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Audio vs. MIDI

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  • Audio vs. MIDI

    This question is aimed towards those of you who are electronic percussionists who are more in-depth with their compilations than merely sitting down at their electronic kit and rocking out.

    This is more geared towards those recording their performances in a DAW-type setting. I've heard that drummers want to stay away from MIDI as much as possible due to latency issues. I've looked at some nice electronic drum libraries to be controlled w/ the kit, but is bad latency a big issue for most? Is an audio config exceedingly better sounding? Obviously an audio configuration limits you to sounds, which makes me want to go the MIDI route. But if I'm playing awesome sounding performances and they're being captured much slower than my performance obviously this causes a major problem.

    You guys mind hooking up a curious head? I had some issues w/ my ControlPad and want to see if an electronic kit can handle it

  • #2
    Hi John,

    Contrary to what you've heard so far, MIDI should never be avoided at all as long as you've got an understanding of what it is you're working with. It can be very rewarding. The ControlPad isn't the best example of the potential software triggering is fully capable of. Don't get me wrong, the ControlPad is good for the price (I've got one myself! ) but it doesn't come close to picking up close to every nuance of your playing like the TD-12 or TD-20 would.

    Of course your PC and audio interface is definitely going to be the major factor in determining your latency, but you will see a pretty noticeable difference between the ControlPad you're using now and more sophisticated modules (even if you're not using the module's onboard sounds).

    If you've got anymore questions, feel free to ask! Hope this helped.


    • #3
      i have found through experimenting that the quality of sound you get through midi is as only as good as your sound card, i have achieved great results using a PA mixer and a 4-channel reel to reel tape recorder, though mixing down the results to burn on cd involves going through the computer - if fitted with a 24 bit soundcard, careful monitoring and minimal use of parameters can reduce compression effects.


      • #4
        Love midi, I don't use it to play samples in real time as I only have a fairly slow computer and it can't handle it, but I always record my drums in midi which gives you the option to use samples or send it back to the Vdrums or combinations of the two. I can then bounce down to audio from the module when I'm happy with the sound I'm getting, for example when I had my td3 I would bounce down in 3 passes to get 6 tracks of drums to audio. One of the best things I ever learned was the basics if midi...
        My Kit


        • #5
          I've dished out some currency to get myself decent pieces to work with if I go the electronic-drum route. I'll be sequencing through an Edirol FA66 into a roland MV8800.

          Now, I was using these two pieces of equipment when trying the ControlPad but still got pretty bad results. I'm looking to delve into a Yamah DTXPRESS for my electronic performances. I could just go audio for the onboard sounds, but obviously I'll want to work outside of the box with some sort of drum library that will be hosted on my cpu.

          Anybody doing something similar or have good information as to what I can expect performance-wize??


          • #6
            Whoever educated you on midi and studio recording is a moron. If "monitoring" of the performance is setup correctly, you cannot compare the two. The performance would be as accurate in either audio or midi based setups as long as monitoring is done correctly. The key is and how you route, monitor and record either. Personally, I monitor from the module and it's output while recording both midi and audio to the DAW. If I want to change anything later, it's as simple as sending the new track. Now, if you are using VST sounds, you might run into latency problems if you try to monitor them during performance. This is why I suggest monitoring the module's sounds during recording. The only question then is if you can play one "set" and post another. Dynamics and finesse start to come into question. Not so much if you're playing a typical pop/rock song though.
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