2488MKII MIDI to Hydrogen


New Member
Jul 23, 2014
Dallas TX
Gear owned
Hello all,
I am brand new to this forum and I hope you can help me out.
By way of introduction, I know almost nothing about MIDI other than a high level understanding of what it can do. I have no idea how exactly to make things happen. This is going to be a lot of information in this post but please bear with me and be gentle.

I have a Tascam 2488MKII.
I have a laptop which runs Linux (Fedora 20) running Hydrogen Advanced Drum Machine.

What I'd like to do is record drums from Hydrogen on my 2488MKII. I want to press PLAY or RECORD on the 2488 and have it start the drum machine on the computer playing. Once I get that to work, I can very easily connect the audio out from the computer to an audio input on the 2488 and I'll be in business.

But I don't know how to get the 2488 to command the drum machine to start playing.

What I've done so far:
Read through existing posts on this forum. No luck.
Connect 2488MKII MIDI in and out to the computer using a MIDI to USB interface. It's just a small box with 2 MIDI connectors on one end and a USB connector on the other. The cable labled IN goes to MIDI IN and the cable labled OUT goes to MIDI OUT.

Installed the following software:
Hydrogen Advanced Drum Machine version

in qjackctl->Patchbay I created
Output Socket 1, Midi Through Port 0
Input Socket 1, External Controller​

I created a simple drum part in Hydrogen.
when I click the play button on qjackctl the drums in Hydrogen start playing.

On the 2488MKII:
Source = Internal
Frame Type = 24
Offset = 0
Generator = Clock​

Mode = Master
Device ID = All​

When I press Play or Record on the 2488, nothing happens on my computer. So what do I need to do to make this all work?

Please remember, I really don't know what I'm talking about. If the above looks wrong, well that's my problem. Please correct me. This is just what I've tried to get it to work.

Dennis, are you trying to convert MIDI to audio and record that on your 2488MKII? If so, you should create your MIDI drum file on your laptop, convert it to audio on the laptop and move it to the 2488MKII as a .wav file using the USB connection as described on page 78 of the manual. If you are trying to move the MIDI file to the 2488MKII so you can send the data to a different sound module send the MIDI file over to the 2488MKII using the SMF capability described on page 79 of the manual. This method is very easy to do ... send the MIDI data out from the 2488MKII to the sound module and bring back the audio output from the sound module for recording. HTH Buzz
Last edited:
Hi Buzz.
Thanks for the response. No, what I'm trying to do is get the 2488 to trigger the drum machine. Press play (or record) on the 2488 and the drum machine magically starts. However after reading your post, maybe I am going about the whole thing the wrong way. I'm going to try some of the things you suggested to see how that works out. I wanted to use the 2488 internal "click" to keep track of measures and time but do I really need that? No. I'll likely just record my drum track as a track on the 2488 and forget about using the click function.
Thanks again. Your information was very helpful as it got me to look at the big picture and consider other solutions.

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