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Thoughts on my first VEXperience

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  • Thoughts on my first VEXperience

    I finally pulled the trigger and upgraded my TD-12 module with the "Power Series" pack from vexpressionsltd.com, something I've intended to do since purchasing the module back in January. The process from purchase to playing was smooth and easy. I tried to aide the process by being prepared. Before making my purchase I had already procured a Roland UM-ONE mk2 midi cable, loaded it with the latest driver, downloaded VdrumLib (which is an excellent utility), upgraded my module to v 1.11, and read up as much as possible on the steps involved. My total spend was $90 bucks ($30 for the vex pack, $20 for VdrumLib, and $40 for the UM-ONE cable). From the moment my module screen lit up with the words "Live Rok", I've been grinning from ear to ear.

    I tried very hard not to let my expectations get out of hand. After all, "VEX" packs are configurations (freaking awesome configurations, mind you) of sounds already in the module. I'll allow someone with more discerning ears to give you a review of the "Power Series" pack itself but I will say this; if you close your eyes you'll swear you've been transported to a concert venue and are immersed in a solo sound check behind an amazing acoustic kit, or 32 kits as it were. Chris has done an excellent job of doing exactly what I wish I could do, but could not do, given that I don't have the ears for it, the sound engineering experience, or even the time to spend at doing it if did. Well done sir.

    With that said, I'd like to offer my two cents about why it has taken me so long to actually make a purchase. Perhaps others share my viewpoint and it might benefit the vexpressionsltd.com staff to have some feedback. I want to make it clear that I'm a huge fan, and I am making no complaint against this company, it's staff, or it's products. The folks at vexpressionsltd.com offer us a much needed service and do so exceedingly well, rather I'm offering suggestions that could make the experience that much more appealing.

    The biggest deterrent for me was the initial investment. I contacted Alan via PM and I described the type of music and typical venue in which I play. Alan suggested I purchase the "Producer's Pack". He wasn't attempting to up sell me, he was just suggesting the best combo for the money spent. At $100 it would be a great value, but at the same time it was an amount that gave me pause. With the "Power Series", the $30 price tag made it possible to try "VEX" packs with a minimum initial investment. I'm not suggesting that "VEX" packs are overpriced at all. They are worth every penny and then some. It's just that I've been spending my funds on building a kit, purchasing equipment and DIY materials, and being forced to settle for the stock kits. Building the kit simply took financial priority. Only after completion of my kit am I back to improving the sounds.

    ​If you are the proud owner of a TD-12 module like myself, you'll find no less than 13 "packs", each containing up to 50 kits, for you to choose from. The "packs" and bundles range in price from $30 to more than $200. The more you buy the better "per kit" pricing you get. If you can't purchase them all at once, it makes for an overwhelming decision. I've listened to the samples over and over, and they are all so tempting, which makes it hard to narrow it down. Then, let's say you bought several of the packs and ended up with 200 kits. For the TD-12 at least, only 50 kits can be loaded at once. Then you'll have a process of choosing the best 50 from all your choices. I can't speak for everyone, but for me it's a bit like buying entire albums versus buying only your favorite tracks from different albums. With the advent of single track purchases, I'm allowed to have a large library of varied music, because I only purchase the individual tracks that really speak to me. In the past, when music was only available to purchase by the album, I had to choose albums that gave me the most "good" tracks, to justify the purchase.

    While every kit in every "VEX" pack is very well done, it isn't likely that every user will enjoy every kit in every pack. If it were possible for the team at vexpressionsltd.com to offer single kit purchases, I believe it would make the entire process more appealing, and perhaps more profitable for them as well. It might be awhile before I am able to purchase another "pack" or bundle, simply because it will cost $50+ to do so. I would be more likely to purchase 2-3 kits at a time many times throughout the year if such a service were available. I realize this would be a large undertaking to say the least, and therefore I'm just planting some seeds in hopes of what the future might yield. Honestly, I'd like to be able to preview a sample or samples of each kit. Kits could be priced and sold individually or perhaps grouped together in user defined "packs". If done this way, individual kits could be released as they they are completed rather than waiting for an entire pack to be produced. I certainly don't understand the process the vexpressionsltd.com team goes through to bring us their offerings, which explains why I'm making a Santa Claus type wish list here.

    I'm somewhat hesitant to even post for fear of sounding negative toward a great company. Overall, I simply wish to convey that I'm yet another satisfied vexpressionsltd.com customer, and I'm certain that they've earned repeat business from me. To quote fulrmr(Daniel), "I'm forever VEXED". The question is simply, will I have to wait to justify pulling the trigger on a bundle to build my library, or will I, at some point, be able to compile a library of the best (IMHO) "VEX" kits, one kit at a time or in "packs" of my own choosing?
    Last edited by bwilburn79; 12-18-13, 12:33 PM. Reason: typo
    Roland TD12 module / DIY Kit in progress, Gretsch Blackhawk A (soon to be E) kit.

