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Is there any advantage in having a TD-30 module over a TD9, for VSTing?

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  • Is there any advantage in having a TD-30 module over a TD9, for VSTing?

    Hi!

    I've been reading the forums to educate myself about the requirements for using my TD-9 to trigger sounds in Superior Drummer 2. Like everybody else, I'm looking for the least possible latency so my question is this: is there any benefit from using a TD-30 module over a TD-9's, regarding speed of comunication between it and the computer? And regading the extra sensitivity of the newer module, would that also translate in better dynamics in SD2, for example?

    As an Audio Interface, I'm trying to decide between the Roland Octa-Capture or the RME Babyface. I've read all about RME's great costumer support and brilliant drivers, but I'm leaning towards the Octa-Quad only because it would be a Roland product interacting with another Roland product - hoping it will be easier to setup. I'm aware that it might be overkill just for playing VST through the module, but I would hate to spend less money and not having the minimum amount of latency possible. Do you guys think the AUTO-SENS function on the Octa-Capture is relevante for VST? In case it's not readily apparent, I'm a total newbie in this area. :-)

    FWIW, here are my system specs:
    TD-9 module
    PC with Core i7 3.33GHz and 6GB of RAM, running Win7 Ultimate.

    Thanks for your attention,
    Piri

  • #2
    I don't know anything about the Octa Capture but RME stuff is good. And as far as modules, the TD 9 will trigger just as well as the TD 30. I think Focusrite and others have some options as well.

    K ;-)
    My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
    E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
    A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
    A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

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    • #3
      As for your interface, Look into the Native Instruments Komplete audio 6. I have it and can say first hand it is an incredible audio interface, I read plenty of reviews and watched comparison videos between them all before buying mine and The Komplete audio 6 ranked right up there. A TD-9 will work just fine for VST playing definitely no need for that over priced TD-30.
      Yamaha M-12
      Superior Drummer 3
      Komplete Audio 6 - Komplete Kontrol 32 - Studio One 6

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      • #4
        The RME is the bomb. Yes, it has the better support and drivers in the industry (well, at that price point!)
        DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
        Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

        My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

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        • #5
          According to Roland, the TD-30/TD-15/TD-11 have newer triggering circuitry and trigger 30% faster than the last generation including the TD-9. However, that doesn't translate to 30% overall higher latency for the TD-9. This is because the weakest link is in the computer/software's ability to convert MIDI to digital sound and the interface's ability to convert digital sound to analog outputs. On that note, there is another strong advantage of these new modules. You don't need an audio interface with any of them. I've owned all three (as well as a TD-9), and to save $ in the VST triggering realm, I have converted to the TD-11 for VST triggering. I believe that removal of this extra piece of equipment may reduce latency more than the triggering advancements do. Plus you don't have the extra piece of hardware and connections to deal with. All you need is one USB/MIDI cable and you're up and running. Having said all this, what Kenster said is probably true; you may not actually be able to notice the difference in triggering speed/latency between the TD-9 and the TD-11. But, I still advocate that removal of the interface is very beneficial - one less thing to worry about/troubleshoot, especially if you are using the system for live performance.

          If all you're doing is triggering VSTs my advice would be to upgrade to a TD-11 from the TD-9. Some on this forum will advocate that the TD-9 is a "better" module than the TD-11. Again, speaking specifically for VST triggering, the TD-11 is the better way to go, given you are getting the state of the art triggers and no need for an audio interface. That said, it does have a strong limitation - the number of inputs and lack of MIDI IN. This means you can't link another module into the TD-11 via MIDI to increase your input counts. However, if you are a Mac user, you can merge two modules to the MIDI of the Mac via what's called "aggregation".

          One last point of interest, I use my TD-11 for both VST and will use it live. The TD-11 has the benefit over the TD-9 of SuperNatural/Behavior Modeling which is a great feature in terms of smoothing out cymbal swells. If my laptop connection ever fails, I've got my VEX'd TD-11 as backup.

