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Old 06-09-2018, 07:40 AM   #1
brainwreck
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Default Your experience with playing and recording electronic drums. Pros and cons?

I'm finally about to give the world of electronic drums a go (waiting on a kit to arrive). My reasons for doing so:

- I need a lower volume solution for playing and recording drums.

- I much prefer playing acoustic drums over anything else, but something that I can hit with sticks has to be better than tapping in parts or programming parts. I enjoy playing drums.

- The dynamics are always severely screwed up when tapping in drums using a keyboard or pad interface, and tapping in drum parts always ends up in lots of manual programming, which pretty much makes tapping in parts pointless.

- Programming drums is wayyy too tedious for me, and it takes away from the fun of playing drums. I can make it work for an end result, but I much prefer the process of playing on the fly.

I may end up not liking playing an electronic kit, but it's worth a try. My biggest concerns are the translation of dynamics/velocity and how the latency might affect the feel of playing.

What has your experience been with playing and recording electronic drums? I think the pros of electronic drums is obvious. But how about the cons? How has the translation of dynamics been for you? Does the latency bother you when playing through drum samplers?
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:50 AM   #2
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I'm a little biased here because I've spent the vast majority of my time playing drums on my Roland V Drums kit.
For the lowest latency, the internal module sounds are pretty much latency free.

The best quality and realism will come from a VST though. My V Drums kit is based on two Roland modules, an expanded TD20 (essentially a TD30) and a TD12. These modules are hugely configurable for personal dynamics and are very responsive and quite natural using mesh head drums. I built most of my kit by converting acoustic drums to mesh head electronic ones which is a pretty straight forward process for anyone who is comfortable with hand tools and a soldering iron.

For most of my recordings, I use Toontrack Superior Drummer 2 (I do plan to upgrade to V3 soon) and on my laptop (Sony Vaio Duo 11 with i5 3317 CPU and 4GB RAM) I can run it at lowest latency without a problem. I actually don't have a problem playing the kit monitoring from SD2 rather than the module sounds.

I usually use the module sounds when practising or just jamming to something because all I have to do is turn it on and play.

I haven't played any other E kits (Yamaha or such) but am very happy with my Roland kit.

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Old 06-09-2018, 07:54 AM   #3
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I must add here that the level of enjoyment you have with an e kit will be VERY dependant on the time you spend setting up the dynamics to suit your playing. That can vary from "what the hell is this rubbish" to "this is surprisingly good" even with the exact same kit.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:04 AM   #4
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There are some real advantages.
- Moving and set up time is reduced about 90%
- You can dial up custumized kits. Roland lets you specify diameter, depth, shell material; etc.
- If you record the midi it creates opportunity to remix kit levels inside a DAW using velocity scaler plugins for each individual drum instrument, or to trigger an entirely different kit from the same performance (either by routing midi back into the kits 'brain' or by triggering a VSTi.

Possible problems: midi latency. NEEDS to be properly compensated for from the beginning. Even short latency will screw up drummer performances more than any other instrument.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:18 AM   #5
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I'm not concerned with moving them around. They will be permanently set up at home, always on and ready to play, most likely with a single 'kit'. Pretty much a lower volume acoustic drum substitute without a bunch of fiddling once they are set up and dialed in. That is, if it works out.

Anyone measured the MIDI latency from a Roland module? I haven't seen anyone do this yet, so I will be doing it after my kit is set up to satisfy my own curiosity. In general, I have found very little technical information about electronic kits, such as latency specs. What I tend to run into is a bunch of run-on discussions in which no one ever gets down to taking actual latency measurements.

Edit: There is a thread here saying that Roland module latency from hit to MIDI message out it typically around 4-7 ms. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/geek...-megadrum.html But still, no actual measurements taken there. If that is accurate, add that on top of your audio out latency (and any latency added by a sampler), which might end up in the 10 ms ballpark give or take a few ms.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:55 AM   #6
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Also, any tips on dialing in dynamics is very welcome. Most likely I will end up running Addictive Drums 2 as the sampler. I also have Ezdrummer 2, BFD Lite, Reason Drum Kits 2, and the stuff in NI Komplete. But Addictive Drums seems to have much more extensive control over MIDI input for dynamics and such.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:09 AM   #7
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I'm not concerned with moving them around. They will be permanently set up at home, always on and ready to play, most likely with a single 'kit'. Pretty much a lower volume acoustic drum substitute without a bunch of fiddling once they are set up and dialed in. That is, if it works out.

