Lobstafari Dub Drums


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

  1. Kick 2. Snare 3. Rimshot 4. Hats 5. Toms 6. Cymbals 7. Ride Cymbal
    My outs from my pads are
  2. 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

  1. Rimshot → Alborosie dub station reverb
  2. Snare → Waves Guitar pedal Reverb Effect
  3. Snare → Waves H- Delay
  4. 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!


Thank you Justin for this thread :ok_hand:t2:

I rather have a question. I am very intrigued by the arrangement of the different elements of your drums rig. Your rig is more complete than a simple drum set and usually, when having larger exotic drums rig, drummers start from a classical organization (in terms of positions of the basic elements hi-hat, bass drum, snare drum, toms and cymbals). Then, they add other elements around this basic configuration. Looking at your setup, it seems like you reinvented everything. I guess no other drummer can play on your drums “on the fly”.

How did you get there?

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing.

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I was gifted a bass drum, a snare and hi-hats at my parent’s warehouse when I was 14. I didn’t know any better so I set them up in a way that felt natural. I am right-handed and left-footed, so natural to me was playing kick with my left foot, hi-hat with my right hand, and snare in the middle. I didn’t have any toms until way later and in the meantime, I had rigged up paint cans, industrial plastic tubs, and different metals from our weld department in order to have different tones. When I was 16 I got a drumset for Christmas. The toms mounted on the kick and that just didn’t work for me. Later I discovered toms that could mount on cymbal stands and once I could afford that I was able to have a full kit, but you are correct this is not traditional because I self-taught without a full drum set.

Every drummer who comes to the studio goes thorugh the same emotions when they see this kit. Surprise and wonder, and then disappointment when they realize they can’t sit down and play. :man_shrugging:


I do feel like this, but it is perhaps because I am a keyboardist :wink:

Do you have a video with this rig in action? :innocent: :grinning:

Not since I got gig performer. I’ll see if I can get one in the future. cheers


That would be great! :slight_smile:

I want to share this post here, from Instagram:

This is my second live rig.

This time it’s all aluminum (even the diamond plate) it’s on wheels and has a built in power bar and led lights. The top is totally removable and all the electronics are already wired to each other. I’m running a Roland td-27 and an Spdsx both glorified midi controllers for my software. I run a Porter And Davies throne and so I introduced a small mixer to give an aux send for that. I run IEMs off the mixer so I can model the sound a little and have easy volume control. I run a MOTU mk-5, 10 inputs and 10 outputs and the snake is ready to go. I only use midi as an input and output via all 10 outs. For the cables that need to go to things, they are rolled up nice and velcrod to hardware installed at the top of the opening. So I roll this into a show, plug in my triggers, give the soundman my outs and I’m ready to rock.

Under the hold I run two instances of Superior drummer 3 inside Gig Performer.

One is dedicated to the kit one to the pads. In Gig Performer, I route some of the instruments through plugins and some of those parameters and gain staging is mapped to my Akai midimix so I can introduce effects and tweak them in real time. I also use the controller to control the click and backing tracks. I tried running vocals through this and it handled, but I had too many responsibilities as it was, so i don’t do that anymore. Running this all off a 2019 M1 MacBook Pro 64gb RAM - no problems

If you have questions about electronic drums or using them live hit me up, always down to share solutions.


Amazing! You had me at “dog”. I have 3. :+1: :guitar: