Anyone out there have experience using the Bose L1 Model II w/ Tonematch and fine tuning drum kits from the Roland TD-20 module (including the VEX kits)?
I would like to get your experience on whether the Vdrums sound good through the system and require extraordinary tweaking, etc...
Disclaimer. I own both, I have been using both, but have not quite been pleased with the results and was hoping to share the successes and trials between those of us using the same tools.
My rig includes Roland Vdrums with a TD-20 brain, running through a mixing board to one of two Classic L1s, each with two B1s serving the low frequencies. Half of the band runs through the same L1. So, I am sharing the L1 with three vocalists and the lead guitar. I own all of the Vexpression packs for the TD-20. I monitor the rig with a Mackie SRM 450, or a Roland KC500 in larger rooms. I also use a small Vdrums-like set with a TD-10xp in our practice space, which also has the Vexpression packs loaded.
I was hesitant to respond because I have just got back into playing live, and I do not think I have put enough time in yet to provide much insight. I did use the same rig about 3 years ago, but it was supplemented with two Mackie SRS1500 sub-woofers.
With regards to your question, I think the Vdrums sound pretty good through the system, but they do require too much tweaking, particularly when the end result is only OK. However, I still remember how limiting and difficult it was to work with acoustic drums. The only thing that I would consider using acoustics for again would be a small jazz combo or a single genre of music that I can tune and equip a kit for. You only have one good kit sound with an acoustic set. So, I intend to keep searching and experimenting until I find the Holy Grail, but I don’t think I am there yet.
I will be happy to share what I learn as I continue my trial and error research. And, this is a good forum to share findings. We have eliminated one of the biggest variables: the sound system that will be used. I see that your rig is a Bose L1 Model II w/ Tonematch. But, that should be close enough for those monitoring this thread to find common ground. You might want to try shared ideas with and without the Tonematch.
The biggest problem to solving this quest is the multiple variables at play. I have settled on tuning the kit and the Bose system to the audience and to the way the drums sound in the mix. This means that I may have to settle for a less-than-perfect sound from my monitor, from where I am positioned on the stage.
I am also breaking up the job into bite size pieces. We cover a wide variety of music, from Patsy Cline to Etta James to Pat Benatar. Instead of trying to build a kit for every decade and style of the music that we cover, I am going for 4 to 5 solid kits and maybe a few specialty kits.
I will try to add to this thread later and share what I have done so far. But, I did discover something this weekend that sounds promising. After reading several comments about the BBE Sonic Maximizer, here and on the Vdrums site, I decided to put a couple of hours in A-B testing one that I own. My initial impression is that the Vdrums do sound (marginally) better through the BBE. The BBE seems to tighten up the bass and, overall, the drums sound more “punchy” and brighter. I hope to try the BBE in my signal chain on Thursday when we rehearse again. That will be the better test.
For the testing, I ran a mono “Y” cable line out of the TD-20’s Left (mono) output. Branching from the "Y", I then created two audio chains: (1) mono signal from the TD-20, through the BBE, and then directly into Channel 1 of the L1 (w/2 B1s), and (2) mono signal from the TD-20, directly into Channel 2 of the L1 (w/2 B1s). I also set both control knobs of the BBE (Model 482i) to 12:00, which is the suggested setting to start with. The preset was set to “00” on both channels of the L1 and all levels were set to 12:00. I then used the L1’s remote control to raise and lower the volume of both channels to compare the difference between the two signals: one straight into the L1 vs. one through the BBE to the L1. I also switched cables back and forth between Channels 1 & 2 to eliminate the possibility of differences in the channels on the L1.
As explained above, I liked the way the Vdrums sounded better when run through the BBE. However, I also listened to some of the TD-20’s on-board patterns and play along material, and the musical accompaniment did not sound better. I am at a loss of why there is a difference. Maybe the benefits of BBE will vary from instrument to instrument.
I spent about a week during the holidays playing and considering the various Vexpression packs. I will try to add to this thread later and include the results of those efforts.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Junius,
A Packlite and four B1s will make a big improvement overall. Whenever I drop back to two for a practice or small gig, my tone falls flat on it's face. Other than that I've been pretty happy with my TD-12 sounds.
I use two kits, one very dry, tight kit of my own making for the basic 60's country and rock&roll, and Vexpressions Pearl Masterworks with some tweaks for the heavier stuff.
Glad you joined the discussion. I have found a number of your posts to be quite helpful. And, you seem to have had a couple of years experience with the Vdrums and Bose. So, I'm paying attention.
Have you had an opportunity to try a sub-woofer and really give it a good work out?
