Zendrum Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down

Author Topic: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!  (Read 7419 times)

Zendrumdude

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2010, 08:55:41 PM »

OK, I got one!

To be honest, I have spent VERY little time on it... but here's a preliminary review.

I opened the box yesterday afternoon at 3:30pm and gigged with it at 6pm!  All I did to prepare was change a few pad assignments on my ZX to match the DM10's mapping (which is NOT in the manual, by the way... MAJOR oversight!) and I ran through each of the 100 kits to see which ones I liked and for what.  I didn't change any instruments or levels, etc., just took it to the gig.

The first thing I noticed was that it was way less "hot" velocity-wise than BFD, which required me to play differently.  Not a big problem, but I really had to focus (today I messed with the DM's "Vel to Level" parameters and it's really an effective adjustment for this issue.)  I wish the DM had BFD's velocity window!

The sound was very, very good.  Not BFD-good, but the best hardware module I have heard yet.  I really liked the ride cymbals especially, and there's a set of 5 Yamaha MCA toms that I love.  Snares were hit-and-miss IMO, but I found several I really liked.  I didn't find a cross-stick I liked, but with some tweaking I have a couple that work.  Hi-hats were a problem for me: I only found 2 I liked, and each required pitch adjustment to sound realistic.  Most of them were completely unusable for me.  I have not yet figured out how to adjust the volumes of different articulations (like pedal chick) individually, but I hope it's possible.  Crashes were good, splashes few but 2 were good, really good chinas, percussion samples are great, but I didn't find a cowbell I loved... still tweaking.  Bass drums were the weak link on the drum sets... lots of them sounded canned to me, especially in the lower velocity range.  Alesis's "dynamic articulation" (i.e., multisampling) is really awesome for a hardware module, but not even close to the detail of BFD.  But it's a nice compromise.

One thing I really liked was that the levels of the instruments in the kits worked really well right out of the box.  I hate when you use a module where the levels are inconsistent within the kit or between the kits; this was great in that way.  The factory kits were well-put together, well-mixed, and well-named (I knew what to expect by the titles.)  When using hardware modules, I like that you can call up a sound, and it sounds good immediately.  You don't have the precision control of software, but the upside is the instant (if limited) gratification.

Today I spent some time building my own kits, and I really like the way this module is adjusted.  I have always preferred Alesis's architecture over Roland's; the DM10 seems to incorporate the "openness" of the old Alesis modules, with the graphic interface and menu systems like Roland's.  I did not need the manual at all.  (The only thing I looked in it for, a midi note map, was not even in there!)

The FX are OK, the room simulator is pretty good, and the EQ is lame... a simple hi and low parametric.  I would love a 4-band parametric or a simulated 30-band graphic.

Bottom line: I liked, if not loved, enough sounds to make this a totally usable module for me.  I LOVED some of the sounds.  The premade kits are very good, the editing architecture is user-friendly, I have not found any "why can't I do that?" issues yet, with the possible exception of HH artic editing (update to come...).  The price is right, the convenience rocks, the kit load time is instant, etc.  I give it a 9 out of 10 overall.  No, it's not BFD-in-a-box.  BFD sounds like a real kit because, in essence, it IS.  But there are advantages to modules: I loaded in last night in ONE trip (amp included), was set up in seconds, and had a great gig, even on the factory kits.  As a "lite" rig, I am very pleased!

Jer
Logged

THUMPER

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 274
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2010, 11:53:19 PM »

Question Zendrumdude. Can you layer 2 sounds together on one trigger?     That was a very informative review by the way. Looking forwad to hearing more on this Thumper
Logged
Thumper

Zendrumdude

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2010, 09:20:00 AM »

Yeah Thump, you can layer 2 sounds, although I don't think you can do the ultra-tweak layers like you can in the DM-Pro (it allows up to 4, with crossfading and progressive stacking.)  I wish that were possible here, but if it is I can't find it.