Anyone measured the MIDI latency from a Roland module? I haven't seen anyone do this yet, so I will be doing it after my kit is set up to satisfy my own curiosity. In general, I have found very little technical information about electronic kits, such as latency specs. What I tend to run into is a bunch of run-on discussions in which no one ever gets down to taking actual latency measurements.

Edit: There is a thread here saying that Roland module latency from hit to MIDI message out it typically around 4-7 ms. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/geek...-megadrum.html But still, no actual measurements taken there. If that is accurate, add that on top of your audio out latency (and any latency added by a sampler), which might end up in the 10 ms ballpark give or take a few ms.
I'm not at all familiar with the MIDI latency of the newer modules (I believe they now use USB MIDI) but I haven't noticed any perceptible latency when playing my kit using the module sounds and headphones. I haven't measured anything though primarily because I've never felt the need to. Latency with VST instruments is no different to playing any of my VST synths from a hardware keyboard. It is totally dependant on your system and interface.

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Originally Posted by brainwreck View Post
Also, any tips on dialing in dynamics is very welcome. Most likely I will end up running Addictive Drums 2 as the sampler. I also have Ezdrummer 2, BFD Lite, Reason Drum Kits 2, and the stuff in NI Komplete. But Addictive Drums seems to have much more extensive control over MIDI input for dynamics and such.
Don't rule out Superior Drummer 3. They have done a TON of work on making it natural to play from an e kit. Even SD2 has gone through many improvements and it now works extremely well from my kit. Cymbal chokes work out of the box and the hihat response is now FAR better than when it was first released. If you get that set up right on your module, it should work well with SD2 or 3. It does here on SD2.

As far as setting up triggers is concerned, I generally set the sensitivity so I get maximum MIDI velocity on my loudest hits. I then adjust the threshold and crosstalk controls to minimise false triggering from adjacent drums. That is a little trickier on my kit because I'm using two modules and they don't communicate crosstalk information between them. That means I have to use the threshold controls to minimise that and I lose a little bit of very light sensitivity. It's only really noticeable on a few kit pieces that are mounted on the rack right next to each other though. For the most part, it isn't a problem.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:37 AM   #8
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I'm not at all familiar with the MIDI latency of the newer modules (I believe they now use USB MIDI) but I haven't noticed any perceptible latency when playing my kit using the module sounds and headphones. I haven't measured anything though primarily because I've never felt the need to. Latency with VST instruments is no different to playing any of my VST synths from a hardware keyboard. It is totally dependant on your system and interface.


Don't rule out Superior Drummer 3. They have done a TON of work on making it natural to play from an e kit. Even SD2 has gone through many improvements and it now works extremely well from my kit. Cymbal chokes work out of the box and the hihat response is now FAR better than when it was first released. If you get that set up right on your module, it should work well with SD2 or 3. It does here on SD2.

As far as setting up triggers is concerned, I generally set the sensitivity so I get maximum MIDI velocity on my loudest hits. I then adjust the threshold and crosstalk controls to minimise false triggering from adjacent drums. That is a little trickier on my kit because I'm using two modules and they don't communicate crosstalk information between them. That means I have to use the threshold controls to minimise that and I lose a little bit of very light sensitivity. It's only really noticeable on a few kit pieces that are mounted on the rack right next to each other though. For the most part, it isn't a problem.
I owned Superior Drummer at one point. It seemed like a fine product, and Toontrack were always painless to deal with. But in the end I personally preferred the sampled kits from other companies, which is no knock on Toontrack's stuff. Just a personal preference. And the interface options were ovrerkill for my concerns. I did more fiddling in Superior than actually using it. And Ezdrummer has worked well enough for me for manually programming drums, but I really want to get away from doing that. I have come to think of the NI stuff as meh, and I will most likely sell off Komplete. I just don't use it like I thought I would. And I was more interested in Reaktor any way, which I have a separate license for. I actually still much prefer the sound of a long ago sampled Yamaha Custom kit from Reason Drum Kits over anything to date, but it was sampled long ago and therefore doesn't offer enough sample variations for velocity levels and round robin. Too bad, because the recording of those samples was superbly done to tape with a really good sounding room and mics. And Reason offers pretty much zero control over MIDI input for electronic drums. And I'm not a fan of BFD at all. I had so many buggy issues with it in the past, and I always disliked the room sounds. So I eventually arrived at using Addictive Drums, where the sampled kits sound good to me personally (although I'm not crazy about the rooms) with a decent amount of variations for velocity and round robin and really good control over MIDI input. I only wish that they offered a brushed kit for folky rock / country type stuff.

