f



Advice for 'Newbie and Electronic Drumkit'

Hello.

I previously used my Good'ol springy keyboard to hammer down
a few beats using GM standard drumkits. It's fine to toy but quite
hard to coordinate the sounds that way.

I'm not a drummer. Never even tried a real one, except to bang
once and run away.... I only know I do have some dexterity and
an excellent sense of the rythm.

I wonder.... Is it hard to learn to 'Drum' the basic stuff ?
I'm thinking basic, Jazz, Rock and just getting 'better' at
hand coordination, so I could improvise..

I'd like to know or read about other impressions of 'Drumkits'.
.... I'm just starting to realize; I might like to play this as an
instrument, instead of hammering a synth keyboard
for custom beats..... Are sticks hard to master ?

I was thinking of the 'Cheapest' possible...
Even models with no internal sounds; Just midi drum pads.

Looking around, I noticed a rather inexpensive Yamaha DD55.
I read plenty of reviews already, and it sounds encouraging.
I read a bit about Alesis Pad controller, even less expensive
but offers no internal sounds.
Plus the square pads seem rather small to my taste.

I also read a bit about Roland PS1...Can't remember exactly.
It's slightly more expensive but it can 'load' some sound samples
directly from a standard flash card, on top of it's own sounds.
But the reviews weren't really good. Some found it was fragile,
most claimed the internal sounds aren't very good. But overall
it's not bad.
Yet; I think The cheapo Yam might offer me more of what I seek.
Plus it's got some beat sequences and a teaching mode.

Funny; I thought this was a nononsense product to make.
All I want would have been a small box, where I could connect
three or four pad, of decent quality and size.
Pads just have to sense velocity; The box converts to Midi
and that's all. It should not cost much.
Whay all I can find are drumkits over 1500$ in that category.
And the rest mostly look like 'finger pads'.
Toyish devices with some square pads, like Roland / Alesis ...

P.S. I'll be patient for any suggestion you have.
...So far, I don't see anything right and affordable aside this Yam.
...I can't understand this. The electronics inside should be even
simpler than a 10$ pocket calculator. Then add a few rubber
pads with a piezo detector. I must be wrong somehow.




0
spirit (3)
2/15/2007 2:12:17 PM
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It's me again. :D
I've found something sensible to my needs and a project I could
undertake.
http://tomscarff.tripod.com/midi_drums/midi_drum_pads2.htm
OR:
http://tomscarff.tripod.com/8way_drm2/8way_drm2_1.htm

BUT: If I want to get myself a few Individual Drum Pads.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/category/c646
I think the lowest price is 85$ !...... Suppose I'd like at least four;
Then my project is still more expensive than purchasing a cheaper
Yamaha 'kit' with seven(7) pads, full midi support and sound bank.

What's obvious..... PADS are way overpriced.
And companies think of 'Drummers' like a bunch of rich Ringo Star
with a wallet instead of a brain.

I'm pissed !
.. Thanks Yamaha, at least for a decent starter kit.


------ (Just completing a small research on this topic:)
>P.S. I'll be patient for any suggestion you have.
>..So far, I don't see anything right and affordable aside this Yam.
>..I can't understand this. The electronics inside should be even
>simpler than a 10$ pocket calculator. Then add a few rubber
>pads with a piezo detector. I must be wrong somehow.
------





0
44444
2/15/2007 2:40:07 PM
44444 wrote:
>It's me again. :D
>I've found something sensible to my needs and a project I could
>undertake.
> http://tomscarff.tripod.com/midi_drums/midi_drum_pads2.htm
> OR:
> http://tomscarff.tripod.com/8way_drm2/8way_drm2_1.htm

Apologies to appear like the Energizer bunny, but I had to dig
a bit deeper. I am quite annoyed that they sell 'Drum pads'
starting-up at at least 85$, while I know it's barely some simple
mechanic/plastic parts; And one lonely inexpensive Piezo crystal,
detector.

Those who don't know about Piezo (electricity) can do a quick
search. It's old. And such crystals were recently found in many
rechargeable butane lighters, for the crystal can generate enough
voltage to create a spark when HIT.

