Transfer samples from/to MachineDrum

Helllo there!

Question … I’ve dusted off the old MD UW+ again and wanted to upload some samples to it.

C6 does not seem to work on 64 bit Catalina though. I read many articles on the issue but was not able to find any alternative. The main alternative mentioned is SysEx Librarian but as far as I know, this utility cannot be used to transfer wav samples to my little silver box.

Does anybody know of any alternative to use for transferring samples to my MD?

Thank you!


You should be able to use any converter that can turn audio files into SDS format, and then just transfer them with anything that can send sysex messages. Looks like sysex librarian might do the transfer job. Just convert your WAVs to SDS first. Audacity and SoX can both convert to SDS.


Ahhh! Nice … thank you. I will try and do that. Was going down the route to install a virtual box for Mojave in my mac so I can run 32 bit apps on Catalina. I like your suggestion better. Thank you! Cheers, Michiel.

As an alternative you can also directly sample into the MD using the ram machines. Once you’ve recorded something in a ram machine go to the sample manager in global settings, select the ram machine that you used to record, press function + copy and then function + paste onto a free rom slot.


As mentioned, You need something that can convert to Midi Sample Dump Standard; and then transfer those.

I wouldn’t do that, just for transferring samples; there are better ways :wink:


Everybody, thank you for your respones! You helped me out a great deal. As feedback and for everybody else having this same issue. I solved it through converting .wav to .sds first. Please note that Audacity is also not available for Catalina 64 (yet). As such, ended up using sox to convert .wav to .sds. Wrote a little shell script to do this in batch. For all interested, see below:

#assumes a /sds directory to be present in source directory!
for i in *.wav
sox “$i” “sds/$(basename -s .wav “$i”).sds”

Cheers, Michiel


You can use sox $i sds/${i%.wav}.sds to get the shell to remove the .wav extension instead of launching a new process. That works in bash or zsh (the default shell in Catalina). It’s a tiny tiny tiny bit faster that way :laughing:

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haha, check! :wink:


I have just purchased a Machinedrum SPS-1 UW MKII and have gone through most of the manual, making sure I understand each of the functions and parameters. I spent several hours getting to grips with the basic features. I’m still at the Sample Manager section and I’m having some difficulty understanding how to transfer sound samples from my computer (OS X 10.15.5) to my device.

I first installed SysEx Librarian and was able to dump Kits, etc from the Machinedrum to the software and vice versa. Then I configured SoX via the Terminal and was able to convert different wav, mp3, to sds format.

Where I am puzzled, is how to transfer these SDS files to my Machinedrum… I thought SysEx Librarian could support this format, but I can’t add an SDS file to the library (SDS format doesn’t seem to be recognized - grayed out). At first, I thought that my file did not meet the requirements, so I created a 1 second wav file, in Mono, 8-bit sample size and 16.000kHz sample rate (even though the manual specifies that the MD “All sample speeds from 4kHz to 48kHz are accepted and handled by the Machinedrum UW. Higher rates are accepted but the samples are down sampled to half the sampling speed. The Machinedrum UW does not handle stereo samples. All bit depths are accepted but will be played back at 12 bits”). Then, I converted this file in SDS format, but SysEx still did not recognize it.

Afterwards, I did another test and dumped some samples from the Sample Manager to SysEx Librarian and the transferred files were in .syx format.

So, I’m wondering what I have to do to be able to transfer these samples.

Thank you in advance for your help. :sunglasses:


I haven’t used SysEx Librarian for this purpose, so I can only make suggestions:

What happens if you rename your SDS files with a .syx suffix?

What happens if you try the SPECIFIC PLACE SAMPLE RECEIVE method in the MD manual?


Thank you for your response Peter. The modification of the extension to .sys actually worked. However, the files I downloaded did not have a name, once transferred in the MD. I ran the test several times with different files, making sure to keep a limited number of characters (e.g. BD1A.syx), but the name didn’t appear once uploaded. I was however able to rename them manually, but I’d like to find a way to avoid having to rename each file one by one, which is counterproductive.

Are you aware of a workaround and/or do you know if there is any other software compatible with OS X Catalina that can perform SDS/SYX file transfer to the Machinedrum?

I have only heard of sample filenames being transferred when using Elektron’s C6 software, which will not run on your Mac.

