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roman Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:30 am    Post subject: roman finally goes electronic Reply with quote

I used to hate e-drums with a passion. A couple of years ago I would have preferred a wet cardboard box over the top of the line roland sets.
However, the stuff I've heard on here recently - specifically Superior Drummer blew me away. It's as if they've kicked evolution in the face and went from bacteria to T-Rex in one generation. That and the expansion to to the TD-20 - whatever it's called finally sounds like an instrument.

But I'm not looking to spend much on the hardware module. I'll just leave it connected to the computer and it will only be there to replace my practice pads.
Software wise It will be connected to SD and Waldorf in the hopes that I can do something musical with it. I'm happy enough if it works reasonably well as a practice kit.

I've already narrowed it down to the Roland TD4-KX pretty much





So anyway... I'm going to try it out in the store tomorrow. If anyone got any input, I would appreciate it.

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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate lectronic drums but I have no opinion on them.
Very Happy

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roman Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thank you for sharing Bob!

>_<

I like well programmed drums. But few people seem to do anything useful with their e-drums. You can tell they don't want to be real drums. They want to bleep and hiss. That's what they're good at.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the TD6 sound module and I've always been happy with the sounds. I just use it via midi... It was my mates - he upgraded to a TD10. Only thing is the TD6 only has stereo out, so I can only mix internally, unless I record each sound one by one, which is tedious. He said you could buy a break-out box for it, but I can't find one... Think he was mistaken...
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

truthfully I would imagine that nowadays they've got them sounding pretty good.
And with the triggers using a head they probably play ok too.

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roman Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried the TD4 and the TD9 side by side today. The TD9 does have the more useful sounds, but since it's going straight into the PC anyway that doesn't really matter. The TD4 is $500 less - I'll invest that in liquor and whores... or VSTi's. Haven't decided yet.

They've made one of the 25 kits in the TD4 a TR-808.
What were they thinking? That a thousand lemmings can't go wrong? It was the 80's, they didn't know any better... leave it to the history books. I don't want that in my living room!

I've ordered the td4-kx. Should be there by the end of the week. Meanwhile I'll try to decide what I'm going to use it with. tbh I'm not terribly interested in spending $200 on a something like Superior Drummer. I think I'll get something like Ásonic: http://www.soniccharge.com/
Because they seem to get it. Modelling is for noobs, inoovation pwnerzs.
Very Happy

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roman Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it on monday. Still waiting for paypal to load my account so I can buy Átronic - I've been playing with the demo and it's fantastic. I've tried EZ Drummer, but the latency is just enough to be irritating. If I had to guess I think it's around 10ms - which is just too much for percussive stuff. That's on an intel quad Q8200 and an m-audio 2496.
Also tried Waldorf with stillwells oligarc, but it takes a lot of tinkering. Waldorf alone isn't all that great because you can't control parameters based on velocity. So if you hit harder it just gets louder, for that unmistakable drum machine sound.

The kits that are on the module are predictably horrible.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

by kits we're talking presets?

Presets always seem to suck.
I wonder why that is ....... there's GOT to be someone in the design dept. that knows how to make things sound good.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a Roland kit with 2 DM-5's so I could have more tracks, even upgraded some of the triggers...

While versatile in terms of various sounds, I didn't like the tail off of the snare, and the cymbals were so-so.. hated the hat

I tried using Drumagog, but using a threshold to cut off the tail made it to choppy nad not at all natural

so I made the kit a hybrid, replacing the snare and hat with a Pearl pic and hats - ... then I ended up replacing all the cymbal triggers with actual cymbals... then the ... till I was just using a few of the triggers for "other sounds"

then just got rid of the whole digital kit

but I know they've made improvements. still I see them as more of a great practice kit that doesn't annoy much of anyone... and maybe for rehearsals in small spaces as the volume is easily controlled

and then Istopped getting "less than favorable" comments about the drums Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The td-4 modules comes nothing but presets. You can modify very little.
Seeing how my pc struggles to trigger a mere 300mb worth of samples in EZ drummer with acceptable latency, I can understand the problems they face making these modules. They don't yet have the processing power to sample real drums in a useful way. I'd much prefer they would concentrate on making a versatile drum synth, but that's not what the target audience wants.

I'm still looking for synths similar to Átronic, but it looks like there really aren't any. All the other drum synths are hopelessly backwards. I'm sure you can modify parameters (i.e. sustain, distortion, oscillator) in a any modular synth based on velocity using something like ableton or pure data - but that's a lot of work for something that I think is essential if you're going to do something musical with these things.

I mean you can do very cool stuff by twisting knobs until your fingers bleed and finding sounds that work together like so:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUT3KoxVzQg

The bass drum on this one is a really good example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhHkUg-QCwk&feature=related

To replicate something close to this with a single patch is a pretty tall order, but you get the idea.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another approach: http://www.vexpressionsltd.com/ . These guys do a good job of tweeking together kits, and I have bought one of their packages for my TD-20 (and then tweeked it further). Though I admit that this has limited applicability to the TD-4 as it sits, it shows what a determined person can do with the other modules... For that matter, it is worth getting to know them strictly for the Vdrumlib software, which makes archiving and managing your kits quite easy. There's no question that the preset kits on most of the modules can be vastly improved upon- and for the folks with less time to invest, this is a reasonable approach.

Standard disclaimer applies: I have no relationship with the company other than as a satisfied customer, yadda yadda...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a feeling that in the long run, a real drummer won't accept anything less than real drums.

For the rest of us drum proggraming has to suffice.

GT Wink
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roman Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The td9's ability to add kits might have been worth the extra money. I found myself using the module sounds most of the time up to now, because I just want to sit down and practice for an hour, and not necessarily tinker with the sounds.

Another neat thing is to take some kit on the module and run it through stillwells oligac - I love that thing. I have also used it on my acoustic set quite a bit.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At our guitar players studio he has a Roland TD-4 or something . The old entry level kit . Like the one in the picture but only the snare has a mesh head . We used the midi out into a fast quad core PC and used EZ Drummer . The stuff sounded great . The cymbals sound at least a 1000 x's better then the Roland's .
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roman Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with all computer stuff is the latency. I just find anything above virtually zero latency really irritating.
When I play along with stuff the built in sounds aren't half bad. It's fun to practice with, so it does what I bought it for.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a non-drummer, I got fed up with trying to program my drums, so I went out and bought one of these in the hopes to play the 'drums', record them as MIDI and use a soudfont (NS Kit Free sound font through sfz) to generate the sounds. The internal kits are CRAP for recording, but OK for practice.

October / November last year I started playing RockBand:Beatles... amazing how you can learn a fair bit about drumming patterns playing that game.. then in February decided to record some tracks.. Drums bummed out on me... turns out it was the sound font. Which is when I tried an older cut down version of BFD Kit on a Computer Music Magazine I had from a few years back... sounds great now...

Only problem is cause they are hard pads I've been hitting them too hard, so most of the MIDI notes are up around 127 volume... so I need to hold back a bit.

Something like the Roland kit you've got I think will be one of my next purchases. For size reason I might be looking at the Roland HD-1's though.

How do the mesh heads compare to real skins?

Daniel

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