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  • Whats next in VST E-Drumming?

    Playing the Death and Darkness SDX and listening to reviews and samples of Decades SDX made me think. Those SDXs have about 3 Million Microfones in 18 Billion channels and sound amazing. They don`t even remotely compare to the first EZXs or even SDXs that Toontrack released. And I can`t play my beloved Addictive Drums now anymore, as I am totally spoiled by SD3.

    So that got my thinking of what more do we want. And my first guess was... well... nothing.

    But then, going a little deeper, I found that, everything goes that way: Let`s say Smartphones. When the first iPhones and Android Phones appeared, the phone you bought a year later was a lot faster, nicer and cheaper than your 12 month old phone. Than, 4-5 years later, well, that phone after 12 months was still ok but the new one still had it`s perks. Now, they are just making minor improvements and there is no need to swap out at decent smartphone after 1-2 years. But still, the phones do get better.

    I think with E-Drumming/VSTs we reached the same point. There will be a next Metal SDX from Toontrack and it will be, in some respects, better than Death&Darkness. But Toontrack will not be able to do that alone: The Manufacturers of E-Drums will have to innovate.

    The Digital Ride/Snare with the TD50 and TD27 was the first real revolution in many years, and if you make all the Drums and Cymbals Digital and use MIDI 2.0 possibilites there will be even more expressivness and different articulations than now.

    Getting to the point: What do you think is the next step? What do you desperately want to be available to you in E-Drumming with VSTs?



    A2E: PDP M5 Cherry Red, Drumtec Design Mesh Heads,Jobeky/ 2Box/Roland /ddt Triggersamaha Cymbals:PCY135, PCY155 Roland FD-9. TD17 and Audiofron eDrumIn Module. Triggering AD2, SD3 and SSD5.

  • #2
    I would really like to have more dynamics and no hotspots, which is related to better drum hardware. Right now I have to sacrifice the potential of Superior 3.0 and Decades with my drum hardware.

    I hope/it seems the new Roland hardware addresses this by omitting the center trigger.

    Have to try Roland Td 50 / Td 27 digital snare and ride in this regard.

    Decades of superior 3.0 is the biggest step playing wise in the development of e-drums in the last years, although I cut velocities on every kit piece to get better and more playable results to tame hotspots.

    I would like to get updated sample packs that offer the playability of decades, especially platinum samples Evil Drums, Henry Hirsch and Peter Erskine which are not inferior sounding to decades would benefit.

    Another important aspect are headphones, closed Fostex th 610 are quite good, Focal Clear Professional a bit better sounding (better midrange and tighter bass) but not closed and therefore not recommended for e-drumming. They are getting closer to bigger and good studio speakers/monitors like Geithain, Neumann and Adam.

    Latency is sufficient (just below 6ms, whole drumming chain, Roland Td 30 and Rme Aio using headphones and old midi cable) since the introduction of the Rme PCI/PC express card Aio/9632 over 12 years ago.

    So it is up to the drum hardware manufacturers to make better feeling/playing hardware surfaces and more dynamics available.

    Due to e-drums and (speaker) modeling (Kemper, Helix, Uad Amps, Celestion irs and Suhr reactive load) it is now possible to make sessions, albums at home with stunning results, which is the biggest bargain.
    Making music at home with other people.
    Last edited by Ribot; 02-11-20, 10:28 AM.
    Desktop PC I5 Asus, Asus P8Z77, RME AIO, RME ADI2pro, RME Digiface USB, Mac Air 2014, Zoom Tac2r, Apollo Twin MKI Solo TD30, Vh13, Drum Tec pro pads, BFD3, Henry Hirsch, Peter Erskine, Evil Drums, Superior 3.0, Decades, Cubase 10, Reaper, Ludwig 67 Kit all sizes from 22“, Ludwig Cob, 4*14, Slingerland 50s, Paiste Modern Ess, Zildjian Constantinople

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    • #3
      I'm a drummer not a sound engineer, so although I have both SD3 and EZDrummer I tend to use EZDrummer for everything.
      A billion options is fine, but I personally prefer fewer options, less confusing.
      I'm the same with other things in my studio. I would rather have a simple DAW with just what I need, rather than a complex DAW with every option anyone can think of. I prefer using my old analog synths over modern synths. There's just pages and pages of features I don't want or need in many modern synths. It gets in the way of making music.
      Last edited by Whitten; 02-10-20, 04:06 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Whitten View Post
        I'm a drummer not a sound engineer, so although I have both SD3 and EZDrummer I tend to use EZDrummer for everything.
        A billion options is fine, but I personally prefer fewer options, less confusing.
        I'm the same with other things in my studio. I would rather have a simple DAW with just what I need, rather than a complex DAW with every option anyone can think of. I prefer using my old analog synths over modern synths. There's just pages and pages of features I don't want or need in many modern synths. It gets in the way of making music.
        Same for me, but the sounds of SD3 are so damn good. I mainly use the presets, tweak them very little.
        A2E: PDP M5 Cherry Red, Drumtec Design Mesh Heads,Jobeky/ 2Box/Roland /ddt Triggersamaha Cymbals:PCY135, PCY155 Roland FD-9. TD17 and Audiofron eDrumIn Module. Triggering AD2, SD3 and SSD5.

