Recording problems with Cubase Essential 5

Pardon me if I have posted this in the wrong section but I need some help with recording and playback.

I have a brand new Alesis DM10 studio drum kit that came with the DM10 module. On my pc, that is running Windows 7, I have Cubase Essential 5 installed.

Is there someone who could help me get the Cubase to record my Alesis DM10 drums? last night I thought I had it recording but when I go to play it back, no sound. i turned my pc speakers on, plugged my headphones into my pc, but nothing. I even unplugged my headphones from the pc, still nothing. Checked the speaker icon on my desktop and volume was fine and was even turned up.

I am really new to using this software and have searched youtube but nothing related to Alesis DM10. Thank you

Did you dis-able the monitor button in Cubase for playback? I take it you’re using your on board soundcard? That would be less than desirable. An ASIO compliant interface is best. There’s a Sticky at the top of the LE forum that gives a step by step re:setting up Cubase. Go through it and tell us where it goes pear-shaped.

Thank you for the reply, I did disable the monitor button.

I am just wanting to use the sounds that came with the Alesis DM10. I do have EZDrummer but syncing the software to my Alesis is another step that I have not been able to do. I was able to record the Alesis as a Midi but I could barely hear what sounded like ping sound faintly in the background.

What kind of track should I be recording it on, ie. Create Audio track, Midid track or as an instrument track?

If you want the audio from the module, you need audio cables from it to an input of your soundcard, it’s ASIO driver selected in Cubase, the correct input bus set up in VST Connections, and an audio track set up to monitor/ record.

Hey, I have a DM5 with Cubase essential 5 so that looks familiar :slight_smile:

There’s 2 sides to recording electronic drumkits.

  1. audio
    Recording audio means you capture the actual sound that the DM10 generates. This requires you to connect the audio outputs on the DM10 to the inputs on your audio interface. To record in Cubase, create a stereo audio track, set it’s input to the audio interface inputs you just connected your DM10 to, it’s outputs you can route anywhere you want, default is to master output which is fine for regular playback.
    The monitor button which Nate mentioned you will find on every track, it switches the input of said track from what is already recorded to what it hears at the input. Generally you turn it on when recording and then off to listen back the recording.
    If everything works so far, you should see a waveform from your recording in cubase. If not, something is wrong with the wiring or internal connections. Check the VST connetions window (in one of the dropdown menus) to see if your audio interface has the right in and outputs selected and available. You should also make sure you have the correct driver for your audio interface running, you can change that in another window I forgot the name off :stuck_out_tongue:.

–edit–: it’s device setup, look for the VST tab, that’s where you can change drivers. Generic ASIO and DirectX may be your only options, both are useless but try both to see which works best. You can also download ASIO4ALL drivers and try those instead. Typical problems with onboard soundcards include crackles, huge delay in playback etc.
–/edit–

If you’re using onboard sound you will be out of luck, these usually don’t perform well because their drivers are not made for this type of application. It’ll probably work but not as fluent as you’d like.

Report back where things go wrong if you can’t figure this one out :wink:


2. midi
The wonderful advantage of using an edrum kit is Midi recording. Midi is not sound, it’s what I call ‘instructions’ on how you play the instrument. These instructions you can record and then play back to the DM10, and it won’t notice a difference between you playing it directly or you sending midi to it. The advantage is 2fold:

  1. you can use your drumkit to trigger other sounds than just those in the DM10 module, like for instance EZdrummer which you mentioned, or other soft-or hardware instruments.
  2. you can make corrections to your playing and record the audio from the DM10 after you made corrections.

To record midi: You need 2 midi cables (5-pole DIN cables which are very cheap.) and a midi interface. For just recording midi you can do with 1 cable, but if you want to playback the just recorded midi to your DM10 again you’ll need 2. Maybe the DM10 has a USB connection, in which case you don’t need all this.

Wire Midi out from the DM10 to Midi in on your interface and vice-versa. In cubase, create a midi track and select the desired inputs and outputs. When playing the DM10, you should see a red bar indicate the reception of midi data in Cubase, next to the audio meters on the transport bar (f2).
You should now be set for recording midi. If you plan on using the recorded data for drum triggering (external or sofware), I suggest you set the drummap of the miditrack to GM. (this is below the midi input and output section of the midi track.) This will open the recorded data in the drumeditor with most of the pitches assigned to the right sounds right away. At least on the DM5 the GM map is mostly accurate. You can always make your own mapping later if you wish, but that’s not important now. If you played to the metronome, you can now use the Grid in cubase to allign hits that were off, or use quantise to correct a whole section if necessary.
There’s a lot more you can do now, but again: report where this goes wrong and we’ll go from there :slight_smile:

–edit-- I’m curious what your setup is like. When playing the DM10, how do you monitor yourself? Do you have speakers connected to it? And when recording, do you rewire the DM10 to your soundcard instead?