          My recommendation in light of the above: if the number of inputs is important and you don't have a Mac, keep the TD-9. However, if you're not using more than a 5 piece kit with two crash cymbals, go for the TD-11. I wouldn't go for the TD-15 as all it really gives you is one extra input.

          ​Hope this helps.
          Pearl Mimic Pro, eDRUMin 10, ATV aDrums, DIY Conversion kit, Roland Handsonic HPD-20, EFNOTE 5 Module (for hi hats), SD3, Porter & Davies Throne

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          • #6
            Man.... Aside from the positioning sensing and being compatible with the vh12/vh13 (I mess a bit with offset settings available for those pads) I dont think u gonna miss much.

            As far as interface u gonna be fine 2. Santa was nice to me and I upgraded many things including interface -got the Studio Capture same family as the Octa and very happy.

            I would rather upgrade the PC with more RAM - I did with mine and now I have 16 GB.

            The Auto Sens will not have anything to do with your VST.

            Pim
            Roland TD50, Roland PM30 and KC 550 Studio Capture /Dell XPS I7 32GB RAM Reaper,Superior Drummer,BFD3 (all exp. packs),SSD5 Ezdrummer 2, XLN Addictive Drums

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            • #7
              I'm not hugely knowledge in the schematics inside the Roland modules (I'm a Megadrum owner) but I'm not entirely convinced in what jpsquared says is entirely correct.

              The TD-30/15/11 kits have a USB MIDI interface - this is not a sound card.

              The path from your computer to your speakers would still be at the mercy of your buffer size, on-board your sound chip (it's drivers) to your CPU, and is where most of the latency problems occur.

              Jpsquared may not be noticing any difference with his situation because macbooks use CoreAudio instead of ASIO.

              Saying that, I happen to own said Octa-capture and run my VST with a buffer size of 32 which is 3.188ms RTL + 0.400ms MIDI lag from Megadrum it's under 4ms total lag from hit to sound. (0.004 seconds)

              You will undoubtedly get similar results from the RME Babyface, they are both fantastic audio interfaces with exceptionally low RTL.

              In answer to whether there's any advantage in having a TD30 over a TD9 for VST? More inputs mostly.

              You will not notice things like better MIDI latency - because it's already really tiny number.

              Technically speaking, there is also a limit to the minimum scan time possible when reading mesh drum heads; due to the waveforms they produce. The improvement Roland claim with the newer modules isn't false, i.e. if they said 30% faster than 0.400ms trigger to MIDI latency (That's an improvement of 0.00012 seconds) It's laughable really, it cannot be made any lower than it already is.

              However some people have apparently connected their TD-30 as an audio interface and I have yet to understand how they have done that.
              Although I'm also hearing the latency is not nearly as great as the internal COSM - so really the point of VST has already been defeated. You require a separate audio interface still, even with a TD-30.
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              ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ 2box DrumIt 5 MKII
              ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
              PA Comparison Sheet

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              • #8
                Thank you all for you informative inputs!

                It's great news thay I can use my TD-9 module. I can upgrade modules at a later date.
                I think I'll take Pimentas' advice and upgrade my PC's RAM. That's an upgrade that is usefull beyond VST drumming.

                @ Kabonfaina: It was precisely that image of you latency results that drew my attention to the Octa-Capture.
                So you guys don't think that there's any particular benefit from keeping it all in the Roland family?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pirimeister
                  So you guys don't think that there's any particular benefit from keeping it all in the Roland family?
                  I would say no. (But yes for looks ) MIDI is a universal language.

                  You could buy any cheapo MIDI to MIDI cable (TD-9 to UA-1010) for shortest path. Tell your VST that "Octa-capture" is your MIDI Device, and it should work very well.

                  I only bought the Octa-capture though, because it was the only decent audio interface with a COAX optical out. Too bad my CM-220 didn't work out because that output isn't used anymore.

                  If you have the money, go for the RME Babyface or the Octa-capture. The UA-1010 looks worth it's asking price, the RME doesn't imo. But the RME has TotalMix software which is amazing, Roland UA-1010 only has a barebones mixer with no realtime SFX (except for microphone input) but it has 8 ins and 8 outs, very easy to use and rock solid stability.

                  The Babyface only has 2 outs (might be a problem if you wanted balanced satellites and subwoofer running independent), but runs off powered USB, the UA-1010 requires power adapter.

                  The focusrite scarlett 2i4 (with MIDI in) is also a brilliant alternative, much lower cost audio interface, with features in-between the others, and isn't that much slower. At worst, only about 100th / second difference.
                  ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ 2box DrumIt 5 MKII
                  ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
                  PA Comparison Sheet

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                  • #10
                    jpsquared482, are you using Macbook with your TD11? output sounds from your Macbook to PA system? and what programe do you use to VST for live performace? thanks.

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                    • #11

                      The TD-30/15/11 kits have a USB MIDI interface - this is not a sound card.
                      IT IS TRUE; they are audio devices and are selectable as such in the DAW. You don't need a separate audio device. You go right from the computer's USB to the Roland module. No need for a sound card. It's built into the Rolands. Within the DAW you simply select the TD module as the audio device. Simple and very beneficial. I have owned a TD-30, 15 and and 11 and actually do this. Why would you doubt it?

                      The path from your computer to your speakers would still be at the mercy of your buffer size, on-board your sound chip (it's drivers) to your CPU, and is where most of the latency problems occur.

                      I agree with this and have said the same. It's the CPU and software settings (buffer size) that affect latency the most.

                      Jpsquared may not be noticing any difference with his situation because macbooks use CoreAudio instead of ASIO.

                      Saying that, I happen to own said Octa-capture and run my VST with a buffer size of 32 which is 3.188ms RTL + 0.400ms MIDI lag from Megadrum it's under 4ms total lag from hit to sound. (0.004 seconds)

                      You will undoubtedly get similar results from the RME Babyface, they are both fantastic audio interfaces with exceptionally low RTL.

                      In answer to whether there's any advantage in having a TD30 over a TD9 for VST? More inputs mostly.
                      Yes, extra inputs are good, and so is being able to eliminate a separate audio device. Again, all you need is the laptop and a module with a USB cable in between. Very nice feature in my book. So it's a trade off of inputs for elimination of the external audio device. More inputs might be someone's choice, not mine at the moment. To each his own.

                      You will not notice things like better MIDI latency - because it's already really tiny number.

                      Technically speaking, there is also a limit to the minimum scan time possible when reading mesh drum heads; due to the waveforms they produce. The improvement Roland claim with the newer modules isn't false, i.e. if they said 30% faster than 0.400ms trigger to MIDI latency (That's an improvement of 0.00012 seconds) It's laughable really, it cannot be made any lower than it already is.
                      I agree on this and said the same. 30% better than a very small # isn't very meaningful.

                      However some people have apparently connected their TD-30 as an audio interface and I have yet to understand how they have done that.
                      It's as simple as choosing the TD module as the audio device in the DAW, just as you would choose an audio card or any other external audio device. There's not trick to it at all. Plain and simple. Great feature.
                      Although I'm also hearing the latency is not nearly as great as the internal COSM - so really the point of VST has already been defeated. You require a separate audio interface still, even with a TD-30. Simply not true! The TD-30 IS ITS OWN audio device. Digital sound is sent from the computer via the USB/MIDI cable. In the module it is converted to analog sound and comes out the L/R and headphone outputs. Please don't pretend to be an authority when you haven't ever used one of these modules. Let's help the other readers, not mislead them.

                      Thanks!

