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Best Approach For V-Drums for MIDI

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  • Best Approach For V-Drums for MIDI

    Hello all,

    The title is a bit of a misnomer, but since this is the studio forum it makes sense. Here's where I am at. I am the songwriter for the band, which means I write and demo record all the songs in their entirety. This is accomplished using ProTools LE 7.4 (via MBox 2 Pro) on a PC.

    I need to get something into place so that I can record drums for the demos, and because of noise concerns, a set of electronics is the only choice. I realize that of course I can use my MIDI keyboard and do it that way, but I want to have a real (or at least close ) set of drums to bang on when recording the demos. Here's what I'm thinking about:

    1. Tactile feel. Again, I'm not a super good drummer, but I'm quite confident that the drummer for the band will be over to re-record parts to finish out even the demos. He and I both grew up on acoustics, so the feel of the set has to be good.

    2. Pure MIDI versus Sound Out - This is less of an issue, and more advice. Find a good virtual kit within whatever unit I get (td-3, td-6, td-9, td-12, etc) and run it sound out to protools, or just use the MIDI data and make my kit up in ProTools? I'm leaning towards the latter.

    3. Little to no live considerations - Again, this will be a studio only set. If it comes to using V's out live, that's not coming straight from my pocket.

    So in summary, I'm thinking where I want to spend my money is in providing the best feel, and likely not as concerned with all the wizzbangs that the various modules offer because we will likely use it for MIDI into Pro and model from there. Thus, I'd think that spending less on the control unit, and maximizing my funds towards better pads is the way to go. This is for a standard five piece BTW, no double bass, hi-hat + two cymbals up top. My budget (egads) is hopefully between 1000 and 1500 MAX MAX MAX. Help?

    PS - I wanna stick with Roland overall, but if Hart or someone else has a better pad for cheaper (as I've been reading on here), I'm all for it.

  • #2
    If you don't need module sounds, then your options are a little more open. A good plugin like BFD 2 costs about $400. A decent one like Toontrack's EZDrummer can be had for $150 and it is fine for demos.

    You can spend the rest on pads.

    A lot of people are having success with the Alesis Trigger IO. It lets you convert the pads to MIDI signals with no module needed. Some people have had trouble with it. Do a search here to see the discussions.

    A Used TD-3 kit will allow you to have MIDI and still have a modest sound engine to goof around on.

    Look into guys like X-Drums and Hart that make pads just for triggering.

    I am also sure others will chime in here with their experiences.


    • #3
      A used TD-8 would make an excellent MIDI triggering module. You'll miss things like rim shots on the toms (if using Rolands style mesh pads), but other than that, it should be quite good for triggering samples on the PC and will support the size of kit that you want.

      Then I'd probably look to Hart for the pads themselves. New.
      Try http://www.rmcaudio.com/ for what is in stock and call them for pricing. I think after the TD-8, you'll have atleast enough for the small StudioMaster with mesh shells, or buy each drum & cymbal as you need.

      That's IF you want to use samples on your PC and not the module sounds, otherwise the TD-8 is going to sound outdated, but no matter the module, sounds on your PC produce a much better result to my ears. The software package you choose is going to jack your price up past your budget, but we are all about getting you to spend more than you want to on this forum.

      | Argos | Your Cloud | Lost In Germany | Life Wasted | Identity Crisis
      | The Xerophyte | Red Barchetta | Subdivisions or Drums Only |

      Superior Drummer w/ Metal Foundry, dfhS samples and Platinum Samples Evil Drums.


      • #4
        How many inputs are possible with TD-8? And the Alesis Trigger i/o is only 10 inputs

        Need a good way to trigger my hart pro 6.4 kit, but i think i need 12 inputs. 6 pads, 6 cymbals (4 toms snare bass, hh, ride, 2 crash china splash)

        Only OPTION with 12 inputs is TD20, correct me if i'm wrong? Or is this why people use two modules?
        Last edited by eternal beat; 06-11-08, 12:36 AM.


        • #5
          Is there a way to trigger 12 things without a TD20? Is this why people use splitters?


          • #6
            Unless I'm mistaken, the TD-20 has 15 dual-trigger inputs. The TD-8 (for example) has 10 physical inputs but two of them (Kick 1/2 and Aux 1/2) allow you to use a tip/ring splitter to eek out two more (for a total of 12). The Alesis I/O has 10 dual inputs, so if you are willing to give up rim triggering on some (or all) of those inputs you can effectively double them up to 20 (using tip/ring splitters). The Alesis is just a midi triggering device so it has no internal sound module. It also only costs about $150 which is far less then you'll find a used TD-8 going for. You can also daisy-chain several modules via midi to increase the number of inputs (this can be done not only with the Alesis unit, but with any of the Roland modules as well as they all have midi in/through and midi out).

            - Ugly.


            • #7
              Originally posted by eternal beat View Post
              How many inputs are possible with TD-8? And the Alesis Trigger i/o is only 10 inputs

              Need a good way to trigger my hart pro 6.4 kit, but i think i need 12 inputs. 6 pads, 6 cymbals (4 toms snare bass, hh, ride, 2 crash china splash)

              Only OPTION with 12 inputs is TD20, correct me if i'm wrong? Or is this why people use two modules?
              On the Alesis IO they are dual inputs, so with splitters, you can get 20. Although the input #4 for the ride is funky, so, depending, 19.
              Alesis DM10 & Trigger IO, 5 8" single input DIY shells; 2 18" DIY Bass drums, 1 13" DIY eSnare, PinTech 14" Visulaite Hi-Hats, 2 PinTech 14" choke-able crashes & 18" dual-zone ride; Steven Slate Drums EX. Mounted on Superstrut custom rack.


              • #8
                Thanks for the replies all!


                • #9
                  Sorry for the noob question, but I have a TD-8 without splitters and I'm "out of inputs". So I can essentially buy splitters so that one channel is one drum/cymbal and the other channel is another drum/cymbal all together? How does that work setting up the TD-8 then?

                  Is this the splitter I should use?

                  Thanks in advance,


                  • #10
                    Sorry guys. I think I found a place to start.

                    Any other advice would be great!

                    Sorry for the lack of searchin' in the first place.....