Hey UG! It's been a long while since I've posted on here, but I'm glad I was able to remember my account info xD

I have a very basic question in regards to recording electronic drums - I've done some searching on the topic, but felt my question was unanswered, perhaps due to my own lack of tech-knowledge, so I decided to post it here!

Anyways, I recently received word that I will be acquiring an electronic drum kit as a birthday present from the Fiance, and am a little curious if I am able to record said kit a specific way...

Currently I lack an audio interface, so would it be possible for me to record directly from the kit via USB? As in, could I connect the kit to my computer via USB, open up reaper, and record, simple as that? Like I said, I am very ignorant of recording jargon and such, so any super-layman help would be greatly appreciated!!!

If it helps, I will be playing an Alesis DM6.
Owner/Co-Founder of Stewart-Class 7 Studios
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I have the dm8 which has USB midi interface to DAW, yours should be same. Not sure on triggering sounds back, some can do it via USB, other might need midi.
If you're talking capturing the audio it shoiuikd be via its audio outputs.
I prefer midi as I can fix performances and trigger other sounds, like my recorded samples or drum apps like EZDrummer.
So, as I understand it, if I wanted to have my DAW record exactly the sounds my drum kit is making (and I am also hearing on my headphones), I would need to connect the audio outputs to the computer through an interface?

In other words, I can't just connect direct with USB and record? XD

Lol, apologies again for my lack of tech knowledge, and thank you for the quick reply!!
Owner/Co-Founder of Stewart-Class 7 Studios
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What you said about your module outputs is correct. If you want to hear the exact sounds from your drum kit, you will need to connect the outputs from your module into some kind of audio interface. That normally doesn't sound so great.

You should be able to do what you want with a standard MIDI to USB cable (here is one example , but there are options). This way, you will be able to record the MIDI data of your performance and then use samples through some kind of drum software (Addictive, EZDrummer, etc). You can do a quick google search on how to setup the midi routing in your DAW.

I would recommend using the sounds from the outputs of your drum module for your own monitoring so there are no latency issues when you record, then use samples in your DAW.
The audio output recording is fairly limited, you'd have to balance your kit to be already mixed when it goes in. Unless you upgrade the drum brain module for more outputs you'd most likely have stereo out which in a mix might not stand out so well.
You can't say that it sounds bad because it can be made to sound good, I have some recordings to prove it.
There's an Alesis dedicated forum, I'll post the link, there are more knowledgeable people on there.
My big issue is tom1 which seems to trigger too low and to tweak that for long time to get the attack right.
Also the ride bell vs cymbal balance is a nightmare to get right on these units.
It is also very important to get a good kick pedal. I got Gibraltar for about $200 and it is OK but I regret not getting the Iron Cobra.
Last edited by diabolical at Sep 20, 2015,

I think this was recorded on dm8, just free jam.
Look up dmdrummer.com for Alesis tips.

If you don't want to use other drum samples you can do it via the dm6 only, separating sounds by piping midi data back to the unit and recording the audio. That will all happen via the USB midi interface.
Last edited by diabolical at Sep 20, 2015,