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An invaluable resource (and FSR triggering on a dual-mono input)

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  • An invaluable resource (and FSR triggering on a dual-mono input)


    I've been an acoustic drummer for about 14 years now. I've always been turned off to e-drums for the typical/naive reasons - a lack of interest in cheesy 80's drum noises, ideals about "real drums", etc. But for various reasons (advances in digital technology, versatility of multiple sounds, direct recordability, compact form-factor, quiet practicing) I decided to take a second look at e-drums about a month ago.

    It didn't take me long to discover V-Drums and this forum. I've been "lurking" for about 2 weeks now, searching, reading, and sponging as much info as I can. I would have posted questions, but I found the answer to every single one with the search engine. And I had a lot of questions.

    I was originally planning on getting a V-Club for use in my home "studio" (aka living room). But after reading this forum and testing things out at the local store, I ordered a V-Stage kit today. I realized that with all the upgrades I would have wanted to make on the V-Club, I would have been paying close to V-Stage price, but gotten a lot less. The V-Stage is really a great compromise for me - less expensive and physically much smaller than the V-Session, while still retaining a full set of mesh heads, sturdy rack, CY-12R/Cs, and the (relatively) powerful TD-8 brain. I would have been in nirvana if the prices weren't so artificially inflated, but I'm guessing this is necessary for Roland to sustain profitability in a much smaller market...

    The V-Stage pretty much broke my bank, but I know that I'm going to want to use a lot of triggers. So I ordered the inexpensive CY-6 and PD-9 (plus hardware) to fill out the set. I'll probably use the CY-6 for an extra ride/splash, and the PD-9 for auxiliary kit-specific sounds.

    ... which brings me to my first question that I couldn't find an answer for. I bought the PD-9 because it is cheap and can be used as a dual trigger. I know that it is an FSR pad, so for the dual trigger to work "out of box" I'll have to run it into an FSR input on the TD-8. I'd like to leave my inputs in the standard configuration to avoid reconfiguring all the built-in kits, so that means the only FSR input available will be input 10. However, I was planning on running my CY-6 into input 10, since this is the standard input for a "ride". This leaves me with the 11/12 "aux" input, which is designed for use as two "mono" inputs via an insert cable. Are there any cable and/or TD-8 tricks that will allow me to use both triggers on my PD-9 when plugged into the 11/12 input (e.g. head to 11, rim to 12)? [If not, I can always run the PD-9 into the tom3 input and move my third PD-80 into input 11. But I'd like to avoid that if possible, since it will force me to use the PD-9 for tom3 on default kits unless I reconfigure them.]

    Roland really should have coupled the instruments in each kit to a named source instead of hard-coding the input number. For example, instruments could have been assigned to named sources "snare", "tom1", etc. The TD-8 could then have allowed the user to specify which input number corresponds to each named source (e.g. input 6 -> tom1). If the user mapped the "wrong" input type (e.g. a mono input to the snare), the brain could just do the best it can. This would at least allow people to juggle FSR inputs around, and swap them with mono inputs when not using an FSR pad.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that this forum is invaluable for V-Drummers. Thanks!
    ~ Jack
    ~ jacklevy.net

  • #2
    Second thought (FSR trigginering on dual-mono input)

    I thought about this question some more and came up with a theory why there is no way to get both head/rim PD-9 triggers using the dual-mono input on the TD-8 (aux 11/12).

    Experts, please feel free to correct me if any of this is wrong:

    As I understand it, an FSR trigger is a separate signal which is probably interpreted in a binary fashion (on/off). For FSR inputs, I'm guessing that Roland uses the left channel to read the piezo, and the right channel to read the FSR. For dual-piezo inputs (e.g. snare), it would seem that both channels transmit signals from separate piezos, and the brain has to measure both values (over time) to determine which was actually triggered (with the larger/faster rising piezo being selected). For single piezo (mono) pads/inputs, the brain only needs to read a single piezo, and therefore only a single channel should be required - thus the ability to insert two channels into a single input and use that input for two separate mono triggers. I'm guessing that when using an insert cable on aux 11/12, Roland is scanning the input twice, once to trigger from the piezo on the left channel, and once to trigger from the piezo on the right channel. There's simply the wrong hardware and software on this input to detect the FSR, and therefore it would be impossible for my PD-9 rim to trigger on aux 11/12.

    This explanation implies that the dual-piezo trigger is purely a software feature, so I'm probably missing something here (if it was that easy, I'm sure Roland would implement support for dual-piezo pads in more than just one input.)

    I hope I'm not creating confusion, I couldn't find any resources/threads that clearly spell out how piezo and FSR triggering works from both an analog and A->D perspectives. Still trying to get my head straight on this one..

    By the way, my V-Stage arrived earlier this week - it's great!
    ~ Jack
    ~ jacklevy.net


    • #3
      Both 1/2 and 11/12 are dual piezo inputs. I have a "Y" cable in both of these jacks. On 1/2, I have my kick trigger and a 6" bar pad mounted near my snare for tamborine. On 11/12 I have a Drumtech Polepad dual piezo trigger for aux percussion (usually cowbell and triangle or shaker).

      I also have a Pintech dual piezo 14" snare.

      I'm a drummer. I don't play the timpani! Hire a percussionist!!!


      • #4
        Yes, split mono-piezo is a better description.

        I will have to plug my snare into 1/2 or 11/12 and see how it performs.
        I'm a drummer. I don't play the timpani! Hire a percussionist!!!


        • #5
          Thanks for the information feefer, clymore.

          The semiconductor industry continues to accelerate CPU technology at an incredible rate, but software and systems always lag in adoption. To build the TD-8, Roland has to design a platform, select components (I doubt they are making any of the processors), design the mechanical side, and write a significant amount of software, among other things. Changing a central element to the system (e.g. the CPU) has a ripple affect which adds up to a big R&D cost.

          I would expect Roland to ride the TD-6/8/10 designs as long as they can. Minor (read: drop-in) upgrades will probably be considered, but any significant changes to the hardware will probably be saved for an upgrade to the entire platform. And when the entire platform is updated, Marketing departments like to create new product lines.
          ~ Jack
          ~ jacklevy.net


          • #6
            Hmmm..... Interesting results. I swapped the stereo cable in jack 3 (snare) with the "Y" cable in Aux11/12 on my TD-8. My Drumtech dual piezo Polepad would trigger a snare sound but not a cross stick unless I struck both trigger pads at the same time. I guess the module reads both piezo's from the snare when the rim is struck and the rim snare acts like a switch (just like an FSR pad).
            I'm a drummer. I don't play the timpani! Hire a percussionist!!!