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        • #5
          being able to put all 'favorite' cymbals, hh's, snares, rides, toms, kicks etc in personal 'instrument' folders (separate from sdx/ ezx)
          then being able to 'park' all never used sounds and articulations to a separate drive.. and everything you want to a 'play' ssd drive..
          why would you want 80 + 80 + 40 + 60 gB of sounds you never use.. ..well, it's just an idea..: )

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ribot View Post
            I would really like to have more dynamics and no hotspots, which is related to better drum hardware. Right now I have to sacrifice the potential of Superior 3.0 and Decades with my drum hardware.

            I hope/it seems the new Roland hardware addresses this by omitting the center trigger.
            The only perfect solution I have seen online was with FSR triggering. No hotspot. Zone triggering. Really good dynamics.
            Alternate Mode tried it, but it was poorly executed and never took off.
            If someone out there is willing to give it a shot, I believe it could be next level triggering.

            To this day, the best dynamics I have seen is with the eDRUMin device.
            That little device has loads of dynamics, and a working solution for hotspots.
            To my defence, I have never played a digital snare from Roland, nor played with a Mimic or ATV setup, so they might have addressed those issues in their own way,
            but for old school, legacy triggering with a center piezo, that little unit takes the cake.
            DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH Kit Pix

            My new venture: voglosounds.com

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            • #7
              The future - A Roland and Toontrack collaborative drum module. Digital pads combined with the freedom to load anyToontrack EZX/SDX to the module's on-board 2TB SSD. Ok, probably not, but one can dream.

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              • #8
                Yeah that would be perfection in my mind too. On board Toontrack sampling, a mix of EZ and SD interfaces to make it both easy and detailed, and Roland’s trigger management with digital pads and cymbals all around... Maybe 10 years from now HW commoditization will make it a reality. Until then - we can only hope.

                As for purely VST improvement only? I do wish SD3 allowed for an easy multi-layer sample import. One shots are fine, but I really like some of the samples from GetGood and wish there were an easy way to pull them into SD3 for trigger management. You can export them with SDSE, but import into anything other than 2Box or an Alesis Strike is painful.
                Roland TD-50 Modules | Superior Drummer 3 | Tama A2E w/ R-Drums Triggers | ATV & Roland Cymbals | ACD Unlimited Pedals | Tama & Gibraltar HW | RME HDSPe AIO Interface | Mackie ProFX10v3 Mixer | Simmons DA200S Monitor | V-MODA Crossfade M-100 OEMs & Westone UM Pro 50 IEMs

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                • #9
                  127 states between tight and fully open hi-hat?

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                  • #10
                    This seems much, but you cannot control the dynamics as good/ as with a real drum/hihat, so certain hits get too loud/poke out, which ruins dynamic playing in a way, also you get "intimidated" to try this style of drummung.
                    Far less control, when you see drummers like Brian Blade and Carter Mc lean, this is were e-drums fail big time, try a crescendo, buzz rolls...play this soft......
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA6hVKB63Bc
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRa4-mO3BuI
                    BTW extremely good taste....Phoebe Bridgers!
                    It is also how good/reliable you can control dynamics.
                    Certain extreme metal/Hardcore (quite into Pig Destroyer/ All pigs must die and Nails can be executed quite well with e-drums
                    Last edited by Ribot; 02-11-20, 10:13 AM.
                    Desktop PC I5 Asus, Asus P8Z77, RME AIO, RME ADI2pro, RME Digiface USB, Mac Air 2014, Zoom Tac2r, Apollo Twin MKI Solo TD30, Vh13, Drum Tec pro pads, BFD3, Henry Hirsch, Peter Erskine, Evil Drums, Superior 3.0, Decades, Cubase 10, Reaper, Ludwig 67 Kit all sizes from 22“, Ludwig Cob, 4*14, Slingerland 50s, Paiste Modern Ess, Zildjian Constantinople

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by perceval View Post

                      The only perfect solution I have seen online was with FSR triggering. No hotspot. Zone triggering. Really good dynamics.
                      Alternate Mode tried it, but it was poorly executed and never took off.
                      If someone out there is willing to give it a shot, I believe it could be next level triggering.

                      To this day, the best dynamics I have seen is with the eDRUMin device.
                      That little device has loads of dynamics, and a working solution for hotspots.
                      To my defence, I have never played a digital snare from Roland, nor played with a Mimic or ATV setup, so they might have addressed those issues in their own way,
                      but for old school, legacy triggering with a center piezo, that little unit takes the cake.
                      Have not tried it, want to make sure that I use Superior the best way, still adjusting, trying, as mentioned I cut upper velocities and adjust/tame volume slider on certain articulations (mostly center snare) to tame the hot spot, the velocity tab in Superior works better than the velocity adjustment in BFD3, but also each sample pack is different and needs certain treatment, Decades is the best in this regard, quite cool out of the box. But even there I use a different (steeper velocity curve) with the black beauty than with the slingerland snare....

                      In 2-3 month I will try TD50/TD27 with decades and bfd.....

                      Better more realistic rebound on cymbals/hi-hat would also be nice, without getting louder (acoustically).

                      The ATV seems to have a wider dynamic range (videos and test impressions), have not tried it in person, have to visit drum tec.....

                      Do not need a modul with samples, it is all inside my computer at home, no mobile rig required, only advantage probably around 2-3ms less latency (using only a modul with samples in it) which is not that important. Playing live I would prefer acoustic drums....
                      Last edited by Ribot; 02-11-20, 10:33 AM.
                      Desktop PC I5 Asus, Asus P8Z77, RME AIO, RME ADI2pro, RME Digiface USB, Mac Air 2014, Zoom Tac2r, Apollo Twin MKI Solo TD30, Vh13, Drum Tec pro pads, BFD3, Henry Hirsch, Peter Erskine, Evil Drums, Superior 3.0, Decades, Cubase 10, Reaper, Ludwig 67 Kit all sizes from 22“, Ludwig Cob, 4*14, Slingerland 50s, Paiste Modern Ess, Zildjian Constantinople

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ribot View Post
                        Do not need a modul with samples, it is all inside my computer at home, no mobile rig required, only advantage probably around 2-3ms less latency (using only a modul with samples in it) which is not that important.
                        I honestly don't think anything will trigger hi hats as well as a native module. That was my biggest dilemma between the Pearl Mimic and Roland/VST. I have no doubt the Mimic triggers better on the hats, but one looses the benefits of the digital snare which is best in class. The ATV ride is apparently really good but all reviews I have read give the final nod to the Roland 18" digital. In the end, it was being stuck with one sample library that led me over to Roland w/ Superior. This was prior to me actually playing the digital snare. Now that I have actually played it, I think I made the right decision. Being able to have Roland digital triggers with onboard VST libraries would be a game over scenario for Roland's competition.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by holzi2000 View Post
                          What do you desperately want to be available to you in E-Drumming with VSTs?


                          There is a thing: the Toontrack hihat engine "issue". Their engine lacks the option of not triggering closer stages by foot movement after open strokes. And this sometimes causes annoying artefacts when the variable hihat is set up to many open-closed-stages (ok, you might say: reduce the stages - but sometimes I want them!) :

                          When I close an open stroke by a relatively slow foot movement I notice that the closer articulations are triggered by the increasing CC values over the course of the closing-process. This hihat behaviour causes jittery artefacts! Noticeable more or less: depends on the hihat model and the sound-settings and of course on the foot movements. And according to which samples of the round-robin engine take effect: noticable on my audio file with 2 sequences of events triggered by the same midi data: the events at position X do not sound the same regading the jittery or shaky amount.

                          Almost all other drum sampler manufacturers (except StevenSlateDrums that has got the same "feature"/"issue") offer a variable hihat engine that won't trigger closer stages only by increasing CC values.

                          Ok, on the one hand the Toontrack hihat engine is really the attempt to make the variable hihat behave like its natural example (the hihat of BFD, AD,... is not authentical in this aspect but I often prefer this way for e-drumming because it does not sound jittery and shaky after all). But on the other hand this can cause problems and I think the other drum sampler manufacturers decided not to go this way: e.g. the engines of BFD, Addictive Drums, most Kontakt driven drumsamplers, Ableton Drum Packs (...and so on) do not work like the TT engine regarding this aspect.
                          So I wonder why Toontrack doesn't offer a second option: a hihat engine preventing that after an open stroke closer stages are triggered by foot movement. I really appreciate the TT hihat in its current state (as it is most authentical despite these “artefacts”) but I wonder if they (TT) can realize that software drummers should have a choice to also get the CC hihat the way I’m after. So I contacted TT and told them to listen to my sound file if they still ask why.

