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Digital Pads with TD-27 vs Analog on PMP

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  • Digital Pads with TD-27 vs Analog on PMP

    So I’ve got a pretty nice self-built A2E kit with a Pearl Mimic Pro and ATV cymbals. I mostly play rock stuff, but I’ve been trying to get more nuanced with my playing, incorporating more accents, ghost notes, and even funkier elements like buzz rolls. My snare is fine for all of this, certainly better than the PDX-12 I used to have (which itself wasn’t terrible, to be honest). But I have the opportunity to play on an acoustic set regularly, and more and more I’m seeing the divide in expressiveness between my snare and the real thing. I’m intrigued by the Roland digital snare, but I guess my question is, is it vastly superior to an analog pad, or just sort of incrementally so? It’s a lot of cash to shell out for a TD-27, digital snare, and digital ride, and I’d hate to feel not much better off.

    Obviously, the sounds on the Mimic are wonderful, and I’d hate to give that up. I do also have SD3, and I suspect the TD-27 would play better with the software than the Mimic does, but I don’t necessarily want to fire up the computer every time I want to practice. And I love the user interface of the PMP, particularly the player feature which allows me to upload song to the module to play along with, and slow them down if I have to, or loop tricky sections for extra practice. I don’t know if the TD-27 does anything like that, but honestly it has been a godsend in terms of making my practice both more efficient and effective.

    One downside to the PMP is the fact, because it is an open system, it can be sort of a pain to dial everything in. I’ve never been 100% satisfied with the way my ATV hi-hat plays (although it has gotten a lot better with software updates and improvement in my technique). In my experience, plugging Roland pads into a Roland module, everything just kind of works, and I’ve wondered how the VH-13 with the TD-27 would play. One other thing is that the edge sensor on my (almost one year-old) ATV hi-hat is broken - I did just swap out another 14” crash over to the hi-hat, but I think I have a little more fajita in the longevity of Roland’s cymbal pads at this point.

    One last thing is that my ultimate goal is to do some home recording (I play other instruments as well). The primary limiting factor at this point is my drumming ability, but I’m working on it and will eventually be where I need to be. But looking forward, I think the easiest method would be to record MIDI into SD3, and for that the TD-27 might actually be better than the PMP, especially considering the superiority of the digital pads.

    I don’t know, I don’t want to make a change simply to make a change. Just curious what others’ thoughts are, particularly those who have made the leap to digital pads. Is it a game-changer?

  • #2
    -All hihat on VST are worst then Module, there is always something wrong, there is no single hihat\sound pack\vst behave the same, much more complex to configure
    -VH13 and TD27 according to Alan Miler (VEX) does not works well
    -Plug and play for internal Roland sound build only, Roland module are "easier" because it's not multi-layering sound engine, it's 2-3 shot sample with modelling, but when you are using multi-layering sound engine\ VST, you need to tweak on every area for all zones, dynamic, hi-hat etc..It won't works plug and play.

    There is difference acoustic vs edrum this include all VST, dynamic, hihat even more with physical stand setting\module\vst, if you compare with acoustic drums, it won't make much difference I am afraid, playing someone recorded sample hit vs yours playing\sound on real drum is different.
    Last edited by Chris K; 10-16-20, 05:40 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MJB View Post
      I don’t know, I don’t want to make a change simply to make a change. Just curious what others’ thoughts are, particularly those who have made the leap to digital pads. Is it a game-changer?
      It is definitely not a game changer. I have an ATV snare in a PMP right next to the digital snare in a TD-50 and I can tell you right now that you will get more nuance with the PMP. I don't use VST's I don't like the way they tax your computer, the inevitable clicks and pops if you set your buffer too low to try and avoid excessive latency and the inherent latency with AD/DA conversion and MIDI. Chris is right the high hats work horrendously especially in SD3 and the sensitivity of the drums and cymbals aren't as good as the Mimic module which doesn't use standard MIDI internally. You have 1980's MIDI controlling VST's.The PMP is an advanced VST in a module you can't do any better. You should be able to dial it in to get all the nuance one could possibly expect from an e drum. It will never get as nuanced as a real snare but you can realistically get even a nice drag out of a properly calibrated side trigger pad on a Mimic. You just won't get the "dust" and rim shot nuance. Again I have a TD-50 and PMP and use them together but the 50 is for electronic sounds and loops and percussion and the PMP is for acoustic. Maybe you need an ATV AD-13 snare or one of the new side trigger Diabolo snares from drum-tec. I am guessing your snare is a center cone if not forgive me. You should be able to dial the PMP in really nice. Trust me you will spend all that $ and have less sensitivity then on a Mimic.I often think, while I'm playing, that while the Digital snare is cool for broader strokes and I like the rim shots and electronic snares thank god it isn't my primary snare and thank god for the Mimic. I would reread the PMP manual and make sure you are properly dialing in that advanced multilayered sound engine before trading it in for a 2-3 shot sample based module with modeling. Love Roland for electronic sounds and drum machines and the cool V Drum sound, but not as a substitute for acoustic drums if you already have a PMP. IMO.