Thanks for the tips on setting up triggering.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:05 AM   #9
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Bit left of field but I enjoy the advantages of using aerodrums with tweaked set of sticks so I can hit a mesh head -

Perks include taking up the least amount of space possible, quick to setup.
Very good dynamics, compared to any ekit tried or DIY set I used.

Takes a bit of getting used to technique wise but it's a beneficial technique that you develop so is a gain overall.

Downside is bright light in your face, shades or a hat can fix that.

Built In sounds are good or midi out into ad2 in my case for 'fixes'

Latency is 5-8ms overall
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:40 AM   #10
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Bit left of field but I enjoy the advantages of using aerodrums with tweaked set of sticks so I can hit a mesh head -

Perks include taking up the least amount of space possible, quick to setup.
Very good dynamics, compared to any ekit tried or DIY set I used.

Takes a bit of getting used to technique wise but it's a beneficial technique that you develop so is a gain overall.

Downside is bright light in your face, shades or a hat can fix that.

Built In sounds are good or midi out into ad2 in my case for 'fixes'

Latency is 5-8ms overall
I considered Aerodrums at one point, and I talked with the devloper about latency. I forget the exact number (I can look it up later), but I remember that the overall latency would have been much too high for me when combined with audio interface latency. It does look like a fun and economical way to go if the dev can ever get the latency down. Maybe he has by now for all I know. That was a couple of years back.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:51 AM   #11
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Thanks for the tips on setting up triggering.
You're most welcome.

I hear you on going with what you like sound wise too.
Regarding the NI kits, I quite like the sound of some of the libraries (I have K11 ultimate) but they are not so good played from an e kit, especially the hihats which are next to useless response wise.

I'd suggest giving Toontrack another look. They have completely redesigned the interface and recorded totally new libraries for it (including 11.1 room mic setups). I haven't upgraded from SD2 yet but I love the demos I've heard and I'm totally into the idea of the extra mics for use with Ambisonics.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:06 PM   #12
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Hey BenK-msk, when you say that latency is 5-8 ms overall, is that something that you have measured? And is that combined with audio interface latency? I have to admit that I'm still curious about Aerodrums. I should have ordered it long and just tried it out to see. But I will give the vdrums a try and see how it goes. I think the biggest issues for me with e-drums will be total latency when working with a drum sampler and translation of dynamics.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:09 PM   #13
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I'd suggest giving Toontrack another look. They have completely redesigned the interface and recorded totally new libraries for it (including 11.1 room mic setups). I haven't upgraded from SD2 yet but I love the demos I've heard and I'm totally into the idea of the extra mics for use with Ambisonics.
I'm sure Toontrack has improved Superior in a lot of ways since I owned an older version, but at this point, I just want to get down to playing. And Addictive sounds good enough and has the features that I will need for working with e-drums. If I didn't already have Addictive I would take a good look at Superior 3, though.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:18 PM   #14
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Hey BenK-msk, when you say that latency is 5-8 ms overall, is that something that you have measured? And is that combined with audio interface latency? I have to admit that I'm still curious about Aerodrums. I should have ordered it long and just tried it out to see. But I will give the vdrums a try and see how it goes.
That figure is including my rme at lowest setting (around 1ms) and the software own triggering latency which a determined by the 125 fps camera.

I got that figure from dev thread post and it varies as compares frames of motion capture but the minimum is 5 apparently
I don't know what modern ekit detection latency is these days but it seemed 8 was an average a while back.

Best I could get with my diy ekit was triggering latency of several ms

The playability is excellent, with headphones I can play v quick snare rolls etcs and am limited by my ability mostly!

May seem like a toy but doesnt play like it, velocity response is impressive, which I think makes the difference to programmed drums to achieve realism. Is a genuinely useful tool for me. Could never have room for all the gubbins of full ekit, I can get going now in about 30seconds.
The Hours spent fiddling with sensitive settings with old piezo based setups are long gone, get cam in good position (it's picky) then all good.

They just released a beta with snazzy 3d vr graphics which tbh I don't need but can make starting out more engaging.

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Old 06-09-2018, 12:22 PM   #15
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https://forum.cockos.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=10

The post I refer to with info. 4ms min plus device output latency
(Input latency can be disregarded like with a vsti, as no analyzing of pad piezo signals)
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:31 PM   #16
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Guitarist here. So, the perspective of playing with an e-drummer.

I've played with two people who had the Roland club kit.
Playing live with sounds that are decidedly NOT natural drum sounds is the best! Trying to play with someone who is trying to simulate real drum sounds with an e-drum kit is the worst!

I suppose if you really went to town with a live monitor system (as in true audiophile quality) and got simulated real drum sounds dialed in... well it would be more work than mic'ing up real drums at the end of the day I think.

