All drummers play drums differently. Some play soft, others play hard. Using different dynamic levels while playing can not only distinguish a drummer’s style, but also has an immediate and audible result on the sound that is produced. Adjusting the sensitivity of electronic drum pads allows you to customize them to fit your particular playing style. For example, if you’re mainly a soft player, then you may want to increase the sensitivity, so the lighter taps trigger more easily. The reverse is also true, by lowering the value you will decrease the sensitivity of the pad. Adjusting the sensitivity is not the same as adjusting the head tension, but rather how the sound module receives and translates information from the pads. In other words, increasing the sensitivity will make softer strokes louder, and decreasing the sensitivity will require a stronger stroke to produce accurate triggering from the pads. Adjusting pad sensitivity is a feature on the TD-15 and other Roland Drum and Percussion Sound Modules.
Tips & Tricks
Apply the Best Travel Advice to Your Live Rig
For the longest time before accepting a piano gig, there were always three thoughts that looped in my head over and over again—one, the weight of my stage piano; two, the size of my stage piano; and three, the trade-off of substituting my stage piano for a light piano. Aside from my moaning and groaning, I’ll have you know that I always ended up taking my 88-key beast to the gig. This type of instrument can easily weigh 60 pounds or more, not to mention the added weight and size of the case. Ugh! The entire package can easily weigh about 150 pounds. Without a buddy to help me move it, I thought my back would snap, especially after the gig while struggling to fit it into my car. However, the biggest killer was having to carry it up to my third floor apartment. What a drag! Fortunately, I’ve now found an excellent alternative to lugging around a full-size stage piano to every show.
CONTEST: Win an RD-64 Digital Piano
Ends August 31, 2014 More
How to Trigger the TR-8 from Your Drumset
EDM has definitely become part of the pop musical lexicon and is the backbeat to much of today’s music. So much so, that I recently received a call from Nate Morton, the drummer for NBC’s The Voice, who told me that more and more contestants where competing with EDM tracks. As a result, Nate was looking for a convenient way to be able to add EDM sounds alongside his acoustic rig. Nate, and his drum tech, Steve Morrison (of Drum Tech Services) had brought an original TR-808 into rehearsals, and were determined to integrate these classic sounds. Because space was an issue, along with needing the most realistic 808 sounds possible that could be triggered by MIDI, we decided to experiment with a TD-15K V-Drums Kit, triggering an AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Composer. What we discovered was that the AIRA engineers had not let us down, enabling the TR-8 to easily integrate as a sound module for V-Drums. For V-Drums enthusiasts, adding a TR-8 to your rig is easy, inexpensive and gives an edge to your sound that you won’t find anywhere else.
Go Beyond Sampling and Looping
Have you ever wanted just the vocal part of a song? Or, how about the opposite, where you wish you had just the backing track? DJs and remix producers go through great lengths to acquire track stems, loops, acapellas, and other bite-size sections of songs for sampling and remixing. In the old days of DJing, the only way to create a loop was to have two of the same record, which made it possible to capture and extend a portion of a song by reversing and crossfading between both pieces of vinyl. When CDJs became available, looping could happen with the push of a button. And now, with computers, DVS systems, and Loop Stations, it’s easier than ever to remix with loops. More
Mickey Hart Plays the Sounds of Outer Space
If we said that you could play the sounds of outer space with your drum set, would you believe us? We had a hard time believing it ourselves, but that’s exactly what Mickey Hart did at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival with Skrillex. Actually, Mickey plays the sounds of the universe all the time through RAMU (Random Access Musical Universe). RAMU is Mickey’s personal sound library that he’s collected over decades. It includes rare and unique percussion instruments from around the world, historical sound bites, speeches, and the sounds of planets. According to Mickey, the planetary sound vibrations are captured from radio satellites, which he then treats for “sonification” to be playable music tones in Ableton Live. Technically, RAMU could be triggered from any MIDI device, however the V-Drums make the articulation of real drumming possible.
How Long Are Your Cables?
This article is intended to clarify a topic that is often surrounded by misinformation. Our intention is to present the facts and help the reader make informed decisions about using buffered and true bypass pedals, and to achieve the best tone.
Tone matters. To guitar players, it’s that simple. Tone is the Holy Grail, the ultimate quest. But how do you get great tone? With so much guitar gear available, and with so much conflicting information out there, we’d like to clear up some of the confusion about the guitar signal path, stompbox pedals (both true-bypass and buffered), and other things that affect tone.
Practice Tips and Tools
Keyboard players from another era had a great idea: let’s get out from behind our boards and shine. Thus, the keytar was born. While some remember this instrument as a relic of the eighties, make no mistake, the keytar back, and it’s racking up cool points all over the place! And that’s not just marketing speak. The proof is in the pudding, on stages all over the world. So, let’s discuss how some of the features on Roland’s most versatile keytar, the Lucina AX-09, can help you become a keytar shredder. And then you, too, can join your front man and guitar player on stage.
CONTEST: Win a Lucina AX-09
Ends May 31, 2014 More
Pete Thorn’s Demo of the OD-1X OverDrive & DS-1X Distortion Effects Pedals
Guitar nerd Pete Thorn, delivers a detailed demo of the BOSS OD-1X Overdrive and DS-1X Distortion effects pedals. He gives a play-by-play explanation of the pedals with low-gain, single-coil sounds, high-gain sounds and humbucker. He also demonstrates how the technology in these pedals responds to his playing and what it means to the modern guitarist. More
If you’ve used some of Roland’s earlier workstations, you’re probably familiar with multiple Sound Modes. One of the first things you’ll notice when using the new FA series workstations is that there is only one – Studio Set. There is a benefit to only having one, but first let’s take a look at how some of our other workstations operate with multiple modes. More