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Roland modules, external triggers, MIDI keys -- How do I reduce gear but keep the functionality?

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  • Roland modules, external triggers, MIDI keys -- How do I reduce gear but keep the functionality?

    Background: I was an active drummer through the 80s and even had an early electronic kit (which was great for portability but I hated the drum sounds). I got back to drumming about 3 years ago, and a year ago made the leap to a TD-4 kit -- which I love.

    About 4 months ago, the lead guitarist in our band quit and we're amidst a reconfiguration to become a 3-piece. This has been an amazingly interesting effort, but it's left me with some new needs and lots of questions.

    Losing the lead guitar, I'm picking up responsibility for some new roles, including triggering some the playback of pre-recorded samples, some light keyboard parts, etc. I've got the following gear:I can do what I need with this set up, but I'm looking to try to simplify. I'd like your assistance in identifying:
    1. What's the simplest set up that could allow me to trigger external drum samples?
    2. Can I load external samples on the TD-4 or TD-6 modules? If so, how?
    3. Is there a sane way to make this setup work without the MacBook?
      • I figure I can trigger sounds from the modules or from external sources. The SamplePad can hold some, but it has no trigger in.
    4. Any recommendations on rack mounts (or alternatives) for the MacBook and/or MIDI keyboard?
    Any help is appreciated. Links to useful guides are appreciated. A read of the manuals for the modules was less than helpful.

    Thanks -

    ​Shane O.
    Last edited by shaneo; 11-01-13, 09:17 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum, shaneo!

    Unfortunately, you can't load samples into either the TD-4 or TD-6, only into the Samplepad.
    You could trigger VSTi's via either one of those by using them strictly as trigger-to-midi devices, but you'll need the macbook to do this.

    One solution for triggering loops, phrases and (VST-)samples without the macbook, would be to consider a 2box module.
    It would pretty much eliminate the need for the TD-4, TD-6, controlpad and samplepad at once. Just 2box module and some pads. If you trigger loops via keyboard, then the m-audio axiom too, of course.


    HTH


    "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

    http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

    Comment


    • #3
      Without the Macbook, you need a something that allows you to load external samples and trigger loops. You could do what you want with a Yamaha DTX 700 or, better still, a DTX900. You could also do this with a 2Box module, as mentioned previously. Unfortunately, the Yamaha modules don't play well with Roland pads and the 2Box works best with it's own hi-hat and cymbals. So, you would be looking at swapping out entire kits (nothing wrong with that, mind you). All three of these would be a noticeable upgrade from the kits you are now playing. However, if you are happy with what you are currently using, (the TD-4 is a very nice sounding extremely portable kit), then your best bet is to pony up for a Roland SPD-SX. It was designed to do exactly what you want to do, and do it extremely well.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have two questions for you:

        1) When you are triggering external sounds and loops, do you need them to be velocity sensitive (i.e., louder when you hit the pad harder)?

        2) Do you need to change tempo of a loop, or are your loops always set to a particular tempo?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Vectron View Post
          I have two questions for you:

          1) When you are triggering external sounds and loops, do you need them to be velocity sensitive (i.e., louder when you hit the pad harder)?
          Not necessarily, but having that kind of control would be nice. When we play out, it's occasionally without a sound engineer, so being able to control the mix manually is a big plus.

          Originally posted by Vectron View Post
          2) Do you need to change tempo of a loop, or are your loops always set to a particular tempo?
          Mind. Blown. I had no idea that dynamically changing the tempo of a sample (I'm not currently doing any looping) was possible. I've been going through some unnatural contortions to allow better tempo control in my samples (i.e., cutting them up into smaller sections so I get multiple trigger points). I'm interested in hearing more about this!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Vectron View Post
            2) Do you need to change tempo of a loop, or are your loops always set to a particular tempo?
            Originally posted by shaneo View Post
            I had no idea that dynamically changing the tempo of a sample (I'm not currently doing any looping) was possible (...)

            Watch out, I think you are confusing something - Vectron's question about dynamics has nothing to do and is independent from his question about loop-tempo! It's just mind-blowing becuse of the fact that it isn't possible in the first place - as far as I know.

            I'll throw in two additional questions:

            1) You are not currently using loops.
            Is there a need for loops in the future, or would you like to use loops?

            2) You mentioned, you cut up samples to get more trigger-points.
            Is that still the same sample (e.g. a snare-sound), so essentially you get a multi-sample with different velocities the harder you strike?

            Is it this you are after, multiple velocity-samples, hard to soft, for each different kit-piece?


            Questions, questions.....

            HTH


            "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

            http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

            Comment

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