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Module/interface reccomendations for acoustic to VST setup.

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  • Module/interface reccomendations for acoustic to VST setup.

    Hey guys, new poster here.

    I'm about to dive in to adding triggers to my existing acoustic kit and I'm kinda torn on a few of the steps in the triggering chain, mainly what module, or even why a module, and audio/midi interfacing. I figure I'll just address what my main needs are and then give you an idea of what I've been looking at. Tell me where I'm going right/wrong or something I might have missed entirely. I know it's tldr territory but I'll be super courteous and paragraph all my stuff.

    Needs or wants

    - Budget. Straight up, probably $1500. Can stretch based on what kinda terms Sweetwater will be offering with their card. Gimme high options without going to TD-30s and 50s or ridiculously expensive headphone amps and stuff.

    - V-drum/Alesis, ect sounds have come a long way but they're still off to my ear. I'm almost totally dead set on going VST for my sounds and it has to be done on a laptop. Can't spring for a desktop solution and that's also not portable for live use. laptop specs are below. Pretty dead set on SD3 over SSD based on the sounds I've heard.

    - My band's music is usually loud, heavy hitting. I'm probably one of the guys who will be buying both Metal Foundry, Death and Darkness, and whatever Bonham-esque expansions exist for SD3. There are some instances where the music quiets down and it would be nice to have something with positional sensitivity for getting the ringiness of the snare edge but I'm happy if I can just get a realistic 1-127 dynamic response of a snare drum within the VST. Tom rimshots would also be nice, but I can live without it.

    - Drum sounds will be sent to a PA system within the practice room, and for live settings it's immensely helpful to have at least a stereo direct out, if not individual direct outs for FOH to balance with.

    - I'm triggering drums only, (one kick, one snare, three toms, and either another drum added, or something like a Roland BT-1 to trigger a drone loop or some other sample I've created. Cymbals will be regular old acoustic ones heard directly in the practice room, or via overheads in live settings. On modules, I have little use for a bunch of waste patches full of bing/boop/zap/hiyahh sounds, but I do create various atmospheric or tempo locked percussion loops I'd like to add to the music.

    - I would really like sticking with real drumheads so mic/vst blending options are available to me down the road. I already use thick two ply and can moongel the **** out of em to help with the triggering thresholds. I have never been able to quite live the pretense with the sticks hitting mesh heads. I also hit pretty hard and plan to continue doing that.

    - I would like to be able to easily practice on my own with songs coming from a phone or the vst laptop, and have easy to access volume control to my headphones.

    - it would be gravy if (assuming an audio interface is needed) I could have two decent XLR mic inputs for use with cymbal overheads so I can record my full drum parts (vst and acoustic mixed together) within the laptop DAW to send to my bandmates.

    - I dont even know if this exists, but being able to assign controls and swap VST kit patches and maybe control vst mix faders directly from their counterparts on a drum module would be amazing. I hate fumbling around on laptop trackpads and would rather reach over and hit big rubber buttons or slide an actual fader.

    - probably something else I'll edit my post and add at some point

    What I already own

    - Acoustic drums
    - Razer Blade RZ09-0102 laptop with Win10, Core i7-4702MQ 2.2 GHz, 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM, three usb 3.0 in, and 750GB split across dual mSata SSD. It's old, but it was a beast back in 2014 and still holds up. The RAM is soldered into the mobo and cannot be upgraded. As far as I remember the mSata form factor actually produces minimally faster read times than modern 2.5 SSDs.
    - DAW Reaper/Ableton
    - PA system for sound output

    What I've been looking at and what I'm confused about

    - Roland RT10- or RT-30 Drum Triggers (really whats the difference here besides easier mounting?)

    - Roland TD10, TD12, TD20 module (probably the biggest spot of confusion. Is there a feature that I'd be sorely missing by going cheap with the elder TD10?)

