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Electronic Drumset: Roland HD-1 VS. Alesis USB Studio
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jimthepisces
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#1
28th October 2010
Old 28th October 2010
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Electronic Drumset: Roland HD-1 VS. Alesis USB Studio

I need to record drums in my apartment but can't mic up a real set, so I'm thinking of an electronic drumset. I have Digidesign's Strike and would like to trigger it's samples with the kit.

Right now I'm thinking of going with either the Roland HD-1 or the Alesis USB Studio. The reason I'm considering the Roland is b/c I don't have a lot of room and a compact set would be nice. Thoughts?
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28th October 2010
Old 28th October 2010
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The Roland kit doesn't have USB-out (only MIDI) but the Alesis has both USB and MIDI out.

The Roland kit is not upgradeable. The brain in the unit does have input for additional pads. The Alesis has room for Several.

However,

The Roland kit is VERY compact. And includes the v-drum mesh snare which is in every way better than the Alesis snare.

It's a choice you need to make. Do you need to be able to upgrade? Do you need a set that can function without a computer? To record, do you have access to a MIDI interface for the Roland kit?

Check out some vids on YouTube.

The HD-1 (though limited) is pretty solid and you only have access to a couple kit sounds but honestly, as a drummer, how many do you need beyond a properly-modelled acoustic set?

The Yamaha DTXplorer might be the in-between solution in that price range but also suffers from lack of USB-out.
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jimthepisces
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28th October 2010
Old 28th October 2010
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Idk if I need USB...I'm always going to use it in Pro Tools, so will MIDI out be enough or will there be limitations? I don't need the set to play any sounds itself. The Roland snare seems to be better than the pads of the Alesis.

If I got the Alesis I may one day upgrade to the surge cymbals. I don't need a set that can function without a computer. My firewire interface has MIDI IN so I can record with the Roland. I don't mind if the Roland has limited sounds, because I'm not going to use them anyway. I'm only going to use virtual drum plugins with the set and record midi.

One review of the Roland HD-1 troubles me though: "Nice small design for home studio, great quality and sounds but very limited controller funtions. You can't even change the output note assignment of any of the pad triggers. That is bad for using thi... read more [+]s unit with programs like EZ Drummer. BFD, etc."

If the Roland sucks at working with programs, then I definitely don't want it. I'm using digidesign's Strike.

thanks for your help!
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28th October 2010
Old 28th October 2010
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I've got a roland TD4 and yes the snare mesh is great, i monitor using the drums from the brain ,keeps latency is down to a minimum (no round trip)
and the factory sounds play very well(but would never use them in production)then send the midi into the computer to BFD after the performance is recorded
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28th October 2010
Old 28th October 2010
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can you change the output notes on the TD4?? also, its a bit out of my price range. The thing I don't like about the HD1 is that it doesn't use a real kick drum pedal and it probably won't feel right.

right now I'm in between the Yamaha DTXplorer and the Alesis USB Studio drum kit: Alesis USB Studio Drum Kit Demo | Sweetwater.com

I think the Alesis looks better, suits my needs and is cheaper...but the DTX is just smaller and I don't have a lot of room.
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20th February 2011
Old 20th February 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimthepisces View Post
I think the Alesis looks better, suits my needs and is cheaper...but the DTX is just smaller and I don't have a lot of room.
What did you end up going for? I'm pretty much in the same boat as you were... I don't care at all about the on board sounds (I'm using software) ... I'm leaning towards the Alesis USB Studio Drum Set but I haven't been able to find enough testimonials of real users of it... which is scaring me off a bit.
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14th March 2011
Old 14th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyHomes View Post
... I'm leaning towards the Alesis USB Studio Drum Set but I haven't been able to find enough testimonials of real users of it... which is scaring me off a bit.
I'm with you Jonny. Been contemplating this for a while now. I did read one good review about the Alesis USB Studio on Sweetwater, the guy seemed rather pleased. I am wanting to trigger sounds from Reason/Record in a live scenario through a MOTU Ultralite and I'm kinda concerned about latency issues. Another concern is that the pads may not be as velocity sensitive as desired. I'm going to keep doing some research. If I end up getting the Alesis, or anything else, I'll post back and let you know how it performs. Did you happen to get a kit yet?

jimthepisces: I'm curious to know what you ended up going with and how you like it.
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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I'd like to hear more about the Alesis also. I have a td6 set but don't like the feel of the rubber pads and am interested in the real pads. Wondering if they feel like real drums and have good response.
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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I wanted a digital set for years and after extensive looking I choose the Roland TD-4K2.

In my opinion it's the best quality and best looking set for under a grand. Yamaha has one at the same price but I just couldn't resist the Roland as they really seem to know this stuff best.

If my budget had been much lower I would have considered Alesis. The have a few to choose from & the least expensive is the new DM6 Session kit which streets for about $370. I found it just now on B&H for that.

Anyway, I've been enjoying the Roland with EzDrummer, BFD Eco, & Abbey Roads 60s 70s & 80s Drummer. I haven't tried Strike yet but I have it and really like it.

One thing is the Alesis comes with a USB connector and Roland's only had midi out, so I had to get a midi to USB converter to connect to the Mac Pro.

My advice: check the kick pedal, if you add your own then great but if you are forced to use an included cheapo kick pedal, the feel is prob gonna suck. Roland HD-1 comes to mind...
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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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Electronic drum set

The TD4 is much more accurate than any Alesis kit at triggering samples. It has less crosstalk as well. It is much more versatile than the hd kit.

Peter Warren
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