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MIDI drum triggering - CONFUSED!


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I wonder if anybody can tell me what I'm doing wrong here?! I've very recently begun to explore the whole concept and possibility of using MIDI drums (previously I have always mic'd acoustic drums but now how neighbours to contend with!) I acquired a DD502 electronic kit to further my experiments here.

 

The kit works OK standalone and Logic also recognises the MIDI signals it sends (there was some latency to begin with but I bought a new cable and, although still not great, it doesn't seem as bad now). The thing is, along with other stuff, I really want to try out the 'Abbey Road' drum sounds that come with the EastWest 'Fab Four' software I've also acquired recently.

 

Unfortunately so far to date I am finding that only certain pads trigger sounds and, those pads that do aren't always triggering the right sounds! (For example: On one kit preset the kick sounds a snare and on most of the available kits hitting the cymbals doesn't appear to do anything!)

 

That said, the sounds I am getting even if they're not triggering what they're supposed to be playing sound awesome! (Like Tom 2 and the Floor Tom for example. Tom 1 doesn't work for any of the available kits but then I suppose that's because Ringo didn't have two rack toms on his Luwig?) Anyway .... can anybody help me here and shed some light on this? Like I say, the Logic kit sounds are assigned correctly with the kick playing the kick and the cymbals triggering as they should - it's only when I switch to the EastWest software that the drum sounds get kind of confused.

 

What I'm trying to determine by way of control experiments is whether the problem is with the kit OR the software. Perhaps I need a new 'brain'? (LOL!) Any thoughts here would be very much appreciated as this is all kinda new to me and I need all the advice I can get!

 

Thanks in advance.

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A very brief reply cos I'm no expert but I think you need to check out "drum maps" to convert the midi signals from the drums to the software - they often use different settings as you've already found out. There may well be one out there already.

 

P

 

Just found this which may also help

http://www.logicprohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=47981&sid=2b15a68619ad7d44e8060ff698e5bee7

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Thanks for the info and link. This electronic kit I have is a 'Legacy DD502'. There's loads of different companies marketing this one with the DD502 suffix but, from what I can make out anyway, it's essentially the same kit.

 

I have tried the protocol suggested in the above link ie: pressing the module's 'Voice' button then scrolling through the numbers to find the correct trigger drum sound for that pad using the '+' and/or '-' buttons but to no avail. Yes, this procedure changes the in-the-box sounds but it doesn't appear to do anything when trying to find and map the MIDI sounds so I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to go next!

 

From my experiments to date I'm guessing either: a) The brain of this kit doesn't function properly in this area (even though everything else on-board seems to be okay including triggering the MIDI drumkit presets in the Logic Library) OR b) Even though there's a MIDI out the brain is not compatible with the 3rd party software I'm using (namely EastWest's 'FAB FOUR' drum sounds).

 

Does anybody else here own one of these DD502 electronic kits? Could you perhaps chip in and shed some light as to where I might be going wrong here? Would a factory reset help and,if so, what buttons do I need to hold down at drum kit start up in order to do this? I'm still rather confused here - THANKS!

 

PS: The pads that are actually triggering the Fab Four kit software package sounds do sound remarkably good to my ears which makes this whole thing doubly frustrating as all I really want to do is just play the full kit in its entiret without component kit sounds missing from the mix (like both cymbals and a rack tom for example). Again, any further help here on this one would be MUCH appreciated!

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Well, i don't think i can solve your problem but i'll give u a few ideas (maybe).

 

I don't know anything about that specific brain but most brains would have the ability to change the midi note. For example, if you hit the snare and it outputs the midi note D2 can you edit the brain so it will output D3 instead. If so, make a patch in your brain to coincide with your software sounds.

 

If you can not do the above, just work a different way.

 

I use my electronic kit with an Alesis DM5 module. The sounds are not acceptable to me for recording but i don't care. All i use the brain for is to transmit the performance to Logic. Once in Logic i use the library of sounds i have there to achieve the desired result. For example, once in Logic select all the tom1 hits and drag them to whatever note sounds right in your software.

 

The other big benefit is monitoring the drum sounds from the DM5 during recording. This allows for zero latency monitoring when recording.

 

Maybe this can help you at least get going.