  • #2
    --
    West London, UK.
    TD-11 module | DTXplorer rack | 3 x tp65 | 12" millenuim mesh head snare | cy-5, pcy65s and pcy150 cymbals | fd8 hh | krigg kick trigger w/ mapex raptor pedal.

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    • bwilburn79
      bwilburn79 commented
      Editing a comment
      One pack certainly aides in making your choice doesn't it?

  • #3
    Well, Alan and Chris sure have their reason for offering the kits the way they do.

    Oh, and...
    I tried to aide the process by being prepared. Before making my purchase I had already procured a Roland UM-ONE mk2 midi cable, loaded it with the latest driver, downloaded VdrumLib (which is an excellent utility), upgraded my module to v 1.11, and read up as much as possible on the steps involved.
    ....wanted to add: This is the way it's done! - Good practice, kind sir!
    Spread the knowledge!



    "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

    http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

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    • #4
      Last night, I had the opportunity to "gig live", with our praise and worship band, for the first time since making the "VEX" upgrade. I used the "Tama Silverstar" and "Gretsch '77" kits in the set and I was very pleased with the results. Being a church, we are all a group of volunteers, and certainly not professionals. If we incorporated pros, or even decent amatuers, I certainly wouldn't have a gig to play. However, we are enthusiasts and we are passionate about giving the best, and our best, to The LORD. As our services concluded, I found our head sound tech, who was just attending the service, to ask his opinion of the overall sound and the drums in the mix. I didn't even get to open my mouth to speak before he began complimenting the improved sound of the drums. He specifically keyed in on the "ambience", and really liked the "live feel" of the drums. Most folks can appreciate great sounding drums without ever putting a finger on what was "great" about it. The sound tech had no idea that we'd made any upgrade or even that we'd planned to, so for him to immediately recognize the improvement told me we made the right move upgrading to "VEX". After all, it is one thing for the drums to sound amazing in my Audio Technica ATH-M50's. I can experience and appreciate every subtle nuance in each kit. But for it to make a real difference in a live setting, through a less than ideal PA setup, that means a lot. Thanks to Alan and Chris for the great programming and for providing a great service to Roland module owners.
      Roland TD12 module / DIY Kit in progress, Gretsch Blackhawk A (soon to be E) kit.

      Comment


      • #5
        My experience was similarly smooth and satisfying. I've owned a TD9-KX for 3 - 4 years and haven't strayed too far from the stock settings. After joining this forum and learning about the VEX kits, I decided to give it a try and bought the Acustix pack and have been quite impressed. I'm especially enamored with the Spaun kit and I think the DW 26" kick is my 2nd favorite. Thank you, Chris and V Expressions! Good job.

        Originally posted by bwilburn79 View Post
        Last night, I had the opportunity to "gig live", with our praise and worship band, for the first time since making the "VEX" upgrade. I used the "Tama Silverstar" and "Gretsch '77" kits in the set and I was very pleased with the results.
        If you don't mind me asking what songs or kinds of songs did you use each kit for? What attributes of the kits made you think they would fit the songs? Reason I ask is I play in a band and we play Contemporary Christian songs. Just curious what you like.

        - BG
        TD-25KV, Yamaha DXR15, MG10. Senn 280HD.

        Comment


        • bwilburn79
          bwilburn79 commented
          Editing a comment
          Most of the songs in the set were uptempo "fun" songs. Specifically we played "God's great dance floor" and Chris Tomlin's "Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)" rendition. I sampled a few kits during sound check and everyone especially liked the way the kick drum cut through with the Gretsch kit. We also played Hillsong's Cornerstone toward the end and the Tama kit had great toms and a snare that just cut through like a knife. Overall it's the live "ambience" that sets this pack apart from the stock kits. Honestly, we've only ever used the stock kit "Fusion" because it was the only one that sounded decent. Going forward, I'll be able to make a kit list to go along with our song selections and possibly incorporate a kit-chain into my routine.

      • #6
        Just bought the ROCK ESSENTIALS.

        Wow... I'm a nube but holy cow what a nice surprise!

        Absolutely recommended upgrade.
        I be rockin' with the TD-30K.

        Comment


        • Alan VEX
          Alan VEX commented
          Editing a comment
          Glad you're liking them!

      • #7
        Hi all!

        I'm a newbie to VDrums. Yesterday I got my TD-15 and the first thing I did I purchased V Expressions (thanks to this forum and you guys!). Great addition, must to have, too bad you can't replace all the Roland stock sets with it. VEX for live and rehearsals and Ableton Live 9 for the recordings! I'm all set!

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        • #8
          TD-15 has a very low phone output volume, can you suggest good phones with a low impedance?
          Last edited by zdrum; 03-13-14, 07:27 AM.

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