Another thing I might mention:
I know that by definition we're not here to discuss drum pad playing, but I do use an e-kit at times.  The DM10 has 12 trigger inputs, 10 of which are dual-trig ins.  I was disappointed to find that the HH and Crash trigger inputs are MONO.  WHAT?  Other than snare, the HH is the one I want dual triggering on the most, for edge/tip playing!  And I love setting up a light ride sound on the bow of the crash.  I have no idea why they'd give you a dual trig input for the bass drum, and not crash or hat.  What the heck? ???  Of course you can make any input be any instrument, but I'll have to reprogram EVERY kit, since the DM also does not allow you to alter the note numbers of the trigger inputs (another gripe).

Jer
Logged

randtor

  • Tribesman
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 186
  • Sunburst Zendrum
    • View Profile
    • Red Eye Flight
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2010, 11:06:14 AM »

Hmmmm, Am I missing something here? I don't understand the 'lust' for the software/laptop route. It seems, from all the discussions I have read, that there is a very steep learning curve, and lots of add ons to purchase, software and hardware, to get perhaps 10 -12 different drum sounds that you tend to like and stay with, not really using all the flexibility these packages have to offer.
I am using a TD-10 module, and for me it seems to have as many sounds as I could possibly want. The learning curve (at least for me!) was pretty steep, and I am still figuring it all out even several years later. But at least I now understand MIDI and know where to look, if I need something specific. The hardware is easy to figure out, the connections are minimal (especially since I upgraded to wireless when I did the Z4 upgrade), and to me, when I stand out in front and listen to the drums/percussion thru the PA, it sounds damn good. I'm not sure there is that big a difference between BFD software (and others) and the TD-10, that the average person listening to the music would be able to discern a difference. Even to my ear, the TD-10 sounds are really good. And very easy to edit, and get something I want/need for individual songs.
Don't get me wrong, I haven't ever used software and a laptop so I can't make a true comparison, and I don't suppose to tell anyone what is "better"... it's up to each individual as to what sounds better to you. My quesion is, it seems like there is a great deal of effort needed to go the software/PC route, and its complicated too. Is that a fair assessment?? I'm reading into what the posts are saying, am I reading them wrong? I've toyed with the idea of going with software and a PC, but the comments are scaring me off!
It's like, If it ain't broke, don't fix it....for me, anyway.
Rand
Logged
www.reverbnation.com/redeyeflight
Red sunburst Zendrum (sweet!!!); Diamond Drum kit =~> Black Crystal with Bermuda Sand Stripes -- Bass-18x14 * Snare-13x5.5 * Tom1-10x7 * Tom2-12x8; TDW-20 with VEX Packs (VST1,2 & 3; Vintage and Exotic Kits); VdrumLib; Life is Good!

Zendrumdude

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2010, 02:16:06 PM »

Rand,

No, you're making perfect sense. 

I feel like I can speak with some experience here: I have owned ALL of the important Alesis and Roland modules over the years (by important I mean the big badass models- I never did get a TD3, for instance.)  I have probably owned 10 different modules and have 3 right now.  Also went the Emu sampler route and Receptor, and am now on a MacBook Pro with BFD2.

Bottom line is, it's a continuum between ease and detail.  On one end is the user friendliness and quick setup of the drum module, on the other is the expense, learning curve, and more gear of the software setup.  I hear a HUGE difference between BFD2 and a module.  The realism is simply astounding.  I happen to own some of the models of cymbals sampled in BFD for instance, and I RECOGNIZE them by sound.  It's really just like playing your real instruments.  On modules, I always feel like it's CLOSE... but not quite.  On the new DM10 for instance, it's a great sounding module... but do a quick lick down the toms, and the "sameness" of the samples causes that dreaded machine gun sound, which comes from not having enough variability of sample sounds.  Ghost notes, hi-hat realism, multiple articulations like rim shots, cym bells, etc. all add up to a more realistic experience.  I do think you are right that the average listener wouldn't notice.  I am not into BFD's extreme realism for the average listener's ear, though- I am in it for MY ear.  I DO hear a difference, and when I play sounds that don't satisfy me, I am not as happy.  And I defintely play with guys who hear it too.  The snare drum alone is enough for me to want to go the software route.  ONE snare drum in BFD takes up more memory in sampled sounds than any drum module's ENTIRE soundset!

