Games, drumming, juggling, home improvements, cooking, comics, dogs, macs, music, etc.

Squall - probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skval: useless chatter (Merriam-Webster)
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Revamping of the drum kit..

First Guitar Hero and then Rock Band.. I only own Guitar Hero, and a few friends own Rock Band. I drummed a while back (long time? 10 or so years since I seriously hit the skins) and even was in a band. It was a fun experience, but I knew I wasn't a pro drummer, and I should move on with my computer / geek job / career. So now, 10 years later, and I am getting the itch, thanks to the aforementioned video games.

I am back on track to getting my drumkit back up and going. I should mention, that the kit is electronic.. I have custom drumpads and had used an old Roland PM-16 (So old, Roland doesn't even list it in their legacy products.. sheeesh..). And the PM-16 is on it's death bed - 16 inputs (hence the 16 in PM-16) and 7 of them are bad. So, I look for something new and shiny. With the PM-16, it was merely a MIDI interface, no on-board sounds, so I had an EMAX sampling keyboard for the sound source, and I sold that long ago. I had purchased an Alesis SR-16 but found it was seriously lacking; or I wasn't getting it to set up right - I gave up pretty easily on this one. So, with 2 items going weird on me, it was time to look for a newish drum 'brain'. This was in 2006ish.. and I didn't know what I was looking for and wasn't interested in doing a bunch of research, so, I EBAY'd another PM-16. This was after a friend of mine basically gave me his KORG 01 Keyboard. It has broken keys, but I won't be using the keys much, so it's a great free sound source.

This is where I was before, PM-16, and a keyboard. I set it up, and was moderately intrigued, but not excited. Then, we decided to renovate the room it was in, so, the kit was basically packed away.

Until 5 months ago.. when I started playing those accursed games, that also please me to no end. And I started looking for information.. And this time, I was serious.

I found forums, people, bits, pieces and a few sinks, too. First off, let me say that electronic cymbal technology has come a long, long way in a decade. Variable hi-hats with positional sounds (open [full, half, 3/4, 1/4], close, foot splash, etc.) and crash cymbals that choke, dual zone rides (bell and bow). And now, three zone cymbals (bow, bell and edge) with choke. Baffling.. So, I decided to go 100% electronic. a-yup, I used e-drums and acoustic cymbals in the 90's.. now, I can use e-cymbals.

Anyway, long story short, I bought some e-cymbals (PinTech), and a new module. I am still using the KORG, and the new module is still a MIDI only module - an Alesis Trigger I/O. Overall, I am pretty darn happy with it. Now, I am practicing a few times a week - oh, I got a cheapo 5 channel mixer, and I mix in my iPod so I can practice / play to anything. Sweeeet.

I will keep posting on this topic as I get back into the groove (for me..), make mods to the kit, etc. I'll post pics, too.

If interested, check out these forums I visit often: - My favorite - Great for online lessons and general drumming stuff - Good stuff, a little too much of a Roland slant, but that's their name - VDrums..