Pro Tools recording software comes with six virtual instruments from AIR as part of the additional free plugin package.
The included drum machine plugin is called Boom. It includes a wide range of preset drum patterns and various electronic percussion sounds.
Boom has a lot of features and settings that can take some time to learn.
This article is designed to help make the learning process a little easier. I’ve rounded up three of the most helpful YouTube tutorials that show how to use Boom to create some badass drum beats.
I’ve added a written summary below each video to help isolate the most salient points for quick reference.
Here’s an additional cool hidden feature with Boom not mentioned in these particular videos: click on the third line to the right of the Boom logo over the matrix, then when you select a kit it will open a master list showing all samples in Boom.
To get started, there are ten different drum kits to choose from using Boom, and each kit has ten instruments, each with its own set of customizations and settings for everything from pitch, decay, elasticity, velocity, level, etc. This first video explains the basics of the interface and how things work.
Boom: Getting Started with Drum Machines
Getting Start Summary
- Explore and test presets; presets are organized by recommended tempo.
- The matrix displays selected patterns on a grid.
- Up to 16 patterns can be running at one time.
- Dynamics dial adjusts velocity.
- Use drum kit selector below matrix to choose between 10 different drum kits.
- There are 10 instruments per kit, each with own channel strip, solo, mute, panning, level adjustment, etc.
- Use small adjuster screw to tweak sound (varies by instrument).
- Speed adjuster for double time, half time, normal time, plus triplet button.
Boom: How to Program Drum Patterns
Program Drum Patterns Summary
- Select instrument to enter pattern edit mode.
- Select numbers 1-16 to apply instrument note to spot or click light in matrix.
- Remove note or hit by right-clicking.
- Three levels of velocity: 1 click = full velocity, 2 clicks = medium velocity, 3 clicks = minimum velocity.
- Matrix displays dimmer lights for lower velocity.
- Enter pattern select mode to modify more patterns, up to 16, and select copy to duplicate pattern.
- Trigger patterns from C3 upwards on MIDI controller, trigger individual samples from C1 up.
Boom: Use MIDI to Play Boom Patterns
MIDI Drum Patterns Summary
- First 16 keys on keyboard trigger instrument sounds.
- C3 to D#4 keys trigger drum patterns 1-16 in Boom.
- Record enable instrument track for Boom then use corresponding MIDI notes to trigger when to change patterns.
- Draw pattern changes using MIDI editor: use octaves 3 to 4 to trigger patterns, click keys to trigger.
- Select pencil tool to add notes to trigger patterns; to make it easier set grid value to 1 bar.