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Suggestions for snare/hat improvements feeding DAW directly (no brain)

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  • Suggestions for snare/hat improvements feeding DAW directly (no brain)

    I'm looking for advice from professional drummers who have extensive experience playing both acoustic and electronic kits.

    I have a studio with a fairly exhaustive MIDI set up. I'm not a drummer but I need to understand how to best accommodate professional drummers using a MIDI drum set that goes directly to VST's bypassing any drum brain. I don't need or want any sounds.

    Existing kit is made up of an array of triggers of various sorts plugged into multiple Alesis I/O's attached to hardware midi routing system. I am mostly concerned about the high hat and snares since those are the two most important and essential elements of play-ability and really the only thing that anyone has ever complained about in the past.

    So I want to start by upgrading my high hat and snare, bearing in mind that I do not want to have to plug into a proprietary brain of any sort (with sounds), which rules out some models.

    1. Which snare pads are the most 'playable'? And by that I mean how the drum head responds to the strike physically, irregardless of the sound generated/triggered.

    2. Which snares offer the best sensing that can be plugged in without proprietary hardware?

    3. I recognize my Alesis I/O's are somewhat dated. However a quick Google search did not turn up much in the way of current alternatives. Any suggestions?

    4. Newer snare pads have positional sensing that modifies signal based on what part of the drum head is struck. Is it correct then that the trigger consists of a countuiously variable CC input in addition to the normal note on/off value?

    5. Same question for the hat...

    At the moment I am triggering Addictive Drums 2, BFD and/or Superior. (AD is my goto)

    Thanks in advance for any input. It is greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    The trouble is the module interprets positional sensing as it does the hi hat input and outputs it correctly so a vst like SD3 can recognise it. The only trigger converter without sounds worth looking at is the megadrum although Iíve heard very little about it for a long time.

    As as a drummer I would not be happy with the triggering of the IOs. After owning one myself and a D4 I would be extremely disappointed to go in a studio and be confronted by these.

    My suggestion is a 2nd hand Roland TD20 or TD30 if you want plenty of trigger inputs. It takes modules of this quality to give you good triggering as well as positional sensing and the ability to use decent hi hats. The TD12 is also worth a look if you donít require the extra trigger inputs​​​​​. As a drummer who uses a TD30 for triggering SD3 and do not use the internal sounds I would be very disappointed with anything less.
    Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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    • #3
      i agree.. ..any drummer who plays electronic drums long term will eventually gravitate towards modules with better hi-hat hardware, better pads,
      i would say the most 'popular' hihat would be a vh-11 (still) type.. ..or a vh-12/ 13 .. if you only want to record the midi of that. you need a module that
      was designed to interpret it the best way (which is not a IO) .. i would say roland td-12/20x/30 .. (i leave yamaha out, only because of different hard
      ware design) ..if you want to use positional sensing on snare, you need a centre piezo trigger pad.. 12" or up would be best ..pd-125, pd-128 or drumtec 13"
      you say you want to 'bypass' any drum brain .. but those drum brains were made to interact best with drum hardware .. you could bypass the internal sounds
      though by using only the midi out..

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      • #4
        I have owned the trigger IO. Results are really poor, I was glad to get rid of it.

        Currently I trigger SD3 and Slate drums with a TD11, A2E Pearl Midtown and converted acoustic cymbals (including Hihat).

        I have been through a lot of different mesh heads to find a realistic feel. My current favorite are goedrum heads. A bit louder than a standard 2 or 3 ply.



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        • #5
          Thank you for the suggestions. A couple of comments, I don't really have any complaints about the way the other drums trigger. So I don't know that I need to pay for a brain with tons of inputs unless I'm planning on getting rid of the I/O's altogether. I doubt they would bring much on the market and they work okay for the assortment of triggers from various manufacturers for the toms, cymbals and kick.

          The hat is already VH-12. It is mounted on a standard Pearl high hat stand. There is only one stereo trigger coming off the hat itself. Is there supposed to be a control signal coming off the pedal as well?

          The snare trigger is a Roland PD 85. Will this work acceptable as a snare?

          Perhaps all I need is a better brain for the snare and high hat. As suggested I could simply ignore the sounds and use the MIDI out to drive my VST's.

          What's the lowest level roland brain that would serve these functions?
          Last edited by Steviebone; 07-13-18, 04:53 PM.

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