                          Toontrack answered that it can be achieved by the CC-Zones implemented in SD3. But with only 3 CC-Zones available this is a joke for a variable hihat featuring 8 open-closed-stages. And I claimed this. They answered that this limit may be increased in some future update: "We have a plan to make a substatial update to the MIDI In/E-drums settings tab but it will not be part of the upcomming SD3.1.3 update that will be released soon (Hopefully). So, unfortunately, it will be some time until you will see any improvements for the CC-zone feature." ...This was quite some time ago (before the v3.1.3 release) and now we have v3.1.6 and of course nothing happend. And I can imagine that software-drummers hihat needs are at the very bottom of their agenda...

                          Meanwhile I’ve met several people on internet forums who notice “strange sounds” when slowly closing the SuperiorDrummer hihat. What about you on this forum? Don't you notice the issue and the fact that BFD-, Addictive Drums-...(even Roland module sound hihat engine!) hihat behaves different? Do you also want a SD3 hihat engine choice because the current one sometimes annoys you regarding this aspect?

                          BTW, are you (and I wonder if the TT developers are...) aware of the fact that the CC-hihat in Ableton DrumRack/Sampler (“Session Drums”-packs “Club”, “Multimic”, “Studio”) works with nice crossfades (with adjustable value ranges – these CC value ranges trigger the crossfades) between the open-closed-stages? Next to the fact that CC alone does not trigger samples from different open closed stages (my requested SD3 feature) this is in a way reducing any stuttering artefacts and supports making the transitions nicely smooth (when the crossfade ranges are quite big). Regarding this feature the Ableton hihat engine is superior to SuperiorDrummer IMO…


                          sound file (2 sequences from the first NewYorkAvatar-Hihat, Overhead-Channel Solo) + midi file (the midi data triggering both sequences)










                          Last edited by Nick74; 02-20-20, 07:21 AM.

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                          • #14
                            I have certainly the most problems with hi-hats (you can tell apart e-drum playing from real a real kit by scrutinizing the hi-hat part), but this is also related to that I do not play especially good drums, complicated figures, still learning.....quite ambitious, I am a guitar and bass player. Biggest step was acquiring a real kit two years ago), improving my e-drum skills.

                            I have read your opinions, also concerning preferring not moving hi hat parts, have not checked this, if this improves my playing/e-drumming.

                            There are a lot of aspects of drumming, I have to focus on my playing.

                            Yes, I have noticed that the sounds cut out if I move my foot (which was hovering) with superior, have to keep it more stable ;-) not sure if BFD is better in this regard, the transition between articulations is certainly worse....

                            Will check it...do not know the ableton kit or addictive drums.....

                            Have you tried Decades and BFD Henry Hirsch in this regard, my favorite hi-hats, using VH13.
                            Last edited by Ribot; 02-20-20, 05:02 PM.
                            Desktop PC I5 Asus, Asus P8Z77, RME AIO, RME ADI2pro, RME Digiface USB, Mac Air 2014, Zoom Tac2r, Apollo Twin MKI Solo TD30, Vh13, Drum Tec pro pads, BFD3, Henry Hirsch, Peter Erskine, Evil Drums, Superior 3.0, Decades, Cubase 10, Reaper, Ludwig 67 Kit all sizes from 22“, Ludwig Cob, 4*14, Slingerland 50s, Paiste Modern Ess, Zildjian Constantinople

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by perceval View Post

                              The only perfect solution I have seen online was with FSR triggering. No hotspot. Zone triggering. Really good dynamics.
                              Alternate Mode tried it, but it was poorly executed and never took off.
                              If someone out there is willing to give it a shot, I believe it could be next level triggering.

                              To this day, the best dynamics I have seen is with the eDRUMin device.
                              That little device has loads of dynamics, and a working solution for hotspots.
                              To my defence, I have never played a digital snare from Roland, nor played with a Mimic or ATV setup, so they might have addressed those issues in their own way,
                              but for old school, legacy triggering with a center piezo, that little unit takes the cake.
                              I'm actually working on fsr right now. However it's going to take time because I need to learn coding :P It's looking quite promising right now. (If only the guy from eDrumin could help me code the thing :P) However it's still to early for that. Need a working prototype first.

                              What can be done is the drum sensing if you play with good technique and let the stick rebound or if you play "into" the drum and make it sound a bit more choked. I've seen the waveform and you can see the stick resting a few ms longer on the head. Also it knows when you put your hand on it to play a cross stick or play ghost notes with your fingers while cross sticking. You could get a muted sound if you press your finger while striking the head and get a pitch shift if you press harder. Position sensing is really easy too. All this would be done with aftertouch so no need to add latency to sense these things. You play all types of sounds for every trigger and just crossfade between them if it senses aftertouch.
                              Last edited by frankzappa; 02-20-20, 03:45 PM.

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