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Editing percussion

Our editor supports unpitched percussion notation, and there’s some special stuff to know about how it works. Certain editor features — such as accidentals and key signatures — are disabled for percussion, and other editor features become available.

Here’s information about what’s special about entering and editing percussion on Soundslice.

Creating a drum kit track

To create a drum kit track (a percussion track with a five-line staff), add a track and select “Drum kit” as the type. On the subsequent screen, you can choose whether to enable drum tab for the track:


Once you’ve created the track, note entry works the same as non-percussion tracks. To enter notes in the staff, use the letters A-G on your keyboard.

Percussion sound mapping

In our synth playback, the percussion sound for a note depends on the note’s staff position and articulation(s). Our default sound mapping is the following:

Staff positionNotehead/articulationSound
B above staffChina cymbal
A above staffCrash cymbal
G above staffHi-hat closed
G above staffOpen circleHi-hat open
F lineRide cymbal
F lineDiamond noteheadRide bell
E spaceHigh tom
D lineHigh-mid tom
C spaceElectric snare drum
C spaceX noteheadSnare cross stick
C spaceDiamond noteheadSnare drum
B lineLow-mid tom
A spaceLow tom
G lineFloor tom 1
F spaceKick drum
E lineBass drum
D below staffHi-hat foot

Changing the percussion mapping

Given the diversity of percussion notation standards, different notation software interprets staff positions differently. For example, should the A line above the staff be a crash or splash cymbal?

If you create a percussion track from scratch in our editor, we’ll use the sound mapping described above on this page. (We’re planning to eventually give you the ability to create your own mappings.)

If you created a slice by importing from an existing notation file, then that file might have its own custom mapping. You can change this to the Soundslice default mapping as follows:

1. In the editor’s “Tracks” menu, click the name of your percussion track. That will take you to the “Change track” window, which looks like this:


2. Next to “Percussion mapping,” you’ll see which sound mapping we’re currently using for this track. If it’s “Soundslice drumkit,” then you’re using our default mapping (currently not changeable). If it’s “Custom (from imported file),” then you have the option to switch to “Soundslice drumkit” instead.

If you change the mapping and don’t like the new sounds, you can always hit Control+Z to undo.