MIDI Drum module suggestions?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Leonc, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm looking for some decent drums sounds. I know how to program drums (not great, but well enough) with MIDI sequencing software, and that's all I'll be doing for the time being. In the future, I may get some kind of pad or pads to trigger the sounds...but for now, I just need something that can be controlled from MIDI sequencing software (I'm still in the stoneage using Cakewalk PA 9).

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Gerry

    Gerry Guest

    If by "decent" you mean "realistic", the BFD acoustic drum module is terrific.
    Plus, it has a wide selection of "grooves" with flexible fills, humanization, etc, such that I haven't had to learn yet how to "play" a drum set thru MIDI keyboard yet.

    http://www.fxpansion.com/product-bfd-main.php

    Apparently it IS a CPU hog, so you want to have lotsa RAM and a fast processor...
     
  3. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Great suggestion! Sounds like a near perfect solution.
     
  4. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    I use BFD. The "drummer" behind me in my clips is all BFD.
     
  5. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    DFHS is the other big drum software module.

    For hardware modules, the V-drums are pretty nice.
     
  6. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the tip Denyle_Guitars.

    Question for all of you - do you ever use MIDI sequencing software to program the drums or are you just using some kind of pad interface?
     
  7. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    DFH2 comes with a sequencer and is under $100. I'm not sure if it's shipping yet though.

    There are a number of ways to trigger the sounds. Midi keyboard, sequencer, trigger pads, drum machine. Use an e. drum kit or acoustic drums with piezo triggers. If you have an old sr-16 or boss drum machine, you can use those preset patterns to trigger the sofware samples. The Roland SPD series pads are nice also, better than hitting tiny buttons anyway.
     
  8. BSHARP

    BSHARP Member

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    I have DFHS and most recently Battery 2 from Native Instruments.
    Battery has more kits and is less of a memory hog. It's also cheaper. If you have a PC with a sequencer that accepts either VSTi or DXi - checkout Jamstix at www.rayzoon.com It is an interactive drummer that will monitor your playing and pump out the grooves for you. It has mappings for BFD, DFHS and Battery 2.
     
  9. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    Dude, the new Mbox comes with a "Lite" version of BFD that makes it very interesting. So you could get into PT, and get a look at BFD. There's a lot of cool **** that comes with it.
    I haven't used DFH myself, but I've been told that the BFD kits are already processed, and more "finished" while the tweakers LOVE DFH
     
  10. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    DFH and BFD are probably the most popular ways to go. Personally, I've been using Reason for a long time and have their Drumkit Refill expansion that is similar to DFH and BFD. It has several different types of drums with close mics, as well as overheads, room, and ambient mics, all sampled at several different attack levels so that the triggered sound is more realistic. I use Reason a plug-in within Pro Tools and record my MIDI drum tracks from a Roland V-Drum kit. Honestly, if I were buying today, I'd probably get both DFH and BFD to play around with.

    Bryan
     
  11. malabarmusic

    malabarmusic Member

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    The Scarbee Imperial Drums package looks interesting. It only comes in Halion and Kontakt (why not Battery?) formats, though. I wish there were an easy way to sit down with someone who knows what they're doing and do some A/B comparisons of SID, BFD, DFH, Battery, etc.

    - DB
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    If you don't mind programming, but don't feel like putzing around with new drum software, you can probably pick up an old Alesis D4 rackmount drum module for next to nothing.

    I've used these on occasion on national ads (my former partner had several), and the drums sound quite good, especially layered.

    Just a thought.
     
  13. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks Les...I thought about that but I've heard the cymbals are pretty crappy on many of those. Have you listened to BFD? Holy crap...great sounding drums! This is probably the kick in the pants I needed to get me out of 1997 technology, albeit kicking and screaming...:p
     
  14. gomez1856

    gomez1856 Member

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    I just ordered bfd Leon, I'll give you a review when I install it if you want.


    Rick
     
  15. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Rick, are you gonna use it with a sequencer? if so, which one?
     
