Drumstation and Drum Racks

A while back I bought a Novation drumstation and for a while I have bee running it using my Korg Er1 in a x0x style.
This is good for basic rhythms and hands on programming but is limited to only 10 sounds in a 4 bar block on the drumstation and doesn’t allow for velocity or any other type of modifications.

So I decided to run the drum station from Abelton.

Initially I set up two midi channels one with a drum rack in it with the drum rack holding a short silent sample in each simpler and one track that had an external instrument in it that received the midi from the drum rack channel. This seemed to work ok but wasn’t very elegant and meant I’d have to have two channels each time I want to use the drumstation.

So I looked at putting the external instrument into the drum rack.
At first I couldn’t get this to work and upon further exploration of the drum rack’s IO it was taking the C0 note and sending a C3 this would make sense with simpler but not good for external hardware. So a simple tweak of the recieve play note fixed that up as shown below.

The next problem I had was if I had an instance of an external instrument in each rack I’d end up with an audio inputs for each note in the rack, with each playing all the drum sounds at once. So this wasn’t very elegant at all.

So after some further investigation , thanks ableton forum and a bit of RTFM I found that you could create an additional chain in a drum rack that received all notes.

So I started again and this time created a chain that took a note in and sent the same note out. Then I created a new chain that took all the midi notes and this is where I placed the external instrument to send midi date out to the novation drumstation.
You can see how thats set up below.

So now I have a full working drum rack for my drumstation and can easily access all the sounds (8 sounds at once) from ableton live. And using the same technique I have setup a drum rack for my Korg ER1 aswell.

You can grab the zipped up complete drumstation drum rack from here.
This works with drumstation GM sound set in 808 mode other wise the 909 and 808 kits are mixed up.

16 thoughts on “Drumstation and Drum Racks

  1. Hi,

    great Article!
    I never really understood and used the racks. But with your article it’s clearer and I can build my own racks!

    Please repair the link to your Drumstation Rack! It does not work!

    Roland from Germany

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