Roland TD50 has been announced.

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Can we finally reach a point where the e-kits sound as good as plugins like Superior Drummer? I can't think of a single reason why that hasn't happened a long time ago.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Can we finally reach a point where the e-kits sound as good as plugins like Superior Drummer? I can't think of a single reason why that hasn't happened a long time ago.


my $300 laptop can run BFD3, superior, Slate and connect to my EKIT.

For $8000 for the top end TD30 when it came out the could have slapped a built in computer or some sort of upgrade-able VST in it FOR SURE.

But there is a reason they keep making them and people keep buying them :). Don't want to push the tech too far and dig yourself a hole if people are happy enough they don't want to upgrade.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
But surely more people would have bought e-kits if they sounded as good as today's VSTs? I don't understand why not a single manufacturer seems to have offered something like that yet.

After all, a TD-3 connected to a half-decent VST sounds a hundred times better than a TD-30 (and presumably a TD-50)
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
Can we finally reach a point where the e-kits sound as good as plugins like Superior Drummer? I can't think of a single reason why that hasn't happened a long time ago.

I agree entirely. For the kind of money that Roland is asking for a high-end electronic kit it would be very simple for them to include some kind of small tablet computing device with a good set of software instruments included. It could even be another source of revenue - bringing the kit out with a solid set and then offering new sets at a price, provided you could download them from the internet and load them using a USB drive or direct computer connection.

Using Android on the tablet would take any software licensing concerns away from an OS standpoint (and they could develop it quite easily to be a single-use device) and could open up ideas like WiFi access to an online jam service (I distinctly remember one DAW I had many, many years ago had a service of this kind called 'Rocket Power') with 'Premium' features included at an extra cost or bundled with the higher-end kits and available at cost to lower-end kits.

They'd need a dedicated software team to implement it but Roland is a big company! They could even include similar devices with drum machines, electric pianos, etc, etc.
 

octatonic

Senior Member
But surely more people would have bought e-kits if they sounded as good as today's VSTs? I don't understand why not a single manufacturer seems to have offered something like that yet.

After all, a TD-3 connected to a half-decent VST sounds a hundred times better than a TD-30 (and presumably a TD-50)

The thing about the TD30 is that it is relatively easy to work with and to gig.
Setting up a laptop is more work, is more unreliable in terms of stability.
I've never had my TD30 crash out.
Logic and PT have crashed, not a lot, but too much to trust in a gig situation.

As a practice tool I can walk to the E kit, turn it on, put the headphones on and play.
It doesn't sound as good as the full blown Superior plugin but it sounds good enough and requires less dicking around.
I still have a midi out to the DAW for when I want to record midi.
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
The thing about the TD30 is that it is relatively easy to work with and to gig.
Setting up a laptop is more work, is more unreliable in terms of stability.
I've never had my TD30 crash out.
Logic and PT have crashed, not a lot, but too much to trust in a gig situation.

As a practice tool I can walk to the E kit, turn it on, put the headphones on and play.
It doesn't sound as good as the full blown Superior plugin but it sounds good enough and requires less dicking around.
I still have a midi out to the DAW for when I want to record midi.

Why not have both? It would be relatively straightforward for Roland to include a small tablet capable of playing high-quality software instruments. If they did it properly then there's no reason why it can't be every bit as reliable as the current module. Why not make it an extra accessory to the base kit?

Roland could do this easily - but they're not. Why? Profit margins.
 

octatonic

Senior Member
Why not have both? It would be relatively straightforward for Roland to include a small tablet capable of playing high-quality software instruments. If they did it properly then there's no reason why it can't be every bit as reliable as the current module. Why not make it an extra accessory to the base kit?

Roland could do this easily - but they're not. Why? Profit margins.

Why has profit become a dirty word?
I want companies that make products to be able to sustain their business model.

Adding a tablet with a load of Superior drummer style plugin and all the sounds- not to mention the entire library of sounds (my Superior folder is something like 500GB and I don't own all the libraries) would be prohibitively expensive.
And you can't run something like Superior from a tablet- you need a fully fledged computer.
My main kit is something like 2GB with all the sympathetic sounds on.
Memory is cheaper than ever but the rule of thumb is if a feature costs the manufacturer $10 then at retail it needs to be 4 times that to account for all the incidental costs of producing said thing, marketing, shipping, returns etc.

Then people would accuse Roland of gouging them for the extra hardware and sounds.

And people can just use a midi cable to plug into their existing computer that they already own.

I don't gig with a laptop because I don't have the luxury of long set up times, but some folks do.

I don't think the TD50 on paper is a bad idea- I'll hopefully be able to get a look at it when I have a lesson next week with Craig Blundell.

My main issue with the TD30 is the machine-gunning.
I can fix that by taking a midi cable out to my DAW- but I live with it with the TD30 because I like to be able to just sit down and practice with no messing about, waiting for Logic to load, monitoring back to the drum brain from the DAW etc.
 

Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
You only need a fully-fleged PC to run libraries like Superior Drummer because they are not dedicated devices. If you had a dedicated device, it would be more than capable of running a sound library in real-time provided it was coded properly.

All I'm proposing is the TD-50 module replaced with a tablet that you can connect to load more sound sets. The cost difference is trivial compared to the current module (in terms of manufacturing) and you could get rid of a lot of the moving parts and points of failure. I can see the issue in R&D, maintenance and development costs but Roland already have to maintain the current modules with occasional firmware patches.

Companies are welcome to make a profit, I have no problem with this. I just think the Roland modules are antiquated.

It doesn't particularly bother me. I have no dog in this fight. I agree that MIDI + laptop is a superior solution but the sound sets on Roland modules are terrible. Absolutely terrible.
 

octatonic

Senior Member
I agree that MIDI + laptop is a superior solution but the sound sets on Roland modules are terrible. Absolutely terrible.

I've been pretty happy with the TD30 as a live and as a practice tool.
The stock sounds are pretty naff but that is the same with every synth and guitar device on the planet too.

The V-Expression packs show you can get good sounds out of the modules.
 

andtfoot

Member
Seems pretty fancy, but I still have yet to see an example of an electronic kit with good dynamics control. It always seems to be either quiet-ish, or belt-the-crap-out-of-it level (this one seemingly being extolled as a virtue in the Anderton's video); not much in between, or really quiet. I'm guessing it's more a limitation of the pads/triggers than anything.
Also, I had a random thought. I wonder if simulated sympathetic vibration between drums/cymbals will be introduced into e-kits at some point?
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Seems pretty fancy, but I still have yet to see an example of an electronic kit with good dynamics control. It always seems to be either quiet-ish, or belt-the-crap-out-of-it level (this one seemingly being extolled as a virtue in the Anderton's video); not much in between, or really quiet. I'm guessing it's more a limitation of the pads/triggers than anything.
Also, I had a random thought. I wonder if simulated sympathetic vibration between drums/cymbals will be introduced into e-kits at some point?

"I wonder if simulated sympathetic vibration between drums/cymbals will be introduced into e-kits at some point"

This existed on the td-20 I used to have.. You control sympathetic snare buzz for all the drums. Not to the extent your thinking but it was there.
 
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