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Advice on buying pads, cymbals, and module

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  • Advice on buying pads, cymbals, and module

    Greetings,

    New to the site. I just got my tax return and it's time to upgrade from the DIY remopad triggers and Alesis D4 that I've been using since 1998.

    I'm looking to spend about $1000 and to buy used pieces.

    I'm leaning towards a Megadrum module, primarily because I want to use plugins on my Macbook Pro for sounds. But I'm not opposed to other modules.

    I'm just looking to put together a simple 4 piece kit w/ hi-hat, ride, crash. I want it to be as portable as possible, so not really looking for the "big as an acoustic drum" type pads.

    I think the PD 120/125 type pads would work fine. Haven't decided on which cymbals yet, I guess the best ones I can afford.

    I just really want to be able to have as much control/flexibility as possible (ie: zones and positional sensing).

    There seems to be a really good resource on Wikipedia listing all the Roland pads, cymbals, and modules.

    -Glenn


  • #2
    If you want PS, besides the MegaDrum module, you will need to spend almost all your budget on the module, if you go the Roland route.

    If I had a $1,000 and wanting to go VSTs only, I think I would go with the MegaDrum, and onHeads for pads. Yamaha cymbals. That'd be really portable, and would trigger reliably.

    I'm just not sure if the FSR in the onHeads provide PS with the MegaDrum. Maybe having a look at their forum to confirm.
    DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
    Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

    My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

    Comment


    • #3
      My impression was that people went with Megadrum because of the number of inputs it provided. Keep in mind that the learning curve is steeeeeeeeep and since you want a very small kit, that's a feature of Megadrum you don't need.

      "As much control", this is where my knowledge of Megadrum is non-existent. For one thing, if you're strictly looking for a MIDI controller, then zones/positional sensing, particularly the latter, isn't an issue. What you want, cymbal wise, in that sense would be dual-zone, chokable pads.

      My advice is to look for a module, then get that module's brand's pads. I've been saying for the last couple of years that Yamaha's DTX502 module makes an excellent MIDI controller. If you went Roland, I'm thinking you could do this with even with just a TD-3 (if you can find one for under $200) but I'm trying to remember if it would send the entire range of MIDI signals for the HH to the computer. The same goes for a TD-8 if you could get one for cheap. I was gonna suggest you also look at the Simmons SD1000 module but then I remember that it has a harness with far more connections than you need, plus it's $300. If that and the DTX502 were my only options, I'd go with the DTX502 in a heartbeat.

      If you're wed to mesh, then go Roland.

      www.digitaldrummermag.com
      www.dauphinehotel.com
      Last edited by grog; 02-06-15, 10:42 AM.
      TD-12, DTX502, SD1000, EZDrummer, Diamond Drum 12" snare, S1000 toms/cymbals/kick, PCY10/100/135/155, CY-5/14, Hart Ride, Hart Acupad 8" kick, Epedal Pro II, Concept 1 pads/cymbals, SD1000 & Roland V Sessions racks, PD-7, Kit Toy 10" splash, DMPad ride, SamplePad, PerformancePad Pro

      Comment


      • #4
        +1 on Grog...I play on a DTX502 for practice and it works flawlessly. GREAT bang for your buck.

        K ;-)
        Last edited by Kenster; 02-11-15, 02:31 PM.
        My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
        E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
        A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
        A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by grog View Post
          My impression was that people went with Megadrum because of the number of inputs it provided. Keep in mind that the learning curve is steeeeeeeeep and since you want a very small kit, that's a feature of Megadrum you don't need.

          "As much control", this is where my knowledge of Megadrum is non-existent. For one thing, if you're strictly looking for a MIDI controller, then zones/positional sensing, particularly the latter, isn't an issue. What you want, cymbal wise, in that sense would be dual-zone, chokable pads.

          My advice is to look for a module, then get that module's brand's pads. I've been saying for the last couple of years that Yamaha's DTX502 module makes an excellent MIDI controller. If you went Roland, I'm thinking you could do this with even with just a TD-3 (if you can find one for under $200) but I'm trying to remember if it would send the entire range of MIDI signals for the HH to the computer. The same goes for a TD-8 if you could get one for cheap. I was gonna suggest you also look at the Simmons SD1000 module but then I remember that it has a harness with far more connections than you need, plus it's $300. If that and the DTX502 were my only options, I'd go with the DTX502 in a heartbeat.

          If you're wed to mesh, then go Roland.

          www.digitaldrummermag.com
          www.dauphinehotel.com
          Megadrum has a lite kit with fewer inputs. My impression is that it's for people that want the features of the high end Roland/Yamaha modules without bothering with the awful internal sounds. I watched some of the videos of the DTX502 on the Yamaha website and couldn't believe that in 2015 they still haven't been able to eliminate the "machine gun" effect when playing rolls.