Unnatural or processed sounds are god-like. Simulated real drums sounds come across as cheesy. The best of both worlds is a real drum kit with electronics added for a hybrid kit.

Having said that, there will be a lot of situations where the simulated real drum sounds still shine (well enough). It would be better than real drums gone wrong (anything from damage, poorly tuned, poorly mic'd, cheap mics, etc). The "proper" thing to do might be getting a better mic but the e-drums will give you bang for the buck. Skimp on the live monitor system though and the simulated drum sounds are cheesy as hell!
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:51 PM   #17
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I'm sure Toontrack has improved Superior in a lot of ways since I owned an older version, but at this point, I just want to get down to playing. And Addictive sounds good enough and has the features that I will need for working with e-drums. If I didn't already have Addictive I would take a good look at Superior 3, though.
Yeah. Fair call there. I didn't intend to come across pushy at all. Apologies if I did. I'm all for using what works and making the most of what we have. Plenty of e drummers I know of have had good experiences with Addictive Drums.
I've never used AD personally but I've heard the results of others using it and it sounds good to me.
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Old 06-09-2018, 02:53 PM   #18
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@serr - The OP has specifically said that this is not for live performance, but I was actually going to mention something that's kind of related.

Acoustic drums are, in general, really fucking loud and dynamic. They go from almost reasonable volume when barely hit to pretty painful when slammed. Most drummers are used to that, and I think a large part of why some complain about the "velocity sensitivity" is actually more about sheer SPL. They hit the thing, and it's not as loud at their ears as they think it should be, so they hit it harder and it sounds about right but then they hit it harder still and it tops out and so doesn't get as much louder as they think it should and then they complain that it's not following their dynamics. Sometimes, if you just turn the damn thing up to be actually louder overall, the complaints go away. There's less of a disconnect between hands and ears and everything is more comfortable and easy to play. Then they start playing the things like actual drums instead of like some completely different instrument that they're kind of just learning.

It's also important to remember that the drummer expects that sound to be right in their face. A speaker across the room isn't going to feel right. Part of that is volume. Part is the ratio of direct sound to room sound. Some is actually the delay of the sound moving through the air which is adding to whatever other latency there might be in the system.

So I guess for the OP - make sure you've got a good set of high output headphones and a headphone amp that can drive them to "natural" sounding levels. Then crank them up before you start trying to dial in the sensitivity controls. For live use, either the gorllia has to live with (similarly very loud) headphones or have a loud, clean monitor blasting directly at them. They may also benefit from less of the "room mic" in their monitor.

Then they play more naturally, and a decent MMS sample kit responds in its intended range, and it's a lot easier to sell them as realistic sounding drums.

(Insert comment that any time I'm in a venue where a significant portion of the drum sound comes through the PA, they don't sound anything like natural anyway. If you want "live drum" sound out of AD or Superior, you're going to have to do all the horrible things that "sound guys" do to acoustic drums. )

I personally think that most of the point of an e-kit on stage is that it allows for a truly "silent" stage where nobody gets to hide behind their own instrument and ignore everything else in the mix. Then, once everybody is dependent on a decent monitor mix, it becomes everybody's issue to make sure you can get it. It means carrying PA speakers instead of guitar amps and drum pieces, unless you are lucky enough that the venue has something useable.


Edit - BTW, if you want to know my thoughts on amp sims for live use, just go back through this post and substitute "guitar" or "amp" or "guitarist" as appropriate.

Edit again to add - I'm not any kind of drummer, but I do have a set of drum triggers and I sometimes convince people to play them for me. What I've been doing lately is to forgo the drum "brain" altogether and just plug the triggers themselves directly into my interface as audio inputs. This lets me use any plugin I have to condition the signal both before and after it is converted to MIDI. That gives you a lot more options for tweaking things to feel just right. Any decent brain with a decent VSTi probably has all the control most people need, but if you want to get tweaky about it... The real reason I went this way was so I didn't have to carry that extra rack unit.

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Old 06-09-2018, 03:23 PM   #19
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But still live playing as opposed to programming. So the whole feel and mix thing is still there.

The thing where someone tops out the dynamic range of the digital pickup but wants to hear more level. That's where a live monitor system has to pop! You DO want to line up the quietest analog hit with the lowest digital pickup and let the tops of the ranges fall where they will. The digital system may have a little less dynamic range than natural dynamics with a drum but with a proper monitor system it should still be right on point. With a so so monitor system it will suck ass for drum playing.
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:34 PM   #20
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Addictive Drums 2 as the sampler
I use AD2 with an edrum kit as well. Very natural sounding sample library (though the room sounds a little trashy).