But I just found out I'm not the only one ANNOYED with the high price
of the pads... And some DIY (Do It Yoursefl) group exist !

http://www.vdrums.com/forum/
Or French if you can understand.
http://ladrummerie.com/viewtopic.php?t=4987

I'm a bit new to all this. The keyword is 'Piezo' and since they
don't grow in my garden, the industry is making them apparently
in various style and sizes. 25mm, 35mm ... 40mm.  ?
Just poke the WWW for '35mm piezo' and found many styles,
often as 'Buzzers'. But I leave the rest for those interested to
find-out as I'll try later from these forums.

I'm thinking !.. Suppose one can build a 8-way Drumpad sensor;
Then if one can find Piezos for 5$ a pop...
It's all a matter of being handy and creative making the 'casing'
of something rather 'round' and intyeresting to HIT with a stick.

IMHO......I'd like to offer my own two specially designed fingers
to the BIG Companies selling 100$ for a drum pad.
While a piezo is only worth a few bucks, and plastic !.. Ha.

I rise my fingers for them........ Bravo Rolan$...       �I��    �I��



0
44444
2/15/2007 3:26:41 PM
In article <12t8ft7kkr5agfa@corp.supernews.com>, 44444 <I@havona.com> wrote:
>Hello.
>
>
>Looking around, I noticed a rather inexpensive Yamaha DD55.
>I read plenty of reviews already, and it sounds encouraging.

[A preliminary response, because I'm not within reach of the instrument
at the moment, and there are a few things I'd like to re-check...]

I have what is probably the predecessor to the DD55 (can't remember the
model number, but the pad arrangement is the same in a slightly different
box).  I'm not that happy with it, and I use it much less than I thought
I would.  But then I got it for less than half price (floor demo) so I
don't feel too hard done by! 

I think the main reason is that the pads are not sufficiently sensitive:
if I try to do anything but bash the heck out of them, they may not
respond at all!  They're also a bit too small to hit accurately, and
there's no variation across the surface like you'd have with a real
snare.

As some of the reviews I looked at point out, the sounds are often
not very good.  They do for providing some rhythm backing, but for any
real expression... mnyehh.
>
>P.S. I'll be patient for any suggestion you have.
>..So far, I don't see anything right and affordable aside this Yam.
>..I can't understand this. The electronics inside should be even
>simpler than a 10$ pocket calculator. Then add a few rubber
>pads with a piezo detector. I must be wrong somehow.

When I get sufficiently motivated, I intend to open the unit up, and
see if I can connect some external sensors.  I picked up a contact sensor
from Guitar Centre a while back that I've never used -- maybe I can
attach that to some hind of pad and wire it in.  I have to increase
the sensitivity somehow, though.

One of the reviews says that its MIDI OUT *doesn't* pass any velocity
variation at all!  I'll check this.  If so, it makes it essentially
useless anyway.
					-- Pete --
 


-- 
============================================================================
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(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
0
neverland
2/15/2007 10:13:24 PM
MIdi out will pass velocity info if it has it.
On the cheaper devices like the yamaha I belive
it only has like 16 levels of velocity. On my Kat I
believe it's like 255 levels. If I hit it soft you hear
a soft hit. A hard hit produces a full volume hit.
Anywhere in between is proportional.

--Ben


On 15 Feb 2007 14:13:24 -0800, neverland@jwgibbs.cchem.berkeley.edu
(Pete) wrote:

