Zoë Blade's notebook

DrumStation guide

Novation DrumStation
Novation DrumStation

MIDI mapping

In 808 mode, the 808 sounds and 909 sounds are all grouped together consistently:

MIDI note number MIDI note Sound
24 C-1 TR-909 bass drum
25 C#1 TR-909 rimshot
26 D-1 TR-909 snare drum
27 D#1 TR-909 handclap
28 E-1 TR-909 low tom
29 F-1 TR-909 mid tom
30 F#1 TR-909 closed hihat
31 G-1 TR-909 high tom
32 G#1 TR-909 crash cymbal
33 A-1 TR-909 ride cymbal
34 A#1 TR-909 open hihat
36 C-2 TR-808 bass drum
37 C#2 TR-808 rimshot
39 D#2 TR-808 handclap
40 E-2 TR-808 snare drum
42 F#2 TR-808 closed hihat
43 G-2 TR-808 low tom
46 A#2 TR-808 open hihat
47 B-2 TR-808 mid tom
49 C#3 TR-808 crash cymbal
50 D-3 TR-808 high tom
56 G#3 TR-808 cowbwell
62 D-4 TR-808 high conga
63 D#4 TR-808 mid conga
64 E-4 TR-808 low conga
70 A#4 TR-808 maracas
75 D#5 TR-808 claves

You can select this mode by pressing SELECT a few times to select the utility submenu; pressing 5 to select General MIDI ("Gn"); and pressing - to select 808 mode ("80").

I've made a file of DrumStation note names, ready for importing into Reaper via its MIDI note editing window, using File → Note/CC names → Load note/CC names from file.


If you're wondering why your DrumStation is being steadfastly silent, and you've set up your patch to send all its instruments to the same individual output, here's why you can't hear anything: it appears to mix together the sum of all the instruments, meaning the more instruments you send to any given output, the quieter each one will be. If you send every single instrument to the same individual output, each one is so quiet that it's inaudible above the background noise.

So if you'd like to record each instrument one at a time, it's better to use the main stereo outputs (which don't appear to have this problem), and pan everything to one side to maximise the signal to noise ratio.

Which brings me to...


This DrumStation patch is a derivative of the preset "Classic TR-808 V1", with the distortion turned off and everything panned hard left. You can use it for simple mono output.

You can import the SysEx data into the DrumStation, overwriting one of your existing user-editable patches. First, press SELECT a few times to select program mode; then type in the number of the patch you want to overwrite (at least 25, depending on which version you have); then move the write switch to enable, and send the above SysEx file. Remember to switch it back to protect again afterwards.

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