Author Topic: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?  (Read 430 times)

Offline vappicewins

EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« on: December 12, 2020, 04:57:40 PM »
Hello.

I hope someone can please take time to help me with this. I decided to give edrums another go after seeing I could buy EZdrummer 2 or other such software to run through the drum module. I bought the Surge kit and EZdrummer 2, hooked the USB cable to my PC, and all is OK after I set up the kit in EZdrummer settings as a stand alone (thanks to YouTube videos). When I hit the pads I hear the selected sample kit over my PC speakers as they should (love the Kicks & Snares Groove Delay kit!). Now the strange part, when using my headphones connected to the Alesis Surge module, I don't hear the EZdrummer kits, only the native Alesis kits.

I've spent many hours trying to figure this out, but no luck so far. I simply want to play these amazing samples/drums/cymbals instead of the stock samples on the Alesis Surge module. I thought I could play along to songs on my phone using the EZdrummer 2 kits instead of the stock Alesis Surge kits. Was I wrong? I don't want the kit or EZdrummer for anything at the moment except for playing with my favorite tunes.

I'm pretty clueless about midi and DAW's, total noob, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.   

BTW, I did try and try out Reaper, but it keeps giving this error after I set it up: "The following MIDI inputs could not be opened: Alesis surge." I was going to buy it, but not if I can't get it to play nice with my PC.

Offline Hellfire

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2020, 06:02:39 PM »
Hello.

I hope someone can please take time to help me with this. I decided to give edrums another go after seeing I could buy EZdrummer 2 or other such software to run through the drum module. I bought the Surge kit and EZdrummer 2, hooked the USB cable to my PC, and all is OK after I set up the kit in EZdrummer settings as a stand alone (thanks to YouTube videos). When I hit the pads I hear the selected sample kit over my PC speakers as they should (love the Kicks & Snares Groove Delay kit!). Now the strange part, when using my headphones connected to the Alesis Surge module, I don't hear the EZdrummer kits, only the native Alesis kits.

I've spent many hours trying to figure this out, but no luck so far. I simply want to play these amazing samples/drums/cymbals instead of the stock samples on the Alesis Surge module. I thought I could play along to songs on my phone using the EZdrummer 2 kits instead of the stock Alesis Surge kits. Was I wrong? I don't want the kit or EZdrummer for anything at the moment except for playing with my favorite tunes.

I'm pretty clueless about midi and DAW's, total noob, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.   

BTW, I did try and try out Reaper, but it keeps giving this error after I set it up: "The following MIDI inputs could not be opened: Alesis surge." I was going to buy it, but not if I can't get it to play nice with my PC.

Welcome to the forum vappicewins,

Believe it or not, your module & VST set-up are working just fine. The USB in the Alesis Surge module is MIDI only. It is not an audio device (like a sound card). Most drum modules are set-up this way. I hope that helps.

Again, welcome to the forum.
For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
          www.HellfireDrums.com                    
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

Offline vappicewins

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2020, 08:20:02 PM »
Hello and thank you for the prompt reply and greeting.

Glad to see I have some of the things right. Just to clarify please, the phone in jack on the Surge module will only ever output the built in samples? If I want to play along to songs with the EZdrummer samples, I'd need to plug into my PC headphone jack? I did notice before I posted the question I could did hear the VST (is that EZdrummer?) kits through my headphones when striking the pads.

Thank you again, and you and many others here helped me greatly a few years back converting my DM10 kit to mesh heads and other great things. Glad to see you and the other fine folks here are still offering priceless knowledge so willingly.

Offline Chaser

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2020, 09:39:11 PM »
Hello and thank you for the prompt reply and greeting.

Glad to see I have some of the things right. Just to clarify please, the phone in jack on the Surge module will only ever output the built in samples? If I want to play along to songs with the EZdrummer samples, I'd need to plug into my PC headphone jack? I did notice before I posted the question I could did hear the VST (is that EZdrummer?) kits through my headphones when striking the pads.

Thank you again, and you and many others here helped me greatly a few years back converting my DM10 kit to mesh heads and other great things. Glad to see you and the other fine folks here are still offering priceless knowledge so willingly.

as Hellfire posted..No audio passes through USB..only MIDI.

The aux input on the module accepts audio...VST is the plugin version of EZD2 to run inside of a DAW.
If you want to use EZD2 as a standalone and also use the phone,you can connect the phone to the sound card input (Mic or Line..depends on soundcard..and if the phone has an audio/headphone out (a lot of new phones don't have the 1/8" trrs anymore) on the PC and connect headphones to the headphone port and see if your PC allows sharing/outputing audio simulataneously (usually WASAPI..shared mode) check by opening (right click) the volume mixer bottom right task bar you should see your applications web browser etc
I just checked and was able to run Youtube (firefox)..VLC player/song and Cantabile running SSD5.5 drums VST plugin with STRIKE module and they will work simultaneously but you may experience latency or crackling,stuttering (depends on your PC and sound card how many programs etc are running)

ASIO (ASIO4ALL) software works well for lowering crackling, latency but it's hit and miss (some computers it improves audio..some not so much) and uses apps/programs exclusively and only allows one at a time so you can't use a music player(for your song) and EZD2 standalone simultaneously.
Since you will be trying to start a song on a phone and EZD2 simultaneously it maybe difficult to sync unless you have a little lead time before the song starts play on your phone and you get into position to play.

You can also setup a DAW with EZD2 as a VST and your song as an audio track then run an output from the soundcard on the PC to the aux in on the module,then you can use headphones on the module...or just use the headphones on the PC...once again.. PC soundcards aren't very good for this.
EZD2 doesn't use nearly as much resources as SD3 which can use up to 16GB for a kit

It's always best to use an audio interface as it consolidates everything and takes the stress off the PC so it's resources can be better used (DAW) and you have options for adding inputs (phones,instruments etc.)

Here is a Topic with some suggestions for both.

Offline vappicewins

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2020, 11:03:07 AM »
Amazing, thank you very much!!

Lots of valuable learning there and I'll take my time and try to absorb it. So as I understand it, a Behringer audio interface as you linked to in the other helpful answer would keep down crackling, latency, etc? Well, time to spend some more money, but well worth it in my opinion. I build my own PC's, but makes much more sense to have a separate audio interface.

Thank you again so much for your time and wisdom!!

Offline vappicewins

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2020, 11:29:53 AM »
Just ordered the Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD, look forward to jamming along with ED2 and learning more about VST and DAW. Thank you again!

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2020, 05:38:20 PM »
That interface will do you nicely. I get by well playing and recording with my USB 2.0 Presonus.
That said, if I built PCs like you, I'd probably have a PCI interface by now haha.

EZD is great. I'm addicted to EZXs. I'm not sure how I managed to not buy another during the current sale.
Did you buy it just now during the sale?
A2E 5-piece | Bum Wrap Drum Co maple burl wrap | Jobeky & UFO triggers | Drum-Tec real feel heads | Strike module | VH-11 + Strike cymbals | EZD2 + EZXs

Offline vappicewins

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2020, 07:57:37 PM »
Hello tmk21315, yep, I love building PC's and playing with software, but recording/DAW software is a new adventure. I was thinking of adding a dedicated sound card to my Ryzen 1700X rig, but Chaser said having an external audio interface would make it easier on my PC while running DAW and EZD2. Being a perfectionist, I took the path of least resistance as I hate latency issues, as well as static, etc.

And I did buy EZ2 on sale with the Kicks and Snares expansion as a freebie during Sweetwater's.  Lots of amazing drums, snares and cymbals to choose from. I'm finding those expansion packs are like other drum porn, pretty addictive! Also got my Behringer from Sweetwater too, those guys are simply the best. Looking forward to playing along to Maestro Simon Kirke and many others on both my Alesis edrums and Pearl acoustic kit. Can you believe Bad Company is still not in the so called rock and roll hall of fame?! Sacrilege!!!!

