Roland V-Drums MIDI assignments

Hi there -
Some details: Ubuntu 22.04, KDE desktop, Ardour 6.9, JACK.

We recently got a Roland drum set with a TD-07 drum module. With default settings I can hook it up as an input for Ardour (using either Drum Gizmo or Red Zep kit), and Hydrogen for that matter , and everything works. I just can’t work out how to assign pads to different sounds.

As it is, the snare, kick, crash, ride and 2 toms sound as expected. But Tom 1 triggers a Tom plus hihat. Hihat rim triggers nothing, as does the floor tom. These assignments are the same in Ardour and Hydrogen.

I’ve done a search and can only assume I am missing something so bloody basic that nobody has even written about it.

So, how can I click a sound on screen, then strike a pad to assign it?

It’s been a while since I’ve done this, and I’m not near anything I can try, so I might have some of this wrong. Note this is not an Ardour-specific issue and is more down to the specific plugin you are using.

In theory the MIDI note numbers for certain sounds should be pretty standard but, in practice, I’ve found some variation and how you map MIDI notes to different sounds does vary with the plugins. However, I don’t recall there being a “click to assign” capability on any of these tools, meaning you have to map them using some sort of file.

In DrumGizmo, for instance, you need to load the correct MIDI Map. This is a file which contains the MIDI note number mapping to the drum sound. I believe the standard GM MIDI note numbers are the default and this should mostly work.

My suggestion is you start by documenting the situation carefully, and in detail:

  • Use the manufacturer’s documentation to list what MIDI notes should be being used for each trigger on the TD-07
  • Use a MIDI monitor to validate that the MIDI notes being received by the PC are the ones you expect
  • Use the documentation (such that it is) for the Drum plugin you want to use to check which MIDI notes it expects for each trigger (not all of them use the standard MIDI notes in my experience).

This will take time but it’s time well spent in my opinion, as you will them have the info to hand next time you want to deal with this.

If there are obvious mis-matches, then there’s approximately 3 approaches to fixing these issues:

  1. Reprogram the pad on your TD-07 to send the appropriate MIDI note
  2. Reprogram the plugin (e.g. using MIDI Maps on DrumGizmo) to assign the trigger notes to the sounds you want
  3. Use a MIDI plugin within Ardour which allows you to remap notes, such as MIDI Note Mapper or AVL Drumkit MIDI Map

Note that, if you are getting two sounds when you hit one trigger, this is indicative that more than one trigger note is being sent from the TD-07. This could be false triggering on the TD-07 due to the pad setting being too sensitive, or vibration in the frame transmitting to other pads. This is why checking the MIDI monitor is important.

Cheers,

Keith

a belated thanks for the detailed reply - as suggested the problem was back with the drum module.

1 Like