Sure, I have taken out a TD-6 on gigs and done just fine.  But for me, I really WANT that detail, the realism.  So I'll put my "slider" way over on the detail end of the continuum, because that's what I like... crazy levels of control, realistic sound, the highest degree of technical complexity and advancement.  But there are advantages to just grabbing a module under your arm and being set up in seconds.  Just choose what works for YOU and you'll be happy!  Currently I think I'll use my DM10 in some musical settings and my MacBook for others, and I am excited about having the choice (and a smokin' backup plan in case of emergency too!)

The best part is, there is a sound solution for every taste, every level of experience, every budget.  The world is our oyster with all the choices we have- there is no "right" way to do this, only a right way for each player and each musical situation!

Jer
Logged

THUMPER

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 274
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2010, 03:50:15 PM »

Great post Jer!  I agree 100%. The average listener in my opinion will not notice. I use a TD-20 for my gigging and it is close enough and  that the portability of it and the sounds work for my needs. I especially like the faders where I can boost snare and bass drum levels on the fly or cut as needed for the song. Is this easily done in BFD-2 with the mixer window on the fly? I am always looking for smaller, easier, sound better options and like you have bought several different modules and software and if you spend the time with any of them you can get them to work for you. I am now starting to explore the software that I have and it is intimidating to me. At least now with the Z4 you can have triggers set up with different midi channels. This at least is a workaround to get sounds from 2 different modules  played on you Zendrum at the same time. Another Question I have is what would be the setup playing BFD-2 as your drum set and having a module for extra sounds. Would I need a midi usb interface at that point. Right now I take the headphone out of my computer to my speakers for sound and I know that this is not the preferred way of doing that. I am still searching. Thumper
Logged
Thumper

Zendrumdude

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2010, 04:28:03 PM »

Thumpa,

Yeah, you can mix on the fly w/ BFD2, but it's not QUITE as handy as the TDs.  The DM10 has a front panel mix too, BTW.

You'd still need the interface to run BFD and a module.  You'd probably go to the module first, then out of its midi thru to the interface. 

Yeah, you'll probably want to get a really nice interface for sound at some point.  I use a Motu Ultralite and it is killer.

Jer
Logged

Geosphere

  • Administrator
  • Tribal Leader
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 495
    • View Profile
    • Too Hip For The Room
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2010, 06:17:24 AM »

I'm with Tom on this.  I'm baffled by the 'realism' concept.

I have a serious question for everyone striving for the "realism" of the sound rather than the massive variety of a standard module.

If you're playing an instrument that is distinctly not drums, why do you need it to sound like drums?

If you need the actual sound of drums, why not play drums?

It seems really odd to take an instrument that is so sophisticated in what it can do and go out of the way to make it sound like another instrument.


Logged
Play nice.

Zendrumdude

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2010, 08:55:03 AM »

Geo,

For me, it's a "best of both worlds" concept: the portability, sci-fi technology factor, and controllability of the Zendrum, but the sound and "vibe" of acoustic drums.  I am intrigued with the thought of blowing someone away because it SOUNDS so authentic.

Jer
Logged

randtor

  • Tribesman
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 186
  • Sunburst Zendrum
    • View Profile
    • Red Eye Flight
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2010, 09:32:03 PM »