    - Roland TM-6 Pro trigger interface. Is there any reason I'd choose this over the above TD modules? Is there something missing regarding trigger response, ect? Is there a point to this piece of gear for someone using VSTs? The draw of it for me comes down to input/outputs, it looks kinda cool, and I can buy it from Sweetwater versus putting my faith in Ebay/Reverb sellers.

    - Alesis Strike module. probably overspending for something just cuz the screen is prettier than anything Roland puts on their gear.

    - I haven't even started to look at audio/midi interfaces. The drummer that really got me thinking about diving in to this setup, 66Samus, uses a Scarlett 18i20 on his setup. Obviously I wanna minimize latency, but if my laptop might be a bottleneck anyways I wanna get minimal latency for best pricing with two XLR ins.Are there any interfaces that truly excel in chopping down the latency on the hardware end?

    - How would something like foregoing a Roland module for 2x eDrumin benefit me other than total cost?

    - Is there simply some other magic combination of gear I'm just completely unaware of?

    Stuff I've already eliminated from the hunt

    - Td-17. Cable snakes/harnesses bad. Just no.

    - Sunhouse Sensory Percussion Triggers. It murders me to have to nope this one as well because the concept is absolutely killer. They're chopping out a large part of any potential market by limiting the trigger setup to four drums. The sheer amount of zones is a bit overkill for my needs anyway but I'd love to see that product succeed.


    Thanks for any and all ideas you guys have to throw at me.
    Last edited by Acidline; 04-13-20, 11:17 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Acidline View Post
    Hey guys, new poster here.

    I'm about to dive in to adding triggers to my existing acoustic kit and I'm kinda torn on a few of the steps in the triggering chain, mainly what module, or even why a module, and audio/midi interfacing. I figure I'll just address what my main needs are and then give you an idea of what I've been looking at. Tell me where I'm going right/wrong or something I might have missed entirely. I know it's tldr territory but I'll be super courteous and paragraph all my stuff.

    Needs or wants

    - Budget. Straight up, probably $1500. Can stretch based on what kinda terms Sweetwater will be offering with their card. Gimme high options without going to TD-30s and 50s or ridiculously expensive headphone amps and stuff.

    - V-drum/Alesis, ect sounds have come a long way but they're still off to my ear. I'm almost totally dead set on going VST for my sounds and it has to be done on a laptop. Can't spring for a desktop solution and that's also not portable for live use. laptop specs are below. Pretty dead set on SD3 over SSD based on the sounds I've heard.

    - My band's music is usually loud, heavy hitting. I'm probably one of the guys who will be buying both Metal Foundry, Death and Darkness, and whatever Bonham-esque expansions exist for SD3. There are some instances where the music quiets down and it would be nice to have something with positional sensitivity for getting the ringiness of the snare edge but I'm happy if I can just get a realistic 1-127 dynamic response of a snare drum within the VST. Tom rimshots would also be nice, but I can live without it.

    - Drum sounds will be sent to a PA system within the practice room, and for live settings it's immensely helpful to have at least a stereo direct out, if not individual direct outs for FOH to balance with.

    - I'm triggering drums only, (one kick, one snare, three toms, and either another drum added, or something like a Roland BT-1 to trigger a drone loop or some other sample I've created. Cymbals will be regular old acoustic ones heard directly in the practice room, or via overheads in live settings. On modules, I have little use for a bunch of waste patches full of bing/boop/zap/hiyahh sounds, but I do create various atmospheric or tempo locked percussion loops I'd like to add to the music.

    - I would really like sticking with real drumheads so mic/vst blending options are available to me down the road. I already use thick two ply and can moongel the **** out of em to help with the triggering thresholds. I have never been able to quite live the pretense with the sticks hitting mesh heads. I also hit pretty hard and plan to continue doing that.

    - I would like to be able to easily practice on my own with songs coming from a phone or the vst laptop, and have easy to access volume control to my headphones.

    - it would be gravy if (assuming an audio interface is needed) I could have two decent XLR mic inputs for use with cymbal overheads so I can record my full drum parts (vst and acoustic mixed together) within the laptop DAW to send to my bandmates.

