sorry about the repost, I couldn't write a comment on the previous one, because I wasn't registered So, I have Alesis DM Lite electronic drum kit and I also have Ableton Live 9 software. I want to record the drums thorugh Ableton, but I don't know how to set up the drums in the software. The drum kit has a usb port with one end which is like the one for printers (not the regular usb end) and with that I can connect the kit to my computer. When I open ableton it detects that the drum-kit is connected, but I can't make any sounds with it whatsoever. Can someone please explain how to set up the drums in ableton so that it reacts to the signals when I hit the pads? Thanks! I hope you got the idea. I don't have any kind of instructions for this and I have no experience working with MIDI.

I tried all the steps in this topic but still i can not get my e-drums to work. What i've done so far: -Set my td-3 local control off. The manual says this is nescesairy for sending midi to my pc. -Installed a midi to usb converter -changed the preferences. https://ibb.co/cjwU6R . The mackiecontrol is the usb converter. -made a midi track and hit the pad.

I still do not receive any signal.

What can i do to fix this?


  • Tom's answer is excellent. Can you edit your question to tell us where you're having trouble with the steps Tom outlined? Are you able to create a midi track? Can you record arm it? When you do that, and play the pads, does the incoming MIDI meter (the column of yellow circles) jump? Are you able to put a drum rack on the midi track? Oct 20, 2017 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


Ableton Certified Trainer here. There's a few things you need to have a look at in order to get your drums working properly.

If your drum kit is showing up in your Preferences > MIDI area, you need to ensure that the "Track" option is enabled for the kit. This means that Ableton Live will receive note data from the drum kit.

The other two options are "Remote" (Which is reserved for CC data, thing knobs turning, faders moving etc...) and "Clock" (Syncs Ableton to or from an external time source).

With the Track option enabled, you need to create a new MIDI track from the Create menu.

When this track is created, there should be a little round circle with a musical note at the very bottom of the track. If you aren't seeing it, hit the TAB key to make sure you are in Session view, which sort of looks like a spread sheet. The other view is Arrangement view, which is used for laying down a track over a timeline.

If you click that little button, it should turn red. That indicates that this track is now MIDI armed... and hopefully when you play your drums, you should see some levels moving on that track. They will be circles instead of a steady volume looking level meter, because you currently haven't set any machine or sampler to play any sounds yet.

If you are running Ableton Live 9 Suite, go into your instruments via the browser area on the right hand side, and choose "Drum Rack".

This will load up a sampler with 128 different slots, each slot a sample can be dragged into. If you hit your drums, you will see which MIDI note each drum sends in the drum rack, as it will highlight it yellow each time you hit it (you may need to scroll up and down in the drum rack as it can only display 16 pads at a time).

Once you know which drums trigger which slots, you can then go ahead and load in some drum samples to those slots. If you do not currently own any samples, grab the Session Drums kit for free from Ableton here https://www.ableton.com/en/packs/session-drums/

This kit is a standard drum kit sampled into a Drum Rack for you.

If you do not own Live 9 Suite, you can use the Impulse instrument instead, which is restricted to 8 sample slots.

Let me know if you run into any problems or have any more question.


just wanted to add a few points to the (comprehensive) post made before - If you want to use Impulse: Abletons Impulse sample slots are mapped to C3 to C4 (in Cmaj scale) - your Alesis is probably sending out the midi notes in the General Midi (GM) Standard - (e.g. Kickdrum is C1, Snare D1 etc.) - you need to 'tune'/ pitch the incoming midi notes. I patched a Max for Live device exactly for this purpose, which you can get here:


There is a device which is doing the same for the Drumrack as well here: https://gumroad.com/l/uPvaf

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