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Best Rockband/GH drum set for sending wireless MIDI to Max?

October 19, 2011 | 5:27 pm

I have been researching different options for building/scrapping together some kind of e-drums to add to my MIDI arsenal, but it looks like the cheapest trigger module is a $150 unit by alesis, and I’d have to add to that building triggers out of practice pads, and buying hi-hat and kick pedals. So, in order to save some cash and the hassle of building my own kit from scratch, I have decided to look into using a Rock Band or Guitar Hero drum set which are running in the 50-120 range for low-mid end models. Has anyone here used any of these controllers with Max or other DAWs to send MIDI? Here are the factors that are important to me, roughly in order from highest to lowest priority:

Feel – I hate the hard plastic feel of some electronic drum pads, like the early roland triggers. I’d prefer something softer, less noisy, with decent rebound. I like the look of the Logitech version, and of course the Ion’s would be nice but they are a bit too expensive.

Latency – I need something with virtually no latency. 2 ms tops

Expandability – I would like to be able to swap out my own custom trigger pads/cymbals/ hi-hat pedals, so it would be nice if I found a kit that has a brain with standard 1/4 in connections that would accept input from additional triggers.

Wireless – Would be nice if the brain comunicated with my Mac wirelessly via bluetooth or a USB dongle. I think the logitech kit comes with a dongle, and I know that there is one specifically for connecting xbox controllers via USB (that I assume would work with any xbox wireless drum set). If going wireless means sacrificing latency, I don’t mind using a cord. Afterall, I will not be carrying the kit around to different locations on stage during a performance so it’s not absolutely necessary, but nice to not have to deal with the extra cables.

Portability – Most of the kits are pretty compact compared to a normal kit, but some fold up quite easily like the logitech one.

As you can see, I’m leaning towards the Logitech kit, but it would be great to hear someone who owns one of these kits or has experience with routing MIDI from them on a Mac before I make the plunge. Thanks a lot,

G


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