“Cymbal Choke” with E-Drums and Ableton Live


By loading the video, you agree to YouTube's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

“Cymbal Choking” with electronic drums has become a common standard for current electronic drum kits on the market. Drum sample apps, plug-ins and VST are supporting this feature as well – but until Version 11 it was not supported in Ableton Live.

How to set this up?

Unfortunately to make this all work it will need some changes to be made in your drum module (“Gate Time”) and there are few other things to be considered.

I developed a PDF guide which will walk you through all the steps and includes a checklist to find out if that is all possible with your e drum module. You can get the guide for free / pay-what-you-want HERE


Polyphonic Aftertouch / Poly Key Pressure

Poly Key Pressure (Poly KP) is being send e.g. by Roland eDrum modules (like the Roland TD-27, TD-30, TD-50, TM-6Pro ) when grabbing an electronic cymbal pad and Ableton Live 11 is now being able to hand that message IF send before a MIDI Note Off message.

cymbal choke with electronic drums in Ableton Live

Gate Time and Drum Sound Plug-Ins

For electronic drummers this means the “Gate Time” needs to be adjusted in the drum module, so the “Poly KP” message is being passed through into an Ableton Live MIDI track. This way the “Cymbal Choke” can now mute the cymbal samples and trigger a “choke” sample in drum plug-ins / VST like Superior Drummer 3 ( SD3 ), Adictive Drums 2 ( AD2 ) , EZ Drummer 2, Steven Slate Drums 5 ( SSD5 ) and more. It can be recorded and played-back.

Ableton Live Accoustic Drum Stock Sounds

Ableton Live’s Core Library drum sounds won’t be muted per default but I created a Max for Live device + a collection of presets for the 5 acoustic kits in Ableton Lives Core Library which will do so. Get them HERE: