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Roland TD 50 Signal path

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  • Roland TD 50 Signal path

    Hello,
    I am seeking some enlightenment on the signal path within the Roland TD 50 drum module.

    I use Cubase for recording, and as the documentation is a bit light on the subject of the signal path, I researched it on the web, got my answers, all good and understandable. Then I checked what the TD 50 did, and from the manual found that, for each pad, it’s:

    Mixer level >> Pan >> EQ >> Comp >> Front Panel Fader (hardware) >> Output Routing.

    What on earth? In essence, this is a complete reversal of a normal signal path, and I am struggling to understand why it would be done this way, and what the benefits could be. If I adjust the level, it will likely affect the compression, adjusting the compression may then require a level change, and so on. If I make an EQ change, then I may have to go round both level and compression. In other words, it’s non-linear.

    I use compression mostly for effects, excessive peaks are taken out at midi level. The panel faders are use on-the-fly for live work, at the sound engineer’s request or to compensate for the environment.

    We are talking about one of the biggest electronic instrument makers, and their flagship drums, can anyone provide any clarity on this?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tamablaster View Post
    Hello,
    I am seeking some enlightenment on the signal path within the Roland TD 50 drum module.

    I use Cubase for recording, and as the documentation is a bit light on the subject of the signal path, I researched it on the web, got my answers, all good and understandable. Then I checked what the TD 50 did, and from the manual found that, for each pad, it’s:

    Mixer level >> Pan >> EQ >> Comp >> Front Panel Fader (hardware) >> Output Routing.

    What on earth? In essence, this is a complete reversal of a normal signal path, and I am struggling to understand why it would be done this way, and what the benefits could be. If I adjust the level, it will likely affect the compression, adjusting the compression may then require a level change, and so on. If I make an EQ change, then I may have to go round both level and compression. In other words, it’s non-linear.

    I use compression mostly for effects, excessive peaks are taken out at midi level. The panel faders are use on-the-fly for live work, at the sound engineer’s request or to compensate for the environment.

    We are talking about one of the biggest electronic instrument makers, and their flagship drums, can anyone provide any clarity on this?
    Although I can't say I'm an expert on TD50, I can say that the virtual signal path in Roland modules, as well as the effects them selves, do not resemble analogue setups. Neither eq nor compression behave as any analogue or vst device IMO, but all rather just correspond to different settings in the V-drum modelling engine. Not that they don't work well (I've never had issues that you mentioned), I just gave up on expecting the sound shaping to work as in any kind of studio environment. My guess is that the whole line of products has evolved on this modelling architecture and therefore even the latest flagships have this in common with previous itterations.
    °•A kits: Mapex Saturn ltd. Mapex Meridian, Ludwig and Pearl snares, Paiste, Anatolian, DW5002TW•°
    °•SPD-SX, Roland RT triggers•°
    °•Ship kits: TD-12KV, TD-30K, TD-50K•°

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    • #3
      Thank you MilosDrummer , that does make some sort of sense. Curiously though, the TD-30 was more in the conventional way.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tamablaster View Post
        Thank you MilosDrummer , that does make some sort of sense. Curiously though, the TD-30 was more in the conventional way.
        Well, the TD50 is the first one to make a bigger step away from the tried and proven setup since the TD10... It has sound shaping engine one has to get used to in a different way than the predecessor which accounts for a considerable learning curve, I guess. Nevertheless, I'm not considering any of Roland modules' software to be more than just lookalike of analog or vst gear. It does the job, but the direct outs, which have grown in number over the years, show how people mostly use outboard to eq and compress in more serious situations.
        °•A kits: Mapex Saturn ltd. Mapex Meridian, Ludwig and Pearl snares, Paiste, Anatolian, DW5002TW•°
        °•SPD-SX, Roland RT triggers•°
        °•Ship kits: TD-12KV, TD-30K, TD-50K•°

        Comment

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