    - I dont even know if this exists, but being able to assign controls and swap VST kit patches and maybe control vst mix faders directly from their counterparts on a drum module would be amazing. I hate fumbling around on laptop trackpads and would rather reach over and hit big rubber buttons or slide an actual fader.

    - probably something else I'll edit my post and add at some point

    What I already own

    - Acoustic drums
    - Razer Blade RZ09-0102 laptop with Win10, Core i7-4702MQ 2.2 GHz, 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM, three usb 3.0 in, and 750GB split across dual mSata SSD. It's old, but it was a beast back in 2014 and still holds up. The RAM is soldered into the mobo and cannot be upgraded. As far as I remember the mSata form factor actually produces minimally faster read times than modern 2.5 SSDs.
    - DAW Reaper/Ableton
    - PA system for sound output

    What I've been looking at and what I'm confused about

    - Roland RT10- or RT-30 Drum Triggers (really whats the difference here besides easier mounting?)

    - Roland TD10, TD12, TD20 module (probably the biggest spot of confusion. Is there a feature that I'd be sorely missing by going cheap with the elder TD10?)

    - Roland TM-6 Pro trigger interface. Is there any reason I'd choose this over the above TD modules? Is there something missing regarding trigger response, ect? Is there a point to this piece of gear for someone using VSTs? The draw of it for me comes down to input/outputs, it looks kinda cool, and I can buy it from Sweetwater versus putting my faith in Ebay/Reverb sellers.

    - Alesis Strike module. probably overspending for something just cuz the screen is prettier than anything Roland puts on their gear.

    - I haven't even started to look at audio/midi interfaces. The drummer that really got me thinking about diving in to this setup, 66Samus, uses a Scarlett 18i20 on his setup. Obviously I wanna minimize latency, but if my laptop might be a bottleneck anyways I wanna get minimal latency for best pricing with two XLR ins.Are there any interfaces that truly excel in chopping down the latency on the hardware end?

    - How would something like foregoing a Roland module for 2x eDrumin benefit me other than total cost?

    - Is there simply some other magic combination of gear I'm just completely unaware of?


    Thanks for any and all ideas you guys have to throw at me.
    The zoom UAC-2 is the lowest latency you can get unless you want to go thunderbolt and spend 1000 dollars on a sound card. (Plus you would have to get a laptop that has thunderbolt).

    There is a thunderbolt version of the zoom as well that is slightly better but very slightly.

    If you want the lowest latency possible on a laptop then there is a thunderbolt sound interface from presonus but again we are talking hundreds of dollars more than the zoom.

    The zoom has way lower latency than the scarlett. The roland modules will give you really low latency as well. Alesis has way more latency than roland. Edrumins are supposed to be comparable to roland.
    Last edited by frankzappa; 04-12-20, 08:14 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      You'd only need one eDRUMin if you split the toms and kick.
      Input 1 - snare
      2- kick + tom
      3- Tom + tom
      4- extra pad.

      You can use the pedal input to do bank changes, or send control change to switch VSTs and such.
      DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
      Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

      My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Agree with all said. Zoom UAC-2 is excellent. Alesis Strike is great if you're importing VSTs but has a bit more latency than other modules so that gets exaggerated when triggering external software so it's not the best choice.
        ATV aDrums, ATV aD5, eDRUMin, Presonus Quantum 2, SD3

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Acidline View Post
          - Alesis Strike module. probably overspending for something just cuz the screen is prettier than anything Roland puts on their gear.
          .

          Rim zone triggering won't works great with 3rd party pad like Roland, weak signal, and triggering is a bit lower par compare to others, I would take eDRUMin or td-17\27 instead of any Alesis.
          Last edited by Chris K; 04-13-20, 01:57 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by perceval View Post
            You'd only need one eDRUMin if you split the toms and kick.
            Input 1 - snare
            2- kick + tom
            3- Tom + tom
            4- extra pad.

