I recently ran into minor but fixable problems setting up my Alesis SR18 up with FL Studio and I now have it working 100%! It only took me a couple of days to tinker with the settings and now I have FL Studio and the drum machine communicating with one another. This is how I did it.
I will make a quick and brief tutorial here. For those hooking up the Alesis SR18 Drum Machine up with FL Studio (FL Studio), you will need:
1. The drum machine and FL Studio of course.
2. A USB MIDI cable. I have the Cakewalk UM-1G MIDI Interface, google it, it's the best because it has indicator lights.
3. An optional pair of two 1/4 instrument cables. This is if you want to use the audio from the drums for your drum sounds. You will need a mixer board or a sound card with either 1/8 or 1/4 instrument cable inputs. A cheap Alesis MultiMix 4 desktop USB mixer works the best, and it's compatible with ALL versions of Windows including 32 and 64 bit of Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Set up the drum machine and learn how to use it and set up patterns. Once you learn the basics, you're ready to work with FL Studio! Make sure you have the drivers installed for the Cakewalk MIDI interface adapter properly. It says it does not support 64 bit Windows on the box but it DOES. Go to their website and they have drivers for all the new versions of Windows. Plug the drum machine into the appropriate MIDI in and out outputs on the drum machine. Make sure the IN part of the cable goes into the IN output and the OUT goes into the OUT output!!!
Now, if you are using the Cakewalk USB interface I have, make sure on the device that "ADVANCED DRIVER" is set to ON and "MIDI THROUGH" is set to OFF. Again, MIDI THROUGH is set to OFF, not on like you would think it should be...
Turn on the drum machine and launch FL Studio. Press F10 and bring up the MIDI options. The UM-1G interface should show up on the list. Select it. Now go onto your drum machine and bring up the SYSTEM SETUP. Here are how the following settings should be:
CLOCK IN: OFF
DRUM OUT: ON
DRUM IN: ONV1
MIDI CH: 12
The rest of the settings can be left default. If you are using the drum machine as the master device and/or want to sync it with the tempo in FL Studio, you will have to play with the CLOCKOUT and CLOCK IN settings. Make sure you save your settings (hold the SAVE/COPY button and press the red "REC (enter)" button and the screen should say SAVED).
In your FL Studio MIDI settings screen, set the port number to 10 and all other channel numbers to 10. Make sure "Enable" is set for enabling input from the device. Select the generic controller, leave all other settings default, and close the window.
Now go to "Channels" and "Add One.." and select "MIDI Out." A new MIDI Output channel is created. Open it, change the MIDI Channel to 12 and the port number to 11. You should now be able to play notes in the FL Studio Piano Roll and you can now record MIDI patterns from the drum machine into FL Studio! How awesome is that?!
Want to record the drum patterns neatly into FL Studio? Just hit "Wait for input to start playing" up top in the FL Studio toolbar and FL Studio will not play nor record until you hit play on the drum machine.
I hope this tutorial helps others with the SR18 drum machine get started with their drum machine. This method should also work with the SR16 as well, which I learned to use in school (how do you think I know so much about the SR18?).