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  • Question regarding external USB sound cards in a live setting

    Hello!

    I have a TD-11 drum module with a roland vdrum kit. I play live for our church. About 4 years ago or so I invested into EZ drummer as I really didn't like the sounds that came with the TD-11. Currently my live setup looks like this.

    EZ Drummer ASIO4ALL Computer via USB <------ TD11 -----> Stereo 1/4 in out to Directbox -----> PA

    I've been having some problems with this setup, most notably my sound will randomly "compress" for lack of a better term and I lose a lot of my highs leaving my drums sounding muffled. I've talked with a few people and the thought is that maybe the TD11 is limiting the sound coming back from the computer. It seems like a good idea to have an external sound card anyway, so I've been looking at the scarlett 2i2 or the steinberg ur22 mkII. The steinberg is a little cheaper and comes with MIDI input. I don't know much about these things so I'm asking for opinions on either if anyone has used them.

    What does having the MIDI input on the steinberg get me? Does that mean I'd bypass the TD11 all together and the computer would act as my drum module? Or would the TD11 still need to be plugged in via USB to the computer? Essentially I'm not sure how my setup would look would it be:
    EZdrummer via USB <----- UR22 -----> Directbox ----> PA
    ^
    |
    Pads Via MIDI

    Or does the MIDI input not work that way and I'd be going
    EZdrummer via USB <----- UR22 or 2i2 -----> Directbox -----> PA
    ^
    |
    TD11
    Or am I completely off base on all accounts? I appreciate any help. I'm hoping to set up before next Sunday's service. Thanks!

  • #2
    Your td11 only sends midi information so Iím not sure what you mean by a compressed sound as it only sends messages and no audio. This wouldnít change no matter if you use an external audio interface. You will still need the td11 anyway as this is yourvtrigger to midi interface. I would connect the td11 via usb and use midi over usb and get one of the audio interfaces you mentioned and direct the audio out of that. Within ezdrummer you can choose which midi interface and which audio interface. They donít have to be the same.
    Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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    • #3
      Hey mkok thanks for responding!

      I'm using the line outs on the TD11 for my sound right now, so that's why I meant the TD11 was passing sound, the computer was giving the sound back to the TD11 through USB, then the TD11 was passing it to the direct boxes. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding what you meant.

      As far as the connections then, it sounds like having MIDI on the audio interface isn't a big deal for my need then, as I'd be using the TD11 to trigger EZ drummer then just using the interface for audio out, correct?

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      • #4
        I see what you mean. You are using the td11 as midi and audio interface. I still donít get what is happening when you say goes compressed and loses the highs. Iím not sure how this would happen.

        yes the last part is correct.
        Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah that's the problem. I'm not sure why its happening either. I originally assumed it was my monitoring (we use aviom personal mixers) but I swapped that out with another unit, and still had the issue, tried another set of headphones, then found out that everyone else was hearing it too, so definitely not the mixer system. It's also happening in the house speakers, so it's something with the signal I'm sending to the board. Doubt it's the direct boxes, the problem doesn't seem to happen if I only use the module and skip the EZ Drummer software, so my options are down to the TD11 doing something funky when I send the audio through it, the direct boxes, or the laptop itself.

          Sending the audio through an audio interface instead of the TD11 is the cheapest solution to test, I could just come out of the laptop headphone jack, but it seems like an audio interface is not a bad idea to have anyway. The next test if that doesn't work is to swap out the laptop and see if something funky is going on there.

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          • #6
            So you also hear this problem with headphones connected directly to the TD-11?
            E-kit: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rz173edtgc...14709.jpg?raw=1
            A-kit: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vxkwbj1rv7...345-1.jpg?raw=1
            TD-30, KT10, PD-105/125, 13" DIY + BT-1, VH-11/CY14/15/5, PM-30, HD-280 Pro

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            • #7
              /facepalm

              I didn't even think of that. Although it's tough as the problem is randomly happening. Sometimes its non stop sometimes it doesn't happen through the entire set. I totally should have tried that though.

