How to record

RockrGrl

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I want to be able to start recording my Roland TD-30. I have done some recording in the past, by plugging the headphone out 3.5mm jack into my 'Line-in' jack on my Mac the using my DAW's either Audacity or Garageband.
I'm going to get Reaper to replace the DAW's I currently have.

So tell me how is everyone else doing it?
 

bpaluzzi

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My signal is:
1. L/R main output from module into a stereo DI box.
2. 2x XLR from DI box into audio interface (UAD Apollo)
3. Thunderbolt cable from audio interface to Mac
4. Record in DAW (Luna / Ableton / Logic / etc.)
 

bpaluzzi

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thanks very much! Do you use VST with your DAW's?

Sometimes -- in that case, the connection is simpler:

1 - USB cable from module to computer
2 - VST (Superior Drummer 3) set to read MIDI from module
 

electrodrummer

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David's stock post if it helps
---


Here's the "best" and most flexible way to record edrums

1. Module --> MIDI data --> Software (DAW/Sequencer/whatever the cool kids are calling it these days. I mostly use Cakewalk/Sonar - www.cakewalk.com - which is now free.)

2. Split MIDI data to individual tracks in DAW if you want individual control of all drums / cymbals - usually a simple button push in your software

3. Tidy up MIDI data as necessary, remove duff notes, change tempo, etc

4. Send MIDI back to module[*], whilst recording the audio from the module[*] - this can be done track-by-track, or the whole lot at once, depending on the number of audio tracks you want - every instrument, just a stereo mix-down, or anything in between.

So, now you've got both audio and MIDI. This is most flexible, meaning you can adjust anything in future. Change tempo or instruments or sounds/entire kit, just re-do [3]-[4]


[*] or to your chosen software synth/VST/whatever the cool kids etc...

(full image https://i.snipboard.io/2qwPn4.jpg )

2qwPn4[1].png
 
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Drm1979

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Sometimes -- in that case, the connection is simpler:

1 - USB cable from module to computer
2 - VST (Superior Drummer 3) set to read MIDI from module
This is what I do too. And my favorite vst is the kvlt2 drums from ugritone. It allows quite a bit of control from mic volumes to drum tuning including cymbals.
 

ReeceG

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I want to be able to start recording my Roland TD-30. I have done some recording in the past, by plugging the headphone out 3.5mm jack into my 'Line-in' jack on my Mac the using my DAW's either Audacity or Garageband.
I'm going to get Reaper to replace the DAW's I currently have.

So tell me how is everyone else doing it?
As the poster above suggests, a good way I did it (with an Alesis Command), was to record the MIDI notes. Then I was able to get seperate tracks of each pad. I could also substitute different sounds for kick snare, etc very easily, filing through different sounds as I played back.

Once I was happy with the sounds I recorded each pad on a seperate track (by replaying the MIDI with new sounds). Then I could really work on a "drum mix" that I was happy with.

This is the result I got:
 

dcrigger

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Regarding splitting the midi data to separate tracks - I wouldn't do that as a rule of thumb, because it is often much easier to just edit/quantize the whole performance than each individual drum separately. So sometimes sure - for me, it would depend on how many outs the module has - if it has multiple outputs, then the drums can be split at the unit, but if not, then splitting to separate tracks would be necessary to record the sounds into the DAW, one or two drums at a time. (This is not an issue with something like Superior - as again, internally it has multi-output routing ability).
 

ReeceG

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Regarding splitting the midi data to separate tracks - I wouldn't do that as a rule of thumb, because it is often much easier to just edit/quantize the whole performance than each individual drum separately. So sometimes sure - for me, it would depend on how many outs the module has - if it has multiple outputs, then the drums can be split at the unit, but if not, then splitting to separate tracks would be necessary to record the sounds into the DAW, one or two drums at a time. (This is not an issue with something like Superior - as again, internally it has multi-output routing ability).
Sure, if the module has seperate outputs it doesn't matter really. For me, I needed to solo each pad so I split up my MIDI into different tracks so that when I was happy with the choice of sound I could then record it as a seperate audio tack but playing back one pad at a time.
Quantise is not something I can use doing a drum cover because a song like "Rosanna" above has multiple tempo changes all the way through. It's thoroughly 'live' and quantise would mess with it big time. Plus you kind of want an actual performance of drumming, otherwise it sounds like a drum machine.
 

dcrigger

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Sure, if the module has seperate outputs it doesn't matter really. For me, I needed to solo each pad so I split up my MIDI into different tracks so that when I was happy with the choice of sound I could then record it as a seperate audio tack but playing back one pad at a time.
Quantise is not something I can use doing a drum cover because a song like "Rosanna" above has multiple tempo changes all the way through. It's thoroughly 'live' and quantise would mess with it big time. Plus you kind of want an actual performance of drumming, otherwise it sounds like a drum machine.
I was more speaking regarding drum recording in general rather than your specific drum cover (which was excellent BTW) or even drum covers in general.

