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Roland TD 50 Live with Superior Drummer Samples

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Roland TD 50 Live with Superior Drummer Samples

Postby Tamablaster » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:04 am

I love my TD 50, but am having a hard time creating a great kit, the one that’s in my head. I have tried artist kits, stock kits, even started from scratch several times with different tuning/processing, but nothing has hit the mark. The main driver is for live performance.

So I am now thinking of using Superior Drummer 3 to build my kit, and to then load high and upper-mid velocity samples direct into the TD 50 (to give two levels of expression/articulation). I would not need the on-board comp, EQ, or FX. I believe SD3 offers a range of tuneable instruments, and good processing. I also have a DAW (Cubase) to support production.

My nagging doubt is that I could do this, only to arrive at the same place but by a different route. I am however prepared to invest the time and money in order to advance my music. I would like to hear from anyone who has done this, and with what results, or any advice on this aspect of v-drums. Many thanks in advance.
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Re: Roland TD 50 Live with Superior Drummer Samples

Postby Wonks » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:27 am

Hi and welcome.

It's certainly possible to do. You'll be moving away from drum modelling into playing back samples, so you will probably loose many of the nuances that the TD 50 gives you at the moment (provided that you don't play everything as hard as you can all the time). But it's simply a matter of trying it out, so you won't lose anything in the process (except the cost of the software and instrument packs).

Your problem will be finding sounds that you like. Obviously you can trial SD3 sounds on your computer first, but you'll be best playing the sounds back through whatever FOH + stage monitoring rig you use playing live, and at live volume levels, rather than your DAW monitors.

It would be helpful if you could describe your live setup - FOH speakers, monitors (or in-ear monitoring) etc. It may be that the TD 50's sound output is being compromised by the playback system.

How are you auditioning your current attempts at setting up the TD 50 sounds?
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Re: Roland TD 50 Live with Superior Drummer Samples

Postby Tamablaster » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:42 pm

Hi Wonks,

Thanks for replying, and I sense you understand my situation.

First a bit of background. I know that, using samples, I will lose virtually all of the instrument settings, particularly position and velocity sensing. However my plan would be to use the sub instrument feature, and use a 0 dB sample in the sub, and (say) a -6 dB sample in the main, to give me some expression. My aim would also be to have all eq and comp within the sample, and not use TD 50 unless it was absolutely necessary. Incidentally, I don’t know if you are aware but the TD 50 processing is mixer fader >> eq >> comp, which means any change in the mixer may cause a change to the sound. Annoying to say the least, and just adds to my frustration.

What sound am I after? Well, I don’t know but I’ll know it when I hear it! Actually, it’s only the toms I struggle with, the rest are pretty good. It seems (to me anyway) there is too much attack in all the stock sounds. If I try to take it out with the transient processor and/or comp and eq, the sound is a bit dull and weak. It’s as if the engine is producing an attack sound followed by a drum sound. What I’m looking for is a boom from the hit, with the stick attack feathered on top, not the crack I’m currently getting. I never had this with the TD 30 – I started with a kit that emulated my acoustic one, and developed another 4 or 5 kits around it with different sounds.

For live, the band uses a 2k rig with 12” subs, so the sound is decent. I found out some time ago that having a dream kit in the studio with phones does not translate to the best live sound. For live I have learned to take off ambience settings, reverb (except for snare), and to use filters and eq to get rid of the muddiness and get some punch and definition. We don’t always have a sound guy for FOH, so I keep it simple and just have eq in the desk. I mostly user the master outs, occasionally the direct outs. We all have IEM’s, and I monitor the drums from the TD 50 with a monitor feed coming back from the rest of the band.

I could just go ahead and get SD3, but not having experience of this approach, could end up not feeling great about the kit again, but £400 lighter. Any advice in this area will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Roland TD 50 Live with Superior Drummer Samples

Postby ben howes » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:25 am

Slight aside here...
Do you think your audience will know any different? You may lose some of the reliability of your current set up for little gain. At least as far as your customers go. They will certainly notice if your system goes down mid gig!

Another thought: could you set the 50 up with 2 outs, one unprocessed for FOH and the the other processed for your ears only? Then you'll feel more satisfied with the sound..... Perhaps!

Good luck with whichever route you choose.
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