Greetings and welcome to episode one of our Knowledge Drop series, The Great Drum Rack Switch! The purpose of this series is to share how we bring both classic and novel production techniques into a modern electronic music environment. The focus of today’s drop: quickly switching between different drum kits, for both production and performance.

Today’s Topic

Ableton Live possesses rack devices, whose purpose is to house other devices. Today’s Knowledge Drop uses a combination of Live’s Drum Rack and Instrument Rack devices to trade one full drum kit for another (or another, or another…) by merely turning a knob. We also show how to expand this idea so that one knob cycles through countless kick sounds, another knob switches between various snare samples, and so on.

Today’s Content Download

For you, we have created a Live Project that demonstrates these “drum rack switcher” and “final drum rack” concepts. This project was made with Ableton Live 9 and contains:

  • 70 drum kits (comprising over 700 audio samples)
  • 10 drum kits are included in each of these seven genres:
    • Trap
    • Electro
    • Dubstep/Drumstep
    • Drum and Bass
    • Deep House
    • Hip Hop
    • Tech House
  • Each of these styles includes:
    • Five drum pattern examples (35 patterns total)
    • A configured “drum rack switcher” (seven switchers total)
    • A configured “final drum rack” (seven racks total; requires Ableton Live Suite)
    • A configured “final rack switcher” (seven switchers total; requires Ableton Live Suite)

By signing up for our Content Mailing List, you can then download this Knowledge Drop content, and you will be the first to know when other downloads become available.

Download: The Great Drum Rack Switch content

To sign up for our Mailing List (or if you are already registered), please submit your email address below. You will be taken to a page where you can download the file.

Questions? Boom. Comments? Meow.

Knowledge Drop is a free series of focused tutorial videos with accompanying content packages from Knob Theory. Each Knowledge Drop video demonstrates a particular technique through the lens of modern electronic music production.



  1. I’ve used ‘128s’ before, but this is much more efficient! Not just that, but you’ve reminded people that they don’t need to fill a sampler with 128 individual samples, which can eat up that RAM!

    (Yes you *can get around this by bouncing down all your hits into one large file on an audio track in live, with each hit 1 bar apart, but it’s a bit more time consuming)

    Really dig Knob Theory’s take on teaching the truly important aspects of music production. Though knowledge of the technical aspects of music production and sound design are crucial, when you’re in front of your sequencer, what matters is knowing yourself and your process. For all the technical information, there’s always Curtis Roads’ black telephone book, ‘The Computer Music Tutorial’!

  2. Hi. Thanks for the free knowledge and packs!
    Please note that there’s two files, “Clap:Snare 001” and “Clap:Snare 2” that won’t load in Windows because of the colons in their filenames. Ableton Project says they’re missing.

  3. hey – could you take a moment to expand on saving the racks to your own uer library? Like, after I download your pack and open the project – would I go to each kit, or each rack, or each what – and then save to my user library under Instruments->drum racks……or what? Getting organized is half the battle – in that part of the video you want super quick and only touched on it for a second or two….

    thanks – cool tutorials in any event

  4. THis is very cool, and wow-thanks for the project with all the kits!

  5. Dave Linnenbank (Author)

    Thank you for your report, Bashu! These files have been renamed, the session updated, and the full ZIP has been reposted. Please download it again, and let us know if you have any other thoughts. And again, thank you!