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Online Guide E-Drums
The module

 

The heart of the matter or more precisely the brain – mission control – of any e drum set is the drum module. An electronic drum set sounds as good - or bad ( and this is a nice excuse for the less gifted amongst us :-) as the module permits.

You have to imagine the module as a control unit, a computer, that edits the incoming signals from the triggers and associates them with the according sounds and applies
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
. The quality of the module though, depends not only on the quality of the on board sounds. Many modules let you upload your own
Sample1) In digital audio, a sample is numerical representation of amplitude at a single point in time. Thousands of samples are taken every second, corresponding to the sample rate, and stored as binary numbers. The analogue waveform is recreated by passing the samples back through a digital-to-analogue (D/A) converter. 2) A digital recording of an instrument sound, percussive hit, loop or sound effect, used in music production.
samples
anyway. The determining factor is how exact, how fast and how precisely the incoming signal is processed. What can easily be done with any acoustic drum regarding dynamic range and speed is already hard work for a module. This is readily shown when playing a roll on the snare
Pad1) An attenuation switch found on many microphones and mixing desks, allowing a signal to be attenuated by one or more fixed amounts, such as -10 or -20dB. 2) A soft, sustained sound used in arranging or sequencing as an unobtrusive harmonic backdrop. This may be a synth sound or a natural sound, typically strings.
pad
. In slower (and of course cheaper) modules the processor can’t keep up at a certain speed. Your roll will miss a few
Hit1) A successful recording. 2) A single sampled percussive sound, as opposed to a loop.
hits
. Another factor is the dynamic range in
Volume1) In audio and music, the loudness or amplitude of a signal. 2) In computing, a fixed amount of storage space, addressed as a single entity ('C:', 'D:' etc). A physical drive may contain more than one volume, but a single volume may also span more than one drive!
volume
. The criteria here is how many shades the module can reproduce.

Roland TD-20

Regarding drum modules the following rule applies: Expensive is good. Roland leads just ahead of Yamaha being followed by Alesis. The number of manufacturers is relatively small. So far Roland’s flagship., the TD 20, has no competition.

Still – even entry level sets are of excellent use – especially for practice. A beginner’s set does not have to do everything. The advantage of a multitude of sounds and the almost silent operation are present just as in any electronic set.


Connectors

Connectors

The module hast two independent outputs. One as an uplink to the PA or drum
Monitor1) Recording studio loudspeaker. 2) Stage loudspeaker, usually wedge-shaped, facing the performers so that they may hear themselves. 3) Computer display screen.
monitor
, the other for headphones. Furthermore there are features such as
MetronomeA mechanical or electronic device which produces a tick or beep at a precise tempo, for reference or use as a practice aid.
metronome
or a drum tutor with which you can practice new grooves.

MIDIMIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a control language that enables electronic instruments to communicate with each other. In days gone by, if you wanted to play a sound from a given synthesiser, you had to physically play that specific synth’s keyboard - this resulted in performers being surrounded by huge arrays of keyboards.
MIDI
in and out are pretty much standard, making it easy to integrate the module into a
MIDIMIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a control language that enables electronic instruments to communicate with each other. In days gone by, if you wanted to play a sound from a given synthesiser, you had to physically play that specific synth’s keyboard - this resulted in performers being surrounded by huge arrays of keyboards.
MIDI
set-up. Good modules offer a variety of
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
such as
AmbienceCharacter of an environment. In audio, the sonic characteristics of a space, from the size of the space to what type of sounds are a normal part of it.
ambience
, echo,
ReverbReverb is an effect that simulates the reflection of sound waves from the surfaces of an enclosed area such as a room or hall. After the initial direct sound arrives at the listener, reflections from the surrounding surfaces follow and gradually decrease in intensity as they are absorbed.
reverb
etc. With a
BitA binary digit – a “one” or a “zero”.
bit
of experience you can shape amazing sounds.

Because of it’s connectivity, the big number of In- and Outputs, a drum module is easily integrated into a recording set-up. This is not only true for studio recording but is of particular interest for home recordings. A drum module is less challenging than a fully mic-ed drum kit in your living room –with improvised sound proofing on
WindowsA family of computer operating systems developed by Microsoft, using a Graphical User Interface (GUI) in which software programs display visual information, images, text and other data in independent screen areas ('windows') which may be moved and re-sized independently.
windows
and walls.

It is fast to set up, the settings are easy to adjust and
DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
noise
pollution is no issue.

 

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