BFD2, Variable Hats and MIDI CC Messages

Last night while recording some ground work for a new song with BFD2 and my Hart Dynamics electronic drums, we ran into a problem that has recently been cropping up again and again after a seemingly long time of reliable performance. None of us were quite sure what was going on but I’m super glad we got it figured out.

What would happen is that while recording, the variable hi hats would respond correctly and play closed when I had the hats closed and open when I had the hats open. However, on playback the hats at the start of a song that should have been closed, played open! After I had closed the hats once in the recording, the playback would then play closed as it should have been from the start…

This was perplexing for a little while until something dawned on my friend: Not long ago, I had adjusted my MegaDrum settings so that it would only send the hi hat pedal position MIDI CC messages when the position was changing or had changed. That is, once the pedal was resting opened or closed and the final CC message for that position was sent, no more CC messages where being sent to BFD. The previous configuration, which I thought was a misconfiguration, was sending CC messages at a fairly constant rate when the hats were both open and closed, basically constantly informing BFD of the hi hat pedal position.

It turns out that while recording, the initial closed pedal position CC message was not recorded so on playback BFD simply assumed the hats were open. After recording some closed position CC messages at the start of the track, everything worked fine! I’ve since returned the MegaDrum configuration to one where constant CC messages for the hi hat pedal position are being sent so that when we record from now on, we will always been recording the hi hat pedal position and it will always be “correct” on playback/bouncing. I just had to lower the “closed lvl” setting and raise the “high lvl” setting to achieve a steady rate of CC messages from MegaDrum to BFD.

I just thought I’d share that for anyone in the same position, wondering why BFD with “all hats variable” seems to play the “wrong” hi hat position on playback when it worked fine while recording. If you’re getting this kind of problem, now you know why.

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