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Megadrum - the most difficult piece of gear I've ever owned

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  • mrantarctica
    replied
    And now that eDrumin10 has been announced, and multiple eDrumin's can effectively be joined through the USB host function, there aren't really any compelling reasons to buy the Megadrum anymore, unless you are using it for something with a giant number of inputs that are all single zone (e.g. an extra large xylophone or something )

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  • GreasyBumpkin
    replied
    Yes I think there's good points there, MD initially attracted me because I had all the drum software I needed and really all the physical kit is for is sending MIDI into my laptop, ergo MD was the most rational choice as Alesis/Roland IO don't seem to exist anymore and are largely incompatible with most triggers.

    It's funny because even at 450 that's still a lot cheaper than the equivalent amount of inputs on your Yamaha or Roland module.

    And although I am open to the idea that I just sucked at configuring, I also feel like those people you mention that eDrumin just has better dynamics and more intelligent scanning tech.

    Like I said if we could get MD working on the ED editor then we could properly have a shootout between the two, but ED has hotspot suppression, edge & bell sense, there's also features being implemented and a generous amount of firmware updates that are pushing it further ahead. Not that I'm intentionally trying to shill for Rob here!

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  • mrantarctica
    replied
    Originally posted by Kabonfaiba View Post
    Unfortunate to hear, but understandable.

    You clearly get what you pay for - in respect to the easy accessibly and trigger performance with eDrumin. No longer is it a simple choice as having the lowest price per input, when considering these two Trigger to MIDI devices.

    I think if eDrumin ever wants to make a larger input module in the future, it should command a higher price. Not to ever snub on Megadrum, it will always remain the value king.
    There are many trade-offs to consider.

    What a lot of people seem to indicate is that you can spend 2-3 days on a Megadrum trying to dial in some kit piece, which would take 2-3 hours on eDrumin. What I'm hearing is also that the net result, even after extensive tweaking by experts is that the eDrumin still ends up performing better than the Megadrum (i.e. end product is better and easier to achieve, faster).

    With 4 eDrumins you can get 16 inputs as well as 4 pedal inputs. As Perceval and others have shown, through the use of splitters you can actually house quite a large kit with 16 inputs (probably larger than most have). There may be some trade offs in that for certain pads you might restrict functionality by using splitters however. There are some hidden costs with the eDrumin too. For instance, unless you have a computer with lots of USB ports you are probably going to need to buy a hub. Similarly, if you are using lots of splitters, you will have to buy those separately and factor that into the overall cost also.

    All of the tradeoffs mean different things to different drummers. For some, the 16 extra inputs are worth the time and effort spent on Megadrum. For others, they will be more than happy to take a hit on the number of inputs because time setting up and getting things right is more valuable than how many inputs they have and will happily spend an extra $400-500 for the convenience factor. And for others still, they might consider an all-in-one solution more 'worth it' with the Mimic Pro, especially if they don't have a computer or Superior Drummer already and value things like portability, and reliability.

    I think Mylo's project in trying to put 4 eDrumins into a SFF case, with a touchscreen is intriguing because it essentially does what the Pearl Mimic Pro does. It will be very interesting to see the end result on that.

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  • Kabonfaiba
    replied
    Unfortunate to hear, but understandable.

    Having a problem saving to ROM is a critical issue. No way could you live with Megadrum without resolving that!

    It's annoying that some functions on the Megadrum, are still missing in the MDMFX. e.g. the only place you set auto load config is on the front panel controls. After that I've only used SaveToSlot - 1 to save my work. It is what it is though, Megadrum does discriminate for the engineers mindset, it's just a truism.

    You clearly get what you pay for - in respect to the easy accessibly and trigger performance with eDrumin. No longer is it a simple choice as having the lowest price per input, when considering these two Trigger to MIDI devices.

    I think if eDrumin ever wants to make a larger input module in the future, it should command a higher price. Not to ever snub on Megadrum, it will always remain the value king.

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  • GreasyBumpkin
    replied
    I have an update everyone, I will edit this into my OP for the lurkers of the future.

    I tweaked and tweaked and tweaked and then I just gave up, Megadrum just didn't work for me in the end. I'm now using 4 eDrumin modules which replaces all the inputs I was using.

    Here are my reasons:

    1. Dynamics. If you are familiar with percussion, then you should have some general muscle memory that says something like "if I hit this hard, it should be this loud". When I hit the triggers, I never got the strike I was aiming for, it felt so unnatural to play, I was constantly adjusting my playing.

