Low Gain is your friend

Post Reply
User avatar
monospace
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:32 am
Location: New Jersey

Low Gain is your friend

Post by monospace »

Kinda arbitrary, and depends on your triggers and your playing style, but...

Set your Gain as low as possible. You want to hit a velocity of 127 only barely when you really whack your drums. Most of my pads use a gain between 1 and 2. They're nothing special, just your standard Roland triggers.

What you get in response is an amazing dynamic range, where you can play really softly and get a great response, and still get maximum punch when you really lean in to it. It's way too easy to set your electronic drums to play at max velocity all the time, and while that may sound cool, it will kill your technique.

This is true for most if not all modules, not just eDRUMin.
Miscellaneous Roland triggers. ED-10 + ED-4. MacBook Pro (2015), 16G RAM, Big Sur. Superior Drummer 3. Logic Pro.
thenewdrummer
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:25 pm

Re: Low Gain is your friend

Post by thenewdrummer »

monospace wrote:Kinda arbitrary, and depends on your triggers and your playing style, but...

Set your Gain as low as possible. You want to hit a velocity of 127 only barely when you really whack your drums. Most of my pads use a gain between 1 and 2. They're nothing special, just your standard Roland triggers.

What you get in response is an amazing dynamic range, where you can play really softly and get a great response, and still get maximum punch when you really lean in to it. It's way too easy to set your electronic drums to play at max velocity all the time, and while that may sound cool, it will kill your technique.

This is true for most if not all modules, not just eDRUMin.
I'm in the process of trying to set it correctly but I've found that when I set the gain really low I barely hear the sound of pas after that in ezdrummer. It's like if only the 127 sound good. I increase the output volume in ezdrummer but is something I'm missing?
User avatar
Rob
Site Admin
Posts: 4516
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:04 pm

Re: Low Gain is your friend

Post by Rob »

I have to agree with monospace--not so much that it has to be low, but more that you need to be careful not to set it too high.

You might add that having a proper monitoring environment is also important. If you're using headphones, you need to be able to get sufficient volume from whatever is driving them. I have a set of fully closed ones that I like for drumming.
User avatar
monospace
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:32 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Low Gain is your friend

Post by monospace »

thenewdrummer wrote: I'm in the process of trying to set it correctly but I've found that when I set the gain really low I barely hear the sound of pas after that in ezdrummer. It's like if only the 127 sound good. I increase the output volume in ezdrummer but is something I'm missing?
That’s why I wrote “as low as possible.” You still want to be able to hit 127 fairly easily, just not when you barely touch the drum. Being able to play a snare softly is what you want! The exact setting will depend on the kind of drum you’re adjusting. It sounds counterintuitive but having your Gain (“Sensitivity”in Roland speak) too high will kill your dynamics.

You should only adjust your VST volume as a last resort. But it’s important to make sure you select a kit that is properly balanced In terms of volume, and tweak your eDrumIn to get a realistic response based on that. (I sometimes adjust the Level — not the mics — of a snare in SD3 to make it sit better in the mix, but that’s all.)

Agreed with Rob that good headphones are key. Either IEMs with a proper seal, or over-ear, closed-back cans with maximum isolation.
Miscellaneous Roland triggers. ED-10 + ED-4. MacBook Pro (2015), 16G RAM, Big Sur. Superior Drummer 3. Logic Pro.
mprinz
Posts: 397
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:39 pm

Re: Low Gain is your friend

Post by mprinz »

monospace is damn right.
I 've been there a few day ago.
I got to that again through the Luke Oswald DrumAngle.com vids and because I am now using Superior Drummer 3.

Many times the guys discussion about volume of something.
I did all these settings without creating sound, I just watched the velocities in MIXI-OX, Cubase or whatever.
And - me too - I set it like that, to get the velocity value 127 only when smashing the sticks into the drum heads. I actually was afraid of breaking
the cheap Alesis pads. :-)

I also left all velocity curve settings at "linear".

And NOW it's time to put on the headphones and listen what the drum sampler is doing.
That will also depend on the library you are using.
Now, one can go on and rise the velocity curves of certain articulations, what is possible with Superior Drummer 3.
So, that it feels and sounds natural to your playing style.

The guys using drum sampers without that possibility may do the remapping through a DAW or by creating library dependend module settings.

If an instrument, e.g. hihat sounds natural but is to quiet ... rise the volume.
Or does the articulation feel unnatural... so you're smashing the stick to the cymbal and it just sizzles a bit, rise the velocity curve and not the
volume.

AND I am with Rob. For me it was like taking the plugs out of my ears as I got an old LakePeople G94 head phone amp and
the beyerdynamik DT 770 Pro, 80 ohms.
Wooow, really ... the snares are really popping through! Awesome.
I never thought about a dedicated head phone amp, but it's definitely worth it.

The last
AND: All together with a butt kicker, tactile transducer, ass shaker ... it's like sitting on a huge stage.
butt kicker on a small subwoofer amp
butt kicker on a small subwoofer amp
20210302_222545.jpg (882.51 KiB) Viewed 6680 times
Rabidreject
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:34 pm

Re: Low Gain is your friend

Post by Rabidreject »

Yeh, I agree with a couple bits there. Def the setting it low as you can do that you have to really whack it to get a 127 but also I feel it depends on the style in which you are playing. I play a lot of punk and it tends to be very hi velocity but I still have my snare trigger set to a really low gain setting. (I’m still using an alesis trigger IO until my ED4 comes and I can use both) and my snare is at 12 out of 99. I do have a jobeky snare centre trigger and have heard they are extremely hot tho so we’ll see about that and if I need to switch it out.
I also LOVE the idea of the butt shaker. Iv never seen one of them, that is awesome! I would certainly get one of them but yeh my point is that your monitors make a heck of a difference too. I literally just bought some cheaper end IN ear monitors and they are craaazy good. Way louder to the point where I can actually turn them down and play really comfortably without hearing my pads. Before I was just using some over the head style headphones and they were really quiet and also generally not very good quality. They were currys cheapest over ear headphones and I got them the day I got my first edrum kit and they were
Meant to be replaced pronto but it never happened. Iv just switched and WHAT A DIFF! I am a little cautious about playing too loud and b getting tinnitus now but on the whole I am waaay happier.
Would like to save up for some decent yet budget studio monitors but that is mainly for making and mixing my own music rather than for jamming
LooseSends
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:46 pm

Re: Low Gain is your friend

Post by LooseSends »

Fully agree with mono.

This is probably the best and first tip anyone setting up any triggered device should implement. So much tone is lost when moderate hits max out the sample.

In my case with Alesis pads mostly, they are just too signal-hot overall, especially directly over the piezo as everyone knows with most center mounts.

I only briefly tried using the hotspot damping in the control software but didn't get any results initially. I plan to look a bit deeper now that I've tweaked the more important stuff like HH levels, etc.

In my case I found it worked well by simply damping the harder hits to trigger with less velocity and subsequently a more natural hit responsive to how hard I'm hitting. I'm sure it's not the ideal solution because doing it this way would seem to limit the dynamic range available to play with, but in practice it works fine so far. At least for the moment.

I learned this well before getting the ED10 anyway because for a while I was playing "annoyed" with the tone before realizing articulations were getting clipped and losing the warmer tones of a pad and the ability to play dynamically.

I really like the granularity of the ED control software for tweaking these things, although it would be cool if the community could add an addendum to the manual for how a new user can better understand the "why?" for a lot of the settings, although the manual does this to some extent.
LooseSends
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2022 5:46 pm

Re: Low Gain is your friend

Post by LooseSends »

dp
Retro Rambler
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Low Gain is your friend

Post by Retro Rambler »

Great info in this thread, thanks everyone that posted.

@rabidreject do you mind sharing which in-ear monitors you got?

I have a set of studio monitor headphones that seem pretty good and although they're pretty light, it still feels a little weird wearing them and trying to play drums. My headphone amp has 1/4" outs but with an 1/8"/3.5mm adapter I would probably be good to go.

Thanks!
Custom 12pc E-kit | UFO Drums Bass Trigger | ATV Cymbals | 1x ED10+4x ED4 | RME HDSPe RayDAT | SD3+SDX's | 2 working brain cells
Post Reply