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Current TDW-20 Owner, Just learned about TD-30 & 2BOX

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  • Current TDW-20 Owner, Just learned about TD-30 & 2BOX

    These inquiries are for the modules only. I've searched the forums but haven't found as many head to head comparisons on the TDW20 vs TD30. For those that upgraded from 20 to the 30, how would you describe the improvements (if any)? For recording do you find they fit in the context of a mix better, if so by how much? I will say that upgrading from the stock TD-20 to the TDW-20 card was a HUGE improvement. I'm just hoping the difference between the TDW20 & TD30 is a huge improvement as, but I haven't seen evidence of that, so please let me know your experience.
    Also, can I use my TD-20 to record the triggers and then kind of re-amp each signal later while mixing? I do this when recording guitars, record the dry signal, then send that dry signal to my amp so I'm not just stuck with one amp tone and can experiment until I get what works best. I would love to have the ability to do this with my TD20 - So I would record each drum via the trigger as I play, but have the ability to manipulate each of those triggers that were recorded later by going into the TD20 module and choosing which drum gets assigned to which trigger.
    Can this be achieved with the TD20? TD30? 2Box? If so, can you please guide me to step by step instructions achieve this? I'm using Pro Tools 11HD Native on PC.
    Any opinions on the sounds in the 2BOX versus the TD20/30 sounds, in context to being placed in a mix with guitars, synths, real drums, and other real instruments?

    That's a lot, so THANKS so much if you can offer any opinions based on your experiences with these modules.

  • #2

    To answer your questions in detail would take quite a lot of time. Therefore, I'll give summarized answers for your two key questions.

    A bit of background about me. I'm a TD-30KV owner and am also quite familiar with the 2Box (module and kit) and Yamaha's (current) flagship offering, the DTX950K. After auditioning all three, I almost bought a 2Box DrumIt Five. However, I went with Roland because their equipment is much easier to obtain where I live; Roland offers direct, local support in my city; and the TD-30KV was by far the most playable of the three offerings. My priority wasn't acoustic believability in a mix, given your needs, but I'll frame my answers from that perspective.

    TD-30 compared to TD-20X? The TD-30 is a small improvement, but the sounds are still quite synthetic and many instruments (snare drums, toms, and bass drums) still machine gun. Therefore, attempting to put a TD-30 in a mix and have it sound like real drums is problematic. If having the e-drums sound real in a mix is your goal, you're much better off going with the 2Box module as its sounds don't machine gun and are equivalent in quality to VSTi libraries. With a bit of work you can fool someone with the 2Box, but not with the TD-30. Well, okay... maybe with a LOT of work you could fool them with the TD-30 too, but the 2Box is a much easier path.

    Recording drum triggers and changing the actual drum sounds after the fact? Any module that provides MIDI in and MIDI out, and that allows its drums sounds to be triggered through MIDI will allow this. Record the MIDI data of the drum performance using a sequencer on your computer (REAPER, for example). Then, feed the MIDI data back from the computer sequencer to the drum module. Change the kits and drum sounds on the module as desired. The TD-30 and 2Box modules both allow this.

    Which module sounds better? In terms of sounding like acoustic drums, when set up correctly, the 2Box is quite convincing. The TD-30 sounds synthetic and drum machine like, especially because of its machine gunning. . Short answer: if you're looking for acoustic drum sounds, the 2Box module blows the TD-30 out of the water. The default 2Box sounds are quite usable in a mix. If you're willing to take the time, you can convert just about any VSTi drum library for use with the 2Box so the world of highly multi-sampled acoustic drum sounds is at your finger tips with the 2Box module. For larger VSTi libraries, you'll need to upgrade the 2Box module's internal SD card, increasing its capacity and placing the port on the outside of the module. This is an easy and inexpensive mod, and it's well documented here and by 2Box module owners on other sites.

    Important: Once more, I'll underline that your questions revolve around placing convincing acoustic drum sounds in a mix. Due to this, I favoured the 2Box module because that is its strength. However, if you asked which electronic kit plays more responsively and feels more like playing acoustic drums, I'd pick the TD-30KV over the 2Box DrumIt Five. In terms of playability and easy adjustability, the Roland kit wins by a large margin. But, in terms of producing acoustic sounding drum sounds, the 2Box kit (or module) wins by a large margin.

    Here's another option worth considering. You already have (effectively) a TD-20X module. Use the TD-20X to trigger VSTi libraries on your computer. This gives you the best acoustic sounding drum sounds and the most flexibility of any of the options we're taking about. If you don't have drum and cymbal pads, you'll need to buy those, but you need to get those anyway if you want to record actual drum performances.
    Last edited by TangTheHump; 01-07-15, 08:11 PM.