How to Amplify Drum Machines

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So, you've figured out how to make beats with your drum machine. Now you want to play them loud. Whether you're playing through a small amplifier at home, or running your drum machine through a powerful PA system in a live setting, the same knowledge applies. Once you understand the basic method for amplifying your drum machine, you can amplify your beats in almost any situation.

Things You'll Need

  • Cable
  • Amplifier
  • PA sound system
  • Turn off your drum machine and set the volume to zero. Do the same with your amplifier.

  • Find the output jack on your drum machine. Depending on your drum machine model, the output jack may be labeled "Mix," "Mix Out," "Output" or something similar. The output jack is usually located on the rear panel.

  • Plug a cable into the output jack. Drum machine outputs are generally 1/4-inch jacks. Use either a 1/4-inch-to-1/4-inch cable, or a 1/4-inch-to-XLR cable, depending on what you are plugging your drum machine into.

  • Connect the other end of your cable into an amplifier input or a PA system's mixing board. Use a 1/4-inch jack for amplifier inputs or an XLR jack for PA systems.

  • Turn on the drum machine and amplifier.

  • Play the drum machine and slowly increase the drum machine and amplifier volume until it is suitably loud.

  • Adjust the amplifier or PA system equalization. For example, turn up the bass settings to emphasize the bass frequencies of the beat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an electronic drum monitor for best results. These amplifiers are designed specifically for electronic drums and drum machines.
  • Use two cables to create a stereo mix if your drum machine has left and right outputs. Send the two cables to two amplifiers or into two separate mixing board channels.
  • Read you drum machine's manual for output specifications and instructions.
  • Make sure your drum machine is switched off before amplifying it. Plugging and unplugging drum machines while on can cause loud noises that can damage your ears.

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References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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