Most any DAW (digital audio workstation) software will allow you to trigger drum kits using the standardized General MIDI (GM) drum note assignments.

While we normally use MIDI notes to indicate semitone pitches just like on a piano keyboard, the General MIDI standard reserves notes sent on MIDI channel 10 to play different percussion sounds per note.

Here is the standard percussion sound set assignment list per MIDI note sent over channel 10:

31 Sticks
32 Square Click
33 Metronome Bell
34 Metronome Click
35 Acoustic Bass Drum
36 Electric Bass Drum
37 Side Stick
38 Acoustic Snare
39 Hand Clap
40 Electric Snare
41 Low Floor Tom
42 Closed Hi-hat
43 High Floor Tom
44 Pedal Hi-hat
45 Low Tom
46 Open Hi-hat
47 Low-Mid Tom
48 High-Mid Tom
49 Crash Cymbal 1
50 High Tom
51 Ride Cymbal 1
52 Chinese Cymbal
53 Ride Bell
54 Tambourine
55 Splash Cymbal
56 Cowbell
57 Crash Cymbal 2
58 Vibraslap
59 Ride Cymbal 2
60 High Bongo
61 Low Bongo
62 Mute High Conga
63 Open High Conga
64 Low Conga
65 High Timbale
66 Low Timbale
67 High Agogô
68 Low Agogô
69 Cabasa
70 Maracas
71 Short Whistle
72 Long Whistle
73 Short Guiro
74 Long Guiro
75 Claves
76 High Woodblock
77 Low Woodblock
78 Mute Cuica
79 Open Cuica
80 Mute Triangle
81 Open Triangle
82 Shaker
83 Jingle Bell
84 Belltree
85 Castanets
86 Mute Surdo
87 Open Surdo

GarageBand is an excellent, free option for MacOS users, so we'll take a look at how to set it up here.

Software Instrument Track

Install GarageBand if it isn't already on your machine and launch it.

Create a new song and then pick Software Instrument from the Chose a track type dialogue box. Then click Create.

Drum Kit Select

Now you can select the drum kit for your new software instrument track. Both the Drum Kit and Electronic Drum Kit categories will work well with the Drum Trigger 2040. Here, you can see the Modern 808 has been picked.


Now, press the yellow Start/Stop button on your 16-Step Drum Sequencer -- it will start running, sending MIDI note messages to play the drum kit you selected!

Try turning the encoder knob to change the tempo.

Then, click and hold the encoder knob button to switch into track mode. The display will show the name of your current drum track -- initially Bass

Click the step switches to change which steps will trigger the bass/kick drum.

Turn the encoder knob and you can move among the preset drum tracks. Try changing the step patterns on each track!

These are the tracks:

  1. Bass
  2. Snare
  3. Low Tom
  4. Medium Tom
  5. High Tom
  6. Clave
  7. Clap
  8. Cowbell
  9. Cymbal
  10. Open hi-hat
  11. Closed hi-hat

Mix, Effects, EQ

Press the Play button on your 16-Step Drum Sequencer -- you'll hear your rad drum pattern playing!

You can fine tune the mix of the different drum voices, adjust effects, and fine tune the EQ (equalization) from the Control and EQ panels in GarageBand.

This guide was first published on Jan 11, 2023. It was last updated on May 28, 2024.

This page (Use the 16-Step Drum Sequencer) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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