To play along music on my pc, such as music videos on youtube, or a guitar track that is in .wav file format. I have a mini jack to RCA cable that is connected to my pc and to the back of the DM10 module and I plug my headphones into the DM10 module. Not sure about the rewire thing you mention. I have a USB 2.0 printer type of cable also running from the DM10 module that plugs into my pc but so far I have only used that when I had to download an driver update for the module from the Alesis site.

I will be back on later this afternoon/evening if anyone will be on this forum to help me out. Thanks.

Oh right, the DM10 has a line in, I see.

You mean Line Out, don’t you? :confused:

No, a line in. How else can he play along tunes from his laptop with his headphones in the dm10? Its not uncommon for e-kits to have line-in for mp3 or other sources.

So your saying, that I need an interface to record on audio, because the outputs are just regular output and not USB. The Midi connection is a USB port. I did record it once before and all I heard back was a bunch of beeps, which I know is how Midi sounds, but then how do I play it back to hear the sound of the drums on the recording?

If I leave the headphones plugged into the Alesis then I won’t be able to master my recordings so when I send them they sound like drum tracks? they will just sound like beeps.
Or am I not competely understanding you?

Midi is not sound, midi does not sound like beeps because midi doesn’t sound at all. It’s digital data, just like your usb-key doesn’t make sound when transferring files. (entirely unrelated, but that’s not important :sunglasses: )

The sound midi makes depends on what you assign to the midi output. The midi is used to control an instrument, be it software or hardware. If the usb connection serves as midi interface that does make things easier, you don’t need a separate midi interface and midi cabling in that case.
You should be able to create a midi track in cubase, set it’s in and outputs to the DM10 and you are set to play and record midi to and from the DM10.

Check out the attachment, I had some fun in paint. As I understand it, the blue, green and red arrows are your current setup, right? This setup is fine for recording midi from the DM10, playing midi to the DM10 and playing along songs played from the laptop. You can however not record audio from the DM10, because there’s no audio signal over the USB (I don’t think there is anyway, would have to check the manual to be sure.)
The ideal setup for you would be to get an audio interface. These can be very cheap (€20,-) to very expensive (€ a lot). Looking at the diagram, you can then get rid of the blue and green line, and use the orange, pink and dashed blue line. The audio interface will be the center of all your audio work, where all the audio streams meet. The audio interface will let you route the signal wherever you want. To the laptop for recording, to the headphones (or speakers) or any other device you want to record to or from.

I hope that made some sense, if not I apologise :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: I really recommend reading through this website. It’s very clear and aimed at beginners. Not all topics are relevant for you, but read up about midi, audio and the other basic topics if you want. There’s also a page on every component of the home studio with explanation of terms used, what to look for in your gear etc. Check out the page on audio interfaces for instance.
http://www.tweakheadz.com/guide.htm
drumkit setup.gif

If I use the diagram you sent, my set up looks a bit different. I only have a USB line going from the DM10 to the computer and headphone coming out from the drum module. When I record and try to listen back wha I just played I put the headphones through the computer. That’s when I get nothing. I don’t have a line going from the computer to the Drum Module.

If using a line in from the compute back to the module that may help me hear what I just recorded but, just listening to the track by itself, there is no sound. I want to be able to share my sounds with others and put music down.

Hope this is making sense, and thank you so much for taking the time you have to respond to my posts.

Ok, I got you. In that case you won’t be able to record sound in cubase with your current setup. If you want to record audio from the DM10, you will need some sort of audio lead from the DM10 to your computer.

Looking at the back of the dm10 module, you’ll find a pair of jack outputs labeled Main out. These send out the audio signal you need to record. You will have to figure out what inputs your computer has. Most laptops and desktops have a microphone input or line input (which would be better in this case) you ‘could’ use to record audio with. All you need then is a simple y-cable to hook it up. Example:

Note how I said ‘could’ between quotes, because the microphone input or line input you find on your computer are usually terrible. It’s worth a shot though.

If that doesn’t work out very well (you can expect bad sound quality from recording like this.), the next step would be to invest in an audio interface, like I mentioned in the diagram. Look for a simple USB audio interface with at least 1 stereo input (or 2 mono), making sure that it’s drivers support your current operating system and Cubase version.
For example this one, which goes for about €60,-.

Welcome to the expensive world of audio recording, believe me, it’ll only get worse once you get the hang of it :wink:

I’ll be going on holiday tomorrow so I’ll be silent for 2 weeks, good luck with everything!

This totally makes sense. I thought that might be the case, but if yo google the DM10 manual, it shows how to hook up the DM10 to the computer for recording, and it only shows to plug a USB from the DM10 to the computer. I guess they left out a step or two.

I am going to try what you suggested. I will keep you posted.

Thank you again.