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

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

    Hi all, I've had a megadrum module for almost a year now, and I am not even 10% on the way to fully configuring it.

    I'm a producer and musician, I know all about guitars, amps, fx pedals, MIDI keyboards, microphones, and have found that after a bit of reading and trial and error I'm able to get my head around most techy things, or at least a lot easier than most musicians I know anyway.

    I wanted to build a custom e-kit that just sends MIDI over USB because I have Superior Drummer 3 and a whole collection of Kontakt instruments, had no reason to use modules with internal sounds, plus I wanted to use a lot of triggers. Anyway setting up the VSTs and Bome MIDI's and Reaper template was a breeze, but I have to be honest, Megadrum has broken me.

    People on the forum are very patient and helpful, but whatever instructions they give just aren't giving me a dynamic and accurate trigger response for any of my drums. These are the triggers I use:

    Jobeky A2E 14inch Snare
    Alesis DM10 8inch pad (plastic skin and insides gutted out, replaced with a mesh head and a small bit of foam)
    Alesis DM10 10inch (same as above)
    Alesis Crimson 12inch (not modified)
    Jobeky real feel L/V e-cymbals (splash, crash, ride and china), piezo-switch.
    Alesis DM10 Kick (not modified)
    Ignotus's optical hihat controller (hall sensor and magnet)
    Roland SPD-S

    So has anyone else tried this module and eventually given up? I want to save myself a lot of pain here because to be honest I can't spend all my free time/weekends/life tweaking this damn thing, I've got plenty of other equipment I could be designing patches and synths for. Is there an alternative to this module? Or would anyone living in the south of UK be able to help me set it up in person? I would even pay for the assistance!

  • #2
    I am right there with you on the Megadrum. I owned one for about six months before giving up and going back to a Roland module. I was able to get it to work but just not as well as I liked. I was originally attracted to it because of all of the inputs and the ability to dial its in with all of it settings.. Dialing it in proved to be too much for me to master.

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    • #3
      people tried this and they said easy to use https://www.audiofront.net/eDrumIn.php

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      • #4
        Megadrum undoubtedly favors an engineering mindset with it's lack of any waveform representation like eDrumIn, but Megadrum has been around for years and supports a monster kit if you need it, which eDrumin can't do, not without significant cutbacks.

        First step is to familiarize yourself with the process of using the Megadrum FX application; e.g. what the coloured text and connection status means, how to save your work, close everything and get it back again. Learn that first - maybe you have, but I'm writing this for lurking newbies just as much.

        Hint: You might even want to have your VST running while you configure - so you can have some auditory feedback.

        Ignoring the vast array of boxes and numbers, 80% of pad setup only involves 3 basic controls: Gain, (Auto) HighLevel, and Threshold.

        You are ultimately stuck learning the process, even if you have read the manual and know everything front to back. The process is actually the most important because nobody explains that there is an order involved in setting up each input.

        What helped me was being at the kit while configuring, as I needed to interact constantly with a stick to see the changes in MIDI real-time to finally understand what was going on.
        Last edited by Kabonfaiba; 11-01-19, 08:43 PM.
        ◾Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾MegaDRUM ◾Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾Pearl THMP-1
        PA Comparison Table

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        • #5
          I get your pain. Its one of those things that can be incredibly hard to understand for some and others it just makes sense from the start. I fell in the later category. I can load a blank preset and get my full kit playing within maybe 20 minutes of tweaking.
          Firstly have you got your Roland UA1010 connected and setup with USB midi? Asio driver loaded and latency around 1.5-2.5 seconds?
          Have you setup SD3 to run alongside the Megadrum editing software? Its a must.
          Keep coming back with answers and we'll talk you through it. Dont give up, its the best most configurable drum interface out there. Not the easiest but damn its good once you understand the settings. Makes my Alesis Strike module feel like a crap in comparison.

          Center trigger or side mounted in the snare?

          Next question do the drums all trigger ok with any other module? I ask because Ive seen home made drums cause havoc with trying to setup modules in the past. You could spend a lifetime trying to configure a pad only to find out its a hardware fault not the module.