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      • #4
        To offer some counter-balance to the above post, the digital snare is the best snare I've used. Even sending it into the Mimic via MIDI is overall better than any other pads I've tried (though you don't get every articulation with this setup like you would on a Roland module with its own sounds). Great, even trigger response across the entire head, very sensitive down to really light taps, cross-stick detection is great and is something you don't think would be as useful or seamless as it is until you use it and using Roland's sounds you get positional sensing and even get distinctions between shallow and deep rimshots due to that PS too. Genuinely a pleasure to play.

        ​​​​​That said, with a really good analogue pad (I've now got the best performing pad I've ever used with a DRONE Halo trigger) and a BT-1 attached for cross-stick, you can get VERY close on the Mimic. It really does rely on having a good, responsive trigger and having cross-sticks on their own pad really helps imo. I kept finding I wasn't happy until I found the trigger that worked for me. I think from what you've written here and the fact that you really like the Mimic sounds, getting a TD-27 with the limitations of Roland's sounds or having to hook up a VST, you might feel like it's a step back in every other way. I don't know if you'd feel there was "enough" benefit to mitigate what you'd lose.

        Even though I love the digital snare and think it's the best available pad (bar being locked-in), it's not going to give you what an acoustic snare does. No current eDrum pad will, there's too much nuance available on acoustics that just isn't there on electronics. It's just something that needs to be accepted.
        The eDrum Workshop | YouTube

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Howstamychi View Post

          It is definitely not a game changer. Love Roland...but not as a substitute for acoustic drums if you already have a PMP. IMO.
          Thanks! That’s sort of what I was hoping to hear. I love the Mimic for so many reasons and would hate to give it up for daily use. And honestly, if/when the time comes that I need a better MIDI controller, there a probably better options to use for that particular purpose as needed.

          I had gone back to trigger settings since you mentioned it, since I seem to remember having the snare dialed in better before, and then it occurred to me to re-check the tension rods, and of course a few were loose. Definitely more responsive after tightening them all back up again, but I still feel like it can be tough getting the pad sensitive enough to detect a full buzz roll, without being so hot that ghost notes are barely differentiated from accented ones. I keep tweaking the gain up and down and going back and forth between different curve settings, but it’s hard to find a happy medium

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pulsc View Post
            To offer some counter-balance to the above post, the digital snare is the best snare I've used. Even sending it into the Mimic via MIDI is overall better than any other pads I've tried (though you don't get every articulation with this setup like you would on a Roland module with its own sounds). Great, even trigger response across the entire head, very sensitive down to really light taps, cross-stick detection is great and is something you don't think would be as useful or seamless as it is until you use it and using Roland's sounds you get positional sensing and even get distinctions between shallow and deep rimshots due to that PS too. Genuinely a pleasure to play.

            ​​​​​That said, with a really good analogue pad (I've now got the best performing pad I've ever used with a DRONE Halo trigger) and a BT-1 attached for cross-stick, you can get VERY close on the Mimic. It really does rely on having a good, responsive trigger and having cross-sticks on their own pad really helps imo. I kept finding I wasn't happy until I found the trigger that worked for me. I think from what you've written here and the fact that you really like the Mimic sounds, getting a TD-27 with the limitations of Roland's sounds or having to hook up a VST, you might feel like it's a step back in every other way. I don't know if you'd feel there was "enough" benefit to mitigate what you'd lose.

            Even though I love the digital snare and think it's the best available pad (bar being locked-in), it's not going to give you what an acoustic snare does. No current eDrum pad will, there's too much nuance available on acoustics that just isn't there on electronics. It's just something that needs to be accepted.
            I agree about using the BT-1 mounted to the snare hoop as a dedicated cross-stick trigger. Feels pretty natural and you never have to worry about triggering wrong snare voicing. I’m not familiar with the drone trigger, maybe I’ll check that out if I can’t get closer with the trigger settings. Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MJB View Post

              Thanks! That’s sort of what I was hoping to hear. I love the Mimic for so many reasons and would hate to give it up for daily use. And honestly, if/when the time comes that I need a better MIDI controller, there a probably better options to use for that particular purpose as needed.

