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  ddrum4 At a Glance
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Jason (jleg@trib.com) writes:
If you can't tell, I really love this instrument. The control is very simple. There are very few menus and you don't use them much. You have to set up the sensitivity and midi outputs and such, but once it is set up, you just turn it on and play. I have never run into polyphony issues. I even tried to max it and it wouldn't happen. I lowered the frequency of the ride cymbal so the sound would be extremely long, then I rolled on it and it never ghosted out a note. I don't know what clavia did, but the amount of notes it can handle at a time is remarkable.

It has no built in effects, but most of the sounds have a dry and reverb version. Truthfully, you should have a good lexicon mpx reverb unit anyway. Roland ships theirs with a sequencer and a rinky dink effects processor. If you run dry sounds against dry sounds, the ddrum pounds the roland gear into the ground. If you add a lexicon or something to the ddrum and run it against the roland, it makes the roland laughable, and you still come in $200 cheaper than the roland. The ddrum is all-pro. You don't need reverb on most of these kits anyway. It will just sound like a drum kit mic'd dry. If you need verb, buy an effects unit. I can't tell you how real these sound. You can make them sound synthetic if you want, but I think the roland would probably be better at that. Another perk of the ddrum is if you play live, you can put ddrum triggers on your real kit and your real kit will trigger the ddrum as well as the electronic heads will. I know radiohead does this live to do their electronic sounds and some of their wierd snares. It just works. It's simple, few menus, nothing to break.

The only weak points are the absense of an effects processor (I never use stock effects anyway), it only holds 8mb of samples (4x compression is good, but not big enough in my opinion), and the cymbal sounds excluding the hat are kind of weak. Lots of people recommend using real cymbals, I use my kurzweil. Finally, there are only 10 inputs which is enough for snare, rim of snare, kick, 3 toms, hat, 2 cymbals, ride. It's a basic kit, if you want to play more than a basic kit though you are in trouble. Other than that I would venture to say it is perfect.

Comments About the Sounds:
It's a drum module, and it was designed to sound, play, and feel like real drums. It does this by using samples of real drums (or synthetic if that's your thing) loaded into the ddrum and triggering the different samples based on where the head of the drum is hit and how hard. It uses real heads that play like real heads. It is made out of aluminum so you can play it as hard as you would real drums and it doesn't break. The stock sounds are pretty weak in my opinion, but if you go to www.clavia.se and download some of the FREE signature series sounds, it is the best sounding electronic kit out there. It is the most dynamic electronic instrument I have ever played. The electronic hi-hat attaches to a real hi-hat stand so you can use whatever you are most comfortable with instead of a lame all purpose electronic hi-hat pedal. You can make your own samples for it (although memory is limited to 8mb which is uses very efficiently). I can't say enough good things about this instrument. It is infinitely more expressive than the roland v-drums, the snare sounds much better (there are so many good snares I have a tough time deciding which one I like most out of them.) When you roll and ghost note, it sounds like a real drum. When you hit the middle of the snare it sounds like you hit the middle of it. If you hit the edge, it gets a little pingier. When you are playing and you really pound on it, the snare sound pops more then when you play it quiet, and you never feel like you are hitting and it is going as loud as it can go when you still want to be able to go louder. So expressive... It really is amazing. The hi-hat sounds completely real on most of the signature kits (stock hat is pretty weak). There are so many good kicks and toms it is hard to pick them as well.

(Thanks to Jason for this info.)

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