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Triggering backing tracks from the Roland TM2?

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  • Triggering backing tracks from the Roland TM2?

    Hi everybody. I actually am a drummer as well, but I have a band in which I play guitar and I have been using my Akai S5000 sampler and a Yamaha MIDI foot controller that sends note messages to trigger MPC-made drum tracks in a live setting. It works flawlessly, but the S5 is big and heavy, and a bit overkill.

    I think the Roland TM2 would do the trick. A 4-minute mono WAV is around 22MB or so. So I'd be loading no track longer than that, but I do have stops and starts in certain songs that require me to... stop and start. So latency is important. Will the TM2 be able to files that large with very low latency? Does the SD card matter that much? I don't mind spending $30 on a good card. I've rad about access time on this forum, but the fastest to slowest cards onl range in about 1ms which is not noticeable. So, I'm thinking this SanDisk card, which can transfer 250mb/s.

    I'm not sure how it works, but if it needs to load the whole sample before it plays, that would give roughly 88ms, which is definitely a noticeable latency. Is that not how it's going to behave?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Hi Matt. I've triggered tracks live from a TM-2 before that were upwards of 50mb (4/5 min of stereo, track panned one side, click to the other). It has next-to-no noticeable latency, triggers as quickly as a one-shot wav sample of a drum would. It basically just fires it off straight from the SD card, doesn't need to load anything in. The only thing you can't do compared to something like an SPD-SX is swap kits while the sample keeps playing. I've used mine with a few different SD cards, all pretty standard (Samsung EVO 32GB MicroSD with an SD adapter is the one I have in currently), never noticed any difference between the performance of any of them.

    The downside is only having a stereo output available, but in your case that doesn't sound like it would be an issue? Your MIDI foot controller should likely work fine with it as it accepts MIDI in and you can configure the MIDI notes as you would on most devices like it. You only get 4 assignable pads/MIDI notes per kit, so that's something to factor in depending on how you're using it, but swapping kits takes under a second so I imagine that'll rarely be an issue. Not sure if there's any other "special case" stuff you'd need to do with it, but if you take a look through the manual I'm sure you'd be able to work out if it can do what you need, functionality-wise.
    Last edited by Pulsc; 11-07-20, 12:57 PM.
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