Ahhhh, I love this board!  ;D Great answers guys. The bottom line I guess, is do what sounds best to you. As with everything, some opt for ease of use, some for playability; some for realism, some for technical detail; some for simplicity, some for complexity! A lot depends on the person's personality maybe? I like to be up and running quickly, and the portability is great with the TD-10, as are all the various options I have, including using melodic voices with the Z4 setup making it much easier now. We were rehearsing a song, the bass player said, "Can you get a snare with a longer gate time, with reverb, and a 'snap' like an echo-ey thing?" Sure thing boss! 1 minute, got it, and it fit beautifully with the song. I am still learning a lot of the nuances of the TD-10, and MIDI, and the zendrum. Bottom line for me, I don't really want to spend the time trying to set up a whole new sound with new software, as my life is busy and complicated enough! So for me, its "keep on keepin' on" I guess. Mostly due to time constraints, I will probably stick with the TD-10 for now, as I am still trying to learn all about that! Especially with the Z4, I want to add melodic voices and such, and I am still trying to figure out which pads on the zendrum should play what sounds for each song! In fact, there are so many choices to make, it's one of the things that initially put me off when I first started to try and learn how to play it. Hell, banging skins and cymbals was a lot more intuitive for me! Now, I have had to learn to play all over again! Thanks for the great replies all!
Rand
Logged
www.reverbnation.com/redeyeflight
Red sunburst Zendrum (sweet!!!); Diamond Drum kit =~> Black Crystal with Bermuda Sand Stripes -- Bass-18x14 * Snare-13x5.5 * Tom1-10x7 * Tom2-12x8; TDW-20 with VEX Packs (VST1,2 & 3; Vintage and Exotic Kits); VdrumLib; Life is Good!

Pyrate

  • Tribal Elder
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 528
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2010, 06:59:02 AM »

Avast Thar Mateys,

      Aye couldn't help but get me piece of eight's worth in this discussion.  Aye have both a TD-20 and BFD2.  While Aye admit that Aye be at me wit's end regarding BFD2, Aye also admit the realism of drum sounds is certainly up there.  However, in looking over me expenses (new computer, software, multiple audio interfaces, new desk and chair, high hat pedal, etc. ad nauseum), the software method is almost to the point of being past the point of no return.  And Aye still need to purchase the BFD expansion packs in order to get some of the sounds Aye want that did not come with the origianl BFD2 package.  Yet, to respond to Geo's comment - Aye would love to go back to playing an acoustic kit, but me Pyrate ship does not have the room and me meighbors would be upset at the noise.  Enter the Zendrum. A perfect solution to space and noise level.  For me ears only, Aye would like some very realistic sounds.  Aye be a drummer, and Aye be not looking to make any other sounds other than drums and percussion.

       That all being said, Aye recently went to an open mike night near me dock, and took me TD-20 and associated parts and pieces.  Aye was up and running in less than 5 minutes, including the unloading from the car and into the club.  The same for teardown at the end of the night.  For portability sake, the hardware module makes sense and nobody in the crowd could tell the difference in sound.  Aye suppose if I had the extreme knowledge of our shipmate Zendrumdude, or Mr. Wizard, and had a decent Macbook Pro, all BFD2 software with expansion packs, Aye might be able to achieve the same level of portability.  For now, Aye will stick to me TD-20 for live performance, until I plunder another treasure to acquire proper equipment/software and take the time to learn the ins and outs of software based sounds.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
Logged
Lost at sea with the Jolly Roger Zendrum!
Pyrate Factoid:  Black Bart Roberts was the most successful Pyrate of the Golden Age.  He captured over 400 ships between 1720 and 1722.

Zendrumdude

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2010, 09:44:40 AM »

Well said, Pyrate.

I think ideally a guy may want to have a software rig AND a module.  I know that sounds like a lot of cash, and it is, but if you DO go the software route, like you listed, you're already in up to your eyepatch!  (I loved how you added in the cost of a desk and chair... don't forget to bolt them to the deck in case of high seas!)

I do agree with both sides of this discussion... realism extraordinaire vs. pack-n-play simplicity.  To open a new can of worms, the same concept applies to amplification.  If you want to slam and sound killer, you need a lot of cone surface, amplification, and processing, but if you want in-n-out portability, you want something simple and small.  I guess the solution, for me anyway, is to have setups on both ends of the spectrum and choose accordingly.  Someday we may have both, I would think.  Someday...

Jer

ps: You can't list me in the "experts" section along with John E.... it's not fair to him!  Since he's the wizard, I will have to assume the role of "wizard's chamber pot maintenance engineer."
Logged

Zendrumdude

  • Tribal Leader
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 383
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2010, 10:11:43 AM »

It seems, from all the discussions I have read, that there is a very steep learning curve, and lots of add ons to purchase, software and hardware, to get perhaps 10 -12 different drum sounds that you tend to like and stay with, not really using all the flexibility these packages have to offer.