One tip I can share (I won't admit how long I'd been using AD2 before I discovered this): click the question mark in the top-right corner of the AD2 window, then select "Map Window" from the drop down.

This will bring up a tool that lets you map your edrum kit's output to AD2, and it contains presets for most popular drum kits.

AD2 has a range of notes dedicated to the hihat at different open levels. Among other things, the mapping tool will map your hat pedal CC message to different hat samples so you get a very expressive digital hat.
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:24 PM   #21
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Hi,
Brain wreck ..what brand of module? Hope its a Roland. Dynamics.
I know, believe me. Or a 2 box..that's expensive.
Mesh for the snare....hi hats are the bitch of it all. But its doable.
Depending on what you get and what you're triggering sound wise will determine specific tips.
Rubber pads are good, if they're Roland. The cheap cy5 and a fd7 pedal is good for hats.

I'm not a fan boy, just been doing this since the 80s:-) the yammies suk dynamics wise. All the other brands just fall apart unless its a higher end kat product etc.

My buddy has a td4 Roland kit, the old one. Its great , and cheap. Triggers as good as my td20...no dual zone toms and no positional sensing....... No 3 way cymbals but I think it was like 500$ new. Very solid.

Choice and shape of drumstick neck also can help. The weight and length are kinda personal, but thick neck sticks are problematic when triggering the rim/head of the hi hat. They make the rim sounds jump out unaturaly.
Tell me what you're getting

Have you ever seen a picture of readaves kit? Outahand!

Mine is as small as I can get it. Hasn't moved since I put it together in the mid 90s. I use it every day. Its not just like ac drums, but you can't play ac drums at 3:00 am. And it real close and getting closer....though I can't afford the new stuff:-)
I'll try and take a picture. Its dark in there.
Good luck, once past the initial trials, I think you'll love em.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:25 AM   #22
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SD3 all the way. I AM biased as I beta for TT but I also own and (used to) use AD1 &2, Slate3.5 & 4, MTPowerDrums2, all the TT range, plus countless others.
Hands down best response on my Roland TD 8 is Superior 3. Especially the crucial Hi Hat.

AD I have always struggled with setting up for dynamics etc., as indeed I did to a lesser extent with EZD 2 and SD2.
A year or so ago, we got a beta EZD version specifically for e-drums & from that the whole TT range suddenly moved up a seriously large notch in playability.

Whilst I appreciate you already own and like AD2 it might be worth downloading the "try before you buy" version of EZD2 and seeing what I mean.

But SD3 is even better in terms of playability, etc.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:21 AM   #23
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I use the Roland TD50 and Superior Drummer 3. Depending on your style of music, you will find many pros and cons regarding the Roland sounds. I for one am looking for a natural sound, which is very hard to get from the Roland on its own, IMO. However, playability of the TD50 is absolutely amazing. The digital 3-ply snare and the 18” ride are awesome.

My current recording process is to use 10 channels direct out from the TD50 module to a Focusrite Scarlett (18i20 + Octo Pre). I also capture the MIDI out from the TD50 and usually edit the MIDI and then run it back through the TD50 in one pass and then again through SD3. I usually layer some of the sounds between them. For example, I may layer the kick and snare, use SD3 toms and TD50 Cymbals. I may use the snare from SD3 and everything else from the TD50, I sometimes use SD3 drums with Roland cymbals, it all depends on the song.

Recording this way gives me what I believe to be the most flexibility with post production sounds as one could ever hope for. In some cases, I change my mind after I hear the rest of the band and feel like a different snare would sit better, so I simply find the snare I’m looking for and re-run the MIDI performance and record the snare track output.

The TD50 also allows you to use 10 channel USB Audio, which I am experimenting with to see which option I like more, USB Audio vs TRS thru the Scarlett. USB is definitely cleaner, but the “air” from recording thru the Scarlett may help to disguise the synthetic sound I am trying to cover up. I’m not sure on that yet.

You may want to check out the Pearl MIMIC Pro – based on what I have read over at v-drums forum, it is a cut above everything else on the market today regarding, playability, sound, and direct out routing.

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Old 06-11-2018, 09:50 AM   #24
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Hi,
Brain wreck ..what brand of module? Hope its a Roland. Dynamics.
I know, believe me. Or a 2 box..that's expensive.
Mesh for the snare....hi hats are the bitch of it all. But its doable.
Depending on what you get and what you're triggering sound wise will determine specific tips.
Rubber pads are good, if they're Roland. The cheap cy5 and a fd7 pedal is good for hats.

I'm not a fan boy, just been doing this since the 80s:-) the yammies suk dynamics wise. All the other brands just fall apart unless its a higher end kat product etc.

My buddy has a td4 Roland kit, the old one. Its great , and cheap. Triggers as good as my td20...no dual zone toms and no positional sensing....... No 3 way cymbals but I think it was like 500$ new. Very solid.

Choice and shape of drumstick neck also can help. The weight and length are kinda personal, but thick neck sticks are problematic when triggering the rim/head of the hi hat. They make the rim sounds jump out unaturaly.
Tell me what you're getting

Have you ever seen a picture of readaves kit? Outahand!

Mine is as small as I can get it. Hasn't moved since I put it together in the mid 90s. I use it every day. Its not just like ac drums, but you can't play ac drums at 3:00 am. And it real close and getting closer....though I can't afford the new stuff:-)
I'll try and take a picture. Its dark in there.
Good luck, once past the initial trials, I think you'll love em.
It's a TD-11k. Hi-hat pad is CY-5 and control pedal is FD-8. I don't really care about all the multi-zone and positional stuff. I mean, it would be nice for sure, but roland's prices seem to go up exponentially for small additional features. And I don't care about anything outside of a basic 5-piece kit. My biggest concern is how well dynamics translate from what I play to what I hear out of a drum sampler and whether the roundtrip latency is offputting. Latency when using a padkontrol or keyboard is doable, so I'm guessing that latency for the roland module will be in the same ballpark.

By the way, it seems that the TD-11k kits are being blown out through some sellers, and I got a new kit for $630, which definitely was a deciding factor in picking one up. Those things were originally in the $1000-1200 range, going down to $800 eventually. But some sellers have them lower right now.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:26 AM   #25
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Also, someone above mentioned Ezdrummer 2. I have it, but controls are very limited. I mean, there isn't even separate controls for top and bottom snare or damping. :/ And to me, some of the snares in EZ2 are too ringy without any damping.

But dynamics on the EZ2 kits seems much better than on EZ1 stuff. The dynamics on some of the EZ1 kits is pretty bad.

And the crossgrade to Superior is $300. More, :/
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:59 AM   #26
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Hi,
Perfect brainwreck. Its all kinda modular, so as time goes by you upgrade if and when you want.

I don't have ezdrummer, but superior 2. I'll look in the ezd2 manual if there's any velocity curve type stuff.

If you have any sort of decent audio interface latency shouldn't be an issue.
Awesome.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:00 PM   #27
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Brainwreck,

You may have issues with the FD-8 HH pedal. They break pretty easy and have been know to have issues. I haven't used one in a while, so not sure if Roland ever corrected the issues. Other than that I've been happy with Roland edrums.

I've been recording edrums for close to 20 years. I think of edrums like electric guitar. If someone is used to playing acoustic guitar then playing an electric guitar with distortion is going feel and sound foreign.

Most of the things I'd suggest have already been mentioned. You may want to disable all compressors in the drum brain and AD2 bc they take away all the natural playing dynamics.

Have you done a lot of recording with your acoustic kit miced up and listened through headphones? You'll have a similar experience with edrums. Also, if you have raw acoustic drum recordings, you may want to listen to them while you tweak the edrum sounds, so they'll sound more familiar.

I currently use the Roland TD-20 V-Drums. I've always struggled getting the HH to trigger correctly. In AD2, if you select one of the V-Drum mappings, the open and closed HH will only be triggered by CC4 no matter if there's a open or closed HH note #.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:05 AM   #28
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Worth remembering that there are regular large discounts on SD3, especially if you are up/cross-grading from another TT product.
I seem to remember moving from EZD2 to SD2 for less than $100.

As far as the hihat triggering issues are concerned, I got an e-drum version of EZD2 during the pre-beta of the most recent update to EZD2 and of course SD3 Alpha. Might be worth checking with TT Product Manager to see if you have an outstanding update to do on EZD2. But for what its worth there still isnt a top/bottom snare mic in the basic kit supplied weith EZD2 but there IS in many of the EZXs.

I use Nashville a fair bit and it certainly does have the 2 snare mics.

Since tyou can regularly get EZX on sale for around 30 quid it might be worth looking at what is available.

I need to revisit AD to refresh my memory of what it can and cant do, as well.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:51 AM   #29
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GotMetalboy, I have been reading about the issues with the FD-8 pedal. What I am reading is that the rubber actuator stiffens over time causing a problem between open and closed hi-hat, and the same actuator is used on the FD-6, FD-7, FD-8, HD-1, and TD-1. The popular workaround seems to be cutting some shallow slits in the actuator to loosen it up. It's a shame that manufacturers continue year after year to sell junk at high prices. Roland does sell a replacement actuator, but who knows if it will have the same problem over time. Doing some reading around on hi-hat controllers, many roland e-drum players have moved to diy hi-hat controller designs, often reporting much better performance than what comes with their roland kits.

