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recording from a roland td20 module

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  • recording from a roland td20 module

    I have a Roland TD20 drum module. I have tried to record what I played using Audacity on Windows and Garageband on a Mac. No success. I tried a splitter through the mic and also a midi to USB. It seems the computers only recognize the internal mic and not the external source, my TD20. Both computers only have the one headphone/mic port.

    I wonder if there is a way to take what I recorded in the module and transfer that to another source?

  • #2
    Originally posted by rolandfan View Post
    I have a Roland TD20 drum module. I have tried to record what I played using Audacity on Windows and Garageband on a Mac. No success. I tried a splitter through the mic and also a midi to USB. It seems the computers only recognize the internal mic and not the external source, my TD20. Both computers only have the one headphone/mic port.

    I wonder if there is a way to take what I recorded in the module and transfer that to another source?
    I don't have a TD20, but I think I can help. First, I am assuming you want to record the audio from the TD20 and not the MIDI, but I'm not certain on that, as you state you tried MIDI to USB at one point. So forgive me if my assumption is incorrect.

    But assuming that it is the TD20 sounds you are trying to capture, there are a few options. The first would be to purchase an audio interface. Your connection chain would look like this: TD20 module -> interface -> computer. If a stereo mix would suffice--that is, all your drum sounds mixed together as you hear them from your module through your headphones--you could buy a cheap USB interface with two inputs and run the master outputs from the TD20 into that. If instead you wanted each drum on its own channel, the TD20 does have that capability, but you'd need an audio interface with a sufficient number of inputs. (I think the TD20 has eight total outputs.)

    Now, if instead you are trying to capture MIDI, that's possible as well, but it's important to understand that MIDI is not audio on its own. In fact, it is possible that your MIDI-to-USB experiment did bear fruit, but that you just weren't aware of it, since MIDI itself does not make any sound but is instead used to trigger virtual instruments and such. (It could even be routed back to the module for recording, but this is a touch complicated and would still require an audio interface; it's just a possible solution for recording multiple channels even when you don't have an interface to support all the module outputs at once. More detail on this upon request.)

    I apologize if you're up to speed on all I'm describing above, but just want to be sure I'm clear on what you're trying to do.

    Finally, you ask if you can move recordings from the module and transfer to the computer. I think that is doable as well. Looking at the TD20 specs, it appears that there is an SD slot. I would imagine you can transfer recordings (they'd be a stereo mixdown) from the module to the SD and then from the SD into Audacity or Garageband. Do some research on that, but if you're looking for the simples possible solution to capture the sound of your module, this might be it.

    In summary, your options:

    -- If you want to record the sound of your TD20 module, you buy an audio interface or research the SD capabilities.
    --If you want to record MIDI so as to trigger something like EZDrummer or SD3, the MIDI-to-USB connector is all you need on the recording side, though you'll obviously need one of these virtual instruments (and even here, an interface might be desirable for monitoring)

    I'm sure others have plenty to say on this, so feel free to follow up with additional questions. Plenty of good threads on this subject, so wouldn't hurt to use the search engine, too--you might come across great suggestions from other folks who know this stuff inside and out.
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