>In article <12t8ft7kkr5agfa@corp.supernews.com>, 44444 <I@havona.com> wrote:
>>Hello.
>>
>>
>>Looking around, I noticed a rather inexpensive Yamaha DD55.
>>I read plenty of reviews already, and it sounds encouraging.
>
>[A preliminary response, because I'm not within reach of the instrument
>at the moment, and there are a few things I'd like to re-check...]
>
>I have what is probably the predecessor to the DD55 (can't remember the
>model number, but the pad arrangement is the same in a slightly different
>box).  I'm not that happy with it, and I use it much less than I thought
>I would.  But then I got it for less than half price (floor demo) so I
>don't feel too hard done by! 
>
>I think the main reason is that the pads are not sufficiently sensitive:
>if I try to do anything but bash the heck out of them, they may not
>respond at all!  They're also a bit too small to hit accurately, and
>there's no variation across the surface like you'd have with a real
>snare.
>
>As some of the reviews I looked at point out, the sounds are often
>not very good.  They do for providing some rhythm backing, but for any
>real expression... mnyehh.
>>
>>P.S. I'll be patient for any suggestion you have.
>>..So far, I don't see anything right and affordable aside this Yam.
>>..I can't understand this. The electronics inside should be even
>>simpler than a 10$ pocket calculator. Then add a few rubber
>>pads with a piezo detector. I must be wrong somehow.
>
>When I get sufficiently motivated, I intend to open the unit up, and
>see if I can connect some external sensors.  I picked up a contact sensor
>from Guitar Centre a while back that I've never used -- maybe I can
>attach that to some hind of pad and wire it in.  I have to increase
>the sensitivity somehow, though.
>
>One of the reviews says that its MIDI OUT *doesn't* pass any velocity
>variation at all!  I'll check this.  If so, it makes it essentially
>useless anyway.
>					-- Pete --
> 

0
Ben
2/16/2007 12:24:45 AM
In article <12t9uaam5kjuabb@corp.supernews.com>, 44444 <I@havona.com> wrote:
>Pete wrote:
>(...)
>>
>I think you said it earlier; You've got one predecessor.
I checked the model -- it's a DD50.  The odds are high (:-/) that
it's identical internally, simply repackaged.
>But I still have to consider the majority of 'more than satisfied'
>customers offering strong points about this unity.
>
>Yet. I get your main worry. Pads may not be very linear in
>responce as others have mentionned, and for you to diagnose
>as 'not sensitive enough'. Indeed, it's major and your are not
>the only one to mention this in a way.
The main problem I encounter is in trying to play any kind of "roll".
The sticks bounce on the pads in (what feels like) a suitable fashion,
but often they don't trigger any output in the process.

However, the second-hand comment I relayed before -- that MIDI output
doesn't have velocity response -- is NOT true.  Getting anything in the
range 27..127 is quite easy.  It does cut off sharply at the lower end,
though -- nothing less than 27 seems to be possible.

>Then there's the M-Audio digipad, with 16 triggers, finger driven.
>...Even though finger driven sounds 'cool'; I feel it's a nobrainer
>to figure that Drums are 'MEANT' for sticks. Without them it's
>even lesser than a bongo with just fingers.
>Better off using the synth keyboard than a finger pad.
I disagree here.  The "bongo" approach can be a great way of getting
a fast complex rhythm.  Repeating keys at speed isn't so easy...
The DD5x is useable in this way, though its low-end insensitivity
can be annoying.
>
>
>I doubt it's unusable for a newbie; Might not be wise for a real drummer though.
I think it could be quite good for getting the 'feel' of sticks.
The hard rubber may not have quite the resilience of a true drumhead
(not sure -- been a while since I had a kit at home as a kid...(:-))
but perhaps good enough.

Of course, one thing I *really* miss is being able to use brushes!
But they ain't really compatible with MIDI!

Cheers,
					-- Pete --



-- 
============================================================================
The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- don't bother replying to it...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
0
neverland
2/16/2007 1:58:23 AM
Pete wrote:
(...)
>I have what is probably the predecessor to the DD55 (can't remember the
>model number, but the pad arrangement is the same in a slightly different
>>>box).  I'm not that happy with it, and I use it much less than I thought
>I would.  But then I got it for less than half price (floor demo) so I
>don't feel too hard done by!
>
>I think the main reason is that the pads are not sufficiently sensitive:
>if I try to do anything but bash the heck out of them, they may not
>respond at all!  They're also a bit too small to hit accurately, and
>there's no variation across the surface like you'd have with a real
>snare.
(snip)
>
I think you said it earlier; You've got one predecessor.
But I still have to consider the majority of 'more than satisfied'
customers offering strong points about this unity.

