Stacked sounds and MIDI mapping hurdles in SSD5 (or SSD5.5) when creating an own drum kit

Let’s face two facts:

  1. Steven Slate Drums, especially the new SDD5.5, simply sound fucking great, out of the box.
  2. The MIDI mapping, especially the “stacking issue”, is a pain in the ass.

When it comes to point 2 I had a conversation with the support. Remarkable: I never got a quicker support reply. What leaves me in mixed emotions is the content of it. Here’s my message:

I can’t seem to find the “Input Converter” in SSD5.5. I’d love to keep the mapping for every kit loaded, so that I can switch between drum sets, but keep the samples where they were.

Then I can’t figure out how to “unstack” samples… well, in all honesty: why do they get stacked by default in the first place? Would be great if they’d get somewhat logically mapped to their own MIDI notes (like a second kick drum close to the 1st one etc.). It’s very inconvenient to have a second hi-hat placed 3 octaves above the first one. That makes drum programming a nightmare.

I want to build a huge drum set with 2 different kick drums, 2 different hi-hats etc., and not run 2 instances of SSD5.5 in one project, just to be able to have this.

I know, I can assign every single sample to another note (MIDI Learn), but to do all of this by hand is, as mentioned, a nightmare.

Also, what’s the difference between “User (not loaded)” and “Reserved (not loaded)”, and what happens when I put, say, a kick drum on a “Bell left (not loaded)”? Will the left bell WHEN LOADED then stack up with the kick drum?

As said, I want to build a huge drum kit with all the samples I have in mind, but right now mapping issues stand in the way.


Here’s the reply:


please note SSD5.5 offers MIDI learn in two different locations, the mapping section, which can be accessed by first clicking on the “Map” Tab, on the left side of SSD 5, and the articulation switching which can be accessed in the edit and mix tabs. The MIDI learn in the “MAP” tab is global, meaning that notes are mapped before they hit SSD5. Thus, these changes do not save per kit, for saved presets, you will have to reload them each time you load a new kit. This is good for making maps for MIDI controllers/ E-Kit’s as mapping isn’t tied to a kit, and users can set a default mapping preset, to make for ease of use when switching kits and using a MIDI device.

On the other hand, MIDI learn in the edit/mix tab is not global, and the changes you make save per kit. In the sense of you were to make a new assignment in the edit/mix page, then save your kit. When re-loading your kit, this change will be recalled. The MIDI learn in the edit/mix tab is used for stacking the OG-One shots on existing snares, and un-mapping stacked articulation. It can also be used to use multiple snares and cymbals, and assign them to different MIDI notes, so you can play different snares and cymbals and different times, and on different pads if you have an e-kit.

Refer to these articles:


Cameron Kuwada
Steven Slate Drums | Slate Media Technology
Technical Support Specialist

I’m gonna leave it at that. Make up your own mind. Rest assured, I’m not super happy.

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