Ableton Tutorial – How to Route Impulse Pads to Audio Tracks

June 13, 2012

Ableton Live Tutorials

In our last discussion we covered the fundamentals of working with Impulse – Ableton’s unique drum sampler.  Today we’ll expand upon that and show you how to route the samples within Impulse to multiple tracks.

This is ideal when you have drum samples that need some individual effects processing like Equalization or Compression.  Typically, you won’t EQ and Compress your hi-hat groove the same way you would a snare or kick, so it makes sense to split Impulse’s output to several tracks.

Getting started…

Here is the drum loop we’ll be working with:

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It has a kick, snare, and hi-hat in it.  The idea is simple, we want each of them to end up recorded onto their own audio track.

Step 1 – Load an Impulse onto a MIDI track and sequence out a drum groove.

Step 2 – Create your audio tracks.

We’ll create 3 audio tracks because our drum sequence has 3 different parts to it (kick, snare, hihat).  If we had more sounds than that, like percussion or toms, we would need to create more audio tracks.

We can label these audio tracks as well.

Step 3 – Click on your Impulse track and choose Sends Only from the Audio To drop-down menu.  You should notice Impulse has no output now.

Step 4 – Set up your audio tracks to receive input from Impulse.

Select Impulse from the Audio From drop-down menu.  Do this for each audio track.

Step 5 – Route your sample outputs to your audio tracks.

Just below the Audio From drop-down menu is another menu that will allow you to zero-in on specific samples within Impulse.  It is here that you will assign your specific samples to the desired audio track.

For our kick track we’ll choose our kick sample, for our snare track we’ll choose our snare sample, etc.

Record enable your audio tracks and initiate playback of your session.  You should recognize that your sounds are now split up and localized onto their own tracks.

Step 6 – Record your audio.

With all of your audio tracks record enabled, you can record enable your session, trigger playback and Ableton will start recording your drum groove.

Once your drum groove is split up and recorded, you can begin to process your sounds independently of each other.


Impulse is an intuitive drum machine.  If you get accustomed to working with it a lot, you’ll undoubtedly want to route its sample outputs to multiple tracks – just as we have done in this demonstration.  Doing so, will give you all of the flexibility you need to create a quality mix.

As always, we hope you found this article helpful and be sure to check back regularly for more great info from!

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