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Alesis Trigger IO + SD2 for Roland Pads & Cymbals - good idea?

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  • Alesis Trigger IO + SD2 for Roland Pads & Cymbals - good idea?

    Hello fellow drummers,

    I am cash-strapped and looking to build a minimal, but good sounding edrum kit. I already have some Roland pads: 2x PD-85 (Tom), PDX-100 (Snare), KD-85 (kick), VH-11 (Hi-Hat), Crash/Ride cymbals are soon to follow.
    Now I need to choose a drum module - this is where I got the idea of instead of buying a Roland TD-11 module (400€), buying a Alesis Trigger IO (120€) device to use with Superior Drummer (already installed).
    This is solely for the purpose of saving money (280€, which is substantial).

    Now, I am not sure if this makes sense - especially since I got the impression that the IO can handle only _one_ dual zone trigger input, which would mean that the dual zone triggering feature on all except one pad would remain unused. I also read that the PD-85 is somehow too sensitive for the IO, so that even when the gain is turned all the way down, it will still very quickly trigger with maximum velocity.

    Does someone have experience with this kind of setup? Would it make more sense to save money for a Roland drum module?

    Thanks in advance and kind regards!

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum, 23x42!

    The tricky part here is that you already have a combination of VH-11 and FD controller, which means you're bound to something like

    - a TD-9 (roughly 350 bucks used)
    - a TD-4 (200 used), or
    - a TD-11/15 (new).

    You already have pads; What happened with the original module? Have you bought all the pads individually?

    It would absolutely make more sense to save money for a Roland drum module! The Alesis simply has issues when using mesh pads.


    Last edited by hairmetal-81; 01-04-14, 08:32 AM. Reason: comma error
    Greetings from Switzerland,
    - Dänoh

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



    • #3
      Hello 23x42,

      Honestly I would steer well clear of the Alesis Trigger IO, it's not cut out to be a module for a full ekit.

      Have you heard of Megadrum? Since you're already thinking of triggering VSTs, this would be much better than the Alesis and it's a good money saving option too, costs around £195 / €234 for a pre-built module with positional sensing, which you plug into your PC via USB.

      I think you have to first make a decision whether you're 99% going to use Superior Drummer and/or other VSTs only? If the answer is yes, then you probably would be better off with a Megadrum. However, if you really can stretch your budget, most people agree you should buy the best module you can afford, because then you can do both, VSTs and play independently from PC.

      Hairmetal-81 has listed modules that are compatible with your VH-11 up there... if you hunt around on auction sites for a used Roland module that's cheaper than €234, or you're just not feeling confident with Megadrum and it's nitty-gritties (e.g. DIY and fitting 15k resistors), than a Roland module is the way to go. - Because even if you really hate COSM sounds, you can go for a TD-4 and a MIDI cable and never use the module sounds at all.
      Last edited by Kabonfaiba; 01-03-14, 02:07 PM.
      ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
      ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
      PA Comparison Sheet


      • #4
        Thank you both for your kind replies!
        Yes, I bought the parts individually (used on eBay) to save money. Okay, I guess the Alesis won't cut it then.
        Thanks for the hint to the Megadrum project, this is just what I was looking for! Soldering and such is always fun, great way to combine hobbies.
        I'll do some more research on Megadrum but I think I'll go for it - AWESOME!

        Kind regards