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TD-9 owner's tips, tricks, reviews

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  • TD-9 owner's tips, tricks, reviews

    Hey everyone,

    the other threads discussing the TD-9 were getting a bit unwieldy with all the availability discussions and speculations, so I thought it may be useful to start a new one for the lucky people who already have one.

    Please contribute any useful tips and tricks, hints for upgrades or customization, and general opinions and reviews.

    Please don't use this thread for discussing shipping dates and availability, including expressing your jealousy (see this thread for that), and please use the search function before asking questions - the TD-9 discussion thread has a ton of information buried in it, and anything that isn't specific to the TD-9 may have been discussed elsewhere already. A FAQ would be nice

    For starters, here are my initial impressions of the TD-9KX after a few hours. In general I'm very impressed by it, it's everything I was hoping for. Be aware that I'm fairly new to e-drums (and drums in general), my previous experience was limited to the Yamaha DD-55 all-in-one kit and Rock Band, plus a handful of lessons on an acoustic kit, so your mileage may vary of course.

    *** Module ***

    The module is very easy to use, has cool built-in sounds, and offers good customization features. The scope feature works very well to provide feedback how accurately you're playing, which is especially nice for beginners.

    If you expect the ability to create totally unique and customized sounds, you may be happier with the TD-12/20 (disclaimer: I haven't used those myself), but you could also switch to a PC/MIDI based solution such as EZdrummer sometime down the road if you feel too limited by the built-in sounds. That's not something I'm currently worried about, I'm happy with the way it sounds.

    *** Hardware ***

    The rack is very solid, and it's easy to set up and adjust. It's nice that it's partially assembled in the box, so the initial setup is fairly quick.

    The triggers feel great to play, and the pads and cymbals are not very noisy as far as stick noise is concerned (important for me since I live in an apartment). I've ordered a Hart mesh kick drum since I don't like the rubber trigger's feel and it's a bit noisy, but that's a matter of taste. I suggest trying out the shipped kick trigger and seeing how you like it.

    The hi-hat pedal works fine for foot "chick" sounds, and the foot "splash" needs a bit of practice but works well also (the trick is not to push the pedal down all the way). I'm a bit disappointed by the half-open sounds, so far I haven't found a way to get a satisfying sizzle/sloshy sound, but maybe that's something that more tweaking (or better technique) will fix. I'm curious if a VH-11 would have any effect on the sound variations due to more precise inputs, or if it would only affect the playability and feel.

    *** Hints and tips ***

    The manual is very helpful, but since people tend not to read manuals here are some things that took me a while to figure out...
    • Important: always use the POWER button to switch off your module, since this is when it will save your settings. You'll lose customizations if you just pull the plug. If you've done extensive edits, you may want to power cycle it just to ensure that they are saved.
    • It's essential to adjust the trigger sensitivity to your playing style. The defaults seem to be geared towards people used to banging on acoustic kits, and if you're playing more softly (did I mention being in an apartment?) you need to raise those up quite a bit. There's also advanced options including sensitivity curves and other parameters that I haven't fiddled with so far.
    • Change the metronome tempo by pressing SHIFT+CLICK together, then rotating the wheel or using the +/- buttons. This changes the speed of the built-in songs also, which is great since most are too fast for beginners to play right away.
    • The scope works while playing along to the built-in songs, just press the SCOPE button. By default this will activate the metronome clicks also, but you can turn those off by pressing the CLICK button. Try various zoom settings to see which view you find most useful.
    • The toms are all dual-trigger, and I don't have much need for tom rimshots, so I reassigned the tom rims to cowbell, china, and splash instead. Maybe not as nice as adding extra triggers, but a whole lot cheaper
    • You can hook up an MP3 player to play along to. I haven't tried WAV files on a USB stick so far. Since the muting and tempo changing features of the built-in songs don't work for WAV files, the external player seems about equally convenient if you don't mind an extra gadget being connected.
    • In case you have the Rock Band game, that gives you access to a ton of songs to play along to. Go to drum practice mode, let the song play without you doing anything, and record the resulting track which is the full song minus the drum part. If the song starts with drums immediately, play a bar or two to establish the beat in the recording. An MP3 player with recording feature makes that very easy. (Please don't distribute these tracks, that would be a copyright violation and illegal.)

    Please share your experiences also!


  • #2
    I moved this from Products to Tips & Tricks because I think it will remain more prominent there (here!).



    • #3
      Klausw, thanks for sharing. I own a TD-9KX for exactly 14 days now and I really like it.

      I agree with your comment on the kick trigger, maybe I'll upgrade to a mesh pad, and regarding the hi-hat: I was also curious about the VH-11.