Yet. I get your main worry. Pads may not be very linear in
responce as others have mentionned, and for you to diagnose
as 'not sensitive enough'. Indeed, it's major and your are not
the only one to mention this in a way.

The options are scarces if one wants to buy anew.

But I'm thinking again, trying to balance the Pros and the Cons,
the value and the cost.

The main point about 'Triggers' is that if I purchase them new,
I'm stuck to about 100$ each..
The other 'Pads' that can be played with a stick are limited.

The Yam DD55 seems to have overall satisfied customers,
although a discutable sensitivity.
Roland PS1 is even more expensive and too many complaints.
Alesis appears to me like a 'fragile' thing and ratner small
to play using sticks.
Then there's the M-Audio digipad, with 16 triggers, finger driven.
....Even though finger driven sounds 'cool'; I feel it's a nobrainer
to figure that Drums are 'MEANT' for sticks. Without them it's
even lesser than a bongo with just fingers.
Better off using the synth keyboard than a finger pad.

Honestly, unless someone suggest a second hand 'deal',
only two options can be considered as 'best' for me.
Yam DD55 or, Do It Yourself version for an electronic hobbyist
like me..... It would still be a Huge project and I don't know yet
if I have any future in drumming...
I think I'm left with a Yes or No decision about the DD55.

I doubt it's unusable for a newbie; Might not be wise for a real drummer though.
It's now just a matter of time.
Then after the 'Toy drumkit', my only wise upgrade is the DIYourself model.

(Sorry if I write too much; My bad.)


0
44444
2/16/2007 3:24:25 AM
On Feb 16, 5:39 pm, "44444" <spi...@home.com> wrote:
> >Ben Phlat wrote in message ...
> >MIdi out will pass velocity info if it has it.
> >On the cheaper devices like the yamaha I belive
> >it only has like 16 levels of velocity. On my Kat I
> >believe it's like 255 levels. If I hit it soft you hear
> >a soft hit. A hard hit produces a full volume hit.
> >Anywhere in between is proportional.
>
> >--Ben
>
> Reguarding the 'Velocity out' question; I checked the 'pdf',
> owner's manual of the DD55. It clearly says in its appendix
> that it both sends and receive the Velocity messages:
> Midi                                  Tx                    Rx
> Velocity Note ON     9nH,v=1-127   9nH,v=1-127
>               Note OFF    9nH,v=0          9nH,v=0
>
> I found at least one 'Amateur's review claiming the
> 'velocity' responce is easy to ajust and feels just right.http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/digitalmedia/2006/12/20...
>
> I think most customer's reviews on this page turn around an average impression
> like this one:  "The pad sensitivity is better than expected! "http://www.instrumentpro.com/blog/archives/2005/03/09/yamaha-dd55/
>
> Ben; There is very little reason the 'Believe' that the DD55 supports only
> 16 levels out of the (1-127) velocity levels 'midi' supported...
> That's why I kept looking around the net for more clues.
>
> Here are a few interesting reviews from experienced users. One will clearly
> suggest DD55 is fine overall. Saying that it's slightly less responsive than
> the Roland SPD-6, is just saying it's less 'sensitive'.http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Keyboard+And+MIDI/product/...
>
> ... Now if it really offered only '16' levels out of the 128, I'm sure there would be
> loads of complaints. And certainly not fair reviews concluding:
> ".. _The DD55 is three times the size of SPD-6. SPD-6 is so small I can hold it in one
> hand or my lap and play it. ...........
> Bottom line is: if you want the best onboard sounds, fully playable as a "kit" out of the box,
> go with DD55 PRO. "
>
> ----
> Guess what. I've just found-out there is an DD-65 ?http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DD65/   :Dhttp://www.yamaha.com/namm/w2007/press.html?CTID=5041570
>
> * two drum pedals and AUX IN capability for playing along with an MP3 player.
> * USB capability
> (((( The DD-65 is scheduled to ship in July 2007 )))) ???.


