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Just demo'd the DTXtreme

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  • Just demo'd the DTXtreme

    About 20 minutes ago I put the sticks down after a 10-to-15-minute session on the DTXtreme.

    I walk into the Arlington Hts., IL, Guitar Center and a salesman is just finishing up setting up the kit. He's putting those little security attachments on. First: The kit looks gorgeous. They have it adjacent to their Roland kits and the contrast is incredible. Rolands look more like toys next to this thing. The kit had the 4 snare/tom pads, the upright kick trigger, a circular (PD-7-like) hi-hat trigger pad, and two of the rubber wedge-cymbal triggers, plus the hi-hat controller and a generic bass drum pedal.

    Salesman gets me a pair of sticks and brushes, and I go to town:

    Impressions:

    1) They are poor imitators of acoustic drums in comparison to the Rolands. I was brought back to the days of my TD-7, with the machine-gun samples very evident on the toms. Absolutely no progress here. If you demo the kit yourself try the Orchestral kit; the toms are all timpani sounds. Do some rolls on those and you'll see what I mean -- there is a distinct and ugly clipping as the samples come and go. The same general impression was elicited from the snare, but if you hone your technique you can carry off a press roll adequately. Still, the Rolands are superior.

    2) The drum samples are fairly banal, in my opinion. This is the acoustic-kit sounds, I mean. I scrolled through every kit, playing some more than others, but the acoustic-kit stuff left me a little empty. The kits tend to have little variety between them. Though some complain about the Roland drum sounds, I think Roland's sounds have character, even if they do not exactly imitate acoustic drums I find that they have a particular identity, and I like that. Yamaha's are a little boring.

    3) Cymbal sounds are good, certainly better than the tom sounds, and fairly comparable to Roland on an interface level. Again, they lack character, I thought, with few distinct voices. I did not try swells or rolls on the cymbals, sorry, I should have.

    4) Thought the hi-hat pedal and pad did not track evenly on some kits. Also, on many kits, the sounds of the pedal were significantly different from the pad sounds, as if two different sets of high hats are being used. This could be one of those demo-kit-salesman-setup things. Since it was just set up it might need some tweaking.

    5) The crash wedge had a neat choking effect: if you hit the pad and press the stick against the 'rim', it chokes the sound, allowing for a one-handed choke technique. Very nice, though the choking sounds a bit clipped -- Rolands do also, however.

    6) Excellent ethnic percussion sounds. This may not mean a whole lot to y'all, but I'm a big world music fan and I was very impressed. A lot of neat, non-cheesy ethnic stuff metal sounds, hand-drum sounds.

    7) Modern electronic sounds, though no 808/909-quality stuff. Some electronic effects were neat. These kits had a lot of sequences and layering assigned to the pads so it was difficult to distinguish between those and the samples. Many of the kits were named VFX-1, VFX-2 or whatever which I think refers to Tony Verderosa, so I suppose if your a fan of his you'll dig some of these kits.

    8) ALL RIMS ARE SEPARATELY TRIGGERABLE! This means all toms. All the kits I tried, however, had only one sound from the snare rim -- no crosstick/rimshot X-fade as in the TD-10 exp.

    9) Found the pads to be quite noisy. Probably an issue with many of you, as with me. I didn't like the feel, but I am a fan of mesh pads so my opinion is biased. The salesman said that you can remove the backs of the pads and insert some kind of foam which would reduce noise. It felt like there was some baffling material in there already -- certainly it wasn't open under the head. I'm not sure how well-versed he was about that.

    10) The two factory brush kits had no snare drum 'sweep/swish' ability. On kit the brush-snare sound was a long swish; I think the idea is that this sound keeps repeating as you swish around the drumhead and repeatedly trigger it. Unconvincing. The other brush kit merely had a brush slap when you hit, no sweep effects.

    11) I don't recall there being any hot spot problems.

    Some things to keep in mind:

    I only had a limited time to play, and there are a lot of factory kits. There were 90, I think, so I couldn't explore any one kit with ample thoroughness. Also, I did no tweaking, I only scrolled from kit to kit and played. Listened via headphones; didn't pay attention to the model so I can't be sure how good they were. Again, I sat down as the salesman finished setting up, so this was a cold, fresh out-of-the-box, non-tweaked kit (IMHO Rolands are impressive straight from the box). My musical tastes may vary from yours -- I'm strictly a basement-bangin' hobbyist with tastes a little out of the mainstream. I'm not looking for a piece of equipment to help me earn a living, those of you pro's will probably be looking for other factors.

    DJourg


    [This message has been edited by DJourg (edited February 05, 2001).]

  • #2
    NICE review!

    Erik

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    • #3
      I agree, very well done. I have yet to hear one person say he liked the kit. I was kind of wishing for a module that would lure me away from thoughts of getting a really good samper and I guess, though I have yet to acyually hear the Xtreme module, that I'm probably going with the sampler after all. I like the DTX module but it still isn't as good as my Drumkat for comprehensive midi triggering. Looks as though you were right after all Eric.
      Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks !!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks guys.

          Erik, I looked up your post regarding NAMM, and you stated that the Yamaha folks didn't have a demo kit to play (though feefer got to one), and I can see why. The limitations were immediately apparent. It's almost a reversal of the V-drums; the V-drums sell themselves, and I can see where the Yamahas are going to 'unsell' themselves, esp. if the two are side-by-side.

