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TRAPKAT...before I take the plunge!

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  • TRAPKAT...before I take the plunge!

    I'm back on the Trapkat thing again. This time I think I'm going to do it. But, before I do let me bother you Trapkat users one last time.
    For the record, I play with a light touch and do mostly easy-listening (some latin, ballroom, swing, very little rock). I have two small Roland/Hart kits with a TD20 and TD12.

    Here are some specific questions:
    ~ How are the buzz rolls? No problem getting them smooth?
    ~ Do the pads respond evenly across the surface...no hot spots?
    ~ How do you handle rim shots?
    ~ Any issues with the Roland modules?

    Here's a loaded question:
    ~ Any regrets...something you didn't think about before your purchase?

    I welcome all comments.

    I have searched the site for Trapkat topics and got some good information. But, since this is a significant investment, I thought I'd try to go-around just one more time.


    Many Thanks,
    StephenJ
    StephenJ
    2-Trapkats / TD12

  • #2
    I don't have any first hand experience with the TrapKat but I know someone who has an older version and uses it with an Alesis module. He generally likes the portability of the unit. The only complaints I've heard is that it takes time to get used to if you're coming from a conventional drum set due to it's rather compact size. You obviously can't move the pads apart so you need to adapt to where they are set up, which may or may not be to your liking. The other complaint I've heard is that the sensors under the rubber pads will at some point need to be replaced. This requires that you send the unit back to Alternate Mode which I understand is not cheap. Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi StephenJ,

      I don't have any hands on experience with the TrapKat, but it does look like an excellent device on their website - very well thought out as far as the ergonomics go.

      As a comparison, you could get an SPD-20 AND an SPD-S for the same $s. I suspect the Roland devices would have better resale.

      It would be good if you could get your hands on one and have a play to see if you like it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hercules View Post
        As a comparison, you could get an SPD-20 AND an SPD-S for the same $s. I suspect the Roland devices would have better resale.
        Huh? An SPD-S costs less than a third of the TrapKat price, and an SPD-20 is less than half. But they only have 8 or 9 pads, not 24 like the TrapKat with up to 16 sounds on each. (Although the TrapKat doesn't actually include any sounds like the others.) Not much of a comparison in my opinion.

        Bruce

        Comment


        • #5
          So 24-(8+9)=7

          - and with nearly 1/3 of the $s left after buying both the SPD-S and SPD-20...
          - you could buy 4 x PD-8s with those leftover $s to plug into them to make it up to 25 triggers
          - and as you say, they SPD's do actually contain sounds
          - and SPD-20 has 2 layers and 99 patches
          - and the SPD-S has Bank A and Bank B plus the ability to sample......and is it 127 patches?

          I wasn't saying they're exactly the same or better - just talking about what you can get for your $s.

          It sounds like a pretty fair comparison to me.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have to admit I missed that you said "AND"!

            Bruce

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            • #7
              I actually have a TrapKAT and I use it with a TD-20.

              The pads are very responsive and I haven't had any problems with buzz rolls. Because they use FSR instead of piezo, there is also no problem with crosstalk.

              As for rim shots, notice that there are raised bumps in front the of 4 bottom pads. Those are triggers also. Assign the rim sounds and away you go.

              With the TD-20, I find it easiest to use my kick and hi-hat controller directly. I then use the TrapKat for everything else. I assign the two middle pads to snare, the two on the outside of those for hi-hat. Then everything else is just an ergonomic choice.

              My only regret is not waiting for the aluminum version to come out. It is half the weight of mine and they have done away with the gum rubber pads in favor of the softer material used on the MalletKAT.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Michael, is there any end to the gear that you have? WOW.
                Maybe you need a new user title..."Rebel without a budget"

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have agree with Colquhoun Michael - you seem to have deep pockets and a limitless supply of goodies to show us - and add that you are an evil man.

                  Bruce - very gracious of you - I should have realised.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This thread made me want to see one in action again so I hit up the ole YouTube and found a few neat vids. Don't want to get too off topic here, so what does a TrapKat cost? A drumKat?
                    Here's the vid's if you're interested:
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNK-y...eature=related
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG24z...eature=related
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWdog...eature=related
                    Roland Td-11KV, Alesis SamplePad, DW5000 pedal, Vater 7A sticks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Glad to see all of you jumping in...
                      Michael Render,
                      Your comments are extra helpful...just a few more if you don't mind:
                      ~ Is the gum rubber hard on the hands? I'm a fairly light player.
                      ~ I can use my Roland KD7 kick and Roland FD7 HHat pedal if I plug it directly into my TD20? The HHat will have various levels of closed and open?
                      ~ Do you use the TD20 to change kits on the job?
                      ~ Can you make use of Vexpression kits? (TD20 COSM stuff)
                      ~ Are the sensors user replace-able? Have you had to have them replaced?
                      ~ Is the weight of the older model that much of a problem to handle...is it cumbersome and hard to put on the stand?
                      ~ What kind of stand do you recommend (Pole or tripod)?