--
American-us

0
unbeschreiblichwblch
2/16/2007 2:50:19 PM
>Ben Phlat wrote in message ...
>MIdi out will pass velocity info if it has it.
>On the cheaper devices like the yamaha I belive
>it only has like 16 levels of velocity. On my Kat I
>believe it's like 255 levels. If I hit it soft you hear
>a soft hit. A hard hit produces a full volume hit.
>Anywhere in between is proportional.
>
>--Ben
>

Reguarding the 'Velocity out' question; I checked the 'pdf',
owner's manual of the DD55. It clearly says in its appendix
that it both sends and receive the Velocity messages:
Midi                                  Tx                    Rx
Velocity Note ON     9nH,v=1-127   9nH,v=1-127
              Note OFF    9nH,v=0          9nH,v=0


I found at least one 'Amateur's review claiming the
'velocity' responce is easy to ajust and feels just right.
http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/digitalmedia/2006/12/20/three-cool-midi-controllers.html?page=1

I think most customer's reviews on this page turn around an average impression
like this one:  "The pad sensitivity is better than expected! "
http://www.instrumentpro.com/blog/archives/2005/03/09/yamaha-dd55/

Ben; There is very little reason the 'Believe' that the DD55 supports only
16 levels out of the (1-127) velocity levels 'midi' supported...
That's why I kept looking around the net for more clues.


Here are a few interesting reviews from experienced users. One will clearly
suggest DD55 is fine overall. Saying that it's slightly less responsive than
the Roland SPD-6, is just saying it's less 'sensitive'.
http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Keyboard+And+MIDI/product/Roland/SPD-6/10/1

.... Now if it really offered only '16' levels out of the 128, I'm sure there would be
loads of complaints. And certainly not fair reviews concluding:
".. _The DD55 is three times the size of SPD-6. SPD-6 is so small I can hold it in one
hand or my lap and play it. ...........
Bottom line is: if you want the best onboard sounds, fully playable as a "kit" out of the box,
go with DD55 PRO. "

----
Guess what. I've just found-out there is an DD-65 ?
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DD65/    :D
http://www.yamaha.com/namm/w2007/press.html?CTID=5041570

* two drum pedals and AUX IN capability for playing along with an MP3 player.
* USB capability
(((( The DD-65 is scheduled to ship in July 2007 )))) ???.













0
44444
2/16/2007 4:39:53 PM
Pete wrote:
(..)
>The main problem I encounter is in trying to play any kind of "roll".
>The sticks bounce on the pads in (what feels like) a suitable fashion,
>but often they don't trigger any output in the process.
>
>
>However, the second-hand comment I relayed before -- that MIDI output
>doesn't have velocity response -- is NOT true.  Getting anything in the
>range 27..127 is quite easy.  It does cut off sharply at the lower end,
>though -- nothing less than 27 seems to be possible.
>

Ben just above suggests that there are only 16 velocity levels out of the
full 0-127 range.
I peeked the owner's manual and saw one example they wrote saying
120 was a rather 'strong' velocity.. Notice that 120/8 = 15...
As the highest would be 128 / 8 = 16.

You mention 27-127 here Pete. It kinda suggests 27 and 127 have been
monitored, therefore not multiples of '8' alone.

I also read some complain that hitting two pads simultaneously would
NOT detect... But I read in the DD55 manual how this can happen;
And they suggest you set the 'sensitivity' to (2) Max.
Therefore, Yamaha is aware, but mostly it confirms the machine CAN
detect two simultaneous pad hits; Contrary to some user claim.

>>Then there's the M-Audio digipad, with 16 triggers, finger driven.
>>...Even though finger driven sounds 'cool'; I feel it's a nobrainer
>>to figure that Drums are 'MEANT' for sticks. Without them it's
>>even lesser than a bongo with just fingers.
>>Better off using the synth keyboard than a finger pad.