      I play a lot with the USB stick with WAV files (why not MP3 files ??? why the limit of 99 ??? Still no answer from Drew. Maybe I should add this to my signature ) and think it's great because of the large buttons and display of the unit. An MP3 player usually has a small screen, small buttons, etc and connecting a laptop offers a lot more features, but doesn't work as fast and easy as the USB stick. The built-in songs are nice, but I prefer to play with the songs that I like.

      I have no useful tips to add, but will post if I have some.

      Edit: edited some bad English language.
      Last edited by eric_B; 04-26-08, 12:41 PM.


      • #4
        Another remark about the sound editing features of the TD-9KX.

        I posted before that I'm a keyboard player. And maybe kind of a technical freak. I got into music about 20 years ago with a couple of synths, connected them to a PC, got into sequencing and tweaking sounds and settings, etc, etc. Untill I lost interest because I was just approaching the techical side of music (and Windows ).

        Two years ago I bought a CVP-303 which gave a new impulse to my music interest. I just switch it on and play. Now I'm making music instead of spending hours of adjusting things and then going to bed because it's too late to make music.

        That's about how I feel about editing the TD-9KX: there may be other drum kits with more settings to adjust. But if you just want to play drums: the 50 kits sound great, so why would you want to spend hours tweaking things instead of making music?


        • #5
          For those of you have played the TD-9 and the TD-12, how do they compare in terms of sound quality? I'm currently torn between the two and would appreciate any feedback from those who have been lucky enough to spend time with both modules.


          • #6
            Get the 12

            Originally posted by artie View Post
            For those of you have played the TD-9 and the TD-12, how do they compare in terms of sound quality? I'm currently torn between the two and would appreciate any feedback from those who have been lucky enough to spend time with both modules.
            Just ordered the td-12, after weeks of comparing the 2 I decided that the td-12 is a better choice. The td-9 does not have the built in sequencer and does not have preset user patterns... so you can't create your own patterns, plus the td-20 has 262 backing instruments like keyboards, bass. brass so you can write patterns with the different instruments and then play over them. The td-9 is basicly an electronic drumset with editing features and great new sounds but the td-12 has more in depth editing. All you have to do is check out the demo videos on the roland site or download both manuals to see what I'm talking about. Plus with the td-20 you get the mesh kick (which I feel is a must) and also the v-11 hi hat. I paid $2579.00 from Bpm music no tax no shipping.There's a reason why the td-9 is cheaper.


            • #7
              On the TD9, anyone know if there is a way to adjust the output level of the internal songs, without adjust the master volume? The songs just seem to play much louder relative to the drum volume. I supposed I could adjust the drum volume, but was hoping there was a better solution.




              • #8
                Originally posted by almazza View Post
                On the TD9, anyone know if there is a way to adjust the output level of the internal songs, without adjust the master volume? The songs just seem to play much louder relative to the drum volume. I supposed I could adjust the drum volume, but was hoping there was a better solution.
                There's a Song Volume 0-100 setting for each individual song on the SONG, INFO screen.



                • #9
                  And I have found the opposite regarding the volume for my wav files....the default volume is set at 60, and I need to crank most up to about 90 before it mixes well with the drum volume.


                  • #10
                    Thanks, sorry thought I read through the whole song section in the manual.


                    • #11
                      ...and the Song Volume (and Type settings) can be saved to a USB key when you switch off the TD-9's power while a USB key is connected.


                      • #12
                        On the subject of saving settings, is there any way to do incremental saves without having to power down? Or for that matter a way to discard changes?

                        For example, you go in make a few changes to sensitivity settings on your snare pad, have it tweaked just the way you want it, you then save your settings by powering down.

                        A little while later you go in and start tweaking some cymbal settings, or something else, and you get pretty far in, maybe screw a few things up, and want to discard the changes you've just made. It seems like the only way to revert this particular set of changes back would be to pull the power plug. At least by doing that you'd keep the changes you previously made to the snare pad.

                        Only other thing I could see is to save your settings to a USB drive before you start making new changes and then having to restore. That's pretty cumbersome.



                        • #13
                          You can backup your settings to the USB. If you do it after each change you like, you'll always have the most recent settings saved. That way, if you don't like what you've done, you can revert to the backup. I'd advise against 'crashing' the module too much!


                          • #14
                            double bass / hi-hat controller pedal

                            Kit just came in today. This is for my church praise band and my two drummers are going to town on the kit right now. One weird thing - when playing the double bass kit, the hi-hat pad sometimes acts as the 2nd kick drum (as well as the hi-hat controller pedal) and sometimes acts as the hi-hat. Is this a setting - are we playing something wrong?


                            • #15
                              In the double bass kit, the FD-8 foot controller should only play the other bass drum. The HH is left partially open so you can hit it with the stick. If the kick pedal is playing the HH sound, something is wrong...but not sure what, sorry.