Are there any other problems with the FD-8 that you know of? When you say 'break', do you mean that some part of the housing breaks?


I have barely done any recording of an acoustic kit. And I don't have an acoustic kit at home anymore. But I have been used keys/pads off and on for a long time, and I have experimented here and there with various triggering schemes using piezos and microphones. And typically for playing, I turn off all effects in drum samplers, usually cutting things down to direct mic and overhead channels.

What hi-hat controller are you using with the TD-20?
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:55 AM   #30
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FYI: The MDP218 was waiting for me when I got home from rehearsal last night, I spent maybe 1/2 hour with it. I think I can get some use out of it, the secret for the light dynamics is getting good at rocking the corners of the pads. I was pretty consistently able to get down to 5 or 6 on the velocity scale and had to hit it pretty damn hard (comparatively) to hit 7f (127).

I was able to do at least slow rolls on one pad, aka meaning the slight weakness in my left hand tapping fingers was more of the issue than the pad's ability to track. If I have time I'll post a short video of it's responsiveness.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:43 AM   #31
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Worth remembering that there are regular large discounts on SD3, especially if you are up/cross-grading from another TT product.
I seem to remember moving from EZD2 to SD2 for less than $100.

As far as the hihat triggering issues are concerned, I got an e-drum version of EZD2 during the pre-beta of the most recent update to EZD2 and of course SD3 Alpha. Might be worth checking with TT Product Manager to see if you have an outstanding update to do on EZD2. But for what its worth there still isnt a top/bottom snare mic in the basic kit supplied weith EZD2 but there IS in many of the EZXs.

I use Nashville a fair bit and it certainly does have the 2 snare mics.

Since tyou can regularly get EZX on sale for around 30 quid it might be worth looking at what is available.

I need to revisit AD to refresh my memory of what it can and cant do, as well.
Here's the thing for me. I got Addictive Drums 2 with 3 kits of my choice, 3 additional kit pieces of my choice, and 3 MIDI packs of my choice, new for $80. It has nice features that fully support e-drums, the kits sound pretty good, and velocity/round-robin levels are pretty good. I guess my only reservation is that the room channels aren't great, but they are still plenty usable. And I didn't have to jump through upgrade hoops to get it. That is less than I paid for Ezdrummer 2 where I didn't get to pick anything, and it lacks some really basic stuff, even over the first version of Ezdrummer. Listening to demos of Superior 3, it sounds good, but I don't need the hassle of trying to jump through upgrade hoops, constantly looking for a deal.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:47 AM   #32
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FYI: The MDP218 was waiting for me when I got home from rehearsal last night, I spent maybe 1/2 hour with it. I think I can get some use out of it, the secret for the light dynamics is getting good at rocking the corners of the pads. I was pretty consistently able to get down to 5 or 6 on the velocity scale and had to hit it pretty damn hard (comparatively) to hit 7f (127).

I was able to do at least slow rolls on one pad, aka meaning the slight weakness in my left hand tapping fingers was more of the issue than the pad's ability to track. If I have time I'll post a short video of it's responsiveness.
The corners of the pads are more sensitive than the center? How is velocity uniformity over the pads? Have you experienced any false triggering so far? Heck yea, post a video if you get time.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:53 AM   #33
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The corners of the pads are more sensitive than the center? How is velocity uniformity over the pads? Have you experienced any false triggering so far? Heck yea, post a video if you get time.
I think it's the rocking action that is exploiting the mechanics of the pad, the middle of the pad which is "straight on/straight down" requires more force? Not sure how to explain but I've done the same in the past with other pads (I just think these did even better at it since to me it's a feature, even if unintended that I've become accustomed to). I do, at least with my short foray last night think they are pretty good thus far, mostly because I was finding more issues with my consistency in finger drumming than the pad's abilities - we'll see though.

Since the pads light up, I did see an occasional false trigger on a pad but I'm not sure it actually sent a midi note or it was at such a low velocity I never heard it. My plan tonight was to do the same while recording then when I see the misfire, check to see if the note got recorded and/or it's velocity - it was rare enough I'd probably consider it a non-issue. I'll try to make a video if time and mood permits.

I am mildly excited right now but let's see what happens with real-world/real-time composition and post new car smell.

