks, and select the gate as the input for the track, and they are muted, and play.


There we have it. As you can see, all kicks are playing. We can solo them here if you want.

[soloing kick samples]

So you could, you know, choose just one sample, or just two, or three together. And now we can unsolo everything.


And actually, now we can pull down the volume completely of our trigger track, because of course now, we have our original kick track together with the samples.


And the bleed. So this is without the samples, just the original kick.


And Warren’s kick samples.

[kick with samples]

Everything together.


Nice. Now, we can balance the volume of the individual samples, either directly in Impact, because each pad has its own volume control, so if you want to make the Warehouse Kick softer, we can do it here, or take it out completely.

[adjusting kick samples]

Make it louder… Or, as an alternative, we could activate individual outputs for the kick samples. Let’s choose Mono 1, Mono 2, and Mono 3. As you can see, we have automatically created three new channels in the mixer, which now represent our individual kick samples.

So here we have just kick one… Kick two, the Puerto Rico kick, and then the Warehouse kick.

[switching samples]

Then of course, we can use the faders to balance them.


And another advantage of this of course, if you want to insert plugins on the individual kick samples, or use some send effects like reverb, then we can do it with this method.

Okay, so let’s bring in our snare samples. Insert a gate on the snare trigger track, play it.


Set attack to fastest, range all the way down, and then dial the Open until we eliminate the kick and can only hear the snare.

[snare, gated]

There we have it. Activate the trigger function, set this to D1, which we have chosen in Impact for the snare samples, and then we select, again, as the input for the snare Impact track, the gate 2, which is sitting on a snare track, and now we can turn down the volume of this completely, because the triggering still works, and mute everything.


And there we go.

As you can see, all snare samples are playing. We can now adjust the volume here.

So there you have it. We could now even hide our trigger tracks, because once they’re setup correctly, we don’t need to see them, and they don’t need to occupy some space in the mixer, and now, let’s mute our samples and listen to just the original drum tracks.

[drums, raw]

Bring in the kicks.

[drums, with kick samples]

Bring in the snares.

[drums with all samples]

Nice difference, isn’t it?

Now, of course, this took awhile here, because I was explaining things and all, but you know, once you set this up one time and saved the whole snares and kick as a preset in Impact, all you need to do is drag in Impact, select a preset, setup a gate, and off you go.

Now, that’s basically it, but since we have such a nice setup here, let’s have some fun. Let’s open the browser and go to the instruments, and drag in a synthesizer. In this case, Waves Element. Now let’s select here the sine wave. You can basically use any synth for this which has a sine wave, and that would be probably 80% or more of all of the synths, and let’s select the Gate 1 as the input for this synth, which is coming of course from our kick, and let’s see what happens.



[drums, no synth]

[laughs] That’s it. Now we could go even a bit crazier and tune it down a bit.

[adjusting synth tuning]

There we go. You can probably only hear this if you are using good headphones or full range monitors. Let’s solo the kick and just the synth.

[kick and synth]

Without it.

[kick, no synth]

With it.

[kick and synth]

That’s how it sounds soloed. It’s just a sine wave, which is triggered from our kick.


Everything together.


You know, we could go a little bit more crazier and be a bit more experimental and select, let’s say, another —

[drums and synth]

Wave here. Use the cutoff. Some resonance. Some distortion. Crush it. Let’s put some reverb on it. Oh. And we’ve created a monster kick for your next horror movie in a few seconds.

Now, we could use this also for your snare, for example, to add some white noise. You could also use a synthesizer for that. You know, experiment and have fun! Now, as I have said in the beginning, of course this is just one way for using Warren’s drum samples in Studio One. You could use more conventional methods, like to extract the MIDI notes from the drum tracks, or the really old school way, to just import them into the timeline and lining them up with the transients of the kick and snare, etcetera etcetera.

I hope you found this approach useful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. Thank you very much for watching, I’ve been David, bye bye!

Warren: Thank you ever so much for watching the video. David again did a wonderful job. So please leave a bunch of comments and questions below, be sure to sign up for the email list, and you will get the drum samples that he is using. Have a marvelous time recording and mixing!

Warren Huart

Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English record producer/musician/composer and recording engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at
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