Overview of the DR-008 SE Drum Sampler/Synthesizer

Last updated on 3/29/2016

Are you looking beyond General MIDI drum kits, for a flexible and versatile sound source for contemporary and traditional music composition?

The full version of the DR-008 DXi is included in SONAR 2 XL, SONAR 3 Producer ad SONAR 4 Producer.

Table of Contents

The DR-008 SE Drum Sampler/Synthesizer is an exciting, full-featured drum sampler, capable of creating incredibly realistic sounding acoustic drum tracks, as well as professional sounding dance and hip hop beats with its exciting library of analog-modeled drum synth modules. The DR-008 SE also has some very nice features not found in other drum based virtual instruments, such as flam and roll options as well as the ability to program and trigger an entire pattern from a single MIDI note. You can create you own kits using a combination of DR-008 SE's internal drum synth modules and .WAV format samples.

Getting Started

1. Start by loading the DR-008 SE. Right click on the "FX" bin in an audio track, go to DX Instruments, select the DR-008 SE.

Select DR-008se

2. Go to a MIDI track, and select the DR-008 SE from the 'out' field.

MIDI track

3. Double click on the DR-008 SE in the FX bin to bring up the user interface.

4. We will need to load a kit into the DR-008 SE.


Each pad has a specific MIDI note number


Load settings

Smart loop dry studio kit

Loading new sounds

When you first open the DR-008 SE, you will notice a grid of blocks. Each block is a 'pad' that represents a MIDI note. For example, we could use the file "Smart Loops Dry Studio Kit." The lighter shaded blocks indicate that there is an actual sound (synth or sample) loaded in that particular pad.

1. Right click on a pad in the DR-008 SE and a menu will appear.
2. Using pad C3, Bass Drum 1.wav for example, you can choose "Open editor." This will open up the "Easy Sampler" module.

Easy sampler module

3. This module allows you to load wave files and trigger them via MIDI. You can adjust the samples pitch and filter settings within this editor. It is also possible to assign different pads to individual outputs for further processing.

Lets try using a different bass drum sound. In the "Overview" window, right click on the "Bass Drum Pad" (c3) and choose "Objects" and select the "DrumSynth008."

Bass Drum sound

Right click on the same pad, choose "Presets" and select a bass drum sound. You can further edit one of these preset by right clicking on a pad and choosing the "Open Editor".

Lets add a new snare to our kit. Right-click on pad E3 and choose "809 Snare."

pad e3 - 809 snare

This will give us a classic drum machine-sounding snare. You can select presets with this and most DR-008 SE modules as a good starting point.

Creating Rolls

Lets create a pad that will give us a snare roll triggered from a single MIDI note. Right click on D#3 and choose "DD Auto Roll." Right click on the pad and choose open editor.

Assign pads


We need to assign pads to Pad A and Pad B. These pads will be alternated during the 'roll' when the pad is triggered. Lets choose D3 for Pad A and E3 for Pad B. This will use our two snares from this kit. Double-click on the "Rate" field and enter a numeric value of 20. You can further adjust this to taste. A larger number gives a slower roll.

Pattern Based Sequencing

Ok, now how about pattern based sequencing from a single key. Right click on pad C5 and choose "DD Sequencer." Open the editor and you will find a pattern-based grid. In the fields that say "None" we need to select a "Pad" to trigger. Do this by clicking on it and selecting the notes you would like to sequence, for example C3 for the bass drum, D3 for the snare drum, F#3 for the closed hi-hat, etc. This grid represents a full measure of music or four beats. You simply click in the corresponding grid to step create a pattern.

Pattern based grid

Now play a C5 note on your MIDI keyboard, controller, or manually input in the Home Studio Piano Roll view, and you will hear your entire pattern being triggered. This is a very fun and easy way to create loops and break-beats that you can trigger on the fly in your project.

More resources

Please note that you can find a detailed manual for the DR-008 SE located at C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Shared Dxi\DR-008\DR008SE Manual.pdf on your computer. This is in Adobe .pdf format. You can download the free pdf reader here at www.adobe.com.


*There is a DR-008 SE upgrade available here for purchase that adds a significant amount of new features and enhancements. www.fxpansion.com.

Scott Stepenuck
Senior Technical Support Specialist

Cakewalk // Support // Knowledge Base // Overview of the DR-008 SE Drum Sampler/Synthesizer
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