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Recording Electric drums via midi, presonus firepod + cubase

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by i_got_a_mohawk, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. I may be totally off the mark, but I was wondering if anyone could help.

    Im getting a presonus firepod in the near future, and was origianlly going to record the drums for my band, which are electric (Roldand TD-3 i believe), using the basic left and right outputs.

    However, ive been wondering.

    The drum kit has a midi in and out, and so does the presonus firepod.

    Would it be possible to record the drums via the midi outs, into the presonus firepod, and then within cubase LE (comes with the firepod), be able to use a VST like EZDrummer to play with the sounds of the kit?

    I guess this is basically using the drum kit as a midi sequencer, and then using a VST on it.

    If this is possible, would it also be possible to do this in real time, or would it be better to record the drums as part of the band, using the default sounds, then change the sounds using a VST afterwards?


  2. Danimal00

    Danimal00 Dealer: Sweetwater

    Feb 28, 2006
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sweetwater Sound Senior Sales Engineer
    Hi Will,

    You can do both. Take the MIDI out of the TD3 into the MIDI in of the FirePod and the Audio out of the TD3 into the FirePod. As it is is a direct out, you can have the audio isolated from the rest of the band.

    You can also just record the MIDI to the computer from the TD3 and then trigger the sounds of the TD3, or any software synth via the MIDI that you had recorded after the fact.

  3. Would there be any bonus in using the normal audio outs? Or would the audio outs be used for powering a monitor (or headphones for better isolation) ?

    This sounds like it could be a fun thing to play around with! :D

    Also, when using the midi in and out do you need to use both ins and outs on both units? what information would be being sent to the TD3?
  4. If you're just recording from the drums you'll only need to connect its out to the other one's in. You'd only need to run something into the drums if you wanted to control their synth from something else.
  5. chrisp2u


    Aug 15, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    If you're recording everyone at once, I'd say record the MIDI to a track and just run the audio outs from the module in to your recording interface so the rest of the band can monitor the drum playing (no need to record the audio). Doesn't really matter what everyone is hearing as long as they have something to play along to. Then just use the recorded MIDI to trigger stuff later. Otherwise, there might be too much latency for everyone to play along to without issues... YMMV though depending on the processing power of your computer and the latency of the interface. Those drum apps can require quite a bit of processing horsepower unless you really strip them down.

    You only need to use the MIDI out of the TD3.
  6. Cheers guys, yeah that makes sense about only using the midi out, i wasnt sure if maybe they need the in and out for some sort of cross-talk.

    Probably will record it so we have the triggers then mess about and choose whatever drums sound best with the tracks :)

    From what ive been reading the firepod is a prety low latency device and can handle numerous tracks pretty easily. The PC is pretty up to spec, its 2-3 years old now, but still good, (3.2Ghz P4 "prescott core" CPU overclocked and running stable at 3.78Ghz, 1 Gig DDR400 ram, (used to be 2 gigs but when my PSU went it took out a harddrive, my old 9800pro and one of the channels of ram :( ), i'll have a good mess about, because im going to be pretty much completelly new to cubase, ive used it a few times but without much sucess (dont really have a good enough soundcard, hence why im getting the firewire interface).
  7. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I did it the other day with my TD-3, it's still sounds like a drum machine no matter how you slice it, so I ran out and bought a real kit. The sound is night and day between real drums and the electrics, don't loose sight of that.
  8. Im not, im looking at practicallity.

    We are doing DIY recordings, we have a cheap accoustic kit which we use when putting on gigs, and our drummer has an electric kit for practicing at home. Last time we used his electric kit it was using the sounds on it (just recording the left and right out), and we want a better and more controllable sound than that.

    Also dont think the neighbours would be too pleased with a drum kit getting played for 2-3 days.

    And seeing its not that nice an accoustic kit we have, and we also dont have the facilities to mic it well, the electric kit is the way to go, I know it wont be the same as a real kit, but the majority of people wont notice its an electric kit in the recordings and we're just making the best use of the current situation we have.
  9. chrisp2u


    Aug 15, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I picked up Fxpansion's BFD and Deluxe not too long ago to trigger from my TD20 kit. I bet 99.9% of all people wouldn't be able to tell they're not real drums in a mix. It takes a bit of tweaking, but the results can be excellent. I suppose it depends on the e-kit being used to trigger too... the TD3 (older versions at least) is quite a bit more limited on some of the realism related features (hihat control, dual triggering, positional sensing, etc).

    I have a real kit too, and mic real kits quite often as well, but BFD is far less hassle and more than acceptable for a lot of stuff. Mic'ing an acoustic kit may not sound like a drum machine, but it can often sound just as bad and ruin a recording just as much unless you have the gear and know-how to pull it off.

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