                      I hate to bother you with so many questions...just wish they were sold locally,
                      Many Thanks,
                      StephenJ
                      StephenJ
                      2-Trapkats / TD12

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ~ Is the gum rubber hard on the hands? I'm a fairly light player.
                        I don't find it hard on my hands. I find the PD-8 more jolting. And as a light player, I don't think it will be any problem.

                        ~ I can use my Roland KD7 kick and Roland FD7 HHat pedal if I plug it directly into my TD20? The HHat will have various levels of closed and open?
                        Yep and yep.

                        ~ Do you use the TD20 to change kits on the job?
                        Yes, I usually change kits for every song. I have set up a TD-20 patch on the TrapKat and leave it there all night.

                        ~ Can you make use of Vexpression kits? (TD20 COSM stuff)
                        Definitely. Plus you get an added bonus. The TD-20 won't let you use a rim and head sound at the same time, but using MIDI via the TrapKAT you can.

                        ~ Are the sensors user replace-able? Have you had to have them replaced?
                        Yes. No.

                        ~ Is the weight of the older model that much of a problem to handle...is it cumbersome and hard to put on the stand?
                        35 Lbs is a bit clunky, but not unmanageable.

                        ~ What kind of stand do you recommend (Pole or tripod)?
                        I hated the tripod. It is huge and heavy.
                        The bottom of the TrapKAT has screw holes to attach 2 mounting plates. I have done this with a rack, but didn't like it. The plates make it hard to transport. I ended up building my own gibratar rack with slanting arms. I added memory locks at the end of the arms to keep the TrapKAT from slipping.
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          StephenJ,

                          I have had about every electronic pad/brain configuration you can buy. I have finally come back to the Trapkat after realizing that I just won't mess with moving even a moderate sized electronic kit. I don't mind setting up a decent sized acoustic kit, but I've had it with messing with cables and worrying about crosstalk with regular electronic drums. The Trapkat is a phenomenal instrument. The dynamic range and sensitivity are excellent, and the thicker rubber feels great. It is a different beast though. I assume you've checked out the videos and thought about the fact that you just don't play it like a traditional set. For me, the transition was no big deal. I go back and forth between my Trapkat and my acoustic kit without much thought. However, your response may be very different. I set the lower middle two large pads to be used as a single snare, and the rim pads behind them to rim shot and cross-stick. That gives me a nice surface area for snare work and a dedicated trigger surface for cross-stick and rimshot. Like Michael, I use the two pads outside the snare for hi-hat bow and the rims behind them for hi-hat shank. This works extremely well for me. The beauty is that you can put those voices anywhere you like. The real beauty is that I can take it with me in my RV. Try that with anything else. Since it has FSR triggers, there are absolutely no hot spots (thankfully) and no crosstalk (wonderful). Buzz rolls are no problem, but that is more an issue with your sound source and not your trigger source. Trust me, if you are not put off by the form factor, it is one of the best trigger solutions out there. If you see the form factor as an advantage and not a compromise (as I do finally), then it will open your mind and playing up to a whole world of possibilities.

                          I have a Trapkat and A-frame stand that is in excellent condition that I bought from somebody about two months ago. I enjoyed them so much that I put in one of the first orders for the new Trapkat XL. That is now sitting in a box next to me, so I am selling the Trapkat 3.1 and A stand. PM me if you want to talk about it. I'll probably list them on E-bay in a couple of days, but I'd really rather not mess with it. I have also tried numerous hi-hat and bass drum pedal options with it, and I would be happy to give you my thoughts there as well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just FYI, the Trapkat upgrade path is infinite as long as Mario is around. The sensors, rubber and ROM chip are all user upgradeable.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Michael Render & Jovato,
                              Great responses guys!!...just the stuff I was looking for.

                              I'm on the fence right know between the new and old model. Sure I'd like to have the lighter weight XL but it maybe at the expense of smooth buzz-rolls. This is an important issue for me. I play allot of swing and ballroom type stuff. I spoke to Mario, who is doing a show right now, and he said that the material for the new pads is not as bouncy as the gum-rubber surface so buzz-rolls on the XL are not quite as smooth. He's gonna do a follow-up to the crowds responses to the XL.

                              Jovat,
                              Since you own both models, you'd be a good one to answer this question. If you care to, compare the two (as far as buzz-rolls go) and let me know how it goes. If not, hey no biggy.

                              Thanks again to both of you for your time,
                              StephenJ
                              StephenJ
                              2-Trapkats / TD12

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