Best Home Recording Software for Roland TD-4KP Portable E-Kit

Flan55

Junior Member
I just purchased the portable Roland TD-4KP for my small and mandatory quiet apartment in NYC. I was wondering what you guys recommend software-wise to record and upload what I play on the e-kit to my computer. I've heard of Reason, Cakewalk, Pro Tools, Fruity Loops etc....any preference? I'm going to try using a midi-to-usb cable and see how that works, but if its really latent, I'll get the midi interface eventually.

I was also interested in recommendations for playing along to songs with the drum line taken out.
I'm new to this forum, so sorry if this is found in different threads. I didn't have much luck in the search.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
I just purchased the portable Roland TD-4KP for my small and mandatory quiet apartment in NYC. I was wondering what you guys recommend software-wise to record and upload what I play on the e-kit to my computer. I've heard of Reason, Cakewalk, Pro Tools, Fruity Loops etc....any preference? I'm going to try using a midi-to-usb cable and see how that works, but if its really latent, I'll get the midi interface eventually.

I was also interested in recommendations for playing along to songs with the drum line taken out.
I'm new to this forum, so sorry if this is found in different threads. I didn't have much luck in the search.
Depends on your needs, budget and which platform you use (Mac or PC). I use Logic X on a Mac, $199.00 on the App Store. If you like freebies, check out Presonus Studio One Free which works for both Macs or PCs. Everything you mentioned above will work. I prefer Logic because I also compose a lot of music as well. If you just want to jam out, you don't have to go crazy with this. Reason, Sonar (Cakewalk) and Pro Tools are expensive. Other versions of Studio one are quite cheap, and another software called Reaper is very cheap, just $60. And yes, if you want to use this stuff, please ALWAYS buy the software. If you don't want to spend money, don't, there are many free or low costing options.
 

Flan55

Junior Member
Thanks a lot for your input. I'll check out some of the free options and see how they function/sound and go from there.

Just curious, do you record with an electric kit? Just interested on your take of midi to usb vs using an interface. I know the interface is the better option, but will the midi to usb cable work with a decent computer? I guess time will tell...the cable is ordered, but I'd like you take. I won't be doing any real intense recording, I'd just like to record some of my playing to my pc, and possibly match my drumming with songs.Do you have any recommendations on programs or methods to play along to songs? I've seen websites online that you can stream a song with the drum line taken out, but I don't understand how you'd steam that song and your electric kit to the headphones at the same time.

Thanks again.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Just curious, do you record with an electric kit? Just interested on your take of midi to usb vs using an interface. I know the interface is the better option, but will the midi to usb cable work with a decent computer?
The interface, meaning the TD 4 Drum module? I own a TD 4 and honestly, the sounds aren't that great. You would be better off getting a drum software like Superior Drummer and EX Drummer and using those sounds. I use a MIDI to USB cable just like you and it works fine. But you do need a decent computer for this. If not, I would recommend tweaking the sounds on the TD 4, check out the manual on how to do this. Then what you would do is connect the Main Outs on the TD 4 into your audio interface and record the drums as audio. But here again, you will stuck with the drum set as a whole, as one stereo track. With MIDI there's way more flexibility. I say to anyone who wants to get into computer audio to always try to at least get a good machine. Otherwise, you will be wasting a lot of time and you'll get frustrated as well.

Do you have any recommendations on programs or methods to play along to songs? I've seen websites online that you can stream a song with the drum line taken out, but I don't understand how you'd steam that song and your electric kit to the headphones at the same time.
Seriously, you can easily Google 'Drumless Tracks' which will take you to several options. There's loads of stuff like this, just do a search. There are free ones and there are paid options, like the Jammit stuff. Or you could get all of Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials material and use the playalongs from the book.

I've seen websites online that you can stream a song with the drum line taken out, but I don't understand how you'd stream that song and your electric kit to the headphones at the same time.
OK, in this case, you will also need a player device of some sort. An iPod for example. On the TD 4, there is an input labeled 'Aux in', this is where you would connect your iPod to play the songs. Then you will be able to hear the music from the iPod as well as your drums as you play them.

Now I have a question for you. Have you read the TD 4 manual???? I know that in the manual it tells you how to hook everything up. Seriously, a lot can be accomplished by just Googling and reading manuals. That's how I learned this stuff for the most part. Just like with drums, you are learning the craft of recording, so this involves some researching. Not to put you off, but I've been there before. The Internet has all the information you need and more.
 
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