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TD20 output level question

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  • TD20 output level question

    I have several questions regarding my brother's set up that I am hoping some of you can answer. His kit is large so he uses two TD20 brains. It is a two kick with a large number of pads totaling 6 per brain. For more control, he is using direct outs from the brains into our Mackie TT24 digital mixer. We have the direct outputs going into high quality DI's and then to the board through the DS3232 digital snake.

    He has no effects on the kit since they cannot output from the direct outs.

    With that as background, what I would like to know is how to optimize output levels to minimize noise. Not sure how to properly describe the noise but since we monitor with in ear, there seems to be a noticeable hiss that we want to deal with. It's not a ground noise or hum but some type of electronic hiss.

    Since the TD 20 has both fader and output levels that can be adjusted, is there any balancing that should happen between the two to address this? Is there any other pad control that should be considered that might generate any noise? Not sure if Roland uses the highest quality components in their designs and it is likely that a typical user might not notice this if using conventional monitoring but it does show up in the closed environment of in ears.

    The TT 24 and DS3232 have very good mic pre's and any other instrument or mic, is very quiet. Seems that it is only the kit that sends this noise.

    Would appreciate any insight on this.

    Thanks and regards,
    Last edited by PMA; 06-08-08, 01:21 PM.

  • #2
    I have just started experimenting with this myself, Paul. I just got my TD20 module and am building a custom surround mixer for it which will combine the direct outputs of my TD12 and TD20 and enable me to assign them to a 5.1 mix and to a stereo monitor mix simultaneously. I'm going to use the S/Pdif out for effects.
    I did notice some noise on my initial experiments (using 10 inputs on Protools) and am going through all the gain structures. I'll post my results.


    • #3
      Hi PMA,

      Use process of elimination tests to isolate where the noise is coming from:

      1/ Get a Sound Level Meter with an inbuilt mic and a line input (they're cheap)

      2/ Try bypassing the mixer and go directly into your MTR (assuming you're recording this on a PC) and measure the hiss level

      3/ Compare the TD-20 output levels from the Coax out to the direct outs (and the headphone out)

      4/ Bypass your DI box and go directly into the mixer

      5/ Try unity gain at each stage and measure the hiss level

      6/ Try unity gain +3dB at each stage incrementally and measure the hiss level

      Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think that the direct outs on the TD-20 are analog outs so there is likely to be some noise generated.

      The least noise is generated by going from my TD-6V outs directly to the P/T I/O - but there is still some noise.


      • #4
        Hey SuperPuss and Hercules,

        Thanks for the input. I will try what has been suggested and wait for more input. On bypassing the DI's, I would think that would add even more noise but will try this. You are correct that these are analog.

        Trying the other outputs may not really help since we must stay with the direct outs but it may show if noise is present there as well. I also thought about taking the S/PDIF output directly into ProTools to see what happens.

        SuperPuss, I checked out your on line videos and the audio is very good. You play well for someone self taught and only a year or so into drumming.



        • #5
          Thanks Paul
          I had a pretty big weekend with three gigs so haven't had time to play around more with my gain structures but I'll keep you informed as I try things this week.
          I'm keen to hear about what you discover too.