          [This message has been edited by DJourg (edited February 04, 2001).]

          [This message has been edited by DJourg (edited February 05, 2001).]

          Comment


          • #6
            Hello DJourg...

            Yamaha had two DTXtreme kits in their showroom at NAMM. Both were roped off, and were seemingly not open for people to test (feefer - did you have to ask permission to play??). Roland on the other hand had atleast 5 or 6 kits open to anyone. I had to ask a Yamaha associate to play the kit. He agreed and gave me a few short minutes, and I basically had the same feeling about the kit that you did.

            Erik

            Comment


            • #7
              I realize that you mentioned some variables that I always try to take into consideration. First, the headset, I am hoping that they were a piece of junk; because I can't bare the thought of waiting this long for a new module that "stinks".
              Second, I am hoping that the sound layering and more importantly the DOWNLOADING OF SOUNDS may be the savior of this module.

              I just can't come to grips with the thought that Yamaha would even think about putting out a module that at least would give Roland the incentive to come out with a newer module to compete with them.

              As far as factory setting maybe being the problem with the other factors, I would remind everyone that the TDW-1 had some adjustments that had to be made to keep the snare from playing the "side stick" sound when hitting the mesh head.

              I am still holding out hope for Yamaha. But please God, if Yamaha can't cut it, please make Ddrum come out the a module with at least 16 inputs.

              Comment


              • #8
                I must admit that I'm more interested in the midi capabilities of this new Yamaha module, you can always tweek the sounds. I do that wth every module/sampler I own. I've heard similar complaints regarding te DTX V 2.0, but to tell you the truth, I still think it sounds great, don't forget these machines have 3 band sweepable eq that is the most useful tool for changing the character of the sound compleletly. Also, it wouldn't behove Yamaha to come out with a Vdrum copy, what would the point be ? This new machine is custom made for midi monsters like myself. I'll have to listen to it myself to make a final decision. We do know it's not for everyone, but I've always taken the road less traveled as far as edrums are concerned. By the way, I don't want mere copies of acoustic drums, real drums, are simply much better at being real drums than electronic drums are or could ever be {at this point in time}, so that's not even an issue for me. Anyway, until I hear them for myself, I'm just speculating.

                [This message has been edited by jrcel (edited February 05, 2001).]
                Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nathunder:
                  I am still holding out hope for Yamaha. But please God, if Yamaha can't cut it, please make Ddrum come out the a module with at least 16 inputs.
                  If ddrum had a module with 16 inputs I'd probably trade in my set-up .

                  ------------------
                  ~REDMAN~
                  ~REDMAN~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jrcel:
                    I don't want mere copies of acoustic drums, real drums, are simply much better at being real drums than electronic drums are or could ever be
                    Well said. I agree. The DTXtreme module may find a market in acoustic drummers who want to add electronic or ethnic effects to their existing kits. In fact the Yamaha beats the Rolands in many way in the electronic/ethnic/effects department -- I don't recall hearing any 'boings' or 'oh yeahs'** -- and in addition to the layering and ability to add samples, this module would be especially attractive to those electronic percussionists with no interest in imitating an acoustic kit.

                    I was turned off for the most part by the 'acoustic imitation' deficiencies, but a day after my demo I find myself wanting to more thoroughly explore the non-acoustic-kit sounds of this module.

                    **RE: 'Boings',etc. I still get upset by this crap. I have a 'boing' but no djembe? I know this is an old, old complaint but it still gets in my craw. What is the motiviation for this? Like: Hey, guys, we can start that Dr. Demento/Spike Jones cover band now!! OHHHH YEAH!



                    [This message has been edited by DJourg (edited February 05, 2001).]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, almost forgot:

                      Feefer, I know you use the Yamaha cymbal wedges. Have these always had the stick-pressure choke function? I like really like this feature.

                      DJourg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The stereo ones, yes, also, you can hold the rim and trigger a third sample. 16 stereo inputs, the Kurzweil Event Station has it. www.dauz.com

                        [This message has been edited by jrcel (edited February 05, 2001).]
                        Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jrcel:
                          ...also, you can hold the rim and trigger a third sample.
                          Really? Now I definitely have to try one of these. But where is the third sample assigned in the module? In the TD-10 you can only assign two sounds (head/rim) per trigger.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's according to Yamaha propaganda, www.yamaha.com I just looked for it and now I can't find it, it's in the little manual thingy they give you with it. Or I've lost my mind. I just saw the discount price for the V studio kit, $4995, are they kidding with this. It's the same thing with some new rubber cymbals and the upgrade, HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The $3600 Ymaha wants for the Xtreme isn't all that bad now.

                            PCY80S Cymbal PadsThe quiet rubber cymbal pad ensures consistent tracking and realistic feel. Dual zone pads can trigger three independent sounds, or two sounds that can be choked.
                            here it is.
                            [This message has been edited by jrcel (edited February 05, 2001).]

                            [This message has been edited by jrcel (edited February 05, 2001).]
                            Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              jrcel,
                              You can get a DTXtreme for $2999.00 from Midwest Percussion. It has 1 less cymbal pad than the V Pro but comes with a snare stand and upright kick.

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