>I disagree here.  The "bongo" approach can be a great way of getting
>a fast complex rhythm.  Repeating keys at speed isn't so easy...
>The DD5x is useable in this way, though its low-end insensitivity
>can be annoying.
>

I see your point Pete. It makes sense; I stand corrected.

And all your impressions seem to explain better the various remarks
concerning this 'sensitivity' controversy. It would seem that the non-linear
response comes from this missing gap (1-26) mostly.

That makes drumrolls and bongo style hand play a little bit lacking
the subtilty it should have.

It might annoy me as well, and possibly enough to think twice again.
Although there are very few fair options if one wants to Learn to
drum with sticks.. Plus the DD55 had this tutorial mode and my former
experience with Yam, (TG33 sound module); Their drumset sound
nice enough; But the quantity of drumsounds in the DD55 is impressive.

Then again; 'sound capabilities' would not be my main reason.
since I've got neat sound modules, I just lack the Trigger pads.

I've been meditating on this issue and think I might try the DIY version.
....
Even more since I read one dude Loving the DD55 still killed three
of them in over 7 years.. I think 'Piezo's' are sensible and prone to break.
Yam is not the only one, I've read this can happen to Roland and all.

That's why I was thinking about another type of sensor for my 'DIY' project.
I think I'm gonna use a simple 'cheapo' walkman headphone speaker..
There is a 'coil' and a magnet. This will generate a few mvolts when the
membrane vibrates... In my mind, air pressure will detect more evenly
over the entire surface than some mechanical spring.

Building Each triggers independently allows me to 'customize' the
size in order to match the application (Snare/Bongo/Drum).
Plus, unlike DD55 and other devices; Hitting one pad won't cause
another pad to receive ghost vibrations.... Then I can 'design' it to
be sensitive over the full '1-127' velocity range.
And since I know a DD65 is expected july 2007; If I fail building
one, I could still wait for the hopefully better version.

Now, the PIC controller is easy to build, and inexpensive to purchase.
The only difficult part is to get access to a PIC programmer...
But Electronic is another of my hobbies, I should get to work.
I doubt this project will cost me more than 100$.
If all goes well, I could be done in a few weeks.
But if I succeed; Not only I could share the DIY plan and experience;
But 'upgrade' to eight or more (unbreakable) 'Trigger' pads, at
barely a few bucks a pop..

Hey.. I might even find a way to provide a decent 'brush' interface ?
....
Jokes aside; I think the market is not fair for drummers.
Electronic drumkits, should be easy to make 'from China' at
well under 100$ for an 8 'independent' trigger pads kid and
midi interface box. The only expensive part would be a steel
'support' for the kit.....I just had an idea of using some copper
tubings instead. Easy to solder and bend for original custom
cluster of pads.. Then spray paint.... Et voila !

Yup.. I'm taking the D.I.Y road.
Thanks for everything.


0
44444
2/16/2007 5:46:52 PM
"44444" <spirit@home.com> wrote in message 
news:12t8ft7kkr5agfa@corp.supernews.com...
> Hello.
>
> I previously used my Good'ol springy keyboard to hammer down
> a few beats using GM standard drumkits. It's fine to toy but quite
> hard to coordinate the sounds that way.
>
> I'm not a drummer. Never even tried a real one, except to bang
> once and run away.... I only know I do have some dexterity and
> an excellent sense of the rythm.
>
> I wonder.... Is it hard to learn to 'Drum' the basic stuff ?
> I'm thinking basic, Jazz, Rock and just getting 'better' at
> hand coordination, so I could improvise..
>
> I'd like to know or read about other impressions of 'Drumkits'.
> ... I'm just starting to realize; I might like to play this as an
> instrument, instead of hammering a synth keyboard
> for custom beats..... Are sticks hard to master ?
>
> I was thinking of the 'Cheapest' possible...
> Even models with no internal sounds; Just midi drum pads.
>
> Looking around, I noticed a rather inexpensive Yamaha DD55.
> I read plenty of reviews already, and it sounds encouraging.
> I read a bit about Alesis Pad controller, even less expensive
> but offers no internal sounds.
> Plus the square pads seem rather small to my taste.
>
> I also read a bit about Roland PS1...Can't remember exactly.
> It's slightly more expensive but it can 'load' some sound samples
> directly from a standard flash card, on top of it's own sounds.
> But the reviews weren't really good. Some found it was fragile,
> most claimed the internal sounds aren't very good. But overall
> it's not bad.
> Yet; I think The cheapo Yam might offer me more of what I seek.
> Plus it's got some beat sequences and a teaching mode.
>
> Funny; I thought this was a nononsense product to make.
> All I want would have been a small box, where I could connect
> three or four pad, of decent quality and size.
> Pads just have to sense velocity; The box converts to Midi
> and that's all. It should not cost much.
> Whay all I can find are drumkits over 1500$ in that category.
> And the rest mostly look like 'finger pads'.
> Toyish devices with some square pads, like Roland / Alesis ...
>
> P.S. I'll be patient for any suggestion you have.
> ..So far, I don't see anything right and affordable aside this Yam.
> ..I can't understand this. The electronics inside should be even
> simpler than a 10$ pocket calculator. Then add a few rubber
> pads with a piezo detector. I must be wrong somehow.
>

