Controllers for drumming

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Mag_Music
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Location: South Side of the Sky (VA/NY)

Controllers for drumming

Post by Mag_Music » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:13 pm

I've purchased the Novation Remote Zero SL and the Akai MPD24 with the intention of having something more "drum-like" to enter percussion parts with. The Zero SL is useless for this; the pads are way too small, not particularly well placed, and they require a hammer to get them to even trigger anything. Forget that.

The MPD24 seemed to be ideal, but 1. Live doesn't even see the unit (I know there's a topic out here on how to make it work with Live, but I submit that it shouldn't be "all o' that"), so I've only gotten it to work with the supplied BFD Lite, and 2. I find that the pad sensitivity is uneven. In BFD, the lower left pad, assigned to a bass drum sample, is very noticeably weaker than any of the other pads. You have to hit it hard to hear anything. The sensitivity setting is global, not per pad (as far as I can tell) so there doesn't seem to be anything that can be done about this. Also, sometimes nothing comes out when you do rapid multiple hits, and conversely there have been annoying multiple triggers of single hits.

I don't know if the problem is just this unit or others of you have experienced these things also, but it leaves me 0-2 on controllers for drum parts. Anyone else going through this? Should I get another MPD or a different unit altogether (and if so, what do you suggest)? I've heard plenty of not-terribly-complimentary things about the Trigger Finger and the PadKontrol; what does that leave?
What it is (for Now): (2) Lenovo Dual Core desktops, Edirol PCR-800, Sonar 8.5 PE, Live 8 w/Operator and Sampler, the unloved PT 8, Kontakt 4, Battery 3, GPO 4, mulititudinous plugs and libraries, much unused hardware. And... silence; much silence.

rbmonosylabik
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Post by rbmonosylabik » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:22 pm

I'm pretty sure it doesn't come mapped properly to work with impulse and many other drum samplers.

To use it with impulse you have to map it to:

C3 D3 E3 F3 G3 A3 B3 C4

I think that'd be notes no.: 60 62 64 65 67 69 71 72
Image

MBP 2.3 GHz i5, Live 9.6.1, Push, MPD32, Rane SL2

smutek
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Location: Baltimore,United States

Post by smutek » Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:59 pm


Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:36 pm

Alesis control pad, very similar to the roland SPD20 but at like half the price, I haven't played one but they seem like a great SPD killer.

Keep trying the mpd, if it's not setting up simply, this is a great learning opportunity, seriously, that's the best way to get good at this siht.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, POD500HDX, JX305, Nova
soundcloud.com/tone-deft

Mag_Music
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:41 pm
Location: South Side of the Sky (VA/NY)

Post by Mag_Music » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:48 am

rbmonosylabik wrote:I'm pretty sure it doesn't come mapped properly to work with impulse and many other drum samplers.

To use it with impulse you have to map it to:

C3 D3 E3 F3 G3 A3 B3 C4

I think that'd be notes no.: 60 62 64 65 67 69 71 72
Remember, I haven't even gotten Live to see the MPD yet, so the pad mapping isn't even an issue at this point. I'm a little surprised that Akai has issued no information on how to integrate the MPD with any software at all, but that's how it goes, I suppose.
What it is (for Now): (2) Lenovo Dual Core desktops, Edirol PCR-800, Sonar 8.5 PE, Live 8 w/Operator and Sampler, the unloved PT 8, Kontakt 4, Battery 3, GPO 4, mulititudinous plugs and libraries, much unused hardware. And... silence; much silence.

Mag_Music
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:41 pm
Location: South Side of the Sky (VA/NY)

Post by Mag_Music » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:53 am

smutek wrote:Have you considered something like one of these:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/shop/produc ... sku=449753
I didn't even realize this was out yet. I was interested in this when I first heard
about it. It's a bit more for actual drummers, I'd think, but it'd probably be fun
to have one.
What it is (for Now): (2) Lenovo Dual Core desktops, Edirol PCR-800, Sonar 8.5 PE, Live 8 w/Operator and Sampler, the unloved PT 8, Kontakt 4, Battery 3, GPO 4, mulititudinous plugs and libraries, much unused hardware. And... silence; much silence.

Mag_Music
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:41 pm
Location: South Side of the Sky (VA/NY)

Post by Mag_Music » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:56 am

Tone Deft wrote: Keep trying the mpd, if it's not setting up simply, this is a great learning opportunity, seriously, that's the best way to get good at this siht.
I'm not giving up on the MPD yet, but I have to find a way to determine if this unit itself is faulty or not.
What it is (for Now): (2) Lenovo Dual Core desktops, Edirol PCR-800, Sonar 8.5 PE, Live 8 w/Operator and Sampler, the unloved PT 8, Kontakt 4, Battery 3, GPO 4, mulititudinous plugs and libraries, much unused hardware. And... silence; much silence.

mcconaghy
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Post by mcconaghy » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:52 pm

I was able to try the Alesis pad, being a drummer I was pretty curious as to how it would stack up against the Roland SPD20 and SPD-S pads. To cut a long story short: No competition. The Alesis doesn't even come close to the same quality level as any of the Roland pads. In fact, the damn thing felt like if you gave it a hard enough whack it would fall to pieces. Very disappointing, I was really wanting to like this unit.
I'd recommend an SPD-S - 9 pads, and it samples.

