I’m talking to a drummer about using his TD-10 module to record his MIDI performance to Cubase AI 7. He’s never used MIDI before, and I’ve never thought about a TD-10 before. It would have to be on my laptop at his place, I believe. Also, because it is at his place, and I am the consumer in this relationship, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to troubleshoot, set up, etc. So I’d like be as prepared as possible to program his TD-10 before I even walk in the door for the first time.
What I’d like to wind up with is a complete MIDI performance recorded in Cubase AI 7, which I can take home, load into my Cubase 7.5.40, and route to a drum VSTi so I can select the drum sounds, and possibly edit the MIDI data.
Parenthetically, re: MIDI timing … there are at least a few Cubase threads floating around about possible really bad MIDI timing. I’ve never been bothered by it because I’m a keyboard player , but maybe with drums this becomes more important? … is this whole idea of recording drum-accurate MIDI data into Cubase AI a dumb one, should I just forget this whole idea?
I’ve read the TD-10 manual, and some thoughts/comments/questions I have already are (page #s refer to the downloaded TD-10 manual):
There’s nothing about a computer in the manual (too old?), but I think I would follow the instructions on page 122, “Using pads to play an external MIDI sound module”, and replace “external sound module” with “laptop that Cubase AI is loaded on” … is that correct?
Or would it be better to just record his performance as a TD-10 pattern, then Bulk Dump into Cubase, as described on page 121?
Someone elsewhere said the data might need to be thinned to prevent Cubase from crashing … page 124 in the section “MIDI settings for the entire TD-10” talks about thinning out pedal data … has anyone found that needs to be activated for Cubase?
Is synchronization important here, does Cubase need to be set as a slave, and the TD-10 as a master (page 130)?
Has anyone done anything like this before? If so … please give me some words of wisdom … thanks!!
This is what I’ve heard from other drummers who use the V-Studio system: as good as these kits are for straight up rock drumming, they lack the sensitivity to capture the performance of a drummer who plays with finesse. This is especially evident in jazz playing.
However, I’ve never been able to find out firsthand if that’s true or not.
I’ve used the TD4 and it worked great with Cubase and Studio Drummer. I just put down some scratch tracks with it for a guy’s EP I was producing. But when the real acoustic drummer was too flaky, we just decided to use my midi tracks. You can hear them here on tracks 1-4:
I went midi out from TD4, into Fireface UFX interface, routed to Studio Drummer. I set my latency as low as possible (64) so there would be as little lag as possible. Had to change Studio Drummer’s settings to Roland E setting. But then it was pretty straight forward.
I’ve worked with a drummer who uses a TD20k MANY times… It couldn’t be more straight forward really and don’t worry about buffer clogging, unless you’re running a large midi rig all on one port it’s just not an issue any more…
The area you’re most likely to have issues with is if you want to use sounds from your puter; the sound mapping might be off, but that’s not too difficult to sort out either… also if using sounds external from the TD you might have to remap the velocity curve for each ‘drum’ too, again it’s just a question of just working through each pad on the kit to tweak.
Foolmon is on the right track with his comments but if you trigger something like BFD2/3 or some of the other more in depth VSTis that carry more articulations and sample layers then you can get VERY close to the sound and feel of a live kit and drummer.
The main issue i’ve found with E-kits is the onboard sounds… they’re ok-ish for very simplistic styles that don’t have a lot of variation or dynamics (not so much of an issue in a live situation) so it becomes apparent very quickly that it’s an E-kit…
I will ultimately be translating to a drum VSTi like EZDrummer 2. I saw a vid somewhere showing someone doing the velocity tweaking you mentioned above (the part I bolded). They did it by hitting each drum one at a time and adjusting the curve in the VSTi.
Would you recommend doing it that way, or listening to the kit all together in the setting of a song, and doing it in that context?
That is going to be challenging to me either way (I’ve never gone near a drum kit before, and as far as I know this drummer has only played live before), so “easy, bordering on idiot-proof” is important, so long as the results are still good …
Ok first off you need to make sure the Ekits’ pads/brain are all working velocity wise so you need to set each one of those up first for the drummer if not already… obviously at the velocity they will be playing the piece at… i do know of one or two E drummers who will have several velocity maps on their brain units (drummers and brain units??? lol ) to accommodate different songs, pretty sensible actually as 127 levels of velocity isn’t really that much when you compare to an acoustic kit!.. THEN start to set up the velocity settings on your VSTi, again at the playing level they will be performing at… surprising how many even fairly experienced players/performers are all meek and mild in a sound check and then let rip when you come to record lol… If they don’t play during setup at the right velocity then you run the chance of ‘cross triggering’ from the ekits pads.
Once you feel you have the velocities all in the same ballpark then look at the kit as a whole making sure your drummer is happy with the feel of the kit.
Just go at it mindfully and methodically and it’s pretty straight forward… this stuff is designed for drummers at the end of the day he he
I have a feeling most of my velocity tweaking will be at home after I record the MIDI in and compare what it should sound like by listening to his recorded DT-10 audio out. My anticipated drummer has never done MIDI recording before, is a great live guy, but non-technical (I can hope he has different velocity maps … I wouldn’t be surprised if he did, as he’s a very solid guy) - AND, I’ve never been an “engineer” outside the confines of the spare bedroom. So though I’m going to go in as prepared as I can be, there will almost certainly be some futzing around no matter what. If I can minimize it by doing things like velocity tweaking after the case … I think that will wind up being best.