June 22, 2013
If digital gear has proved useful for anything at all, it is to supplement analog instruments in ways that make our lives easier. Case in point is the digital tuner. Guitarists who did not grow up with analog gear had to either make use of a well tuned piano, or a tuning fork in order to get the correct frequency of a string. Once they tuned their lowest string, they could tune the rest of the guitar based on that note. In modern times they only need to play a note and let it ring against the sound of a digital tuner, which turns that frequency into a measurable and comparable number value.
Drummers who play set also have to find ways to tune their drums, usually the three toms and maybe even the bass drum. However, tuning a drum is not always looked at as a necessity when compared …
June 17, 2013
Drum pad and other drum machines are very common apps found in the iOS store. After using an Android Phone I’ve realized why musicians tend to stick with iOS music making apps – there is far less latency to deal with. Whether they can actually be used seriously is up to debate, since there is always a bit of uncertainly when a button is pressed on screen and there is a lack of tactile response that gives the user a positive feedback on button presses. Some drums machines are nothing more than an overzealous drum kit and some actually look like a drum set (which I find awkward to use).
A step above a “toy” drum machine and you are at a level where the drum pads become tunable and the entire instrument can be programmed by the user. Without going on about synthesizer and patching audio, some of these …
April 28, 2013
The process of turning an acoustic instrument into a digital format has been the topic of discussion over the last twenty years or so. In the last five, it has been explored in great depth and great detail. No matter what type of instrument it is, developers are faced with familiar problems – like how they can transcribe a human movement into a digital one. With a keyboard or piano the job is much simpler, since you are striking a key, but what about taking that concept to something that is completely percussive. DVS programs have the benefit of using a constant signal that can be interpreted as it is manipulated – but striking a drum pad or bass drum is much more complex.
Just consider how difficult it is to get good recorded audio from a drum set, without picking up unnecessary noise or vibrations from neighboring drums. …
March 26, 2013
When you ask drummers, “Which brand has the best electronic drum kit?”, the typical answer is Roland. However Roland V-Drums are rather expensive even if you are getting what you are paying for in terms of build quality, performance, and overall fidelity. Roland has delivered a kit that is not only affordable, but also makes portability a staple feature on the new Roland TD-4KP V-Drums Portable electronic drum kit. Following in the footsteps of previous models within the TD-4K line, the TD-4KP retails for under $1000 with all the quality you can expect from a Roland V-Drum kit. Included in the kit are the TD-4 drum module, eight pads total (kick, snare, toms x3, hi-hat, crash and ride cymbals), the FD-8 Hi-Hat Controller, and drum rack for mounting your drum and cymbal pads. Not included are a drum throne and kick pedal but you can purchase the Roland DAP-3X V-Drums Accessory Package which …
January 30, 2013
It just so happens to be that out of all the members in a typical rock band, the drummer usually has it the worst. Their gear is massive, and can take up to an hour to haul around to each location and set everything up the way it is needed. Hardware and components on a drum set are various and costly, not to mention that there are at least four different drum heads that can break at any time. Compare this to the guitarist who needs nothing more than his guitar, a quick tuning, and an amp or headphones to listen. The worst of all is that drums are noisy and you cannot always practice when you want to.
Electronic drum sets have one key factor in their favor, they aren’t noisy. They may not deliver the same acoustic sound that you are used to, but they can be used …