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dave454 09-04-2013 03:31 PM

Recording Electronic Drums
 
Hi everyone,

I've been playing drums for about a year now, and it's got to the point where I'm thinking about putting a couple of covers on Youtube. However, I'm completely new to audio recording, and I'm not the most tech-savvy person in the world. After some research, I've noticed that using a midi to USB to my MacBook air (garageband) looks like the easiest option. Is it this simple, or am I missing something?

Cheers.

rmandelbaum 09-05-2013 12:12 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Prety simple, you need an interface like the one you are talking about. Then you need a program like garage band, cubase, pro tools, whatever, tha has a drum program in it that will capture the midi and then trigger sounds.


The thing that confuses most people is that MIDI is NOT sounds, it is a control language that will tell a program what ro play, when, how loud, for how long etc...


You can also record the audio from your edrums as well.

Check this out

http://www.macjams.com/article.php?s...40128064923856


i hope this helps you get started

MPortnoy 09-05-2013 01:21 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
The way I record audio is using the Quick Recording function of my Roland. Not sure all kits have it but I assume most of them do.

1) Record the drums into your module using the quick rec function
2) Connect the module to your computer using the headphones jack of the module as "out" signal and the mic jack of your computer as "in" signal.
3) Press record in your software and the quick play button in your module
4) Mix the original track with your drum track and adjust the volume levels.

I find this very simple and the recording is done in great quality but of course will only work if your kit has that rec/play function.

Audio recording is faster but it's almost impossible to edit. MIDI is more complex and time consuming but you're able to edit the recording.
For your purposes I think audio recording is the way to go.

dave454 09-06-2013 02:00 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Thanks a lot for your replies, very helpful! I think midi is the way to go. I don't have the recording option on my drums, it's quite an old Roland TD3, I'm not even sure if the new one has that feature haha. Also, I don't think I can record the audio, my MacBook air doesn't have a mic input. The only drawback to midi is I think I'll have to use the crappy garageband drums as the trigger sounds...

toddmc 09-06-2013 02:17 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Easiest way:
1. Buy a Zoom Q3 HD camera.
2. Run cable from headphone jack (on module) to audio in (on camera). **Tip- record using the LOW setting!**
3. Record epic drum cover (audio and video will be recorded at same time- no need to synch).
4. Sit back and enjoy the adulation from your many fans!

dave454 09-06-2013 08:46 PM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by toddmc (Post 1177532)
Easiest way:
1. Buy a Zoom Q3 HD camera.
2. Run cable from headphone jack (on module) to audio in (on camera). **Tip- record using the LOW setting!**
3. Record epic drum cover (audio and video will be recorded at same time- no need to synch).
4. Sit back and enjoy the adulation from your many fans!

While it may be the easiest, it does look expensive! At least a lot more expensive than just buying a simple midi to USB cable.

Km6543 09-06-2013 10:56 PM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
If your budget allows try a Zoom mixer. I have an R24 but an R16 will probably work too. You should be able to plug the drum module directly in and record, and save the recording as a WAV file. Then you sync the audio and video using video editing software. That's how I do it. The sound quality is quite good.

dave454 09-07-2013 01:49 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Km6543 (Post 1177880)
If your budget allows try a Zoom mixer. I have an R24 but an R16 will probably work too. You should be able to plug the drum module directly in and record, and save the recording as a WAV file. Then you sync the audio and video using video editing software. That's how I do it. The sound quality is quite good.

Another good idea, but Mixers are even more expensive than a Q3, which as todd said will record the video and audio simultaneously.

I think I'm gonna have a think about it and the budget I can realistically put forward to a bit of fun on Youtube. I'll probably save up for a Q3 or mixer, as midi to USB with garageband drums isn't going to sound the best.

Km6543 09-07-2013 04:16 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
I can empathize. There always seems to be so much crap you have to buy just to do simple things. I hope you're able to find a reasonable solution!

Quote:

Originally Posted by dave454 (Post 1177939)
Another good idea, but Mixers are even more expensive than a Q3, which as todd said will record the video and audio simultaneously.

I think I'm gonna have a think about it and the budget I can realistically put forward to a bit of fun on Youtube. I'll probably save up for a Q3 or mixer, as midi to USB with garageband drums isn't going to sound the best.


MPortnoy 09-07-2013 04:53 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dave454 (Post 1177939)
Another good idea, but Mixers are even more expensive than a Q3, which as todd said will record the video and audio simultaneously.

I think I'm gonna have a think about it and the budget I can realistically put forward to a bit of fun on Youtube. I'll probably save up for a Q3 or mixer, as midi to USB with garageband drums isn't going to sound the best.

You're right about the garage band part.....I have Superior drummer but I never use it because I prefer the sound of my kit, I spent quite some time getting it to sound how I like it.

There's another inexpensive way but not sure if it will work for you.....again not sure about your module but does it have audio output??? If it does, perhaps you can use that and whatever input you have in your Mac....luckily you will only need a cable and possibly an adapter instead of investing in a mixer or an interface.
Go to your music store and explain your situation to them, just first find out what are the output and input options in your module and Mac.

Good luck

New Tricks 09-09-2013 04:37 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dave454 (Post 1177527)
The only drawback to midi is I think I'll have to use the crappy garageband drums as the trigger sounds...


No you don't.