I'm quite happy with my DD-55.  I don't use or even care about the internal 
sounds.  I use the device entirely for midi recording.  My drum sounds come 
from Sonik Capsules' Studio Drums which are way better than the internal 
sounds of the DD-55.

I find the sensitivity of the pads more than acceptable for something 
costing me $260.  The sensitivity is even adjustable.  The only problem I 
had in the beggining was triggering on the hi-hat pad.  But this was due to 
improper drumstick grip, not the pad itself.  (I too am a begginer).

I feel the DD-55 was one of the best purchases I've ever made.  It's light 
years ahead of playing drums on the keyboard.  It makes the drum parts in my 
recordings sound way more natural.

BTW:  while the Alesis is cheaper, all you get is the 8 pads.  To have the 
same kind of setup you'd get with DD-55, you'll have to buy an additional 
bass pedal and hi-hat control pedal.  In the long run, you'll be spending 
more.


0
Progmatist
2/16/2007 6:51:03 PM
In article <12tbgrdgh20rke0@corp.supernews.com>, 44444 <I@havona.com> wrote:
>Pete wrote:
>(..)
>>However, the second-hand comment I relayed before -- that MIDI output
>>doesn't have velocity response -- is NOT true.  Getting anything in the
>>range 27..127 is quite easy.  It does cut off sharply at the lower end,
>>though -- nothing less than 27 seems to be possible.
>>
>
>Ben just above suggests that there are only 16 velocity levels out of the
>full 0-127 range.

Damn, I love it when you folks inspire me to experiment... (:-)
[And I love it even more when my software delivers the answers so slickly!!
(Too bad it only runs under BeOS, so none of you lot can use it! (:-/)]

I did some deeper analysis of the MIDI output from the DD50, and I can
easily get 50 or so distinct levels (out of the 101 possible between
27 and 127).  (I wonder if they actually start with 0..100 possible levels,
then shift it up to the top of the midi range?)  The distribution seems
fairly good -- *except* at the top end.  In most of the tests, a third
or more of the total strokes had the maximum value of 127.  Meaning it's
far too easy to overdrive the pads.

>I peeked the owner's manual and saw one example they wrote saying
>120 was a rather 'strong' velocity.. Notice that 120/8 = 15...
>As the highest would be 128 / 8 = 16.
>
>You mention 27-127 here Pete. It kinda suggests 27 and 127 have been
>monitored, therefore not multiples of '8' alone.
>
>I also read some complain that hitting two pads simultaneously would
>NOT detect... But I read in the DD55 manual how this can happen;
>And they suggest you set the 'sensitivity' to (2) Max.
>Therefore, Yamaha is aware, but mostly it confirms the machine CAN
>detect two simultaneous pad hits; Contrary to some user claim.