Offline Chaser

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2020, 08:18:18 PM »
Hello tmk21315, yep, I love building PC's and playing with software, but recording/DAW software is a new adventure. I was thinking of adding a dedicated sound card to my Ryzen 1700X rig, but Chaser said having an external audio interface would make it easier on my PC while running DAW and EZD2. Being a perfectionist, I took the path of least resistance as I hate latency issues, as well as static, etc.

PCI AUDIO Interfaces work very well and also take the stress off and free up resources ..but you'll also need a breakout board etc etc to connect instruments...Most do not need this unless you do serious production work and you'll understand why once you see the prices just for the cards.

Offline vappicewins

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2020, 08:31:35 PM »
Yep, those prices got a good laugh out of me!! My RGB tempered glass widowed PC comes in at only $1600.00. But what a thrill after spending that money then hitting the power button and nothing happens!! Got to figure it out because pride will NOT let us take them to a PC repair shop. Usually I've just forgotten to turn on the power supply. But the old adrenaline gets to pumping if that isn't the problem.

Offline vappicewins

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2021, 07:18:24 PM »
Well gentlemen's, thank you for the help but I still haven't figured it out after many frustrating hours and monies spent. Got the USB to PC cable for midi, the MOTU M2 audio interface, 2 midi and 2 1/4 cable cords, and still no go. I've tried it with everything attached (all cables/cords), just USB to PC cable, just midi, just 1/4 cords, and probably other combinations. Youtube videos further confuse me instead of help.

When I think I've got it, playing a song on my PC will not be audible in the headphones, or they sound like they are in echo chamber with inaudible voice; or the DAW's (Cakewalk, Reaper, Abelton Live Lite 10, Performer Lite) will throw an error of some type, or have severe lag even with latency set where it should be to avoid latency issues (64 or 128).

Having to care for a family member 24/7 as well as working full time is not helping my focus either. If I ever get it figured out, I'll let you guys know and post how I did it here on the forum because in all my research I've seen many like myself who have never gotten it to work correctly. Wish there was a sticky on the forum on the simple to complicated connections to either just play along with songs or even record yourself as well. 


Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2021, 03:31:43 AM »
I think I understand your issue.
You are trying to get your computer to play two separate audio streams, (one from EZ Drummer 2 and one from your sound library on your computer or from your phone connected to the audio input of your computers sound card), at one time.
I googled how to do that and this link was the first one I found.
https://windowsreport.com/play-sound-2-devices-windows-10/
If you scroll down in the page, it shows you how to apply it to different apps within your computer i.e. Windows media player etc. and EZ Drummer 2.
I'm not sure if this will help or not and it is for Windows 10.
There may be other links as well for different operating systems.
I wanted to do the same thing but I wound up using 2 laptops, one with Superior Drummer 3 and one just for music to play along to.
I have both ran through separate channels on a mixer.
I also have my Strike module on its own mixer channels so I can switch back and forth between Superior Drummer and the Strike modules internal sounds with just the touch of a button.
I know you've already spent a ton of money on interfaces etc. but you may want to invest in a small mixer, say 4 channel or so.
You could route your computer with EZ Drummer 2 through it on one channel, your phone or mp3 player with tunes on it through another and the module itself through a 3rd. channel.  Then hook your speakers or headphones up to the mixers output and this would achieve what you want pretty easily.
Depending on how elaborate you want to get, you could get a mixer with stereo channels for your play along sound source
and use a stereo breakout cable with a 3.5 mm stereo jack on one end and separate left and right 1/4 phono jacks on the other end to either a stereo channel on the mixer or 2 adjacent mono channels one for left panned hard left and the other for right panned hard right.
Your module has separate left and right outs that I don't believe are true stereo so each one would be routed to 2 adjacent mono channels again left panned fully left and right panned fully right.
If you plan to add any additional equipment in the future such as a multi pad, make sure the mixer has enough channels to accommodate it.
My mixer is a Behringer QX2442USB.

Hope this helps.

powerhouse
« Last Edit: January 18, 2021, 04:08:47 AM by powerhouse »

Offline vappicewins

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2021, 09:20:36 PM »
Thank you for the information powerhouse, and I'll give it a shot. I do have a Windows 10 Pro 64-bit PC, as well as a Dell Windows 10 Pro 64-bit laptop, but its specs are nowhere near my AMD desktop rig I built myself. Thank you for the link and I have checked it out and will go deeper once I clear my head.

I do plan on getting a Strike module in the future as well, seems like an amazing piece of gear. I had an Alesis DM10 Pro kit (Mylar heads) with the great DM10 module, but like an idiot I sold the entire kit. I see that module is still highly prized. The Surge module leaves me longing for my old DM10.

I'll buy the cables you mentioned this weekend and see if I can get it going with your instructions for your two laptops but using my PC and laptop combo. But I realize that leaves out the mixer. May just get that mixer you have this weekend as well, it looks plenty big enough for what I need and Behringer makes top notch equipment, that much I do know from guitarists I've had the pleasure of backing in the past.

Thank you again for your valuable time and wisdom!!  8)

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2021, 02:15:25 AM »
I haven't tried the procedures listed in the links as I already have a mixer so those procedures may or may not work for you but I think I would try them before buying a mixer. If they work, then you can save some money. If not then I think a mixer is the way to go for what you are trying to achieve.
The ONLY reason I settled on that particular mixer was that it had both individual channel inserts,(used for inserting effects into the individual channels signal path, AND a main inserts, (used for EQ units, compressors etc.), on the entire main outs signal path.
Most mixers in that price range only have channel inserts and not main inserts and I really like the flexibility of adding effects, flanger, phaser, various reverbs etc. to whichever channel/device I want PLUS the ability to EQ the entire mix at the main out.
You may not need this. If not, you could probably save some money and get a smaller/cheaper Behringer mixer.
The Strike module is amazing.
 I already had the Strike multipad and the sounds were great. When I noticed that you could now buy the Strike module alone without the kit, I jumped on it and the sounds are fantastic plus they match the Strike multipad sounds.
There was a definite difference in sound or sound quality between the DM10 and the Strike multipad.
It was like comparing cassette tapes to cd quality sound.

I still have the DM10 module and will keep it as a back up.

powerhouse

Online AlanK

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2021, 01:23:24 PM »
I've got my DM10X using Addictive Drums 2, and patch it through a small Behringer mixer so I can have an input from my cellphone or other audio source because the audio driver on the computer won't play videos or music once the vst takes control. Then I can mix the volumes between my drums and the music input easily and separately. I still have a few extra channels in case I ever want to add a mic or guitar or another music player.
DM10X with Addictive Drums 2, Pro X hi-hat, 4 crashes, 682 white mesh cone conversion, Laurin Drums snare and kick, Mapex P710W double kick pedal, Tama saddle, Panasonic noise cancelling headphones, Behringer 8 channel USB mixer, Tascam 144MK AI, Samson Expedition Escape powered speakers

Offline vappicewins

Re: EZdrummer 2 and Alesis Surge help please?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2021, 02:50:36 PM »
powerhouse and AlanK, thank you for the information and taking valuable time out to offer help!

Just an update, bought an open box Strike drum module with cable and mount which are heading this way as I type this, as well as an 18" 3-zone LTW Pintech metal ride cymbal (hope that helps my arthritic hands, and if so, will slowly replace the rubber cymbals). The Surge module was just not getting it done, too limited. Spent too much money to stop now is how I see it. Will try to bypass the mixer first, but if not, it will be next on the UPS truck.

Will update once it gets here and let you know how it goes.

Thank you all again!!