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Adding an effects unit to a TD-8

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  • Adding an effects unit to a TD-8

    I'm close to buying a TD-8 module and have been considering adding an outboard effects unit to process some the TD-8's sounds (I want more than the ambience feature found on the TD-8 but for really don't want to slurge for the TD-10). Since I'm a newbie in this area, I'd appreciate input on the following:

    1) Do any of you use an outboard effects box on your TD-8? If so, can you recommend a few models to evaluate?

    2) When using the TD-8 with an effects unit for home practice with headphones, if I run a CD player through the TD-8 to play along with recorded music, will the recording also be processed (in addition to the drum sounds from the TD-8)? I don't I'd want the music on the CD to be processed so hopefully there's a way around this.

    3) I'm assuming that the main outputs of the TD-8 are fed directly into the inputs on the effects unit (if you want the whole kit processed). Can headphones then be plugged into the effects unit or do I need another piece of gear to monitor the processed signal.

    Sorry for all of these remedial questions but I'm really just starting to learn about electronic music. This site has been extremely helpful up til now.


  • #2
    Hey, artie:

    Ah, yes, effects processing with the TD-8. One of my favorite subjects. The bile is rising already.....

    1): I know there are several of us that use outboard effects units with our modules. szvook in particular has always been a good source of information on this topic, so hopefully he'll take the liberty of throwing his two cents in somewhere in this thread. I personally use a DigiTech Studio Quad V2, and it's a pretty good bang-for-the-buck processor. It has four inputs and four outputs, which really opens up a lot of doors as far as routing configurations go. The effects themselves are not bad at all, although they really don't stack up to some of the patches from your higher-end processors (Lexicon, tc electronic, Eventide, etc.). But, then again, you're not paying as near as much for them, either. Honestly, the only thing that's really pissing me off about the DigiTech is the fact that its flange, phase, and chorus effects are too damn noisy--to my ears, anyway. If you plan on using it only for the more standard delay and reverb applications, then it would be a good unit to have.

    My original plan for the DigiTech was to run the Direct Outs of the TD-8 into Inputs 1 and 2, run the Aux Outputs of my Alesis D-4 into Inputs 3 and 4, and route these to the mixer via DigiTech Outputs 1 and 2 to achieve stereo effects for both modules. This would give me the flexibility to mix and match the effected sounds and the effects themselves. Well, here's where my plan got sabotaged.....

    The TD-8 has four outputs, and the Direct outputs are made specifically for the purpose of routing selected drum sounds to individual mixer channels (i.e. to assign the bass drum and/or snare to its own channel) or to an outboard effects unit. That's a nice feature, but the problem is that the Direct output assignments are global! You can have only one configuration and that's it! Not too cool, Roland, because that pretty much rendered the Direct outputs on the TD-8 useless to me......

    2): Be aware that whatever signal you run into the MIX IN STEREO jack (which is typically used for plugging in CD players and the like for practice purposes) on the TD-8 is also routed to the MASTER outputs. Now, since your post implies that you're going to have some way to monitor your V-drums post-effect, I have to assume that you're not going to be plugging your headphones into the TD-8's headphone jack. That being the case, you will get an effected playback from your CD player. Consequently, if you decide to monitor by way of the Headphone jack, you won't hear any effects on the V-drums. The way around this is to use a mixer.

    3): See answers 1 and 2. And I don't know of any effects processor that isn't made specifically for guitars that has a headphone jack......

    [This message has been edited by Mick Wade (edited August 19, 2001).]
    TD-30 / SPD-SX /Alesis Strike Multipad