Syrath's P5 Quickstart Guide

Stuart Dick (aka syrath on the P5 forums at Cakewalk) produced this quick start guide for new users.

  1. Start P5
  2. Your last project should normally open up when P5 does. We are going to start with a blank slate. Go to the menus and select File - New - Project
  3. You now have a completely blank template to start working with. The page is set up into 3 different sections. The far left which is the device chain which deals with the effects etc. The top and right section which is the arrange page. The bottom section is the pattern page.
  4. First we have to prime a track in the arrange. In the left hand section we have have either tracks, aux/master busses or a mixture of both. If you have aux or master busses showing press the button that says Hide/ Aux/Master/Tempo. This gives the top section all the space we need for tracks. If you need to refer to the aux master busses click this button again to bring them back.
  5. Right click in the section bordered by the 4 red corners and you get a menu to insert audio track or insert instrument. In this case we want to insert the instrument Velocity. This is P5's own drum sampler. Click the maximise tool to bring up the instrument itself. You will see a box that says no preset in it currently. Click this box and choose Real. This loads up the real drum kit samples We have now loaded the instrument. Close off the instrument interface, we do not need it at the moment.
  6. In the bottom section we now have the pattern editor, click the box that says click here to create a new pattern. You will notice that instead of a piano roll P5 has given you a list of the instruments available from the Velocity instrument. The pattern editor defaults to 1/16 notes. You can change this just above the pattern editor where you see the 2 numbers 1/16. One is the default for how long the notes will last, the other is to segregate the grid you are working on.
  7. Look at the list and identify the bass drum. Click on the pencil icon just beside where it says Midi:velocity. Now pencil in bass drum beats at the 1st , 5th, 9th, and 13th box. This gives you the 1, 2, 3, 4 bass drum beat common in many dance tracks. similarly do put a note on the snare drum line at 5th and 13th box. Lastly identify the closed hi hat box and put a note in every second box. You can click the play icon in the pattern section to preview the pattern.
  8. Press W to get the arrange marker to position at time=0 and now click send in the pattern editor. This sends the midi loop you created to the selected track at the time you have selected in the arrange page. Now move the mouse to the end of the loop until it becomes and arrow with a box to the right hand side of it click your left mouse button and drag it across the screen. Stop wherever you like. You have now looped your pattern for multiple plays. Press play at the top to hear your results so far, you should now hear your drum beat play.
  9. Now go to the left hand side and click on the bos that says add FX and choose Project5 - Studioverb2. Maximise this and choose the preset snare, big.

While the results of this arent particularly fantastic sounding you have started to make your way around the interface, from adding instruments to entering a pattern to adding an effect. It will give you something to work with while other (more experienced) people can add their input.

Mess around, experiment. click on things. The worst thing you may have to do is uninstall P5 and reinstall it, so just now is the time to learn. Once you learn the speed at which you can work is nothing short of amazing.

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