quandry
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Post by quandry » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:37 pm

mcconaghy wrote:I was able to try the Alesis pad, being a drummer I was pretty curious as to how it would stack up against the Roland SPD20 and SPD-S pads. To cut a long story short: No competition. The Alesis doesn't even come close to the same quality level as any of the Roland pads. In fact, the damn thing felt like if you gave it a hard enough whack it would fall to pieces. Very disappointing, I was really wanting to like this unit.
I'd recommend an SPD-S - 9 pads, and it samples.
good to know. sounds like your criticism includes the feel and response of the pads, not just the factory sounds, right? I'm a happy drumkat owner, but am helping a friend jump into the beat-making-with-sticks game, and I suggested the Alesis based soley on the low prices. Can you please confirm if you think the pad response and sensitivity are inferior to roland. thanks!!
Dell Studio XPS 8100 Windows 7 64-bit, 10 GB RAM. RME Multiface, Avalon U5 & M5, Distressor, Filter Factory, UC33e, BCR-2000, FCB1010, K-Station, Hr 824 & H120 sub, EZ Bus, V-Drums, DrumKat EZ, basses, guitars, pedals... http://www.ryan-hughes.net

mcconaghy
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Post by mcconaghy » Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:42 pm

quandry wrote:
mcconaghy wrote:I was able to try the Alesis pad, being a drummer I was pretty curious as to how it would stack up against the Roland SPD20 and SPD-S pads. To cut a long story short: No competition. The Alesis doesn't even come close to the same quality level as any of the Roland pads. In fact, the damn thing felt like if you gave it a hard enough whack it would fall to pieces. Very disappointing, I was really wanting to like this unit.
I'd recommend an SPD-S - 9 pads, and it samples.
good to know. sounds like your criticism includes the feel and response of the pads, not just the factory sounds, right? I'm a happy drumkat owner, but am helping a friend jump into the beat-making-with-sticks game, and I suggested the Alesis based soley on the low prices. Can you please confirm if you think the pad response and sensitivity are inferior to roland. thanks!!
Very inferior response, I don't think the unit has any factory sounds. The triggering response seemed uneven across each zone, and sensitivity wasn't very good, it didn't track hits at lower dynamic levels at all. I'd do the SPD-S or scour Ebay for an older DK10 or DrumKat

mbenigni
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Post by mbenigni » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:22 pm

Sad to hear that about the Alesis - I've been waiting for those with baited breath. They keep anouncing the release and then delaying availability. (Current ETA is 3/25/07.)

The Roland is just too much money ($699 and you're paying, at least in some small measure, for the sounds, which I don't need.)

The DK stuff is heavy and the interface is so dated. (I'm easily frustrated with docs and programming techniques along the lines of: Tap pad 04, the unit will beep 36 times, then stand on your head and whistle dixie, the unit will beep 4 times and/ or accompany you. Power the unit off and back on again while patting your head with your elbow. The unit will now do 3/5th's but not more of what you initially set out to accomplish.)

I'm hoping they've delayed the Alesis because they're addressing some quality concerns, maybe the next batch will be winners? (Did you play a prototype, or was there an actual batch of retail units at some point??)

hambone1
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Post by hambone1 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:23 pm

Ya gets what ya pays for. Pay peanuts, get sh*t. Sad but true.

I'm gonna pick up an SPD-S to replace my crappy Yamaha DD-55c. To be able to play samples directly from the SPD-S instead of through Live with its unacceptable latency will be sweet, and although the SPD-S isn't quite as beefy as the SPD-20, it'll be a great improvement.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:28 pm

Thanks for the review mcconaghy!

Damn you Roland, damn you...
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, POD500HDX, JX305, Nova
soundcloud.com/tone-deft

ikke
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Post by ikke » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:47 pm

hambone1 wrote:Ya gets what ya pays for. Pay peanuts, get sh*t. Sad but true.

I'm gonna pick up an SPD-S to replace my crappy Yamaha DD-55c. To be able to play samples directly from the SPD-S instead of through Live with its unacceptable latency will be sweet, and although the SPD-S isn't quite as beefy as the SPD-20, it'll be a great improvement.
whet you should do is build a new computer for fxpansion BFD! connect a kickdrum and hh control to your spd and you have the best sounding e-drum! for a reasonable price

these guys: http://www.hartdynamics.com/home/index.html .. are cheap and have good quality (so it seems). get drumpads and a carcas from those fellas and buy the Alesis trigger IO and fxpansion BFD and you have POWER! and you will forget roland immediatly :lol:

mcconaghy
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Post by mcconaghy » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:51 pm

mbenigni wrote:Sad to hear that about the Alesis - I've been waiting for those with baited breath. They keep anouncing the release and then delaying availability. (Current ETA is 3/25/07.)

The Roland is just too much money ($699 and you're paying, at least in some small measure, for the sounds, which I don't need.)

The DK stuff is heavy and the interface is so dated. (I'm easily frustrated with docs and programming techniques along the lines of: Tap pad 04, the unit will beep 36 times, then stand on your head and whistle dixie, the unit will beep 4 times and/ or accompany you. Power the unit off and back on again while patting your head with your elbow. The unit will now do 3/5th's but not more of what you initially set out to accomplish.)

I'm hoping they've delayed the Alesis because they're addressing some quality concerns, maybe the next batch will be winners? (Did you play a prototype, or was there an actual batch of retail units at some point??)
As far as I was told this was a release model. I seriously hope it wasn't.

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