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can't take it.. getting a high end snare pad

- - - - - justifying..

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#1
Cauldronics

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Probably no instrument on a kit is more important than the snare.  If you're jazz player, change that to 'ride cymbal.' 

 

The pads on my Yamaha DTX Multi-12 are about the best option I've tried.  However, being a small pad (or pair of pads if setup) on part of a rectangular module isn't a good form factor.  They also don't feel like a snare.  They feel good to play and their range isn't limited to sticks, but when you're technique is refined and geared for the real thing, the pads aren't it.

 

Mesh heads with triggers are ok for toms if detailed work isn't required.  Same with the kick.

 

So I went into GC a few days ago and sat down at a Yamaha DTX 952 kit, and the XP120 snare pad was part of it.  

 

The difference it made couldn't be ignored.  All the other choices are compromised toys.  Here we had an Electronic Snare (won't call it a drum, lol) that responded to everything I did.  The rim zone produced a rim shot without triggering the pad unless I intentionally hit both at the same time.  Cross sticks actually worked, too.  I admit the $700 Roland picks up absolutely everything, but for the money, this Yamaha captures 90% of what I'd play and costs about half as much.  And it'll work with my module, no question.

 

I admit, I'm justifying to ease the punch to my wallet, but damn, there's no way around it.  The controller knob can do all kinds of cool stuff, too.

 

yamaha-xp120sd.jpg

 

 

 

 

 


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#2
blueshadow

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I like them too,  to me they feel much better than mesh drum heads, but the price tag has kept me away so far.  I also think Yamaha sounds are better than Roland.  I've got the older model rubber snare pad that is still 3 zone and has the control knob but doesn't feel nearly as nice.


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#3
Cauldronics

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Chris, what did you setup the control knob to do?  

I know I'll have it set for tuning (pitch) and changing snare sounds, but can it basically be assigned to any MIDI parameter?  There's not much about what it can do in the manual that I looked at online.


Edited by Cauldronics, 19 May 2017 - 11:02 PM.

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#4
drumrman2002

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 I have used mesh heads for years too. They've been OK for my toms, but they're just not great for a snare drum. I found the sensitivity and feel to be lacking. I've purchased an Aquarian Onhead for use as a snare drum pad. It has that same sweet feel as the Yamaha DTX pads. It feels like a great pad, but since I just got it, I haven't had a chance to try it out plugged in with my E kit. It plugs into an electronic box called the Inbox and has a gain knob to fine tune the sensitivity. I'm hoping to try it out this weekend. It may be another good alternative to mesh heads.

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#5
Cauldronics

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drumrman, I looked at the onhead system but there were a few things I couldn't get past.  Namely, its height on the drum raises the playing surface by an inch or half inch, which may not seem like big deal because you can always lower the stand, but I already have trouble with drums over 6" in depth resting atop my bass drum hoop, and I switch out acoustic snares often.   Seems like it would complicate matters.  I also wonder if what happens if you happen to really lay into it - would it jump off the drum?  That's not my default playing style, but since it isn't secured to the drum it makes me wonder.  Finally, I hear more of the drum underneath than I'd like.  i'd want to hear just the acoustic sound of the pad being hit. 

 

That said, I've never tried the onhead and in the demo videos I've seen it looks like a very capable and sensitive trigger, so I don't honestly know how it might fare on my kit.  Everything above is just my initial misgivings that would keep me from trying the product.   

 

One other question that comes to mind is how seamlessly or not it would work with my Yamaha Multi 12, whereas I know the XP120 is directly compatible.  


Edited by Cauldronics, 20 May 2017 - 02:14 PM.

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#6
drumrman2002

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drumrman, I looked at the onhead system but there were a few things I couldn't get past.  Namely, its height on the drum raises the playing surface by an inch or half inch, which may not seem like big deal because you can always lower the stand, but I already have trouble with drums over 6" in depth resting atop my bass drum hoop, and I switch out acoustic snares often.   Seems like it would complicate matters.  I also wonder if what happens if you happen to really lay into it - would it jump off the drum?  That's not my default playing style, but since it isn't secured to the drum it makes me wonder.  Finally, I hear more of the drum underneath than I'd like.  i'd want to hear just the acoustic sound of the pad being hit. 

 

That said, I've never tried the onhead and in the demo videos I've seen it looks like a very capable and sensitive trigger, so I don't honestly know how it might fare on my kit.  Everything above is just my initial misgivings that would keep me from trying the product.   

 

One other question that comes to mind is how seamlessly or not it would work with my Yamaha Multi 12, whereas I know the XP120 is directly compatible.  

The OnHead pad does raise the height probably about 1/2" or so. That's one of my biggest gripes about this product. That and these pads are only available as a single zone. I had to add some nylon spacers on my Alesis 10" pad so I could raise the rim height to be able to do rimshots using the hoop.

 

The XP120 might be a better choice for you. The OnHead playing surface feels about the same as the Yamaha. I believe the materials are pretty identical. Aquarian claims their pads are compatible with all drum modules. You can raise the sensitivity setting in your module and then use the gain knob on the InBox to fine tune. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I haven't actually connected the pad to my module yet, so I can't honestly say how good this product is(yet). I've seen the demos on Youtube and the pad seem to be pretty sensitive.

 

The main reason I chose the OnHead is because I'm also using the InHead system as well, which is an acoustic drum head with the FSR trigger sandwiched between the 2 plies. I wanted a hybrid kit which is both acoustic and electronic simultaneously. I already owned the InBox units which came with my InHeads, so if I want to practice quietly, I can just lay the OnHead on my drum and plug the cable into the box.

