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How to Record Electronic Drums on a Computer

Electronicdrums MIDI recording

How to Record Electronic Drums on a Computer

In regards to the basic/initial setup. If your edrum module has a USB or MIDI output, then grab a USB or MIDI cable and plug it into your Audio/MIDI device or  straight into your computer. These are the basic requirements for playing/recording through MIDI/USB.

Edrum module > audio/midi device > computer > DAW of your choice.

That is the basic and initial connection.

Once connected, and you see input into your DAW, you are ready to record the MIDI.

In this video, I’m demonstrating on a Roland TD-50 drum module, connected via USB connected straight into a MacBook computer, using Ableton as my DAW. 

There are now a couple of options.

1. Add a drum rack on the MIDI channel and ‘record enable’ the track. You might need to select your drum module in the audio/MIDI preferences and or on the MIDI track In and Outputs.

Most DAWs and drum modules are what’s called General MIDI, which means the MIDI notes are very similarly mapped.  So, in this video, the kick, snare, and other drum instruments match up with the MIDI notes of the sample cells inside the Drum Rack in Ableton. 

2. On an empty MIDI channel you can record inside a clip and then play the MIDI notes back into your drum module. Now the DAW is playing your drum module. This was a common thing to do about 20 years ago with keyboard setups for electronic music when DAWs were not very sophisticated.