Rand

Hey Rand,

I wanted to comment on this in particular.  Have you ever owned a car with heated seats?  When I got my Outback a few years ago, I scoffed... "What kind of weenie-@$$ uppity yuppie type needs a heater THERE?"  A few years later, I do!  You get used to something, and suddenly it's, "YOU don't have heated seats???  That's BARBARIC!"  My point is this: in BFD, there are adjustments you didn't even KNOW you needed.  Examples: parametric EQ on every MIC (sometimes more than one for a single drum!), velocity curve for every drum, velocity upper and lower limits, effects and dynamics processing for every drum, a KILLER and very realistic mixer with aux sends and submixes, etc. etc. etc.... too many to list.  I agree with your statement about having a set of sounds you tend to stay with: I'd say I have maybe 50-60 sounds that I use all the time.  But about using the flexibility this system has to offer... heck YEAH I do!  I am in that mixer page tweaking the compression ratio on the bottom-head mic of snare #2 between songs, sometimes.  I LOVE the microscopic tweaking, even if, as you also said, no one knows but me!  You said in another post that it's about a person's personality.  Again, you are right.  I am a total obsessive freak about my drum sounds (talking about acoustic here), and to have the ultra-realistic mixer interface in BFD just makes me smile and rub my hands together in glee! >-D

Bottom line, and this has been said before: we all have our own specific needs, and there is a system out there for EVERYONE.  And I love the variety and community sense of acceptance of this forum- there is no "right" way (or system)... it's a matter of matching the gear to the situation.

Jer
Logged

Pyrate

  • Tribal Elder
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 528
    • View Profile
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2010, 10:45:32 AM »

Avast Thar Zendrumdude,

     Aye believe that your Obsessive Compulsive nature regarding BFD2 and the assistance and support (both technical and morale) that ye have so graciously provided since me purchase of BFD2, I would certainly place you in the category of Sorcerer's Apprentice to Mr. Wizard.  And Aye should warn you, that if you were as physically close to where Aye live as Mr. Wizard is, Aye would be spending a lot of tyme at your residence.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
Logged
Lost at sea with the Jolly Roger Zendrum!
Pyrate Factoid:  Black Bart Roberts was the most successful Pyrate of the Golden Age.  He captured over 400 ships between 1720 and 1722.

randtor

  • Tribesman
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 186
  • Sunburst Zendrum
    • View Profile
    • Red Eye Flight
Re: INSPECTOR 109: Tell us about DM-10!
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2010, 07:16:03 PM »

Jer,

I couldn't agree with you more, LOL! I just got heated seats in my ride, and thought the same thing. Now it's like you said, " What you DON'T have 'em?!?!" ;D
A lot of the tweaking you are taliking about, it seems I can do with the TD-10 on a lot of the sounds, and I do. My initial reaction was being overwhelmed by so many variables and so many choices, I felt like i wasway out of my league. With time, and understanding, I have come to see how the TD-10 works an interfaces with the Zendrum capabilities. There are STILL literally almost an infinite # of tweaks, setups, choices, I can still make. But now I have more of an idea what I want to hear, and where. I can't compare a TD-10 to BFD as I have never heard BFD; I have a feeling tho, that if/when I do, I'll be walking the plank like Pyrate, and sinking into a sea of BFD choices, LOL! I agree with you Jer, the sounds we create are for OUR pleasure as well, and it does make a difference in the perception of our own abilities when we sound phenomenal! I guess, being a "novice sub-bedpan-assistant to the assistant-engineer in charge of wizarding - in training", I'll try and live with what I have for a bit, before I sink into the complexities of software!!    ???
Rock on!
Rand
Logged
www.reverbnation.com/redeyeflight
Red sunburst Zendrum (sweet!!!); Diamond Drum kit =~> Black Crystal with Bermuda Sand Stripes -- Bass-18x14 * Snare-13x5.5 * Tom1-10x7 * Tom2-12x8; TDW-20 with VEX Packs (VST1,2 & 3; Vintage and Exotic Kits); VdrumLib; Life is Good!
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Up