Boss DR 660 MIDI setup

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Member Since: Sep 11, 2008

Hey, im pretty new to this so be kind! ive just bought a midi>USB cable to connect my Boss DR 660 drum machine to my laptop having read that this was possible.

im using Cubase LE version 1.0.8. but also have Ableton Live 5.2.2., all run via my Powerbook G4 if that helps...

basically, im having trouble getting my laptop to even recognise the Boss DR660 is there, i have another MIDI device - a Line6 KB37 which im using fine.

just wondering if anyone could help regarding setting the DR660 up?

Thanks in advance :)

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Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Sep 11, 2008 07:40 pm

Exactly what USB>midi cable are you using? And what is it you want to do with the 660?

I'll assume you know that midi is data only and does not contain any audio signal.

Since: May 30, 2009

May 30, 2009 05:10 pm

i have the 660 as part of my current studio and though i adore it for it's audio and drum programming capabilities but have not had any success getting it to function as a control surface for drum programming with ableton live.

my first attempt was some time ago with a generic Midi-USB cable and now with a shiny new E-MU Xmidi 1x1 cable in my possession abelton is still not receiving any midi input from it as far as i can tell.

tried several things via audio midi setup preferences on osx but still no dice... refering to manual it actually explains the midi implementation on the unit farily well but no success making it work... :-/

james @ deepchicago [dot] net

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

May 30, 2009 08:41 pm

Hey there lauer, I'm guessing then from your input that it is a problem not with the cable or the 660 but the way Ableton or the Mac handle it. I've used many set ups like that both here and out in other studio's without having any issues. But that is on PC based systems as well.

If a unit can send midi data, which the 660 can then it should be able to be received by any software if the software is capable of it

I'll keep my ears open to any more info that might help this out. It has to be something between Ableton and OSX and the way they are handling the midi driver's and data.

Since: May 30, 2009

Aug 05, 2009 06:38 pm

thanks trying again running it through my novation ReMote SL as well with automap but no love there either...

i've read several accounts others have found with midi-to-usb cables on OS X. i've tried two different brands now and not sure what my options are.... unfortunately my apogee duet interface does not have midi cables so i'm not sure how else i could potentially get the midi data into my DAW (in my case ableton live 8).


new email abletonfreaks(at)

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Aug 07, 2009 08:16 pm

Looks like you may need to break down and buy a dedicated midi interface such as this from

Although that one may react with your Mac like the cable although it does state Mac OSX core midi is supported.

Otherwise you can move up to this one as I know a couple folks using it on Mac.

Since: May 30, 2009

Aug 09, 2009 10:51 am

was able to get it working today. pretty much on a whim with all of the different settings between the 660 midi options/os x midi prefs/ableton prefs/etc...

in the end all i had to do was midi out of the 660 and to the ' midi in' of my main keyboard (in my case novation remote) with a regular midi cable and enable track input for the port being used in ableton prefs (e.g. turn input port 1 track 'on'). no midi>usb cable needed as the novation hands midi out msg to ableton via it's own usb cable already in use. also works through a self-powered usb hub if i want... amazing. the only catch for me was that in 660 midi settings the 8:THRU has to be set to 'off' and after that it pretty much worked after tweaking the ableton settings and turning the right track input on.

hope this info is useful to someone. really nice to use the 660 actually since ableton drum racks by default are already mapped correctly to the pads (true with various other 'classic' drum machines i assume). velocity sensitive pads are the icing on the cake. not bad for a little drum box built in japan in the early 80s... :)

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