How would you describe the volume level at which the system sounds the best? Do you do any soft ballads? (like music while patrons are dining)
It is my understanding that most of the sounds in the TD-20 are in the TD-12 ... just a little less control and the effects are a bit different.
Have you come to your sounds over time? I mean have you noticed a problem while performing in the past that led you make adjustments? Or, did you tweak until you got the sounds you like with just the drums coming through the Bose?
Hi, I have just joined the forum.
Thanks for the comprhensive write-up Drumr. I cannot add much to it at the moment, but will in the future.
Our band, Igneous Blue, uses 2 x L1 with Tonematch units and three subs. I play TD20 into one L1 along with the lead guitarist and our vocal mics. The other L1 is for our Bass player, keys and her vocals.
We are still experimenting and feeding mono into the tonematch. The cymbals are much better than previous PA's and extra subs certainly helped the kick and toms.
Something is still missing in the 'middle' range, particularly when doing a run round the toms.
Will watch this space with interest.
Thanks for everyone chiming in. Personally, I would like to keep this alive. I am absolutely convinced that there must be some "basic principles" on how best to tweak the Vdrums with the Bose for optimal sound.
Here is something I would like help with. At home in my finsihed basement, and using VEX kits, the Bose produces the follwing: crispy cymbals - no real issues, perhaps slightly too brassy, the toms are too boomy (a resonance that is at once too muffled and at the same time too, well boomy. Almost as if the Bose can't handled the wavelength. A bit distorted. The snae is the most marked difference (when compared to the headphones) VERY muffled and lacking any crispness.
I have had limited opportunity to run a test with the same vdrums setting in a different listening environment. But assuming that a desirable sound is achievable, what do folks recommend by way of tweekaing the Bose?
I say the BOSE v. the vdrums is because the VEX kits use all the COSM modeling achieve a certain "sound." I don't want to undo all of that, I just want to accurately reproduce the COSM models out of the BOSE. So any ideas on the best ways to EQ or tweak the bose for the listening environment?
Just a small questions to start off the detailed discussion!
Hi Junius, and thanks for the comments, I'm really happy it helped in some way.
No I haven't.
My 3pc Classic Rock band had a Mackie 1501 sub in the early days of 2005 with 2-L1s.
It was a hassle, had line noise problems, and gave us too much rumble on the acoustic kick.
I also had problems with the acoustic kick and 4-B1s & Packlite...the extra oomph was great, but I got too much rumble in some of the rooms, in the corners mostly, but the T1 Tonematch's Kick Gate cured that.
For E-drums, I like it *right-in-the-middle*, too loud and it gets shrill or *hard* sounding to me.
I generally run the kick as loud as it will go, and bring the other drums in around it.
Then I can back off the volume from there if needed.
Much like the vocals...get them as loud as possible, then work backward from there with other instruments.
But the reason I used E-drums in the first place was to get stage volume down...to have a full, CD-like sound at a low level, so it was always at a pleasant volume. Our goal was to be a quiet, audience friendly band.
That's right, no Reverb on TD-12, only *ambience* which is similar.
Yes to both. I tuned the drums through the L1 with 4-B1s in our rehearsal space, and then in the venues.
I would arrive early and tweak like crazy.
At first, I found that just removing effects from kits helped a lot, but many of them needed effects to mimic the type of materials in their acoustic counterpart, and those kits were ruined by removing effects.
So I tended to go through all the kits with the ambience OFF, find the best sounding instruments for our music, and group them into a kit from there, damping down the toms, tightening snares, de-tuning cymbals, etc.
The last time I used my Trapkat at a gig was a year ago, but up until then, I would tweak them constantly at gigs and save the results as new kits. Rooms made differences in the sounds, adjusting the damping on the kick was a venue by venue thing. Still, I wound up using six kits in an evening, with only two of those handling the majority of the tunes.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Drumr,
I have not had that problem, my toms are the fullest instruments in the kits.
I see you use three between both systems...so two on one L1, one on the other.
I'd go with the drums in the one system that has the most B1s, sacrificing the stereo idea.
When our trio used two systems, I ran drums and vocal in one L1, guitar, bass, and their vocals in the other. It sounded great.
Is sounds like you are running thru both, in stereo?
For me, 4-B1s is a must...not just for kick, but toms and snares as well.
Just for the overall fullness of the kit.
A month or so back, I was jamming with some guys from an 80's band on my back patio.
I had set up three systems for the four of us, me & bass in one, lead gtr/vocalist in one, gtr/lead vocalist in the third.
All day I struggled with my drums...the kick didn't sound right, and had an echo-y character when I'd lay into it.
The toms were thin too. We had jammed before and sounded much better.
At the end of the day when I was tearing down the gear, I noticed the Packlite hadn't been turned on!
