Drum Wagon

All things percussive

This article details step-by-step how to fire off a TD-20’s percussion samples from an SPD-11 or SPD-20.
The concepts work pretty much the same if using other modules or pad controllers as well.

Why bother?

The first question you might ask is ‘why’? Why not just utilize the onboard sounds already present in
the SPD-11? Well, the short answer for *me* is that I already had an SPD-11 laying around from my first
foray into electronic percussion back in the mid-90s but have since upgraded to a TD-20 which has much
better sounds onboard than the SPD-11 and I would like to trigger those instead. Some other reasons and
benefits for doing this though are:

  • Doesn’t use up the mix-in bus of the TD-20 or require an external mixer to combine the two signals.
  • Doesn’t use any DAC/ADCs if you use S/PDIF out of the TD-20 — allows you to stay completely digital.
  • Doesn’t require any level adjustments. This is a big one if you gig out or move your kit a lot — no need to mess around with
    the headphone out and mix-in trim knobs, the levels between the percussion instruments and the rest of
    the drumset are just always exactly the same.
  • Consistency of effects. Since the sounds are being triggered from within the TD-20, they use the same
    ambient and compression effects as the rest of the kit, allowing the two blend much more nicely. The
    overall effect is much more natural as you won’t have a dry kit with an echoey woodblock or a gong that’s *way*
    louder than the rest of your kit, etc..


November 16th, 2007

Posted In: how-to, present

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