            You can use the pedal input to do bank changes, or send control change to switch VSTs and such.
            This could change my mind entirely, even though I'd be giving up the ability to change triggering parameters through a module instead of fumbling around on the laptop screen. I like the idea of having the 6 kit patches I'm gonna use for a live set ordered up and flipping through them between songs with a cheap sustain pedal. Any feedback on the stability of the eDrumin software?


            Originally posted by Chris K View Post


            Rim zone triggering won't works great with 3rd party pad like Roland, weak signal, and triggering is a bit lower par compare to others, I would take eDRUMin or td-17\27 instead of any Alesis.
            I've watched a few reviewers with similar gripes on the Strike box. I guess it's main advantage is you're getting multi layered sampling at a pretty good price. I eliminated the TD-17 from the race because I dont wanna deal with having to rebuy a special cable harness.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by frankzappa View Post
              The zoom UAC-2 is the lowest latency you can get unless you want to go thunderbolt and spend 1000 dollars on a sound card.
              What about a used Babyface1 for about 350 USD? Won't get a lower latency with USB devices and the driver performance is way more stable at smallest audio buffers. The AD and DA converters and the phones jack will also beat the Zoom.


              Originally posted by frankzappa View Post
              Alesis has way more latency than roland
              Yes, regarding latency most Alesis/Medeli stuff is my personal Pearl Harbor!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by frankzappa View Post

                The zoom UAC-2 is the lowest latency you can get unless you want to go thunderbolt and spend 1000 dollars on a sound card. (Plus you would have to get a laptop that has thunderbolt).
                Thanks for this. For now it or the UAC-8 is top dog on my interface list. Depends on whether I think it's worth it to attack live take demo recording as part of this project as well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nick74 View Post
                  What about a used Babyface1 for about 350 USD? Won't get a lower latency with USB devices and the driver performance is way more stable at smallest audio buffers. The AD and DA converters and the phones jack will also beat the Zoom.


                  Yes, regarding latency most Alesis/Medeli stuff is my personal Pearl Harbor!
                  Ah I forgot about the babyface, it should be pretty good. However you are talking about the USB 1.0 version right? You won't notice the difference of AD/DA in a blind test. That's like those crazy audiophile people saying they can hear the difference from gold cables :P

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by frankzappa View Post

                    You won't notice the difference of AD/DA in a blind test. That's like those crazy audiophile people saying they can hear the difference from gold cables :P
                    No it is not. I definetly will notice the converters quality on my AKG K872 , not to mention the Zoom's utterly poor phones jack. The Zoom sound is definetly not the RME sound, believe me.


                    Originally posted by frankzappa View Post
                    However you are talking about the USB 1.0 version right?
                    USB 1.0? No, the RME Babyface(1) is the predecessor of the "Babyface Pro" and bothz devices of course are USB2.0.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The UAC-2 rivals the Babyface Pro in RTL but I've no doubt that the RME drivers and overall quality is much higher. Of course it's a very different price point. A used UAC-2 can be $150 or below.
                      ATV aDrums, ATV aD5, eDRUMin, Presonus Quantum 2, SD3

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by molson View Post
                        The UAC-2 rivals the Babyface Pro in RTL but I've no doubt that the RME drivers and overall quality is much higher. Of course it's a very different price point. A used UAC-2 can be $150 or below.
                        That is true, RME is usually above the rest.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nick74 View Post
                          No it is not. I definetly will notice the converters quality on my AKG K872 , not to mention the Zoom's utterly poor phones jack. The Zoom sound is definetly not the RME sound, believe me.
                          What you will notice is the fact that you know you are listening to the RME. In a blind test you will not. However we can end the discussion here, I don't think I will convince you, you have to do an AB blind test and hear for your self. AD/DA converters and headphone amps are like 0,0001% of the sound. A lot of other things will affect the sound much more. Headphones for instance.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by frankzappa View Post
                            AD/DA converters and headphone amps are like 0,0001% of the sound.
                            Yes, it's definetly time to end the discussion here!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nick74 View Post

                              Yes, it's definetly time to end the discussion here!
                              I apologise, there is a huge difference between different converters: The "bias" voltage.

                              Comment

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