Hydrogen Drum Machine – Free Drum Programming for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Hydrogen Drum Machine – Free Drum Programming for Windows, Mac, and Linux


Hey guys, in this video we’re going to go
over how to use Hydrogen Drum machine to make tracks and loops for your music. Hydrogen is completely free and is available
on Windows, Mac and Linux. It has support for a variety of different
drums sounds and effects, and isn’t too difficult to learn. We’ll cover the basic on how to make a few
patterns and then we’ll show you how to combine these patterns into a song. When you go to open Hydrogen for the first
time you’ll be in pattern mode. You’ll see the layout for your pattern on
the bottom section of the screen here. All you need to do is at a time point for
each part of the drum kit and it will add it to the pattern. Just click it again if you want to remove
it. Now we’ll start building our first pattern. In this pattern, the shortest note we’ll
need is an eighth note, but you can change that by clicking on the resolution button. We’ll start with just eighth notes on the
high hat and we’ll make a simple rock beat. Then we’ll add a few snare and kick beats. Right now we’re in pattern mode, so if we
play it back it will just keep repeating. We’ll start working on our second pattern
now. Click on the button for pattern 2, and you’ll
see that beat we just created below disappears. Now let’s just try something with the ride
cymbal for this beat. We’ll add eighth notes on the ride again
and just a few snare and kick beats. I also want to have a variation of pattern
2 every second time it plays. To do this right click on pattern 2 and select
copy. This will create an identical copy as a separate
pattern that we can edit without affecting the first one. Now we’ll just remove the last few snare
notes and switch to triplets. Click the resolution menu and switch to 8T
if you want to do this. Then just add the notes. Keep in mind that while you’re in this mode
you won’t be able to edit regular eight notes that don’t line up with the grid. Ok so now I’m happy with these 2 patterns
we’ve made. Now we’ll switch the mode at the top to
song mode and start combining patterns. You can use as many of these as you want and
repeat them to create a full song if you had the time to program it, but we’ll be keeping
it fairly simple for this example. We’ll play the Pattern 1, 4 times and then
alternate between the 2 variations of pattern 2. To program this, you click on the little squares
beside each pattern and they’ll light up; like with the notes just click them to undo
it. Now we can play back the beat we’ve made
with all the patterns combined. There’s just a few things you may want to
do to make the programmed drums sound a little more natural. First we’ll adjust the velocity of some
of the notes. This can be done to make it sound a little
less consistent otherwise they’ll all be exactly the same. We’ll also increase the pitch variation. This with give each of the notes a slightly
different pitch which will also make it sound a little more natural; just be careful not
to go overboard with it. Now that we’re done, we can save the project
so we can come back to it another time. Hydrogen has the option to either export it
as a MIDI file or audio file. If you’re planning on using another DAW
to work on your song, the MIDI file would work great and give you the most control in
that program as you’re mixing. Otherwise, you can just export as a WAVE file. Thanks for watching this video on how to use
the hydrogen drum machine. If you found it helpful, don’t forget to
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45 thoughts on “Hydrogen Drum Machine – Free Drum Programming for Windows, Mac, and Linux”

  1. another cool thing you can do is export each individual drum out as a wav file. That way you don't have to screw around with midi in the DAW and you still have max control over levels

  2. I downloaded hydrogen but everytime I try to open it it just goes back to the setup wizard I'm kind of lost it's been awhile since I've been on a computer also any help would be greatly appreciated

  3. Beatcraft. Download the trial, then keep the tab open after the trial is up…….or just cough up the 30 or 40 bucks. I don't use software drums anymore, but I have Beatcraft for "very rough draft" recordings of brand new (or even unfinished) songs, and I also use the closed hat sound as a click., because it's much easier to plat to than a beep-track and if it bleeds a little from the headphones, it'll blend right in with the real drums. However, I HAVE tried it for actual recording, and while my ears will not be satisfied with fake drums, it is miles above Hydrogen. It's set up with a similar layout, the sort of grid type thing where you click the box on the timeline, and you can make multiple patterns and arrange them into a sequence, but it also has more realistic samples and you can put an eq or compressor or reverb or even echo or distortion or a flanger on each individual drum and/or the whole kit. Again, NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING will take the place of having an actual drummer hitting actual drums, even if all you have is a cheap student kit and a 2 input USB audio interface, just stick a close mic on the kick and one mono overhead about 38" above the snare. I also know that not everyone has access to drummers and real drums and some people have neighbors who won't tolerate any loud noise, and so don't get yourself locked up, and if you're in the situation where you have no choice but to use software and can't really afford the more expensive stuff, go for Acoustica Beatcraft. At least download the free trial (a week I think) and check it out. My apologies to the uploader, I'm just trying to be helpful.

  4. I've spent like 5 or 6 hundred on drum software! And none of it's easy or what you imagine! This, now this is better! Much more to the point!

  5. How do you add drum hits more quickly? I.E instead of hovering over each time marker tab one-by-one and having to click on each tab individually?

  6. If I connect my electronic drum to the pc it works? I mean, the program works like ez drummer simulating what I'm playing?

  7. Can you export a drum track and can it put it into a midi file? then that way you can edit it a bit faster. Say you have a snare you’ve been messing with and you don’t like it, so you import it into Hydrogen, and it can detect it as a midi

  8. Sounds VERY robotic to me, just like a cheap single shot drums, is that the best it works? No round robins? No velocity layers?

  9. I can do drum tracks from stuff like recording banging my chest for the kick and brushes on foolscap folders. Use a click if you want to rock steady but no need really. So it's more free form and no unnatural stuff to get rid of. I don't use my drum machine much at all (Zoom r24).

  10. Anyone know why this program crashes when you try to delete more than one layer in one out of your drum kit?  I can't sign up tot the help forum either for some reason to start a new topic their and see if anyone can help.  Program used to let me delete layers, not anymore, just crashed the program.

  11. hi, I have problem with hydrogen releases for windows 10 64 bit. none of them is showing the song editor. heres picture of the screen I am getting; https://prnt.sc/lyccf3. please help

  12. Will this work with a program like Addictive Drums (GREAT sounds!), also, can you do 'real time' pattern writing?  I'm crazy 'old school' and have been using a Roland R8, and would love to find a software sequencer that works in the same fashion with better sounding drums.

  13. I love this program, its like better version of PC Drummer, but, one thing was better in PC Drummer that this one doesn't have or i cant find it…
    The GMKit Interfacce doesn't change on Play Song, to show which part is playing, it keeps frozen to one screen. PC Drummer kept showing in real time the current playing section…
    How do i do that on Hydrogen?
    Also, Hydrogen's defailt Hi Hat sucks, it cuts off like its partially closed.. is there a way to make it sound like its open? I turned down Cut Off turned up Resonance all the way up, but doesnt do shit

  14. White-Noise-Machine

    I installed it but when I click the program it shows the initial start up screen and then just disappears .. nothing happens, no errors..arg

  15. Seems like I usually hear some strange "air" on the hits in Hydrogen – even when I've loaded samples into it~! Suppose I could try again – since I upgraded my processor, disck space. etc etc.

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