Plug and play drum kit software?

Birdy

Well-known member
Had a look at superior drummer etc on YouTube which seems great, but at this stage I’m only interested in getting access to better kits on my Alesis Nitro Mesh.
Is there a how to guide somewhere that can give me what I’m after, advising cables needed, input sockets used on the kit and laptop/ iPad,and how to load it all up.
Once done, do you then plug speakers or headphones into the laptop rather than the kit module.
Any help appreciated.
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
You need a printer cable (something like this) and connect via usb midi to the laptop. If it's a newer mac, it will probably work without latency. On Windows it's recommended to use a Asio4All as audio driver. (If there is still latency, you may need an audio interface.) On Mac, you can hook it up to Garageband and try the built-in drum sounds (and record in midi). Superior Drummer also works in stand alone mode, I highly recommend it. Not even more expensive modules can give you realistic sound like what you can get on a computer with bigger storage and stronger processor.
If you are not sure yet, you can also try the free version of Steven Slate Drums that sounds nice and would show you how your computer behaves. It's not standalone, so would need to run in a DAW (like Garageband, Reaper of Cakewalk for pc). The sound will have to come out of the laptop.
You can run into some mapping problems as all kits are made different, these apps have a midi listen mode where you hit a pad and tell what it is, or you can also change the midi notes assigned to pads in your module (after consulting the user manual), Superior has some built-in Alesis presets, too.
EZdrummer has a demo version that you can also try, it's almost like SD3 in look and setup. (But Superior is superior, lol.)
 
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KamaK

Platinum Member
I had a DTX-532 and an iMac.

Setup was as simple as plugging in a USB cable, starting GarageBand/Logic, and (IIRC) inverting the hi-hat open/close setting.
 

Birdy

Well-known member
Thanks for all that info.
So, I’ll need to get hold of a basic laptop (not a Mac as it’s too costly). When you say SD is standalone, do you mean I therefore don’t need some sort of DAW software and could just install it in to the laptop? If so that’s the simpler option I’d like to take.
My starting point would be to try the EZ free demo- will I just need the cable as suggested and then I can install?
Excuse my delinquency, it’s a few years since I’ve used a laptop as I’ve been in manual work and just using iPad for web stuff.
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
Thanks for all that info.
So, I’ll need to get hold of a basic laptop (not a Mac as it’s too costly). When you say SD is standalone, do you mean I therefore don’t need some sort of DAW software and could just install it in to the laptop?
My starting point would be to try the EZ free demo- will I just need the cable as suggested and then I can install.?
Yes and yes. I think Cakewalk for windows is free, you need a daw if you want to record a song, otherwise SD can run by itself and it also allows you to import backing tracks (and slow them down.
 

Birdy

Well-known member
Thanks, - import backing tracks- at the moment I play along to you tube covers and can clearly hear my drums over the top. Could I do the same with SD? I’m not interested in recording or mixing so SD may be overkill, but it may still be worth the money just for the kits.
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
Thanks, - import backing tracks- at the moment I play along to you tube covers and can clearly hear my drums over the top. Could I do the same with SD? I’m not interested in recording or mixing so SD may be overkill, but it may still be worth the money just for the kits.
I think if you play them through the aux in, you can still do that, but you'd only hear it in the headphones through the module. You can use the module audio out (in which case you'd want to turn Local Off to not hear the old module drum sounds with it) and send it to the PC, a mixer or audio interface, but I'm not familiar with that situation. I remember seeing people having problems with playing multiple audio without a daw on windows, maybe someone else can chime in. On the Mac I can just open itunes, play a song, start a youtube in safari and play in SD all at once. The sounds are worth it, but if you are unsure, you could also test Steven Slate as their full version is still 60% off for 3 days or so..
 

Chris Whitten

Active member
Just for playing nice sounding, realistic drums, I find EZdrummer is all I need.
Lots of great kits, and the expansions are often heavily discounted. I have Superior, but for fun I usually just launch EZdrummer.
 

Birdy

Well-known member
But ez has only 5 kits ? Will this be better than those pre loaded on my Nitro Mesh? Or have I misread their product details?
 

Doraemon

Well-known member
But ez has only 5 kits ? Will this be better than those pre loaded on my Nitro Mesh? Or have I misread their product details?
Try the demo, it'll be better. I think they still have a sale where you get an expansion pack for free. Check how much those kits would cost if you bought them for real.... Kits are actual kits that were sampled in high detail, Superior has maybe about 8, but then it becomes 100+ presets for various styles, as a combination, tuning, room size, mic, stick or brush etc.
 

Birdy

Well-known member
Thanks very much, I’ll take a look at all those later when I get back from work , but 5 kits vs 8 for the money involved sounds like the ez route is better for me as I’ll probably not use the other features and as you say I can buy other kits later .
 

Chris Whitten

Active member
The EZdrummer expansions are very cheap on special from time to time. If you even need any additional kits.
I find the stock EZdrummer kit sounds very nice and good enough to have fun playing.
 
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