Another slap up side the head for me...it wasn't the first time I'd done that.
Dstar was one of the first E-drummers who was making 2-B1s work for rock...that amazed me.
I didn't think it possible for any medium volume V-drummer.
Are you still using only 2 Dstar?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Drumr,
This is a worthwhile goal for me too. Identifying the major variables will go a long way in establishing “basic principles.” We are all using the Bose system for sound, and that has a major impact on the sound. But, we would have to be using the same gear as a benchmark before delving into the Vdrum brain. Drumr is using 4-B1s, you appear to be using 2 or 4 B1s, Raytoms appears to be using either 1 or 2 B1s, and I am currently using 2 B1s supplemented with a Roland KC500 keyboard amp with a 15” speaker.
You can try the steps provided below, but I don’t think an easy, one-knob tweak this is possible. The Vex kits sound like they have been tweaked for recording. There is no way they could do what you hope without the TD20 including something like amp modeling and there would have to be a Bose amp model in the Vbrain. And, they cannot accurately predict in what room you will be playing the kit. Room size and finish matters. That [amp modeling] is all the rage with the guitar guys now, but I don’t think they have gotten around to the us drummers yet.
This sounds like too much bass tone (lower frequencies) for the room in which you are playing … your basement. If you have a lot of hard surfaces, there will be nothing to soak up the low frequencies in your toms and bass drum. The easy fix, if it works, is to either lower the bass tone on your Bose remote or lower the bass EQ on your band’s mixer, if you are going through a mixer on the way to the Bose.
If that doesn’t work, you have to dig into the TD-20. Start with the Effects switch. This will bring up five effects in the display: COMP(ressor); EQ(ilizer); AMBNCE; MFX; and Master. And this is the order in which the drum signal is passing through the brain. It has been designed to mimic a recording studio.
I would go backwards through the audio chain if your other drums and cymbals are sounding OK to you. This is the easiest way to find a simple fix. Start with the [F5] Master EQ/Compressor … the last effect in the audio chain. Try tweaking the bass and middle frequencies to see if you can eliminate the offensive tone. Try turning it off. Then, go to [F2] the (set) EQ and tweak the bass here. So, you can see there are at least three controls, one in the Bose and two in the TD20 that can affect bass frequencies. We haven’t even gotten into the choice of bass drum or toms.
While you are at it, try no effects at all, as well as different combinations. This will get your ears tuned to what the effects do to the sound. If any of this works for you, let us know what you found and liked. We can give it a spin.
For me, I have settled on about 6 kits for playing live. I auditioned all of the Vex kits by turning the sequencer on and listening to each kit playing one of the busiest sequences. I started by using the snare drum in each kit to choose the kit that I would keep. From there, I went through the same process listening for the best bass drum sound and made a note in which kit it was found. I did the same for toms and cymbals noting which sounded best and which kit the cymbal or toms were located. I then used the best six Vex kits (snare drums) for the working kits, based upon how I expected to use them …. Rock, Ballads, R&B, 80’s, etc. I then went back and copied the best bass drums, toms, cymbals, etc into the six working kits from the noted kits. That gave me the palate to work with.
Next, I went to the Effects area. I spent a lot of time here and was never completely happy with the results. But, I almost always use the COMP [F1] and EQ[F2]. I occasionally use the AMBNCE [F3], and sometimes I use the Master [F5]. I have yet to find the MFX [F4] useful. The MFX appears to be Room reverb and special effects that sound artificial and fake through the Bose to me.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Junius,
I thought I would share a pretty good sounding kit (kick snare and HH) that I discovered by accident. I have included the settings, because it comes from one of the Vex packs for the TD-10xp. What is surprising is how good it sounds in the mix while playing live, but how raw it sounds by itself. Four other kits that I tweaked for my rehearsal kit, with a TD10xp brain, sound good by themselves, but end up getting absorbed and disappearing in the mix. It has been a struggle to find a kit that “sits well” in the mix while not being too loud.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Junius,
thank for the print out on how you to set all the comp,effect,and so on ,im going to print this out and learn a little more on tweaking ,if you have any other set up i would love to try to print them out and try them thank
When I find another interesting sounding kit, I will share the details.
I strongly recommend the Vex kits. After you have spent some time trying to get a good sounding kit, you will find them to be a bargain. And, by reverse engineering (studying the settings) you can learn how things work more quickly. At a minimum, it is a cheap education on the Vdrum brain.
The point I was trying to make with the kit provided above is that the way an edrum kit sounds by itself may not translate well to one that sounds good in use, on a gig. Before abandoning a kit that you work on, play and record it with a sequence or a CD. Listen to the kit in context.
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