Compared to drum covers, many recording projects will put little priority at all on getting "live" - just as good as possible. (Which doesn't necessarily mean perfect, just subjectively "as good as possible"). Thus cutting and pasting between takes, utilizing live and midi sources, and quantizing midi and time-correcting audio are all tools at our disposal. (again used, not to make things perfect, but subjectively "as good as possible".

And just FYI - it's more than possible to do a drum cover to an originally analog recording (or one not done to a click) and still be able to quantize if desired. And that is by creating a tempo map in your DAW that lines up with the original track. Generally a fairly painstaking process (though with practice, one can get much quicker at it) plus some DAWs now have tools to help. The idea is to create a bars and beats grid that lines up to the original recording - allowing overdubs to be recorded while functioning in an actual bars and beat environment. Needing to do this actually comes up in my work very frequently - completely unrelated to drum covers.

And regarding quantizing - I've found that far more about "sounding like a drum machine" is a function of dynamics and accents and sounds far more than whether something is on or extremely close to the grid. It's actually amazing how many guys on records are darn close to spot on - plus there's no rule to say that quantize must be applied 100%. Most every DAW allows it to applied in just about any strength.

But again, none of which is really applicable to what you were doing with your drum cover.
 

ReeceG

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I was more speaking regarding drum recording in general rather than your specific drum cover (which was excellent BTW) or even drum covers in general.

Compared to drum covers, many recording projects will put little priority at all on getting "live" - just as good as possible. (Which doesn't necessarily mean perfect, just subjectively "as good as possible"). Thus cutting and pasting between takes, utilizing live and midi sources, and quantizing midi and time-correcting audio are all tools at our disposal. (again used, not to make things perfect, but subjectively "as good as possible".

And just FYI - it's more than possible to do a drum cover to an originally analog recording (or one not done to a click) and still be able to quantize if desired. And that is by creating a tempo map in your DAW that lines up with the original track. Generally a fairly painstaking process (though with practice, one can get much quicker at it) plus some DAWs now have tools to help. The idea is to create a bars and beats grid that lines up to the original recording - allowing overdubs to be recorded while functioning in an actual bars and beat environment. Needing to do this actually comes up in my work very frequently - completely unrelated to drum covers.

And regarding quantizing - I've found that far more about "sounding like a drum machine" is a function of dynamics and accents and sounds far more than whether something is on or extremely close to the grid. It's actually amazing how many guys on records are darn close to spot on - plus there's no rule to say that quantize must be applied 100%. Most every DAW allows it to applied in just about any strength.

But again, none of which is really applicable to what you were doing with your drum cover.
Thanks. And yes a tempo map is a cool option. I agree totally about the dynamics within the beat to create a human feel on a very tight track. It's also crucial to live playing. Before I recorded my Rosanna I checked in with some of the other covers and I noticed that the best ones were the ones that kept the grace notes nice and light and incorporated a good level of dynamics to compliment the songs natural ebb and flow. Talking of guys on records that are damn close, Jeff Porcaro is insane. That entire album 'Toto IV' is a masterclass in tight grooves that are so close to perfect that it boggles my mind, but because there is a lack of a click, the tempo changes that are constantly occurring give it a real human feel.

One thing I had to deal with regarding the Alesis was a frustration with the hi-hat. I couldn't get a believable (i.e. live kit) feel with the electronic hi-hat and in the end I just gave up and substituted a real hi-hat. I think maybe the better electronic kits have much better hi-hats, I'm not sure.
 

dcrigger

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Thanks. And yes a tempo map is a cool option. I agree totally about the dynamics within the beat to create a human feel on a very tight track. It's also crucial to live playing. Before I recorded my Rosanna I checked in with some of the other covers and I noticed that the best ones were the ones that kept the grace notes nice and light and incorporated a good level of dynamics to compliment the songs natural ebb and flow. Talking of guys on records that are damn close, Jeff Porcaro is insane. That entire album 'Toto IV' is a masterclass in tight grooves that are so close to perfect that it boggles my mind, but because there is a lack of a click, the tempo changes that are constantly occurring give it a real human feel.

One thing I had to deal with regarding the Alesis was a frustration with the hi-hat. I couldn't get a believable (i.e. live kit) feel with the electronic hi-hat and in the end I just gave up and substituted a real hi-hat. I think maybe the better electronic kits have much better hi-hats, I'm not sure.
They have - but they still pale in the face of the real thing.
 


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