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  #1  
Old 06-05-2014, 06:16 PM
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HipshotPercussion HipshotPercussion is offline
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Default I love hitting things with sticks & the Roland TD-11

A couple of months ago I got a Roland TD-11 kit. After playing around with it, I realized that what I liked best about the kit was the ability to use it to add supplementary drums and FX to an acoustic kit. So I got rid of its original rubber pads, e-cymbals, and rack, and set up 4 mesh pads modded as various drums and percussion effects combos, which with the right (as in loudest possible) amp fitted perfectly with my DW Collectors kit.

But after awhile I became dissatisfied. I wanted more. Because I had a new realization - that for me the absolutely coolest part of the whole e-drum concept was the ability to play unexpectedly weird, or beautiful, or exotic, what-have-you sounds that you'd never think of as coming from hitting a drum-like object with a couple of sticks.

You know - explosions, door creaks, power chords, the first couple of bars of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - that kind of thing. At its most mundane, my thought was, "Why buy vibes, or a bell kit, if I can create the bars with triggers and my e-drum module?"

I don't think this is a new concept. In fact, I just kind of assume that it's something everyone who gets an e-kit wants to do at some point. So why does Roland make it so damned difficult? As in, "Sorry, pal, you can't add any new sounds to a TD-11. You can only modify the ones that are already there. No xylophone tones or Pete Townsend primitive brainstem-wrenching G chords for you."

I've spent the last week or so researching and discovering that if I want to stick with Roland and have the ability to import new sounds into my kit I'll have to get their top of the line module - at a cost new of over 2 grand. Which seems outrageous on its face for several reasons, not the least of which is that I keep thinking that the new sounds thing is one of the most basic things you'd associated with having any e-kit.

(Yes, Roland makes a module you can buy for $199 that will let you trigger a couple of imported sounds. (It costs another $100 for the trigger.) But we're talking literally 2 inputs. Not exactly symphonic.)

So far, the only affordable alternative I've found is the Yamaha 502 module, which lets you import wave sounds via a flash drive and costs about $270 just about everywhere it's available online and, I'm told, is compatible with my Roland pads.

I'm seriously contemplating taking this route, but is that really the best way to go? I'd be a happy guy if I could find out that everything I've just said is all wrong. I can't get past the feeling that I've been missing something. A midi trigger thing that the TD-11 will do that I don't know about? A firmware update that'll open the brain up more? A TD-11 trick that I just haven't found?

I love drumming. I love making music by hitting things with sticks. All I want is the ability to take this up a notch, to a little higher level. Anyone have any suggestions?

Gracias,
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:01 AM
Eric J Eric J is offline
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Default Re: I love hitting things with sticks & the Roland TD-11

Why don't you just plug the TD-11 into your computer (it's also an audio interface), and just trigger a VST sampler?
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: I love hitting things with sticks & the Roland TD-11

Uh...because I'm an idiot?

Or to put it another way, according to a sound engineer I know, (he doesn't do music, unfortunately; he's a Foley effects guy) the software I need to do this "right" is Ableton. And having watched others work with it, Ableton scares the hell out of me. Way too complex for me to wrap my brain around.

Is there something simpler that would work? Or am I just being scared-as-all-hell-over-nothing-crazy?

Thanks, Eric,
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:14 AM
Eric J Eric J is offline
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Default Re: I love hitting things with sticks & the Roland TD-11

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipshotPercussion View Post
Or to put it another way, according to a sound engineer I know, (he doesn't do music, unfortunately; he's a Foley effects guy) the software I need to do this "right" is Ableton.
Ableton is one option...or Cubase, or Logic or Digital Performer, or Pro Tools or Reaper (which is free I think). Any DAW software would work, but if all you're doing is hosting a single VST Sampler, just get something like VSThost. Heck, some of the VST samplers have standalone versions too (most of the NI stuff, for example).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipshotPercussion View Post
And having watched others work with it, Ableton scares the hell out of me. Way too complex for me to wrap my brain around.
It's really not. There are more YouTube tutorials for Ableton that most of the other DAW options out there. Just Google it. Here is one example of a step-by-step tutorial.

http://www.oscillicious.com/support/...-ableton-live/

Quote:
Originally Posted by HipshotPercussion View Post
Is there something simpler that would work? Or am I just being scared-as-all-hell-over-nothing-crazy?
You can buy a hardware sampler off eBay and go MIDI out from the TD-11 straight into that. I wouldn't go that route, though. Honestly, most of those hardware sampler interfaces are harder to use then your computer, and they are on a much smaller display.

I would get a copy of Reaper, which is free, and then download one of the many free VST samplers out there if you just want to mess around with it. If you've no experience with DAW software and VST plugins, there will be a bit of a learning curve, but everything you want to do can be done quite easily with a little research and time. Almost anything has a YouTube tutorial these days, and most of it can be done without spending any money.

List of free VST samplers.

http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2010...vsti-samplers/
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: I love hitting things with sticks & the Roland TD-11

This is terrific, Eric. Exactly what I needed.

I'll download Reaper and let you know how it goes.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: I love hitting things with sticks & the Roland TD-11

A funny thing happened on the way to a software solution to my problem. I mentioned what we've been talking about here to my daughter, who's half of a punk rock duo called the Yev, and she and the other half decided I needed to "go a little more pro."

So now I've got a sample pad, a sweet little mixing board, and a tablet PC onboard along with my TD-11 and acoustic kit. The result is more drum fun than I've had in years, and with a minimal learning curve.

Of course, I'm already thinking about how to blow out my bank account by upgrading.





Thanks again for the help,
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