How to Connect Electronic Drums to a Mixing Board

Written by nicole schmoll
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How to Connect Electronic Drums to a Mixing Board
Standard drum kits are louder and more difficult to transport than electric drum sets. (drums image by agno_agnus from

Electronic mixing boards and musical instruments are used by amateur and professional musicians to create songs from their own garage, basement or bedroom. Electric drums often take up less space than standard drum kits, and when used with headphones, they make a lot less noise. Drums, guitars, microphones and other instruments, such as saxophones and keyboards, can be plugged into mixing boards to synthesise and record songs, which can be shared with others or used by the band to fine-tune performance skills.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Electric drum set
  • 8- or 16-channel electronic mixer
  • Standard, 1/4-inch size cables
  • Mixer
  • Masking tape

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  1. 1

    Connect one end of your cables into your electric drum set. One jack correlates with each unique pad on your set, such as cymbals, snare and kick drum. Lay the cable ends flat from left to right.

  2. 2

    Label the input jacks with masking tape on your drum set module. Create a chart with numbers 1, 2, 3, and so on that coordinate to the different sounds of your drum set. For example, your drum set module assigns a numbers to sounds like "Cowbell = 1," "Snare = 2" and so on. Label your module's input jacks with numbers. Use the correlating chart to properly connect the instruments into their corresponding module jacks. You may have four or more cables going into your drum module, with only two coming out. The two out cables connect to the mixer.

  3. 3

    Plug standard stereo cables into the "out" jacks (there may be one or two) on your drum module. Connect the other end of the cable(s) into any of the numbered "Line In" jacks on your mixer.

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