          I don't quite understand why you're saying that positional sensing isn't an issue when playing VSTs/plug ins. I'm pretty sure BFD, Superior Drummer, Battery, etc. all support positional sensing. That's how you get more realistic sounding acoustic drum sounds. It's possible with velocity layering, but seems like PS gives you even more control.

          I don't think that I'm sold on the DTX502, especially because it only has USB out. I need something that has midi out, because I plan on merging 3 other controllers (Alesis Control pad, midi mallet controller, and foot program controller/cc pedals) along with the module to my computer.

          I plan on using one of the high input Megadrum boards to build a 3 octave midi mallet controller. I can't afford dropping $3k on the commercially available ones.

          The Yamaha cymbals do seem really cool, same features as the Roland, but way cheaper.

          I'm not just looking for an ekit for practice, it will be used as a part of a hybrid acoustic kit for live performances.

          Comment


          • #6
            Positional sensing isn't an issue as it pertains to the module/MIDI controller you're using, that's what I was attempting to state. You are correct in that the VSTs mentioned all support positional sensing.

            When it comes to velocity layering and positional sensing, my experience, limited tho it may be, is that velocity layering seems to give more control/more releasim than positional sensing.

            And yeah, good point on the lack of an old-fashioned MIDI out on the 502. If that's something you need, then yeah, some of these newer modules won't cut it.

            Again, lemme stress that my module suggestions have nothing to do with their onboard sounds. All you're looking for is a MIDI controller, thus, you need a module that has the physical features you need. It also dawns on me that if you went that route, you'd also want one that would allow you to change the MIDI note on the module and not on the VST side. That creates more flexibility.

            Seems like you were wed to Megadrum from the gitgo. Again, they take a *lot* of work to setup and have a steep learning curve and even the "lite" version has far more inputs than what you originally said you needed.

            www.digitaldrummermag.com
            www.dauphinehotel.com
            TD-12, DTX502, SD1000, EZDrummer, Diamond Drum 12" snare, S1000 toms/cymbals/kick, PCY10/100/135/155, CY-5/14, Hart Ride, Hart Acupad 8" kick, Epedal Pro II, Concept 1 pads/cymbals, SD1000 & Roland V Sessions racks, PD-7, Kit Toy 10" splash, DMPad ride, SamplePad, PerformancePad Pro

            Comment


            • #7
              I understand you want to merge multiple controllers/cc pedals into one device?
              Megadrum only supports 1 variable cc pedal just so you know, but multiple pedals to trigger program events can be done, for certain.

              You also want PS - that requires center mounted piezo cones and the PS board, which adds precision rectifiers for every input.
              Note that VSTs support PS on snare only, in most cases. (and Ride cymbal - if you can ever get it to work lol)

              A good snare is vital for this, toms are less important.
              Is PS worth it? Debatable for some. IMO its icing on the cake AFTER you have everything else working to it's fullest. I.e. no hot spots, no false triggering.

              It is NOT as much as a progressive sweep, between center and edge, as it would be on the synthesised module; such as the TD-30.
              In affect, the VST is accessing another sample pool of edge hits and mixing them on-the-fly with the centre hits. The thing is, the edge samples are so killer *grin* inducing - it's like another zone you can go to. Resembling the difference between a rimshot and center hit.

              I have my rim zone as a rimshot - which means I can't do sidestick, so I'm thinking about buying a BT-1 in future so I can have a 4 zone snare in respect of what I just said. Completely overkill when you think about the effort one must go through to get anywhere near acoustic snare expression-ability in silence!

              Sorry I went off in a tangent there... where was I?

              I doubt you can keep to that budget though even with a used ekit.
              My advice would be to get used cymbals (Roland CY-12C and CY-13R or 2x Yamaha PCY-155)
              Buy the cheapest Be Bop acoustic kit and convert it with 4x quartz percussions triggers and 4x Mesh heads. That saves you buying a rack, which leaves just the cymbal stands with whatever is left.
              Last edited by Kabonfaiba; 02-09-15, 11:21 AM.
              ◾ 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

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm going to stop you in your tracks with my experience with two words. Conversion kit.

                It is extremely easy to convert an acoustic kit. If I would have known how easy and inexpensive it was, I would have done it from day one.

                Choose your used module (Roland is my choice), choose your cymbals (anything works well for me) and decide if a pad will work for a HH (a rubber pad works fine for me)

                IMO, playing a real sized kit is 100x better that e pads in both form and function.

                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Yeah, a to e is where I ended up too. Love them. My roland pads were nice, too, but I like full size shells, period

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My pennies worth, I dont think you can ever replicate the feel of a true Adrum head.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, I like the feel of real head too!
                      Um, that sounds funny!
                      "It makes sense if you dont think about it"

                      Mimic Pro, SPD-SX, 2-QSC K-10s, K-sub, Yamaha mixer, and a bunch of other expensive cool things!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Try finding a Pearl Rhythm Traveler for a good price, slap on some mesh heads of your choice and Ddrum triggers on it (if you're not dead-set on dual-zoned pads that is) and then a Yamaha 502 module and cymbals.

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