I believe that this is because the filename is not part of the MIDI SDS standard, and that C6 sends additional SysEx messages to the MD in order to pass the names of the samples when the option to do so is selected.

The additional SysEx message is documented in the manual of the MD so it would be comparatively easy for a programmer to write a similar piece of software - it’s only 5 bytes of data for each sample - but I don’t know of any that have been published.


Alright, so I guess I will continue to manually rename them. Thank you very much! 

For future reference, in case anybody has the same issue, these steps actually worked for me on my Machinedrum SPS-1 UW MKII (no +Drive) (OS 1.63), using macOS 10.15.5 (Catalina):

  1. Make sure all the connections/settings were made properly and that your Machinedrum is communicating with OS X (Audio MIDI Setup/MIDI Studio can be used for testing purpose).
  2. Install SysEx Librarian.
  3. Install SoX (command line) or Audacity (GUI - Easier to use for people with less experience).
    a. Both are free and Open Source – Compatible with macOS 10.15.5 (Catalina).
  4. Make sure your audio samples are compatible with SoX and/or Audacity.
    a. Mine were all .wav, mono, 16-bit, 44.100kHz, short name (no more than 4 characters long – Ex: BD01.wav).
  5. Convert audio samples to .sds using either SoX or Audacity.
  6. Change the .sds files extension to .syx (CMD + I).
  7. Add the .syx files to SysEx Librarian library.
  8. Press the Turbo button on your TM-1 MIDI interface.
  9. On the MD, go into Global Settings, in your preferred slot (1-8).
  10. Now, go into File/Sample MGR.
  11. In the Mode menu, select RECV and press Yes.
  12. Now, select the desired location, using the arrow keys and press Yes.
  13. WAITING will now appear at the bottom right corner.
  14. Go back into SysEx Librarian.
    a. Make sure the Elektron TM-1 is selected as the destination, using the drop-down menu.
    b. Select the file you want to transfer (this method only works for 1 sample at the time)*
    c. Once you’re ready, press the Play button to start uploading data to you Machinedrum.
  15. Wait for the transfer to complete.
    a. You should see the progress change (in SysEx Librarian and MD) as the data is transferred**
  16. Since the file name is not transferred with this method, go into the MD and rename the sample (s), to find your way around more easily.

*When I tried to transfer multiple files at the same time, the Machinedrum could not handle it and the transfer was cancelled. It seems that this method has its limitation and can only be used to upload 1 sample at the time.

**Please note that the message “RECEIVING SAMPLE” wasn’t displayed, when transferring a large file (2.4mb). Instead, WAITING message was flashing during the entire progress (no progress bar). Therefore, I had to refer to SysEx Librarian to see the transfer progress.

If the transfer happens to crash, go into SysEx Librarian preferences and change the Transmit buffer size to 256 in the Transmit Speed tab.


Hello !

Thank you for the tips but maybe you have a way to transfer more samples than just one ?
I have many samples in my MD I would like to transfer…
Maybe their is an other way ?

Not easy to work with just one by one transfer :confused:

Hi Chancla,

I did a lot of testing and spent several hours trying to find a way and I couldn’t transfer more than one sample at a time. However, once you have many samples in your MD, you can export them to a SySex file containing all your sounds. This file can then be transferred back to your Machinedrum in a simple step. Maybe the solution would be to design a new application able to create SySex file, which contains multiple samples… The unit has its limits and its technology is quite old and I found that even if it was not the optimal and most convenient way to work, I had spent enough time testing and looking for a solution. It was now time for me to make some music! :wink:


You can download Audacity and convert your samples to SDS. This way you can transfer everything as a batch but you’ll have to rename everything as nothing will have a name but this could be due to the 4 character limit.

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You can also use the ORG option in the Sample Manager RECV menu on the MD, for batch transfer.

No need to convert to SDS (unless you’re forced to use Sysex Librarian for other reasons)

From Page 74 of the manual.



I’ve not transferred new samples into my MD for a while. Last time I did, I used C6, which is what I’ve always used. It has stopped working. I’m still on high Sierra.

What the fuuuu… I just went through all my samples that I have ready to transfer and tried to convert using Audition, as it’s the only program I have to hand. It did convert them but they won’t load into Sysex Librarian.
This USED TO WORK!!! … . wtf. I’m fuming about this.

Edit* now I feel stupid. Got samples loaded. C6 started magically working again. apologies for my behaviour. lol