Why can't the Alesis Trigger IO play clips and activate MIDI events?

This is a question that came up in another thread.  I use an Alesis Trigger IO electronic drum trigger to MIDI interface in a live setting.  This unit is a recognized device in Ableton (which is why I selected it in the first place).  While I can trigger individual sounds from Live's drum rack and synthesizers, I am not able to trigger a clip to start or stop (or any other parameter in Ableton that a knob or MIDI keyboard can control).  I've been trying to solve this for awhile now.  The Yamaha DTX drum brain has this functionality, and electronic drummer Tony Verderosa makes great use of it:


I'd love to replicate and expand on this capability within the Live software environment.

From what I've been able to put together, the problem is because drum trigger to MIDI interfaces send an extremely short note on-note off signals.  These signals are too short for Ableton to recognize.  Now, I can't comment on why this is the case, but I have heard that the solution is to use some sort of external software program to put a "hold" on the MIDI notes to extend them a little longer so that Ableton treats them like MIDI keyboard notes.  I would assume the down side of this technique is that it blurs fast playing on the drum pad.

I suppose the question is am I missing something here?  Is there a way that an electronic drum pad can start/stop clips and the like?  Do I need external software to make this work?  If so what do you recommend?  Are there plans to fix this in future updates?

If you would like more info on my current rig (if it helps), I wrote up a detailed article on the subject:



analogdrummer 6 years ago | 0 comments

2 answers

  • Mark One
    68 answers
    163 votes received
    1 vote

    This problem is quite common with drum brains though I found that on my Roland kit if I use the kick or hat pedal I can sustain a note long enough for it to be recognised. However this approach is still a bit hit and miss and after spending a long time testing lots of options (including putting a keyboard sustain pedal into my synth and assigning the control to mr drum channel) I ended up getting a separate foot pedal with two banks of 8 switches... Great! it actually suited my needs better because I had more control at my disposal and found that my Hat-pedal foot had plenty of time to select clips using the pedal board. Something like this is a good place to start:





    6 years ago | 0 comments
  • AndyjustB
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    Hello All

    After a long time of battling with this very issue, I finally read the manuals and came up with this simple solution. 


    See the link as for why.

    26.2.3 Mapping to Absolute MIDI Controllers


    In short: Ableton sees any midi note value higher than 64 as midi ON msg, and lower than 64 midi Off...so...

    Goto your front panel of Trigger io, set the note value of kick, in this ex, to 65. next set trigger type to SUS. Now goto Ableton, check the blue midi button and select anything highlighted in blue. Done!

    Its purely note value, and sustained note, as a keyboard: in fact Live now sees the midi input as if from a keybard.

    You've now implemented your ATio into Abelton as a controller!


    3 years ago | 0 comments

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