 

SONiC

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Some very helpful ideas there Sonic - thank you! I will try it the other way round then ie: if I can't get the brain on this DD505 unit to actually change the MIDI voices (which I don't think I can!) I shall try to record the MIDI signals in then audition the the voices post-recording. Can you expand on your process for doing this where you say "This allows for zero latency monitoring when recording". Do you wear in-ear headphone buds connected to the phones output of your brain with larger headphones over the top of them to listen to what you're trying to play along with in Logic? (I record solo in isolation so everything I do has to be multitracked as I go).
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For zero latency with the drum machine i use the Maestro software.

 

I use the Ensemble but i think you should be able to do the same thing with your Duet. You may have to operate in mono.

 

I run an audio cable from the brain to the Ensemble Ch1. Use the Maestro software mixer to bring the audio from Logic and Ch1 on the interface together. The output from logic shows up at the "From Software" fader in Maestro. i Listen to this through the headphones connected to the Ensemble. You may have to do all this in mono since the duet is only two channels. Just make sure to put Logic in Low Latency mode when recording. The maestro software routes the input from the drums (Ch1) directly to the headphone without A/D so there is zero latency.

 

Hope this works for you.

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Oops! Just need to pick your brain one more time here - I think I've almost cracked it!

OK ... awhere do we stand on actually capturing the MIDI signals since it is the MIDI input that I want to use to showcase my EastWest drum voices. Is your above procedure purely to be able to play along in time then you record the MIDI signals as well as the stock sounds from the drum brain simultaneously? I currently have a MIDI-to-USB lead out from the brain going to a USB socket on the back of my MacMini and have been recording the MIDI signals (with varying results!) diresctly to a record-enabled software track in my current Logic project. Even with the low latency mode engaged for recording the beat is still out of whack when I listen back to my efforts (I'm behind it!) Is it common practice to have to move entire sections into place to get it all to play 'on the beat' (even if you're monitoring/recording the line-in signal too with 'zero latency' as in your method described above)? Also should I be attempting to record BOTH the stock sound line-output from the drum brain onto an instrument track as well as the MIDI software track here? Many thanks!

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no way it isnt normal practice to nudge any part of midi, i trigger drums all the time with my dm5, make sure you have the correct midi channel selected, and when i first tried my midi to usb i had it backwards because the signal is from the computer in/out not the other way around and this made my midi notes funky. the notes should be in time, could it be the velocity isnt high enough and some notes arent showing and some are? is thru on? or off?

i use logic and have no latency

 

 

i set up my software track, and select my instruments(snare,kick,tom1,tom2,tom3, and i record real cymbals with the performance, i use steve slate samples and contact but that shouldnt matter, the hits are recorded into piano roll and able to be heard realtime so i can give the drummer headphones straight out of my interface. note also i did change the hits in my brain(alesis DM5) to match the notes in logic d1 snare etc... i would suggest to look into the settings of your brain and check the midi out settings i believe mine is thru and set to midi channel 1

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Oops! Just need to pick your brain one more time here - I think I've almost cracked it!

OK ... awhere do we stand on actually capturing the MIDI signals since it is the MIDI input that I want to use to showcase my EastWest drum voices. Is your above procedure purely to be able to play along in time then you record the MIDI signals as well as the stock sounds from the drum brain simultaneously? I currently have a MIDI-to-USB lead out from the brain going to a USB socket on the back of my MacMini and have been recording the MIDI signals (with varying results!) diresctly to a record-enabled software track in my current Logic project. Even with the low latency mode engaged for recording the beat is still out of whack when I listen back to my efforts (I'm behind it!) Is it common practice to have to move entire sections into place to get it all to play 'on the beat' (even if you're monitoring/recording the line-in signal too with 'zero latency' as in your method described above)? Also should I be attempting to record BOTH the stock sound line-output from the drum brain onto an instrument track as well as the MIDI software track here? Many thanks!

 

 

Yes, use the USB connection to record the MIDI into Logic.

 

1. Make sure you put Logic into 'Low Latency Mode' Read the manual for more info on the different compensation types.

 

2. Make sure you are listening to the right audio path of the drums. You want the audio path from the brain to route like this:

 

A) Brain -> Duet -> Maestro -> Headphone out

 

NOT like this:

 

B) Brain -> Duet -> Logic -> Headphone out

 

If you route it through Logic (routing B) there will be Latency on the drum hits and you will never get a tight performance.

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