My name’s Lobster and I play drums for Mad Valley. We play a hybrid of reggae/dub and pop and there’s just so many places I can go with drums, and I am finally able to by myself with Gig performer.
I have been getting into electronic drums for some years now. Once I left the world of sounds synthesized inside my drum module and invested in Superior Drummer 3, Gig performer connected my dots and finally allowed me to trigger drums changes and effects on the fly. I run two drum setups. One at our studio and one at home. They are pretty much identical in the hardware which is a TD-50 brain with the USB snare, hihat and ride, and then just random pads. I have a Roland sampling pad that is for midi use only, and I’ve set that up so that drum kit one is midi 1-9, then drum kit 2 is midi 10-18
For those unfamiliar with Superior Drummer 3, it is a plugin, a virtual drum studio in which you trigger sounds that are actually all professionally recorded. Each instrument is sampled so that there are many different .wavs depending on the velocity of the hit, and each of those hits are recorded on a full set of studio microphones which you can digitally route through a mixer in the software. SD3 has 1/2 or up to 32 outputs, so you can route things all kinds of ways internally. At my studio we are set up to multi track, and I use a motu mk-5 interface, so I route my gig performer plugins and mic to 10 outputs.
I also play with a Roland SPD-SX which is a sampling pad but I just use it as midi triggering the second instance of SD3.
My outs from my kit are
- Kick 2. Snare 3. Rimshot 4. Hats 5. Toms 6. Cymbals 7. Ride Cymbal
My outs from my pads are
- Clean sounds from Pads 8. All FX 9. 10. Microphone
I have an AKAI Midi Mix which I use to control all my effects chain. This controller has a channel for all effects, and I’ve programmed buttons to switch rackspaces, start/stop the click, and click volume.
So the first thing that happens is that on the output from SD3, I send snare, rim and timbale clean to the mains, and then they also are split and head over to an effects chain. I have an audio mixer in front of each effect and a slider on my midimix allows me to send the snare, timbale, or hihat to effect independently of each other. All my effects are set to 100% wet. For each effects channel, I set the knobs on the midimix to control things like delay time, feedback, etc. At the moment I use
- Rimshot → Alborosie dub station reverb
- Snare → Waves Guitar pedal Reverb Effect
- Snare → Waves H- Delay
- Timbale → Soundtoys Echoboy
Since we play to a click, all my delays are always in time and when I play with the delay time its amazing how great it sounds in the mix. I have a lot of fun with these playing drums with one hand and dubbing out snare, timbale at certain times, sometimes for small sections and sometimes for a single hit. I can also just bring in the fader so slightly to have that effect just barely in the background. That control is incredible. I have taught myslef to play with one hand and dub with the other.
After that I route my 9 pads from the sampling pad through the second instance of SD3. In this instance, all 9 pads run to filter sweep and then clean to the main output. This allows me to do that cool filtered effect on longer samples or just send them clean. Then I also split the three outputs that are driven by the three pads on the right side of the sampling pad. These goto an effect so I can introduce effects onto samples. So when I look at my Roland pads, all the pads in the right will be affected by the same effect if I bring up the slider on that channel.
Then I have a third instance of SD3. This instance is fed by a gig performer midi player. I take grooves from SD3, export the midi and then clear the regions inside SD3. Then the exported midi comes before the SD3 plugin in a gig performer midi player. This way, I can have midi loops that are in tempo or 1/2 tempo depending on the groove. I’m working with some homies here right now and exploring how to script this so that instead of triggering the start of the loop, I trigger a script that starts the loop on the next bar so that it is always in time with the click. This way I can now do several percussion backing tracks live and in time.
The final thing is that I take my laptop back and forth from the studio to home, and I have the identical setup at my house except that I use a 2 output interface at home (as opposed to the 10 channel). So in gig performer, I’ve routed my 10 outputs so that they goto a L/R stereo output for home. Then I have a button that mutes all the channels on either interface for quick switching.
Its fricking amazing. When we record we use Logic, and the gig performer outputs get sent as clean channels and then all effects on its own channel. I also record the midi. This way I can play back the clean performance as .wav files and play with the effects I recorded or introduce new ones. Or if I need to edit, I use the midi from logic to record the midi into the SD3 plugins in real-time. Then I can edit the performance as midi in SD3, and then record back into logic, this time focusing on effects on the fly, or just do the effects later. Its a dream come true.
Anyways that’s my setup. Just wanted to say what’s up from Honolulu HI and a shoutout to any other drummers out there. If you’re finding this and need some tips in this world let me know. Shoobies!