top of page

How To Send Drum Trigger MIDI Information Over An XLR

Recently I’ve been recording acoustic drums at the same time as capturing midi from the drum shells through a trigger module. This makes it easier if you need to fix parts or sample replace, but can’t easily make out the transients.

Drum Trigger module

As the drum kit is in the live room and not next to my interface, I needed a way of getting the triggered signal between rooms without having to pull an extra cable. So I thought I must be able to convert a MIDI cable to XLR and back again, to capture the data as midi. So that’s exactly what I did, and this video will show you how

MIDI & XLR connectors

Although a midi din connector has five pins, only three are in use, that’s handy because an XLR cable has three as well!


After getting a midi cable with connectors you can unscrew and solder you’ll need a male and female XLR connector. 


You need to wire the adapter like this:

MIDI Pin 2 to XLR Pin 1

MIDI Pin 4 to XLR Pin 2

MIDI Pin 5 to XLR Pin 3

And the same on the other end.

XLR to MIDI pinout

MIDI has a technical range of 50 foot or 15 m, but as we’re only sending note on an off information, and not any sysex messages I’ve had no problems with 65 foot or 20 m of XLR cable.

Here's all the gear I used:

Trigger module  US - EU

midi connectors USEU
XLR connectors  US - EU


So get yourself a cheap trigger model, make some cheap adapters and save yourself some time studying the Transient information and focus on the music instead.

happy gigging

This guide contains Amazon affiliate links

Check out the next video

bottom of page