Roland TM-6 PRO Kit – Preset change with Ableton Live / Max for Live device

The “Kit Selector” Max for Live device for the Roland TM-6 lets you change kit-presets of your Roland TM-6 PRO. You can automate changes via MIDI clips, use e-drum pads via MIDI MAP or use the Max for Live device as a monitor to show you which kit is selected.

Download the device HERE!

Select kits on TM-6 PRO from within Ableton Live

Set Up

You first need to establish a MIDI connection between your computer and the TM-6 PRO. The only way to make the TM-6 PRO to receive MIDI is to connect it via the USB port. (There is one 5-DIN MIDI port on the TM-6 PRO but this is only for sending MIDI out.)

Per default the USB driver mode on the TM-6 PRO is set to “GENERIC” – this means that you don’t have to install a driver on your computer/Mac to receive and send MIDI between the two devices and the MIDI in and out ports will show up in Ableton Lives MIDI preferences.

MIDI connection between Roland TM-6 PRO and Ableton Live

However if you want to use the TM-6 PRO as an external sound card or route the audio from it into Ableton Live, you would need to set the Driver Mode to “VENDOR” and install the driver on your computer/Mac. There is a description on how to do this in this post here.

I usually advise my clients to only have the MIDI ports that they are using to be switched to on. Very often clients contact me because they are getting some weird MIDI messages from somewhere and this often is caused by some un-clean MIDI routing and MIDI feedback.

So for just using the “TM6-PRO Kit Selector” you will just need the TRACK IN and the TRACK OUT being set to ON in Ableton Lives MIDI preferences.

MIDI ports in Ableton Live

Track routing

You now want to place the “TM6-PRO Kit Selector” Max for Live device on a MIDI Track. You need to set the “Midi From” on this track to “TM-6 PRO” and select channel 10. Do the same selection for the “MIDI To”.

Select the MIDI from in Ableton Live

Note: The default MIDI CHANNEL on the TM-6 PRO is set to “10” – if you change this setting you obviously need to change the receiving and sending channels here as well.

Switch on ARM or Monitoring

set ARM active in Ableton Live

You are now ready to switch kits from within Ableton Live, make sure that the track you are using is receiving MIDI as well. You can do this by “ARM”ing the track – this means pressing the ‘record’ placed down on the track. You could as well set the Monitor on this track to “IN” – this way the track will always and only(!) listen to the source which is selected in the MIDI from section.

Automate Kit Changes

You can automate kit changes in MIDI clips in the envelope section. Just create a new MIDI clip by double clicking on an empty slot. Select the envelope view and select the “KIT” parameter. Here you can set dots by double click on the red line. You could now move those dots up and down towards the kit you want to be selected automatically. Kit-presets on the TM-6 Pro will now change automatically when this clip is being triggered.


SPD SX with Ableton Live