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              • #8
                So do you hear this through the headphones? It helps to establish whether this is in 1. vst audio back to TD-11 with the TD-11 as sound-card or 2. between TD-11 and your external monitors (more of an analog audio problem)
                E-kit: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rz173edtgc...14709.jpg?raw=1
                A-kit: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vxkwbj1rv7...345-1.jpg?raw=1
                TD-30, KT10, PD-105/125, 13" DIY + BT-1, VH-11/CY14/15/5, PM-30, HD-280 Pro

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                • #9
                  Yeah, but they also hear it in the house speakers. So that cuts out the aviom monitoring system. It could be the board but unlikely, could be the direct box, could be the TD11 module, or could be my computer. I went ahead and bought a focusrite 2i2 and am going to see what happens next Sunday. I was going to test last night, but apparently my dedicated laptop crapped out on me. Trying to fix it, but it looks like it may be a hard drive issue Which means a longer fix as I'd have to try to get an image disc for windows from that manufacturer.

                  I'm setting up my macbook to run ezdrummer in the meantime. But that cuts out 2 possible issues right there at least for the moment.

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                  • #10
                    Just a follow up,
                    Focusrite 2i2 installed (man that thing sounds good) and macbook used on Sunday. Still had the problem in my in-ears. House does not have any issues (whether they were just wrong telling me they had issues before or the focusrite fixed that portion of it I don't know). So now the issue appears to be solely with the aviom in ear monitor system. We tried reducing the input to the aviom, but the problem persisted.

                    Gonna have to go figure out that system now and see if I can figure out what's going on. Although there really isn't a lot of configurable options.

                    Thanks for everyone's help!

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                    • #11
                      Maybe I'm just not catching all this, but proper routing should be... TD-11 Midi Out > DAW Midi In > DAW Audio Out > FOH

                      You should be direct monitoring at the DAW/soundcard. (will require running your band monitor in as well) If you still get compression issues with proper routing, then it's obviously the DAW.

                      Bottom line... you shouldn't be monitoring round-trip midi performance at the module.

                      I do think Roland modules may limit peak Aux In sometimes. I've noticed it if my Aux In is too loud. (then again, it could just be my imagination)
                      Alan
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                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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                      • #12
                        Hey Alan,

                        You may have to explain this to someone who has some technical knowledge but doesn't have audio equipment knowledge. So the way I have it set up now is TD-11 to the computer (EZDrummer 2) via USB, I also have the focusrite plugged into the USB port on the computer and output is going to that.

                        Should I have gotten a different USB soundcard? One with Midi in, then run the midi out to that soundcard? Or are you meaning I should have a separate MIDI interface for EZ Drummer all together? Wouldn't that make the TD-11 redundant at that point or am I just misunderstanding altogether?

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                        • #13
                          So your configuration seems right. It would be good if you could get a recording of what happens as Iím struggling to work it out. I wonder if this is more a computer issue.
                          Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm leaning towards more the aviom system or one of the cables going into it being a problem at the moment. At this point I've gotten the focusrite USB audio device and have used a separate computer. This sunday I'm going to try to swap the 1/4 inch cables that are coming out of the board and going into the aviom and see what happens.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by son-of-fire View Post
                              Hey Alan,

                              You may have to explain this to someone who has some technical knowledge but doesn't have audio equipment knowledge. So the way I have it set up now is TD-11 to the computer (EZDrummer 2) via USB, I also have the focusrite plugged into the USB port on the computer and output is going to that.

                              Should I have gotten a different USB soundcard? One with Midi in, then run the midi out to that soundcard? Or are you meaning I should have a separate MIDI interface for EZ Drummer all together? Wouldn't that make the TD-11 redundant at that point or am I just misunderstanding altogether?
                              As long as the PC is recognizing the Midi I/O, then it probably doesn't matter if it's going through the same unit. The only thing to watch for is latency in either case. A single interface is ideal, but not necessary, unless your DAW just requires it. It sounds like yours does not, and you have not mentioned any latency issue. So, as I mentioned, if you can direct-monitor at the the Focusrite (without latency issue) then do it. Then, have the output from the Focusrite go to FOH. This rules out the module altogether.
                              Alan
                              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              website | youtube | facebook | group | newsletter | twitter | message
                              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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