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I have Alesis DM10 studio. Currently I'm using the Alesis module for drum presets and my laptop to put some music on to play along and practice.

This is the back of the module:

enter image description here

I'm using the AUX IN to mix in the audio from the laptop.

What I'm trying to do now is to connect the module to the laptop, then to Ableton and Addictive Drums 2 to get better drum kit sounds. I managed to do that with low enough latency using the USB out from the module and ASIO4ALL drivers. In this case I connected the headphones directly to the laptop out (3.5mm) instead of the modules headphones out.

The problem with this is that the Abletion/AD2 combo is now the only thing that comes out - I can't play/mix-in music from any other source at the same time. I spent a good few days googling but I wasn't able to make it work using only software.

What kind of audio equipment should I get to make this work? I don't know too much about audio equipment but as far as I understand, an audio interface might solve my problems.

Could a USB audio interface handle something like this? If yes is there something specific kind of interface that I should look for? I imagine in this case I would connect the Alesis module using the MIDI OUT to the interface and then connect the interface to the laptop using a USB cable. In that case I might be able to somehow output the sound from both Ableton/AD2 and say a browser back to the interface and into the headphones?

A fallback option that I see in case the previous idea wouldn't work is to get a mixer and to connect the output from the laptop's 3.5mm to the mixer and to then use a different device such as a tablet or a smartphone on another channel on a mixer as a different audio source. Perhaps an interface be ok in this kind of setup as well?

Which one of these two approaches would be a better one (better sound, less latency, easier setup)? Is there perhaps another option which I'm not aware of? I would just like to be informed enough before I spend money on this so I don't buy the wrong thing.

Alesis Operator's manual does mention using an interface as a viable option for connecting the module to a computer.

Edit: To clarify - my main issue is that I can't run audio other than Ableton's at the same time. I mostly use YouTube as the other audio source. It's quite convenient since I can also see people play which makes it easier to figure out what they're doing.

Thanks!

  • Is there a headphone jack on your Alesis box and can you set it as the playback device on your laptop? That way you might be able to both send and receive through the USB and listen through the alesis box. My Behringer USB mixer allows this sort of set up. – ChristopheLynch Jun 8 '16 at 23:25
  • Put the music on an iPod or MP3 player and use that in the way you used to use the computer? – Todd Wilcox Jun 9 '16 at 3:01
  • When you say ASIO, what ASIO driver do you mean - something like ASIO4ALL ? Have you tried loading the music you want to play along with into a track in Ableton, and playing along with it that way? – topo Reinstate Monica Jun 9 '16 at 6:23
  • The problem is that you can't run audio other than Ableton's? These might help: music.stackexchange.com/q/20484/7218 and music.stackexchange.com/q/32149/7218 – Lyd Jun 9 '16 at 8:19
  • @ChristopheLynch tried that, it didn't work. Seems that the module's USB is for one-way data transfer only – pootzko Jun 9 '16 at 8:27
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In the end I got the Komplete Audio 6 interface which is now being used as an audio device in Ableton for the MIDI triggers. And I also feed its inputs with the audio that comes from the 3.5 jack from laptop (youtube, browser, whatever). Obviously, the signal had to be split with a phono cable. It works great.

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It often isn't easy to get audio out of one program while another (Ableton in this case) has a hold of the sound hardware via an ASIO driver. Hopefully Archundia's pointers in the comments above give you a workaround, but I think a technically simple solution would be:

  • download the youtube audio as an mp3 using something like YouTube to mp3 Converter

  • load it into a track in Ableton

  • set up the AD2 as you have been doing, and play along

This will give you the added benefit of being able to slow down, speed up, and otherwise manipulate the mp3 track in Ableton.

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