              I had gone back to trigger settings since you mentioned it, since I seem to remember having the snare dialed in better before, and then it occurred to me to re-check the tension rods, and of course a few were loose. Definitely more responsive after tightening them all back up again, but I still feel like it can be tough getting the pad sensitive enough to detect a full buzz roll, without being so hot that ghost notes are barely differentiated from accented ones. I keep tweaking the gain up and down and going back and forth between different curve settings, but it’s hard to find a happy medium
              Glad to help and since I literally A/B my PMP snare and digital snare everyday it's a good question for me to address. Anyway I think you may be experiencing a quality problem in one sense. Your skill level on the acoustic may be reaching the point where you are simply going to miss the nuance and accuracy of a real snare. I guess you've figured out by now not to use the hot ghost notes curve and set it for linear. Dip a little low at the lowest point and drop some off of the top. I know you've been experimenting with it but see if that and getting the input gain so you hear the lightest ghost notes, maybe lower the threshold, and adjust the top velocity setting so it doesn't get too hot. Also if you think of the e drums as a practice tool actually controlling the hits and getting even velocity and consistent doubles rather than always doing press rolls will clean up your playing on an acoustic. Guys like Buddy Rich usually muscled out singles even for the most nuanced articulations on the snare. The PMP can handle that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MJB View Post
                So I’ve got a pretty nice self-built A2E kit with a Pearl Mimic Pro and ATV cymbals. I mostly play rock stuff, but I’ve been trying to get more nuanced with my playing, incorporating more accents, ghost notes, and even funkier elements like buzz rolls. My snare is fine for all of this, certainly better than the PDX-12 I used to have (which itself wasn’t terrible, to be honest). But I have the opportunity to play on an acoustic set regularly, and more and more I’m seeing the divide in expressiveness between my snare and the real thing. I’m intrigued by the Roland digital snare, but I guess my question is, is it vastly superior to an analog pad, or just sort of incrementally so? It’s a lot of cash to shell out for a TD-27, digital snare, and digital ride, and I’d hate to feel not much better off.

                Obviously, the sounds on the Mimic are wonderful, and I’d hate to give that up. I do also have SD3, and I suspect the TD-27 would play better with the software than the Mimic does, but I don’t necessarily want to fire up the computer every time I want to practice. And I love the user interface of the PMP, particularly the player feature which allows me to upload song to the module to play along with, and slow them down if I have to, or loop tricky sections for extra practice. I don’t know if the TD-27 does anything like that, but honestly it has been a godsend in terms of making my practice both more efficient and effective.

                One downside to the PMP is the fact, because it is an open system, it can be sort of a pain to dial everything in. I’ve never been 100% satisfied with the way my ATV hi-hat plays (although it has gotten a lot better with software updates and improvement in my technique). In my experience, plugging Roland pads into a Roland module, everything just kind of works, and I’ve wondered how the VH-13 with the TD-27 would play. One other thing is that the edge sensor on my (almost one year-old) ATV hi-hat is broken - I did just swap out another 14” crash over to the hi-hat, but I think I have a little more fajita in the longevity of Roland’s cymbal pads at this point.

                One last thing is that my ultimate goal is to do some home recording (I play other instruments as well). The primary limiting factor at this point is my drumming ability, but I’m working on it and will eventually be where I need to be. But looking forward, I think the easiest method would be to record MIDI into SD3, and for that the TD-27 might actually be better than the PMP, especially considering the superiority of the digital pads.

                I don’t know, I don’t want to make a change simply to make a change. Just curious what others’ thoughts are, particularly those who have made the leap to digital pads. Is it a game-changer?
                Did you contact ATV regarding the hi-hat? They gave me a very good deal on replacing an out of warranty (almost 3 years old) 18" ride - it was barely more than shipping from Japan.

                If you do want to go down the SD3 path, think about the eDRUMin modules. I use an ED4 just for the hi-hat - it's that good! Other than HH, the TD27 would be a very good TMI though. I owned the TD50DP for quite a while and it really excelled with SD3, although it was overkill IMO. The digital snare/ride ARE fantastic, although I'm "nearly" as happy with the ATV snare/ride, both of which work very well with the PMP as well (and no hotspot) The only downside is no PS.
                ATV aDrums, ATV aD5, eDRUMin, Presonus Quantum 2, SD3

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