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Nord Beat works with Virtual MIDI, kind of.

Nord Beat, released today for free from Clavia, is quite a neat app for minimal and functional drum step-sequencing. I've been playing around with it and although it doesn't officialy support Virtual MIDI, it can be used to drive other apps. There is a big caveat here; it does not run in the background. If you have to switch apps at all, it will stop and close out. This is kind of a pain in the ass, but it will remember changes you've made to your sequences, when you return!

To get it working with other apps you need to make sure of two things.

1. The drum app is open to Network MIDI connections.
2. The drum app is listening on the same MIDI channel Node Beat is Sending.

For most apps this is easy, as they are already listening to Channel 10, the default for drum MIDI. I tested it with MoDrum and bleep!BOX, both worked great. For MoDrum you do need to go the extra step for first enabling Network MIDI and then tell it to listen for notes, but once you do the notes come flying in.

Acoustic Bass Drum 35
Bass Drum 36
Side Stick / Rim 37
Acoustic Snare 38
Hand Clap 39
Electric Snare 40
Close Hi-Hat 42
Low Tom 43
Mid Tom (2) 45
Open Hi-Hat 46
Mid Tom 47
High Tom (2) 48
Crash Cymbal 49
High Tom 50
Ride Cymbal 51

The tricky part is finding the right note numbers for all of the drum parts. Most apps use the General MIDI note mapping, so I made this handy chart.

The bold instruments indicate the most common ones. There are some minor conflicts in some apps. MoDrum's synth snare, for instance, is on the accoustic snare number. The chart should help get you going though.

Buy Nord Beat on iTunes: Free

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