Converting a drum sample to MIDI is a powerful, yet simple trick to have in your Ableton toolbox. In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to import your favorite drum samples and get full control of every note, allowing you to turn your favorite grooves into something of your own.
Benefits of Converting Audio Sample to MIDI
- Swap out individual audio tracks (kick, snare, hats, etc.) for any MIDI sound
- Control the dynamics of every hit
- Add, move and replace hits from the MIDI note editor to create your own grooves
1. Install Ableton Live
Already have Ableton? Great, jump to step 2.
For first-time Ableton users, Download the Free Ableton 90 Day Trial
The trial is completely free and only takes a few minutes to install. If you are familiar with other DAWs like Logic or Pro Tools, you shouldn’t have any trouble following along. Upon installation, feel free to walk through Ableton’s help guide to become more familiar with the interface.
2. Choose A Drum Sample
You'll need a drum sample to import into Ableton. Feel free to use any drum sample you’d like or check out the Artist Series Bundle for a collection of samples from drummers like Clyde Stubblefield, Mike Clark, Victor Indrizzo and many more.
3. Create An Audio Track
Open Ableton Live and create an audio track. To create a new audio track press Command + T. Alternatively, you can right click in the Mixer Drop Area and select Insert Audio Track.
Drag and Drop your drum sample file from your desktop to the audio track you just created.
4. Convert Drum Audio to MIDI
The moment you've been waiting for...
Right click on the audio waveform within the track and select the Convert Drums to New MIDI Track dropdown.
You should now see a MIDI version of your drum sample on a new track!
5. Editing the MIDI Track
Select the new MIDI track to begin editing. If the MIDI note editor doesn’t appear at the bottom of the screen, select Shift + Tab to open the window.
You can move, add and delete individual notes from the editor, apply effects, swap out sounds and samples from the Ableton Browser Window and much more to create your own MIDI beats.
Interested in learning more about MIDI?
Read our guide on using MIDI drum packs in Addictive Drums 2 and other drum VSTs.