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Old 06-13-2018, 09:11 AM   #34
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Ok, I see what you mean about rocking the pads rather than hitting them straight on. Let us know what you think after using them a while. I'll do the same on the TD-11k kit.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:22 AM   #35
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Hey karbo, I tried playing differently on the Padkontrol. Playing on the corners is noticeably more responsive than the center. There is still a lower velocity limit of 15 though. I'm pretty sure that it is programmed that way as pointed out by mccrabney in post #9 in the thread about pads: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=207699
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:45 AM   #36
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Hey karbo, I tried playing differently on the Padkontrol. Playing on the corners is noticeably more responsive than the center. There is still a lower velocity limit of 15 though. I'm pretty sure that it is programmed that way as pointed out by mccrabney in post #9 in the thread about pads: https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=207699
Ah nice catch, I'll go back and double check the AKAI, I think I was able to get it down to 6, maybe zero but those sub 10 differences in dynamics is pretty dang hard to perform reliably. I definitely remember hitting 9, the 6 and zero are up for grabs until I can record it and look at the midi logger when not playing.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:03 PM   #37
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Hi,
Brain wreck, I wouldn't nessacarily worry bout the pedal. I've had my fd7 since the 90s. No issues.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:12 PM   #38
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The lowest velocity values I can play are roughly 10-30, the lowest I can get to register is about 6. My fingers certainly aren't tuned/adept to the reaction and feel of the pads yet - aka right now the pads are ahead of me so I'd be interested to see how they do if I put in some time getting used to them.

Then, I decided to pull my keyboard into the room and video it. It only took a few seconds to realize I couldn't replicate as low of dynamics velocity wise playing similar stuff so I skipped recording it. Eyeballing the numbers, there's roughly 24 dB of crest factor in the audio DR wise FWIW.

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Old 06-14-2018, 06:38 AM   #39
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Hi,
Brain wreck, I wouldn't nessacarily worry bout the pedal. I've had my fd7 since the 90s. No issues.
Yea, I might be jumping the gun on all the bad reviews on the FD-8. I'll report back after I have tried it and if I later experience any problems with it. But already, I'm looking at a Goedrum hi-hat controller. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJtu3dImXVU
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:02 AM   #40
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The lowest velocity values I can play are roughly 10-30, the lowest I can get to register is about 6. My fingers certainly aren't tuned/adept to the reaction and feel of the pads yet - aka right now the pads are ahead of me so I'd be interested to see how they do if I put in some time getting used to them.

Then, I decided to pull my keyboard into the room and video it. It only took a few seconds to realize I couldn't replicate as low of dynamics velocity wise playing similar stuff so I skipped recording it. Eyeballing the numbers, there's roughly 24 dB of crest factor in the audio DR wise FWIW.

That's cool that it is does trigger down to that velocity. I guess then the biggy is how the overall velocity translates to what you are playing. In other words, how natural it seems from pad hit force to sample output from the speakers.

In the midst of all this, I went back to my padkontrol's settings, which I haven't touched in a long time. I made a mistake in the other thread in saying that it doesn't trigger low velocities. When changing the curve to C-3 (out of 8 curves, C-1 to C-8), it triggers down to velocity 6. So then, the problem to me isn't what the padkontrol puts out in terms of lowest velocity. It is about the minimum physical force threshold of the pads. In other words, when I play very soft hits, as in just a bit more than merely touching the pads, no triggering happens. Playing just a tiny bit harder, I can trigger lowest velocities, sometimes hitting velocity 6 (not often). But with the velocity curve set to C-3, playing feels very unnatural to me. C-1 curve feels like it translates the best of all the curves, but somewhere around the 80-100 velocity range it is most difficult to maintain dynamics. A little test is to try to set a couple of pads to trigger a snare and play while trying to maintain dynamics within a given velocity range. For example, play in the ~20 velocity range and see if you can keep the dynamics (what you hear) reasonably steady, then the ~30 velocity range, etc. I think that playing and maintaining a dynamic range is too difficult to feel natural, with velocities undershooting and overshooting what is intended. In reality, I think that it is just the nature of pads, having such a small force-sensitivity window for the full velocity range. It might be educational to others if anyone can do the same for their devices, whether it be pads, keys, or e-drums. Keeping in mind that some drum samplers, especially older ones, might not use many discrete samples across the dynamic range, and so for example, you might unexpectedly trigger a tonally louder sample played at a lower volume when hitting a lower velocity. So to know that is or isn't a problem, I guess a common MIDI file would need to be shared which triggers hits across the entire dynamic range to see what a given drum sampler is putting out in terms of hit tonality. Maybe this is getting a little deeper than what you want to get involved with. And most likely, all this talk should have been taking place in a separate thread.
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