The sound will come from your TD. The GB settings can change the overall sound but you don't have to use it. Just choose no effects.

I had to tweak my TD settings a bit a bit to get the same sound as I do from the PA but it wasn't difficult. Just build or tweak a kit for recording. The Detailed drums helps my overall sound.


But....I just realized that I use my Zoom R16 as a controller for GB. Maybe that's why it seems so simple. I have not tried to run directly to the computer.

Reggae_Mangle 09-10-2013 04:25 PM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by New Tricks (Post 1178551)
No you don't.


The sound will come from your TD. The GB settings can change the overall sound but you don't have to use it. Just choose no effects.

I had to tweak my TD settings a bit a bit to get the same sound as I do from the PA but it wasn't difficult. Just build or tweak a kit for recording. The Detailed drums helps my overall sound.


But....I just realized that I use my Zoom R16 as a controller for GB. Maybe that's why it seems so simple. I have not tried to run directly to the computer.

Midi has no sounds of its own, so if the OP is going through the USB-Midi route, he will have to use a VST like GarageBand to output sound.

Connecting direct to the Mac using the line in is an option, but you're likely to get even worse sound than Garage Band, since the input is unlikely to be suitable for line level signals. As such, you'll have to deal with the sound distorting, or lower it to a level that's almost inaudible and then try to hike it up using a software preamp.

dave454 09-11-2013 01:41 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Reggae_Mangle (Post 1179007)
Midi has no sounds of its own, so if the OP is going through the USB-Midi route, he will have to use a VST like GarageBand to output sound.

Connecting direct to the Mac using the line in is an option, but you're likely to get even worse sound than Garage Band, since the input is unlikely to be suitable for line level signals. As such, you'll have to deal with the sound distorting, or lower it to a level that's almost inaudible and then try to hike it up using a software preamp.

I can't connect direct to my Mac as I don't have a mic input, but if the sound quality is as bad as you say then it sounds like I'm not missing much.

Looks like the only viable option is using a Q3. I better get saving!

Thanks again for all your replies!

Reggae_Mangle 09-12-2013 11:49 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dave454 (Post 1179204)
I can't connect direct to my Mac as I don't have a mic input, but if the sound quality is as bad as you say then it sounds like I'm not missing much.

Looks like the only viable option is using a Q3. I better get saving!

Thanks again for all your replies!

Go for a recording interface and a webcam instead! Much more versatile, will take a load off your CPU too. Unless you plan to record in environments other than your home, in which case the Q3 will be an excellent choice.

Your cheapest option remains hooking up with midi and triggering GarageBand. You would just need a webcam to record video.

Seth1987 01-27-2014 05:12 PM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by toddmc (Post 1177532)
Easiest way:
1. Buy a Zoom Q3 HD camera.
2. Run cable from headphone jack (on module) to audio in (on camera). **Tip- record using the LOW setting!**
3. Record epic drum cover (audio and video will be recorded at same time- no need to synch).
4. Sit back and enjoy the adulation from your many fans!

I have a Canon T3i SLR. Could I essentially do the same thing with this? When you mentioned recording in the low setting, is that an option on the kit or the camera itself? Thanks!

toddmc 01-28-2014 03:11 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Seth1987 (Post 1224122)
I have a Canon T3i SLR. Could I essentially do the same thing with this? When you mentioned recording in the low setting, is that an option on the kit or the camera itself? Thanks!

The low setting refers to the camera itself (your audio will peak out if you have it set to high or even medium due to the wide range of frequencies being recorded).
As long as your camera has a 1/4" jack which can connect to your module (and you have a low sound setting option) I don't see why this wouldn't work for you.

Bobrush 01-28-2014 11:36 PM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by toddmc (Post 1224266)
The low setting refers to the camera itself (your audio will peak out if you have it set to high or even medium due to the wide range of frequencies being recorded).

I think you mean "volume" not "frequencies".

FYI, I am also trying to figure out some video recording gear (I have a pretty good audio setup, although it is not portable, for studio use only), and I just discovered that Zoom has quite recently (I believe just last week) released a new product which could be a serious game-changer. I was looking at the Zoom Q3 and the Sony HDR-MV1, and both seem to have serious video compromises in order to deliver adequate sound (it seems all other camcorders deliver crap sound). The Q3 was far lower video resolution than almost all other common camcorders, and the Sony has a distinct 'fish-eye' look. But Zoom just released the Q4 and the specs look like it is as good at video as any other standard camcorder plus you get Zoom's audio quality. I have not been able to find any user reviews or samples of the Zoom Q4, but it does look very promising. If anybody has any experience with it, I would sure like to hear about it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Recorder.html
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-a...audio-recorder
http://www.amazon.com/ZOOM-Handy-Vid.../dp/B00GWDCA8E
http://www.technologytell.com/apple/...ideo-ios-os-x/

toddmc 01-29-2014 12:26 AM

Re: Recording Electronic Drums
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobrush (Post 1224532)
I think you mean "volume" not "frequencies".

I'm pretty sure I meant frequencies actually (but if there's a better word I'll be sure to use it in the future) : )
What I was trying to get across was the fact that there is a large range of "frequencies" between the low end (bass drum) and high end (cymbals) and the Zoom audio will peak out when recording unless you have it on the low setting.
Thanks for the reviews on the Q4 BTW (will check it out if I ever decide to upgrade)!


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