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First foray into the world of electonic drums/pads - help please!

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  • First foray into the world of electonic drums/pads - help please!

    Hi -

    So basically I have a band where I'm looking to play electronic drums in a live situation (in addition to separate synth playing), and I could really use some advice/guidance.

    Ideally I suppose I'd like to be using drum pads (Roland PD-whatevers, for example) into Ableton, so that I can trigger the drum kits in that. Or do I get a drum module and pads, rather than running through Ableton?

    But I don't know where to start....

    My firewire soundcard has 8 inputs/8 outputs - usually when I've played a midi keyboard live, that just a simple matter of plug and play usb to midi, and I haven't needed to be concerned with anything more than just plugging the usb from the keyboard into my laptop. However, with electronic drums, I'm at a loss where to start. If I'm not going to be using a drum module for my sounds, how do I set up the pads? (It might be worth pointing out that I don't need a complex set-up - 4 pads will suit me fine for what I need). Do the pads just plug in as inputs to the firewire card via instrument leads?


  • #2
    You need to have a module to trigger software anyway. I run my Roland TD9 into a Mac triggering BFD2. You can't just plug the pads into whatever. At least I don't think you can. The midi signal has to be "created" by the module. The module is the thing measuring all the parameters and sending that info out to the software.

    Think of it like the module is the internal "computer" of your midi keyboard, and the pads are the black and white keys. Can't have one without the other.


    • #3
      SC is on the right track...

      The generic/basic signal path would be:


      Trigger interface (I/o)

      Sound source


      You can buy I/o interfaces for pads that contain no sounds, but most eKits build that into the brain, which also contains sounds as well.
      For cripe's sake, somebody buy that kid a freaking DICTIONARY already!


      • #4
        Do you have a drumkit?

        If so, you can put Roland mesh heads on it, pop on a ddrum trigger, and use an alesis or roland trigger to MIDI interface to connect to a laptop to get into the abelton sounds.

        I've never done it, but I saw a guy doing that very thing about 4 months ago. I don't know the exact software he had.

        He played in a band from Miami called Phoenix/Nebulin. (His wife is the lead singer - great, great band! I mean incredible.)
        Support your fellow HC members!
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        Originally Posted by agedhorse

        You can't bridge these amps (yay).


        • #5
          Perhaps the first thing to think about is whether you need a real kit with separate pads, or if something like a Roland Octapad or Alesis Control Pad would fit your needs.