          The process is going to go like this......... get one pad triggering perfectly on all three zones then save it as a pad preset. Three zones being head, rim and rimshot. I have mine saved individually and labeled accordingly. Once every pad is done, load up whatever slot you want to use and load each kit piece seperately (knowing that they all work flawlessly). Then save the slot. Means that you can tweak away till your hearts content but if everything goes pear shaped you can reload each kit piece as required. This also gives you starting points for setting up other pads as you change your kit over time. For example my 3 toms all have Trigerra side mounted triggers. I set up the 10 inch tom and saved it. Then load those settings into the slot for tom 2 which is my 12". Bigger head means its more likely to give double triggering at the same settings but getting it to work only means adjusting maybe 2 values. Once it works I save that as tom 2. I then load that into the tom 3 slot and adjust accordingly for my 16" floor tom then save that. 3 toms done in about 5 minutes.
          Last edited by Eddie Halen; 11-02-19, 02:40 AM.

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          • #6
            The main problem AFAIK is to get familiar with the software, other than that I heard about many people happy with it. I started a Qt project sometime ago to make a simplified version of MDMFX and I would like to finish it soon, I wonder if there are still no developers in here interested on such kind of project to help/collaborate.
            Roland TD-12 module, MegaDrum Trigger module, DIY DareStone CLDRUMWH A2E drum conversion, DIY rack using Dixon clamps, Pearl P-932 double pedal, DIY A2E Chang dual zone cymbals.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by redtide View Post
              The main problem AFAIK is to get familiar with the software, other than that I heard about many people happy with it. I started a Qt project sometime ago to make a simplified version of MDMFX and I would like to finish it soon, I wonder if there are still no developers in here interested on such kind of project to help/collaborate.
              I wish Dimitri had come up with a more user friendly interface as your describing. People buy with their eyes and the mdmfx is very unappealing to look at.
              I wish i could help but im no developer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kabonfaiba View Post
                Megadrum undoubtedly favors an engineering mindset with it's lack of any waveform representation like eDrumIn, but Megadrum has been around for years and supports a monster kit if you need it, which eDrumin can't do, not without significant cutbacks.
                Yes, MD has been around for years, but never really evolved.

                I'm wondering which cutbacks you are referring to.
                eDrumin can do a mega kit, you just need to get more devices than one or two.

                It would be true to say that adding $150 devices will make the I/O section more expensive than a single MD, but looking at many mega kits with dual TD50s, DrumIt5s or Mimics, it would still be a bargain.

                Plus, the app is just so intuitive, and for the most part, fully automated.
                You just need to hit a pad about 10 times, from light to hard hits, to get it fully calibrated and great triggering.
                DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH Kit Pix

                My new venture: voglosounds.com

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                • #9
                  perceval It depends what you mean by never really evolved.

                  MD history is well documented; both development in software and hardware from 2010 to now. The CPU was upgraded multiple times, positional sensing board came out, new CNC metal case, bigger colour display, about 112 firmware updates... on the software side; new features added like, two hi-hat algorithms, de-noise, the completely rewritten manager in 2017 just to name a few. Not bad for 9 years!

                  I was indeed considering eDrumin in it's most generous configuration - I believe you actually informed us all about the capabilities of eDrumin, so I take your word for it on maximizing inputs with cable splitters. So the cutback; would be losing my 3 zone toms in this regard.

                  Otherwise I'd need to spend 460 to equalize this comparison! Whereas now I could potentially get away with 345 for 24 inputs vs 32 inputs for 185 (including MD postage). But ignoring the messy setup and additional cables I need to buy, I still can't accept that as better value imo.

                  I would put up with the initial learning pain with MD, if I was to make a decision as a new buyer today... but baring in mind, I needed a large input MIDI to USB device in 2014 to stop me buying a TD-15KV - I can't have 5 years of foresight about eDrumin being developed.
                  Last edited by Kabonfaiba; 11-02-19, 12:20 PM.
                  ◾Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾MegaDRUM ◾Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾Pearl THMP-1
                  PA Comparison Table

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                  • #10
                    Sorry, I didn't mean that the MD was not supported by Dimitri.
                    Quite the opposite, and kudos to him for doing so.

                    I merely wanted to say that the app never evolved past its tinkering yet powerful approach, and still remains hard to set up for many people.

                    DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH Kit Pix

                    My new venture: voglosounds.com

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                    • #11
                      Hi!

                      The MD is complex but not impossible to configure. A lot of the secret is to follow a workflow. Otherwise you are lost if you start to mess around with all parameters.