    2. Inconsistency. I swear on my life that when I turned the module off and fired it up again, it would not save my preset. I had to load MDMX everytime I used it > receive all > load file > send all and even then I had hotspot issues I thought I had solved, false triggering and zoning that seemed to move around the pad over time.

    3. Forums lied to me. They said "its just a learning curve!" But this is demonstrably false in the face of eDrumin, which just has a much better analysis of the waveform and therefore produces better triggering. No amount of tweaking or engineering skill is going to alter the code of the modules programming.

    4. The manager. Everyone moans about it so no need to beat a dead horse.

    5. Lack of guidance. The website can only tell you so much, you have to spend an eternity researching configuration on forums and seeking help from others. I've watched a YouTube video or two about say Ableton to get me started then I usually can learn the rest by myself, but this wasn't the case with MD, I genuinely felt dependent on more experienced engineers.

    In general, my issue was reliability, I just needed a midi device that would take hits and turn them into VST notes. This drum kit is meant to be used by other drummers for live and studio work, it was completely unplayable for others who hadn't spent the time that I did on the kit. That's not the case with a Roland, Alesis or any half decent e-kit, most professional drummers shouldn't have an issue using one after a brief warm up.

    I had the MD for 2 years and got nowhere, I had the first eDrumin for 2 hours and had all my settings dialed in and just jammed for the first time, finally able to appreciate the triggers I had invested in.

    I honestly really respect Dmitri for creating Megadrum, and doing so when no one else was bothering to cater to this corner of the market. User friendliness is important however, if the Megadrum could hook up to the eD editor and suddenly everyone's able to configure it properly then I can rescind all my points down to the one about the manager.

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  • GreasyBumpkin
    replied
    Hi Guss, thanks for your comment

    This thread has been of a big help for me, just swapping out the interface for a Zoom was a huge difference in latency and giving me MIDI comms between my two laptops.

    At heart, I am a tweaker as mentioned before, I can dial in my own synths and craft Guitar effect chains from scratch, that's my thing, so it was a surprise to me that I was struggling to take to Megadrum with the same ease.

    Learning the electrical stuff has been interesting, and has given me confidence to transfer it onto other items like speakers and pedals. It's good to hear that I've joined the MD ranks with more modern firmware, I am still trying to make it work, and will probably buy an edrumin in addition for the triggers not on the main rack (snare, floor toms, kicks.)

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  • Russ15
    replied
    I'll chime in... I originally built my Megadrum from scratch back in 2011, very challenging but rewarding. Unfortunately I could never get it to configure the way I wanted it.

    I have a friend who had a td-6 and had no issues running his VST with basically no change to the configuration which made me really want a plug and play solution. So what did I do? I bought a newer Megadrum built by Dmitri convinced I would get it right this time.

    The new version that Dmitri has put out has come a long way since I made my own, much faster and the current firmware really put to bed a lot of the issues I had before. The reason I bought another Megadrum and not a Roland module was simply the flexibility and number of inputs. I have a 5 piece kit and 3 cymbals currently and can still hook up something like 26 more pad/cymbals/anything with a piezo or switch.

    Now as far as the configuration, yes you have to be willing to study the Megadrum configuration page and really understand how and what your changes to do. At this point I can set up a DIY built kit in a weekend; with prebuilt pads from Roland etc this would be much faster. The forum is also a great place to get feedback (Dmitri will literally write a firmware update to fix something for you if need be) and angr77 has taken the time to put together a helpful database of configurations you can load right into Medgadrum Manager FX and push to your module.

    I think the real question you have to ask yourself is what kind of flexibility do you need in your kit and are you willing to take time to learn how Megadrum works? If you want plug and play out of the gate I'd say Megadrum probably isn't for you, but from a price perspective coupled with the flexibility I don't think there is a better option out there.

    eDrumin sounds pretty cool (especially the UI) and viable for many people if it can be expanded to multiple inputs in the future.

    In any regard I can say that in over 9 years there has been a lot of progression in the right direction in edrums.

