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melodic drumming and synth sounds

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  • melodic drumming and synth sounds

    I'm a big fan of layering synth sounds over my regular drum sounds by simply midi'ng my td20 to other modules and combining them on my mixer.

    I've done only a tiny bit of actually trying to reprogram the midi note numbers sent in order to tune to interesting combinations of notes. Usually I just leave the defaults alone so it's kind of atonal and random. Anyone do this melodic kind of thing? How do you tune your kits? I want to start improving this as each kit can have its own note mappings.

    Also, I currently midi to an EMU Proteus planet drum module. I'm interested in getting another small rack mounted module to have more layers. Preferably something inexpensive that was several year's ago's great synth. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!!!
    -Bill

  • #2
    When you say "several years ago great synth", I think of the Yamaha DX-7. It was the first consumer-friendly synthesizer, and there are a couple of decent librarian programs and literally thousands of patches for various synth sounds available for the intrepid googler. You can typically find one on eBay starting in the lower 200's.

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    • #3
      Big fan here too! I've been doing that kind of stuff for a long time and I will never again change note numbers on my drum module. I prefer tuning the sounds on the external midi module -- I use an Emu procussion and an old Simmons SDE. The reason why I'm not doing this is because when you record the kit in midi you are kinda stuck with the non-standard midi note assignment for your drum sound. When you want to replay that on another module or using a different kit, it might not trigger the right drum sounds.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TriggerThis View Post
        ...I will never again change note numbers on my drum module. I prefer tuning the sounds on the external midi module -- I use an Emu procussion and an old Simmons SDE.
        I don't record in midi much, and the interface on my emu is a lot harder to change note numbers on then the TD20. But that's a great suggestion.

        So what kind of tunings do you setup? Specific scales? Or just notes that are complimentary to the drum sounds?

        I had a drumkat in my rig for a while and one really cool trick I could do with it was to use a sustain pedal to sustain long notes on the sound module. Then I could solo over the sounds. I definately want to find a module with a sustain pedal input!

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        • #5
          MIDI to MC-303

          I MIDI one or both of my modules (TD-6 & TD-3) to an MC-303, then change the MIDI note numbers to the pitches I want. I at first just played with the stock MIDI note numbers but once I started doing it with both modules, I needed to change the note numbers on at least one of the modules to get more sounds.

          FYI - If you want to connect two MIDI Outs to one MIDI In you can use a MIDI Solutions Merger box. I also have the Thru box they offer - this does the opposite of the Merger box and lets me connect both the MC-303 and TD-3 to my TD-6, thus giving me 3 sounds with one hit.

          For one song at church I turn both drum modules down and use a hand bell sound from my MC-303.

          I especially like having some punchy bass synth sounds combined with my drums. I also have a Boss FS-5U next to my left bass pedal so I can use it as a hold pedal. I hit about 3 notes with the hold and then tweak the filter and resonance knobs on the MC-303.

          I've had my eye on some other rack mount sound modules to further expand what I'm doing but only if I can find them cheap on eBay.
          Frequent GAS Sufferer


          TD-9, RMP-12, RMP-5 & SonicCell on Gibraltar Quad Stands.

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          • #6
            One of the things I love do is to have a 4 bar sequence and split it up on 3 different pads. So for example, I would play the first bar on pad 1, the second and third bars on pad 2 and the 4th bar on pad 3. I can change the order as I play, omit one of the pads and/or replace it with another. I can do a lot of variations around the same 4 bar sequence.

            I use a midi merge box to get my spd-6 connected to the kit. Love the mc-303, but don't really like to fiddle with knobs while I play.

            Here's my midi/audio setup:

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wolfereeno View Post
              ... the interface on my emu is a lot harder to change note numbers on then the TD20 ...
              The Emu pro/cussion interface has 4 buttons and a knob and 250 parameters. Its a pain to program it, so much that when I first bought it 17 years ago (man I'm old) I made a software real-time editor for it (cant use it anymore, it was for the Atari computer). That program made many people happy, I remember getting mail (real mail, that was before the internet) from around the world about my program.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TriggerThis View Post
                One of the things I love do is to have a 4 bar sequence and split it up on 3 different pads. So for example, I would play the first bar on pad 1, the second and third bars on pad 2 and the 4th bar on pad 3. I can change the order as I play, omit one of the pads and/or replace it with another. I can do a lot of variations around the same 4 bar sequence.

                I use a midi merge box to get my spd-6 connected to the kit. Love the mc-303, but don't really like to fiddle with knobs while I play.

                Here's my midi/audio setup:

                Hey TriggerThis - nice diagram m8 - wondering about the Simmons pads - the pic is a bit hard to see them but they look like they're vertical - how's the playing action and what sounds do you trigger from them?

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                • #9
                  Nice kit Triggerthis! I love how you have the electronics and PC organized. What software synths do you use?

                  BTW I highly recommend the EMU planet drum module over the procussion. Should be able to find one cheap. And you can still find the expansion modules. I think there's one free slot in the thing.

                  I like the idea of stacking sounds and tuning the notes differently on the module. That would be cool and I will try that out.