                      Last edited by jpsquared482; 01-08-15, 08:46 PM.
                      Pearl Mimic Pro, eDRUMin 10, ATV aDrums, DIY Conversion kit, Roland Handsonic HPD-20, EFNOTE 5 Module (for hi hats), SD3, Porter & Davies Throne

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tivi
                        jpsquared482, are you using Macbook with your TD11? output sounds from your Macbook to PA system? and what programe do you use to VST for live performace? thanks.

                        Hi Tivi,
                        Yes I connect my MacBook Air to the module with a single USB/MIDI cable. As I noted in previous post, the digital sound travels from the DAW (or stand-alone VST, EZDrummer2 in my case) through the USB/MIDI cable, to the module and is converted to analog in the module. (I think of it as sort of putting the laptop inside the computer, slick and fast.) I use the headphone jack for my own monitoring (amp on stage) and send the L/R to direct boxes to the sound board. Slick. What's nice is I'm not using my laptop's headphone output for anything. I'm using the sturdy connections of the module for sound output.

                        Hope this helps!
                        Pearl Mimic Pro, eDRUMin 10, ATV aDrums, DIY Conversion kit, Roland Handsonic HPD-20, EFNOTE 5 Module (for hi hats), SD3, Porter & Davies Throne

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One question jpsquared. I've just hooked my TD15 up to my laptop running EZDrummer2. I can hear the EZD sounds out of the laptop headphone jack. How do set up your module so that the module sounds are not heard? Do you create a kit and turn the volume on each pad all the way down? Thanks.
                          TD-25KV, Yamaha DXR15, MG10. Senn 280HD.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by billgtx
                            One question jpsquared. I've just hooked my TD15 up to my laptop running EZDrummer2. I can hear the EZD sounds out of the laptop headphone jack. How do set up your module so that the module sounds are not heard? Do you create a kit and turn the volume on each pad all the way down? Thanks.

                            I run a Mac so things might be different on a PC. Connect your TD11/15/30 with a USB printer cable. Boot up EZDrummer2. In EZDrummer2 go to the "Settings" menu. Choose "Audio/MIDI". In that window, select "Audio Device". If your TD15 (or 11 or 30) is already connected, you will see "TD-15". Select that. For those reading, you also need to make sure MIDI is reaching the laptop properly by simply selecting the module as the "MIDI Device". (You, billgtx, already have the proper MIDI connections since you can hear the VST from the computer headphone jack.)

                            To make your next boot-up extra simple, when you go to close EZDrummer2, do a Save of your settings. It will store those and save an icon of them to your desktop. I made an alias of that and put it in my dock. So, each time I sit at the kit, I simply go to the dock, and with one click of that icon, I'm up and running with all my favorite settings. What's great about EZD2 is it also runs without a DAW, yes, as a stand-alone application. This taxes the CPU less and gets you running in a single window. Very slick.

                            One more important thing, go to the "Menu" (upper right of the screen) make sure you select Roland as your default kit and choose "Curve 1" as your HH controller settings. These are a MUST for HH control. I've found that Curve 1 is the best for both a VH-11, VH-13 and FD-7/CY-5. I don't know why this isn't the default in EZD2, but it is the best in my hands, almost as good as a VH13 on a TD-30 depending on the kit you use. Really.

                            Have fun! Since moving to this set-up from my TD-30, I can't go a day without sitting at my kit.

                            Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 7.35.25 AM.png Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 7.44.07 AM.pngScreen Shot 2015-01-09 at 7.44.24 AM.png
                            Pearl Mimic Pro, eDRUMin 10, ATV aDrums, DIY Conversion kit, Roland Handsonic HPD-20, EFNOTE 5 Module (for hi hats), SD3, Porter & Davies Throne

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                            • #15
                              Thanks jpsquared. However my question was about the kit on the module. When you hit a pad is the TD11 smart enough to mute the module sound and only play the VST sound? Or do you turn all the pad volumes down to 0 on a particular kit. Thanks.
                              TD-25KV, Yamaha DXR15, MG10. Senn 280HD.

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