Getting Sonar to record MIDI Drums from a drum module

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Getting Sonar to record MIDI Drums from a drum module

Postby Andrew Smith » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:02 am

Hoping someone can help.

I have an Alesis DM5 which I play using triggered drums. I want to do 2 things and can't quite work out the steps to get there:

1. I know how to record the drums as audio from my DM5, but how do I have sonar record the drums as MIDI. I want to be able to quantise and edit them.

2. Having recorded the drums as MIDI, how do I have that MIDI file trigger the DM5 again (so that I could change the voice at a later time when mixing down if the snare sound doesn't quite work at mixdown)

I'm sure it has something to do with MIDI ins and outs and Sysex data, but just can't qyuite get it straight in my head.

Andrew Smith

Re: Getting Sonar to record MIDI Drums from a drum module

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Postby andychap » Tue Sep 16, 2003 7:47 am

Hi Andrew,

To record to Sonar as audio from your drum machine simply connect the audio out's of the module to the line in on the soundcard. Select an audio track, arm it and set the drum pattern playing as you press record in Sonar.

To record the drums as midi you have to connect the midi out of your drum machine to the midi in on your computer. The connections on your drum machine will be standard but the connections on the PC might vary. On the soundcard you could have standard 5 pin DIN sockets or mini five pin DIN sockets. If you don't have any midi sockets at all you will need to connect through the joystick port on the soundcard with a special lead.

Once connected and your drum pattern recorded on your module, make sure the modules midi transmit and recieve channel is set to the same as Sonar, which is usually channel 10. Set your drum modules sync clock to master and Sonar's to midi. Select a midi track, ensure it is on channel 10 and the midi input from an external source is selected. Arm the track and press record, nothing will happen until you press play or hit a pad on the drum module and the drums will be recorded as midi data.

All the kit will be recorded to one track which will make it awkward for editing. Highlight the track and press F1 to run the CAL program, choose split note to tracks and enter the sourse and destination channels etc in the following dialogue boxes, press OK. The drum track will now be split over different tracks for editing but still on channel 10.

To play you drum tracks through you drum module, you need to connect the midi in on the sound module to the midi out on the sound card. Set the module up much the same way as before but this time set it to slave sync. Make sure you midi tracks outputs are selected to the external device (it will be named the same as the midi in external device with in or out at the end) and press play in Sonar.

That's about it as far as I can think. I don't know much about the Alesis but it will probably be set up much the same way as my Yamaha one. Sorry if you already new any of the above but I though I would cover everything just incase.

If you don't have the CAL files then PM me.

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Thanks Andy

Postby Andrew Smith » Wed Sep 17, 2003 2:34 am


Thanks so much for this, you are a legend. I'm going to try this on the weekend. By the way I notice you reply to many questions in this forum, so you are a very helpful person indeed.

Also looking forward to hearing your stuff (can't download stuff at work, have to do it at home)

Andrew Smith

Postby andychap » Wed Sep 17, 2003 7:25 am

No problems Andrew. We are all in the music making game together and I know what it's like when you are stuck. Asking questions is the best way to learn and I still ask many of them myself.
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Postby andrewsmith90 » Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:03 am


By the way, this worked a treat and I'm now happily recording my live drums as Midi data, which allows me to keep my feel, but fix up any little mistakes i make. So thanks very much

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