 

For my Alesis practice kit, I felt the onhead might be a better choice for myself since there can be a lot of compatibility issues when trying to mix drum pads/modules from other manufacturers. I've often heard that Roland and Yamaha doesn't like to get along with alesis equipment and vice versa. Otherwise, I probably would've looked into the Yamaha XP120 for my snare pad. Hope this info helps. I'll try to post some results on the OnHead as soon as I can get it hooked up. Just too many irons in the fire lately.

Bruce


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#7
blueshadow

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Chris, what did you setup the control knob to do?  

I know I'll have it set for tuning (pitch) and changing snare sounds, but can it basically be assigned to any MIDI parameter?  There's not much about what it can do in the manual that I looked at online.

Out of the box its basically seems to be snares on and off there's lots of "tuning" of the switch but I don't notice much difference between just on an off...still its a nice feature to be able turn snare off without switching anything on the module.


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#8
Cauldronics

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drumrman, I looked at the onhead system but there were a few things I couldn't get past.  Namely, its height on the drum raises the playing surface by an inch or half inch, which may not seem like big deal because you can always lower the stand, but I already have trouble with drums over 6" in depth resting atop my bass drum hoop, and I switch out acoustic snares often.   Seems like it would complicate matters.  I also wonder if what happens if you happen to really lay into it - would it jump off the drum?  That's not my default playing style, but since it isn't secured to the drum it makes me wonder.  Finally, I hear more of the drum underneath than I'd like.  i'd want to hear just the acoustic sound of the pad being hit. 

 

That said, I've never tried the onhead and in the demo videos I've seen it looks like a very capable and sensitive trigger, so I don't honestly know how it might fare on my kit.  Everything above is just my initial misgivings that would keep me from trying the product.   

 

One other question that comes to mind is how seamlessly or not it would work with my Yamaha Multi 12, whereas I know the XP120 is directly compatible.  

The OnHead pad does raise the height probably about 1/2" or so. That's one of my biggest gripes about this product. That and these pads are only available as a single zone. I had to add some nylon spacers on my Alesis 10" pad so I could raise the rim height to be able to do rimshots using the hoop.

 

The XP120 might be a better choice for you. The OnHead playing surface feels about the same as the Yamaha. I believe the materials are pretty identical. Aquarian claims their pads are compatible with all drum modules. You can raise the sensitivity setting in your module and then use the gain knob on the InBox to fine tune. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I haven't actually connected the pad to my module yet, so I can't honestly say how good this product is(yet). I've seen the demos on Youtube and the pad seem to be pretty sensitive.

 

The main reason I chose the OnHead is because I'm also using the InHead system as well, which is an acoustic drum head with the FSR trigger sandwiched between the 2 plies. I wanted a hybrid kit which is both acoustic and electronic simultaneously. I already owned the InBox units which came with my InHeads, so if I want to practice quietly, I can just lay the OnHead on my drum and plug the cable into the box.

 

For my Alesis practice kit, I felt the onhead might be a better choice for myself since there can be a lot of compatibility issues when trying to mix drum pads/modules from other manufacturers. I've often heard that Roland and Yamaha doesn't like to get along with alesis equipment and vice versa. Otherwise, I probably would've looked into the Yamaha XP120 for my snare pad. Hope this info helps. I'll try to post some results on the OnHead as soon as I can get it hooked up. Just too many irons in the fire lately.

Bruce

 

 

 

With Roland triggers and acoustic heads I was briefly playing a hybrid kit for awhile.  The blended sound of the kit and edrums was useful, and I'll again be working on a hybrid setup that uses triggered sounds only to augment the acoustic kit sound, rather than play full on electronic samples.  Other times, I'd want the fully electronic sounds to be at the fore, which is where the snare pad, cymbal pad and mesh heads come into play.  Eventually a good e-hi hat pad will be added.  I had Yamaha's HH65 and it responded poorly to normal hi hat technique, along with the input jack becoming loose and unreliable.    

 

The trouble I had with the hybrid approach was I that couldn't hear the electronic sounds well unless I wore more IEM's, and the IEM's kept me from hearing the rest of the band well enough, but I don't want to have to feed mic channels to a monitor mix unless I have to.  When I wore earplugs instead of IEM's, and triggered from mesh heads, I could hear everything more clearly from the PA, but the mesh snare left a lot to be desired as noted earlier.

 

I have little doubt that the XP120 will do what I need as a snare pad.  It's the rest of the kit and changing roles that become the next goals to master.  Figuring out how to do this efficiently, without having to greatly alter my setup for each role, is the challenge.


Edited by Cauldronics, 21 May 2017 - 04:05 AM.

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#9
Cauldronics

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Chris, what did you setup the control knob to do?  

I know I'll have it set for tuning (pitch) and changing snare sounds, but can it basically be assigned to any MIDI parameter?  There's not much about what it can do in the manual that I looked at online.

Out of the box its basically seems to be snares on and off there's lots of "tuning" of the switch but I don't notice much difference between just on an off...still its a nice feature to be able turn snare off without switching anything on the module.

 

 

I'm guessing, but I think the knob should be able to change pitch, or voice, or do almost any MIDI function, but only one choice at a time, since it's only a single knob.  Probably have to go into the module settings to assign whatever's needed to the controller.  It'll be fun figuring out what the heck I'll use it for, and when.


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