Audio: percussion sample (0:08)
|standard drum kit
|powerful bass and snare
|electronic drum machine
|Roland Rhythm Machine
|similar to Standard
|Standard with brushes
|concert drums and timpani
percussion sample plays a rhythm twice and the percussion sample figure shows the score. All the drumsets available in General MIDI level 2 (GM2) are listed in the percussion sample table. In the first bar, the percussion instruments are a high, mid and low tom and a crash cymbal. In the second bar, the instruments are a bass drum, snare drum and hihat. The first rhythm is played on a jazz drumset, the second on an electronic drumset and the difference in timbre is noticeable.
Music software usually includes lots of MIDI drum samples. Whereas MIDI Level 1 (GM1) only had one drum kit, GM2 expands the number of kits to eight and adds another kit solely devoted to sound effects. GM2 also expands the number of percussion instruments in each kit from 47 in GM1 to 62.
GM2 provides a pretty comprehensive percussion orchestra. You have immediate access to 62 percussion instruments and each instrument has at least 8 different timbres, depending on which drumset you choose. And if that is not enough, many manufacturers provide extensions to GM2 and there are plenty more individual drum samples and drum kits available on the internet.
All the percussion sounds in the guide are generated with samples taken from the GM2 drumsets unless otherwise stated.
When you use MIDI, set MIDI channel 10 to playback MIDI drumsets. By convention, channel 10 is reserved for percussion.