Help with Recording electronic drums in Audacity

Hi all,

I have had my electronic Alesis DM6 drums for a few months now and want to start messing around with recording. I just downloaded Audacity as a recommendation for my Windows 8 laptop. I have a USB A to B cable and an aux cable.

Basically what I was wondering is how to plug in my kit to my computer and use Audacity to record what I play. I’m not doing anything wild, basically I just want to play along to a song on my iPod, record what I play, and add in the track to “make a song”. Any help on this subject at all is greatly appreciated!

Thank you, Kate :smiley:

The USB cable only carries MIDI - Audacity does not record MIDI.

So you have to use the audio output of the Drum Kit.

If you only have a single input on your computer, it will be a mic input (which will probably over-amplify and distort your recording, and be mono), or a compatible mic/line-in input that can sense high level stereo input but may not be of really good quality.

Use Device Toolbar to select your Audacity input.

Are you asking how to get the song from iPod to your Windows 8 machine? If you do that, you can import the song into Audacity, and use Transport > Overdub to play the song in Audacity while recording your drums.


Thanks Gale,

So I can use the regular aux cord that I have an plug it in from the “out” port on my kit and plus the other end into my laptop where the headphone usually go? Then the kit should show up in the Device Toolbar? I tries this and the kit didn’t show up, only the sound software on my laptop. Sorry I’m super new to this so I’m just trying to get the basics on how to record my playing to my computer haha

Thanks again


If you only have one audio input and it doubles as a combined output/input, the input is only really for computer microphones and you should not consider using it because it will probably distort.

Buy yourself a USB interface that has a stereo line-in, like one of these

If you still want to use the input direction of the headphones port you should look at your computer manual to see if it needs a TRS (your cable) to TRRS adaptor and to see whether for example you have to press a physical switch to make that port an input. Also look at the manual for the drum machine to learn what the connections do.

You may have to go into Windows Sound ( ) to enable the computer input and make it default, and then restart Audacity.