Drumsequencers with microediting (Breaktweaker, Beat Scholar...)


Hey all, a friend just recommended Beat Scholar to me and I have to say it doesn’t look bad. Do you have any experience with it? I’m thinking about getting it maybe in the next Black Friday sale, there is a summer sale right now, but I’m waiting for something like 50% off…

What I like about it is that it includes pseudo-microediting options like divsions with randomization… a bit like breaktweaker which I still really like for this reason. Nerve has simple beat repeat options, I hope v2 will have some more options, but no idea when that will be released, if ever…

So what are your thoughts on drum sequencers with these pseudo-microediting options? Do you like it, or do all of that manually in your DAW, or do you use plugins for that such as StutterEdit or Effectrix?

Do you know other drumsequencers with microediting-like features? And what drum sequencers do you currently use and why?


I combine manual editing with glitch plugin sequencers like gross beat. I rarely use drum sequencers.

I basically resample and splice together different drum sequencers…

To answer your question i say use a variety…

But know how to do everything manually to get the best sound and the best composition

If anything features like randomization and other stuff saves time and cpu…

So its best to use a variety of methods to compliment your music and to enhance the quality of your production.


I just drop samples straight into arrangment and don’t use any sequencers or i cut loops and add delay for some rythm. Also my drums sounds very basic like kick 4x4, offbeat hat, snare on 2/4 4/4


Yeah for that stuff you don’t really need a drumsequencer with pseudo-microediting. I think you also made some DNB tracks, I use some microediting for some tracks in that area, too, but these are mostloy somewhat experimental… I guess the only genres in which microediting-like options are really helpful are glitchy stuff, IDM and maybe Trap Hihats I guess…


Yeah, I also use a lot of effects like StutterEdit 1+2, Shaperbox and so on for glitchy beats, but doing it in Drumsequencers like Breaktweaker or Beat Scholar with microeditin-like options has some advantages since it’s more flexible with regard to sample selection during editing and so on, but it depends how you use everything of course. For me, it’s somewhere between directly arranging samples manually and using effect plugins.

Yeah, definitely! Manual microediting just takes more time, so when I want to get something down quickly, I want some options for drumsequencers with pseudo-microediting options and effects, too, of course :smiley:

It’s a bit similar to multieffects imho: you could arrange all that with different effects plugins, automating parameters for all the plugins, but why do that all the time, if you just want to do something basic that a multieffect allows you to do in a few seconds while staying in one plugin with a single UI/workflow…


I feel like I already have sequencers that do this, so it doesn’t really look all that new and exciting to me (although, hardly anything does anymore and I’m alright with not chasing the high of new gear anymore).

The problem (for me) with using software like this is that I’m unlikely to stumble into cool, inspiring areas and instead start making really formulaic garbage where, essentially, Beat Scholar is just my ‘drummer’ or drum designer most of the time who I can pass the buck to. Anything that’s designed to make things ‘now, easier and faster than ever’ just kills all of my inspiration and joy because I’m doing significantly less, which to me isn’t really the whole experience anymore. I’m no masochist, but I definitely like to fail, learn stuff and stumble into uncharted territory as part of my process.

It’s the same with people who generate AI images and pretend like it’s their own. Cool, I guess? But, of course, that’s the extreme end of it and everyone’s got a workflow that works for them, so there’s no wrong answer.


For me, with this stuff it’s less about inspiration and more like a quality of life thing. BreakTweaker has already been discontinued, so there is no real novelty here, Beat Scholar ads may claim it though, not sure about that :laughing:
But why spend a little bit more time duplicating stuff in a DAW if I can just put in the number of subdivisions in Breaktweaker or Beat Scholar for instance… In Breaktweaker you can also bend the subdivisions and similar stuff which would take much more time in a DAW, at least for me… have to check out Beat Scholar at some point to see if it’s similar…

I have similar feelings about AI art - and AI music, even though that is not yet that big of a thing. But imho the similarity to AI is closer for randomization options, since you have no idea what you will get.