I neglected to mention the 'sensitivity adjustment', didn't I?  The 
actual reason was that I couldn't find it in the manual!  I had memories
of there being one, but there was no mention of it on the contents page,
and I couldn't see it in the text.  I looked again, and found it at the
back -- after the specifications!

However, I tried as best I could to see if changing that setting made
any difference to the response of the pads, and I couldn't detect any.
It definitely affects whether *other* pads will accidentally sound, but
high sensitivity doesn't seem to mean that lighter strokes are detected.
(Difficult to be quantitative, but I was letting the stick-tip drop
free from different heights, and the minimum seemed to stay much the
same.)

> [...]
>And all your impressions seem to explain better the various remarks
>concerning this 'sensitivity' controversy. It would seem that the non-linear
>response comes from this missing gap (1-26) mostly.

It is possible that they *have* improved its behaviour in that area.
I looked to see what I could find on the DD50 rather than the 55, and I see
a *lot* more complaints about the sensitivity on that unit.

The O'Reilly review that you referenced mentions "Sequence Sets" (I
think it was) that will generate a sequence for each hit.  The DD50 doesn't
have that, so obviously there *are* internal changes, contrary to my
suspicion.  (It also seems to be more expensive.  I remember the "Good
Guys" price being around $150, rather than the ~$250 I see for the DD55.
I got mine for -- gulp -- $60!)

Another thing I came across was a review of the DD50 on Amazon by Mick West,
who says he was able to improve the response range considerably with a
simple circuit mod.  I sent him email as he suggested, but it turns out that
he's a fairly well known guitarist in the UK, and his mailbox is blocked!
(Too much fan mail, I guess...)

> [D-I-Y thoughts snipped...]
>
>Hey.. I might even find a way to provide a decent 'brush' interface ?
Riiiggghhhtttt... (:-)
>
>Yup.. I'm taking the D.I.Y road.
>Thanks for everything.
Good luck if you decide to go that way!  Should be fun to try anyway.

Cheers,
				-- Pete --


-- 
                  "I love the smell of scorched lame duck in the morning..."
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0
neverland
2/17/2007 2:19:05 AM
Pete wrote:
(........)
>However, I tried as best I could to see if changing that setting made
>any difference to the response of the pads, and I couldn't detect any.
>It definitely affects whether *other* pads will accidentally sound, but
>high sensitivity doesn't seem to mean that lighter strokes are detected.
>(Difficult to be quantitative, but I was letting the stick-tip drop
>free from different heights, and the minimum seemed to stay much the
>same.)
>

DAMN IT !,,,, Pete.. That's a brilliant idea.
Of course I could have thought of that eventually. But Hey, who knows.
This trick of 'Letting a simple 'weight' (I plan on a small metal ball or pebble),
fall from a measured height is Brilliant.. Energy = m*g*h
... Also == � * m * v�
.... Then It's clear that the Energy is 'Linear' to the height, but the
Speed 'Velocity' is :: 2*g*h = v� .. root function.
Then I can calibrate properly my electronic project later using a
simple weight object and scaling the height appropriately...
.... This might suggest a simple 'velocity curve' formula...

<< Just thinking now.. I wonder if in real Life; Acoustic drums
respond to 'Velocity' or energy Linearly ? Bwah..
Must be my flu medicine kickin in.. :D >>


Sorry for the Geek talk.
I agree the (DD-50)/DD-55(later to come DD65) seems to be the
besdt thing for most; I happen to have some electronic skills as well.
And I love the challenge.
Foaming at the idea I can build a complete Drumkit for less than
one or two hundred box..
I can expect Electronic parts will cost me less than 100$..
And I am really amused by all the ideas I find for  making the
actual Pad hardware... It's just a velocity sensor.
... There are plastic cover sheets for carpets of a veriety of thickness;
Just perfect for a membrane... Even then; I could have a very tiny
'pre-amp' circuit with fine-tuning for sensitivity and trigger levels.
Barely a few bucks per pad... That means, on the fly analog ajustment.

Thanks, Live long and prosper Pete,, :()


0
44444
2/17/2007 6:19:46 PM
Reply: