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trigger with midi

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Pre Amp, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    I just bought an Alesis DM Pro, and connected it up with my Korg Triton. For some reason the sound from the keyboard (Triton) is short and distorted.
    Is it my trigger settings?
    I'm trying to use the kick drum samples and mix them with the miked kick drum track. I recorded the drums and I'm using the kick drum track as the trigger. Then I'm coming out the Triton left & right to the board. It should be a nice big THUD. But it's more like a flat empty fart.
    Any suggestions would be great!
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    length of the midi note may be too short

    can the Triton be set for "one shot"
    have the sample play in full regardless of note length

    can the DM Pro set note length ?
  3. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    I've been trying the Alesis DM Pro all by itself. It is making a very unatural sounding machine gun like trigger sound. Almost like it hits the triggered note maybe 4 times or so, per beat. The manual goes over this some, but it is a little confussing on exactly how to correct it. And the fact that I'm new to the whole triggering thing is not a plus.
    I am certain it is a setting of some sort on the DM Pro, and I was hoping someone can help me out a little.

    Note: any Alesis D4 or Alesis DM5 users please reply
  4. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Are you using internal sounds or sounds from another module or the computer ?

    It can take a little while to get the sensitivity/gain of the input to suit your triggers and your playing.

    I now use mesh heads for most drums and new'ish rubber triggers for the others ... I also had trouble getting some of the very old rubber units working right and I've tended to do some DIY mods on all my triggers.

    The D4 does send out a very short midi note and so other sound modules are not happy.

    So I use the internals while I lay a track and then use the sequencer to fix the note length and then do the usual quantise and midi transform tricks.

    I don't use my set-up for live ... or live takes ... I would be after a higher quality set-up if that's what I needed.
  5. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    I tried both at first. Now, I'm just trying to get at least the internal sounds of the DM Pro to work.
    Here's what I got...
    I recorded a drummer, the tracks are nice, but he loves a heavy metal sound, so I bought the DM Pro to trigger some heavy kick samples, that I wanted to mix with the natural sound of his kick drum.
    The kick drum was miked with an Audix D6 and I used API 312 pre's. The track the kick drum is on is HOT, real HOT. Not too hot, but I thought for some reason that I may need to adjust the trigger settings.
    Still no luck, as of yet.
    I'm using a 32 channel Soundcraft Ghost. If that matters to you. Which I also recently bought, and wonder if I am coming out of the right jack for a send, or not? :oops: (Damn learning curves!)
    Thanks for all your help Kev! 8)
    Please respond if you have anything to add.
  6. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    learning curves
    it can be overwhelming
    and difficult to know what to concentrate on

    At this point I probably want lots of details as you are getting specific.

    I now know you have the Ghost and you are trying to use insert points AND you have hot drums.
    What is your recorder ?

    Almost regardless of recorder or DAW and interfaces ... unless you have spare interface outputs
    I can make a hardware suggestion here

    The Ghost may have bridging inputs on the line-ins and so a simple split froim recorder with one going to the line-ins and the other going to the DM-Pro trigger-ins.
    This will keep your analog mix separate from the signal going to the trigger unit.

    Now here is the suggestion,
    Use an in-line adjustable pad (a simple potentiometer) and use this to get the level right into the DM-Pro.
    You can replay the track as often as needed and set the POT such that no midi level is greater than 127.
    You don't even need to change you personal trigger set, so the next time you lay all is still good.

    The pots may not effect normal operation (if you are lucky) and you might get away with leaving it all plugged up.

    This could be even easier if you have spare outputs available from the DAW.
  7. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    Mackie SDR 24/96
    (with D-sub connectors on inputs & outputs)

    Would you use a cable splitter just prior to plugging in the channel with the kick drum, or would it be better to split the signal with some piece of gear?
    I was pugging into track 1 and then using a group send (on the Ghost) to get the signal over to the DM pro. Not sure if that's the best way or not :oops:
    Thanks for the help
    Keep it coming 8)
  8. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    so we have the Mackie with the with D-sub connectors
    and I think this is balanced with healthy output and 600 ohm ready

    from the Mackie site
    Balanced, +4 dBu nominal, +22 dBu maximum, DB25F

    it sounds like you are trying to have the sample while playing live
    " ... prior to plugging in the channel with the kick drum ... "
    " ... was pugging into track 1 and then using a group send (on the Ghost) to get the signal over to the DM pro. Not sure if that's the best way or not ... "

    many ways to do things
    I would leave this sample addition for later and as a post edit thing.
    This will keep the recording simple and let you concertrate on the performance and not worry about constantly tweeking and making sure it's all working.

    Take a passive split from the output of the recorder and send to the DM-Pro.
    Investing in extra gear at this stage is not wise as you need to establish that you like working this way.

    Do you use a patch panel
    recorder - patch - desk(tape/ch return)
    if so,
    a sniff point and then to the DM-Pro.
    more to come
  9. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    No, sorry I don't own one (patch panel). But if needed, I could buy one.
    As far as a "passive split"....are we talking something like 1 in, and 2 out type of cord. Something like a little Y cord cable of somesort? Except mono and not stereo.
  10. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    That's basically it.

    Difficult to know all your cables and distances to give you an intelligent suggestion for the DIY
    keep it modular so it can be recycled easily.

    try just kick and snare to start with and get a system working that makes sense to you.
    You have the DB25 to ??

    we need some way of splitting conveniently and then adding a POT in a safe but easy to get to place.
  11. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    That's all I've tried so far is the kick drum.

    1/4" TRS (all balanced cables)

    That sounds like a good idea. Hmmmm, how am I gonna do that?! :?
    So, it sounds like the input going to the DM Pro is a little to HOT? And if we lower the level, then the DM Pro should work correctly.
  12. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    That is my current thinking.

    DB25 to 1/4 TRS - all balanced
    the 1/4 goes into the line input of the desk
    find me a spec on the line input of the ghost ... ?

    even so
    small plastic box
    THREE 1/4 inch TRS sockets
    one input and two outputs

    input to output number one = wired 1/1 2/2 3/3/
    yep easy , loop through and this is the main signal path recorder to desk

    second output is wired unbalanced and is sourced from Tip and Ring.
    This signal is hot.
    send it all the way to the DMpro
    at the DMpro you have anopther plastic box with a 10k/20k or 50k POT.
    The hot signal is across the whole POT.
    One side of the pot and the wiper is the signal source to the DMpro.

    adjust the level while looking at that trigger gain page ... the meter page

    make any sense ?

    if it sounds good , I'll draw it up.
    Have a think about you wires and where they go, remember I can't see your studio so I may be thinking too complicated and expensive.
  13. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    Not sure of that one.
    However I did find an old Randall headphone amp downstairs in my basement. And the setup is 1 in and 2 out, plus the headphone jack. There is also an input knob (pot) and a pot on the headphone level (for the headphone jack output). I tried all sorts of different settings on each of the trim knobs.
    I was able to get the DM Pro to trigger less with the signal lower (like 2 or 3 times, instead of the 4 or 5 times), but the louder you turn up the volume the more times it re-triggers the kick drum. I can get 1 hit out of it, but the sound is faint (at best) and weak, because I have to set it so low. If I push the "preview" button on the DM Pro the kick is nice and tight and really loud.
    I read on RO that some guys were triggering with pre-recorded drum tracks. And they were not using triggers, they only recorded with a microphone. So, is this to good to be true. I mean why would they sell "triggers" if no one needed to buy them?
    Well, should I just re-record the drums with triggers, or is there something I'm over looking?
  14. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    I'm sure you just have just too much signal

    the triggers are piddle power and like a strat guitar
    you would not expect to put line level into the guitar amp ... you use an attenuator first ... see my DI boxs ... I can't use that word cos it's a .... errr
    I'll get into trouble

    you need to attenuate and then into the trigget input
    the headphone amp is not the right sort of thing for this one.
  15. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    Good, I was hoping of that. I think I used an Audix D6 on the Kick drum, but it may have been a condensor mic (an Avlex, they are Chinese mic's, and they sound real nice, if I may say so)
    In addition, I said that "the drums were hot", but after checking the levels, they are no hotter than anything else. They don't even touch the red (not even once).

    I would like to know more
    Thanks for all the help again so far Kev!!! 8) :p
    Hopefully I am one step away from getting this whole deal to work out
  16. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    no problem doing it right here
    ... a typical high level to low level sort of interface box

    Link removed

    I think we established the Mackie was balanced and hot
    pins 2 and 3 carry the signal
    the main grunt of this signal is sent to the mixer

    take a simple 10k resistor and a 10k pot and wire them fin series from pins 2 and 3
    aleady there is a voltage divider and half the voltage is available at the join between resistor and pot
    with 10k the system will never load down the output of the Mackie even if the desk were 600ohms

    the pot wiper will now sweep from half voltage to nill
    somewhere inbetween the DMpro should be happy at the current trigger level settings

    if there are ground loop issues you can look to the transformer coupled or capacitor coupled ideas ... like above.
  17. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    Nice, looks pretty simple. I looked for an attenuator online, I wanted to see if there were any say, single rack space units that are made by any company. But I didn't see any...Hmmm
    I found your Factory, and some place called DACT.
    Any reason I can't find a company that makes an attenuator? That would work for my set-up and I could just rackmount it?
    I don't mind building this, it pretty cut and dry. However if I could find a pre-made one, that would save me some time.
    And I'm fairly busy at the moment.
  18. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Then try one of the DI boxes ladened with options and controls

    This would be done with a DA in a TV station but the cost of that many DA's just for this is foolish

    simple build will get what you want but it all takes time ... sorry
  19. Pre Amp

    Pre Amp Guest

    I'm petty sure I'm gonna end up DYI. Like you were saying. I just dont mind paying twice as much for something really pro looking and rack mountable, ect, ect.
    So I figured I'd ask.
    I wanted to put it in a one space rack mountable tray, and make it look really nice. So it's not some home made box that floats around the room from time to time.
    Your idea is the best one Kev, Thanks again!
    I also have to make 40 new cables this week and other stuff that takes up more time (this week) than I might have in the very near future. In 2 or 3 weeks

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