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  • dsteinschneider
    replied
    Originally posted by Eddie Halen View Post
    I had an issue with the latest behringer driver on win10 64bit. Went back one reveision and its ROCK steady.
    I tried the newer driver dated 3/4/2019 (I think it was v4.59) and had some issues with distortion. I went back to the previous version (4.38) and my UMC202HD has been rock solid with no discernable latency for my keyboard setup or drum setup. The one in my drum setup is 64 buffers at 48Khz. I'm using just my ears listening to the tap of the plastic tip on the bow of the Yamaha ride against the sample in Superior Drummer as my test. The keyboard setup is 256 buffers at 48k. I don't discern any latency there either.

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  • GreasyBumpkin
    replied
    Originally posted by Kabonfaiba View Post
    You've got a 14 inch Jobeky snare so it's likely that velocity is going to trail off more than it does on my 12 inch Diamond snare near the edge. I would really tighten the mesh head as it could be a hot spot problem.
    The skin is definitely tight, I'll try lowering gain. Maybe not using a cone might be better?

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  • Kabonfaiba
    replied
    You've got a 14 inch Jobeky snare so it's likely that velocity is going to trail off more than it does on my 12 inch Diamond snare near the edge. I would really tighten the mesh head as it could be a hot spot problem. But gain and sensitivity go hand in hand. There's nothing wrong with having low high level. My Diamond also performs better at gain 0 (554) than gain 4. Even though there is technically larger dynamics available at gain 4 with a high level near 1000 - the margin of error also increases drastically and is the equivalent of increasing the contrast on a picture. Where as, if you lower the gain, the middle range becomes more linear, it lessens the hot spot and you have more velocity control back.

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  • GreasyBumpkin
    replied
    Hey everyone.

    So on interfaces, I bought a Zoom U-24 on Amazon as it was going for a bargain, downloaded it's ASIO driver, set it to 90k 24 bit, 64 buffer and it seems to work a treat! As of yet no crackling issues, there was a bit of latency when set to different sampling rates.

    Zoom also has a MIDI interface that unlike the UMC actually shows up on Bome and other software so now I can port MIDI over to my DAW laptop for editing drums in post.

    Now that's one hurdle over and I feel that I can more accurately dial in megadrum now, I did actually discover something today:

    ​​​​​​My snare wasn't doing too well, dynamics were all over the place and cross talk was causing a lot of dud hits (like hitting the centre and getting a rim note at a paltry velocity of 10 or less).

    The reason this was happening was because when using auto-high on the rim peizo I was getting 250 at a gain level of 4 and this is below recommended. I had to max the gain to get the 500-900 range, so I've lowered the gain and just let the high sit at 250, which has helped a lot. Are there any potential consequences of this?

    Also, does anyone find positional sensing a bit off? It feels accurate after some dialing but it's how velocity just trails off the further from the centre you move.

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  • jackodrum
    replied
    With all interfaces everyone is championing here, are you all playing edrums comfortably in time while using your interface? You're not mentally/consciously adjusting to the latency at all?
    i can’t tell you anything about the latency numbers. i’ve been playing a-drums for decades, e-drums for over a decade, vst for a few years. i’ve experienced latency and don’t like it. with my set up, i plug it all in and switch it on. i hit the drums. i hear them. i like it.

    i’m sure i could get as good / better results with other interfaces but i don’t need anything better. i use / have used my set ups for personal practice, band rehearsal, playing along to recorded music, recording midi, recording analogue
    Last edited by jackodrum; 12-07-19, 10:40 PM.

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  • jackodrum
    replied
    Didnt mean to offend.
    And I'm glad you have good Focusrite units to play with.
    all good

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  • mkok
    replied
    Originally posted by GreasyBumpkin View Post

    Thanks for clarifying. I looked up the zoom and it looks like a fully fledged mixer which would be overkill for me (already have a mixer for a different purpose), is there a smaller version of this interface?
    Yes I wasn’t suggesting you get what I have. I was just explaining that I definitely could get low latency with what I use. Saying that do some searches on zoom and low latency as I think the simple U-24 is supposed to be good. I haven’t used it though.

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  • GreasyBumpkin
    replied
    Originally posted by mkok View Post
    I’m using 64 buffers with the zoom and I’m not kidding myself that it is fine. If I put buffers up to 96 I can tell the difference. I would have to go a lot higher to make me play out of time. With the 64k buffers it feels really snappy. My brain is not compensating.
    Thanks for clarifying. I looked up the zoom and it looks like a fully fledged mixer which would be overkill for me (already have a mixer for a different purpose), is there a smaller version of this interface?

    Leave a comment:

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