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Some words of caution for the mix and match types.

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  • Some words of caution for the mix and match types.

    The bottom line for people who don't like to read is Yamaha modules are not all that compatible with what I have come to know as "standard" e-drums.

    I have had so many modules and triggers over the past 5 years in the quest for the set that suits me the best. I like to try all sorts of stuff and sell what I don't use and keep what works for me. My triggers are a mix of A2E, Roland, Alesis, Hart, Smart Trigger, and DIY. As far as I know I invented the drum shoe: trainers with triggers embedded in the soles for Bass drum and hat. Funny but not really practical once you have to run to the bog. In all my messing around, I got used to the fact that triggers were pretty standard. But this is not always the case.

    My last big purchase was the Yamaha DTX 900 module, coming right on the heels of a 2Box and a year earlier the TD-30. I am older and as an established profession I have the luxury of being able to buy some of the better toys. I will tell you right now it would have crushed me if I had saved up every cent for years and bought the TD 30. I am not happy that thing, or Roland modules in general. I thing they really dropped the ball in the support and sounds department. I think the hardware itself is capable of so much more if they would just let us unleash all of its capabilities.

    Even that little Alesis module has some amazing feathers for its stature. Dual layer sounds, balanced outputs, dynamic based mixing, a ton of midi channels, some great random instrument sounds. These are high end functions. But the module itself seems to break easily (been through 4 of them), Alesis service is the worst, and it doesn't sound that good. It will spoil you though for when you go to the TD-30 and go "where is that thing? oh, it can't do that? But my little Alesis could WTF Roland?"

    The 2Box has awesome capabilities but it is a tremendous effort to make all those kits form VSTs and it is not for the faint of heart. You also cannot use a normal hi hat with the kit if you are just getting the module. Something I never saw mentioned around here. A DIY hi hat converter is gonna coast around $100. So you have to take that into account. If you are buying the entire set it is not an issue. Still, you will pay big bucks for the high quality audio samples and will take weeks to build kits with them if you want to sound like Jman. I am also frustrated with the lack of channels. Most people who play 2box use 2 modules.

    Then I got the Yamaha and i gotta say, it is the finest box in town for the balance of great sounds, some import capability, and the convenience of a dedicated module (as opposed to a DAW on a laptop which always seem to go wiggy at the worst moments i.e. live) I was blown away at how much better the Yamaha was. And its sequencing and layering capabilities blow everything else out there away. BUT, it really wants you to have Yamaha triggers. Itdoesn't like the "standard" way most triggers are made. The rides don't work, the cymbals seem reversed and the 2nd zone on all my triggers never works right. You will need a Yamaha hat cvontroller and there seems to be the least amount of adjustments in the triggers area. I guerss they feels if you have Yamaha triggers, you don't need to adjust much.

    So right now am trying to decide if I just suck it up and go back to the TD-30 and await the Drummit6, possibly forever. Or get rid of all my Roland style triggers and start collecting Yamaha ones. I like my triggers and ultimately my entire setup. It is my interface to the music, my drum kit really. I'm not sure I am ready to take such a drastic step.

    So to those out there like me ( with a drawers full of bluetooths, earbuds, led lights, and battery packs, cause you are still looking for the perfect one...) in the realm of e-drums, it is neigh impossible to really have it your way. And make sure when you are messing around, that the equipment will work together.
    Last edited by evilcartman; 09-26-15, 03:41 PM.

  • #2
    Nice writeup, would like to hear more about the DTX-900 module actually.

    Doesn't the DTX-900 have MIDI in? Seems like a trigger module would allow you to use all your roland triggers with the Yammy.
    Mini-kit: TD-9 + Alesis Control Pad + Alesis Sample Pad + PDX-6 snare
    Micro-kit: Handsonic HPD-20 + an old pair of hands.
    Speakers: QSC-K10 "thumper", DBR-10 "little thumper"

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    • #3
      As a Yamaha user , I can relate.

      Yamaha's triggers work as piezo-switch-switch. Most other companies out there make triggers for Roland, which, form drum pads are piezo-piezo.

      As of this time, Yamaha is the only real player making pads that will work with their triggering scheme. I did find another company, Thailand based, that makes very nice and perfectly triggering pads, but they do not intend to make anything than smaller rubber pads, which is too bad.

      If you noticed, the Yamaha has 3zones to many of its inputs. The snare, the ride and all the crashes are 3 zones. Plus, they do not require an extra cable to get the 3rd zone. Now, that's pretty cool! Right now, I have a pad mounted in the centre of the kit, plugged into my Aux and it gives me a splash, a china and a cowbell, all from only one pad!

      The Yamaha cymbals are very nicely constructed, trigger very well, have nice rebound and swell (once you change the felt pad they provide with a little HH felt) and are much cheaper that Roland's.

      The snare and tom pads are different, made with that TCS rubber that some like, and some don't. But, they are expensive.

      The RH135 works well enough, gives you 2 zones and a nice playing surface. I went the DIY way which was a PCY135, and a FSR under the HH pedal. That has been working flawlessly for many years now, and was very easy to do and very cheap!

      For the DIY crowd, having more than one zone means breaking out the solder gun and some wiring tricks. It's not all that hard, but it is harder than slapping a second piezo to the shell and be done with it.

      Is the Yamaha for everyone? Probably not. If you want to stick to solutions already out there, than no. If you'd like to explore the different capabilities of the Yamaha modules, and like to think outside the box, then a resounding yes!

      BTW, for DTX module users out there, check Yamaha's website for additional kits downloads. There are new kits you can add to the 500, or 700 and 900 series modules. I really liked the Phoenix and new Jazz kit they put up for the 700/900 modules.

      Also, VEX has started making some kits, like they do for Roland. I don't know how well that is going and if they will expand later, but it's nice to see others getting involved in this little black sheep of module, which has tremendous potential for those willing to try.
      DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH Kit Pix

      My new venture: voglosounds.com

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      • #4
        I really like the Yamaha kits but found that Roland triggered VST's a little bit better. I like the silcone lads a lot. I really think the module should have a serious upgrade loading samples on 10 year old ram. They would really take over with a module on flash storage with many more sample layers.

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        • #5
          How about some nice universal Pads that let you switch to the appropriate modules.

          I also noticed that the Yamaha dedicated community boards are deader than mall full of zombies. It makes getting support sometimes tough. It was here I found the way to convert a 2 cable 3 zone ride to a 1 cable 3 zone ride. 3 trs jacks and a resistor and you don't even have to alter anything.

          I don't mind the silicone pads and love the little tuning dial but they are expensive.

          I will investigate the midi triggering. I wish it were easier to use both modules at once.


          Originally posted by perceval View Post
          As a Yamaha user , I can relate.

          If you noticed, the Yamaha has 3zones to many of its inputs. The snare, the ride and all the crashes are 3 zones. Plus, they do not require an extra cable to get the 3rd zone. Now, that's pretty cool! Right now, I have a pad mounted in the centre of the kit, plugged into my Aux and it gives me a splash, a china and a cowbell, all from only one pad!
          Cool. What kind of pad do you use for that? Got a pic?

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          • #6
            I seriously doubt that e-drum makers are going to produce a single drum pad that fits all modules.
            On the contrary, you see all the newcomers to the market trying to introduce their own proprietary pads and modules. The thinking being that if you like one thing of theirs, you need the buy the whole setup.

            I am using the little pad I got from HXM, see in this thread: http://www.vdrums.com/forum/general/...l-short-review

            I have moved that little snare pad to the centre, where the splash was in the picture. It's now my fx pad!
            DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH Kit Pix

            My new venture: voglosounds.com

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