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Customizing TD-17 via USB - technical data sheets?

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  • Customizing TD-17 via USB - technical data sheets?

    I'm brand new to drumming, but I have a fair amount of experience in software engineering. Yesterday I bought a TD-17KV which I'm delighted with, but I can tell that customizing everything via the module is going to be frustrating. This is not a criticism of the user interface itself - but I'm used to a full sized monitor, keyboard and mouse, which obviously provide more scope.

    My hope is that either there's already software available for customizing everything from a computer, or this is feasible via USB but no-one's written the software yet. If it's the latter, I'm happy to have a go myself, but I'd need a technical data sheet with all the details of how to talk to the TD-17 module via USB.

    All my searches so far have led me to results about using the USB port for recording from CakeWalk, etc - nothing about talking to it directly from code. It's not clear to me whether that's because it's infeasible, or just that hardly anyone does it.

  • #2
    Roland does not release these specs or data. You can only reverse engineer the files. You might want to contact VDrumLib to see if they'd be interested in partnering with them for some updates.
    Alan
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    • #3
      I have no experience in coding, but have some in edrum tweaking. My guess is that in order to program any kind of software for controlling the module, one has to start from tapping into the module's functions, which means you first have to get familiar with them. That means you'll probably get proficient in using the module via its own interface sooner than writing the software, which makes it kinda redundant for you. I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, just that you'd probably be making something for other users rather than yourself
      °•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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      • #4
        Even I have never used the PC editor feature of VDL. You can’t tell what your doing, so you might as well sit at the kit and do it right. Not to shoot the idea down, but very few people use such a feature. It wouldn’t be worth your time.
        Alan
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        website | youtube | facebook | group | newsletter | twitter | message
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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        • #5
          Righto. Seems A pity - it would be fun, but I don't want to get into the realm of reverse engineering. (My expectation would be sitting at computer *and* kit together.)

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          • #6
            Just to follow up on this, I've now found the following documentation of the TD-17 midi implementation:
            https://static.roland.com/assets/med...le_eng01_W.pdf

            (I'm not sure how I missed it before.) I suspect that the SysEx messages could do everything I need.

            I've also worked out most of the details of what's in a TD0 file, which could prove handy - and which on inspection looks like it's identical to the parameter address map in the midi documentation. Obviously it's still very early days, but if I end up creating anything interesting, I'll share more details.

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            • #7
              I don't know whether anyone else is actually interested in this thread - I won't update it again unless someone replies saying they want to know more - but the project is coming along quite nicely...

              2019-7-22 (41).png

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              • #8
                It's always great to see new ideas! Keep 'em coming ☺️

                In the meantime, could you explain what this explorer does (apart from exploring )? If you manage to edit parameters, how do you know what to change and by how much?
                °•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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                • #9
                  Currently it's read-only - it just lets you view all the parameters. (Not "all" currently as I haven't transcribed the schema for some of the MultiFx options - there are a lot of them! But it will be every piece of data I can get out of the system eventually.

                  I definitely want to make it read/write, so that basically any changes you can make via the console could also be made via the explorer. So for example:
                  • Copy an existing kit into another slot
                  • Rename a kit
                  • Change the module-wide midi note settings
                  • Change the 10" Beech Tom highlighted in the screenshot to be a snare instead
                  • ... or add a sub instrument for the same trigger
                  • ... or change the muffling for the tom
                  • ... or change the kit to have tape echo
                  I only have access to a TD-17, so that's all I can code and test against, but it's all parameterized via huge JSON files... I expect that with the right JSON files, the TD-50 should work too (and I'd love to support that). I don't think any other models support the sysex messages I'm using... it's possible that I could write something so that a TD-11/15 could dump all its data to the explorer, but then there wouldn't be any edit functionality (as far as I can tell). That may be the case with a TD-30 as well; it's hard to tell from the documentation.

                  I can see myself buying second-hand modules to test this all, of course...

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                  • #10
                    I'm very interested in this! I don't have a 17 currently, but the idea of picking one up down the line is floating around so this would be great.

                    If you did manage to get your hands on a 50 to do something similar, I would throw money at you almost right away!

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                    • #11
                      > If you did manage to get your hands on a 50 to do something similar, I would throw money at you almost right away!

                      Do you have a TD-50 yourself then? Given that we're both in the UK, maybe we could work something out once I've got it all working well with the TD-17.
                      They way I've built this, it *should* just be a matter of adding all the relevant JSON files to describe the TD-50 schema, and that's all documented. Reality means it's likely to take rather longer than that, but I may be able to sort out a program you could run that would give me a "dump" of your module that I could then use...

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, I have a 50. Interesting. If there's a way of doing it remotely between us, that would be pretty handy.

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                        • #13
                          Fantastic. My code is currently written against a preview version of .NET Core (a development platform) but for the purposes of getting a dump file, I can probably whip up a new program that just uses .NET 4.6, which I suspect you've got on your system already (assuming you've got a Windows 10 machine you can connect to the kit).

                          This is likely to become easier by email - if you'd like to email me at [email protected], we can take it from there. If you'd prefer the discussion to stay here, that's fine too.

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                          • #14
                            Hmm... the "generic dump without understanding file structure" program is proving harder than expected, in terms of the module not returning all the data. I suspect I'll need to come up with a skeleton TD-50 schema based on the implementation document, and load each section directly. That's fine, but it means it won't happen before I go on holiday on Friday...

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                            • #15
                              Pulsc The code now supports editing and saving the data back to the kit - it seems to work with my TD-17, at least. I've got a rudimentary TD-50 schema which would *hopefully* be enough to get a data dump from you, then I can make it more reasonable. If you could ping me by email ([email protected]) we can work out what you'll need to get it working.

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