  16. gomez1856

    gomez1856 Member

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    Ya, I'm using Logic Pro 7.1. It actually comes with a really nice sampler and some very passable kits already, but after hearing the BFD clips, I just couldn't resist. Everyone I've talked to tells me that I will need a dedicated hard drive for it, as the install alone is 9 gigs, so I just added one while I wait for it to arrive.

    For programing the drums I use a couple different methods to sequence the patterns. Most of the time, I just bang out the basic rhythm on a midi controller keyboard for a couple bars. This way, I get varying velocities that helps it sound more human. If I need to clean up a hit or two, I'll just drill in with the mouse and move it around or adjust the velocity or whatever.

    If I'm in a hurry, I'll use what Logic calls the hyper-editor. The only thing I've found it to be good for is drum programming. With this, you record a new track for each drum or cymbal. After setting a quantization (1/8, 1/4, 1/16, etc.) for a track, you just drag you curser to indicate where the hit should occur. Difficult to describe, but really easy to do. When I use this, I have to use the "humanize" feature to vary the velocity or else it sounds like a robot.

    I'm looking forward to the rhythm engine in BFD. This will allow me to just pick a style and add in some fills. Looks like it'll save a ton of time and deliver better rythm tracks than I could by myself.

    What are you using? or planning to use?

    Rick


    By the way, I've also got the Boss DR-880 and would be more than happy to provide you with examples of both.
     
  17. BSHARP

    BSHARP Member

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    Leon -
    Buying into either BFD or DFH Superior requires a minimum of 1Gb Ram, (preferably 1.5 Gb) and a dedicated Hard Drive with a Sequencer host needing at least a 2 Ghz processor. Both will run on either Mac or Windows XP. IMHO Battery 2 is a great alternative and is less demanding on your system. I bought DFH Superior over BFD for no good reason other then my former band mate has BFD and Logic 7.1 with a MAC and I use Cubase SX-3 with Windows. (like you, we both have Aiken Tomcats). The Battery 2 'Soul Kit' has become my favorite and is the one I call up to record or jam with. Did you get a chance to check out Jamstix yet? Awesome program. It's like having a session drummer sitting in your studio. Sorry MAC guys, Windows only.
    www.rayzoon.com
     
  18. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    BSHARP - Okay, checked out Battery 2 a little. Sounds pretty good (much better than the hokey Gen MIDI drums in my joe-soundblaster card, LOL!) and the lower system requirements is attractive for sure. I'm not clear on what it actually is. From the website description, it sounds like it's a drum synthesizer... that comes with some built in drum kits? Hmm. Does it look like a DXi from inside your sequencer too?
     
  19. BSHARP

    BSHARP Member

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    Battery 2 has sampled drum kits, about 3.7Gb in the library. The main screen in the program has cells where you can assign the different sample kits. These cells can be triggered from a midi source or a recorded midi sequence - or you can use a drum pad or whatever. You can edit the midi sequence in your sequencer package to suit your taste. You can assign different mappings for your keyboard or if you have General Midi sequences, these can be mapped to play the correct drums. Battery has the standard kits plus others that BFD doesn't have such as latin, brush, Afro, etc. As I said before, I like the 'soul kit' because it is a great sounding hard hitting rock drum kit. The standard acoustic kits are very good. The BFD and Drums From Hell acoustic kits are a notch better with a much bigger sample library. Which ever one you choose, you will normally use them within a sequencer as a plug-in. When the sequencer is opened on your computer, the drum program opens with a mouse click as a separate window. The drum outputs get assigned to a track. I have never found an application to use Battery or DFHS as a standalone. If you decide to use Jamstix, the jamstix opens as a plug-in in your sequencer and within that window you select which drum kit you want jamstix to play, i.e.; BFD, DFHS, Battery - the cool thing is that jamstix already has the correct mappings. Hope that helps.
     
  20. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    That does help. I also eventually found the tutorial on their site and that helped 'splain the interface as well. Thanks a bunch man, great info!
     

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