                      The workflow is well described by Airflamered (Mark) in the following video: https://youtu.be/6crpT1jfeS0

                      (even I had problems to find it again because of all unstructed info on MegaDrum.info)

                      Best Regards

                      anders / www.zourman.com
                      Last edited by angr77; 11-03-19, 04:28 AM.
                      Pearl CrystalBeat and Sonor Safari, Roland CY-14/13R/15R/12CR,RT-10/30,BT-1,VH-11/12/13 & KD-10,Dingbat,Triggera D14,D11, ATV AD-h14, 120MHz MegaDRUM with PS board, 2box 3,5,5MKII, dd4SE, Yamaha DTX502, Addictive Drums 2.1.8. All ADpaks, Microsoft Surface PRO, Macbook, Pearl Throne Thumper, Zourman HH & Ride Conv Kit www.zourman.com

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                      • #12
                        I built my own MegaDrum-module years ago and have been using it successfully together with DSP Trigger. I used DSP Trigger for my snare since it support positional sensing ”out of the box” and offers an overall smoother triggering for me. It takes a LOT of patience and time to get a grip of all parameters in MegaDrum as you’ve experienced, but it’s a monster with a LOT of tweakability.

                        Since eDrumIn was released I’ve been using it on my snare and three toms and the rest of the kit is connected to MegaDrum. The triggering with eDrumIn is excellent and it’s easy to dial in and tweak with a graphical interface. I’m about to get one more eDrumIn-unit soon for cymbals, kick and cowbell as well.

                        I recommend both MegaDrum and eDrumIn highly, but would say that eDrumIn might suit you better.
                        Last edited by rockdude; 11-03-19, 04:54 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Own a Dimitri built Megadrum from 2015 and it work fine with the toms and kick except the cymbals as the Yamaha RHH-135 hihat and the PCY-155 ride are too difficult to adjust with Megadrum. I'll agree that the main drawback of it is the complexity of the mdmanager. Someone offered to develop a new better manager but Dimitri refused! It could evolve to a great drum module with great interoperability for users with different brands pads/cymbals

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                          • #14
                            I bought an assembled MegaDrum 5 months ago. I also bought 5 UFO ebridges, 2 Yamaha 3 zone cymbals and a pair of Pintech practice cymbals that I glued goedrum piezos on. I've been using Superior Drummer 2 which I learned a lot more about from watching Luke Oswald videos. There is a lot to learn to get everything working. I spent a lot of time reading threads here and on the MegaDrum forum. I'm used to learning complex software/hardware systems because I do IT work for a living.

                            Mark's MegaDrum pad setup video was a big help but there were other things I needed to learn to get my snare, kick, toms and hi-hat triggering accurately. Perhaps the problem is that everyone has different pads. I could write a guide that would save people a lot of time if they have center piezo mesh heads. It wouldn't be anything that hasn't been written in a thread, the problem is that I pulled my info from probably about 100 relevant posts buried inside long threads.

                            That said, I ordered an eDrumin. It's now triggering my snare, PCY135 hi-hat, PCY155 ride and 16" floor tom. I am getting better zone separation with the Yamaha cymbals. I never tried to get rimshots going on the MegaDrum, they work automatically with the eDrumin. I plugged in the floor tom because that was the pad I was still struggling with. It's a pretty nice combination using the eDrumin with the MegaDrum. I have plenty of inputs and the ones that need eDrumin "DSP Trigger" treatment plugin into that unit.

                            The kit is playing like a dream now.
                            Last edited by dsteinschneider; 11-04-19, 10:27 PM.
                            Ludwig Accent Combo 5 piece kit | UFO Drums ebridges, 3 ply mesh heads and rim protectors | Yamaha PCY135 on Ludwig stand with DIY hall effect sensor | Yamaha PCY155 ride | DIY Pintech 2 zone crashes with Goedrums piezo's - Myrk membranes| MegaDrum 32 input | eDrumin | Cantabile VST host | Superior Drummer 2 and Jamstix kits | Alto TS115a monitors

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thanos81 View Post
                              Someone offered to develop a new better manager but Dimitri refused!
                              What does this means, that someone asked to Dmitri to make it better or someone to make his own version? Because in the latter case I did the same and he was OK with it and told me to announce it in his forum (and I did it), so in this case it doesn't make sense to me.
                              Roland TD-12 module, MegaDrum Trigger module, DIY DareStone CLDRUMWH A2E drum conversion, DIY rack using Dixon clamps, Pearl P-932 double pedal, DIY A2E Chang dual zone cymbals.

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