For me there is a clear distinction: can I use a tool to make something I can exactly determine the outcome of or is the outcome something I don’t know and can’t predict since a neural model, randomization algorithm or whatever is determining it for me. It doesn’t mean that I’m against AI or randomization btw, there’s just a big difference in wokflow and in what I feel about the end result for me…


Completely forgot to ask - since it’s kinda related: what sequencers are you using in your DAW(s)?


Midinous, Redux, Nest, PlugData and whatever I can find on the modular front (VM has some great ones like Varistep which divide things up in interesting ways, plus some killer euclidean sequencers). I also love building my own stupid-ass devices with Arduinos and Pi Picos that just spit out random shit on a clock tick or whatever so I can mold it into something better later. :smile:

(I consider Redux to be a sequencer replacement in certain scenarios, even though it’s just a sampler)

Apparently Sonic Pi has MIDI capabilities though (which I completely overlooked), so I’m eyeballing that guy as a potential candidate if I can pipe it where it needs to go


I don’t even know most of those, have to check them out! Thanks! :smiley:


I remembered a couple of plugins:
Soundbridge’s Ritmix Vst,

FXpansion - Geist vst (there is already geist 2)


I tried out Beat Scholar and Instacomposer 2 just because I was curious.

I actually wasn’t wrong about how I’d feel about them once I ended up using them – they generate what sounds like full-fledged elevator music on command, kind of like the patterns I’d never actually write with my MIDI controller or other tools in a million years (for better or worse), and dare I say, it’s all super generic and lifeless. I know that these could easily be tweaked to create better music overall, but starting with essentially semi-random shit doesn’t really seem like a good idea most of the time, and admittedly the only reason why I’d even make generate pieces in the first place is because I get to play around with the process for hours.

I could technically see myself using these in a very limited scenario where they’re actually a part of the design process, and the sketch I’m dealt by the random button is where I start shaping everything else, but this only seems like a cool “hey, what If I did this” experiment rather than being inherently useful to me. It seems like hard mode to actually try to make something I’d actually use with either of these so far.

With that said, I feel like any cool MIDI functions your DAW already has (arps, chords, length, random, logic gates) are more than enough to put something together that has way more feeling behind it, or your own personal spin at least. I definitely understand why people would use these (especially newer producers), but in my head, I feel like I might as well use some stupid AI to generate a song and pretend like it’s mine… and that still takes all the fun away for me.

I should also say that I love the ideas and innovation behind stuff like this, and if they lower the barrier for new producers to get started, then they can’t be a bad thing. Apparently I just like playing with the process of designing stuff myself, and that’s not always conducive to production anyway because most of that even turns out sounding like shit :D.

There’s also a slight possibility I didn’t go far enough with these just yet, such as linking two together and using their signals to negate each other for starters, and possibly moving onto bigger applications from there. If I come up with any experiments that work out, I will probably feel compelled to post them here just on the off chance anyone else finds meaningless experiments fun like I do :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing your experiences! I don’t know Instacomposer and haven’t had time to try out BeatScholar yet, but did you try to use BS without the randomization functions, like just making some non-random beats with it? It sounds a bit like you mostly checked out what you will get with the randomization stuff, but I was thinking about it more in terms of a drum sequencer with pseudo-microediting (subdivision and so on) options like Breaktweaker. In any case, interesting perspective and looking forward to any experiments you do with that stuff :+1:



Does anyone remember this one? I know it’s not specifically a drum-sequencer but it still fits into those ‘theory tools’ or whatever you want to call them (that’s Plugin Boutique’s term, so I’m going with it). Someone posted this on IDMF years and years ago and I felt really confused by it at the time, but now I’m getting stuff up and running with it (trial, of course, since it’s free if you don’t care about saving presets) and it seems awesome.

Definitely more capable than Sugar Bytes’ Nest, plus it allows Lua scripting. This might become my new jam if I can get past their shitty no-table-of-contents documentation :smiley:

Edit: Yeah, jesus. This thing is like a having MIDI scientist in your back pocket. Even just the internal sequencer and in / out tools for this are crazy as shit. This is going to be one of those long-haul deep dive adventures

Not yet, but that’s a good revisiting idea before writing them off entirely. They might actually be more inspiring than I think!