                  The EMU has a Beats mode that puts loops on various keys. Its great on a keyboard when you can hold the key down, but I'm not sure how to use it via the pads given there's no damper pedal input. Any ideas?

                  One thing I've always wondered is that when I had a TD7, I could change the midi channel to something other than 10 and the module would play the melodic sounds without changing any of the kit settings so it was easy to go back and forth. I've messed around a bit with the TD20 midi channels but have never found the same feature. Any ideas for getting the td20 to play different banks of sounds without changing the actual kit settings?
                  Last edited by wolfereeno; 05-06-08, 08:18 PM.

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                  • #10
                    More photos here:

                    http://www.neurotica.org/drum/photos.htm

                    About the Simmons pads, the odd thing is that it might look hard to hit them but its really easy. In my old setup the simmons pads were also to my right, but behind me and not difficult to hit either. On my usual setup I have (from the top) Tiny gong, Big gong, Kettle drum and a very low tom on the bottom pad. I trigger sequence and samples on the Emu also.

                    I don't use software synth ... I like to flip the switch (all 4 of them) and play my kit. Not flip all the switch (all 6 of them) and then enter my password and then the wait for Bill Gates to let me play on my drum kit.

                    @wolfereeno

                    I looked at the Planet specs and its better than my pro-cussion (no active filters). But I'll invest in a TD-12 (or td-20) before buying another midi module.

                    You mean you dont want to change channels for every pad ? There is no global midi OUT channel on the td-20 (I think), it only has MIDI in setting.

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                    • #11
                      It's been a while since i started this thread.

                      Wondering if anyone else has gotten into tuning their pads to melodic notes and layering other synths on top of their drum sounds? It's a great effect and is a frigging blast to play.

                      I basically edit the note numbers to other notes but keep the TD20 sounds the same. So the TD plays a standard patch. But when midi'd to something else you get cool scales and can play chords and stuff.

                      You can tune each TD20 Kit to a different scale. I've tuned a few kits to fairly conventional chromatic scales but it would be nice to program more interesting ones.

                      Also I'm still looking for a cool midi module for the melodic sounds to add to the EMU module I have. Something like an Access Snow perhaps.

                      Interested in anyone experimenting with similar things.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wolfereeno View Post
                        It's been a while since i started this thread.

                        Wondering if anyone else has gotten into tuning their pads to melodic notes and layering other synths on top of their drum sounds? It's a great effect and is a frigging blast to play.

                        I basically edit the note numbers to other notes but keep the TD20 sounds the same. So the TD plays a standard patch. But when midi'd to something else you get cool scales and can play chords and stuff.

                        You can tune each TD20 Kit to a different scale. I've tuned a few kits to fairly conventional chromatic scales but it would be nice to program more interesting ones.

                        Also I'm still looking for a cool midi module for the melodic sounds to add to the EMU module I have. Something like an Access Snow perhaps.

                        Interested in anyone experimenting with similar things.
                        Since I originally posted I now have a JV-1010 1/2 rack synth that I was doing this with. I moved the JV-1010 to my portable setup (doing drum and synth sounds) and now have a SonicCell to replace it in my main rig (I still have the old MC-303 out there too). The only issue with the JV-1010 and the SonicCell is they are meant to be plugged into MIDI keyboards so there is no direct foot pedal input like I have on the MC-303. I use this to hold notes as I strike them and then turn and play with the frequency and resonance knobs to get some fun effects. I sometimes MIDI my TD-3 to one synth and the TD-6 to another to get different sounds (leads, bass, etc.).
                        Frequent GAS Sufferer


                        TD-9, RMP-12, RMP-5 & SonicCell on Gibraltar Quad Stands.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ah yes! - the sustain factor is so amazing once you have the capability of sounds that aren't plucked or hit!

                          I had a drumkat and it had sustain in two forms - holding the stick on a pad or using a sustain pedal. I really miss having the sustain pedal.

                          I'd use it to setup and then play over drones. I'd also trigger arpeggios on my Emu module.

                          Know anyway to get a sustain pedal function without having a midi keyboard? Most modules don't have their own pedal inputs.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wolfereeno View Post
                            Ah yes! - the sustain factor is so amazing once you have the capability of sounds that aren't plucked or hit!

                            I had a drumkat and it had sustain in two forms - holding the stick on a pad or using a sustain pedal. I really miss having the sustain pedal.

                            I'd use it to setup and then play over drones. I'd also trigger arpeggios on my Emu module.

                            Know anyway to get a sustain pedal function without having a midi keyboard? Most modules don't have their own pedal inputs.
                            Just answered the same question on another post. I think this may work.

                            http://www.midisolutions.com/prodfsw.htm

                            As it is fairly pricey, it may be cheaper to get a small MIDI keyboard controller to do the same (a 37 key one can be picked up second hand for much cheaper but not as compact a setup).
                            Frequent GAS Sufferer


                            TD-9, RMP-12, RMP-5 & SonicCell on Gibraltar Quad Stands.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks! I will look into that device it looks perfect. The event mapper they make looks cool too. I bet I could program a pad to turn sustain off and on.

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