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Ambient Overkill and V-drum modules.....

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  • Ambient Overkill and V-drum modules.....

    Help me out here, please..

    Are we all falling victim here (again) to some marketing scheme that is forcing us to dig deeper into our pockets...??

    What really is the point of all the elaborate ambient set ups on the lastest V-drum modules.?? I really don't see the point in it...

    For example, take your V-drum module out and play a live gig with it using standard ambient presets...all you get is a big mess if you ask me, truthfully....you are playing live in a room that already has ambience, why muck it up?? Further, your house PA guy has to be a genius then to match your ambience with the the rest of the ensemble in order to avoid it being one unintelligble jumble....

    Even further, take the recording scenario...On todays market, there are millions of products on the market today that will artificially enduce ambience, whether it be software or hardware...Even if one is using the Roland supplied ambient effects with a typical V-drum module, you are still faced with the dilemna of having a V-drum recorded performance sitting with a mix of other instruments without the same ambience..

    Think about it....you are playing a club with it's own ambience..why would you want to sound like you are on a beach, or a living room, or a church, or an auditorium, or a plaster wall studio, a glass wall studio, etc...?? Even if you decided to, it would seem the rest of the ensemble would need to have created the same ambience for itself in order for there to be any cohesiveness....

    Sometimes we fork out our hard earned money for technological advances that really aren't even necessary....

  • #2
    Aye Captain54!

    You've made some intriguing points. Just to be devils advocate, (uh-boy), I think the ambience settings are useful!

    First, just saying the word "ambience" with the correct French accent and inflection adds a certain..........______well, -you know what- to the joint. (Sorry)

    > True ambience comes from the sum of the reflections of the sound source to a listener at a given point. Acoustic drums, to some extent, radiate sound as a point source, ie, in all directions at once. Our E-drums generate sound from speakers which, certainly for the non-bass frquencies, are primarily unidirectional , ie, not at all in all directions at once. Hence, the need for added ambience. Whether this leads to a muddier sound than a dry mix - I don't think it would, for the above reasons.

    > All the various ambience settings, as you point out, have no relationship - generally - to the sound environment (room) they are used in. But I would argue, for the most part, the audience doesn't care - they just like the various effects because they sound like the albums they are used to.

    How many times have you heard a drum track with a HUGE, compressed, ultra-reverbed snare, etc - but it sounds great! It may well have been recorded in a dormitory stairwell, but the V's allow us to reproduce it live. The audience loves it, oblivious to the sonic incongruity.

    Your point re recording is well-taken tho. Studios have better effects than the module. For an important recording, any respectable studio will provide its own effects.

    But I think the module does a pretty good job for what most of us might need it for - playing live semi-pro and recording of semipro quality, ie demo tapes. There are some kits which I use that came with some ambience in them. Turning it off sounds horrid!

    Have you had a bad experience with V-drum ambience causing headaches?
    Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

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    • #3
      I believe that the entire concept of Vdrums is driven by the wants and desires of drummers who want to find their own unique sounds. Forget about trying to have the same effects as the rest of your band. Sometimes my guitarist kicks on his reverb/chorus/delay and he sounds like he is in a completely different dimension. Anything goes!
      Be creative and be open minded

      ------------------
      -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,

      [This message has been edited by drumlogic (edited March 25, 2002).]
      -Drumlogic, V-session, Visulite/roland cymbals, (2)Mackie srm-450's, bbe 482 sonic maximizer,

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, I agree with all the above, but this remains a problem for me, primarily in a live situation...to a point where I'm seriously considering abandonding e-drums live altogether and simply going acoustic....

        Simply put, I don't find all the ambient effects particulary useful in a live situation...I can see having a myriad of snare variations, but that's about it...adding all types of room ambiences to the kit as a whole just sounds like s**t to me...as if the bands playing in one room and I'm jerking off somewhere on my own....

        [This message has been edited by captain54 (edited March 25, 2002).]

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        • #5
          When someone gets unhappy with something (or someone), they usually start focusing on all the negatives until they convince themselves to ditch it. The more the item costs the more so this is true. I had a nice acoustic set up and cymbals. I focused on all the negatives like snare buzz, constant tuning, too loud to practice when I wanted, limited sounds, couldn't afford mikes, amp, effects etc... I sold them and bought E's. I'm happy (so far).

          If this was just the ambience issue and you don't think you even need ambience, there's an off switch for that - you don't even have to reset all the pad ambience levels. Don't need room settings, switch to Studio for everything. You already know this so that's why I'm thinking you are going through the mental thing we humans do to transition to something different and costly.

          Not liking e-drums or Roland or ddrum or Pearl, etc is no crime. I'm not making any effort to convince you to stay or switch. But it sure sounds like you'd be happier with A's. Be realistic and jot down all the pro's AND con's of owning A's. Compare with E's. Then decide. Sometimes it's ok if it's all about you so make yourself happy Capt'n.

          Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Forgive me for being simplistic here, but aren't we all just talking about "the sound that is created when you hit your drums"? The term "ambience" means nothing if you are just focused on getting the "sound" that you want. If I want my snare to sound like a tight piccolo snare, I'll program it that way. If I want my snare to sound like a bomb just went off, I'll program it that way. The environment in which you are ACTUALLY playing will dictate the ambience. What's the issue here? Relax and enjoy your V-drums. AN dif you don't like the ambience settings on your drums, simply turn them off.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you have "ears" anything can be used to effect. The options are there for different situations, I like having more than enough options for the one off occasion that I might need it.
              Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe this is all just too new to me and my ears arent used to it....I come from 30 years of an acoustic background, and while I've been playing e's for a while now, (was using a DM PRO), I'm relatively new to the Roland v-drum world...

                So far, in recording, 90% of the ambient effects are totally unusable to me..my kick is now permanently routed to the D_L output, where it is totally dry and isolated..

                In a couple of weeks, I'm planning on taking this thing out live, and I'm a little nervous about it...

                the whole point of my post is....

                are these drum modules really worth the money we spend for them??? for the price of the td-10expanded, it should be more than a glorified practice rig...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by captain54:
                  the whole point of my post is....

                  are these drum modules really worth the money we spend for them??? for the price of the td-10expanded, it should be more than a glorified practice rig...
                  Of course not. The flagship models of anything we buy are typically overpriced. I've said this before... no matter what some of us think, TD-x's are not necessities of life (and neither are ddrums Putt!). It is a luxury item. Roland charges what people are willing to pay.

                  And... if you want something realistic with all the variations and tonal characteristics, and if you want to sound like those professional recordings, get yourself a set a "real" drums, lots of expensive mic's, amps and processing equipment. Of course you will be writing on some other board asking, "are these (insert drums, mic's, cymbals, etc. here) worth it?".

                  Many of us play live with our E's. It's a learning experience. Unless you have a lot of set up time, you probably will have some regrets and disappointment. Once you learn what to tweak to get a good sound, I think you will be happy. I play a couple time a month. It's nice to just go in, turn it on, dial in a kit, adjust volume and play.

                  May the search for Utopia continue...
                  Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Right On Boingo !
                    I play live with my V's at least once, but usually twice a week both in a worship setting and just regular gigging. I can just dial up a kit that is perfect for intimate worship as well as a slight turn of the dial and not I have a kit perfect for metal or anything in between. My V's have let me down only a time or two in the beginning due to the learning curve of the module effects. Overall they have been a huge addition to my bag of tricks....as we all know you can never have too many tricks.
                    Stu.

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                    • #11
                      I've always been of the opinion that it's silly to criticize a piece of equipment because it has features you don't need, especially if you can turn them off. If I lived in Greenland I wouldn't refuse to drive a Ferrari simply because it had air conditioning.....

                      I don't reckon the addition of effects makes any difference to the manufacturing cost of the V's. The DSP Roland use to perform COSM operations on the initial sounds is the same one responsible for the effects, and I'm willing to bet it's the same DSP used in their other COSM products.

                      The cost of the V's (and most other music products) is simply the tailored to the perceived cost dictated by the buying public. Most $1000 guitars cost a couple of hundred to manufacture, but they are desirable and people are willing to pay. It's no different for e-drums.

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                      • #12
                        Captain, I think the Ambience helps to produce some sounds that I like and some that I don't. Ambience is just another effect that you may or may not use, but the reduced cost of the unit without it would probably be negligable. I do wonder sometimes though, why the people at Roland spend their time on something like Ambience which could probably be accomplished with a little EQ, Reverb and Crosstalk tweeking, but give us unbalanced outputs and a pretty high sound floor (anybody familiar with the Roland Hisssss?). I think they are out of touch with real world drummers in many instances, but COSM modeling does produce a pretty useful set of sounds overall, so maybe they are just a little too "creative". BTW have you priced up a set of custom DW drums lately? Yeaow!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Boingo:
                          ... TD-x's are not necessities of life (and neither are ddrums Putt!).
                          X-cuse me?
                          I always said that food for Somalia is important. Not drums. Yes, they are luxury. And sometimes you pay much money for luxury and then get frustrated by the ambience settings in it. Live is hard (in this Western part of the world)
                          Robert

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                          • #14
                            I didn't want to be rude and exclude my ddrum friends (he,he,he) !

                            Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bagman:
                              I do wonder sometimes though, why the people at Roland spend their time on something like Ambience which could probably be accomplished with a little EQ, Reverb and Crosstalk tweeking, but give us unbalanced outputs and a pretty high sound floor (anybody familiar with the Roland Hisssss?). I think they are out of touch with real world drummers in many instances.
                              Thank you, thank you...

                              I don't mind paying money for gear that is truly pro, will hold it's value for years, and has the ability to yield truly stellar results, thus opening the door to a possibility of maximum return on investment...

                              I don't want to sound like a whiny little *****, or I'm campaigning for Official
                              Consumer Advocate Rep for V-drum users, but its sort of an eye opener when I turn on the boob tube and on any number of bands performing, whether it be Letterman, Leno, Conan, all the awards shows, VH1, MTV, Saturday Night Live, etc, you rarely see a drummer sitting behind a Ddrum, V-Session, V-Pro, or Hart Dynamics kit...maybe I'm missing something and I could be wrong, but I just don't see it and maybe there's a reason..

                              that being said, I love the fact that I can practice and record until the wee hours in home without pissing off the neighbors...

                              Maybe its just me and my personal vendetta against being force fed by a marketing group and biting on the hype only to be awakened many hours of fumbling and many dollars later...

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