Getting Started With Handy Grooves- MIDI drum loops

Introduction #

We created all GoranGrooves Handy Grooves MIDI drum loop collections to be 100% compatible with GoranGrooves Handy Drums range of drum plugins.


Depending on the type of MIDI loop collection, its drum mapping may not be compatible with all Handy Drums default mapping. For example, World Percussion drum loops will not make sense when played on a regular drumset, such as the Rock Standard plugin.


Make sure to match the loops to the appropriate plugins to achieve expected results. For accurate information on what drum mapping a particular MIDI loop collection uses, see this doc.


The Handy Grooves MIDI drum loops are a standard type 1 MIDI format.

Naming Conventions #


We use a variety of names and abbreviations to indicate the content of a MIDI file. To keep the length practical, we prioritize the info shown in a file name. Elements that may show up in a file name include:

  • style (e.g., Shuffle, Rumba)
  • type (e.g., groove, fill)
  • tempo (e.g., slow, medium, fast)
  • time signature (e.g., 6_8, 5_4)
  • sticks vs. brushes (e.g., brsh, stck)
  • feel (e.g., swing/swung, straight)
  • an instrument providing the leading subdivision (e.g., hats, ride)
  • subdivisions (e.g., 8’s, 16’s)
  • particulars (e.g., syncopated kick)
  • accents or rhythms (e.g., 2& 4, x_xx)


Most common elements of a drum groove, such as 4/4 time signature or sticks, are generally not noted and assumed. These naming strategies are aimed at helping you orient yourself better among the loops, but they are not a substitute for auditioning them.

How to use #

Step 1– Download #


Download The MIDI Loops From Your GoranGrooves Account.


Your loops will download as a ZIP archive to your default download directory as set in your browser (e.g., the desktop or a dedicated downloads folder).

Step 2– Unzip #


Unzip all of the content contained within the ZIP archive into a location of choice. We recommend placing them into a “GoranGrooves Handy Grooves” master folder where you keep all of your MIDI loops.


The included MIDI loops may come organized in folders and subfolders and any included drum fills will likely also be organized in sub-folders.

Step 3– Drag and Drop #


Drag the MIDI loops of your choice to a MIDI or instrument track in your DAW connected to one of the Handy Drums plugins. 


You may drag the midi file from your system browser into your DAW, or you may use your DAW’s media manager to audition and import MIDI loops.


Note: The imported MIDI files may be extracted as more than a single MIDI track depending on the loop collection and your DAW settings. You should only use the event(s) that contain music notes. 


If the track on which you are trying to drop a MIDI file has a time base set to linear, as opposed to musical, then the imported MIDI file will be placed onto a new, automatically-created midi track. To avoid this, set the time base of the target track to Musical before dropping in a MIDI file. 


Tip: You may layer all imported midi events onto a single MIDI track, and they will play back as one.

Auditioning MIDI Loops Inside DAW Before Import #


To preview audio loops before importing them into your DAW’s sequence, you will need to use your DAW’s media management solution. Depending on your DAW of choice and its version, such a solution may or may not be available. Refer to your DAW’s user manual.


In Cubase, you can preview MIDI loops in the following way.

Open Loop Browser #


Open The Loop Browser or MediaBay or Sound Browser from the Media menu in the header.

Index GoranGrooves Handy Grooves Directory #


In the left panel of the window, browse to the folder containing the GoranGrooves Handy Grooves MIDI loops you want to audition and make sure it is selected. Cubase will take a few moments to index it. Once ready, the contents of the sub-folders can be further browsed and auditioned.


Browse through the sub-folders to locate the loops you want to audition. 

Connect Loop Browser Output To VST Rack Instrument #


Before you can hear anything, you need to load the appropriate Handy Drums plugin into your VST Rack and connect the Loop Browser to it.

Audition MIDI Loops #


Once the plugin is loaded and connected to the Loop Browser, you can click on any MIDI loop to play it through the plugin.

Loop Browser Controls #


To automatically play any loop you click on, make sure the autoplay button is on. Otherwise, press the play button after selecting a MIDI loop.


MIDI loops will play at their default tempo. If you wish to audition them at the tempo of your current project, enable the “Align Beats To Project” button.

MIDI Track Settings #

To properly view the imported loops, set the MIDI track channel to 10.

And at the very least select the GM drum map.

If in Cubase, we recommend downloading our customized drum maps and importing them for the most accurate drum mapping references. For other DAW’s you can create your own custom drum maps by referring to our drum mapping references.

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