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speedraver 2011-08-31 04:23

Alesis USB Studio Drum Kit and Reason
Has anyone used an Alesis USB Studio electronic drum kit with Reason? I'm planning on buying one and wondered if it was possible to use it effectively to play out live, along with sequences in reason. Can make the drums in the Combinator and also, can you change the patches somehow? I'm looking at using Reason with live drum playing and also having my brother use an analog to MIDI converter to trigger bass sounds with an electric bass. Anyone have any insight into this, or have tried this?

StormCanada 2011-08-31 06:22

We don't use it live but we've used it successfully in the studio for all tracks (ok some are EZ Drummer loops here and there too).

I use it with RDK2 (my own custom RDK production kit combi) and you can hear it on our tracks (follow the soundcloud links). Also, check out the massive drum thread we've had going as well (not sure in General or Users Forum....hmmmm...).

As for the USB Pro Kit. I like it. It's fun to play although I find some complicated playing causes some headaches with retriggering other sounds but I clean them off the recording as I don't really know exactly what I"m doing on the Trigger IO brain yet. I also don't have the hi-hat pedal triggering properly for really REALLY subtle stuff.

To answer your questions, you can assign any trigger in the brain to anything you want. So you could do remote overrides to changes patches on combis but you' give up a trigger to do it. You're better off getting a 2 button MIDI foot switch for that I'd think or hide the laptop behind the drummer and let him mouse changes. For drums I don't know how many patch changes you'd really want though.

hookiefree 2011-08-31 15:06

@ Storm, what are your thoughts on the real head pads? I've read mixed reviews. Also do you have any tips for dealing with latency?

StormCanada 2011-08-31 17:02

I'm not sure which pads you mean. Mine is a year or two old now so I have the black-faced heads. To me, they're a little hard to be 'realistic' but because of the functions in the brain they work really really good for subtle stuff like ghost notes. Functionally - great. Realistically - kind of hard. (These are the black ones just to be clear).

The only problem I have in the set up is the hi-hat pedal. It seems to trigger at a weird point on the press and if I hold it down too far it retriggers but I haven't move my foot. It's a sensitive thing to get right. I remember watching a YT video though from a guy who got the set and reviewed it with some of his tweaks. Let me find it.....

This guy:
In part two he talks about the hi-hat. I still don't figure I've completely understood his tweaks. :)

ok found another one:

Listen at 13 seconds. It's subtle to hear but when you're repeating hi-hat notes it seems like it chokes briefly. Once he starts playing it's fine. But I hear the same thing at 13 seconds that I hear on mine. It's slight but it's there in this video. I haven't figured out how to make subtle hi-hat playing work for me yet the way the snare does.

Latency? Well, I have a really good sound card with really good drivers (Echo Audio AudioFire 4) and it's slightly better MIDI In than the USB cable.

BUT play with headphones on. Don't wait for the sound to come from the speakers across the room as you're drumming. I guess if you played live you'd have to run some cans (headphones) you'd drive yourself crazy waiting to hear the notes from the monitors.

STEP ONE: Go to your local store.
STEP TWO: Purchase Felt-tipped STICKS! PLEASE!!! You will thank me for it.

hookiefree 2011-08-31 18:13

Interesting. Felt tips huh? Is that to cut down on the noise or do they just respond better?

StormCanada 2011-08-31 21:51


It serves three purposes. Two you've listed and the third is just helps your heads last longer and even cosmetically not appear blemished. The hard tips serve no purpose on those heads as you're physically pushing a microswitch. The hard tip sticks that come with the it will quickly cosmetically scar the heads. Plus the felt-tip sticks give a bit of 'bounce' that the harder heads give than regular skin does. So, I find you get a bit more versatile playing.

This Pro Tip O' The Day is brought to you today but Guinness.

speedraver 2011-09-01 04:52

Thanks for the response. Is there a way to switch drumkits. Lets say I'm playing a sequence as well as playing along with the drum kit live and the song requires another kit during the break down, is there a way to switch to another kit automatically? Just wondering. :-)

StormCanada 2011-09-01 07:12

Yes. You can send a note to Reason and use the Additional Remote Overrides to target the next track or the next combi preset. But as I said.......

you give up a trigger to do it.

Alternatively, you can have 20 preset banks in the Trigger IO. You can have different presets trigger different notes and just have one monster mapping of notes in an NN-XT or series of.

LOTS of options. But like anything (and I assume this scares people nowadays) it requires work on your part to set up.

reflectionjack 2012-09-17 02:17

been hoping we could figure out a way to change patches on it - you know? like have the normal drum kit but trigger crash or trigger ride, etc could become something else. then hit again a certain way and it's back to the original sound. think we could have a ton of drum sounds mapped in reason nnxt- basically one kit is a certain amount of sounds- hit kit 2 and it's the same nn-xt with different sounds being triggered? basically just changing the midi cc's for the triggers? if so then GREAT!

reflectionjack 2012-09-17 03:45

got it mostly working but the only issue we're having now is the hi-hat pedal won't work in it :(

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